Following our meeting on 19 June, Nikolas Stegelmann tendered his resignation as Managing Director and since then, we have been reflecting on what we can learn from this and how best to move ahead. We have taken some initial steps forward and have committed to keep you updated on this.
Over the past two weeks, long-time Green School parent Derek Montgomery has been working closely with Kate, Sal, Wayan and others to ensure that all priority pieces of work are being managed during the break. This includes ensuring that staff are being cared for, programs and structures for the 2019-20 school year are being finalised, and campus works are progressing as quickly as possible. The Trustees are grateful to Derek for taking on this role in this time of need.
As we said in our most recent note to the community, we acknowledge that Nikolas’ appointment was announced and implemented suddenly and without proper context. We draw lessons from this and from the community’s response to the changes in governance.
Three high school students (two from grade 12 and one from grade 11) joined us near the end of our meeting on 19 June to share their views on governance, propose ideas and to exchange perspectives. It was a constructive conversation. There is work to be done on establishing the Board of Learners, but the Trustees have embraced empowering this Board – comprised of a community-representative group of students, teachers, parents and our Balinese community members – with responsibilities and authorities relevant to policy, programs and budget development for the School.
During our meeting the students requested two seats on this new Board. The Trustees agreed to this, honoring their persuasive perspective that, at the end of the day, the students are the School’s most important stakeholders.
We have asked Kate to manage an open process to establish membership criteria for the new Board and we encourage all community members to continue to read the School newsletters to stay up to date and to find out how to participate in this process.
In closing, we have received many good questions from the community — both from individuals and via the GSPA — and our first set of Q&As is provided below, in this, the first in a series of more regular updates from the Trustees. Going forward, general communications from the Trustees will be via the School Newsletter, as opposed to separate emails. Please do send any additional questions to our mailbox at email@example.com and we will keep the communications flowing.
Warm regards, Board of Trustees, Green School Bali
Q: What are the Trustees commitments to communications? A: This update is the first of a more regular series of updates from the Trustees. The Trustees role is strategic in nature and the team comes together four times per year only, to monitor the strategic progress of the School and financial performance against the budget set for the year. In line with this, the Trustees will write to the community once per quarter. These updates will be included in the relevant Weekly Newsletter, numbered and retained in a central repository on the School Blog, for ongoing reference. Going forward, the Board of Learners will be the main mouthpiece to the community on School priorities and policy. The Board of Learners will consider and communicate with the community its protocol for regular communications, recognising that this is critically important to the community.
Q: Where is the Strategic Plan? A: The Trustees are taking a little time to consider the next best steps with the draft Strategic Plan. A lot of work has gone into the draft to date and we do not want to lose this. However, it seems appropriate that the new Board of Learners be provided the opportunity to review and fine-tune the plan providing input before it is re-submitted to the Trustees for final approval and publication. The new Board will have a role in overseeing and supporting the implementation of the new Plan.
Q: What is the new organisational structure and who is accountable for what? A: Before School returns, we will provide an updated organisational chart. We know that many of you are keen to know who is responsible for what. The new chart will be shared via the newsletter and the chart, as well as the key contacts list, will be updated and retained on the Blog.
Q: Will the Board of Learners be empowered in any way and how will the community be represented? A: The Board of Learners will be authorised to deal with matters such as school policy, budget building, key School staff appointments, and fundraising. This is yet to be finalised, but we can give assurance that the Board will not be ‘toothless’ and the membership will be as representative as possible of the community. Membership will be a combination of elected as well as selected – based on identified needs and an open process. Further communications on this will be provided prior to the new School year commencing.
Q: Will the role of Managing Director remain? A: Yes, we are reflecting and reviewing, before beginning the search for a new person to take overall leadership of the School. We remain committed to the plan to add to the leadership team, in order for roles to be clearer and more manageable. The role will be advertised and filled through a merit-based process. The selection process will involve stakeholder groups and will be advertised within the community and externally. Please stay tuned for further updates on this.
Q: Will there be any investment in infrastructure for the School for 2019/20? A: Yes, much work is underway as we speak. More small group, playful learning pods are being constructed in Early Years. Final fit-out of gym for whole-of-community gatherings, a new chill-out space for middle school, high school student lounge and new ‘baby-sangkep’ for middle school drama/gatherings/performances are also on the to-do list for the break and work is already underway. The Sangkep is also being rebuilt and the mini-field in the carparking area is being renovated and expanded. More information on all this will come via communications closer to the start of the new School year.