Chris Watson, Head of School and the Soundview board meet

Each December, our Board of Trustees hosts our parent community and staff for a “state of the school” presentation. It’s an opportunity to hear about the work of the board, learn about their priorities, and engage in future planning. Here’s a summary of the December 2018 meeting.

We started with a construction update on our two new middle school classrooms. The building is fully funded, bought, and paid for thanks to a successful fundraising campaign and the Board’s future-minded financial planning. Over the summer, we were delayed due to the loss of our original engineering firm and some unexpected engineering challenges to address. As of today, we’re back on track with a new design team, including: owner’s rep, architect, engineer, and construction firm. The building is complete, stored in Salem, OR, and ready for delivery. And our design team is addressing a set of comments on the permit application. We’re anxiously waiting!

The Board described its three main jobs, which it accomplishes through its committees:

  1. Hire and support the Head of School.

  2. Oversee the finances and funding of the school.

  3. Set policy and strategy.

We reviewed the work and accomplishments of the current strategic plan, which has four priorities:

  • Implementing an enrollment management program.

  • Investing in our campus.

  • Re-imagining our business model.

  • Maintaining programmatic excellence.

Working towards these four priorities has resulted in a number of major changes and successes for Soundview. Demand for a Soundview education has increased significantly. We established our market position with a new tuition level. The impact of our mission has been more clear through culminating projects and alumni accomplishments. A number of improvements and important maintenance projects have been completed on campus. And new classrooms are on the way. Our commitment to multiage learning has established Soundview as an educational leader. We’ve doubled down on social and emotional learning, as well as design-thinking and the arts. And so much more…

Our Board articulated our vision for Soundview and highlighted the accomplishments of students, staff, and alumni. We aim to put students into leadership roles, develop teacher leaders, and lead among International Baccalaureate schools by designing and sharing curriculum. We shared stories of alumni working in cancer research, being valedictorians (multiple), getting recognized for designing innovative arts programs for Alzheimer’s patients, and more. And we highlighted the achievements of our faculty and staff, which include winning fellowship grants, being selected for leadership programs, and presenting at regional conferences.

Finally, our Board talked about the school’s current priorities and how they will set up the next strategic plan:

  • Clearly defining Soundview’s market position.

  • Developing and connecting the Board with the school and external communities.

  • Succession planning for the Board, officers, and committees.

  • Investing in the school’s strengths and priorities.

  • Planning for the campus, building, and equipment needs.

We hope this is a useful summary. If you have any questions, want to get more involved, please contact Chris.

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