By Scott Spendlove
The Steering Committee-D’Evelyn’s Unique Answer to School Governance
You may not be aware of the Steering Committee, or how it participates in the operation and running of the School. But this 8-member committee, set up by the Founders of the School to safeguard the program and make decisions in the best interests of the School, is critical to D’Evelyn’s continued success.
The Steering Committee was created by D’Evelyn’s Founders to be the governing Board of the School, as part of our initial contract with the District. The job is essentially “(t)o make broad decisions such as upholding, interpreting and clarifying the philosophy, approving new curriculum, maintaining relations and communications with the District, and reacting to new laws or District policies etc.” The Committee is comprised of 5 parent members, two teacher/staff members, and the Principal, who are committed to upholding the Founding document, and to ensure that our next 25 years of operation are as successful as the first 25!
So, are there any openings coming up, and how does one become part of the Steering Committee? There are currently two openings, one for a parent, and one for a teacher, that will be filled by an election of qualified candidates this Spring. These three-year terms will begin next Summer. And the good news is, that if you are interested in joining Steering Committee, your timing couldn’t be better!
Steering Committee held an initial Candidate Information evening on November 13th, where we were joined by several parents and teachers who may have an interest in serving on Steering. If you were not able to join us that evening, don’t worry, you can catch up. Participants were to have read “The D’Evelyn Difference” which describes what makes the D’Evelyn curriculum and philosophy special and unique, particularly in Jefferson County public schools. Participants also read pages 4-14 of the D’Evelyn Founding Document, the program narrative and philosophy statement.
These initial readings will give you more of sense about the role of Steering Committee, and whether it might be a good fit for you. If you are interested, great! We would encourage you to join us at our next Candidate Training evening, Tuesday February 12th, at 6:30 pm in the Library. This will follow the regular Accountability Meeting scheduled that night. At that meeting, we will discuss the role and purpose of the Steering Committee; responsibilities and obligations of serving, and what it REALLY means regarding time commitment and effort required.
Prior to the meeting check out the Application packet, and the associated Candidate readings. These readings are all available to check out from the Library as well as linked here. Some of the other things you will need to do is serve on a committee or subcommittee of the school, such as a hiring or curriculum committee. And come visit us to watch us in action! To apply, you need to attend at least two Steering Committee meetings, or a Steering Committee meeting and a Subcommittee meeting, in the last 12 months. Our next meeting is Monday January 28th at 4:30 and are generally every other Monday. Check the School Events calendar for future meeting dates and times.
And the most important qualification? An interest in supporting the Founding Document, serving the wonderful school of which we are all a part, and excitement to help build the next 25 years of D’Evelyn’s legacy!
On August 17, 1994, D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School opened its doors. In honor of the 25th anniversary of our school, it would be remiss not to take a moment to recognize the founders whose vision for an ideal secondary school resulted in the outstanding liberal arts program your child(ren) receive at D’Evelyn.
Each founding parent brought tenacity, dedication and motivation along with their unique strengths and passions to create a school with rigorous academic and behavioral standards. The initiating committee believed that “the purpose of education is to convey an essential body of cultural knowledge to the next generation, and that a solid liberal arts education is required in order for all citizens to be effective participants in their communities” (Founding Document, 1).
The work of the Steering Committee is to protect the integrity of the philosophy of the program and ensure the delivery of this strong liberal arts education.
Founders, for your vision, time, commitment, wisdom and knowledge thank you! D’Evelyn students and graduates are forever blessed by the legacy that you have created.
By Donna Li, Steering Committee
As the D’Evelyn community enters its 25th academic year, it is a time to celebrate the many accomplishments of our students over the years and to reflect on the dedication of many individuals whose contributions are invaluable. Today, administrators, teachers, and other staff continue to partner with parents, students, and other community members, working together towards the common goal of helping students achieve in a rigorous program. To that end, communication among these various groups is important, and the Accountability Committee is key as it is charged with coordinating their input with regards to monitoring, evaluating and improving school progress (FD 47). The Accountability Committee serves in an advisory role to and is under the auspices of the Steering Committee, the governing board of the school (FD 49).
Are you a parent who would like to be a part of this legacy? D’Evelyn was founded by parents whose vision for the school is detailed in the Founding Document. One very important aspect of this vision may be found in the Philosophy Statement. “Parental involvement will be strongly encouraged” (FD 6). This idea is further emphasized in the Program Narratives. “The D’Evelyn Program has been conceived by parents, and they will continue to be an integral part of its functioning. All parents, students, and staff must understand and embrace the philosophy of the school” (FD 18). The Steering Committee and the Accountability Committee extend an invitation to the community to attend the September 11th Accountability Meeting at 5:30 in the library. This first meeting of the year is important as we will share specific ways you can be involved and make a difference. We hope to see you there!
The Steering Committee is the governing board of the school and establishes policies designed to maintain and enhance its liberal arts philosophy. The Steering Committee appoints Directors to the Board of the D'Evelyn Education Foundation.