What if I were to tell you that there were 12 people who had the influence over how many AP’s you could take? Whether or not AT went extinct and the fate of mandatory Catalyst? The layout of the new campus? Or even the salary of teachers?
To the average SAS Students, the elusive School Board simply “runs the school” and don’t affect the day to day life of students. Every year four of the 12 seats on the SAS Board are up for election. This year, there are eight nominees (including four self-nominated parents) and polls opened on the 13th of April for parents and faculty and close this week.
However concerning or scandalous this year’s election has become among the faculty, it does not concern the student body in the slightest. In fact, I had no notion of the election until a week ago.
The job of a member of the Board is “to set the strategic direction of the school, ensure the school’s financial well-being, and support the role of the superintendent.” They are responsible for the strategic oversight of SAS, or in other words, are the ‘government’ of SAS.
So, if the Board has the weighty job of setting policies to guide the actions of the Administration, why do we, the student body, know nothing about the Board or the election? The Board claims they “never develop policy without administrative input and advice”, but their goal is to oversee a high-quality institution for students; Then why can’t I think of an instance when we were aware that student data was included in current policy development? Although we don’t have voting rights, isn’t it us that these policies affect?
The Policy Statement states: The Board is “committed to creating an environment of open communication and transparency where questions are welcome, and feedback is encouraged.”
As a member of the school community, I am not trying to conjure up negativity nor am I being complacent. However, for this statement to ring true, both faculty and students need be allowed to question. And for this to happen, we need reliable information to better the understanding of the decisions made at our school. Fake news discouraged; Intentions and future visions made clear. There should be “transparency” within our community if the ultimate goal is a 21st-century learning institution which is known for its “culture of excellence, extraordinary care, and possibilities”, as said by the head of school.
If this election is going to affect me, I want to know about it. I’m sure many SAS students would. Or… they would if they knew the election was even happening.