What is the governance model at BCS?
As a public school, BCS is evaluated and overseen by federal, state, and county authorities, a Board of Directors, and local parents who have exercised their choice in public education.
BCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in the same category as the local Second Harvest Food Bank, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Los Altos Community Foundation, and Los Altos Education Foundation. Such nonprofits perform “public benefit purposes” and are mission-driven. BCS’s Articles of Incorporation are filed with the California Secretary of State.
When BCS founders were researching governance models and how to hold the board and administration accountable for student achievement, research found that appointed boards are the best practice in charter schools and nonprofits. All of BCS’ seven board members decisions are deeply rooted in the BCS mission:
“BCS offers a collaborative, experiential learning environment that emphasizes individual student achievement and inspires children, faculty and staff to reach beyond themselves to achieve full potential. Using a global perspective to teach about the interconnectedness of communities and their environments, the BCS program nurtures mutual respect, civic responsibility, and a lifelong love of learning.”
Dedication to this mission has kept the school focused on student achievement and innovative programs, contributing to BCS’s position as the highest performing public charter school in California today.
When there is a BCS board vacancy, a committee is formed to find candidates with needed complementary skills. A careful selection process followed by a board vote ensures continuity of the BCS mission.
Appointed boards are the norm at nonprofits, as seen at The American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, and most successful independent charter schools. Many nonprofits, including BCS, also receive public funds. However, non-profit boards do not have powers such as those vested in traditional elected school boards, such as the ability to levy taxes, issue bonds, exercise eminent domain, or otherwise seize private property from citizens, only elected boards can have such powers.