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Becoming a Board Member

Governing Board Candidate Application15-16.docx
ECMCS Governing Board - It’s Time to Think About Getting Involved!

Dear Parents and Community Members:

As we approach the final months of the school year, it’s time to begin planning for the election of a new ECMCS Governing Board for the 2015 - 2016 school year.  We continue to see the amazing and thoughtful leadership that has led our school to success beyond imagination. We encourage you to consider whether you or anyone you know would be willing to serve as a parent or community board member. While anyone who is interested may apply and no particular experience is required, we especially need people with strong ties to the local community, and/or a background in finance, accounting, law, education, fundraising, public relations, or business administration.

Here is some information to give you an overview of the Governing Board, its responsibilities and requirements:

What are some of the Governing Board responsibilities?
Who is on the Governing Board?
What is the term of a Governing Board member?
What is the timeline?
What other Governing Board commitments should I know?
What is the time commitment involved in being a Board member?
What are the benefits of being on the Governing Board?
How do I apply? How do I get more information?
Who elects the Board?



What are some of the Governing Board responsibilities?
•    Uphold the mission and purpose of East Cooper Montessori Charter School through the Charter Contract renewed in 2015
•    Develop and approve contracts
•    Ensure compliance with federal, state and local law requirements
•    Support the Head of School and review his or her performance
•    Ensure effective organizational planning
•    Develop and evaluate strategic plans for the school
•    Ensure adequate resources and manage them effectively
•    Ensure financial stability and monitor and approve annual budgets
•    Determine and monitor the school’s policies, programs, and services
•    Serve as an emissary of the school to the broader community
It is not the role of the Board to run the day-to-day operations of the school for which the Head of School is responsible. Additional specifics of board service are explained in formal board training.

Who is on the Governing Board?

•    The Board is comprised of (4) parents of currently enrolled students and (3) community members who are not parents or guardians or relatives of currently enrolled students or staff.
•    Our ECMCS Principal, Financial Director and one teacher serve on the Board in an ex-officio (non-voting) capacity.

What is the term of a Governing Board member?

The term is for two years with the exception of 2015-2016. New legislation allows charter schools to stagger board positions making them two-year terms instead of one year. Board members can seek a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Beginning with the election in Spring of 2015, the seven seats will be staggered as follows:
Seat 1 Parent Member, Seat 2 Community Member, Seat 3 Parent Member, Seat 4 Community Member Seat 5 Parent Member, Seat 6 Community Member, Seat 7 Parent Member.

As of July 1, 2015, Board seats will be assigned as set forth below. Seats 1-¬4 shall carry a term of one (1) year. Seats 5-¬7 shall carry a term of two (2) years. Thereafter, the term of office of each Governing Board member shall be two (2) years.

The Parent Member receiving the most votes will be assigned Seat 1. The Parent Member receiving the second votes will be assigned seat 3. The Parent Member receiving the third most votes will be assigned Seat 5. The Parent Member receiving the fourth most votes will be assigned Seat 7.
The Community Member receiving the most votes will be assigned Seat 2. The Community Member receiving the second most votes will be assigned Seat 4. The Community Member receiving the third most votes will be assigned Seat 6.

What is the timeline?

April 18th-22nd Applicant solicitation - Application deadline Friday, April 22nd
April 25th-29th Applicant review
May 2nd-12th Voting
May 16th Announcement of elected board members


What other Governing Board commitments should I know?

•    May 21st – Board meeting observation 6-8pm at I’On
•    June 13th – Mandatory Board Training and June Meeting at I’On from 8:00-12:00
•    July 16th – 1st Voting meeting for New Board
•    Board meeting (Jody via Google) 5:30-8:00
•    August 20th – Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    September 17th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    October 15th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    November 19th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    December – No meeting
•    January 21st- Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    February 18th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    March 17th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    April 21st - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    May 19th - Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    June 9th – Board meeting 5:30-8:00
•    Last voting meeting for year one members

What is the time commitment involved in being a Board member?
•    General meetings are typically held every third Thursday of each month, including summer months.
•    Meetings usually last 2-3 hours.
•    You must attend a board training seminar conducted by the South Carolina Association of Public Charter Schools. This seminar is one day, usually on a Saturday, prior to the new board term.
•    Several hours are spent between meetings to conduct research, review literature, budget reports, policies and procedures as needed.
•    There may be additional meetings, such as emergency meetings, special meetings, etc. as deemed necessary by the Board.
•    Members must attend an annual Board retreat in the Spring, which can be 1-2 days of focused meeting time. This retreat is held locally.

What are the benefits of being on the Governing Board?
•    Being involved! Instead of wondering why things are done the way they are-get involved and have a say!
•    It is a chance to be part of the decision-making process at ECMCS and see firsthand how the school operates.
•    A behind-the-scenes look at the immense effort, thought, and dedication put forth by ECMCS faculty, staff, and volunteers past and present—which makes you proud and happy to be part of the team.
•    The satisfaction of taking an active role in your child’s education; in promoting accountability and choice in public education; and in making public Montessori education an option in our community.

How do I apply? How do I get more information?
•   Click Here to Apply: Applications
•    If you are interested in serving on next year’s Governing Board, we encourage you to speak with a current Board member and to attend Board meetings to find out more about this commitment. There is a Charter School Board Member Orientation CD available from Jody for you to view.

Who elects the Board?
The Board is elected by a plurality of votes. Each parent or guardian receives one vote per student currently enrolled in the school at the time of the election. Each Staff member receives one vote. A staff member that is also a parent gets a combined number of votes.

While serving on the ECMCS Governing Board is a considerable commitment and responsibility, it is also extremely rewarding to play a role in our children’s education and in planning the future of our school.  We hope you will consider running for the Governing Board.

Regards,
ECMCS Governing Board

Click here to Apply


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