Atlanta Public Schools
Department for Learning Excellence
Cascade Elementary School Local School Council
A school council has been established in the Cascade Elementary School in the Atlanta Public Schools on August 2002. The name of this school council shall be the Cascade Elementary School Council, hereinafter referred to as the school council, organized under the authority of state law (O.C.G.A. 20-0-85 – 20-2-86)
The General Assembly of Georgia and the Atlanta Board of Education believe that parent and community support are critical to the success of students and schools. The intent of these bylaws is to bring communities and schools closer together in a spirit of cooperation to solve education challenges, improve academic achievement, provide support for teachers and administrators, and bring parents into the school-based decision-making process. School councils are intended to:
· advise the board of education,
· share ideas for school improvement,
· develop and nurture participation,
· bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators,
· create better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s concerns,
· and improve management and operation of local schools.
Membership on the council shall be open to teachers, parents, and business representatives and other such members as the school council may specify in its bylaws. Members of the school council shall not receive compensation to serve on a school council.
Minimum of seven school council members of whom a majority shall constitute a quorum shall manage the property and business of the council. Members of the school council shall include:
1) Parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school, excluding employees who are parents or guardians of such students, must make up the majority of the school councils. Parent council members shall be elected by, and from among, the group they represent;
NOTE A: An employee of the local school system may serve as a parent representative on the council of a school in which his or her child is enrolled if such employee works at a different school.
NOTE D: School board members, as parents or businesspersons, are disqualified from serving on schools councils but are allowed to vote as a parent from an electing body.
2) Two of the parent or guardian members must be businesspersons
3) Two certified teachers, excluding any personnel employed in administrative positions, who are employed at least four of the six school segments at the school; and
4) The school principal; and
5) Other members as specified in the council’s bylaws, such as, but limited to, students, staff, and representatives of school related organizations. Other businesspersons from the local business community may serve on the council and shall be selected by the other members of the school council.
Conflict of interest issues generally do not apply to council members because councils are advisory in nature, as opposed to boards of education, which are decision-making bodies.
Vacancy on Council
The office of school council shall automatically be vacated if:
1) a member shall resign;
2) the person holding the office is removed as a member by an action of the council; or
3) a member no longer meets the qualifications specified by law;
4) The council will determine, by a majority vote, whether the council member will be removed due to inactivity (not attending at least two meetings per school year.) and (conflicts in personal schedule). The effective date of a vacancy shall be determined by the school council.
Note A: An election within the electing body for a replacement to fill the remainder of an unexpired term shall be held within 30 days, unless there are 90 calendar days or less remaining in the term in which case vacancy shall remain unfilled.
All meeting of the council shall be open to the public. The council shall meet (every other month) Must be at least 4 times annually. The council shall meet at the call of the chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the members of the council. Notice by mail shall be sent to school councils at least seven days prior to a meeting of the council. School councils shall be subject to Chapter 14 of Title 50, relating to open and public meetings, in the same manner as local board of education.
NOTE A: The councils may meet during normal school hours and before or after school hours, but in all cases must be announced to the public at least 24 hours in advance.
NOTE B: Councils may shall notify the media of all dates, times, and locations of council meetings with additional notice to media for cancellations, date/time/location changes and called meetings.
NOTE C: Because the law requires notice by mail to be sent to school council members at least seven days prior to a meeting of the council, there can be no emergency meetings of the council.
The council secretary shall be responsible for notifying, in writing, the local newspaper designated as the legal organ of the county of any and all meetings of the local school council at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. It is the responsibility of the council secretary to maintain a written record of compliance with this notification requirement. Additionally, the council secretary shall provide advance notification, in writing, to the school community of teachers and parents of any and all school council meetings. (See: Article XII, Officers and Duties)
Quorum and Voting Requirement
Each member of the council is authorized to exercise one vote. Proxy votes are not allowed. Voting members must be present to vote.
A quorum comprised of four council members must be present in order to conduct official council business.
At all meetings of the council, every question shall be determined by a majority vote of members present, representing a quorum.
The adoption of bylaws or changes thereto requires two-thirds affirmative votes.
Members of the councils shall not receive remuneration to serve on the council or its committees.
Elections shall take place in September
The electing body for the parent member shall consist of all parents and guardians eligible to serve as a parent member of the school council.
The electing body for the teacher member shall consist of all certified personnel eligible to serve as a teacher member of the school council.
The businesspersons shall be selected in the following manner: Selected by the Administrative Team. Two of the businesspersons must be parents or guardians.
NOTE A: The law allows all qualified parents/guardians of a student enrolled in the school to vote. May more than one qualified parent/guardian of a child enrolled in the school vote during election? Yes.
The school council shall adopt the bylaws and guidelines included herein and such additional bylaws and guidelines as it deems appropriate to conduct the business of the council. The adoption of the bylaws or changes thereto requires two-thirds affirmative votes.
The school council shall have the same immunity as the local board of education in all matters directly related to the functions of the council. The school council is required to notify the superintendent of any actual or threatened lawsuits.
The officer of the council shall be the chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Officers of the council shall be elected at the first meeting of the council provided that the chairperson shall be a parent or guardian. The term of officers of the council shall be (Specify term).
