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School Governance Via Association

Eastern Christian School has hundreds of prospective families that visit our campuses each year. As we speak with them, one theme that comes up again and again is parent involvement in education. Parents feel increasingly disconnected or even “pushed away” from their child’s education. Which is weird- because the research tells us exactly how strongly parent involvement and educational success correlate.

Public Schools’ National Educators Association regularly looks for ways to respond to decreasing parent involvement. Some groups of frustrated parents pull their children out of school to have literal direct control over their child’s school experience through homeschool options. Eastern Christian School offers a unique alternative: the School Governance via “Association.”

Our school was founded almost 130 years ago. Throughout our history multiple local Christian Schools joined together to form the “Eastern Christian School Association” (ECSA). These days, we don’t really use the “Association” vernacular, but that’s still our official, legal name to this day. You’ll see this name in a bunch of legal documents and on the sides of our buses (fun fact- your full legal name needs to be on the side of school buses). The primary premise of the ECSA has always been around the model of parent involvement. 

Many Christian schools are owned and operated by a church.  Church leadership provides the oversight to the school.  Eastern Christian School, on the other hand, is governed by a school board, which is currently composed of parents and parents of alumni.  

Leadership Structure:

The Eastern Christian School Association Board of Directors (BOD) consists of 9 to 13 members who are elected to their posts by the membership of the ECSA. Elected officials hold 3 year terms that are renewable up to 3 times for a total consecutive term limit of 9 years. Every member of EC’s current BOD is a parent of a student currently attending EC or a parent of a graduate. The BOD holds regular meetings that are closed to the public, but open to all members of the ECSA. EC uses a governance model of leadership. This means that the Board of Directors delegates the day-to-day responsibilities of Eastern Christian School to the Head of School. The Board of Directors focuses on three key areas that mirror their three primary sub-committees: Governance, Finance, and Strategy. Governance tackles policy and leadership. Finance deals with all financial matters and helps our school set the budget and handle resources in a stewardly manner. Strategy sets the long-term goals for our school community and helps to bring this vision to reality. The people who volunteer for these positions dedicate many hours every month to meetings, agendas, issues that arise, and all of the other things that leadership has to (and gets to) deal with. The Eastern Christian School Association Board of Directors is a group of highly skilled professionals who see the big picture and know how to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.

Meet the Team:

Boots on the ground: Indicators of healthy parent involvement

Given this leadership with heavy parent involvement, it should be no surprise that the parents in our community have many opportunities for involvement in their child’s education. Our volunteer approach is “Zero requirement, (Virtually) unlimited opportunity.” We recognize that parents are busy and that not everyone can regularly contribute the gift of time to our school. But there certainly are many opportunities to get involved if you desire! Just to name a few, we have: PTO, room parents, field trip parents, fundraising events like homecoming or the Auction Gala, and ditto upscale resale (which has contributed over $1MM to EC over the past 7 years!).

We have an army of volunteer parents and community members who pray for our school, serve our students pizza, raise funds, build community, support our teachers, and run events. Quite the opposite of a “Drive the parents away from the school” approach that we hear so much about. We encourage our parents to partner with us!

Interacting with the Board of Directors

If you’re a member of the ECSA, you’re welcome to attend meetings of the Board of Directors or would like to reach out to them, please consult our Board of Directors webpage. There, you’ll find the published minutes of the Board meetings, ways to reach out to the Board of Directors, and registration to attend a future Board meeting. We welcome your communication and participation as, together, we partner in the mission of an excellent Christ-centered education at EC.

As an encouragement, issues specific to a particular classroom, campus, student discipline, curriculum or personnel should be addressed at the local level. Matthew 18:15 is clear about the importance of taking matters of concern or disagreement directly to those responsible. This applies to your relations with the school as well. If you are uneasy about any matter involving your child’s teacher, a principal, or the school generally, please speak about it with the person responsible first. Issues regarding policy, strategy and institutional finance are appropriate matters to bring before the board.

Come see it for yourself!

Does this sound like the kind of school your child should belong to? Ready to begin exploring EC for yourself? Our friendly Admissions Team can’t wait to introduce you to this amazing Christian School!

Click here to book your personal campus visit or sign up for an upcoming admissions event.

Rudi Gesch

By: Rudi Gesch

Rudi is the Director of Marketing & Communications at EC.

Read More Articles by Rudi Gesch
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