Dear Powhatan Parents,

There is a chill in the air with the arrival of pumpkins – it must be October! This is the month in schools when everyone “hits their stride”. Whether teachers or students, we are all into our routines, and the learning process is well on its way. The newness of school is over, but the familiarity of studying, classroom discussion, athletic competition, and having fun with friends are parts of each day on campus.

The focus of my letter this month is to broaden our community’s understanding of the role of our Board. Here at Powhatan, we are very fortunate to have a dedicated and committed group of seventeen people working for the benefit of our students and the welfare of the school. They all bring diverse talents and collective wisdom to the table six times per year for meetings where they set policy and focus on long-range and strategic issues, using our strategic plan and mission as guides. Additionally, Board members chair several working committees which are comprised of both Board members and parents who are not on the Board. These committees set yearly goals and report to the Board about the work they have done throughout the year. Parents are welcome to join these committees by contacting the Committee Chairperson.

As with any community our size, communication is key. One way that Board members get feedback from all families is by reviewing the parent survey that is sent out to the whole community in May. Themes or trends from that document, both successful and of concern, are shared at the September meeting and used to enlighten and influence committee work, stimulate substantive and informative discussion, and engage in future planning. The themes shared at the September Board meeting from last year’s parent survey were:

• Personalization/differentiation with instruction, assessment, and content is welcomed by parents
• Purposeful communication on all levels and between all constituencies is very important
• Consistency with behavior standards, communication and policies creates an inclusive community.

These are all areas in which we can continue to improve and grow. Sharing the survey results is a great example of how the Board stays fully informed about current school operations and issues.

Our Board has other important duties also. Please tune into my podcast with our Board President, Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons to learn more about how the Board and Head of School work in partnership to fulfill the NAIS Principles of Good Practice and steward our school toward the future.

Sincerely,

Sue Scarborough
Head of School