"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

Letter from Board President

On behalf of the TIS Board of Trustees, I extend a hearty welcome to our new and returning families. You are members an extraordinary community, and I am excited for the educational adventures your children will enjoy this year. I write to you this week to introduce you to the Board of Trustees and the work we do on behalf of the school.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing and safeguarding the mission and achieving the strategic objectives of The International School. Guided by the school's Strategic Plan, the Board sets polices and enters into commitments that are consistent with the mission and ensure the continued health and growth of the school. Much of the Board's work is conducted by four standing committees: Governance, Development, Buildings and Grounds, and Finance. General Board meetings, which are open to the community, are held five times during the school year, including our Annual Meeting in May. Currently, the Board is comprised of fourteen voting Trustees and two non-voting, Ex officio Trustees: Head of School Dr. Orsini and PTO President Kirsten Lee. All Trustees are currently parents or alumni parents of TIS; together, they bring a diverse and vibrant wealth of professional skill, knowledge, and experience to the Board.

The Board is responsible for keeping its eyes on the big picture, so to speak---day-to-day operational matters are reserved to Dr. Orsini and the Administrative Team. However, the Board works closely with Dr. Orsini and the Admin. Team; we are fortunate to have such dedicated professionals with whom to work.

As the 2011-12 school year gets underway, two significant projects are currently in process. First, this year will be Dr. Orsini's final year at TIS. Dr. Orsini informed the Board last school year that he intends to return to China when his contract concludes in July 2012. Immediately, the Board embarked on a Head Search Project. A committee of Trustees, Administrative Team members, faculty, and parents already are reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and preparing for on campus site visits later this fall. Parents, teachers, and other community members will have opportunities to meet our finalists then. Our goal is to select a new HOS by January 2012, to take over at the end of this school year. Look for updates from Trustee Matt Schweitzer, Chair of the Head Search Committee.

The second major project is the Campus Master Plan. The Campus Master Plan was launched after an extensive site review project during which a significant number of potential sites, including our current one, were thoroughly evaluated. At the conclusion of this site review, which also included a thorough "fatal flaw" review of the present site, the Board concluded that the present site best meets our school's future needs. Among other things, a Campus Master Plan serves to evaluate the school's facility needs and set forth a plan for meeting those needs. Request for Proposals were recently sent out to a number of potential firms. I will provide an update to the community on this project at this Wednesday PTO's meeting.

The Board is committed to transparency and communication with the TIS community. You may see board members at intlschool.org/parent/board/, check out Board minutes and other materials at intlschool.org/parent/login-files/ (use the All-Parent Password); and email me at board@intlschool.org.

Best wishes for the start of your school year. I look forward to talking to you this year.

Scott Kerman, President, TIS Board of Trustees, board@intlschool.org