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Our BoardOf Governors.

Our Board of Governors works closely with School Administration to develop strategic direction and establish policies and plans to ensure the School’s future well-being.

The current Board consists of 12 elected Governors and three Governors with observer status. Governors are elected at the Annual General Meeting in October, usually for a three-year term. The Board operates through several standing committees including Advancement, Governance and Nominating, Finance and Property, and additional ad hoc committees as needed. The committees include both Board members and members of the St. Clement’s School community at large.

Dear Members of the SCS Community,

One of the key responsibilities of the Board of Governors’ Governance and Nominating Committee is to consider qualified individuals for appointment to the Board of Governors and to the standing committees of the Board, including the Finance, Advancement, Property, and Governance and Nominating Committees. The Board of Governors seeks a balanced membership of parents, alumnae, and independent members as well as a diversity of expertise and experience.

The Committee considers both current year and future year needs.

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming involved, please contact Martha Perry, Principal at mperry@scs.on.ca, Karen McKay, Chair of the Board at mckay_karen@lilly.com, or me at lisa.porlier@russellreynolds.com.

Martha, Karen, and I would also be pleased to answer any questions that you may have regarding Board and committee membership.

Lisa Porlier
Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee

Annual

General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the members of St. Clement’s School was held virtually on the evening of October 21, 2020.

We are pleased to make the following meeting agenda and reports available for review.

SCS Board Meeting Updates

Updates and Minutes from past Board meetings

St. Clement’s School
Board Meeting Highlights, September 30, 2020

Agenda – September 30, 2020

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • Brian Denega, Board Chair, welcomed Nancy Hotson, who replaces Zeinab Layton as President of the Parents’ Association.
  • Martha Perry introduced new members of staff.
  • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, welcomed Alex Briganti, Sam Marinucci and Alexandra ten Kortenaar from the audit firm Hogg Shain and Scheck. David and the auditors reviewed the financial results of the School for the 2020 fiscal year.

The audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2020 were approved and Hogg Shain and Scheck were appointed auditors for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2021.

David reviewed a preliminary revised forecast for the 2020/2021 year.

Martha Perry, Principal, reported on the following significant matters:

Strategic Plan, 2020-2025

The School is developing the new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan framework and tactics that will focus on learning as a process, not a product.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This area will be a major focus for the School going forward.  The School is planning to host a second Race, Privilege and Community Conference during the 2020/2021 school year.

Ongoing COVID-19 response

The School’s response includes continuous monitoring, adherence to Toronto Public Health directives, and coordinated information reporting and communication.

  • The Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.
  1. Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the new annual giving campaign will be launched at the end of October.
  2. Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, reviewed the current status of the Campus Master Plan.
  3. Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, reported that Jeff Allsop and Charles Whitburn are being nominated for election as Governors at the Annual General Meeting scheduled on October 21.

Poonam reported broadly on the results of the Board of Governor’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire completed during the summer.

  • Brian Denega reported that this meeting is his last as Chair of the Board of Governors; he will continue to serve in the ex-officio position of Past Chair. Brian indicated that he has every confidence in the School and in Karen McKay, incoming Chair.  Karen thanked Brian for his many contributions during his tenure.

St. Clement’s School
Board Meeting Highlights, June 24, 2020

Agenda – June 24, 2020

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • Elena Holeton, Director of Admissions, answered questions regarding the 2020 Admissions Report to the Board that had been circulated prior to the meeting.  Elena commented that the School had strong applications and event attendance for the 2019-2020 Admissions Season.
  • Martha Perry, Principal, presented a detailed report on the following significant matters:

STRATEGIC PLAN

Martha highlighted the progress that has been made in preparing the School’s next strategic plan.

ACCREDITATION

Martha reported that following the normal scheduled review by the Visiting Committee that took place in January, the School’s accreditation from Canadian Accredited Independent Schools has been renewed. 

