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Search Board Policy

AR 0420 School-Based Management/Site Councils

KPBSD Policy Manual

AR 0420

Philosophy-Goals-Objectives and Comprehensive Plans
SCHOOL-BASED MANAGEMENT/SITE COUNCILS

Philosophy:
The Board of Education is committed to the continuous improvement of student learning and believes that student achievement can be enhanced through increasing the level of involvement of school community members affected by educational decisions.

Purpose and Role:
School councils function as an advisory body in the joint planning and problem solving processes for improving student learning that occur at the local school level.  Individual members of school councils will bring ideas to and from their constituent group and then, after discussion and input, act as “people of goodwill” making the best decisions for the students of the school.

Council Composition:
School councils shall include representation of the following:

 Principal
 Teachers (2)
 Support Staff (1)
 Parents (3)
 Non-parent community member (1)
Student – Secondary schools (1-4)
             -- Elementary school (optional)

Principal’s leadership and expertise are essential to a well-functioning site council. Individual site council bylaws should indicate whether the principal is part of the voting (consensus) on recommendations.

School councils may elect to expand their membership providing the proportionate representations of all groups (except the principal in one-administrator schools) remain the same.

In the absence of proportional membership in any of the representative groups, after a reasonable and documented effort has been made to enlist participation, the remaining members shall constitute a duly formed council and may conduct their business according to appropriately developed bylaws of the school based decision making council. 

Charter Schools are exempt from the requirement for site councils as their Academic Policy Committee (APC) serves as the decision-making body representing parents.

Council Selection:

Principal:  selected by virtue of his/her position and shall have the responsibility to guide the council in developing an organizational structure for conducting the council’s business

Employees (teachers and support staff):  eligible staff must be assigned to the school for more than 50% of their daily schedule.  Itinerant teachers will be considered members of their home-based school.

Parents:  eligible parents must have a child in the school during the period of elected service.  The system for election is defined in the bylaws of school council.  Recognized parent groups should be represented on the school council.

Non-parent community member:  elected by the seated members of the council following a nomination process conducted by the principal, in accordance with the school council bylaws.

Student(s):  elected through a process defined at the school level, in accordance with the school council bylaws.

Elected school council members may stand for re-election if they continue to meet the requirements of the position. Council members shall not be District Board of Education members.  Parent and non-parent community members shall not be employees of the District assigned in any capacity (except short-term substitute or stipends) to the school of their representation.

Parameters and Functions:

School councils shall conduct their business in compliance with the following:

• Alaska Statutes
• Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Regulations
• Board of Education Policies
• Federal Laws and Regulations related to education
• Negotiated Agreements and Associated Variances
• School District Administrative Regulations and Rules (i.e. enrollment, calendar, transportation, fiscal services, purchasing, environmental requirements [OSHA, AHERA], staffing formulas, curriculum, assessments)
• Contracts with suppliers and vendors
• Budgetary limitations
• Student Activity Association requirements
• Limitations defined by Board of Education action or administrative mandates

Bylaws:

All school councils shall operate under bylaws adopted by the council and filed with the Superintendent.  Bylaws should be reviewed annually with amendments proposed as needed. School council decisions will be made by consensus as defined in the council bylaws.   All meetings, notices, agenda topics, and minutes are to be disseminated to the public and school community.

Bylaws should specifically address the following elements:

• School mission statement
• Composition of the school council and terms of service
• Officers
• Agenda setting
• Meeting frequency, date, time, and requirement to be publicly held in accordance with the Alaska Open Meetings Act 
        (A minimum of four meetings is required per year)
• Minutes 
        (Copies sent to the Superintendent after each meeting)
        (Posted and/or distributed to the school population)
        (Copies retained for five years in the school office for possible future reference by the public or staff)
• Process for revision of bylaws
• Process for Community input/participation in council work
        (See attached Exhibit for sample form)
• Self-evaluation to be completed annually with recommendation to assess  community input/participation in council work
        (District identified process submitted to the Board of Education– see attached Exhibit)
• Who may speak for or represent the council and under what circumstances. 

General Operation:

The principal remains the sole administrator of the school and will operate the school within the normal constraints of the District, including working with the school council.  When Districts and schools establish school councils that foster involvement focused on improving student achievement, all children benefit.  To that end, input from school councils may be considered on decisions affecting school improvement plans such as:

• Inservice plans
• School staffing patterns
• Curricular initiatives/projects/courses
• Capital improvement and maintenance project needs
• Co-curricular activities
• School policies
• School budget
• Scheduling
• Preferred qualifications/characteristics for staff hires
• Concerns brought to the council by the public
• Parent/Student Handbooks
• Local needs based on student data
• Negotiating charter school shared facility agreements
• Facility improvement/modifications
• Pupil activity funds
• Board and district goals

Selection of School Administrator:

When a vacancy at a school site for the principal principal/teacher becomes known, the Superintendent will consult with the School Council.  The Council will provide the Superintendent with input regarding selection qualifications for candidates.  Additionally, opportunities will also be provided for individual community or school members to provide information regarding preferred qualifications/characteristics that they would like candidates to possess.  If an opening is determined, the Superintendent will cause the position to be advertised, will receive applications, screen and evaluate materials and conduct interviews.  When possible, interviews will be open to the public to observe and will be conducted at the school with written opportunities for evaluation available to those observing. The Superintendent will make the selection, subject to approval by the Board of Education. However, if an internal candidate who already has a current district administrative contract is selected, the Board will be notified of the appointment.

Waiver Process:

School councils that conclude their work in improving student performance is impeded or frustrated by the existence of a District policy or administrative regulation may petition for a waiver from the requirements.  Written requests are submitted for consideration by the Superintendent.  Waivers of policy and regulation must meet the following criteria:

  1. Identify the specific policy, regulation, or requirement, which the council wishes to have waived.
  2. Describe the manner in which the policy, regulation, or requirement impedes the improvement of student achievement in that setting.
  3. Detail the manner in which the council anticipates accomplishing the intent of the policy, regulation, or requirement for which the waiver is sought.

The curriculum of the District is, by statute and policy, defined by the Board of Education.  Departure from the prescribed curriculum will require approval consistent with the Board of Education regulation BP 6141 Curriculum Development.

District Support:

District office personnel will collect, interpret, and provide student performance data to the local school.  The school councils will use this data as they review and assure alignment between school development plans/school council activities and the focus on improvement of student learning.

In addition, District office personnel will use their specialties to assist school councils in operations and training, particularly in the following areas:

• Operational rules for school councils
• Conflict resolution
• Effective meetings
• Consensus building
• Techniques for active listening
• Goal setting processes, implementation plans, and assessment processes
• School council committees– to maximize involvement from constituencies
• Team building
• Assessing community attitudes
• Writing/updating bylaws
• Alaska Open Meetings Act
• Curriculum Development Process


KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
Adoption Date: 6/03/2013

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