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AA437 – Parent Involvement and School Community Councils

  • Effective: 8/6/1991
  • Reviewed: 8/27/2013
  • Revision: 11/24/2015

  1. Board Directive
    The Board of Education encourages both parental involvement in the operation of the school district and parental participation in the educational process.  Therefore, the Board authorizes the District Administration to develop procedures to build effective communication between parents, teachers, and administrators; to provide parents with opportunities to be actively involved in their children's education; and to establish School Community Councils for receiving community input on local school issues.
  2. Administration Policy
    This policy shall be administered according to the following administrative policy provisions:

    1. Parent Involvement at the District Level
      1. Parents shall be represented on District committees and advisory groups, as appropriate.
      2. Parent members of the District consolidated student achievement plan committee shall participate in an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of school and make recommendations for policy revisions based upon evaluation findings.
      3. Parents may address the Board at school board meetings, public hearings, and other appropriate occasions.
    2. Parent Involvement at Local Schools
      1. The District will provide technical assistance and other support necessary to assist schools in planning and implementing effective parental involvement plans to improve student academic achievement and performance.
      2. Schools shall provide opportunities for parents to serve as school volunteers. (See policy DE502—Volunteer Services.)
      3. Schools are encouraged to draw upon the talents of parents for special presentations, enrichment activities, and other events or circumstances where parent participation may enhance the curriculum.
    3. Parent Involvement in Student Education
      1. Parents shall regularly receive information about their student's academic performance;   i.e., report cards, progress reports, etc.
      2. Parents shall have opportunities to discuss their child's educational program and progress with teachers at parent/teacher conferences or other meetings as appropriate.
      3. Informal parent/teacher conferences may be initiated and scheduled by either the parent or teacher whenever it seems in the student's best interest.
      4. Parents shall be notified of student disciplinary problems and provided opportunities to be involved in the solution. (See policy AS67 NEG—Discipline of Students.)
    4. Parent Involvement in School Community Councils
      1. Organization
        1. Each school shall organize a School Community Council.  Each School Community Council shall consist of parents or guardians of students who are attending the school, school employees and the school principal.
        2. Each school community in the organizational year, half of the terms shall be for one year and half for two years.  In subsequent years, all terms shall be for two years.  Each school, in consultation with the Administration, shall set the beginning date of the term of office for School Community Council members. (53A-1a-1-108)
        3. A parent or guardian qualifies to be a candidate for election if at any time during the term of office, the parent or guardian’s student will be enrolled at the school.  The parent or guardian shall be elected by secret ballot by a majority vote of those voting in the election and serve a two-year term.
        4. Each employee member, except the principal, shall be elected by secret ballot by a majority vote of the employees and serve a two-year term.  The principal shall serve as an ex-officio member with full voting privileges.
        5. A school community council may determine the size of the school community council by a majority vote of a quorum of the school community council provided that:
          1. the membership includes two or more parent or guardian members than the number of school employee members; and
          2. there are at least two school employee members on the school community council. (53A-1a-1-108(4)(c)(ii)
        6. Educators in the District can serve as parent representatives on the School Community Council at their children’s school as long as they are not employed at their children’s school (53A-1a-1-108.1.e).
        7. The number of parent or guardian members of a school community council who are not educators employed by the school district shall exceed the number of parent or guardian members who are educators employed by the school district.
        8. The principal of the school, or the principal’s designee, shall provide notice of the available Community Council positions to school employees, parents, and guardians at least 10 days before the date that voting commences.  The notice shall include the date and time of the election, a list of council positions that are up for election, and instructions for becoming a candidate for a Community Council position.  Ballots cast in the election shall be deposited in a secure ballot box (a closed container).  Results of the election are to be made available to the public if requested, and should be maintained at the school for three (3) years.
        9. Under certain circumstances, the School Community Council may establish policies for voting via mailed ballots and/or secure electronic systems, consistent with Utah State Board of Education Rule on School Community Councils.
        10. An election for the parent or guardian members of a School Community Council shall be held near the beginning of the school year or held in the spring and completed before the last week of school. At year-round schools, the first day of school will be interpreted as the start of D- track.
        11. Should a parent or guardian position on a School Community Council remain unfilled after an election, the other parent or guardian members of the council shall appoint a parent or guardian who meets the qualifications of the position.  Should an employee position remain unfilled following an election, the other employee members on the council shall appoint an employee to fill the position.  Such appointees shall serve a two-year term.  The chair of the Community Council is to notify the Administration of each appointment made.
        12. Council members may serve up to three successive terms.
        13. The School Community Council shall elect: (1) two co-chairs from its parent or guardian members or one co-chair from its parent or guardian members and one co-chair from its elected employees members; or (2) a chair and a vice chair from its parent or guardian members.  The principal shall serve as facilitator to the Council.
        14. Principals and all School Community Council members are encouraged to participate in annual training provided under the Board’s direction to build schools’ capacity for developing and implementing effective parental involvement plans.
        15. School Community Councils may form subcommittees or task forces to advise or make recommendation to the Council, e.g., to help with the school improvement plan.  The subcommittee or task force members may be appointed and do not necessarily need to be members of the Council.
      2. Meetings
        1. Meetings shall be scheduled according to the needs of the school with a minimum of four meetings per school year.
        2. School Community Council meetings are open to the public.
