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board of trustees

What does the Board of Trustees do? 
Trustees are fiduciaries responsible for stewarding and advancing San Francisco Friends School’s mission, resources, and strategic priorities. 

The Board’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Defining the mission of the school, establishing policies in support of the mission and ensuring policies are followed
  • Ensuring long-term financial well-being of the school, including capital assets, operating budgets, and fundraising
  • Selecting, supporting, and evaluating the Head of School
  • Leading strategic planning in collaboration with the Head of School and representatives of the school’s constituencies (staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends of the school)
  • Playing a leadership role in fundraising and serving as ambassadors for the school

The Board meets regularly with the head of school and administrative leaders to offer guidance and address strategic issues related to stewardship of the school. The Board entrusts the head of school with all administrative decisions related to school operations, academic programs, and personnel.

San Francisco Friends School by-laws require no fewer than eight and no more than 25 trustees. New trustees are elected by the board on an annual basis to serve three-year terms of voluntary service. 

Questions for the board may be addressed to

How does the SFFS Board make decisions?

The San Francisco Friends School Board and Board committee meetings are conducted in accordance with Quaker decision-making processes that reflect our values of reflection, integrity, peaceful problem-solving, and stewardship:

  • All meetings begin and end with a moment of silence
  • Participants are called to search deeply for truth, to listen to all voices, and to trust their own
  • Decisions are made not by majority vote but through open discussion in which each voice is heard
  • We strive to engage with the world around us with kindness and conviction, working toward the Quaker ideal of a caring and just society


Who is currently on the Board of Friends?

Please click here for a full list of our SFFS Trustees.

What are the different school committees that fall under the umbrella of the Board?

Much of the Board’s work is organized and conducted within standing Board committees composed of trustees, staff members, and occasionally non-trustee community members. In addition to standing committees, ad hoc committees are formed and dissolved as needed for time-bound priorities—for example, a head of school search committee.

Executive Committee:
The officers of the Board (Co-Clerks, Treasurer, and Secretary) make up the Executive Committee, which acts on behalf of the Board in urgent or sensitive situations when it is not feasible to convene the entire Board. 

Audit Committee:
The Audit Committee oversees the school’s annual financial audit process. The committee recommends an independent auditor to conduct the annual audit, works with the auditor to establish the scope of the annual audit, recommends approval of the annual audit to the Board, and monitors the implementation of recommendations from the auditor’s management letter. This committee operates independently of the Finance Committee.

Committee of Trustees:
The Committee of Trustees (COT) leads the identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new trustees. Additionally, COT re-nominates sitting trustees, nominates officers, facilitates Board self-assessment, identifies and addresses the Board’s needs for trustee education, and organizes the recognition of retiring trustees.

Development Committee (open to non-trustee community members):
The Development Committee works with SFFS’s Director of Advancement to coordinate the school’s fundraising strategy and activities, including the Annual Fund and capital and endowment campaigns.

Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee:
The Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee provides leadership on the Board for issues related to equity and inclusion, including Board membership, hiring and admissions results, and decision-making processes. Liases and coordinates with the Parent Association Equity and Inclusion Committee to support community initiatives around equity and inclusion.

Facilities Committee (open to non-trustee community members):
The Facilities Committee provides guidance on the maintenance, improvements and construction of the school’s physical property and facilities. This may include oversight of capital improvements and other planning to ensure the school’s long-term facilities-related needs are met.

Finance Committee (open to non-trustee community members):
The Finance Committee works with staff to develop the long-range financial plan and the annual operating budget, including recommending tuition levels for Board approval, monitoring implementation of the budget, making regular reports to the Board on the school’s financial status and educating the Board on nonprofit financial reporting and trends affecting the school’s financial sustainability.

Futures Committee:
The Futures Committee leads the development of the school’s long-term vision and plans.

Investment Committee (open to non-Trustee community members):
The Investment Committee oversees the investment and performance of all the school’s funds, including the endowment.

Quaker Life Committee (includes non-Trustee community members):
The Quaker Life Committee supports and strengthens Quaker values and Quaker decision-making practices on the Board and in the SFFS community at large.

The San Francisco Friends School Board and Board committee meetings are conducted in accordance with Quaker decision-making processes that reflect our values of reflection, integrity, peaceful problem-solving, and stewardship.

To read our Winter 2023 issue of Among Friends, click here!