2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR

Martha reviewed the preparations that are underway for the return to School for the 2020/2021 school year.  These preparations are founded on the following:

– The well-being and learning of the students and staff will be at the heart of every decision

– Proactive communication and open dialogue

-The School’s sustainability while also being flexible as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

  • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reviewed the financial results for the nine months ended April 30, 2020 and the forecast results for the 2019/2020 fiscal year. 
  • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, provided an update on the Annual Giving Campaign, which is now expected to exceed the revised campaign goal of $600,000.
  • Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, provided an update on Campus Master Plan work and the ongoing review of traffic and transportation matters.
  • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, asked Board members to complete and return the Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire and the Board Principal Assessment Questionnaire that had been circulated recently.
  • Brian Denega, Chair, commented on the success of the 2019/2020 school year under very trying conditions, and commended the school staff for the wonderful job they had done.

St. Clement’s School
Board Meeting Highlights, May 13, 2020

Agenda – May 13, 2020

The Principal and the Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting:

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • Martha Perry, Principal, reported that the primary focus for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year is to maintain the quality of the academic program, to provide staff with the support needed, and to ensure that there are strong community communications and connections.

    Martha noted that three groups have been formed (Program, Health and Safety and Communications) to plan and prepare for the return in September.  All of the School’s return decisions will be informed by directives from the Chief Medical Officer of Heath and Workplace Health and Safety Guidelines.  The School will use all resources made available by government and regulatory authorities.

  • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, provided an update on donations to the Annual Giving Campaign, which are slightly behind last year at this time.  The Advancement Department will be sending out a mailing to constituents who have not yet donated.  Karen also reviewed the various communication channels that are being used to connect with the community during these times.
  • Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, confirmed that the roof project has been cancelled due to timing concerns regarding the receipt of a construction permit from the City of Toronto and the timely procurement of construction materials.  Julia reported that the School plans to undertake this project in the spring of 2021.
  • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, asked Board Members to complete and return the on-line SCS Board Self-assessment and the Principal Assessment Questionnaires that she will circulate.
  • Martha Perry reported that the Board Strategic Planning Committee and the School Core Committee are reflecting on opportunities arising from the COVID-19 experience and will be meeting to consider next steps and related plans for re-engaging staff in the planning process.
  • St. Clement’s School

    Board Meeting Highlights, April 15, 2020

    Agenda, April 15, 2020

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    Martha Perry provided Board members with the following information:

    • Since the closure of the School building, the School has had regular communications with parents, staff and students, and in turn the School has received wonderful positive feedback from parents regarding the remote programming in place.
    • The current enrolment for new and returning students is strong.  Admissions activities are continuing remotely and staff are maintaining connections with both incoming and current families.
    • Billings and collections for the 2020/2021 school year are in order at this time and will proceed as planned.  The School is not billing monthly finance charges until further notice.

    David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reviewed a revised forecast for the current year given revenue and expenditure changes arising from the closure of the School building and the cancellation of various planned events.  David reported that while there have been unrealized losses on the School’s investments, the financial position remains stable.

    Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that Annual Giving results through to March 31, 2020 were strong and the School continues to receive generous financial support. 

    Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, reported that City of Toronto operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation, and as a result it is not known when the School will receive a construction permit for the Roof Terrace project. Furthermore, even with a permit the project could not proceed during the current construction shut down.  Alternate timing for the project is being considered.

    Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, reported that the Committee continues to work on succession planning and the recruitment of individuals to join the Board. 

