SAC Elections

Parent Role in School Improvement 

1.  State statutes require SAC election procedures; does your district provide election procedures?
2.  Parent Elections for SAC Positions - various methods & the "how to's"....

 


Florida Statutes 1001.452 Require School Boards to develop procedures
 for the election and appointment of advisory council members. 

QUESTION:  District policy states: "that teachers will be elected by teachers, parents will be elected by parents, students, when appropriate, will be elected by students"   HOWEVER, in a new paragraph, district policy states: 
"The school advisory council shall select business and community member(s) to serve on the school advisory council as set forth in the bylaws of the school advisory council. The procedures in the bylaws include the means of insuring wide notice of vacancies through methods such as school marquee, school newsletter, and the school district television station "Chalkboard" and for taking input on possible members from local business, chambers of commerce, community and civic organizations and groups and the public at large."
     So, our district has correctly outlined the procedures for election and appointment of the community group. But there is NO further direction in the election of teachers or parents. Is this the way DOE has advised the county to deal with this portion of the law? Should the district have procedures for election of SAC membership for teachers, parents, and students other than restating the vague law?

ANSWER:  from Andrea Willett, , Office of School Improvement DOE
..." as you have cited in state law, the district is required to have "procedures" for election and appointment. I am not a lawyer; however, if asked, I would say that state law is general so that districts can be specific. I would recommend that every district have very clear, written policies and procedures delineating all aspects of electing school advisory council members, of appropriately balancing councils that are "out of balance", and for appointing community members so that when these rosters come before the school board, board members will know that all has been done to ensure equity, fairness, and input. Your district policy was adopted by the school board, so it had to have local legal review. Your board attorney (s) have (I assume) then told your board the current policy is "in compliance" with state statute. There may be written guidelines incorporated by reference into school board policy that spells all of this out for the district. If not, given the local policy you cited, I would say that each school would then have very clear steps (in writing and well advertised) that describe the process for electing members in the by-laws and that the process could be different from school to school within the district."  ~ Andrea

BACK

Florida School Advisory Council Election Samples

Parents elect parents . . .  as per state law.
Examples of election processes for parents:

1.

School Improvement Services, Volusia County Schools
"Each year I send an elections packet and brochure (in English and Spanish) to every school to assist them in their elections. The schools generally hold their elections during Open House."

2.

Pinellas County - a high school - 
1.

Parents are invited to join through a newsletter and at open house.  Parents  interested in serving as representatives, fill out a form, attend a PTSA meeting, and the PTSA elects from those interested.  (Only problem with example  is that this is not quite parents electing parents because PTSA represents parents, teachers, and students.)

2.

At open house (late September), the SAC chairman solicits parent nominations at the assembly prior to dismissal to classrooms. Then a mad rush is to distribute ballots and names to each classroom so that parents may vote for parent SAC representation at that time. 

3.

At the end of the school year when officers for the SAC executive board are elected, anyone who is nominated, elected,  and accepts a position is automatically a member for the following year of that group the person represents. Remaining general SAC membership positions are filled at the start of the new school year.

3.

Osceola County, SAC committee at Gateway High School:  

"At our SAC we nominate parents that are at the last SAC meeting of the year and then vote from those parents. We have done this since I have started on the SAC a few years ago."

4.

Hillsborough County - some district examples:

1.

Most of our schools have been electing parents from the open house meeting held a week before school opening. Most of our schools host an open house for kids to pick up schedules and meet teachers with an assembly first to welcome everyone. Some have 2 - one for new students and one for returning. Some elementary schools are large and have one for K-2 and one for 3-5

2.

We are encouraging schools to elect at the last assembly of the year and begin working over the summer.       

5. 

Broward County - 
Some examples from North Area Advisory Council, DAC Communications:

1. 

An "Are you interested note" goes out in the newsletter. This explains what SAC is and has a short form to fill out if they are interested in becoming a part.

2. 

Those who respond are sent a short form asking them to write about their interests in the school, the grade levels of their children, what special knowledge or talents they can offer the SAC.

3.

The forms are gathered, a ballot is created from them with a blurb about each of the candidates. The ballot is then available at open house where it is requested of all parents to come and vote.

6.

Sarasota County:
Last year I got a list of each school's SAC and its required to show how your members are selected. Two methods were predominate. - from a Sarasota Parent SAC member

1.

To select members from the PTO or other booster organization. 

2.

A more general parent selection process similar in some way shape or form to the methods others have described here. At my elementary school, we send a note home, ask parents with an interest to complete it with a short biographical and then we create a ballot which goes home and has to come back.

7.

At a Miami-Dade Elementary School:
At the elementary school this year, there are elected parents (advertised by school flyers, bio's received from parents, and voted on by a form sent home and returned), students elect students (usually from/by student council), teachers elect teachers at staff meetings, and support personnel elect support personnel at staff meetings. The PTA collects parent votes and counts them.

8.

At a school in Brevard County:
Positions are identified at the last meeting of the year for the coming year. Parent positions are "advertised" in newsletters and at open houses. If more parents are interested than positions to fill, then a ballot is put out to all parents (each parent is asked for a short bio and reason why they want to be on SAC). The ballots are tallied and the "winners" get to serve.

9.

A school in Miami-Dade:
"At our school, SAC elections are held immediately preceding a PTSA meeting. This pretty much insures that the PTSA will have a strong presence on SAC without guaranteeing a seat to any particular organization. The PTSA President typically appoints an official SAC liaison to facilitate communications between groups. Yes, we still need to be careful of Sunshine
Law requirements -- but, since the PTSA President hasn't opted to become a SAC member, SAC members may communicate with the PTSA President without fear of violating the Sunshine Law; and, most PTSA members may communicate with the SAC Chair without fear of violating the Sunshine Law. It's a good thing! ~Lucy M.

10.

What does your school do? Submit examples and they will be added here.

 
     
 

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