The AAIE-A/OS Good Governance Project
The Board Handbook
The performance expectations for an International School Board of Trustees are described in their school’s Articles of Association, Bylaws, and Policies. Those documents provide the formal parameters for what the Board does and how it does it. In reality, however, Boards of Trustees, like all working teams, have operational protocols, norms of conduct, and informal “rules” that characterize their day-to-day, month-to-month endeavors.
Those practices reflect how the Board conducts business, and as such, are critical to the effectiveness of the Board. The purpose of The Board Handbook is to provide clear guidelines that are commonly agreed upon and based on proven practice at the school regarding how the Board will do its work. Its value is in promoting consistency in how the Board functions over time, serving as important guideposts for the Board, especially valuable when bringing new Trustees on board. The protocols cited in the Handbook are not “Policy”; they can, and should be modified when situations warrant.
THE MODEL HANDBOOK
This document represents a compilation of practices from a number of effective international schools. In each case, “practice” aligns with “policy.” The purpose of this document is to provide a model for schools wishing to develop their own Board Handbook.
Every international school is unique in some ways as reflected in their Articles of Association, Bylaws, and Policies, and so, too, the Board Handbook should reflect those individualities. Nevertheless, certain practices and procedures have shown themselves to be effective over time, worthy of consideration, and it is those protocols which are presented here.
In sum, schools are encouraged to use this model as a template for developing their own Board Handbook, hopefully incorporating many of the practices cited herein.
The Exemplary International School (EIS)
BOARD HANDBOOK (Reference Policy 2.7) 2020-21
(to be updated annually)
The protocols in the text and links below provide supplemental and clarifying guidance on key procedures to assist the Board of Trustees in carrying out its functions and fulfilling its duties, consistent with the School’s governing Bylaws and Policies. These protocols are for the Board’s internal use and therefore are subject to revision by the Board by a simple majority vote.
1.11 Governance Responsibilities
1.111 Fiduciary Duties
1.112 Policy Development
1.115 Trustee Succession
1.2 Board Officers
1.3 Relationships with the Director and Staff
1.31 Director’s responsibilities
1.32 Director goal-setting and
1.33 Staff Grievance Procedure
1.34 Whistleblower Procedure
3. BOARD MEETINGS
3.2 Board Annual Calendar
3.3 Meeting Protocol
3.31 Decision Making
3.41 Strategic Agenda
3.42 Consent Agenda
3.43 Board Packet
3.6 Virtual Meetings