School Governance Council

It is the policy of the Sterling Board of Education (Board) to endorse and support parent, staff, student and community involvement in school governance. It is the intent of the Board that Sterling Community School will have a School Governance Council (Council) that enables parents, school staff, students (when appropriate), and community to work together in facilitating quality educational plans that engender continuous improvement of student achievement. It is the responsibility of the Principal to develop and maintain effective organizational structures and processes for advisement in the school in conjunction with the School Governance Council.

Composition of the School Governance Council

The School Governance Council for the Sterling Community School shall consist of (a) seven members who shall be parents or guardians of students attending the school, (b) two members who shall be community leaders within the school District, (c) five members who shall be teachers at the school, and (d) one nonvoting member who is the principal of the school, or his or her designee. The parent or guardian members shall be elected by the parents/guardians of students attending the school, provided, for purposes of the election, each household with a student attending the school shall have one vote. The community leader members shall be elected by the parent or guardian members and teacher members of the Council. The teacher members shall be elected by the teachers of the school.

Responsibilities of School Governance Council

The School Governance Council serves in an advisory capacity and shall assist the school administration in the areas listed below:

1. Analyze school achievement data and school needs relative to the improvement plan for the school;

2. Review the fiscal objectives of the draft budget for the school and advise the Principal before the budget is submitted to the Superintendent of Schools;

3. Participate in the hiring process of the school Principal or other administrators of the school by conducting interviews of candidates and reporting on such interviews to the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education;

4. Assist the Principal in making programmatic and operational changes to improve the school’s achievement;

5. Develop and approve written school parent involvement policy that outlines the role of parents and guardians. (Note: A school’s Title I parent involvement policy can serve the purpose of the policy required under this section.); and

6. Work with school administrators in developing and approving a school compact for parents, legal guardians and students that outlines the school’s goals and academic focus identifying ways that parents and school personnel can build a partnership to improve student learning. (Note: A school’s Title I compact can serve the purpose of the compact required under this section.)

In addition to its required responsibilities, a Council may:

1. Assist in developing and reviewing the school improvement plan and advise the Principal before the report is submitted to the Superintendent of Schools.

2. Work with the Principal to develop, conduct and report the results of an annual survey of parents, guardians, and teachers on issues related to the school climate and conditions.

3. Provide advice to the Principal on any other major policy matters affecting the school, except on matters relating to collective bargaining agreements between the teachers and the Board of Education.

4. Utilize records relating to information about parents and guardians of students maintained by the Board of Education for the sole purpose of the election to the Council. Such information shall be confidential and shall only be disclosed as provided in the statute and shall not be further disclosed.

The Council, after being in place for three years, may vote to recommend that a school be reconstituted, in accordance with the provisions of law. The Council may not vote to reconstitute if the school was already reconstituted. Such reconstitution, determined by an affirmative vote, shall be to one of the following models: (a) Turnaround model, (b) Restart model, (c) Transformation model, (d) CommPACT School, (e) Innovation School, or (f) any other model that may be developed under federal law.

Note: Within 10 days of receiving a recommendation for reconstitution the Board must hold a public hearing to discuss the vote and at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting or ten days after the public hearing, whichever is later, conduct a vote to accept the model recommended by the Governing Council, select an alternate model or maintain the current school status. Other timelines are established in the statute regarding an alternative model chosen by the Board and required discussions and role of the Commissioner of Education.

The Board of Education recognizes its statutory responsibility and will provide appropriate training and instruction to members of the School Governance Council to aid them in the execution of their duties. (Districts should consider using Title I parent involvement funding, where applicable, to support the work of the Councils.) In addition to School Governance Councils’ responsibilities, the Board believes it is also important to recognize the limits of their advisory function. The duties of School Governance Councils do not entail activities including, but not limited to:

1. Managing the school;

2. Supervising staff;

3. Entering into contracts or purchase agreements;

4. Discussing individual issues between teachers and students and/or parents;

5. Determining student eligibility for school admission; or

6. Determining class allocations or student assignments.

The Board recognizes that School Governance Councils shall be subject to an evaluation by the Commissioner of Education. In addition, a School Governance Council shall be considered a component of parental involvement for purposes of federal funding pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110.