School Advisory Councils
In 1991, the Florida Legislature enacted a law that created School Advisory Councils (SAC) to assist in upholding the effectiveness of our public schools. Today, every public school in the state of Florida has a SAC to act as the driving force behind the school improvement process and increase student achievement.
School Advisory Councils are composed of principals, teachers, educational support personnel, parents, students, local business representatives, and community members. These “stakeholders” composing SACs must be representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school. Each public school is unique and has a student population unlike any other. The people best suited to decide what will be effective in helping students learn are the people closest to each school.
School Advisory Council meetings should be scheduled at times convenient for most members and must be publicly announced at least three working days in advance of the meeting. Minutes of SAC meetings must be recorded along with a list of members who are absent. Under the Florida Sunshine Law and the state public records law, work conducted by public officials on behalf of the citizens, and records of that work, must be available for inspection by any interested person. This means the SAC’s work, its plan, the information developed and used in writing the plan, and the meetings all must be open and accessible to anyone who is interested.
Participating in the School Improvement Process
School improvement is an ongoing process schools use to ensure that all students achieve at high levels. An effective school improvement planning process allows Florida’s public schools to develop a strategic and continuous plan that focuses on quality education and high levels of student achievement.
Drafting a School Improvement Plan
Developing a School Improvement Plan (SIP) is one of the first steps in the school improvement process. Well-developed SIPs provide a foundation for changing schools to meet Florida’s education goals. Each plan shall address student achievement goals and strategies based on state and school district proficiency standards and include an accurate, data-based analysis of student achievement and other school performance data. The SIP should be a dynamic document that is reviewed often and revised as necessary throughout the school year. Listed below are a few data sources that may be helpful to SAC members as they are drafting the SIP.