ISCA Weekly Chair Post
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April 4, 2019

Who Decides What?

Heads of School have often complained that their Boards are either micro-managing or not engaged enough in carrying out their responsibilities. Add to that the uncertainty of the gray areas, those complicated issues that are the source of frustration and power struggles for Boards and Heads of School sometimes resulting in a turf war on who gets to decide what - the Board or the Head of School.

In a recent BoardSource blog, written by Robert Acton, the author provides guidance to CEO's or in our case, Heads of School, on what issues should be elevated to the Board for discussion and decision making. The author frames these issues in a manner that is very user-friendly as guidance. Here are the highlights adapted for you:

Permanence: The longer the impact of the decision on the school, the more the Board needs to be involved.
Directional: The more closely the decision is related to the strategic direction of the school, the more the Board needs to be involved.
Controversial: The more contentious the decision is with key stakeholders, the more the Board needs to be involved.
Positional: The more public and formal the school policies or positions, the more the Board needs to be involved.
Essential: Any discussion on mission, vision, values, the Board owns these and needs to be involved.
Financial: Any departures from the Board authorized budget, the Board needs to be involved.

Acton also makes the recommendation to CEO's, or HOS, that they know and understand their Board's bylaws well so they understand the decisions and oversight the Board is mandated to carry out. How well does your HOS know your Board's bylaws?

Read this blog, and share it with your Board and HOS.
There is some sound advice in this article.

Weekly Chair Post written and compiled by
Bethany Di Napoli, ISCA Executive Director

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