School Councils provide an opportunity for community partners, parents, teachers, and principals to come together both to share ideas and resources and to shape the direction their schools will take to strengthen teaching and learning. Under the Massachusetts School and District Accountability System established by the Department of Education in 1999, school improvement plans become an essential tool in the evaluation of district and school performance. The new Recertification Regulations require educators to develop professional development plans that are aligned with their school and district improvement plans. These developments promote coordination in goal setting and planning, bringing the entire school community together in their efforts to improve student achievement.
The School Council is an advisory body that works together to provide ideas and opinions to help the principal. Council members assist by:
- providing information and recommendations relevant to the educational needs of students;
- reading and discussing the budget with the principal to understand the implications for goals and activities in the school improvement plan; and
- participating actively in the process of analysis and planning that results in the identification of annual goals, activities, outcomes, and resources that will lead to school improvement.
For additional information about School Councils, see the Department of Education's School Council web site.