Governance

Because the school is run democratically by the staff and there has always been an emphasis on teacher autonomy in the classroom, the administrative roles at Maybeck are structured differently than they are at most other institutions. All full-time teachers have administrative responsibilities and actively participate in running the school. Teachers attend regular staff meetings, serve on committees and task groups, conduct teacher and course evaluations, and help to fill administrative needs of the school in a variety of other ways. Those members of the staff who are primarily charged with administrative duties generally have teaching experience and/or a background in education, and they focus on facilitating the decision-making process and executing outcomes of that process rather than actually making decisions that affect teaching and curriculum. The latter is and has been done by the professional teaching staff and the group as a whole. All administrators teach classes, help to plan camping trips and activities, run workshops, lead Special Programs, sponsor student clubs, and/or support the academic program in a variety of ways. This kind of collaboration and sharing of responsibilities means that there is virtually no divide between teachers and administrators at Maybeck.

The three members of the Maybeck Steering Committee (the School Director, the Academic Dean, and the Operations Manager) are focused on effectively addressing the issues raised by staff members, students, and parents. In order to do so, they work to utilize the professional resources on staff and, when necessary, to identify and bring in additional resources. Because Maybeck is a teacher-run school, authority of the three Steering Committee members arises principally from the trust and confidence they are able to inspire in the faculty. In decision-making, each member has one vote, as do the other members of the faculty. Steering Committee members will more often be in a position to assimilate information and make certain key decisions when necessary. In the event that decisions have to be made without the direct participation of other staff, they are to be reported to and confirmed by the staff in a timely manner.

By breaking down the components of necessary leadership into manageable parts, we expect to find qualified and capable individuals to fill key administrative positions for years to come. Since the roles are quite manageable relative to that of a single head of school, the individuals who take on those responsibilities are also able to participate in other aspects of the school as suited to their expertise and strengths. The effect of Steering Committee transitions on our programs and our operating procedures can be minimized with this model as terms are staggered and responsibilities overlap.