(written by Board President Vianne Reay)
One of the things I appreciate most about Chris Watson, our Head of School, is the way he listens. Whether it is a student who is having a hard time, a staff member who has an idea to share or a parent with a concern, Chris and his staff will take the time to listen, really understand and take action. As your Board of Trustees, we are listening to our community and taking to heart the values and concerns that you have.
One of the things we are making a commitment to as a board is being more transparent about what we are doing. To that end, I will be communicating with you each month after our board meeting to keep you up to date on what is happening at the board level.
We’ve listened to your values through individual meetings with Chris, surveys, and interviews. I want to thank you for your ongoing participation in all of these to give us a clear view of what is important to you: facilities, enrollment and the growth of the board.
To address the facilities issue, we engaged the Harper Haines Group in the fall to conduct a feasibility study. This Monday at our Board of Trustees meeting we heard a summary of the findings and a set of initial recommendations.
While our program, curricula and current leadership are wonderful, our facilities don’t match that high level of quality. Despite our administration's steady progress on the facility, we are excited to plan for more significant improvements. Although no decision has been made in regard to facilities, we are working on options for different scenarios on campus.
There are still questions about the best course of action in regard to enrollment. To that end, we have begun an enrollment feasibility study in order to have a clearer picture about enrollment, based on trends and demographic information. This work is being done by Ian Symmonds and Associates, whose team will be on campus April 1. They will be working with the Harper Haines Group and the results will be shared at the retreat on May 15.
Finally, I’d like to welcome two new trustees who were elected Monday night. Ben VandenBerghe is a partner in the law firm of Montgomery Purdue Blankinship Austin. He is interested in diversity, facilities, and finance. He believes that creative and challenging early education programs like IB and Soundview serve a critical role in our community. Paul Carduner is a software engineer who built divvyshot.com that was acquired by Facebook. Recently he founded Carduner Consulting, a company that works with technology companies of all sizes to build software for the modern web. He is interested in education and how he can make an impact in the community. Both Ben and Paul have already brought positive energy to the boardroom. They represent a move forward toward our goal of having the Board of Trustees made up of one third parents, one third alumni parents and one third community members.
We want to keep listening to our community, not just in formal surveys and meetings. Feel free to stop and talk with any of our trustees. I look forward to talking with you soon!