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Valencia Park's Site Governance Team (SGT)

 Valencia Park  Elementary

 1.    Purpose

Shared decision-making and site governance teams are established by the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) Collective Negotiations Contract, section 24.4, which reads in part:

 The District and the Association share a fundamental and profound commitment to providing the highest quality education possible to the students of our district. To this end, the Parties believe that the quality of decision making [sic] is best when the process is closest to and includes all stakeholders on site governance teams, which should include parents, community representatives, administrators, certificated staff members, classified staff members, and when appropriate, students. The stakeholders in each school community have the best information to design and implement effective strategies for the continuous improvement of student achievement. It is fully recognized that through their collaborative vision and efforts, students benefit academically, socially and emotionally.  There is no one best way to organize a school, a classroom or an educational program. Shared decision making [sic] enriches the instructional program by bringing together a variety of perspectives in the quest to improve student achievement.

 2.    Definition of Shared Decision Making

Shared decision making is an inclusion process in which stakeholders work cooperatively to make decisions that positively affect student performance.

3.     Composition of the Site Governance Team

 

The Site Governance Team shall represent the various stakeholder groups and shall be composed as follows:

 

·       50% Teachers (including SDEA rep or designee)

·       35% Parents/Community

·       15% Others (Classified)

·       Principal (or principal designee)

 This composition follows SDUSD guidelines, and at Valencia Park will result in 10 members as follows:  4 teachers (including SDEA rep) 3 parents, 1 classified, 1 special education and principal or principal designee.

4.    Scope of Authority/Assignments, Staffing and Budget 

While it is recognized that the principal has the right to schedule/assign, staff and budget the school, Principals and Governance Teams should operate in accordance with the following specifications in the three areas of scheduling/assignments, staffing and budget:

Scope/

Tasks

Responsibilities/ Roles

Governance Team

Principal

Scheduling/

Assignments

  In collaboration with Principal, develops direction, parameters and policies for scheduling/ assignments that focus on student performance; involves stakeholders; ensures equity; and uses the decision making process agreed to by the site.2

  Reviews assignments, plans and provides input/direction.

  In collaboration with Governance Team, sets direction, parameters and policies for scheduling/assignments that focus on student performance; involves stakeholders; ensures equity; and uses the decision making process agreed to by the site.

  Based on needs/data, determines schedules/assignments.

Staffing (Teachers & Classified Positions)

  In collaboration with the Principal, develops direction, parameters and policies for staffing that focus on student performance; involves stakeholders; ensures equity; and uses the decision making process agreed to by the site.1

  Representation and/or provides input:

-       Posting

-       Setting Criteria

-       Interviewing

-       Selection

  In collaboration with Governance Team, sets direction, parameters and policies for staffing that focus on student performance; involves stakeholders in the interview process; ensures equity; and uses the decision making process agreed by the site.

  Provides information on enrollment, staffing needs, etc.

  In collaboration with Governance Team/Staff selects staff.

  Based on needs/data, reaches consensus with interview panel and selects staff.

  May deviate from collaborative staffing process for compelling reasons (e.g., late posting, ethnic/gender balance, language diversity).

Budget

  In collaboration with Principal, develops direction, parameters and policies for the budget that focus on student performance involves stakeholders; ensures equity; and use the decision making process agreed to by the site.

  Provides input:  Studies student performance data

  Principal and governance team representatives determine and approve overall budget directions

  Curriculum/pilot programs

  In collaboration with Governance Team, sets direction, parameters and policies for the budget that focus on student performance; involves stakeholders; ensures equity; and uses the decision making process agreed to by the site.

  Provides information to Governance Team on site budgets.

  Educates Governance Team about budget (how it works, etc.)

  Makes “day-to-day” decisions in concert with site; “budget directions.”

  Monitors implementation.

 5.    Election of Members

A.     The SDEA Representative (or her/his designee) is an ex-officio member and is not elected.

B.     The principal (or her/his designee) is an ex-officio member and is not elected.

C.     Members shall be elected by the constituents of their respective stakeholder groups.

D.     Elections shall take place prior to the start of the new school year

E.     Elections shall be by secret ballot. Ballots shall be counted by a member of each constituency group.  SDEA representative and principal shall be invited to observe.

 6.    Terms of Membership

A.     All membership terms are for two (2) years. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve.

B.     In order to ensure both continuity and the renewal of leadership of SGT members, the terms shall be staggered so that roughly 50% of members are selected in even years and the remainder in odd years. In the case where all members are serving at the start of their two-year term, the team will determine by drawing of lot those members who will retire after the first year. 

7.    Resignation and Termination

A.     If a member resigns, an alternate, in order of selection by their constituency, will take their place. If no alternate is available, the remaining members of the SGT will appoint a replacement to finish the incomplete term. 

B.     Members must regularly attend meetings. Members missing 2 consecutive meetings will be dropped from SGT as a representative of their constituency, and will be replaced by an alternate. If no alternate is available, the remaining members of the SGT will appoint a replacement to finish the incomplete term.  The SDEA AR and principal are exempt from this attendance provision.

