Meet Your Cohort Leader
Leslie Moeller is the current Chairman of the Board of the Society for Classical Learning, former Chairman of the Board of the Geneva School of Boerne, current Board member of New Covenant Schools, former Head of Upper School at The Covenant School, and former Head of School at Geneva School of Boerne. Leslie has used her broad experience in teaching, administrative, and governance of classical, Christian schools as the basis for her consulting work with boards across the nation over the past 12 years.
Who is this for?
The Board Chair Cohort program is designed to equip new Board Chairs with the insights and skills to lead their Boards effectively in their primary responsibilities of mission preservation, ensuring school stability and longevity, strategic planning, and creating a strong and effective relationship with the Board’s sole employee, the Head of School. This cohort is structured around the annual rhythms of the school year and will equip you to understand and lead the Board’s major work in a timely manner. You will also gain key insights into that most often asked question: “What are other Boards doing?” as you develop relationships with Board Chairs from other classical, Christian schools around the nation.
Understand the key relationships between the Board Chair, the Head of School and the three main standing Board Committees,
Learn best practices for ensuring the long term stability and mission delivery of your school.
Develop and accomplish an effective strategic plan.
Experience a full year of the Board’s work with the cohort leader and fellow Board Chairs as your resource and sounding board.
Scope & Format
- Phase I of the Board Chair Cohort (Feb 2020) will kick off with four weekly 60 minute sessions via Zoom.
- Each session will have 30 to 45 minutes of advance homework. During the Zoom sessions, the facilitator will lead the participants in discussing the applications of the material to their specific situations and schools.
- Throughout both Phase I and Phase II, the Cohort Facilitator will hold bi-monthly “office hours” when she will be available by appointment to answer your questions and help you think through the implications for your school.
- Intimate group of 8-10 participants to ensure relational depth and connection with colleagues from across the country.
- Access to a “tool box” via a shared folder of carefully curated collection of tools, resources and articles.
Phase I: Understanding the Rules of the Game
In the four initial sessions of Phase I, you will be introduced to research based best practices in the following four key areas:
This first cohort session will focus on understanding the impact of the Board Chair on the Head and on the Board. You will learn why the relationship between the Chair and the Head is critical to the work of the Head and through the Head, to the health of the school. We will also explore the Chair’s responsibility to foster a healthy, responsible Board both through processes, such as strategic planning, the annual agenda, and key committees; and through relationships which impact the “personality” of the board and its approach to discussion and decision making.
In this second session, you will gain insight into the realities of the Head’s day-to-day work and the complexities of leading a 21st Century private, faith based school. You and your fellow Board Chairs will also focus on how a Board effectively and appropriately supports and evaluates the school’s most important employee, through a key Board committee: the Head Support and Evaluation Committee.
Our third session will shift its focus to the core responsibilities of Board members. You will explore the key characteristics of a good board member and a good board. Once again, you will learn about processes and structures that support a healthy function such as annual board commitments, new member on-boarding, ongoing board education, and annual board self-evaluation. You will also explore the relational side of encouraging and holding your fellow board members accountable.
Your board’s first priority is the long term delivery of the counter cultural mission of your school. This fourth and final session of our first phase, will focus squarely on this responsibility. We will look at the disciplines that shape success and the forces that will challenge our schools’ stability, the fundamental prerequisite to effective mission delivery. You and your fellow Board Chairs will discuss and debate the financial realities of school budgets, tuition setting and growth; as well as the drivers of student and parent satisfaction and mission buy-in. The key focus of our work this week will be understanding the factors that equip a school to deliver its mission over time and the Board’s role in ensuring those drivers are healthy.
Phase II: “Game Day” Strategies
After four weeks of studying best practices, you will now have a team to work alongside you as you put them into practice during the annual cycle of your Board’s work. We will meet in advance of four key calendar deadlines so that you and your fellow Board Chairs can discuss the application of our studies to the real world challenges that your school faces.
Your Board will likely have its annual retreat in the summer. This session will help you apply the strategic planning information covered in Phase I as you and your fellow Board Chairs prepare to use your annual retreat effectively. The goal will be to leave the retreat and begin the school year with a new or updated strategic plan and the confidence to covert that plan into an updated strategic financial plan, an annual agenda, and clear committee charges for the year.
Once you have your strategic plan updated for the upcoming school year, your school’s Head Support and Evaluation Committee will need to work with the Head of School to produce his or her deliverables. This is the key document against which your Head will be evaluated by the HSEC and ultimately the Board at the end of the year. In this session we will apply what we have already discussed about the HSEC and its work to ensure that your school, your Head, and your Board start the year with clarity about what success this year will look like.
One of the most practical decisions a Board faces each year is setting and communicating the next year’s tuition. Once that tuition is set, the school’s resources for the year will be largely determined. We will work through the interrelated disciplines of the strategic financial plan, budget, and tuition to ensure that your school sets tuition to meet its strategic objectives. We will also address the common fears about what your community will tolerate.
The Board’s planning work for the subsequent school year is heavily weighted to the fall. The late winter and early spring is when the Board must turn towards its own housekeeping in order to be prepared to start the cycle over again with next summer’s annual retreat. This session will focus on the practical steps your Board should be taking in order to identify, attract and equip your next class of new Board members. We will also work through the Board’s annual self-evaluation and have a few final reminders about the end of year Head evaluation.
SCL Member Schools will receive an additional 10% off, making it a total of 35% off = $1,917 annual / $159 per month