Schoolsite CouncilThe schoolsite council develops, annually reviews, and updates the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) for programs funded through the Consolidated Application Reporting System.
Pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 52855 and EC 64001 a schoolsite council (SSC) is to develop, annually review and updates the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). The SSC must recommend the SPSA to the local governing board for approval. Thus the role of the SSC is crucial to the success of the categorical programs a school may have.
The SSC must meet the composition requirements specified in EC 52852 unless granted a waiver from the State Board of Education (SBE). The composition of the SSC is specified as follows:
- The SSC shall be composed of:
- the principal; teachers selected by teachers at the school, and
- other school personnel selected by other school personnel at the school,
- parents of students attending the school and/or community members selected by such parents, and
- in secondary schools, students selected by students attending the school.
- At the elementary level, the SSC shall be constituted to ensure parity between:
- (a) the principal, classroom teachers, and other school personnel; and
- (b) parents; or community members selected by parents.
- At the secondary level, the SSC shall be constituted to ensure parity between:
- the principal, classroom teachers, other school personnel, and
- equal numbers of parents or community members selected by parents and students.
- At both the elementary and secondary levels, classroom teachers shall comprise the majority of persons represented under subdivision (a) of this section.
- At the discretion of the local governing board, the middle school may, but is not required to, include student representation on the SSC. If a middle school SSC includes students, the SSC must meet the composition requirements of secondary schools.
Schoolsite Council Member Selection
The means of selecting SSC members is not specified in law, except that members must be chosen by their peers (EC Section 52852). No additional membership qualifications may be required. Beyond the composition requirements stated above, no member position on the SSC may be reserved for any group or individual. SSC membership may be determined by ballot or may be decided in an open meeting by voice vote.
To broaden the support for the SSC membership selection process, and to avoid controversy over the selection of SSC members, board policy, or SSC bylaws may specify:
- The means of selecting members and officers
- Terms of office for members and officers
- The notice of elections for each peer group
- The responsibilities of the SSC and time commitment involved
- A policy of nondiscrimination, as may occur by limiting membership to a select group
Many schools elect members for a two-year term, with elections for half the members held in even years and half in odd years. This practice ensures that the SSC will not be composed entirely of new members each year. Some schools assure additional continuity by electing non-voting alternate members, who are seated as voting members by the SSC in the event of a midterm vacancy on the school site council.
Schoolsite Council Officers
In order to conduct business effectively, the SSC may include officers with stated responsibilities and authority, including:
- A chairperson to organize, convene, and lead meetings of the SSC
- A vice chairperson to serve in the absence of the chairperson
- A secretary to record actions taken at SSC meetings and keep SSC records
- A parliamentarian to resolve questions of procedure, often with the help of Robert’s Rules of Order or similar guide
- Other officers as necessary to perform stated duties in support of the work of the SSC
Schoolsite Council Waiver
There are circumstances when a school may not be able to meet the SSC composition requirements specified in EC 52852. The SBE, authorized by EC 52863, may grant a waiver to the specific SSC composition requirements if it finds that meeting them would hinder the implementation or maintenance of a successful program. There are two types of SSC waivers that a school may be eligible for:
1) A shared SSC for more than one school to share an SSC; and/or
2) A SSC composition change that allow for a reduction of the minimum SSC memberships.
The SBE may approve a waiver for a period up to two years and LEAs may propose in their request the specific period for which the waiver shall be effective. SSC waiver requests are always approved with conditions communicated in a letter by the Waiver Office to the LEA after the SBE meeting at which the LEA’s Waiver request was on the agenda has concluded. LEAs may submit renewal requests if the circumstances remain the same.
To submit an SSC Waiver request and for more information, please visit the Waiver Office Web site.