Golden Oak Montessori Of Hayward

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Committees and Working Groups

 

Golden Oak Montessori School of Hayward governance decisions are made at the board level during public BOD meetings each month.  In addition, committees and working groups comprised of board members, school staff, parent volunteers, and outside experts regularly meet to provide support regarding specific areas of board responsibility.  Recommendations from committees and working groups, as well as status reports of ongoing activity and specific projects, are reviewed at monthly board meetings.  As needed, committee recommendations inform board decision making.  Many committees and working groups provide volunteer opportunities for interested parents and community members.  If an individual is unable to commit to the level of service required of full board members, but would like to be involved in some other way, volunteering for a governance committee or working group is a great opportunity.  Review volunteer opportunities here.

Finance Committee

The finance committee is a standing committee of the board.  It follows Brown Act notification and public participation requirements.  Agendas must be posted 72 hours in advance of a meeting and minutes must be made available afterward.  This committee’s purpose and main responsibilities include:

  • Ensure that the school is operating in the black and investing in programs, infrastructure, and projects that continually improve the quality of education at Golden Oak Montessori in fulfillment of our mission
  • Ensure that administration adheres to an approved budget.  Monitor balance sheet and revenue/expense trends and regularly report on financial health of school to the board.  Identify areas of financial risk.
  • Review and make recommendations on spending requests outside the budget cycle or changes to the budget.
  • Ensure we maintain adequate reserves that both permit investment in new opportunities and mitigate against risk.
  • Communicate financial health of school to parent population and keep abreast of parent volunteer fundraising activities and objectives.
  • Educate the board and school community on the school budget – such as the sources of revenue and reasons for expenses.
  • Ensure that the board is aware of the total amount of restrictions and earmarks on revenue and amount of funding that is unassigned to an expense.  Similarly, on the expense side, track “non-essential” expenses that could be recovered if spending item could be postponed or foregone.

Audit Committee

The audit committee is a standing committee of the board. Per California law, members must be appointed by the board of directors. It may include non-board members and members of the finance committee, but the chair of the audit committee may not be a member of the finance committee and the members of the finance committee must constitute less than half of the audit committee.  The audit committee may not include any member of the staff, including top management, or any person who has a material financial interest in any entity doing business with the school.  This committee’s purpose and main responsibilities include:

  • Hire and fire auditor – look for new auditor at least every three years
  • Negotiate the compensation of the auditor on behalf of the board
  • Confer with the auditor to satisfy the committee members that the financial affairs of the school are in order
  • Review and determine whether to accept the audit
  • Approve performance of any non-audit services by the auditing firm

Governance Committee

The governance committee is a standing committee of the board.  It follows Brown Act notification and public participation requirements.  Agendas must be posted 72 hours in advance of a meeting and minutes must be made available afterward.  This committee’s purpose and main responsibilities include:

  • Review board policies and procedures
  • Ensure that board has systems in place to ensure proper oversight of school administration and that school is fulfilling its missions, complying with regulations, and continually improving.
  • Recruit board members, keep track of board items, ensure that board is trained and operates professionally and ethically.
  • Ensure proper documentation is maintained by the school and board to ensure clarity of rules and procedures.
  • Ensure that the board is getting the information it needs from the administration in a timely manner that helps in decision-making and setting policies.

Facilities Working Group

The facilities working group is appointed by the HOS. It can include non-board members.  This is a permanent working group.  Working groups created by the HOS do not need to follow Brown Act notification and public participation requirements, unless there is a quorum of board members present.  This working group’s purpose and main responsibilities include:

  • Identify long term facilities needs in line with our strategic plan.
  • Help the HOS in identifying resources to help meet our facilities requirements.
  • Help the board in planning and thinking about facilities options – for example, long term lease vs. new site and building.
  • Ensure that the school has necessary emergency supplies, equipment, and procedures.

Academic Excellence Working Group  

It is important to note that academic excellence is a governance function, not a management function, and it is anticipated that the Head of School will have a great deal of input into the work and composition of this committee. The committee’s main role is to assure that academic excellence is defined, and that the board approves annual goals to attain academic excellence.  This is a permanent working group.  Working groups created by the HOS do not need to follow Brown Act notification and public participation requirements, unless there is a quorum of board members present.  This working group’s purpose and main responsibilities include:

  • Define and continue to refine what academic excellence means for our organization.
  • Ensure that all board members understand the key charter promises we have made to our community and to HUSD.
  • Work with the HOS to devise clear and consistent ways to measure progress towards stated goals.
  • Work with the HOS to share with the board annual successes, barriers to reaching academic excellence, and strategies to overcome these barriers.
  • Arrange for board training on issues related to academic oversight and academic achievement, as needed.
  • Create specific measurable board-level goals for the year as part of the full board planning process.
  • Report to the board of trustees at regular meetings of the board in a manner determined by the board.