Shepherd Valley Waldorf School K - 8
Governance
shepherd valley waldorf school governance

The successful functioning of a Waldorf School depends on our ability to proceed effectively in the spirit of collaboration. We strive to have a culture of active participation from the entire community through transparent decision-making processes.

The College of Teachers

The College of Teachers is a smaller group of teachers drawn from the full faculty.  It is composed of teachers who, out of a commitment to Anthroposophy (Rudolf Steiner’s study of the soul) and Rudolf Steiner’s educational principles and world view, take on a special responsibility to explore, deepen, and guide the development of the curriculum and the school.  The members of the College of Teachers have made an extra commitment to care for and guide the life of the school.

Their responsibilities include:

  • the pedagogical, cultural and spiritual life of the school,
  • major policy making,
  • hiring new teachers,
  • dismissal of teachers,
  • teacher evaluation, planning and development,
  • administrative focus and efficiency,
  • the overall image of the school,
  • student acceptance and dismissal
The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the legal and financial aspects of our school. The Board currently meets monthly to deliberate over such topics as budget, fundraising, tuition, strategic planning and a healthy community life. The Board works collaboratively with the College of Teachers and the Administrator. The membership of the Board consists of up to nine community members, up to three College of Teachers members, and the Administrator (who is a non-voting member).

Board committees include the Development Committee, the Tuition Assistance Committee, the Annual Campaign Committee, the Finance Committee and the Capital Campaign Committee.

Ideally, new leaders at the School are developed over time, through volunteering and serving one or more committees.

Membership to the Board of Trustees is managed by the Nominating Committee. Any member of the community is free to suggest nominations to the Board of Trustees via this Committee. The Committee reviews and recommends candidates to the Board of Trustees and College of Teachers for their approval. Once nominated, prospective Board members are invited to attend three Board meetings, acting as voting members. This trial period helps ensure that new members are a good fit, and gives both the nominee and the Board an opportunity to assess each other prior to joining the Board. At the end of the trial period, the candidate submits a written statement to the Board stating their reasons for wanting to join, and the Board votes on the candidate’s joining.

Qualities that are important for Board members to carry include:

  • A clear devotion to the best interests of the school and an ability to act beyond personal bias.
  • An awareness of basic business principles - understanding that the school is both a place where their children go to school and a business.
  • An ability to be proactive – a self-starter who, ideally, has participated in some school committee or activity as a volunteer.
  • Good people skills – able to work with the other members of the Board of Trustees in a climate of mutual respect and appreciation.
  • Prior experience in serving on boards or committees for other schools, churches, volunteer organizations, etc. is desirable.
  • A minimum of one year of experience as a parent at any Waldorf school, and at least six months at Shepherd Valley, with positive committee involvement. Exceptions to this can be considered for community members with other desirable Board qualities.
  • Supportive of basic principles inherent in the Waldorf approach to education and Anthroposophy.
  • Strong communication skills and a willingness and desire to participate in an open, collaborative decision-making process.
  • Considers him/herself to be on a path of personal growth.

The Faculty and Staff

Faculty members are responsible for bringing to the students a living educational experience through the Waldorf curriculum, which is specific to each grade level.  Faculty meetings are held weekly.  During this time, the faculty members work together to deepen their understanding of Waldorf principles and educational ideas.  As a group, the teachers develop a deeper perception of the students in their care and ways to support each individual’s growth and development.  These weekly meetings provide a time for teachers to share insights and mentoring wisdom with each other while also attending to the day-to-day life of the school.

Office staff members are responsible for the administrative needs of the school.  In order to allow the faculty to keep their energy and attention focused on the classroom and the students, the office staff attend to operational aspects such as bookkeeping, enrollment, human resources, parent communications, development, vendor relations and governmental relations.

The Parent Community

The Parent Community provides vital support to the school and the faculty.  As René Querido, one of Shepherd Valley’s founders, expressed it, the parents provide a “mantle of warmth” around the Board of Trustees and the faculty.  Parents make the school possible, not only because they send their children, but because they have the willingness to serve and raise funds which are critical activities for all Waldorf schools.

Members of the parent community eagerly take responsibility for committee work with faculty members and Board members.  Parents are instrumental in coordinating and providing both individual class and school-wide social activities which generate goodwill, deepen the understanding of Waldorf education, and promote the growth of the school community.

Parents share the responsibility for creating and sustaining the life and culture of the school.  The parent/teacher relationship is critical to the well-being of the individual child.  Parents and teachers support and enhance the growth and development of the children collectively through conversation and mutual support.