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Agenda 12.07.2011

December 2, 2011

To the Board,

The details for our next meeting are as follows: (please rsvp)

Date: Wednesday December 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. (dinner available beginning at 6 p.m.). We will start promptly. The agenda is full and Mark Lauria,NYSAIS Exec Director will open the meeting.
Location: Greenberg Traurig, 200 Park Avenue, 15th floor
RSVP: Ellen Porter at eporter@manhattancountryschool.org

Update

With your participation, the Board has been a visible presence since our last meeting at Farm Festival, informational meetings with the faculty, and an Open House for the MCS Community. We formally announced the Board’s Growth Resolution and decision to sell7 East 96th Streetprovided a new location can be found. A Timeline and FAQs are available in printed form and will soon be posted on MCS’ internal website: mcscommunity.org. Responses coming in to the GrowMCS mailbox are noticeably constituent-specific, though some themes overlap. The Executive has asked various trustees of different constituencies to respond.

Feedback from current parents was discussed at a Parent Council meeting prior to the Thanksgiving break. This meeting was coordinated by Liam, Jennifer and Sharon and they are currently gathering written questions from parents as follow up. There will also be additional current family meetings convened in January for the upper and lower schools. The feedback from this current community is generally in favor of Grow MCS with many parents suggesting and looking for ways they can be a part of the strategic plan going forward. Jennifer’s eloquent “Sliding-Scale Tuition and My Family” has generated community-wide interest.

Flannery and Anna have coordinated multiple meetings with Faculty around Grow MCS. Some recent faculty feedback is included in the board packet for the December 7 meeting. Michael Patterson was delegated to work with Flannery and Anna to put together a series of faculty dinners to continue the conversation. Herman has been to the Farm a second time, working with others to plan strategy for the Farm in the Grow MCS.

Board Education & Capacity Building

Stephanie So and HBSCNY Community Partners will convene a second brainstorming team to discuss Building a Media Strategy for MCS. The first session about Board capacity building generated many useful ideas (summary in board packet) and has already connected us to three candidates with expertise we could use on an Advisory Board. In January Stephanie will propose a strategic planning approach going forward.

December 7 Meeting Agenda

1) Governance, Transitions and use of Dashboard Indicators of Success

The Executive Committee’s endorsed Michele’s recommendation that Mark Lauria could be a resource on this topic. As you may know, he is currently Executive Director of NYSAIS, but has previously served independent schools in other roles: head of school, board member, and board chair. Mark was the head of FoothillsCountryDay School(preK-8th grade with 260 students) as it doubled enrollment. This should be an informative session relevant to each of us as we move forward.

2) Bylaws Amendment: Advisory Committee & Advisory Board

Attached to this email is a proposed amendment to the bylaws concerning formation of the Advisory Committee. The purpose of the amendment is to bring the Advisory Committee concept (approved by the Board in 2005) in line with current Best Practices and the MCS strategic vision.

a) The amendment provides for one-year terms instead of three-year terms and is for the purpose of providing one more pipeline for new Trustees.

b) The other change is the description of the persons we will look to populate this Advisory Board.

While we will vote on the Bylaw amendment electronically after the required 2-week notice, we will discuss the amendment and set up an electronic vote for Monday December 19. If passed, we anticipate that Elsa Wentling will be our first nomination for the Advisory Board. Her bio is attached. There may be two other prospective nominees as well, but we are still completing the vetting process.

3) Real Estate

Alan, Chauncy, Michael and Debo continue to give our real estate options their full attention. Michael will present one of those options.

4) Development/Fundraising

The Annual Appeal has been mailed. Renee, Zanetta, and Herman and have been working with Akemi to implement the year’s development plan, track current fundraising, and begin discussions about how to proceed with respect to a Capital Campaign. Our Trustee Pledges are critical to their work, thank you to everyone who has submitted them to Akemi.

I’ve spoken to many of you recently and we look forward to a productive meeting on Wednesday. In the years I’ve served on the Board, I can track increasingly participatory involvement, strengthening of committees, and shared commitment to the kind of fiduciary, strategic, and generative stewardship that MCS deserves. Thank you.

Roxanne
Board Chair

BOT packet 12.07.2011