The Board of Specified Jurisdiction is committed to collaborative leadership and the commensurate responsibilities that accompany that commitment. The Board embraces the Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education, which states “What makes the Catholic school distinctive is its attempt to generate a community climate in the school that is permeated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and love.”
The Board of Specified Jurisdiction as a Governance Board, is empowered to share in making decisions in the specified areas of Development, Marketing/ Recruitment, Planning, and Fiscal and Facilities Oversight. As defined by the Leadership Manual of the Office of Catholic Schools (2014), a Board of Specified Jurisdiction has authority, as delegated by the Pastor, for decision-making for the school in specified areas: vision and mission; institutional development; finance and facilities; and marketing and recruitment. The Board of Specified Jurisdiction is empowered to cooperate and collaborate with the Pastor and the Principal to support the work of administering and leading the school.
A Board of Specified Jurisdiction recognizes the expertise and dedication present in the laity, and available to our Catholic schools; at the same time it recognizes that the school’s viability and long-term vitality rest on broadening the school’s base of support in the community.
The role and authority of the Board exist in clear relationship with the authority of the local ordinary, Archbishop Cupich, and are delegated and endorsed by the Pastor. For parish elementary schools, BSJ members are appointed by the Pastor. The Board’s work is done in committees, and each Board Member serves on at least one Standing Committee. Matters for decision are brought to the whole Board by the Committee working on the issue to be decided. There are guidelines about composition. Boards are empowered in these specified areas:
• Ministry Effectiveness (Mission/Vision/Faith based Core Values);
• Member Development
• Planning and Policy
• Fiscal Management (Finances, and Facilities);
• Institutional Advancement (Communication; Development; Marketing; Enrollment/Recruitment and Retention)
It is recommended that a Board of Specified Jurisdiction be composed of 11 to 21 members. An individual is appointed by the Pastor for specified terms, and is selected based upon a certain skill set and expertise in one of the above mentioned areas. Up to 20% of the Board members may be non-Catholic. Individuals with these skill sets may be:
• Alumni/ae and parents of alumni/ae;
• Leaders within the neighborhood, business, and professional communities;
• Parents of current students (up to 25%)
The Board enables the school to fulfill its mission by offering the support and resources necessary to positively impact children in the community by providing them with a solid education and a firm faith foundation to be successful in the pursuit of their dreams. The Board’s ultimate goal is to level the playing field for the students so when they graduate from eighth grade at Most Blessed Trinity Academy and enter high school, they are prepared to succeed.
Source: Boards, Boards of Specified Jurisdiction (BSJ)
Archdiocese of Chicago, Office of Catholic Schools
Handbook for School Administrators, January 2015 http://ocs.archchicago.org/