‘Professionalism’ In Faith-Based Schools: A Brief Primer

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.

Rope Burn in the Tech Tug-of-War

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.

Security Theater

In 2006, keeping exterior doors locked and wearing visitor badges was the extent of our security protocol. Security personnel, uniformed officers with weapons, were for public schools trying to keep the lid from blowing off. Before the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the idea of another Columbine-type shooting seemed far-fetched. We didn’t really consider ourselves vulnerable to an intentional attack.

The Private School Board: Competency Squared

“For a board to really do its job, referencing best practice, concentrating on strategy, planning for the future, you have to have competency on both sides of the balance sheet.”

That’s how Covenant’s Board Chair J.J. Barto put it recently. Meaning that, if only the head or only the board are capably working at any given time, good governance becomes all but impossible.

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‘Professionalism’ In Faith-Based Schools: A Brief Primer

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.
read more

Rope Burn in the Tech Tug-of-War

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.
read more

Security Theater

In 2006, keeping exterior doors locked and wearing visitor badges was the extent of our security protocol. Security personnel, uniformed officers with weapons, were for public schools trying to keep the lid from blowing off. Before the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the idea of another Columbine-type shooting seemed far-fetched. We didn’t really consider ourselves vulnerable to an intentional attack.
read more

The Private School Board: Competency Squared

“For a board to really do its job, referencing best practice, concentrating on strategy, planning for the future, you have to have competency on both sides of the balance sheet.” That’s how Covenant’s Board Chair J.J. Barto put it recently. Meaning that, if only the head or only the board are capably working at any given time, good governance becomes all but impossible.
read more

From “Whipping Post” to “We Are the Champions”?

If any sector of the U.S. economy is due for some good news, it’s us.  Among enterprises from service industries to manufacturing to tech to energy, private schools have found themselves more beleaguered than most, and the negative voodoo seems to have been piling up relentlessly.
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The Hardest Job in School: The Board Member (Part 2)

Surveying a private school with plenty of money, strong enrollment, a winning football team, and selective college admissions during an accreditation visit, a colleague said to me, “Everything’s great when everything’s great.” What he meant, of course, is that over time, even model schools encounter difficulty.
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The Hardest Job in School: The Board Member

As I noted in my post in January, it’s been eleven years since I was a head of school. Eleven years since I dragged myself home after a late night board meeting to complain for two hours. Eleven years since my staff and I strategized about how to get a controversial policy adopted over the objections of “that” board member. Eleven years since I fielded a call from a board member with a lot to say about yesterday’s goings on in the middle school. And in those eleven years, I’ve learned something: Being the board member of a private school is hard.
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It is Hard to Bomb Your Friends

Dear BetterSchools blog readers: Please read and circulate this poignant reflection from Steve Robinson.  It is, indeed, hard to bomb your friends.
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Choosing and Using the Right Consultant

Consulting with private schools can sometimes feel like a boom or bust venture. That’s one of the reasons that so few firms actually stay in business for more than a couple of years. It is a simple thing to hang out a shingle promoting a successful school career and offering your services as an advisor. It is another thing altogether to be trusted by schools, year in and year out, to help them mature and grow.
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BetterSchools LLC
512.289.1010
Contact BetterSchools

Contact Information

BetterSchools LLC
512.289.1010
Contact BetterSchools