Role of the School Advisory Council (SAC)
-The fundamental purpose of the SAC is to ensure that all students receive the best possible learning opportunities by the school.
– The SAC plays an advisory role to the Principal on curriculum, program, school practices, student discipline, fundraising and parent/school communications.
– Since the SAC operates under the provisions of the Education Act, members were reminded that as a legally recognized body, they are to respect confidentiality.
– The Discipline determines if a suspension of 5 days or less should be confirmed or revoked if a review is requested. The second role they have is to confirm or reject a principal’s recommendation for a student suspension of more than 5 days.
Harbour View Elementary School (HVES)
School Advisory Council (SAC) By-Laws
The Harbour View Elementary School Advisory Council will have up to nine (9) voting members including:
3 parents/guardians of children enrolled in the school; 3 teachers and support staff; and 3 community members. Efforts will be made to include individuals who reflect the diversity of the school community, including but not limited to African Nova Scotians, First Nations, other racially visible persons, and persons with disabilities.
The Principal and Vice-Principal are ex-officio (non-voting) members of the SAC.
School staff cannot serve as a parent/guardian representative or as a community representative of the SAC.
The Principal, Vice-Principal and School Staff representatives will not normally be appointed to the position of SAC Chair, unless agreed upon by all representative groups.
Length of Term
The term for any position will be no longer than 1 year. Members are eligible to be elected and/or appointed for consecutive and subsequent terms on the SAC.
Elections and Appointments
Parent/guardian representatives will be elected at a public meeting. Teachers and support staff will elect their representatives. Community representatives will be appointed by the SAC members who make up the representative groups of parents/ guardians and teachers/support staff. All elections and appointments will be completed during the first meeting of the school year.
The SAC will refill vacated positions by holding a special election for that position or by appointing a person for a term not to exceed the remainder of the current term for all members. Vacant positions must be refilled by individuals from the same representative group as the person who vacated the position.
The Executive of the SAC (Chair and Secretary) shall be elected from among the members. This election will occur at the second SAC meeting of each school year, following elections and appointments for the current term. The principal and vice-principal are ex-officio (non-voting) members of the executive.
All SAC meetings will be open to the public (as observers) and advance notice of all meetings will be included in school newsletters and on the school web site.
The SAC shall normally meet each month, but not less than 8 times during the school year. The duration of meetings will normally be 1hour in length and may be extended to 1.5 hours, with consensus of the SAC members present.
The meeting schedule will be established for the school year at the first meeting following the start of the school year. Meeting times will be agreed upon by consensus or a majority vote.
“Special” meetings of the SAC may be scheduled when issues of an urgent nature arise that may have an immediate effect on the school community. Notice of these meetings will be made one week in advance, whenever possible. The outcomes of these meetings will be posted on the school web site within one week of the special meeting.
Agenda items will normally be submitted to the SAC Chair and Principal one week in advance of SAC meetings, however, late submissions will be considered, whenever possible. The Chair of the SAC will develop the meeting agenda in consultation with the Principal. Whenever possible, the agenda will be distributed in advance of the scheduled SAC meeting.
Public agenda items and presentations to the SAC will be limited to 10 minutes of time for discussion and decision making. When time permits, additional time may be allotted to an agenda item, by consensus or majority vote of the SAC.
Minutes will be recorded for all regular and “special” SAC meetings. Minutes will include enough detail to summarize the discussion, information shared and decisions made, if any, for each agenda item.
Minutes of the SAC meetings will be distributed to members in advance of the next meeting. Once approved, the minutes shall be posted to the school web site as soon as possible.
The school will provide, within the limits of its financial resources, support services, communication, and other reasonable assistance associated with the SAC’s activities.
The annual report will be drafted by the Principal, with input from and in consultation with the SAC. This report will be submitted to the School Board and Department of Education and will be made available to students, parents and the community.
By-laws will be adopted or amended by a consensus decision or majority vote by SAC members. These will be forwarded to the school board for approval, and the by-laws and amendments to them become effective upon receipt of approval.
The quorum of the SAC will be a simple majority of its members, excluding the principal and vice-principal.
The SAC will make decisions using consensus. When a consensus cannot be reached, the members shall table the decision until the next meeting. If there is still no consensus, the matter will be put to a vote.
The principal and vice-principal, as non-voting members, participate in the decision making of the council in a consultative role.
Decisions that have been reached by consensus or supported by a majority vote will go forward to the school principal.
The SAC Chair, in consultation with the principal, shall be responsible for making any public statements that may be required, on behalf of the School Advisory Council.