Introduction

Welcome back to all returning families, and a warm welcome to all new families in 2019. The Board held its first meeting of the year on March 4th.

Board Positions

As is customary at the first meeting of the year, the Board held an election for the office holder positions with the following outcomes;

  • John Thorman was unanimously elected as Board Chair
  • Bob Weston was unanimously elected as Finance Spokesperson

Board of Trustee elections

The three-yearly elections for our Board of Trustees will take place on June 7th. This will be by postal ballot and there will be more communication around the election process closer to the time. We encourage any parents or caregivers who are interested in joining the board to do a bit of research. There is a good online resource at https://www.trustee-election.co.nz/, and you will also see below a summary outlining the functions of the board, together with the role of the Principal and school management team and the Parent Teacher Subcommittee.

We’d also encourage any interested people to get in touch with an existing trustee to discuss this further (our contact details are on the school website), or indeed to come along to our next scheduled meeting, which will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday April 2nd in the staff room.

Parent information night – Property plans

We spent a lot of time in 2018 on a design thinking exercise to provide the basis for future property plans, and we now have a property subcommittee which is starting to draw up a new property master plan. We’d really like to get the input from our parent community into this process and we intend to hold an information night within the next couple of months.

We’ll confirm details once we’ve set a date for this and hope to see a good turnout.

Tomorrow’s Schools review

As you may have heard in the media, the Ministry of Education has commissioned a review of the school system. The report was released in early December and the consultation period is now open. This is a substantial review which has some very significant recommendations. It is the board’s view that many of these recommendations – if adopted by the Ministry – will have an adverse impact on our school.

We are compiling some more summary information to send out to you all, but in the meantime we encourage you to do some reading and consider making a submission. The full contents of the report and various summaries can be found at https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/tomorrows-schools-review/. The closing date for submissions is March 31st.

Board Contact Details

You can find the email contact details for Board of Trustee members at the following link; http://victoriaave.com/bot

Functions of the Board, roles of the Principal, school management team and Parent Teacher Subcommittee

Parents can contribute to the VAS community in many ways – as a BOT member, PTS member, or volunteer in some other capacity. Each element is incredibly important to the school as they provide a different valuable input into the quality of our school environment.

The Board of Trustees (BOT)

The BOT’s primary focus is ensuring ongoing improvement in student performance and wellbeing. Boards provide strategic leadership and direction to schools through the charter and policy framework, which give direction to guide all school activities and decisions. Four areas of BOT governance include accountability, leadership, representation, and the employer role. The principal, as the chief executive of the school, and the staff, then manage the school and make decisions within the framework set by the Board.

In 2019 we have elections for the Victoria Avenue School board of trustees. The term of a trustee is for 3 years with formally run meetings twice each term. All kinds of skills, backgrounds and life experience are needed.

We highly recommend that if you are interested in being a Trustee you (1) talk to a board member and (2) come to a BOT meeting to see how they are run.

Parent Teacher Subcommittee of the Board (PTS)

The PTS works to strengthen community spirit, act as liaisons between teachers and families, co-ordinate and mobilise volunteers, and plan and participate in fundraising for extra resources for VAS. Meetings are held twice each term, and are informal.

There is an opportunity within the PTS for parents to take a more formal role looking after a project, fundraising event or as a key organiser (i.e. chairperson) or just help as you are able.

Volunteering

VAS could not function without parent help and assistance throughout the year. This can be anything from assisting with school camps to assisting teachers with books. If you are available to assist in this way please let your class teacher know, talk to the office or keep your eyes on the newsletter for opportunities.

Example: What role does each part play for a school sports day?

BOT (Governance role): Confirms through the VAS school charter and curriculum that sporting activities are important for student wellbeing. Allocates sports budget.

The Principal (Chief Executive): ensures there is a RAM (Risk Assessment Management) for the event, delegates authority to staff to run the sports day, oversees implementation.

School Staff (Management and implementation): Plan and run the school sports day. Purchase sports equipment within the budget.

PTS (Volunteer co-ordination): May fundraise for extra sporting equipment.

Volunteers: be there and available to help. Cheer on the students participating.

Separation of Duties between Board, Staff / Principal and the PTS

Topic Board

(Governance)

School Staff

(Management and Implementation)

PTS

(Community and Parent Support and Involvement)

 

Staff Employ the principal and manage performance

Delegate hiring of teachers and others and ratify appointments

Participate in hiring new principal or associate principals

Principal recruits and hires new staff and allocates work

Principal gives board advice on workloads

Principal provides the board with a draft allocation of funds needed to ensure successful teaching and learning programmes for all learners, including priority learners

Supports teachers and other staff
Funding Decides how government operational grant will be spent (within a number of parameters set by government and MOE)

Sets the level of school donation

Sets the level of reserves the school needs

Proposes and agrees fundraising projects for the PTS

Reviews, against strategic goals, how the money has been spent

Advises the board about what resources are needed to provide optimal learning opportunities for our children

Reviews expenditure against annual plan goals

Reports on spending to the board

Fundraises for projects around the school

Makes proposals to the board about fundraising projects