Site Council - PCS
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Site Council Notebook


What Is A Site Council?
A site council is a team of teachers, staff, parents, principals and others from a school community who work together to help their school be successful.

Site councils may:

  • help shape and support the school's mission and vision;
  • help develop the School Improvement Plan;
  • create more ownership and commitment for decisions and outcomes;
  • drive school change and develop conditions for success;
  • have input into the selection of school staff and principal.

Through involvement of school staff, parents, students and other community members, site councils can create more effective learning environments for children.

In some cases, site councils can make decisions. In other cases, site councils can make recommendations. In all cases, Board of Education policies on curriculum, standards and assessment must be followed.


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Why Develop a Site Council?

As a site council, members of a school community work together to:
  • improve student achievement;
  • define school goals;
  • shape school policy and procedures;
  • solve problems;
  • provide a forum for the community's voice in key decisions;
  • foster greater creativity in the design of programs;
  • nurture new leadership at all levels;
  • serve to refine the school's program and identity.
A site council provides principals, teachers, parents, and student's greater control over the education process by giving them some responsibility for school wide decisions and goals.

The ultimate goal of the site council is to provide for greater involvement and enhancement of the stakeholders in making decisions that will improve student learning in the cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor areas.

STUDENTS … see parents, staff, and community members contributing to the well-being of their school.

STAFF … receives support for school priorities and gain the benefit of parents' and community members' experiences and insights.

PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS … become partners with school staff in the education of students and learn about important school operations.

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ROLE OF THE SITE COUNCIL MEMBER:

Site Council members will work with the site council chairs and principal to:
  • Attend and participate in scheduled meetings in accordance with the by-laws. The site council meeting will be once a month for one and one half hours at pre-designated times (adding meeting or committee work time as needed);
  • Appoint an alternate or voting proxy if absent;
  • Listen to members and other key groups; serve their needs;
  • Be committed to serving the school;
  • Help shape and support the school mission and vision;
  • Be informed about school programs, curriculum, activities, and committees;
  • Serve on committees as needed;
  • Be a respectful participant and work as a team to discuss goals and elect leadership positions;
  • Develop goal areas from the site council notebook and the School Improvement Plan to focus on during the year;
  • Communicate the council work to the whole school community and encourage feedback;
  • Learn about the districts long term goals.

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ROLE OF THE SITE COUNCIL CHAIR:

Site Council chairs provide important leadership to site council efforts. Working with other school leaders, site council chairs help identify important issues, build strong relationships among people and groups, and help shape goals that serve the best interests of all students. The site council chair will be expected to:
  • Identify and prioritize important issues for the site council to discuss;
  • Listen to members and other key groups; serve their needs;
  • Work with the principal and council members to set agendas;
  • Be committed to serving the school;
  • Help shape and support the school mission and vision;
  • Have strong organizational and communication skills;
  • Learn about the district's long-term goals;
  • Be informed about current educational topics;
  • Be able to tell others about your school, including demographics, test scores, goals, programs and services;
  • Run meetings efficiently and fairly;
  • Help the site council come to consensus on decisions;
  • Help ensure the site council has a diverse group of members;

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Council Size, Terms and Selection Process

The council will consist of 9 members - expanding that number for special projects if necessary.

Staff and parents would be represented, adding business and community members as the council develops. The nine member council will be made up of 4 parents, 4 staff members and the principal.

One parent member will be a PTSA liaison.

Teacher union membership will be represented or connected through a liaison on the council.

The council will be as diverse and representative as possible.

The initial council will be appointed by the COT committee from self (volunteers) and outside nominations. Completed applications will demonstrate the applicant's desire to follow the PCS mission/vision, and work for the success of all community members. At least 50% of the first site council membership will maintain members from the original COT committee to ensure a seamless transition. For the 2004/2005 school year, nominations will be accepted from November 10th through November 24th.

Member terms will be 2 or 3 years. Two members (both parents and teachers) will serve 2 year terms and two members (both parents and teachers) will serve 3 year terms. The terms will run October - October.


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Authority, Responsibility and Accountability

In successful site based improvement, site councils and their principals work collaboratively, in partnership. They listen to each other and learn from each other. By working together, they solve problems creatively and reach higher quality results than either could do alone.

Site councils are not the ultimate decision-making body in the school, the principal is. However, site councils do not need ultimate authority in order to influence their school's quality and development in meaningful ways.

The site council will hold regularly scheduled meetings open to anyone (District staff will be welcome at all meetings). The council will allow anyone (staff member, student, parent or community members) to present an issue at the council in writing. For each issue, the Co-Chairs and the Principal will decide if it is a council issue and/or it needs referral to an individual (e.g. Principal) or to another school committee or group. The council can create a task force to address an issue not covered by existing committees. The issue's sponsor can be invited to discuss the issue with the council. All people who submit issues will receive a response and be told to whom their issue was referred. The council may also decide to address the issue at a later date depending on priorities, time and resources.

School districts are responsible for the quality of education delivered. The school district holds the principal both responsible and accountable for decisions made at the site level. Decisions made by the principal must be guided by the following:
1) School Board Policy
2) Federal, State, and Local Laws
3) Employee contracts
4) District 623 K-12 System Outcomes
5) District 623 Professional Development System


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Timeline for Implementation 2004-2005


Nov 9: School Board Approves PCS Site Council

Nov 15-29: Application process. Application and summary of the Site Council Procedures available in the PCS Main Office and online at the PCS Website.

There will be 9 members on the Site Council: the Principal, 4 parents, and 4 staff members.

50% of the first year membership will include members of the original council organization group to ensure a smooth transition.

Nov 29: FINAL DAY FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS.

Dec 10: Site Council membership determined.

January 2005: First Site Council meeting

Meetings will be monthly from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. (Dates organized by the Council membership.)


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