What are the roles of the School Site Council (SSC)?

A School Site Council must be established at all Santa Rita Union Schools. The elected members of the SSC represent parents, students, community members, and school staff in school governance. By state law, the SSC must oversee the site-based budgeting of categorical funds and the development and monitoring of the BSC/SPSA. The SSC is expected to:

What is the composition of members of the SSC?

The council shall be composed of the principal and representatives of teachers selected by teachers at the school; other school staff selected by other school staff at the school; parents of students attending the school or community members selected by parents of students and, in secondary schools, students selected by students (California Education Code Section 52852).

How many members are elected to the School Site Council?

At the elementary level the council shall be constituted to ensure parity between (a) school staff members (principal, classroom teachers and other school staff); and (b) parent/community members (EC 52852). In other words one-half of the members must be school staff (classroom teachers shall comprise the majority of this half of the council) and the other half must be parents/community members. For example, a 10-member SSC could satisfy this requirement

A site may choose to have a larger SSC, but parity between school staff members and parent/community members must be maintained.

Who are the “classroom teachers” elected to the School Site Council?

A “classroom teacher” is a credentialed employee of the school district whose primary job responsibility is to provide daily instruction to students on their registry/class list. School staff members of the SSC are elected by other school staff members.

Who are the “parents” elected to the School Site Council?

A “parent” is a mother, father or guardian of a child. A parent has the full responsibility for the nurturing and care-giving of children.

Who are the “community members” elected to the School Site Council?

A “community member” is a person who is not employed by the school district, nor the parent or guardian of a pupil attending the participating school. Community members seeking seats on the SSC are listed on the same ballot as parents. Parent/community members of the SSC are elected by parents.

Can seats on the SSC be reserved for members representing special school committees or interests, (e.g., PTA president, SAC chairperson, ELAC chairperson, department representatives, etc.)?

No, seats may not be reserved on the SSC. Members must be elected to the council. When coordinating the election, schools are encouraged to seek diversity in their candidates to ensure that the SSC broadly represents the entire school community.

Can parent members of a School Site Council (SSC) be employed at that school?

No, the parent cannot serve as a “parent member” if (s)he is employed at that school site; however, (s)he may be elected as a “staff member” on the SSC. If (s)he has a child attending another SRUSD school, s(he) is eligible to run for a seat as a “parent member” on that school’s SSC.

Can student body officers at the secondary schools automatically serve as student members of the SSC?

No, the student members must be elected to their seats on the SSC. However, one strategy a school might use is to make School Site Council membership one of the required duties of student body officers. They could be elected to both positions at once, via the student body elections.

Who coordinates the election for the School Site Council (SSC)?

In the SRUSD, the Educational Services Department has been designated to coordinate the SSC elections for staff members. Typically, the principal or designee coordinates the SSC election for parent and community members and for student members.

When should SSC elections take place? What is the term of office?

The Department of State and Federal Programs announces the SSC elections deadline each year; generally, it is in mid-October. The term of office is two years.

Can elections be organized so that SSC members’ terms of office are staggered?

Yes, this would provide for continuity and schools are encouraged to do this. As new members are elected to the council, “experienced” members would serve as models. The council could continue its critical work without the interruption of beginning anew every two years.

Is the School Site Council required to develop bylaws?

Yes, the School Site Council is required to develop and maintain a set of bylaws. The SSC may seek assistance from school officials in this process. The bylaws must be in accord with SRUSD policies and state law. There is no state requirement for review or approval of council bylaws by any other entity; however, the bylaws should be regularly consulted in the conduct of SSC business and revised whenever a need is identified. Sample bylaws are available on the SRUSD website.

What may be done to ensure reasonable attendance of members at council meetings?

The School Site Council bylaws may specify the participation required of members and the means to vacate seats and select alternate members.

If sites have questions regarding the SSC where can they find assistance?

Assistance is available from the Department of State and Federal Programs: 415-379-7618.