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Board News: Retreat Recap

Greetings from the ISD Board of Trustees.

First, I am very pleased to announce our ISD Board Office Bearers for 2018-2019:

Chair: Louisa Gibbs Vice-Chair: Jennifer Davis Secretary: Sadia Asim Treasurer: Thiaba Camara Sy

The Board held a very productive retreat from 30 August to 1 September. With the guidance of Teresa Arpin, an experienced school board strategic planner and facilitator, we covered a lot of ground to be ready for the year ahead.

The retreat included governance training, led by Teresa and our Vice-Chair, Jennifer Davis. This training supported Board members to understand the different role the Board plays, versus the Director and school administrators. This training is key to ensuring we focus our efforts on the right things, making strategic decisions for the school without interfering with its day-to-day operations.

We also received training on reading and understanding financial reports. The Board's fiduciary duty is one of our key responsibilities and the training provided by our Treasurer Thiaba Camara Sy and the School Director Alan Knobloch will ensure we fulfil this role competently.

Chair of our Governance and Development Committee, Marie Blanchard, reported on the results of our Board self-evaluation. This helps us with direction setting for the coming year.

IB DP Coordinator Paul Lennon, Secondary Principal Lorne Bird and PYP Coordinator Brad Chumrau provided us with updates on the progress of implementation of the International Baccalaureate PYP, MYP and DP programs. The Board was pleased to learn about the status of these programs and looks forward to continuing to support their implementation.

The Board devoted time to having four 'generative conversations' to help us understand each others' stance on topical - and sometimes controversial - issues affecting ISD. It was a great litmus test for what we need to be focussing on for the immediate and long-term life of the school.

We then set about developing goals for the Board for the year, to reflect the current needs and direction of the school. Much of the work towards achieving goals takes place in committees. I am dighted to announce the Chairs for this year's committees:

Standing Committees: Buildings & Grounds: Aylin Karahan Policy: Anne Peters Finance: Thiaba Camara Sy Governance & Development: Marie Blanchard

Special Committee for 2018-2019: Strategic Plan: Stéphane Rosenberg

We worked to put together annual goals for the Board and the Director, plus terms of reference for what each committee would cover during the year. I will report to the ISD community on these following our 20 September 2018 Board meeting, at which time we will vote to adopt the goals and terms of reference.

The retreat was also a great way for the Board to get to know each other better. Trustees Maureen Cunningham, Anne Peters and Sadia Asim and our Faculty Representative Catherina Gress-Wright injected some fun energiser activities into the three day program. I will leave you with the fruits of one activity.

We were asked to choose one picture from a myriad of photos and explain to the group why it represented how we felt about being on the Board of ISD this year.

Enjoy the couple of examples below!

The Baobab tree not only represents Senegal, but also growth, wisdom and beauty.

Bees build beautiful communities, while listening to each other and respecting each other's opinions while at the same time every person does the best at their role for the betterment of the whole - a great model for the ISD Board.

All the little water particles making the wave represent all the hard work of Trustees, parents, teachers and students in years past. We are now on the 'Board' riding the wave! We're in a great, strong position this year to be thinking strategically about ISD's future.

Nuts and bolts - Who can forget our major building project - the Performing Arts Centre and Gym? This picture also represents how all the pieces of the school fit together and work together.

Fortune cookies are a great metaphor because of the Board plays in looking forward ... and the surprises this role can bring!

Representing a wealth of knowledge and the ever present opportunity to keep learning.

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