Members train for important duties

By Nancy Gutierrez

The School Site Council is a complex and tedious job that some parents are happy to volunteer for and and many more should take part in because of its direct affect on children.

On Nov. 18 a group of more than 15 parents attended a School Site Council training session. The scope of what was covered ranged from working with bilingual parents to allotting funding to programs created by the council at school.

At the training newly elected parents were given an overview of their responsibilities.

The School Site Council is responsible for developing a single plan for student achievement for consolidated application programs operated by the school. If the school board approves the plan SSC must monitor its implementation and evaluate the results. SSC must also revise and recommend the plan every year. This includes proposed expenditures of all funds allocated to the school through the Consolidated Application.

The School Site Council is given advise from advisory committees like, the English Learner Advisory Committee, the Special Education Advisory Committee and even the School Health Council.

The achievement plan is designed by the council to help improve student achievement. This can be through whatever way the SSC sees fit. Last year The SSC at Washington Elementary School created a parent coordinator position. The job of the parent coordinator is to find ways to involve parents in their child's education and in school.

The achievement plan development is a continuous cycle of assessment, parent and community involvement, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. After council members are selected and trained they must analyze student data and educational practice, obtain advisory committee input and garner community involvement, create the plan then submit it to the board. After the plan is approved the SSC continues to monitor the plans implementation and must evaluate the results.

An example of the council's duties includes appointing a committee to examine and report on a successful program operating at another school.

In order to become a SSC member the person must be a parent of a child enrolled in the school. Members are elected by their peers to serve a two year term.

"I wanted to be involved with my child's education and learn more about how money is spent on schools," new member, Crystal Underhill said.

The council is not made up entirely of parents, the site principal, teacher representatives and other school personnel make up a small part of the council as well. At the high school level there are also student members on the council.

Contact your child's elementary school for information on how to get involved in the School Site Council.

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