School Council from here on out will be referred to as Principal Advisory Council (PAC). DeKalb Schools administration has decided that PACs will now operate under the control and management of the DeKalb County School District.
For almost 20 years, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-85–86 required that school councils be established at every public school. Establishing a school council at some of our lower performing schools has been challenging. Last year, board members had various meetings with district administrators to discuss solutions to this problem.
School district administration has decided to centralize control and management of the School Council and rebrand it as Principal Advisory Council (PAC). This will ease the formation and operations of PACs at our schools where establishing a school council has been challenging. Hopefully this will not have a negative impact on our existing high performing school councils. That will depend on the flexibility given to those PACs. Thus far I’m concerned about the district defining the Bylaws including elections and the make up of the PAC.
What are your thoughts?
The purpose of the Principal Advisory Council is to bring parents, school employees, students and community members together. The Principal Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations to the school principal, the local board of education and local school superintendent on matters related to school climate/culture, student achievement, and community partnerships.
The members of the Principal Advisory Council are accountable to the constituents they serve and shall:
- Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;
- Act as a link between the school and the community;
- Encourage the engagement of parents and other stakeholders within the school community; and
- Work to increase student achievement and performance through transparent operations and shared best practices.
Principal Advisory Council Authority
The Principal Advisory Council shall advise and make recommendations on matters relating to school improvement and student achievement.
The Principal Advisory Council shall:
- Review the Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and monitor progress toward goals,
- Have the authority to create ad hoc committees of PAC members, parents, staff, and community members to provide input on school initiatives to improve school climate/culture, student achievement, and community partnerships,
- Participate in the selection of the school principal, in the case of a vacancy, in accordance with the written policy of the DeKalb County School District,
- Designate one Principal Advisory Council representative to participate in the Cluster Advisory Council, and
- Have the same immunity as the DeKalb Board of Education in all matters directly related to the functions of the Principal Advisory Council.
Council elections will be conducted by the District in the fall before October 1.
The electing body for the parent/guardian members (as verified through the District’s Student Information System) shall consist of all parents/guardians eligible to serve as a parent/guardian member of the Principal Advisory Council. The electing body for teachers shall consist of all full-time non-supervisory staff eligible to serve as a teacher member of the Principal Advisory Council.
Membership on the Principal Advisory Council shall be open to principals, teachers, school employees, parents, community members and students (at high schools). The principal will be an ex officio, nonvoting member. Members of the Principal Advisory Council shall not receive compensation to serve on the Principal Advisory Council. Councils may appoint additional members. The recommended maximum number of members is 11. Councils may create subcommittees and may establish the membership for those committees. The DCSD reserves the right to establish the protocols for the Principal Selection Committee and the Construction Advisory Committee.
Elected Members of the Principal Advisory Council shall include the following two categories:
- Four (4) parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school, excluding parents who are also employees of the school, elected by the parents/guardians of the school,
- Two (2) teachers (non-supervisory instructional staff) elected by the full-time nonsupervisory staff of the school.
Appointed Members of the Principal Advisory Council may include the following:
- Additional parents, students (high school only) and/or community members nominated by the elected Principal Advisory Council members and approved by the elected Principal Advisory Council members in a public meeting.
- Additional ex officio members nominated by the elected Principal Advisory Council members and approved by the elected Principal Advisory Council members in a public meeting.