Board of Managers
Hong Kong International School is governed by a volunteer Board of Managers that has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that HKIS is successful in fulfilling its stated mission. The HKIS Board of Managers is a self-perpetuating Board and currently comprises 14 members, including the Head of School. The HKIS Board draws its members from various stakeholder groups including current parents, alumni and parents of alumni. The Board strives to ensure that its composition reflects the expertise, resources and perspectives needed to support and advance the Mission and strategic objectives of the school while at the same time reflecting our community at large. In addition, the Operating Agreement between HKIS and the Lutheran Church––Missouri Synod (LCMS) stipulates that a majority of the Board are members of the congregation of the Church of All Nations.
The HKIS Board of Managers has three primary areas of focus that are critical to the success of the school: the selection, evaluation and support of the Head of School to whom the authority is delegated to manage HKIS; the support and advancement of the school’s mission and the development of broad institutional policies that guide the Head in running HKIS and lastly, the accountability for the long-term success and financial well being of the school.
As guiding principles, the HKIS Board has adopted the NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Boards and for Individual Trustees. These two documents provide common perspectives on the responsibilities of independent school boards as well as those of individual trustees. To learn more about the role of individual members of the HKIS Board of Managers and what is expected of Board service to the school, please read the Board of Managers Compact, an agreement that each Board member signs when first elected to the Board and again at the start of each year of service, reaffirming their commitment to their role as a Manager. In addition, several standing Board Committees have been established to support the Board in accomplishing its work.
An Expression of Interest form, which includes information about participating in volunteer leadership positions as well as information regarding desired talents and skill sets, is available for review. Please take a few minutes to read and consider the form as well as the opportunity to serve in a volunteer leadership position.
In the interest of accomplishing the Mission of HKIS and effectively nurturing a collegial community of trust and mutual respect, each Board member, both new and returning, signs a Board compact annually, which stipulates the expectation, responsibilities and standards of behavior detailed below.
I. Commitment to the MissionHKIS’s stated Mission is “Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion, and our lives to service and global understanding. An American-style education grounded in the Christian faith and respecting the spiritual lives of all.” All of the Board’s deliberations and efforts are directed towards advancing this stated mission of the school, the related Student Learning Results, and the overall interests and well-being of the students of HKIS.
II. Standards of Behavior
The Board views diversity and different points of view as a source of strength. Board members commit to respect and to listen to each other, to contribute input candidly and constructively, and to work to understand differing points of view, building towards a broad consensus as much as possible.
Board Members respect and diligently guard the confidentiality of all discussions and the materials prepared to support them. Board members understand the critical importance of effective communication and the value of "no surprises" in terms of mutual credibility.
The Board seeks to continuously improve its own performance and supports the application of governance "best practices.” Board and Committee priorities are agreed upon at the start of the school year, and candid evaluations of the performance of individual Board members as well as the Board collectively are conducted annually.
III. Behavior in the Community
The Board supports the Head of School, the school and its mission collectively and individually. Board members strive to be highly visible and engaged in the school community including demonstrating leadership in Advancement and giving activities. Board members must “walk the talk” exhibiting behaviors that reflect the core values of the school: integrity, fairness, respect and collegiality. Board members seek to promote trust and mutual respect within our community. Board members are expected to lead by example in striving for a positive, constructive and cooperative climate when interacting with students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, fellow Board members and any non-HKIS community members.
As part of a leadership team that values collegiality, Board members consciously act ex camera in unison with the decisions of the Board, accepting and supporting Board decisions. Once a decision has been made, the Board speaks with one voice.
Board members are expected to adhere to their roles of governance and leadership, not management. Community members often recognize individual trustees as Board members, and this imposes the need for extra caution in terms of what Board members do and say. Individual Board members do not become involved directly in specific management, personnel or curricular issues. Board members are expected to separate the needs of the school from the needs of any particular child or constituency. Board members focus on HKIS policies, strategic direction, and business in Board meetings, and use appropriate channels to raise issues and concerns as parents.
IV. Working through the Proper Channels and Process
Board members work cooperatively and positively through the established channels at HKIS for communications and decision-making. Board members, individually and collectively respect the importance of process in civil community and endeavor to utilize and improve such channels.The Board treats with fairness, impartiality and respect all input received from members of the school community and directs and follows up on such input in accordance with the BOM’s norms and processes, including established procedures and channels of communication for complaints or grievances. Due diligence is exercised in assessing inputs to, and actions proposed by, the BOM.
V. Leadership in Giving
The success of a learning community is based on the individual contributions of many, and as leaders at HKIS The Board of Managers has a unique opportunity to shape the culture and philanthropic spirit of the School.
As a model for parent and community involvement, the Board of Managers is expected to set the standard for others. Through our leadership participation in the Annual Fund and other giving opportunities, The Board provides support for programs that lift an HKIS student’s educational experience from excellent to exceptional.
As leaders within the community, the Board has shown its commitment to personal involvement at HKIS. By demonstrating leadership in service and giving, The Board provides the appropriate model for the community.
VI. Conflicts of Interest
Members of the HKIS Board of Managers should be considered "independent" from the School's operations, with the exception of the Head of School, who serves as both an employee and board member. Such independence is required to ensure that each board member is able to make decisions without regard to personal impact from such decisions and such that the School is able to make decisions without regard to the impact upon any individual board member(s). Such personal impact should also be considered for immediate family members of board members.
In order to ensure the independence of the members of the Board of Managers, actual and perceived conflicts of interests must be minimized. When an actual or perceived conflict of interest is identified, measures must be taken to ensure that such conflicts do not impact rational business decisions of either the Board of Managers or the School's management.
The HKIS Board of Managers works in close partnership with the Lutheran Church––Missouri Synod (LCMS). While the LCMS founded the school, its operations and financial accountability have been entrusted to the Board of Managers of the HKIS Association Limited through an Operating Agreement with the LCMS.