It's hard to believe that we are entering week 4 of the new school year! My, how time flies! As I've mentioned in previous blog entries, I plan to periodically share with you projects and initiatives in which I am involved that might be of interest to you. As headmaster, a good amount of my time and energy is expended at the strategic (or what I call 30,000 foot) level. Strategic-level matters involve the entire school and tend to be future thinking in nature.
One of the strategic issues I am currently addressing involves campus security. At the behest of our board of directors, I have recently appointed a Security Task Force that will be charged with reviewing the security assessment conducted by an outside security firm last spring. The task force will consider the recommendations made in the report, prioritize them, and present a multi-year implementation plan to the board. Several of the recommendations have already been implemented. Our first meeting is scheduled for September 20, with additional meetings forthcoming. Later in the semester, I will report on some of their findings and recommendations.
As I've previously shared, my top priority is the physical and emotional safety and well-being of our students, families, faculty and staff. The convening of the Security Task Force is the first step in ensuring that the Legacy community is as safe as reasonably possible. The key word, of course, is “reasonably.” No school, public or private, can guarantee absolute safety. To try to do so would create an environment that would not be practical or pleasant for anyone. In all of my years as a head of school, I can tell you, unequivocally, that the number one preventative measure we can take to ensure a safe environment is “vigilance.” As the signs in the airport remind us, “if you see something say something.” That applies to schools as well. The rule of thumb that I use is that if something or someone looks out of place or out of order or makes me uncomfortable, I report it to the respective authority. It is never wrong to report something that looks out of sorts to one of the receptionists or to an administrator who might be in close proximity.
In other news, next week I travel to Austin for a meeting of the Texas Private Schools Association (TPSA). This will be my ninth year to serve on that board. TPSA (texasprivateschools.org) is the only organization that represents the interests of the entire private school community in the State of Texas. We work with legislators, state officials, and other leaders to ensure that private schools are treated equitably by policy-makers and those who make educational decisions.
TPSA represents over 800 accredited private schools and over 250,000 students enrolled in these schools. As we approach the convening of the 85th Legislative Session in January, we are developing our strategies to protect the independence and autonomy of our schools, as well as promoting the idea of school choice. Specifically, TPSA endorses an educational tax credit proposal as a means to establish scholarship funds that empower more middle and lower middle class students to escape low-achieving schools and attend high-achieving schools of their choice, public or private. Please watch the video below to find out more about this school choice initiative. As the legislative session unfolds, I will keep you abreast of issues and concerns that affect the private school community.
If you have ideas about school safety, school choice, or any other strategic or all-school matter, please feel free to send me your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!