    Lisa Porlier, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, reviewed strategic planning activities to date.  Following discussion, it was agreed that the Committee should pause to reflect on opportunities arising from the School’s current experiences to identify and address possible matters that have not been reflected in the plan.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, Wednesday, February 5, 2020

    Agenda – February 5, 2020

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry reviewed the following information set out in the Principal’s Report that had been circulated in advance of the meeting:
      • Approximately one-third of the staff members have volunteered to work with facilitator Tyrenny Anderson on the strategy design quest phase of the strategic planning process. The staff engagement sessions are now underway.
      • The Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Accreditation Review ended as planned on Wednesday, January 29 with an exit interview at which the Chair of the Visiting Committee and the On-site CAIS Coordinator presented their summary observations. Once the final CAIS Report is received this spring, the School will share the findings with the School community.
      • Martha reviewed the various communications that the School has issued in connection with the Coronavirus. The communications are based on the information updates that the School receives from Toronto Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health. The key messages in these communications are the importance of exercising proper hygiene and staying at home if unwell.
    • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the Annual Giving campaign is progressing well and the Committee is optimistic that the fundraising goal of $650,000 will be reached. Karen also discussed plans for a future capital campaign.
    • Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, reported that planning is underway for the Roof Terrace project scheduled to be completed this summer. Detailed information regarding this project will be presented to the Board in April.
    • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, reported that the Committee continues to work on succession planning and the recruitment of individuals to join the Board.
    • Lisa Porlier, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, discussed the draft Strategic Plan Framework and Board members provided feedback and thoughts regarding the wording of the document.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, February 6, 2019

    Agenda – February 6, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry gave a special slide presentation to highlight the work being done by the Property Committee to review and explore options pertaining to the School’s campus master plan.
    • Martha Perry highlighted the information set out in the Principal’s Report that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.
    • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the Annual Giving campaign is progressing well and the Committee is optimistic that the fundraising goal of $600,000 will be reached.
      Karen noted that plans for the Speakeasy Gala event scheduled on Saturday, April 6 at the Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District, are well underway. The net proceeds from the event will be used to retrofit the roof as a gathering and play space for students from all grades.
    • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, reported that the Committee continues to work on succession planning and the recruitment of individuals to assume vacant Board positions.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, Wednesday, January 8, 2020

    Agenda – January 8, 2020

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry introduced a new member of staff.
    • The Principal and the Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.
      • Martha Perry summarized the progress to-date in developing the new strategic plan for the period 2020-2025. She reported that the School launched the design thinking and strategy development phase of the process on January 6 with a half-day facilitated session for the full SCS Staff.
        The School’s internal evaluation documentation prepared for review by the Visiting Team from Canadian Accredited Independent Schools was submitted at the end of December. The Visiting Team will arrive for their review midday on January 26 and will leave on January 29.
      • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reviewed the financial results for the three months ended October 31, 2019 and the forecast results for the 2019/20 fiscal year.
        David reviewed the information in the budget documents circulated in advance of the meeting, including the commentary describing the major budget assumptions and the statement of operating results comparing the 2020/2021 and 2019/2020 budgets. Following David’s review, the Board approved the 2020/2021 tuition fee, acceptance fee and operating budget recommended by the Finance Committee.
      • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the Annual Giving Campaign is progressing well and the Committee is optimistic that the fundraising goal of $650,000 will be reached.
      • Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, provided an update on the ongoing Campus Master Plan work.
      • In the absence of Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Brian Denega, Board Chair, reported that the Committee continues to work on succession planning and the recruitment of individuals to assume vacant Board positions.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, Monday, November 20, 2019

    Agenda – November 20, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry introduced new members of staff.
    • Brian Denega, Chair, welcomed new Board members Zeinab Layton, President of the Parents’ Association, and Pamela Rayment, Associate Priest of St. Clement’s Church. Brian reviewed effective governance practices for independent schools and highlighted roles and duties of the Board.
    • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, made a presentation on financial considerations in connection with developing a campus master plan.
    • The Principal and the Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting:
      • Martha Perry discussed the success of the Race, Privilege and Community Building conference hosted by St. Clement’s School on November 2. She also highlighted recent activities directed to the two major objectives for the current year, being completing outstanding elements of the current strategic plan and developing the new strategic plan for the period 2020 to 2025.
      • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the 2019-2020 Annual Fund Campaign has been launched with a goal of $650,000.
      • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported that the Committee is meeting in November and again in December to review and approve the 2020/2021 operating budget and tuition fee.
      • Julia Foster, Chair of the Property Committee, reported that the Committee has welcomed three new members with great expertise in the area of property development, and the group is continuing to review matters relating to the campus master plan.
      • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, reported that the Committee is presently working to identify candidates to fill the two existing Board vacancies.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, Monday, September 30, 2019