The chairperson shall develop the agenda for all meetings, preside at all meetings of the school council, and perform such other duties as required by law or as shall be requested by the school council.
The vice-chairperson shall, in the absence or disability of the chairperson, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the chairperson and shall perform such other duties as shall be requested by the council.
The secretary shall attend all meetings, act as clerk of the council, and be responsible for recording all votes and minutes of all proceedings in the books to be kept for that purpose in a secure location at the school site. The secretary shall give or cause to be given notice of all meetings of the council and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the council or the chairperson, under whose supervision the secretary shall be.
The members of the council are accountable to the constituents they serve and shall:
1) Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;
2) Regularly participate in council meetings;
3) Participate in information and training programs;
4) Act as a link between the school council and the community;
5) Encourage the participation of parents and others within the school community; and
6) Work to improve student achievement and performance.
The minutes of the council shall be made available to the public, for inspection at the school office and shall be provided to the council members, each of whom shall receive a copy of such minutes within 20 days following each council meeting.
School councils shall be subject to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, relating to the inspection of public records, in the same manner as local boards of education.
Members of the council shall serve for a term of two years or more. Council members may serve more than one term.
The council may appoint committees, study groups, or task forces for such purposes, as it deems helpful and may utilize existing or new school advisory groups.
The school principal shall have the following duties pertaining to school council activities:
1) Cause to be created a school council by convening the appropriate bodies to select school council members ; set the initial agenda, meeting time, and location; and notify all school council members of the same;
2) Call meetings of the election bodies after providing public notice at least two weeks before such meetings:
3) Communicate all council requests for information and assistance to the superintendent and inform the council of responses or actions of the superintendent;
4) Develop the school improvement plan and school operation plan and submit the plans to the school council for its review, comments, recommendations, and approval; and
5) Provide progress reports regarding the school’s student achievement goals.
6) Perform all of the duties required by law and the bylaw of the council.
The Atlanta Board of Education shall provide all information not specifically made confidential by law, including school site budget and expenditures information and site average class sizes by grade, to school council as requested or as required by state law or state board rule.
The board shall also designate an employee of the school system to attend council meetings as requested by a school council for the purpose of responding to questions the council may have concerning information provided to it by the local board or actions taken by the local board. The central administration shall respond to request for information form a school council.
The Atlanta Board of Education shall receive all recommendations of the school council, including the annual report, as follows:
1) Public notice shall be given to the community of the local board’s intent to consider school council reports or recommendations;
Procedure A: Council item shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent’s office via the school system’s procedures (the initial copy to the Executive Director of Schools, which will then be forwarded to the Deputy Superintendent for Instruction’s designee) for inclusion in the next board agenda. The superintendent will follow the normal publication procedures for board actions.
2) Written notice shall be given to the members of the school council at least seven days prior to such local board meeting, along with a notice of intent to consider a council report or recommendation;
Procedure B: When school council has matters pending before the board of education, the superintendent is responsible for notifying the principal/chairperson of the council that their issue will be addressed. The notification must be sent at least ten working days (Monday-Friday), in writing, prior to the board of education holding a meeting to consider, discuss or take action on a report, recommendation or appointment. This notification can be sent via e-mail or regular mail. Such notice shall contain the meeting date of the board of education and the matters to be considered and shall be kept on file for reference should questions arise concerning notification. It then becomes the responsibility of the principal to notify, in writing, each member of the council at least seven days prior to the board of education meeting concerning the notice revealed.
3) The members of the school council shall be afforded an opportunity to present information in support of the school council’s report or recommendation; and
4) The local board of education shall respond to each recommendation of the school council within 60 calendar days after being notified* in writing of the recommendation.
Note A: Notification is perfected when the board of education officially receives notification from the superintendent in a meeting (regular or special) of the board.
The local board of education shall provide a training program to assist schools in forming a school council and to assist school council members in the performance of their duties. Such program shall address the organization of school councils; their purpose and responsibilities; applicable laws, rules, regulations and meeting procedures; important state and local school system program requirements; and a model school council organization plan.
A) School Councils are advisory bodies. Councils shall provide advice and recommendations to the school principal and, when appropriate, the local board of education and local school board superintendent, on any matter related to student achievement and school improvement, including but not limited to, the following:
1) School board policies;
2) School improvement plans;
3) Curriculum and assessment;
4) Report cards and audits of the school as conducted by the Office of Student Achievement;
5) Develop of a school profile which shall contain data as identified by the council to describe the academic performance, academic progress, services, awards, interventions, environment, and other such data as the council deems appropriate;
6) School budget priorities, including school capital improvement plans;
7) School-community communication strategies;
8) Methods of involving parents and communities;
9) Extracurricular activities in the school;
10) School-based and community services;
11) Community use of school facilities;
12) Student discipline and attendance;
13) Reports from the school principal regarding progress toward the school’s student achievement goals, including progress within specific grade levels and subject areas and by school personnel; and
14) The method and specifications for the delivery of early intervention services or other appropriate services for underachieving students.
The role of the council in the principal selection shall be determined in policy written by the local board of education.
Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the governing parliamentary authority for school councils in all cases applicable but not inconsistent with these bylaws.
Cascade Elementary School
Local School Council Bylaws