When the School and Library Improvement Block Grant (SLIBG) and the School Based Coordinated Program (SBCP) were established, they were envisioned as ways to increase school wide effectiveness, improve student achievement, and over time, better prepare students to be productive workers and responsible citizens. One of the principal tenets of these programs was that those individuals closest to the students should be more involved in making significant decisions affecting the instructional program of the school. The School Site Council (SSC) was selected to be the vehicle by which the school community would come together to chart the school’s path to improvement. CUSD both encourages and values the role our community members play while serving on our SSCs across the district. If you would like additional information, please call your child’s school or Gary Comstock in the Department of Supplemental Services at 327.0661 or email at [email protected]. You may request the CUSD Categorical Programs Handbook for School Site council (SSC) and English Leaner Advisory Committee (ELAC) Procedures for specific information. For SSC Meeting dates at your child’s school, please call the school office. All meetings are open to the public. The California Department of Education offers information at the CDE Web Site at http://www.cde.gov.
OVERVIEW OF THE SSC
The primary task of the SSC is to ensure that the school is continually engaged in identifying and implementing curriculum and instructional practices that result in both strengthening the core academic program and ensuring that students have access and success in that program. This core program should embody the district’s curriculum, which itself should reflect the state frameworks and curriculum standards. As the SSC goes about allocating the available supplemental resources, it should strive to keep its focus on establishing and maintaining a comprehensive and ongoing strategy to improve curriculum and instruction. The SSC should not limit its vision to using the supplemental resources to meet the demand of the moment or to purchase a single fixed solution to be used in perpetuity. Instead, it should establish and maintain a vision of the skills and knowledge students will need to be successful at each stage of their school career and determine what supports can be provided to enable such success to occur. Additionally, the SSC should maintain flexibility in its allocation of resources in order to enable the school to continually address the changing needs of the school.
The SSC is charged with the task of developing and approaching a school plan for using the supplemental resources to increase the student’s understanding of and success in learning the core curriculum. The school’s improvement effort should also be coordinated with the district’s effort to upgrade its curriculum offerings and quality of instruction in order that both the school, though the SSC, and the local governing board, through the district office, become part of a single improvement effort. The unified effort requires that the staff of the district office and the SSC establish and maintain formal lines of communication to ensure that they engage in efforts that support and reinforce a common goal.
The SSC is uniquely suited to carry out this function since it is representative of all segments of the school community. Being composed of the principal, teachers, other school personnel, parents, and the secondary level students; it provides a forum for all the major players in the school to come together to identify common goals and establish a plan to achieve these goals. The SSC’s success depends upon both the ability and willingness of all those involved in the process to work together in a cooperative manner to develop an effective curricular and instructional program in which all students may attain higher levels of academic competence.
SCHOOL SITE COUNCILS: THEIR COMPOSITE, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Authorization for School Site Councils
- School Based Coordinated Program Education Code Sections 52800-52887
- Clovis Unified School District Policy, Administrative Regulation, And Exhibit #7503
- School Site Council Bylaws
Specific California Education Code Requirements for School Site Councils
School site Council: Composition. A School Site Council shall be established at each school which participates in school-based program coordination. The council shall be composed of the principal and representative of: teachers at the school; parents of pupils attending the school selected by such parents; and, in secondary schools, pupils selected by pupils attending the school.
At the elementary level council shall be constituted to ensure parity (a) the principal, classroom teachers and other school personnel; and (b) parents or other community members selected by parents. At the secondary level the council shall be constituted to ensure parity between (a) the principal, classroom teachers and other school personnel; and (b) equal numbers of parents, or other community members selected by parents, and pupils. At both the elementary and secondary levels, classroom teachers shall compromise the majority of persons represented under category (a). Existing school wide advisory groups or school support groups may be utilized as the School Site Council if those groups conform of this selection.
An employee of a school who is also a parent or guardian of a pupil who attends a school other than the school of the parent’s or guardian’s employment, is not disqualified by virtue of this employment from serving as a parent representative on the School Site Council established for the school that his or her child attends.
Duties of the Governing Board. The governing board of each school district shall:
- Ensure that the principal of every school receives information covering the provisions of this article, and provides such information to teachers, other school personnel, parents, and, in secondary schools, pupils.
- Adopt policies to ensure that, prior to a school beginning to develop a plan pursuant to Selection 52853, a School Site Council as described in Section 52852 is established at the school site to consider whether or not it wishes the local school to participate in the school-based coordination program. The board shall ensure that all interested persons, including, but not limited to, the principal, teachers, other school personnel, parents, and in secondary schools, pupils have an opportunity to meet in public to establish the council.
- Ensure that funds coordinated pursuant to this article are used to supplement, not supplant, existing state and local fiscal efforts and that schools which receive the funds shall have base expenditures comparable to non-participating schools.
Development and Content of School Plan
- The School Site Council shall develop a school plan which shall include all of the following:
- Curricula, instructions strategies, and materials responsive to the individual needs and learning styles of each pupil.
- Instructional and auxiliary services to meet the special needs of non- English-speaking or limited- English-speaking pupils, including instruction in a language these pupils understand; educationally disadvantaged pupils; gifted and talented pupils; and pupils with exceptional needs.
- A staff developed program for teachers, other school personnel, paraprofessionals, and volunteers, including those participating in special programs.
- Ongoing evaluation of the educational program of the school.
