JAIS is a branch campus of AIS, located in Even Yehuda, and is under the auspices of the AIS School Board. Together, JAIS and AIS comprise WBAIS, Walworth Barbour American International School, which is a US non-profit corporation. JAIS has an Advisory Board, comprised of the JAIS Head of School and nine elected representatives: two representatives are from the US consulate, five are community members at-large, and two are faculty representatives. At least two of the members at-large must be American citizens to ensure an American citizen majority of voting members.
The AIS School Board comprises seven representatives, four of whom are required by the by-laws to be affiliated with the US Embassy. The School Board meets each month and has general policy-making authority, with very specific responsibilities for the financial planning for the school. The JAIS Advisory Board Chair is a non-voting ex-officio member who is the representative to the AIS School Board.
The JAIS Advisory Board is elected as a slate proposed by the Board Chair. The slate is assembled by the Board Chair in consultation with the Head of School. Candidates to be considered for the slate may either be approached by the Board chair or proactively come forward and express their interest to the Board Chair. The Board Chair and Head of School will determine which candidates are best suited to appear on the slate, given the particular needs of the school.
The JAIS Advisory Board meets monthly to conduct business in open session. Such meetings are announced beforehand in the school’s newsletter. Parents are welcome to attend. Minutes of all open meetings are available for examination in the Head of School’s office. Confidential matters regarding personnel and contract issues are addressed in private executive session.
The JAIS Advisory Board’s major responsibility is in the areas of planning and finances. The Advisory Board approves a detailed budget each year, which, in turn, receives approval by the AIS School Board. Any budget modifications also requires approval by both boards. The JAIS Advisory Board spearheads the hiring of the Head of School, whose contract is negotiated by the WBAIS Superintendent. The JAIS Head of School negotiates the JAIS teachers’ contracts.
The JAIS Head of School has the authority and discretion to make most of the strictly educational decisions with respect to curriculum, staffing, student regulations and activities, and special services. Overall responsibility relating to the hiring and retention of school personnel is the responsibility of the Head of School.
Each year, the JAIS Advisory Board and the Head of School agree on an outline of the major new objectives, directions or changes that will be pursued in the coming year. Then, over the course of the year, the Head of School reports back to the Board with respect to progress in each of these areas. During the course of the year, the Head of School brings to the Advisory Board educational matters that he feels are critical to the school’s success, of strong community interest, or of major concern from the point of view of public and community relations.
The board strongly encourages parents at all times to bring concerns, problems, or situations that trouble them directly to the staff or administration of JAIS for resolution. Should parents wish further consideration of any matter that is decided by the staff or the administration, they may bring that matter directly to the board.
Within this general frame of operation, the JAIS Advisory Board may and does, at any time its members feel appropriate, raise issues regarding any and all aspects of the school’s operations and policies. The school board maintains a consistent policy whereby any parent may bring concerns, suggestions, or ideas to the board at its regular monthly meetings. The procedure is a simple one: parents need only contact the Head of School or Board chair no later than one week prior to a board meeting, indicating the matter to be discussed and arranging a time to appear before the board.