KCS RE-ENTRY TASK FORCE UPDATE
At our recent Town Hall, Derek advised that a task force has been formed to help determine best practices for re-entry to our school facility. Below, you will find answers to questions that were raised.
WHO IS ON THE TASK FORCE?
The task force has eight members, four from Derek’s Senior Management team and four from the Board of Governors.
Derek Logan, Head of School
Alan Bowman, Governor and Task Force Chair
Andrea Fanjoy, Head of Senior School
Bronwen Evans, Chair, Board of Governors
Anne-Marie Jarman, Director of Finance
Tiffany Jay, Governor
Hallie McClelland, Director of Advancement
John McGraw, Governor
You are likely all familiar already with Derek’s management team. They are on the committee because of their expertise and years of experience in school management, from an administration, strategic planning, curriculum, finance and communications standpoint. Here’s a snapshot of our volunteer Governors (please see attached PDF
for a more fulsome background on each person):
- In addition to being the Board Chair and working closely with Derek on all important school issues, Bronwen is an executive at a health care company and has significant government relations experience.
- Tiffany has a degree in public relations and health administration. Some of Tiffany’s relevant experience includes providing leadership during the H1N1 pandemic including managing health system response.
- John has a PhD in Neuroscience, and currently works as a consultant for health technology companies.
Our decision-making process includes the support of our key partners within the education space. A reminder that KCS belongs to two independent school organizations: the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario (CIS). Since the decision by the provincial government on March 12 to close public school facilities, we have worked closely in partnership with these two organizations and the support of a legal team at Borden Ladner Gervais and outstanding educational organizations like Future Design School to determine best course of action. We have come together to share knowledge and ideas, and to have conversations on everything from teaching and learning, Human Resources, Governance, enrollment, tuition, mental health, technology, and morale. Re-entry into schools is now making its way to the top of the agenda for all these organizations.
Our Re-Entry task force will be guided by documents from the Ministry of Education in consultation with Public Health. We expect to receive these documents sometime this month.
TASK FORCE SUB-COMMITTEES
We will also set up specific working groups. We anticipate online learning – in some capacity – will remain relevant into next school year. We have established a sub-committee led by Matina Mosun and Andrea Fanjoy that is thinking about how we should organize and deliver learning next school year. Their plan will require technology investments, and we have another group led by John McGraw and Adam Stoyles, KCS’ IT Manager, looking at that. Their plan will also require physical changes to the building, and we have governor and architect Greg Dunn working with a consultant and our Facilities Manager, Anatoli Guelfgat, on that. The school already has a standing Finance Committee who will be supporting Anne-Marie to budget for all these changes. I expect there will be additional working groups formed as needs arise.
We need to make a lot of critical decisions in a short period of time in order to be ready in the Fall for whatever the virus will bring us. Our list of guiding principles are:
- Health, safety and overall wellness of students, faculty, staff, and their families.
- Meet or exceed all Toronto and Ontario Public Health and Ministry of Education recommendations.
- Deliver highest quality education possible under the circumstances.
- Remain flexible and open-minded, guided by subject-matter experts and best information available, so as to respond to an unpredictable situation; develop and share best practices with peers.
- Transparent communication with families and staff.
- Financial accountability and responsibility.
We recognize these guiding principles are all important and they interrelate with each other. As my final thought for now, I want to focus on #5: transparent communication with families and staff.
Derek started the Town Hall with a message about how KCS doesn’t have all the answers yet. He commented later how uncomfortable it is to go in front of one’s community and say “I don’t know.” It is a good thing that Derek is being honest with us about that. And it is a good thing that it makes him and the rest of the KCS team uncomfortable to say it. It tells you that he and his team are working hard to develop answers to those questions. The Task Force’s job is to help Derek make those decisions well and in a timely manner.
Over the past eight weeks you have already received a lot of messages from KCS. That’s not going to stop between now and the end of the school year and throughout the summer. For example, we are planning another Town Hall relating to Re-Entry for later this month. Details will follow in the coming weeks.
On behalf of myself and the Task Force team, thank you for your patience and support as we move forward with our efforts.