As we move into fall, it is time for our Annual General Meeting to elect our new School Board. Please mark your calendars with Tuesday October 28th from 7-9 pm at the Rose Theatre (2364B Rosewall Crescent). Please note that this event is much more than electing Board Directors - it is a chance to get to know your School Board and who is helping to develop the inner-workings of your school.
We would love to see you at this important event - we are very excited to introduce you to the new School Board. The Saltwater Waldorf School believes in the Head, Heart and Hands approach and your participation are the "hands" which help us to grow and develop our lovely school. Our kindergarten teacher, Elyena Lundh will be speaking on the 'Essence of Waldorf Education' after the meeting concludes. This should provide for an interesting night and please stay for refreshments and good conversation.
This year we would like to provide you with some background on the Saltwater School Board and answer the question "What does a School Board do?". Please read on to find out more. In addition, please also find attached a Saltwater Annual General Meeting Agenda. See you on Tuesday!
I. The Work of the Saltwater Waldorf School Board
As the Annual General Meeting approaches on October 28th
, you may be wondering about the ‘Saltwater Education Society’ Board and its relationship to the Saltwater Waldorf School.
The Saltwater Education Society
is a non-profit society regulated under the British Columbia Societies Act. We operate the Saltwater Waldorf School, now with both Early Childhood and Grades facilities in Courtenay, and a new After School Care program. The Board works on the Waldorf model of ‘head, hands and heart’, a team of faculty, parents, administration and board to educate children. The Board’s role is to set the vision and goals, create facilities, hire the Administrator and manage the School’s finances – much like the board of any private company. Members of the board are volunteers – many of them parents or those interested in Waldorf education and principles - and do not receive remuneration. Like all Waldorf schools, Saltwater Waldorf School is non-denominational and we use a consensus decision-making process.
Much of the board’s work is carried out in committees, the principal ones being finance/administration, human resources, marketing, and facilities. The board and the committees meet regularly once a month or sometimes more frequently as the need arises. Committee chairs are board members who report to the board. Julie, our administrator, now sits ex-officio on the board and most committees. The Chair of the Faculty Committee will also sit ex-officio on the Board. Various faculty members and parents are represented on the Board and each of its committees as well.
At the Annual Meeting the Society each year elects 9 Directors to the board positions, confirming the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer positions as well as other Directors. Committee chairs are appointed from the elected board. We are always looking for new candidates for both Board and Committee work, guided by the experience and skill set of interested persons.
Currently, Arlene Trustham is our Chair, Michelle Alexander is Vice-Chair, Marussia Nesling is Secretary and Adam Morden is Treasurer. Adam will be leaving the Treasurer position for 2014-15 but will remain on the Board. Other serving members are Niels von Meyenfeldt, who chairs the Facilities Committee; Bobby Boyd, the Marketing Committee Chair; Jennifer Irwin, chair of the Faculty Committee; and Marin Blid, who has been liaison with PAC but will leave the Board in 2014-15. Julie Mills, School Administrator, will retire her elected Board position but remain an ex-officio member. We are currently seeking a new Treasurer and Representative for PAC.
We are currently reviewing the Terms of Reference and Bylaws that govern the work of the Saltwater Education Society. In keeping with the Societies Act, all positions have been elected annually. We are considering revisions to lengthen the terms to provide members time to familiarize with the work and to give continuity. As our School Community grows, we realize the need to raise the profile of Board members and candidates for greater transparency about Saltwater School decision-making.
Why would anyone want to serve on the Board? Many current Board members are strong supporters of Waldorf education and are thrilled to be able to provide a guiding hand for the growth of Saltwater Waldorf School. The board has a special responsibility to monitor our finances, enrolment, facilities and working conditions. We liaise extensively with administration about numerous regulatory filings and inspections and questions that arise, including safety and legal/contractual concerns. We hold an annual workshop open to the whole community to plan the future direction of the school so that our operating policies and financial structure are in line with that vision. We help to plan the festivals that are an important part of Waldorf education, and in collaboration with the Parents Advisory Committee, support numerous fund-raising activities. As a newly designated ‘Developing Waldorf School’, we troubleshoot, support and nurture.
In Waldorf philosophy, much heed is paid to the activities of thinking, feeling and willing as discrete yet intermingling forces in human beings. If the activity of thinking in teachers informs their work in a leading way – literally, the question of what to do with these children – and if parents provide the drive and resources to offer this education to their children – the will to do so – then the board volunteers offer something that comes centrally from the heart. This is a deep caring for the well-being of the school and an attitude toward all that can be described as servant leadership. We strive to make our decisions jointly by consensus and to reflect the principles of the educational approach we are fostering.
Niels von Meyenfeldt, on behalf of the Board.
II. Saltwater Annual General Meeting Agenda with Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles
1. Confirmation of membership and sign-in (All parents are members, Board Members who are not parents $1, Major Contributors are members, General Community Membership is $25 for individuals, $40 for families)
2. Welcome and Introductions (Arlene)
3. Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles (Read Together) (All Present)
4. Confirmation of Quorum (3 members) (Julie)
5. Approval of Minutes of Previous AGM
6. Report from Board & What we Do, Who We Are (Arlene)
7. Report from Faculty (Jen/Rebecca)
8. Report from PArent Advisory Committee (Emma)
9. Presentation of Financial Report (Arlene)
10. Election of Trustees (Community Member)
11. Presentation of Budget for 2014 (Arlene)
12. Recognition of Benefactors, Board and Faculty (Julie)
13. Close Meeting (Arlene)
14. Speaker: Essence of Waldorf Education' and Q&A (Elyena)
*Tea and refreshments will be served.
We envision a school community in the Comox Valley, which nurtures through reverence and respect, the healthy unfolding of freethinking individuals.
Saltwater School provides a comprehensive Waldorf education that lays the foundations for curiosity, wonder, compassion and creativity and fosters each child’s potential.
We hold the child within the ideals of goodness, beauty and truth.
We provide a holistic experience that integrates the three-fold nature of the human being (head, heart and hands), and follows the natural rhythms of the day, seasons and year.
We provide warm, natural, & alive spaces that envelop individuals on their journeys and nurture certainty, harmony and tranquility.
We enrich our community life through the arts, festivals and celebrations.
We value social responsibility and care for people and the natural world.
We embrace diversity and inclusiveness in our community and encourage opportunities for shared responsibility and meaningful involvement in the school.