        3. School Community Councils are not accountable to Open Meetings Law, but they must post their agendas and minutes one week prior to each meeting.
        4. Meetings shall be held at times which are convenient for a majority of the members.
        5. School Community Councils must adopt their own rules of order and procedure.  These rules should be followed in conducting meetings, be posted on the school website, and be available at each meeting.
        6. Meeting agendas shall be prepared by the chairperson and the principal and posted on the school website at least one week in advance.
        7. All School Community Council minutes shall include:
          1. the date, time, location, names of members present and absent
          2. substance of all matters proposed and/or  discussed and the decisions made
          3. a record of votes
          4. name of each person who is not a member of the School Community Council and who is recognized by the chair to speak in the meeting, and substance of what was said
          5. Minutes are marked as a draft until approved.
        8. Issues not listed on the agenda may arise in the meeting, be discussed and assignments made to help the School Community Council make a decision at a future date, but no final action should be taken on substantive issues not listed on the agenda.
        9. A school or school district administrator shall not prohibit or discourage a School Community Council from discussing any issue or concern raised by any School Community Council member unless prohibited by law.
      3. Responsibilities
        1. The School Community Council shall participate in the development of a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) designed to improve student achievement.
          1. The comprehensive school improvement plan is to include the following:
            a) A review of testing data and other reliable data to determine the needs of students.  (Note:  Access to data that reveal the identity of students is not allowed.)
            b) An identification of the school’s most critical academic needs.
            c) A recommended course of action to meet the identified academic needs.
            d) A specific listing of programs, practices, materials or equipment the school will need in order to implement an action plan that directly impacts the instruction of students and results in measurable, increased student performance.
            e) A statement regarding how academic excellence at the school will be enhanced or improved, including how financial resources available to the school will be used to improve student achievement.  Budget information and other data are to be provided to the School Community Council by the principal.
            f) A reading achievement plan at each elementary school for grades K-3.
            g) The School LAND Trust Plan, an academic subset of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
            h) An identification of expenditures related to the Technology Initiative and provide for education and awareness on safe technology utilization and digital citizenship. (53A-1a-108)
            i) Partner with the school's principal and other administrators to ensure that adequate on and off campus Internet filtering is installed and consistently configured to prevent viewing of harmful content by students and school personnel, in accordance with Subsection 53A-1-706(3).
            j) A parent involvement plan designed to increase parental involvement for the purpose of improving academic achievement and school performance, with particular attention directed toward identifying and eliminating barriers to greater participation of parents of at-risk students.
        2. The School Community Council shall present its comprehensive school improvement plan to the Board of Education annually for approval.  Multiyear plans may be developed, but annual approval by the Board is required.
        3. The administrators, teachers, staff, and councils of each local school are to:
          1. Implement the comprehensive school improvement plan as developed by the School Community Council and approved by the Board of Education.
          2. Provide ongoing support for the Council’s plan.
          3. Meet Board reporting requirements regarding performance and accountability.
          4. Publicize the plan and how it is designed to enhance or improve academic excellence, as well as the results of these efforts.
          5. Submit an annual report to the Board of Education at the end of the year.
        4. The School Community Council shall advise and assist in the development and implementation of the professional staff development plan at each school.
        5. The School Community Council of each elementary and middle school shall develop and submit a child access routing plan annually to the local school Traffic Safety Committee.
        6. The School Community Council shall provide a forum for community discussion of school related concerns, encouraging citizens to express their views about educational issues and problems.
        7. Issues which are outside the purview of the School Community Council shall include District policies, budgets (except as noted above), laws, and ethics, as well as issues which are the specific responsibility of another educational organization.
        8. The School Community Council shall coordinate the fundraising activities of the local school.  However, local school PTA organizations may conduct fund-raisers to support their activities and projects.  (See Policy AA417—Fund Raising.)
        9. Each School Community Council shall provide a meeting schedule and a list of School Community Council members with either email or phone contact information, or both, within the first six weeks of school.  In addition, a report to parents on the implementation of last year’s School LAND Trust program must be distributed by November 15th of each year.    The School Community Council shall provide this information by posting it on the school’s website and providing individual delivery to each household that has a student attending the school by one or more of the following methods:  mailing the information, delivering a voice message describing the information and explaining where to obtain the full information, sending an e-mail message containing the information, providing the information in a packet that is to be delivered to the student’s parent or guardian, distributing the information during the school’s annual registration period, or with the student’s report card.
        10. At least one week prior to a meeting, the School Community Council shall post the following information on the school’s website:  notice of the meeting date, time, and place, an agenda for the meeting, and a summary of the previous meeting.
        11. School websites shall fully communicate the opportunities provided to parents about serving on the School Community Council and how parents can directly influence the expenditure of the School LAND Trust funds.  The website should include the dollar amount received each year through the program.
    5. Parent Information and Training
      1. Parents shall be informed of the workings of the school system through the District website and other school or District publications.
      2. A variety of classes and programs shall be offered through the Jordan Family Education Center and Community School to help parents become effective partners in their child's education.
      3. Parents may enroll in District-sponsored in-service classes to learn techniques for improving their children's academic success.