Shared Decision Making in the
Sewanhaka Central High School District
Purpose (as stated in the Commissioner’s Regulations): The purpose of school-based planning and shared decision making shall be to improve the educational performance of all students in the school, regardless of such factors as socioeconomic status, race, sex, language background, or disability.
Each School Committee shall consist of nine members. The members will include: the principal or his/her assistant principal designee, two teachers, two parents, three students (one each from grades 7-8, 9-10, 11-12)) and one chairperson. This committee may be augmented by the inclusion of other community members and other building staff, each group to be on an “as needed” and advisory basis.
Teachers shall be appointed to the School Committee by The Sewanhaka Federation of Teachers and parents appointed by the Parent-Teacher-Student Association of the school. The chairperson will be appointed by the Chairperson’s Association. Students will be appointed by the Student Council of the school. The parent members chosen should have a vested interest in protecting the educational experience of all children in the school.
The School Committee will meet a minimum of four times per year, one per quarter. Minutes from those meetings will be electronically transmitted to the central office representative and distributed to the District Committee. The meeting time of the School Committee will be determined by the nine members based on mutually available times; however, these meetings must be scheduled so that that there is a minimal impact on instructional time. Terms should be one or two years in order to maintain both continuity and creativity, which is important to the shared decision making process. This should prevent a complete turnover of the school committee in any one year.
In the event that a committee member must be replaced, the original nominating body will be responsible for replacing that member.
The decisions of these School Committees will be made using a consensus model. Training will be provided to committee members to facilitate this process and to implement this model. However, if at any time a decision cannot be arrived at by the School Committee, the educational program of the school shall continue with decisions made by the appropriate administrative party. Furthermore, the School Committee may request that the District Committee convene to facilitate the mediation process until the dispute is resolved.
Additionally, the existence of the School Committee will not require the principal to seek approval for his/her decisions, except as they may alter or affect a decision, which has been arrived at by the School Committee.
It is not within the purview of the School Committee to make managerial, administrative or supervisory decisions which are reserved by contract or by law of the Board of Education, Superintendent or principal, nor to usurp the rights and prerogatives of any of the collective bargaining units under the Taylor Law and collective bargaining agreements.
The educational issues subject to shared decision making at the school level will include:
a. Instruction — (to the extent that it is not in the purview of others).
b. Recruitment/Hiring — (In an advisory capacity only, recognizing that hiring decisions are reserved for the Superintendent and the Board of Education.)
c. Staff Development
g. Community Relations — (The School Committee may act as a liaison with other parts of the local community to discuss and resolve matters of mutual concern.)
h. Buildings and Grounds
i. School Budget Process