The Blue Mountain School Board of Trustees takes its lead from the National Association of Independent School (NAIS). According to NAIS:
The board is the guardian of the school's mission. It is the board's responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves and to monitor the success of the school in fulfilling its mission.
The following Principles of Good Practice are set forth to provide a common perspective on the responsibilities of independent school boards. The board and the head work in partnership in fulfilling these principles.
- The board adopts a clear statement of the school's mission, vision, and strategic goals and establishes policies and plans consistent with this statement.
- The board reviews and maintains appropriate bylaws that conform to legal requirements, including duties of loyalty, obedience, and care.
- The board assures that the school and the board operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, minimizing exposure to legal action. The board creates a conflict of interest policy that is reviewed with, and signed by, individual trustees annually.
- The board accepts accountability for both the financial stability and the financial future of the institution, engaging in strategic financial planning, assuming primary responsibility for the preservation of capital assets and endowments, overseeing operating budgets, and participating actively in fund raising.
- The board selects, supports, nurtures, evaluates, and sets appropriate compensation for the head of school.
- The board recognizes that its primary work and focus are long-range and strategic.
- The board undertakes formal strategic planning on a periodic basis, sets annual goals related to the plan, and conducts annual written evaluations for the school, the head of school, and the board itself.
- The board keeps full and accurate records of its meetings, committees, and policies and communicates its decisions widely, while keeping its deliberations confidential.
Board composition reflects the strategic expertise, resources, and perspectives (past, present, future) needed to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the school.
The board works to ensure all its members are actively involved in the work of the board and its committees.
- As leader of the school community, the board engages proactively with the head of school in cultivating and maintaining good relations with school constituents as well as the broader community and exhibits best practices relevant to equity and justice.
- The board is committed to a program of professional development that includes annual new trustee orientation, ongoing trustee education and evaluation, and board leadership succession planning.
- A trustee actively supports and promotes the school's mission, vision, strategic goals, and policy positions.
- A trustee is knowledgeable about the school's mission and goals, including its commitment to equity and justice, and represents them appropriately and accurately within the community.
- A trustee stays fully informed about current operations and issues by attending meetings regularly, coming to meetings well prepared, and participating fully in all matters.
- The board sets policy and focuses on long-range and strategic issues. An individual trustee does not become involved directly in specific management, personnel, or curricular issues.
- The trustee takes care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency.
- A trustee accepts and supports board decisions. Once a decision has been made, the board speaks as one voice.
- A trustee keeps all board deliberations confidential.
- A trustee guards against conflict of interest, whether personal or business related.
- A trustee has the responsibility to support the school and its head and to demonstrate that support within the community.
- Authority is vested in the board as a whole. A trustee who learns of an issue of importance to the school has the obligation to bring it to the head of school, or to the board chair, and must refrain from responding to the situation individually.
- A trustee contributes to the development program of the school, including strategic planning for development, financial support, and active involvement in annual and capital giving.
- Each trustee, not just the treasurer and finance committee, has fiduciary responsibility to the school for sound financial management.