Below are excerpts from the Massachusetts Department of Education regarding School Councils. For complete School Council information please visit: www.doe.mass.edu.
A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members and, at the secondary level, students, required to be established by each school pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 59C.
The law outlines four major areas of responsibility for councils. School councils are to assist principals in:
- Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
- Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
- Reviewing the annual school building budget
- Formulating a school improvement plan
- For any school that contains grades nine to twelve, inclusive, the council shall review the student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect for the following school year. (See Appendix B)
In addition, the law states that "nothing contained in this section shall prevent the school committee from granting a school council additional authority in the area of educational policy; provided, however, that school council shall have no authority over matters which are subject to chapter one hundred and fifty E of the General Laws." (Question 34, below, addresses Chapter 150E.)