April 9 - 11, 2017.
STRENGTH AND PERMANENCE
In school A, the CAIServices Advisor conducted a full day session for the school’s Board on strength and permanence. Using the school’s own data from the previous decade, the Advisor presented an analysis of the data compared to current research in the field.
The second step was to examine their recent CAIS accreditation report in light of CAIS National Standards. Then the Board worked through an exercise to set the top 5 strength and permanence priorities for the school.
The first afternoon session was designed to consolidate the priorities, goals and anticipated outcomes. Finally, in response to their request, the Advisor rounded off the day with a presentation on “Optimizing Major Gifts and Enrolment Management.”
The Head of School later reported to CAIS that the Advisor’s work "exceeded expectations" and that CAIS could use his work as a “blueprint for future Financial Sustainability presentations.”
STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREAT
School B used CAIServices to assist with their strategic planning process. The strength of the existing in-house team of Board members and Administrators was complemented by an Advisor who helped them to shape the questions used to engage the Faculty and Staff in a full day retreat.
The Advisor led the retreat and compiled the notes thereafter providing them with useful data. The Advisor was subsequently invited to return to conduct an evening Town Hall style meeting that included students, parents, Governors (past and present) as well as Faculty and Staff.
LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE REVIEW
Two schools, using separate Advisors, had an analysis conducted of their administrative structure and decision-making responsibilities and processes.
An Advisor was asked to conduct a one-hour Board presentation on the topic of “Productive Boards” as part of the Board’s overall orientation session. Working with the School’s Head and Board Chair in advance resulted in a research based presentation for experienced and newly appointed Governors on their duties and responsibilities, decision making authority, their role in strategy making and tools for Board and school success.
It was later reported that the Advisor "exceeded expectations" of the attendees.
BOARD AND LEADERSHIP TEAM RETREAT
Two Advisors worked in conjunction with a school’s Head and Chair of their Board’s Professional Development Committee to plan and structure a full day retreat for their Board and Leadership Team.
One of the objectives of the day was to create alignment between the Board and Leadership Team as well as alignment within those two entities. The information presented and the exercises engaged in had to be planned and executed to achieve that goal.
After a number of conference call meetings, the agenda was set. The morning was dedicated to the topic of the “Role of the Board and the Leadership Team in Governance and Advancement.” In the afternoon, the attendees were taken through an exercise to link the findings in their recent CAIS Accreditation report with their newly developed strategic plan to first determine their top priorities for the year and second give the Leadership Team members a wealth of information and data with which to work to formulate their implementation plan.
The Governor responsible for assisting in the planning of the day summed up the experience by stating, “The day far exceeded our (high) expectations. You guys were terrific!”
EXPANDING AND BUILDING A NEW SCHOOL
There is also an ongoing project in one school that is planning to expand its enrolment and build a new school building. The CAIServices Advisor retained by the school has experience in capital campaigns and construction.
A CAIServices Advisor worked to assist a CAIS Head and Board Chair arrive at a mutually satisfactory contract renewal. This was a transparent and data driven process that started with the CAIS compensation survey and interviews with the two parties in the negotiation.
The Advisor held candid conversations first with the Head and then with the Chair to ascertain what their goals are for the process. They are able to speak with the Advisor in away that they would never be able to speak with each other without damaging the nature of their special but potentially fragile relationship.
The role of the Advisor was to find the best compromise that meets the most needs of both parties. This process, along with the expertise and insight of the Advisor, may be of value to other CAIS Heads and Chairs.