As promised in the guest blog posted two weeks ago by our chair, Erik Aarts, the Board of Trustees plans to communicate with the school community regularly this year. Thank you for your responses to our first post. In this post, we’ll address questions we know exist concerning discussions with the parish and the school’s space issues.
As mentioned in the previous Board blog, a working group, consisting of members of the school’s Board and the parish Vestry, was created this summer. This group is focusing on the school’s request for separate governance (meaning the church would no longer be involved in confirming the election of school trustees, ratifying the school’s budget or approving changes to the school’s bylaws or certificate of incorporation).
The working group has met several times, shared important information and engaged in discussion. School members of the group have also met with the full Vestry. Our work has been collegial, and the group is diligently pursuing a joint vision of independent governance for the school, while maintaining our mission and Episcopal identity.
Due to the shared history between the two entities, the process entails detailed and deliberate discussion about interrelated items, particularly with respect to property. As background, the school leases space from the parish under a property use agreement, and both the school and church are named on the mortgage that funded the cost of the recent 707 Washington Street expansion and renovation project.
The working group intends to untangle the financial, legal, and governance structures between the school and the church, and move the school toward independence as quickly as possible. Because of the complexities, however, we expect the process to take some time, and the timeline is very hard to predict.
As a result of this effort, its inherent uncertainties and the school’s limited resources, the Board will probably not be able to actively pursue expansion space for the school for the foreseeable future. The school will therefore remain on the enrollment model we shared with the community last year. Under this model, we plan to move toward one class for each grade when our current pre-k class moves to kindergarten. All of our students currently in higher grades will remain on the two-class model as they progress through the school.
While we would prefer to be able to pursue an expansion plan, our community is fortunate to have two wonderful and centrally located buildings which were renovated with great care and an eye toward maintaining our beautiful, sun-filled classrooms. We are also fortunate to have the use of the church, allowing our children to be in the beautiful sanctuary for their spirituality and other assemblies. And of course at the heart of our school, our outstanding head, faculty and staff, make All Saints the truly great school that it is.
The school’s 30th anniversary will be celebrated on November 1st – All Saints Day. As we begin the next 30 years, the Board and administration look forward to maintaining the highest standards for educating our children, consistent with our mission: to inspire a commitment to personal excellence, the discipline and integrity to be successful in school and in life, a responsibility for this planet and gratitude for its beauty, a developed sense of one’s own spirituality through social action and service and a sincere love of learning. That is, we remain committed to being the same excellent school that we have been.
ASEDS Board of Trustees