Responsibilities for the different roles in the School Community Council are outlined below. Click a section to expand it for more details.
- Understand the legal responsibilities of the School Community Council
- Regularly attend the community council meetings.
- Be an active participant in discussions, planning, and carrying out plans.
- Attend and participate in annual SCC trainings.
- Know where to find additional help and clarification, as needed.
- Represent the needs of all students at the school.
- Seek community input (parents, faculty, students) on school community council issues.
- Strive to make data-based decisions
- Encourage parent and faculty involvement in task forces and action plans, including requests made by the school district.
- Actively promote school priorities in the community.
- Be well informed and seek answers to questions and concerns before a vote is called for.
- Celebrate/inform the community about successes towards achieving council goals.
- Be forthcoming with the community (parents, faculty, students) about issues of concern and plans to make improvements.
- Provide support and encourage ongoing training for newly elected members.
- Be willing to read and study supplemental material provided to you prior to meetings (i.e. School Safety Plan)
All points from the “All Council Members” section AND:
- Represent the work of the SCC at faculty meetings.
- Inform the council about successful academic programs and their evidences of success.
- Involve faculty members with special expertise who might assist in supporting the academic goals established by the council.
All points from the “All Council Members” section AND:
- Have a working knowledge of R277-491 School Community Councils and R277-477 Distribution of Funds from the Interest and Dividend Account (School LAND Trust Funds) and Administration of the School LAND Trust Program.
- Provide notice of and oversee the annual SCC elections. Provide an assurance that the elections, and subsequent appointments of unfilled positions, were conducted according to the law.
- Provide SCC members with copies of the School Mission Statement and applicable district policies and timelinesEnsure that data is collected, evaluated, and utilized by the school and the SCC in the decision making process.
- Ensure that the law pertaining to use of the school’s share of the proceeds from the permanent fund are followed.
- Be a model for collaboration.
- Show a training video from the School LAND Trust website in a faculty meeting annually and explain in the meeting how the school is using School LAND Trust funds
- Build and nurture school partnerships with the community.
- Support the council in discussing issues of interest that are not inconsistent with Utah law, board rule or district policy.
- Complete the forms, assurances and reports required for school plans the school community council is responsible for.
- Assist the council chair in completing their responsibilities
- Ensure that SCC information is posted to the school website according to the required timelines.
- Share the district’s Digitial Citizenship report with SCC and arrange for media specialist to add a school report, if applicable. Assist in answering all questions and/or getting resources from district to answer questions. Complete report and send to school performance.
- Share School Safety report with SCC; arrange for SROs to attend, if applicable; assist with discussion to identify safety need(s) and action plans at your school. Complete report and submit on CSD Dashboard. Update report in May.
Responsibilities of the chair may be delegated to members of the council, as needed. The chair is responsible to be sure delegated assignments are completed. The principal supports the officers in completing the requirements in the law and board rule.
All points from the “All Council Members” section AND:
- Prepare School Community Council Agendas, honor agendas and time constraints. Items needing action must be included on the agenda and a quorum (majority) of the council must be present to vote.
- Conduct School Community Council Meetings, encouraging participation by all members
- Assure minutes are kept, taking special care to assure motions and votes are accurately recorded. Votes need to be kept by the number voting for, against and absent. Minutes are prepared for posting on the school website.
- Prepare a yearly timeline that includes all required (and other) tasks to assist in preparation of each agenda, assuring councils have the necessary lead time to complete responsibilities, including the following:
- review of school data, assessments and demographic information
- review of current plan implementation, preparation, amending and voting on required new plans, before they are submitted to the local school board
- tasks related to member elections, filling vacant positions after an election, and election of officers
- Provide opportunities for increased involvement of parents and school employees by encouraging issues of concern to be heard and considered by the council, to include non-elected parents and staff on task forces and subcommittees, as needed, and provide input to administration and the local school board of needs and issues of the school and school community.
- Encourage and model collaboration.
- Establish clear, written procedures and timelines consistent with Utah law, board rules, and local board policies about member and officer elections and other procedures councils are responsible for, including rules outlining parliamentary order and procedure, ethical behavior and civil discourse.
With assistance from the school administration, the chair shall:
- Assure that all meetings are open to the public and encourage participation by parents and school employees.
- Assure training is provided to the council about their responsibilities, understanding assessments, mission and goals of the district and school, and resources available on the School LAND Trust website.
- On behalf of the council, provide ongoing support for implementation of approved school action plans.
