Frequently Asked Questions: Principal as School Leader
The FAQ’s presented here reflect the most commonly asked questions related to leadership. Please also read the questions and answers developed for University and College representatives as well as teacher candidates for Bond affiliated schools, in China. Most questions, of a more general nature, asked by principals, are already answered, in the FAQ’s, for University and College representatives, and those, for teachers.
Q. What do you mean, when you say Ontario school?
Bond Schools International selects and recommends teachers and principals for two types of Ontario schools.
Four of the schools have a Board School Identification number (BSID), from the Ontario Ministry of Education, and offer an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, at the Bond affiliated school, in China. You will find these schools listed, on the Ontario Ministry Website, under overseas schools. These schools meet all the diploma requirements, that any secondary school, in Ontario, must meet. The curriculum is the same – you will recognize the course codes and courses of study. Students must also meet the OSSLT and community service requirements. The school receives an inspection, every two years, by an Education Officer, from the Ontario Ministry of Education.
The other schools use Bond Canadian curriculum, and have instituted exactly the same diploma requirements. Students will transfer to Bond International College, in Toronto, for Grade twelve, and finish their diploma requirements there, or register with Bond International College’s eLearning program, and take courses on-line, to complete their diploma requirements. They will also write the OSSLT and complete the required number of community service hours. In any event, students, in these four schools, will graduate, from Bond International College – Toronto after grade twelve.
Q. What is the role, of Principal, at one of the schools, in China?
The principal is the educational leader, in the Canadian curriculum section, of the school, responsible for the academic integrity of the Canadian program. The principal is the person accountable for the credit recommendations. The Canadian teachers are under the principal’s authority, and the principal is responsible for the quality of instruction. The principal will provide an annual evaluation of staff, and be asked to recommend retention, of staff, if they would like to remain, in China, for a second contract. The principal will liaise with Canadian universities and colleges, and provide advice, to students and parents, on post-secondary education, in Canada.
In most of the schools, students are also studying to earn a Chinese secondary school diploma. The principal will work alongside a Chinese co-principal, in the double diploma schools, setting timetables and generally work cooperatively, in running the day to day operation, of the school.
Q. How is my role different from the role I play now, with my school district?
The first difference is that you are employed by a private school, and that school is, in China. All of the students are studying, at the university preparation level. The selected courses of study are focused on the most popular faculties, of interest, to Chinese students wanting, to study, in Canada.
In most schools, students are also studying for their Chinese Secondary School Diploma. There is a Chinese co-principal attached to the program as well. Having a co-principal, (not a vice principal) means there are some shared responsibilities, and others assumed, by the Chinese principal. You will concentrate mainly, on the academic integrity, of the Canadian program. In your school now, you are responsible for the day to day maintenance, of the school – cleaning staff, cafeteria, budget, parent engagement, and the day to day discipline of students. You will influence all of these areas, but another staff member, from the affiliated school, assumes most of those responsibilities, and you have no direct, primary, responsibility, for most, of that.
Q. What sort of budget will I manage?
The school certainly has a budget, but it is the responsibility, of another school official. For expenses, necessary, for the running, of the program, the principal will make a request, justifying the expense, and ask the school, to purchase the items needed.
Q. What support will I receive, from someone, who understands Ontario education?
Bond Schools International has a liaison person available, to you, when you have questions, or concerns. He is, also, the principal, of Bond International College, in Toronto. He is a wealth, of advice, and also acts, as a liaison, on your behalf, with the Chinese officials, at the school.
Q. What is the role of the Ontario Ministry of Education, in the supervision, of a Bond affiliated school?
Bond Schools International is responsible for the direct supervision, of all the affiliated schools. The Ministry provides no direct role in the supervision, of the school. An Education Officer, from the Ontario Ministry of Education, provides an annual inspection, to see that the school is complying, with all of the requirements, to eventually award the Ontario secondary School Diploma. Every two years, the Education Officer, will provide an on-site inspection.
Q. What role will I play in student recruitment?
The local school is responsible, for student recruitment. They will expect the Canadian principal, to make presentations, and to meet with interested parents, from time to time, to answer particular questions. Some schools have seminars away from the city, in which the school is located. You may be asked to participate, in those seminars. A translator will be provided, and all expenses paid, by the school.
Q. What is my role with parents?
In China, parents leave education, to the school. They are very seldom, as involved, as you expect, in Canada. If they are worried, they will find it more comfortable, to speak with the Chinese co-principal. Parents also may live far away, and to come to the school, may mean many hours, by train, or plane. A parent council is not something that is common, in China. Their major involvement will be through their children, or from receiving report cards, at reporting time.
Q. Where do students live? What are my responsibilities?
Most of the schools attract students, from different parts, of China. The schools all have boarding facilities. The Canadian Principal, and staff, has no direct responsibility, for the boarding facilities, or supervision, of students there.