The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Smorgasboard

Outlining Parker’s governing body and its processes
Smorgasboard
Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

These 33 parents, alumni, and others hire our principal, secure financial safety, and look to the future. This is Parker’s Board of Trustees. There are positions meant for different types of involvement within Parker’s community. The Board of Trustees, according to the Parker website, “is responsible for advancing the best interests of the school consistent with its philosophy, mission, founding principles and ideals of progressive education.” 

The board of trustees has multiple responsibilities, but a notable one is ensuring a healthy future for this school. There are many moving parts to be kept track of, and the Board oversees the logistical aspects of the well oiled machine that is Parker. Aside from finances, board members work to form relationships with families and have conversations with the administration and, most importantly, with each other. This board is a democracy, and although some may have more influence than others, every voice is heard. 

Within the board are specialized committees, each with its own specific responsibilities. There are six standing committees, and within these there are sometimes ad hoc committees, temporary groups meant to help with a specific task. Audit, Advancement, Finance, Executive, Facilities, and Governance committees combine to keep Parker in great shape physically and financially. 

The Audit Committee produces the annual audit report which describes the specifics of where Parker’s money goes and ensures that there is no fraud of any kind. “The Audit committee oversees some basic fiduciary functions which are ensuring reliable and accurate financial accounting, reporting, and internal controls,” said Isabel Polsky, Co-Chair of Parker’s Board. 

The Advancement Committee is responsible for fundraising. The money required to operate Parker and educate each student isn’t covered by tuition according to board members, so the school relies heavily on donations. 

The Executive Committee is made up of the leaders of each committee. If there was a time where the Board needed to make an urgent decision and couldn’t pull a meeting together in time, the Executive Committee would have the legal authority to make that decision. Otherwise, they are a sounding board. 

The Finance Committee is in charge of Parker’s financial budgeting, and the head of it is the Board Treasurer. 

The Governance Committee is responsible for the dynamics within the board. It works with the Chairs to place people into specific committees, and it also monitors each individual’s performance. 

The Facilities Committee manages all of Parker’s existing buildings and those soon to be. 

Aside from the positions meant for adults, Parker’s Board has a place for students called the Student Board Representatives. These five students have the privilege of witnessing a functional, professional board in action. Not only do they get insight on the current state of the Parker’s financial standing as well as other logistical information, they also share the perspective of their grade. Typically, the monthly meetings include a few moments where everyone breaks out into smaller groups. This allows for more close conversation and  gives the student representatives a chance to share their opinions, ideas, and experiences. Aside from these breakout meetings, student representatives sometimes have a quick presentation to share their current perspective on an issue under discussion, or simply what is happening in each grade. 

Although these Parker community members are hardly discussed in classrooms or among students, they have a large role in determining what Parker will be like in twenty years.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Polsky, Staff Writer
Zoe Polsky is very excited to be on "The Weekly!" As a freshman, she is expecting many new responsibilities, but is excited to take on the role of a Staff Writer. She enjoys playing tennis, watching Notting Hill (her favorite movie), and spending time with friends.