By Gina Coco, Steering Committee Chair 2017-2018
As I enter my 4th year on Steering Committee, and continue to watch the ever-changing educational environment, it is more evident than ever to me that it is imperative that our stakeholders fully understand our role as the Governing Board of our great school. To this end, Steering Committee will do a series of articles throughout the year that explain both Steering’s role and how our stakeholders can participate.
The Founders had unbelievable insight as to the dangers lurking in the future for the school, no matter how great it might be at its conception. Finding the right administration, curriculum and staff were vital, but protecting the future of the school was far more essential for the long-term success of D’Evelyn. In their infinite wisdom, they put the Steering Committee and its role within our contract with the district. This means the District is contractually bound by that decision and the Steering Committee’s role is protected throughout D ’Evelyn’s future as a governance body.
The foremost job of Steering is to protect our Founding Document, our contract with the district, from both external and internal institutional drift. There are many types of issues that come into play, but here are a few that Steering Committee has authority over:
Curriculum choices must fall in line with our school’s vision. As an example, when Colorado signed up for Common Core, D’Evelyn saw no change in its curriculum, as we wholly rejected the state’s change to Common Core, which was within our rights, based on our contract.
Textbook Based curriculum is a requirement at D’Evelyn. This not only means that instruction will be guided by a textbook, but that those textbooks meet our Founding Document’s criteria for each subject, and do not have any political bias. With Common Core making textbook searches more difficult, the choice to rebind certain textbooks has been a good option at D’Evelyn to keep the consistency of our instruction and avoid curriculum and philosophical drift. Based on our Founding Document, D’Evelyn is free to choose our textbooks, regardless of what options the District approves and Steering Committee has governance over those choices.
Principal hiring/firing and evaluation grants the Steering Committee the power to not only find candidates that are philosophically fit, but also contribute to the annual principal evaluation process, which includes the decision to fire that individual when necessary. Our Principal is our educational leader and it is crucial that he or she is in line with and implements all the mandates in our Founding Document. The Steering Committee’s job to ensure this is occurring.
Policies and procedures are set by our committee. There are many times when District or state laws must be evaluated by Steering Committee to see what D’Evelyn can be waived from complying with, and apply for such waivers. Additionally, Steering sets our internal policies so the ship sails smoothly through the changing landscape within education.
Steering Committee’s governing capacity is all prescribed in our Founding Document. Our job is to ensure that D’Evelyn students get the same incredible education today as it did at its Founding. We encourage all stakeholders to read the 2017-2018 series of articles to understand Steering Committee’s important role in guiding and protecting our school. To get a better feel for how we guide D’Evelyn through the choppy changing waters of education, you are invited to attend any of our regularly scheduled meetings. Please see the school calendar for details. If you feel you have the commitment to our philosophy that is required, considering running for a Steering Committee position! As the Steering Committee Chair, I wish you and your students a prosperous year!
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.