SCHOOL SITE COUNCILS
School Site Councils are advisory bodies at each school site that participate in the planning, implementing, and evaluation of the School Improvement Plan. Experiences of School Site Council vary from school to school, but the legislative intent is to create a team at each participating school that will use all its combined resources and special knowledge to improve the quality of school programs. Through the school improvement process, the School Site Council members together with the school personell will work to look at their school's current situation, evaluate its strengths and needs, have authority to plan and implement improvements, and have funds available to pay for the planned improvements.
COMPOSITION OF SCHOOL SITE COUNCILS
School Site Councils are comprised of school personnel, parents, and community members. Classroom teachers must comprise the majority of school employees on the SSC. “Other school personnel” is defined by law as persons who “work with students on a direct and regular basis.” Community representatives will include parents or other community members not employed by the San Pasqual Union Elementary School District. For secondary schools, community members must include student(s).
With the exception of the principal, members of the SSC will be selected by their peers: Teachers are to be selected by teachers, parents by parents, and so on. As an example, if the SSC has a total of 12 members, its membership could include the principal, 3 classroom teachers, 2 representatives of other school personnel, and 6 parents or other members of the community. The legislation does not specify the total number of members, length of terms served, or procedures for selection and replacement of members. Each SSC makes these decisions, within guidelines from the district, by developing its own Bylaws.
Additionally, SSCs may be designated as local advisory committees for English Learners, Title VII, Title I, Migrant Education, etc., provided that these subcommittees with the SSC meet all of the requirements for said councils.
Including representatives from these programs on the SSCs is beneficial to the school’s programs for the following reasons:
- Two-way communication is established across programs;
- The same information is disseminated, shared, and understood;
- A single group facilitates parent involvement by minimizing the possibility of fractionalizing the linguistic minority community;
- One group is a workable organization with more realistic timelines;
- One group allows for a consistent approach to advisory committees.
ROLE OF SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL MEMBERS
The School Site Council in planning, implementing, and evaluating the school improvement effort is generally responsible for:
- Assessing needs;
- Setting and prioritizing goals;
- Developing and recommending a School Improvement Plan;
- Monitoring the plan’s implementation;
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the plan;
- Reviewing and updating the plan; and
- Establishing the annual School Improvement budget.
NEEDS OF SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL MEMBERS
What all SSC members should have access to includes:
- Qualitative and quantitative information on student achievement at the school;
- The current budget;
- A list of programs in which the school is eligible to participate and those in effect;
- The school’s most recent Self-Study and Report of Findings;
- The existing school plan;
- The calendar of SSC meetings for the current year;
- A list of SSC members and their length of terms;
- The Quality Criteria; and,
- The SSC bylaws.