SAC Meetings: Agenda's

Click here for a sample SAC Agenda template in Microsoft Word format


  I have found through years of meetings that having a clear agenda and rules/practices/procedures eliminate many problems. Also, SAC chairs and principals do need to be trained in effective meeting communication - so many meetings seem to intimidate participation.
As a SAC chair and secretary, created a template which I use through Word.  This really saves time in future agenda development! The top of the agenda is a header which states the name of the SAC, the next line shows the nature of the document (agenda) the date and time and place of the meeting. I also added a 'footer' which has our school mission statement, school address and phone numbers.  I have included this to facilitate communication between the school and the public and members at a SAC meeting - like a welcome invitation! Next items are numbered so that when the SAC votes to accept the agenda as written or with certain changes, the item can be quickly identified.
1 Meeting Call to Order / Determination of a Quorum
(quorums are required by state statutes to conduct business)
2. Introduction & Welcome
(important to make everyone feel welcome and know who is who)
3. Adoption of Agenda
(any changes like adding a guest speaker or changing or of business is appropriate here)
4. Reading of the Minutes
(This can be read aloud by secretary or if everyone has a copy (many SACs send out the minutes prior to the meeting which is wonderful) SAC could just vote on the minutes.  The meetings I have attended we never read the minutes aloud but the minutes are usually 2 pages so it would be a time constraint. No changes should be made to the minutes prior to the meeting. I have read several emails where the principal or SAC chair will make changes to the minutes before a meeting. Not appropriate. The time
for change is at the meeting. Period. It is part of the checks and balances.  
DOE has a document called, "Basic Information and Guide for SAC Members" which states that "Minutes of SAC meetings must be recorded along with a list of members who are absent."
So don't forget to include attendance at a SAC meeting on those minutes!
5. Old Business
Here you will sub-number items and add who will be presenting this item and a time allowance)
6. New Business
(Same as #5 with items listed, presenter and time allowance)
7. Reports
(Optional.  Our SAC has reports from each of our groups.  This invites participation and a sense of belonging and being needed which is a good meeting practice.  We have Principal, SAC Chair, Teachers/Staff, PTA, Student (we are a high school so students are required to be members), and District Reports.  A treasurer's report could be added here and sub-committee reports.
8. Open Agenda
This is always a good idea and fills the requirement of law for public input at all SAC meetings (Gov't in the Sunshine Laws). You want participation - and it allows people to address problems on the spur of the moment. If it is important we may table it for the next meeting and if it would require a vote, this would have to take place after written notice anyway. It is at this time we discuss future agenda items. This is an excellent time to discuss items for the next SAC meetings because you won't violate sunshine laws.  Any discussion by 2 members on an item that may come for a vote by SAC must have public notice, be open to the public and be in a public place and have minutes!
9 Next Meeting Confirmation / Adjournment
Under this item I list the all the remaining SAC meeting dates.  This serves as a good meeting reminder and helps people schedule the remaining meetings.  It may seem redundant but I believe it is a good meeting attendance practice for keeping and retaining your members.
10. Chairman Notes
Again this is my procedure and not required.  I add this so that parents/community are informed of future school calendar dates.  My goal is to provide helpful information to our members and guests.  I could just verbally add this information, but then they would have to write it down.  This way I have provided something for them - I believe the added effort will be perceived as welcoming, helpful and positive.
  As SAC chair I try to be as informative as possible with all my communications. During the meeting we allow for the public to participate anytime. I have been at meetings where participation is stifled because they will only allow participation after a vote is made and seconded. There are some issues that never have a vote so why not have participation?  If it is a contentious SAC and school - then they should have rules of participation that are explained at the beginning of the meeting and any SAC that has this kind of problem should ask the district for training on consensus, working together etc...
  Principal's Report.  The principal's secretary normally email's me the items that the principal will include on his report.  This is not discussed (Sunshine law prevents discussion on items that may be voted upon).  I then use bullets to list the items in an orderly fashion.  This helps the principal stay on tract or help with memory.  There is a lot of things for principal's to remember and do so my goal as SAC chair is to help and assist the principal.  I believe we should be partners (have a working relationship) and not adversarial.

However, if the principal brings up an item that is not on the agenda that requires a vote, I let him finish addressing that item and then ask the secretary to include that item under the minutes for us to vote on at the next meeting as per state law which requires 3 days written notice.

Public Notice
I email the committee sometimes 2 weeks in advance soliciting agenda items or items that need to be voted on; along with a reminder of the meeting. If I receive an agenda item, it is added with no discussion.  Anyone who waits to tell me  2  days before the meeting - well, I will include it on the agenda but we won't vote on it.

Agenda Format
I keep the agenda very clean looking and attractive using Arial font (easiest for people to read) With as much white space as I can (leaving sometimes 3 spaces between items). I do this because as I watch members, we all scribble notes on the agenda. So that agenda becomes a member's notebook. So having space for them to make notes is a positive step for communication.  I will use acronyms occasionally on the agenda but always with definition or full word meaning of that acronym.  So if I used SAC for an item under new business, I would add in parenthesis that we were addressing the Southern Accreditation of Colleges.

Some SACs use a table format.  As an ex-secretary, I was taught to use this format and have continued to do so but each SAC can create the format for agenda's and minutes that best serves the needs of that SAC.  My agenda is just a sample and a 'springboard' for thought.

Another SAC chair, Synthia, adds:
I put together an agenda format that uses Word but inserts a table with columns and the final column is blank for members to write their own notes or "minutes" if they care to, and then when they are reviewing the minutes in the subsequent meeting they can compare the final Secretary's version to their notes to see if they "match up" probably only checking any item that was important to makes it easier for the secretary, too, I e-mail her the completed agenda, she types her minutes into the final column of the agenda I send her, changes the title to Minutes, so the minutes line up with the agenda "as it happened" and then she e-mails it back and we post them.


This page was lasted edited on:  Wednesday, November 08, 2017


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