 8.    Role of Site Governance Team Members:

The role of site governance team members is to support the goals of the school and school district by:

·       Supporting the shared decision making process

·       Seeking input and sharing outcomes with constituency groups

·       Attending meetings regularly

·       Becoming familiar with the SGT by-laws

·       Sharing information, expertise, and documents necessary to make informed decisions

·       Ensuring that decisions made do not violate collective bargaining agreements, laws, district policies and procedures.

 

9.    Officers

  1. Chair

One member will be elected as chair of the Governance Team by the members at the first meeting of the year. The term is for one year. The responsibilities of the chair are as follows:

       Prepare the agenda in collaboration with the Principal and/or agenda committee

       Plan and preside over meetings 

       Ensure that the Governance Team abides by the bylaws, district guidelines, and observes ground roles at all times

       Notify team members and other interested parties of meetings

       Solicits input from all team members at meetings to ensure balanced representation.

       Responsible for keeping the team focused on agenda items and ensures that all team members and guests respect/observe the team ground roles.

 

B.    Vice Chair

The SGT shall have a vice-chairperson to preside over the meetings and be responsible for the general conduct of the proceedings using rules of parliamentary procedure, when the regular chair is unable to carry out those duties.

 

C.     Secretary

         The secretary shall be selected at the first meeting of the new school year. The secretary is responsible for taking and distributing the Governance Team minutes at both regularly scheduled and special meetings.

 

D.    Timekeeper

                            The timekeeper shall be selected at the first meeting of the new school year and is responsible for keeping the team within the time allotments on the agenda. If time limits cannot be kept, the timekeeper asks the team whether to continue or table the item for future agenda.

 

10. Meeting Schedule

A.     Regular meetings shall be held once a month while school is in sessions.

B.     Special meetings may be called and scheduled by a majority vote of the SGT, or by the chairperson.  The principal may call a special meeting, occasionally to discuss important District business. 

C.     The first meeting of each new school year will occur no later than September 30th.  Subsequent meetings for the year shall be scheduled during the September meeting.

D.     A meeting schedule for the year shall be posted publicly. Reminders of meetings and of meeting agendas will be sent to SGT team members 7 days prior to scheduled meeting by SGT chairperson.

E.     The SGT, when appropriate, may use staff development days, modified days, and other non-student attendance time to conduct activities so long as scheduling does not conflict with Article 8: Work Hours of the SDEA Collective Negotiations Agreement. (See section 24.4.4 of the SDEA Collective Negotiations Agreement.)

F.     Site budgets, when not restricted by categorical restraints, may be used to support governance team activities. (See section 24.4.4 of the SDEA Collective Negotiations Agreement.)

G.     Meetings shall be open to the public. 

 

11.Agenda

A.     Agenda items must be referred in writing to the chairperson and principal one (1) week prior to the meeting. 

B.     Agendas will be distributed to all staff 7 days prior to scheduled meetings by SGT chairperson.

C.     Items can be added to the agenda at the meeting with the consent of the body. 

D.     The publication of the minutes of the meeting will take place no more than ten (10) days after the meeting. Minutes shall be posted in the workroom and distributed to staff, classified, parents/community members.

 

12.Quorum

A quorum, for the purpose of conducting the business of the Site Governance Team, shall be a simple majority of the designated/elected members of the committee.

 

13.Decision Making Process  

A.     Issues put before the SGT for a decision shall be clearly and concisely stated.

 

B.     The SGT will attempt to make decisions by consensus.  Lack of agreement is viewed as a signal that the best option has not yet been developed and put forward.  Consensus, however, does not mean unanimity, nor that all decisions require endless discussion.  Consensus means that all parties can live with the decision.

 

C.     If the SGT fails to reach consensus, any member of the SGT may call for a vote.  Majority shall rule.   Voting can be made by voice, by show of hands, or by secret ballot.  Items brought before SGT shall be discussed before voting takes place. 

 

D.     Members should seek the input of their respective constituency groups before they vote.

 

13. Conflict Resolution

 

The SGT should attempt to resolve conflicts or differences of interpretation which may arise regarding the interpretation or implementation of these by-laws.   Should such conflicts or differences not be resolved, they may be submitted by an SDEA unit member(s) to the joint SDEA-SDUSD Contract Administration Committee for resolution. (See section 24.4.3 of the SDEA Collective Negotiations Contract.)

 

14. Ratification of Governance Documents

 

These by-laws must be submitted to each constituency group in a secret ballot ratification vote. Ratification requires a two-thirds vote of those voting within each constituent group.

 

15. Review and Amendment of Governance Documents

 

The site bylaws shall be reviewed every two years.   Any changes to the by-laws require the approval procedure as described in Section X.

 

16. Application

 

This process shall apply to all programs within school services division and all other division as appropriate.  This document in no way diminishes the legal authority of the School Site Council or any other group.