Message from VWS Board of Trustees

Dear Parents,

The May 9 Board of Trustees meeting was a joint meeting with the College of Teachers principally held to discuss the strategic planning process and the ongoing work regarding our application for AWSNA full-member status (the highest status for Waldorf schools in North America).  Rachel Garratt joined us as a member of both the Strategic Planning and Visioning Committee (SPVC) and the Accreditation Committee (discussed later).

We are working towards the development of a long-term strategic plan and while we do that we are working with a shorter term action plan that maps our activities as we move towards completing the strategic plan.  The action plan has been progressing well in terms of deliverables, with the majority of the deliverables either having been completed or on track for completion.  Mary Henley walked us through some of the successes to date.

In terms of our AWSNA application, an Accreditation Committee has been formed to lead the process, consisting of Susan Connon-Wilby, Lorna Fortin, Marlies DeCeuster, Rachel Garratt and Jann Winters.  There is a great deal of work to be done to complete our application, including a review of all of the VWS’s policies and procedures (and there are a lot of them) and a comparison of them against AWSNA’s 7 principles for Waldorf schools (see

We also discussed governance, which is also being reviewed by the SPVC and the College as part of the self-study which must be undertaken as part of the AWSNA accreditation application.  We are reviewing our reporting structures and decision making processes to see how we are working together, and ways to improve it.  This review will be an ongoing task.  The accreditation application process is a big job and it will culminate with a site visit from an AWSNA evaluation team, likely in the second half of 2019.  We hope you will join us in thanking both the SPVC and the Accreditation Committees as they do this significant work on all our behalves.

Finally, the Finance Committee presented our 2018/2019 budget for approval (which was received).  Obviously, it is very early but our projections indicate we will finish next year with another small (approximately $100k) surplus, which is consistent with the year-end results we expect to see for this year.

One additional note – last Wednesday was Phil Fertey’s last meeting as a trustee, as he is heading into a sabbatical year.  His contributions to the VWS both as an educator and as a leader are evident.  But even with all he has so obviously done, that is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  His public efforts only tell half the story of his contributions to the School since he joined the Board in 2014/2015; his behind the scenes efforts have been critical in seeing the VWS through to its current collegially, socially and financially healthy state.  The VWS owes him a debt of gratitude we can never hope to repay.

Eric Doherty & Chloe Gow-Jarrett, VWSS Board Co-Chairs