As enacted by the state legislature in the Education Reform Act of 1993, a school council shall be established in each school to advise the principal in specific areas of school operation.
The council shall consist of:
- School principal, who shall co-chair the council;
- Parents of students attending the school who shall be selected by the parents of students attending such school, chosen in elections held by the local recognized Parent Teacher Organization under the direction of the principal, or if no parent organization exists, chosen by a representative process approved by the School Committee. Parents shall have parity with professional personnel on the school councils;
- Teachers who shall be selected by the teachers in such school;
- Other persons, not parents or teachers of students at the school, drawn from such groups or entities as municipal government, business and labor organizations, institutions of higher education, human services agencies or other interested groups;
- And for Gardner High School, at least one such student; provided, however, that not more than fifty percent of the council shall be non-school members.
The principal, except as specifically defined in the law, shall have the responsibility for defining the composition of and forming the group pursuant to a representative process approved by the superintendent and school committee.
The school committee believes that the school council is the key unit for educational improvement and change and that successful school improvement is best accomplished through a school-based decision-making process. By involving those directly affected by any action or decision of the school council in the process of determining that action or decision, it helps to strengthen the commitment to those decisions by those most affected by its implementation.
Under this policy, the principal shall have primary responsibility for the management of the school. Decisions that are made at the school level must be aligned with the budget, policies, curriculum, and long-range and short-range goals adopted by the school committee. In addition, decisions must comply with any state and federal laws and regulations and with any negotiated agreements of the school district.
The following guidelines define the role of the school council:
1. Adoption of educational goals for the school that are consistent with state law and local policies and standards.
2. Assist in the identification of educational needs of the students attending the school.
3. Implement and assessment of curriculum accommodation plan.
4. Review of the school building budget.
5. Formulation of a school improvement plan.
[Revised: December 2001]
[Revised: April 2005]
[Reviewed: September 2011]
M.G.L. 71:38Q1/2, 71:59C