Lawrencetown Consolidated School

School Advisory Council Presentation:

Roles and Responsibilities

November 8, 2004

 

WHAT IS SCHOOL ADVISORY

COUNCIL?

 

    Legally recognized body

 

Composed of representatives of:

 

     Parents

     Community members

     Teachers

     Support staff

     Principal

     Students (grades 7-12)

 

    Advisory capacity - to increase

     The quality of education provided by the school

    Engages all partners in problem solving & shared decision-making

    Does not replace the need for Home & School Associations

 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

 

The movement to establish school advisory councils is guided by the following principles:

    Education is a shared responsibility

    Student needs must be the first consideration for all decision making

    People at the local school level are in the best position to make decisions that truly meet the needs of students

     Increasing the quality of education means creating continually improving schools

    Partners need to practice teamwork skills and strategies to manage change effectively

    Change must take into account the unique characteristics of each community

    Partners must work together to create a flexible and adaptable school system

    Involving the community in improving the school will enhance the educational experience for students

 

PURPOSE

 

To advise the school principal and/or the school board on specific educational issues.

To contribute  to decisions that can support teaching, learning, and school improvement.

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

       5-18 members (not more than 1/3 from any group).

       Parents of children in the school -elected.

At least two students (7- 12level)-elected.

       Other community representatives -appointed or elected.

       Teachers - elected by staff.

       Other support staff - elected by staff.

       School principal - permanent member.

       School board will arbitrate membership disputes.

       Staggered terms (1 to 3 years).

       Vacant positions filled by appointments until next voting period.

       Council Chair - elected annually by members.

       Principal may have voting privileges.

 

Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture

School Advisory Council Guideline                                                                                       December 1996

 

 

SAC RESPONSIBILITIES

    Provide each partner with a voice in decision-making

     Collaborate with all school staff in developing a school improvement plan

    Submit the school improvement plan to the school board

    Assist in developing school policies which promote academic excellence and a positive learning environment

    Develop ways and strategies to improve and support the extra-curricular program and special projects in the school

    Advise the principal and staff on school level issues related to curriculum and programs, school practices, and policies in areas such as student discipline, fundraising, and parent-school communication

    Advise the school board on issues such as curriculum and programs, student-support services, policy development, funding, and communication strategies

     Participate in the selection of the school principal by representation on the school board's selection committee

    Prepare an annual accountability report that describes school improvement activities undertaken during the year, specific results that have been achieved, and factors that influenced the results

    Maintain effective communication among the partners by holding regular, open public meetings and circulating written information

    Develop by-laws subject to the approval of the school board

 

 

School advisory councils will not:

 

    Take on the role of the teacher, principal, support staff, or school board, each of whom has professional and legal responsibilities

    Be involved in the day-to-day professional management of the school

    Allow special interest or single interest groups to dominate the agenda of the council

    Hire, suspend, dismiss or discipline any employee of a school board

 

 

SAC ROLES

 

Chairperson

                        Facilitates I leads council meetings

            Communicates with the principal and the school board

            Helps to seek consensus and resolve conflicts

            Assists principals in communicating the annual accountability report to the partners

 

Executive

            Organizes the agenda for council meetings in consultation with the principal

            Records and maintains council minutes

            Represents the council at other meetings

            Organizes the schedule of events for the council

 

Council Members

            Develop and recommend a school improvement plan with the school staff

            Communicate with groups they represent

            Work as team members

            Develop the Letter of Agreement

            Write and revise council by-laws

            Participate in the development of the council's annual accountability report

 

Principal

            Provides educational leadership

            Helps to establish the school advisory council

            Assists the chairperson in presenting the annual accountability report to the partners

            Consults with the council on relevant school issues

            Gives periodic updates on the school improvement process

            Responds to the advice of the council

            Assists the council in developing the school improvement plan

            Co-ordinates the implementation of the school improvement plan

            Assists the council in the preparation of the annual accountability report

            Communicates with staff, students, council, and school board

 

School Board

                         Encourages the establishment of councils

            Develops the Letters of Agreement with the school advisory councils

            Consults with the councils on educational issues

            Organizes professional development opportunities for the councils

            Gives feedback to councils on their annual accountability reports

            Develops policies and procedures that support school advisory councils

            Mediates partner conflicts

            Approves school improvement plans and annual accountability reports

 

Benefits of a School Advisory Council

 

Students should

            See parents and community members taking a more active role in the school

            Have more opportunities to connect school with the world outside

            Benefit from an increased focus on improving achievement

            Have their representatives more involved in decision making

 

Parents and community members should

Have a better understanding about teaching, learning, and the school curriculum

            Influence school priorities that affect students

            Exchange ideas and concerns with other partners

            Share a sense of accomplishment as the school and students succeed

            Assume increased responsibility for the success of the school

 

 

 

Teachers, staff, and Principals should

Receive increased support and feedback from parents and community members

            Have a better understanding of the community expectations and students needs for the next century

            Work with partners who better understand the teachers' role and value their efforts

            Gain support for changes needed in the school

 

Students should

See parents and community members taking a more active role in the school

            Have more opportunities to connect school with the world outside

            Benefit from an increased focus on improving achievement

            Have their representatives more involved in decision making

 

Parents and community members should

                        Have a better understanding about teaching, learning, and the school curriculum

            Influence school priorities that affect students

            Exchange ideas and concerns with other partners

 

 

Annapolis Valley Regional School Board

School Success Planning

Involving the School Advisory Council

 

 

One of the SAC's primary responsibilities as set out in the Education Act is to participate in the development of a School Success (Improvement) Plan along with the school's staff. SAC then submits the plan to the Board for approval and writes and submits an annual report.

SAC's can support the School Success Planning process in a variety of ways. Some suggestions include:

 

   Assisting with the development of the school profile. The profile describes the current status and performance of multiple aspects of the school.

   Assist with data collection, organization and analysis. Data collection tools might include perception 'a~nd satisfaction level surveys for parents, students and staff; focus groups; interviews; examining school records; assessment results, etc.

   Participate in school planning sessions

Offer input with the principal acting as liaison with SAC and staff

   Assume a role in implementing a component of the School Success Plan

   Assist in designing a tracking and evaluation plan to monitor implementation

   Monitor plan implementation and progress through monthly updates at SAC meetings

   Assist in communicating the plan and its progress to partners and the public

Assist in accessing resources needed to implement the plan