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Practical Guidance During Unprecedented Times

By Jeffrey Shields posted 04-07-2020 09:38 AM

  

CEO Notebook |

An updated and enhanced member resource is available today.

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

We at NBOA are cognizant of the myriad challenges school leaders are managing these days, and have shifted our immediate strategic objectives to best support your work related to business continuity and legislative compliance. As such, our communications have for the past few weeks focused almost exclusively on leading school operations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, we have moved forward with other crucial projects, which we hope will be useful to you in the near or more distant future. I am so pleased to share with you the newly released second edition of NBOA’s most widely-used resource, “Practical Guidance for Independent School Business Operations.” We at NBOA have greatly anticipated bringing this comprehensive assessment tool to you in a timely manner. As schools around the U.S. and the world settle into an extended period of distance learning, perhaps you will benefit from increased space for reflection, assessment and growth. “Practical Guidance” was revised to help you consider your school’s operational policies and procedures as well as fiduciary practices and financial health.

For a school to thrive throughout the 21st century, its leaders must have a comprehensive understanding of how they are managing its finances and operations. The 60 guidelines in the second edition cover four key areas: governance, finance, facilities and operations, and human resources. Our primary goal for this resource is to encourage conversations regarding the applicability of each guideline and to help business officers and business operations staff manage their schools prudently and sustainably.

Each guideline includes a range of evidence of achievement, divided into three categories: baseline practices, exemplary practices, and red flags. These should help schools identify operational areas to prioritize and address. Perhaps most excitingly, “Practical Guidance” now includes an interactive action-planning worksheet. It was developed to help leaders prioritize action items after assessing their school’s operations, for their own purposes, or in preparation for an accreditation or reaccreditation visit, for example.

This updated resource is a product of many hands. NBOA staff led the revisions, which were deftly spearheaded by Senior Vice President James Palmieri, Ed.D., while business partners BoardSource, blumshapiro, United Educators and Venable LLP generously provided additional expertise and resources.

I sincerely hope that you and your school’s leadership team find these guidelines provide a powerful framework for thoughtful analysis, discussion and continuous improvement, whether that time is now or after we return to campus and more traditional school operations. In the meantime, may you and your communities stay safe and successfully manage the challenges confronting you today and in the months ahead.

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Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.
From Net Assets NOW, April 7, 2020. Read past issues of CEO Notebook.

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