    Agenda – September 30, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Brian Denega, Board Chair, welcomed Zeinab Layton, who replaces John Sayers as President of the Parents’ Association.
    • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, welcomed Alex Briganti and Sam Marinucci, partners with the audit firm Hogg Shain and Scheck. David and the auditors reviewed the financial results of the School for the 2019 fiscal year.
      The audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2019 were approved and Hogg Shain and Scheck were appointed auditors for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2020.
    • Brian reported that the School is now in the final year of the current strategic plan and has engaged Susan Wright of Wright Management Consulting to assist the School in developing the new five year strategic plan covering the period 2020 to 2025. Board member Lisa Porlier will chair the School’s ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee.
      Susan reviewed the proposed phases for the School’s strategy development process, which will include a survey of all constituents to gain their perspectives on the current state of the School and its future direction.
    • Martha Perry, Principal, reported that she has set the following objectives for the 2019-2020 school year.
      • Complete all major elements of the current strategic plan.
      • Prepare the new strategic plan.
      • Finalize the report for the upcoming evaluation by Canadian Accredited Independent Schools taking place in January 2020.
      • Complete the space and financial planning elements of the Campus Master Plan.
      • Finalize the School’s Transportation Demand Management Plan.
    • The Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.
      • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that Catherine Rice, Annual Fund Chair, and her committee will be launching the new campaign at the end of October.
      • In the absence of Rob Chadwick, Chair of the Property Committee, Martha reviewed the current status of the Campus Master Plan.
      • In the absence of Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Brian reported that the Committee is nominating Pamela Rayment for election as Governor at the Annual General Meeting scheduled on October 16. Pamela is Associate Priest for Families and Parents at St. Clement’s Church.
        The Board is seeking members with knowledge and experience in the areas of property, legal and fundraising to fill the remaining two Board vacancies.
        Brian reported broadly on the results of the Board of Governor’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire completed during the summer.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, June 19, 2019

    Agenda – June 19, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Elena Holeton, Director of Admissions, answered questions regarding the 2019 Admissions Report to the Board and the St. Clement’s School 2019 Strategic Enrolment Plan documents that had been circulated prior to the meeting. Elena commented that the School had strong applications and event attendance for the 2018-2019 Admissions Season.
    • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, and Lisa Watson, Executive Director of Advancement, reviewed work being done in connection with the School’s campus master plan.
    • Martha Perry, Principal, highlighted the strong progress that has been made on the three main pillars of the current strategic plan, which extends to December 2020. Martha noted that plans are underway to begin work this fall on developing the School’s next strategic plan.
    • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, provided an update on the Annual Giving Campaign, which is tracking well and should exceed the campaign goal of $600,000.
    • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reviewed the financial results for the nine months ended April 30, 2019 and the forecast results for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
    • In the absence of Poonam Puri, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Karen McKay asked Board members to complete and return the Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire and the Board Principal Assessment Questionnaire that had been circulated recently.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, May 15, 2019