- Other activities and objectives as established by the council.
- The proposed expenditures of funds available to the school through he programs described in Section 52851. For purposes of this subdivision, proposed expenditures pf funds available to the school through the programs described in Section 52851 shall include, but not limited to, salaries and staff benefits for persons providing services for those programs.
- The proposed expenditures of funds available to the school through the federal improving America’s School Act of 1994 (IASA) (20 United States Code 6301 et sec.), and its amendments. If the school operates a state- approved school wide program pursuant to 6314 of Title 20 of the USC in a manner consistent with the expenditures of funds available to the school pursuant to 52851, employees of the school wide program may be deemed funded by a single cost objective.
- The School Site Council shall annually review the school plan, establish a new budget, and if necessary, make other modifications in the plan to reflect changing needs and priorities.
School Plan on Student Achievement (SPSA) Approval
The school district governing board shall review and approve or disapprove school plans. A school plan shall not be approved unless it was developed and recommended by the School Site Council. If a plan is not approved by the governing board, specific reasons for that action shall be communicated to the council. Modifications to any school plan shall be developed, recommended, and approved or disapproved in the same manner. You may access a site’s SPSA at the school home page.
Responsibilities of the School Site Council
- Develop and approve the school plan (a comprehensive program plan designed to improve the effectiveness of the school program). (Education Code 52034, 52855, 54722)
CCR Title 5, 3930… Each school receiving consolidated application funds as defined in 3900 (b), (c), (d), (h), and (i) shall develop a comprehensive program plan for students who will receive additional services from these funds. Each plan shall be based on assessment of school capability to meet the educational needs of each pupil, specify objectives, and indicate steps necessary to achieve such objectives, including intended outcomes. This comprehensive plan shall account for all program services for participating students, including at least those provided by district and by consolidated application program funds.
- Annually review the school plan, establish a new budget, and if necessary, make other modifications in the plan to reflect changing needs and priorities. (Education Code 52021, 52853, 54726)
- Recommended the approval of the school plan as revised to the District Governing Board. If the school plan is not approved by the Board, specific reasons for that action shall be developed, recommended, and approved or disapproved in the same manner. (Education Code 52034, 52855, 54722)
- Meet on regular basis to become informed, share information, discuss needs and successes, and plan program improvements.
- Participate in the monitoring and evaluation of the school plan programs.
- Participate as necessary in Categorical Program Monitoring (CPM)
- Develop a system for ongoing communication with parents, community members, the school staff, and the District.
- Plan and approve one-time site expenditures allocated in the annual state budget.
Laws, Regulations, and Policies that Apply to All Schools and Committees
- The State Legislature and Governor establishes laws that govern the operations of all school districts in California. These laws are contained in the Education Code.
- The State Board of Education sets forth the policies and procedures for all school districts in California. These appear in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
- The School Board sets the policies of the district.
- The district and school administration make the decisions which are consistent with Board policies regarding the operation of the schools and the implementation of the educational programs.
- All contractual agreements with employee groups must be followed.
- Each SSC should have a set of bylaws that guide SSC operations.
Characteristics of Effective School Site Councils
- Recognizes its responsibilities and carries them out in an efficient manner.
- Has a diverse composition.
- Communicates with the broader school community.
- Has a clear understanding of its purpose and goals.
- Makes progress toward its goals with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of wasted effort.
- Is able to look ahead and plan ahead.
- Has achieved a high degree of inter-communication.
- Is able to initiate and carry on effective problem solving.
- Is objective about its own functioning; can face its problem and make modifications as needed.
- Maintains a good balance with rational behavior.
- Strikes an appropriate balance between group productivity and the satisfaction of individual needs.
- Provides for sharing of leadership responsibilities by group members.
- Provides an atmosphere in which members freely express their feelings and points of view.
- Has a high degree of cohesiveness or solidarity but not to the point of stifling individuality.
- Makes intelligent use of diverse/ different abilities of its members.
- Faces reality and sticks to issues that are vital to its members.
- Is not dominated by its leader or by any of its members.
- Recognizes that the end result is often the result of available means.
- Recognizes the values and limitations of democratic methods.
The Purpose of School Site Council Meetings
- To carry out the legislative requirements of an SSC.
- To discuss issues and programs and make decisions.
- To improve communication.
- To develop leadership.
- To develop the School Site Plan and set goals.
- To share information and educate the group.
- To improve overall organizational productivity and effectiveness.
- To become more informed about categorical programs.
Operating the School Site Council (Bylaws)
Each School Site Council (SSC) should define for itself in writing the way it will be organized and the rules under which it will conduct business. Each CUSD School operates under a set of Bylaws that are reviewed on an annual basis. These rules relating to the way in which the members will act will vary depending upon local circumstances and make decisions regarding main areas outlined below.
- Name of Council
- Role of Council
- Membership of the SSC
- Officer of the SSC
- Committees of the SSC
- Meetings of the SSC
These decisions would be developed into a written set of bylaws by which the SSC would operate. The original bylaws should be approved by the majority of the SSC providing there is a quorum present. For on-going SSC’s, the bylaws should be periodically reviewed in order to ensure that all sections remain applicable. Revisions to the bylaws may be made when the need arises. All revisions should be approved by the majority of the SSC providing there is a quorum present. A copy of the SSC’s bylaws should be included in the School Plan for Student Achievement and be on file at the school for public review.