As part of the Education Reform Act of 1993, School Councils were created at each school across the Commonwealth. The Council offers a way for parents, teachers, and other members of the community to work together in an advisory capacity to the principal. The state describes School Councils by saying:
Every public school in the Commonwealth must establish a School Council. School Council consists of the principal, parents elected by other parents, teachers elected by other teachers, and other public members who are not parents. Principals serve as co-chairs. Each council is free to determine the size of its membership, but must have at least as many parent representatives as teachers (plus the principal). No more than 50% of the council’s membership may consist of members of the public who are not parents, teachers, administrators, or students of the school. School councils are subject to the open meeting law.
School Councils are responsible for assisting the principal in setting
educational goals, identifying educational needs, reviewing the school
building’s budget, and preparing the school improvement plan. The school improvement plan is to address issues such as class size, professional development, parental involvement, and school climate.
The Countryside School Council is an elected group of four parents, an elected group of four teachers, the principal, and community members appointed by the principal. School Council meetings are held four to six times each year and are open to the school community.
School Council Election ProcessTeachers and parents are elected by their peers and serve a one, two, or three year term. The PTO Co-presidents and the Newton Teachers Association representative conduct elections each spring to replace departing parents and teacher members. The principal appoints community members with an attempt to bring to the council a spirit of diversity that is reflected in the larger Countryside community.