ZIS Governance

Zurich International School is a non-profit foundation, governed by a Board of Trustees. Members of the Board of Trustees are all volunteers and have a specific role guiding and supporting the strategic direction of the school. They are chosen through a rigorous selection process and offer a wide range of expertise.

The Board operates four standing committees:

  • Governance
  • Finance
  • Facilities
  • Community Relations

The ZIS Director is a non-voting member of the Board and an ex officio member of all committees.

The Director is appointed by the Board and has full operational control of ZIS assisted by the Leadership Team, which consists of the Deputy Director, the Principals of the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools, and the Directors of Administrative Services; Community Relations; Curriculum and Learning; Resources and Organizational Development; and Student Life.

 

Board of Trustees

Members of the Board of Trustees are all volunteers and have a specific role guiding and supporting the strategic direction of the school.

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team consists of the Director, Deputy Director, the Principals of the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools, and the Directors of Administrative Services; Community Relations; Curriculum and Learning; Resources and Organizational Development; and Student Life

Role of the Board of Trustees

The ZIS Board of Trustees 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.

  1. The Board establishes, maintains, and promotes the school’s key mission documents.
  2. The Board establishes and reviews the strategic orientation and policies consistent with the school’s mission.
  3. The Board reviews and adopts changes to foundation and policy documents that conform to legal requirements.
  4. The Board assures that the school and the Board operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, minimizing exposure to legal action.
  5. The Board creates a conflict of interest policy that is reviewed with, and signed by, individual trustees annually.
  6. The Board is accountable for both the financial well-being and the financial future of the school, engaging in strategic financial planning, assuming responsibility for the preservation of capital assets, overseeing operational budgets, and participating actively in fund raising.
  7. The Board undertakes formal strategic planning on a periodic basis, sets annual goals related to the strategic orientation, and conducts annual written evaluations for the school, the Director, and the Board itself.
  8. The Board keeps accurate records of its meetings, committees, and policies and communicates its decisions, while keeping its deliberations confidential.
  9. The Board composition reflects the strategic expertise, resources, and perspectives (past, present, and future) needed to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the school.
  10. The Board works to ensure that all of its members are actively involved in the work of the Board and its committees.
  11. As leaders of the school community, the Board engages proactively with the Director in cultivating and maintaining good relations with school constituents as well as the broader community, and exhibits best practice relevant to equity and justice.
  12. 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.

Role of the Members of the Board

  1. A trustee demonstrates a strong commitment to ZIS, through community involvement, financial support, and acting as a ZIS ambassador.
  2. A trustee supports ZIS key mission documents (e.g. mission, philosophy, strategic orientation, and policies).
  3. A trustee is knowledgeable about the school's goals and policies, including its commitment to equity and justice, and represents them appropriately and accurately within the community.
  4. 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.
  5. The Board sets policy and focuses on long-term and strategic issues. An individual Trustee does not become involved directly in specific management, personnel, or curricular issue.
  6. A trustee takes care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency.
  7. A trustee functions as part of a policy-forming, strategic board rather than part of an operations Board.
  8. A trustee accepts and supports Board decisions. Once a decision has been made, the Board speaks with one voice.
  9. A trustee keeps all Board deliberations confidential.
  10. A trustee guards against conflict of interest, whether personal or business related.
  11. A trustee has the responsibility to support the school and the Director and to demonstrate that support within the community. A trustee is an ambassador for the school to the community.
  12. 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 Director, or to the Board Chair, and must refrain from responding to the situation individually.
  13. 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. A trustee makes the school a personal philanthropic priority.
  14. Each trustee has fiduciary responsibility to the school for sound financial management.
  15. A trustee understands the role of the Board in a non-profit environment (strategic & financial planning versus operational; establishing critical strategic priorities).
  16. A trustee understands responsibilities (respects others, considers alternate views, acts as a positive team player, shows integrity, respects confidentiality, serves as a positive role model, is an effective communicator, and active listener).
  17. A trustee recognizes fully that the Director is entirely responsible for carrying out all policies.
  18. The Board delegates day-to-day responsibility to school officials and supports and protects school officials in the performance of their duties. Trustees refer all complaints and requests to the Director.