Iao School

School Community Council:

Introduction and Background

In Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 2004, the Legislature passed Act 51 as amended by Act 221. This law established School Community councils (SCC) for Hawaii's schools.

The new law improved the way the state's single school system is organized, particularly by allowing for more educational decision making at the school level and thereby increasing the involvement of those directly affected by the decisions. The expectations of School Community Councils are increased accountability, school improvement and student achievement. A Matrix of Act 51/221 Requirements my be found in Section 6.

Board of Education (BOE) Policies on SCC nd SCC Waivers and Exceptions were approved on October 7, 2004, to facilitate its commitment to SCCs and to make the process of obtaining waivers less burdensome and time-consuming. Revisions to the policies were approved on May 5, 2005 and included language related to increased accountability for school requests, decision-making , and waiver/exception processes. Copies of the BOE policies may be found in the Appendices Section.

Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) regarding SCCs ar negotiated with the Hawaii Government Education Association and the Hawaii State Teachers' Association. Copies of these agreements may be found in the respective union contracts.

Purpose of School Community Councils

School Community Councils are forums for exchanging ideas about how to improve student achievement among the school's stakeholders: principals, teachers, school staff, parents, students, and community members.

School Community Councils are a major part of the overall leadership structure at each school. They are a group of people who are elected by their peers to advise the principal on specific matters that affect student achievement and school improvement. Their primary role is to participate in the process to ensure that the needs of all students are specifically addressed in the overall education plan for the school. The Academic and Financial Plan is a document that highlights the goals for the school, the programs, and the available resources to reach these goals.

School Community Councils are forums for open discussion and problem-solving related to student achievement. Recent research suggests that when done well, this process contributes to improved school culture and a strong professional community of educators. In addition, effective decision-making supports improved classroom practice and student learning. These results indicate that democratic structures like School Community Councils are integral to school and student success.

The Hawaii State Board of Education and Hawaii Department of Education recognize these research findings and have developed policies to support School Community councils based on three common-sense principals:

- Individuals closest to the students should be more involved in making significant decisions affecting the instructional program of the school.
- A school plan to improve student academic achievement receives more support when people understand and help create that plan.
- When families participate in ways in their children's education, including deciscion-making, their children's education and the school are more successful.

Membership on a School Community also benefits the individuals involved. The personal advantages of becoming a School Community Council member include:

- Learning about educational research and factors that impact student achievement;
- Being an important partner in the education system, whose views are valued;
- Contributing to the shared goal of improving student achievement;
- Having a vehicle through which to express opinions; and
Being informed about what is happening at the school.
- Contributing to the shared goal of improving student achievement;

Participating on the School Community Council will be a rewarding experience for all those who value the opportunity to make a difference in children's education.

The Hawaii Department of Education has learned many valuable lessons from our own history with School/ Community Based Management (SCBM) Councils and decision-making. Among the key lessons are:

- Principals and Complex Area Superintendents (CAS) must actively support School Community Councils by providing necessary resources to recruit, elect, run, and renew their Councils.
- School leadership must welcome participation in the process by demonstrating the values and skills to facilitate inclusion of all members.
- School Community Councils must keep their attention on student achievement by focusing their work on the development, support, and monitoring of the school's Academic and Financial Plan.

With the federal No Child Left Behind legislation as a focal point, the Hawaii Department of Education is committed to turning these lessons into actions and establishing effective School Community Councils.

Iao School - SY 2015-2016
Board Members

Kristin Carlisle - Chair (Teacher rep)
Virgilio Viernes - Secretary (Teacher rep)
Rachel Medeiros - Classified Rep
Lindsey Kimoto - Student Rep
Jayda Cortez - Student Rep
Barbara Oura-Tavares - Administrative Rep
Joseph Vierra - Adminstrative Rep

 


Click here to download the SCC By-Laws