IMG 8061Parents act as the primary advocates for all children. By working as a group and understanding the legal responsibilities that lie with the principal, parents ensure the representation of various viewpoints and values within the community. Parent engagement is a key element to student achievement and student progress. Parents have at least a two-member majority of a school community council, and are often the driving force. Parents will serve as chair and may serve as vice-chair. It is important that parents on the council understand the responsibilities of the council, and are able to collaborate well with the other members of the council to effect meaningful school improvement for all children.

A Checklist for Parent Members of a School Community Council
• Understand the roles and responsibilities of school community councils and the importance of participation as an elected parent member. Recognize that the primary responsibility of the school community council is to improve student academic performance.
• Understand how to be elected a member of the school community council to represent the parents of students at the school.
• Participate in training about council responsibilities, collaboration, student and school assessments, how to participate in preparing and editing school action plans, school trust lands that provide revenue to schools to implement the School LAND Trust Plan, and the law that directs the money to be spent on the greatest academic need.
• Know where to find additional help and clarification, as needed.
• Attend school community council meetings and actively participate.
• Serve as an officer on the council, or nominate good candidates to fill those roles.
• Represent the needs of all students at the school and promote goals and activities of school parent groups and families in the school community.
• Encourage parent input into school community council issues and decisions and encourage parent involvement in task forces and sub/committees, including requests made of councils by the local school district.
• Collaborate with the council and sub-committees and/or task forces, utilizing the skills and expertise each individual can offer, to bring about the best result for the students.
• Be well informed and seek answers to questions and concerns before a vote is called for.
• Encourage the council to establish written procedures for parent notifications, elections and other council tasks and responsibilities, including rules outlining parliamentary order and procedure, ethical behavior and civil discourse.
• Celebrate successes towards achieving council goals with the parents. Be forthcoming about issues of concern and plans to make improvements. Actively promote school priorities in the community.
• Provide support and encourage ongoing training for newly elected parent members.
September 2013