Purpose of Site Councils
The original purpose of school site councils was to transform schools into effective learning environments by providing school staff and school community members with the authority, flexibility and resources they need to solve educational problems and implement change. Site councils give ownership to those responsible for carrying out decisions by involving them directly in making the decisions, while enabling the school community to create school conditions that facilitate improvement, innovation and continuous learning.
The purpose of the school site council is to advise the school on such matters as student learning, education programs, school improvement planning, and accreditation issues. The site council also plays an advocacy role for the school regarding the same issues.
Specifically, the purpose is to:
- Provide advice and counsel to the school in developing, implementing, and evaluating school performance goals and objectives;
- Present recommendations and guidance in regard to the methods to meet those goals and objectives;
- Provide ongoing support for the students and staff of the school, and any other assistance that the BOE may request.
In addition, school site councils may:
- Make recommendations regarding budgetary matters for efficient and effective administrative and management functions.
- Assist school boards in analyzing the unique environment of schools, enhance the efficiency and maximize limited resources.
Each school with 21 or more English earners (also known as LEP students), regardless of language, must form a functioning English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) or subcommittee of an existing advisory committee.
On the committee, the percentage of parents of English learners is to be at least the same as that of English learners at the school. The committee members must hold elections of officers and have a delegate to the DELAC. After formation and training of the ELAC, the ELAC may delegate its legal responsibilities to an existing school advisory committee or subcommittee. Although ELACs have the option of delegating duties and responsibilities to School Site Council, another school advisory committee, most have functioning committees.
The purpose of the ELAC (or subcommittee, if appropriate) is to advise the principal and school staff on programs and services for English learners. Trainings are provided by DELAC to insure that ELACs run effectively. The committee advises (reviews and comments) on at least the following:
- Development of a detailed master plan for English learner education for the individual school and submits the plan to the district governing board for its possible consideration and inclusion in the district’s English learner education master plan.
- Development of the school’s needs assessment.
- Administration of the school’s annual language census.
- Ways to make parents aware of the importance of regular school attendance.
It is advisable to calendar these agenda items at the first ELAC to assure they are addressed.