- Ensuring that legal requirements for SCC communication are met as they are outlined in “Communication Requirements.” Posting of election information is encouraged.
- Work with the principal to provide notice of the election at least 10 days in advance to parents and staff of council positions that are up for election, how to apply, the date, time and location of the election. The election may be conducted in the spring if it is completed prior to the last week of the school year OR near the beginning of the school year. The time of the election should be consistent for at least four years. If the council chooses to hold the election in the spring, all parents who would vote if the election were held in the fall are encouraged to file, run and vote.
The superintendent is accountable for all fiscal matters in the school district and is also an instructional leader with responsibility for the district’s overall instruction program. Superintendents seek funding, allocate resources, engage the community, and cultivate an attractive work environment for highly qualified teachers and administrators. They are responsible for the school district in the same way principals are responsible for their schools. Although they collaborate with other interested parties where possible, they are ultimately responsible to the community and the school board.
Superintendent and District Community Council Responsibilities
- Make district priorities and district school improvement plans, including professional development and reading achievement plans available to schools to facilitate school plans in supporting the academic goals of the district. 53A-3-701(3)(a), 53A-1-606.5(3)(a)
- Receive recommendations from the school community councils regarding the school and its programs, school district programs, and other issues relating to the community environment for students. 53A-1a-108 (3)(iv)
- In consultation with district schools, set the beginning date of the term of office for members of the school community councils. 53A-1a-108(5)(g)(i).
- Provide general oversight, training, review of plans, and general operation of school community councils. R277-491-2(B)
- Ensure that plans the school community councils are responsible for are considered by the local school board for approval.
- Report plan approval dates for to the Utah State Office of Education. R277-491-6(I)
The locally elected school board acts as the board of directors for the school district. School board members are responsible to their community and its values and have the final authority in school governance issues consistent with state law and State Board of Education rules. They should establish a vision and direction for improving student achievement, and align policies, budgets, staff and other resources to that vision. While board members should take an active role in creating the vision and ensuring accountability within the district, they should rely on the expertise of the district and school administrators to carry out the day to day operations of the district. Local school boards review and approve required plans that school community councils are responsible for.
Local School Board Review Steps
- Conduct local board training on R277-477 Distribution of Funds from the Interest and Dividend Account (School LAND Trust Funds) and Administration for the School LAND Trust Program and R277-491 School Community Councils.
- Encourage councils to establish written procedures for parent notifications, elections and other council tasks and responsibilities, including rules outlining parliamentary order and procedure, ethical behavior and civil discourse.
- Oversee training of every school community council in the district on the requirements and responsibilities of school community councils as they are outlined by state law.
- Train the SCC chair and vice-chair. Ensure they are familiar with the expectations and limitations of councils and the plans councils are responsible for. They should also be familiar with the rubrics that will be used by the district to determine funding and approve plans.
- It is recommended that each school plan be read by at least two board members. If the local board desires school presentation of plans, Board members should not rely solely on school presentations. The Board is responsible to approve what appears in the written plans submitted for approval. School LAND Trust plans are made accessible to the public. Board members need to be certain that the approved and posted plan meets state law.
- School Improvement Plans and School LAND Trust Plans that do not meet the criteria of most critical academic need (see R277-477-4 for School LAND Trust expenditures) should be sent back to the school for revision. See R277-477-4 for examples of expenditures not appropriate for these funds. If a plan is sent back, it is accompanied by a written explanation of amendments the council needs to complete before resubmitting.
- Each Board member is encouraged to use a locally agreed upon rubric to evaluate expenditures, carryover, and alignment of plans school community councils are responsible for. School academic plans are to be consistent with district school improvement plans, professional development plans and reading achievement plans.
- Board members are encouraged to meet annually with each school community council in their district to analyze the processes councils use to accomplish council responsibilities. The councils are encouraged to use all-inclusive, systematic collaboration in school improvement. It is important to communicate to the council the need to use data to create and evaluate the plans councils are responsible for and to assure the School LAND Trust Plan meets the most critical academic need. This will improve the quality of plans submitted. This activity should be supported by district staff.
- School plans are unique to each school and the needs identified and supported by school data. If Board members have any questions about any of the expenses, they should direct district personnel to follow up on the expenditure and report back to the board.
The School LAND Trust Funding is very unique in that it is the only state funding where the use is driven by the local school community council and solely approved by the local school board. It is imperative that responsibility to review and approve the plans for funding be taken very seriously by the local school board. If plans are approved that do not meet the criteria set forth by the legislation and rule, it falls back on the local board to answer for their actions.