School Site Councils are the major part of the overall decision-making structure at each school. They are a very special group of people who are elected by their peers to represent the members of a school community. Their primary role is to guide the Single Plan for Student Achievement process to ensure that the needs of all students are specifically addressed in the School Site Plan. The School Site Plan is a living document that highlights the goals for the school and the programs and dollars that the school needs to turn these goals into a reality for students.
School Site Councils are forums for shared governance. Recent research suggests that such shared decision-making, when done well, contributes to improved school culture and a strong professional community of educators. In addition, effective shared decision-making supports improved classroom practice and student learning. These results indicate that democratic structures like School Site Councils are integral to school success.
The School Site Council:
- Reviews the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and monitors its implementation, periodically assessing its effectiveness and communicating its status to the community;
- Approves and monitors the associated budget. (as consistent with EducationCode);
- Takes actions as required by the laws of the State of California and the policies of the Norwalk - La Mirada Unified School District;
- Establishes and communicates school-wide priorities for current school year
- Identifies, develops and implements areas that strengthen the core programs
- Maintains a web of communication between SSC, principal, parents, teachers, students, and community members
- The SSC consists of 3 students, 3 parents/community members, 4 teachers, 1 other staff, and the principal.
- School Site Council Meetings are held monthly during the school year; the calendar of dates is established at the beginning of the year. Special meetings may be called by the chair as well. All regular and special meetings of SSC are open to the public at all times.
- The recording secretary records the minutes of the meeting which include: list of attendees, topics of discussion and resulting action items (not details of discussion); information/facts related by principals or members; motions carried; dates for upcoming meetings.
- Any person may speak to any agenda item; however, only elected members shall vote on SSC issues. A simple majority of the SSC constitutes a quorum.
5. SPSA REVIEW
The SPSA (School Plan for Student Achievement) is a yearly working plan for the school, updated in the spring for the following year. The district defines the structure and content of the plan. Three sections of the plan are of particular interest to the SSC:
- School priorities are based on: the district directed priorities; results of the SSC, parent, teacher surveys; input from the teachers, SSC and PTO. Priorities are set by the principal in April/May, to be included in the SPSA and to be used in subsequent budget decisions.