Cobble Hill Playschool was established as a co-operative preschool by parents in Brooklyn in the early 1970’s and was formally incorporated as a nonprofit in 1993. In 2009, Cobble Hill Playschool (CHP) became fully accredited with an enrollment of nearly 100 students, instructed by a full staff of educators and assistants. The school operates in a well-designed and fully-equipped facility.
In early 2013, CHP recognized that the continued success of the preschool required a strong and engaged Board of Directors. Soon after, National Executive Service Corps was engaged to formulate a plan to develop such a board.
Led by Senior Vice President Steve Koller, who oversees the Education, Government and Religion sectors, the consultants hit the ground running. The team reviewed the CHP operation to become familiar with the school’s programs, students, parents, staff and goals. The team designed a self-evaluation survey to be given to the Board. Then, the team communicated with all CHP Board members to introduce NESC, outline the objectives of the project and distributed the self-evaluation survey.
Interviews were conducted with all Board Members and with select senior members of the school’s staff and administration to assess the Board’s performance, understand its strengths and weaknesses, and its relationship with CHP’s operations.
The NESC team focused on the following areas:
- Roles and responsibilities of the Board
- Budget preparation and approval process
- Finance, Audit and Governance Committees
- Organization support
- Best practices
- Incentives for improvement
- Succession planning
- Prioritization of strategic objectives and initiatives
The NESC team facilitated a meeting with the CHP Board to present findings, recommendations and key steps for improving Board effectiveness.
According to Steve Koller, “This engagement provided the opportunity to work with new and young Board members who were very interested in learning about board responsibilities.”