Why does a German School need a Board of Trustees?
GISB is a German International School in the USA. In contrast to Germany, it is common practice in the US to establish private schools as non-profit organizations. This design impacts finances and governance. As opposed to German public schools, private schools in the US are responsible for their financial health and are governed by a Board of Trustees (BoT). As a non-profit corporation, GISB doesn’t distribute profits to its shareholders but re-invests them for the benefit of its members.
GISB’s members include every single parent of a current GISB student but also ideally include external enthusiastic and supportive individuals or even companies. Board members who are elected by the members of the corporation for three-year terms comprise the governing body of the school.
As part of the School’s governance structure, interest groups at GISB interact and cooperate closely with each other. For example, the Chair of the Parents Council (PC) is a non-voting member of the BoT and attends every meeting to represent the interests of the PC. Additionally, the BoT works with external interest groups who support GISB’s mission including the German Consulate and the “Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen” (ZfA) in Germany.