CEO Notebook |
For this issue of CEO Notebook, I’ve asked James Palmieri, NBOA’s senior vice president, to share some of his thoughts on the challenges — and opportunities — that this time of the school year promises for us all. April can be a time to recharge our batteries before bringing the current school year to a strong close as well as preparing for next year and all that lies ahead for our schools. James brings an interesting perspective as he nears one year on the NBOA staff and reflects on his 13 years as an independent school leader at two different girls' schools in New Jersey.
Article by James R. Palmieri, Ed.D.
One year ago, prior to joining the NBOA staff, I sat in your seat as the cyclical demands of March urgently asserted themselves on the independent school calendar. While many school community members associate March with spring break and some warranted rest and rejuvenation, the business office is bound to be addressing a myriad of important tasks for both the current and following school year. The list of priorities never seems to end:
Enrollment: You ensure current year accounts are closed out and the incoming class of newly accepted students is largely contracted with deposits. You prepare, distribute, collect and process re-enrollment contracts and financial aid agreements, with hopes of minimal attrition and tuition discounting under or in line with 2019-20 budget limitations.
Staffing: You ensure appropriate, effective performance management is in process for all current employees, and that returning faculty return re-employment agreements that will secure the bulk of next year's instructional force. Additionally, new faculty recruitment is underway.
Facilities: You oversee the preparation of campus grounds not only to accommodate spring sports, but also to impress the many guests that will visit campus during the remaining months of school. In addition, you prepare a summer work-list to maximize preventative maintenance between June and August.
Traditions: The spring fundraising gala approaches. Prom is nearing. Graduation is within sight. Summer programming is around the corner.
Further complicating matters is that “March Madness” – the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments – is in full swing, and in my opinion, a must-watch. The bluebloods and the underdogs, the upsets and the Cinderella stories capture our imagination as the hard-working teams of dedicated student-athletes seek to survive from the rounds of 64 and 32 during opening weekend all the way through the Final Four and national championship in April.
Somehow, you get the work done.
Fortunately, when independent school business office teams survive and advance past the operational demands of March, April provides a window of opportunity to both regroup and look forward more strategically. In part to encourage this shift in leadership, behavior and priorities, NBOA works with our friends at One Schoolhouse to offer a spring lineup of online courses. This form of professional development provides you and your colleagues with the flexibility to learn asynchronously while at the office or home, at your own pace and on your own schedule. All spring online courses begin April 1.
Courses with a focus on human resources, scheduled in alignment with your hiring season:
Courses with a focus on finance and accounting:
As a former independent school leader, and now an association leader, I can assure you that NBOA understands and empathizes with you during these busy spring months. The work you do is essential, and you are all champions for your schools, but please don’t begin grabbing ladders and cutting down your school's basketball nets. Strive to make April more purposeful for you and your team before the dash to the finish line begins on May 1!
Messy Separations and the Role of Performance Management in Avoiding Them (Sept/Oct 2018)
Business Intelligence: First Forays into the Composite Financial Index (July/August 2018)
Risk & Compliance: A Potential Break on Donor Reporting (March/April 2018)
Sign in to leave a comment
Get Net Assets NOW
NBOA's free twice-monthly newsletter
1400 I Street, NW, Suite 675Washington, DC 20005www.nboa.org