After 12 years in UCFSD, ~95% of UHS graduates will continue their education at a college or university. Selecting the right college is an important decision, and many students seek admission at some of the most competitive institutions in the country.
For many of our parents, admission to the best college is the prize for which sacrifices have been made, by both the student and the family. It can carry tremendous emotional significance. It often feels like the quality of child’s future opportunities depend on that admissions decision. And let’s face it …. Competition for those slots is high. As parents, we want our children to have every possible advantage in that competition.
A year ago, one of our parents observed that one of our policies might actually be creating a disadvantage for our students. The culprit? Our decile ranking policy.
I have been Chair of the Board Policy Committee for five months, so it seems like time to post an update. (For background on the purpose and goals of the Policy Committee, please see my earlier post.)
Although policy work is not glamorous, it is a key function of the Board. When I assumed leadership of the committee in late July, only 8% of the 288 required policy updates had been made. With our new approach, we are moving much faster, and are focusing Board attention on the 30-40 key policies changes that really make a difference for UCF.
I was sworn in as a board director on July 14, and within an hour I was handed my first assignment — to chair the policy committee. My predecessor had been the policy committee chair, and the vice chair did not want to assignment, so I was pleased to take on this role.
I spent the first two weeks learning about school governance, meeting leaders in the administration, and reading the board policy manual. What I learned is that Board Policies are the one of the three main ways that the Board acts and exercises its authority (the other two are hiring/managing the superintendent, and setting the annual budget.) Policies set all of the key rules for the district, and policies also link UCFSD practices to those required by state and federal law. Continue reading