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OACS governance conference to explore cultural trends

Written on October 29th, 2008

Principals and board members encouraged to attend Nov. 1 event

Principals and board members at Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) schools are encouraged to attend the upcoming governance conference that will tackle issues and provide an opportunity to network with other participants.

The Nov. 1 conference is entitled Studying the Right Moves, which reflects the broader OACS theme Making the Right Moves.

“We are at a time period where our schools have to begin to do some strategic thinking in the context of where do we go from here?” says OACS director of advancement Ray Hendriks.

“Our emphasis this year is to assist schools in making decisions through appropriate study of what does the future hold for us? We want to encourage them that they have to make some moves, but they have to be the right moves,” he says.

The OACS annual general meeting is held during the conference. To add value to the day there are a series of workshops focusing on relevant themes for school boards.

David Koetje, the executive director of Christian Schools International will be speaking on how organizations develop strategic partnerships within the broader community.

Dr. Adrian Guldemond, OACS executive director, will present on the trends and plans that are reshaping education in Canada and will impact Ontario Christian education delivery. He will discuss plans the OACS has as an organization and highlight the recent staffing changes.

In the morning there is time for “cracker barrel” small group discussions. An OACS director or board member will be sitting with each small group for personal interaction.

“The cracker barrel sessions are intended to be small group discussion which allow people to fire away with questions and concerns that they have about their individual schools or about the OACS as an organization,” Hendriks says.

There are two time periods for participants to choose a workshop to attend. According to the conference brochure, the workshop sessions include:

  • Banking 101 with Jennie Das — ideas to help ensure healthy cash-flow management
  • Tax planning for parents with Anthony Grande — presenting the government programs available for parents to plan school expenditures
  • Succession planning with David Koetje — getting “the right people on and off the bus and the discipline ensuring that everyone does the right things, including training, for the accomplishment of the mission of the school”
  • Curriculum fundraising with Hugo Marcus — explores the actual costs to deliver quality Christ-centered curriculum, the benefits of OACS membership and future projects
  • School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) introduction with Lorna Keith — information on the OACS program designed to help elementary schools provide quality Christian education
  • From idea to approval with Gary Van Arragon & Leo Van Arragon — how to move community ideas into concrete action.

“Our hope is that schools will walk away with at least one nugget that will help them move forward in their individual situations,” says Hendriks.

Board Leadership Diploma seminars are also available. To attend the seminars members must be pre-registered for the event.

Hendriks says board members enjoy the day for the opportunity to meet people from other schools who are involved in the same activities.

“It reminds them that they are not alone in this thing called Christian education,” says Hendriks.

The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 1 at Hamilton District Christian High School, one of the 78 OACS member schools, located in Ancaster Ontario.