    Agenda – May 15, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry, Principal, introduced new Business and Operations Staff members Meredith Henry and Michelle Kim.
    • Lisa Watson, Executive Director of Advancement, provided a presentation highlighting the results of the online philanthropy survey that was sent to 3,500 constituents in February. Lisa noted that there were survey responses from 1,059 constituents; this response rate of 30% is well beyond the norm of 15%.
    • The Principal and the Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting:
      • Martha reviewed enrolment for the 2019/2020 school year. In addition, she provided highlights of the recent meeting of the President’s Council, a consulting group comprising past members of the Board of Governors.
      • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, provided an update on the Annual Giving Campaign, which is tracking well and should reach the campaign goal of $600,000.
      • In the absence of Poonam Puri, Brian Denega, Board Chair, asked members to review and provide comments regarding the draft response to the CAIS Accreditation Guidelines for Standard 8 – Governance that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.  In addition, Board members were asked to complete and return the on-line SCS Board Self-assessment and the Principal Assessment Questionnaires that Poonam will circulate.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, January 9, 2019

    Agenda – January 9, 2019

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Patti MacDonald, Executive Director of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), provided information regarding the CAIS accreditation of the School that is scheduled to take place in January 2020.
    • Lisa Watson, Executive Director of Advancement, and Alison Holt of The Offord Group reviewed the draft Donor Attitude Survey that is being sent by email in late January to approximately 3,500 constituents.
    • Martha Perry reported that the School is continuing its work on the Emergency Management Plan.
    • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reviewed the financial results for the three months ended October 31, 2018 and the forecast results for the 2018/19 fiscal year. David reviewed the information in the budget documents circulated in advance of the meeting, including the commentary describing the major budget assumptions and the statement of operating results comparing the 2019/2020 and 2018/2019 budgets. Following David’s review, the Board approved the 2019/2020 tuition fee, acceptance fee and operating budget recommended by the Finance Committee.
    • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the Annual Giving Campaign is progressing well and the Committee is optimistic that the fundraising goal of $600,000 will be reached. Karen reminded Board members of the upcoming SCS Speakeasy Gala event that will take place on April 6 at the Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District. The net proceeds from the event will be used to retrofit the roof as a study and play space.
    • Rob Chadwick, Chair of the Property Committee, provided an update on the ongoing Campus Master Plan work.
    • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, asked the Board Committee Chairs to review and provide comments regarding the CAIS Standard Eight – Governance draft response prepared by the Committee.

    St. Clement’s School
    Board Meeting Highlights, November 21, 2018

    Agenda – November 21, 2018

    Highlights of the meeting include:

    • Martha Perry introduced new members of staff.
    • Lisa Watson, Executive Director of Advancement, and Alison Holt from The Offord Group, make a special presentation on campaign preparedness, highlighting the factors driving successful campaigns, understanding donors, and discussion around future plans.
    • Brian Denega, Chair, introduced and welcomed new Board members Sarah Cambell, President of the Alumnae Association, Lisa Porlier, parent, John Sayers, President of the Parents’ Association, and Kennis Tong, parent. Brian also welcomed Karen McKay in her new position as Vice Chair of the Board.  Brian reviewed the primary focus of each of the Board standing committees for the year ahead.
    • The Principal and the Chairs of the Board Standing Committees highlighted information set out in the reports that had been circulated in advance of the meeting:
      • Martha Perry reviewed the work done by the Administration Team to assess the School’s risk exposures and risk mitigation and management in all major areas. In light of the recent events at St. Michael’s College School, Martha reported on the School’s Emergency Management Plan with a particular focus on policies with respect to reporting of abuse and the School’s emergency communications plan.
      • Karen McKay, Chair of the Advancement Committee, reported that the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Campaign has been launched with a goal of $600,000. Karen reminded Board members of the Jingle Mingle cocktail party and holiday sale scheduled on December 3, 2018 and the gala event scheduled on April 6, 2019.
      • David Bacon, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported that Sarah Ahmed, parent, and Rasha El Sissi, alumna and past parent, have joined the Finance Committee. The Committee is meeting in November and again in December to review and approve the 2019/2020 operating budget and tuition fee.
      • Rob Chadwick, Chair of the Property Committee, reported that the School is continuing to consider options within the campus master plan.
      • Poonam Puri, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, presented revised governance documents for review and approval by the Board.

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