State law requires parent or family member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.
Arkansas Code 6-13-1302. Site-Based Decision Making. Definitions
As used in this subchapter:
- (1) "Classified employee" means any person for whom licensure is not required as the basis of employment in the public schools of the state;
- (2) "Licensed employee" means any person for whom licensure is required as the basis of employment in the public schools of the state;
- (3) "Parent" means any parent, legal guardian, or other person having custody or charge of a student enrolled in a public school; and
- (4) "Site-based decision making" means a joint planning and problem-solving process implemented within a local school building, providing for a sharing of power, authority, and responsibility among teachers, administrators, and parents, and designed to shift decision making activity to the local building level.
Arkansas Code 6-13-1303. Site-Based Decision Making. Adoption of policy
(a) Following a secret ballot vote by two-thirds (2/3) of the licensed employees in a local building site to implement site-based decision making, the local school district board of directors may adopt a policy for implementing site-based decision making in the school district, to include, but not be limited to, a description of how school district policies have been amended to allow school employees at the local school building site to be involved in the decision-making process as they work to meet educational goals.
(b) For the policy to be implemented, it must be adopted by a majority of the board of directors of the school district.
Arkansas Code 6-13-1304. Site-Based Decision Making. School council established -- Members
The school district policy adopted by the board of directors and licensed faculty of a local school district shall require the following when any local school building site elects to implement site-based decision making under the provisions of this subchapter:
- (i) A school council shall be established, composed of teachers, classified employees, and the building principal or administrator.
- (ii) A majority of the council shall be made up of teachers.
- (i) The teacher representatives on the council shall be elected by a majority of the teachers in a secret ballot election conducted by the teachers in the building.
- (ii) The classified employee representatives shall be elected by a majority of the classified employees in a secret ballot election conducted by the classified employees.
- (A) The school council may include parent representatives if two-thirds (2/3) of the parents present at a meeting called for that purpose vote to participate in site-based decision making.
- (B) The parent representatives on the council shall be elected by the parents at a meeting called for that purpose and shall not be relatives of any employee of the school or any board member; and
- (3) Members of the school council shall elect a chair, vice chair, and secretary.
Arkansas Code 6-13-1305. School district policy — Contents.
The policy adopted by the local school district board of directors to implement site-based decision making shall also address the following: (1) Parent, citizen, and community participation, including the relationship of the school council with other groups; (2) Cooperation and collaboration within the school district, with other school districts, and with other public and private agencies; (3) Professional development plans developed pursuant to the state accreditation Standard; (4) School-level improvement plans, including the form and function of strategic planning and its relationship to school district planning; (5) School budget and administration, including: (A) Discretionary funds; (B) Activity and other school funds; (C) Funds for maintenance, supplies, and equipment; and (D) Accounting and auditing; (6) Assessment of individual student progress, including testing and reporting of student progress to students, parents, the school district, the community, and the state; (7) Requirements for waiver of school district policies; (8) Requirements for record keeping by the school council; (9) A process for appealing a decision made by a school council; and (10) Teacher evaluations, professional growth plans, and teacher support under the Teacher Excellence and Support System, § 6-17-2801 et seq.
Arkansas Code 6-15-1005. Safe, equitable, and accountable public schools
- (1) All public schools will have a plan of parental involvement.
- (A) Every school will have a plan for allowing parents to be involved in the education of their children.
- (B) These plans will address communication with parents, volunteering, learning activities that support classroom instruction, participation in school decisions, and collaboration with the community.
- (3) Every school will involve parents in developing school goals and priorities and evaluating the effectiveness of the school-level improvement plan.
Arkansas Code 6-15-1603. Establishment of local task forces on closing the achievement gap.
- (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt a policy for local school districts to establish local task forces on closing the achievement gap.
- (2) The purpose of each task force is to advise and work with its local board of directors and administration on closing the gap in academic achievement and on developing a collaborative plan for achieving that goal. (b) The policy shall include the following:
- (1) Each task force shall report to its local board of directors;
- (2) Each task force shall include key stakeholders in the community who are committed to improving the education of all children, especially those who are underachieving, and who agree to attend task force meetings on a regular basis, take an active role in discussions and activities, listen to the ideas, suggestions, and comments of other task force members as well as community members, inform other members of the school and community of the work of the task force, participate in any training for the task force members such as consensus building, problem-solving, and group dynamics, and seek actively data-driven solutions to improving the achievement of all students; and
- (3) Task force members shall be representative of community demographics, race, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity. It is strongly recommended that they include:
- (i) Three (3) parents, as selected by the local school district's parent organization.
- (ii) One (1) parent who has a child at an elementary school, one (1) who has a child at a junior high or middle school, and one (1) who has a child at a high school;
- (B) School administrators, teachers, instructional support personnel, exceptional children personnel, and second language specialists, each of whom shall be selected by the superintendent;
- (C) One (1) member of the local board of education, as selected by that board;
- (D) One (1) representative of the local department of social services;
- (E) At least one (1) juvenile court counselor;
- (F) At least one (1) representative of local law enforcement;
- (G) One (1) representative of the local Communities in Schools Program, if present in the local school district, as selected by the executive director of that program;
- (H) At least one (1) representative of local businesses, as selected by the local chamber of commerce;
- (I) Representatives from community-based organizations, as selected by the superintendent upon recommendation from those organizations;
- (J) At least one (1) representative of a university school of education, if there is one in the area, as selected by the chair of the local board of education;
- (K) Two (2) high school students, as recommended by their student councils and elected by the chair of the local board of education; and
- (L) Any other community representatives, as selected by the superintendent. (c) The superintendent shall name the chair of the task force, who shall call the first meeting of the task force. (d) Each task force shall:
- (1) Decide on training that it may need;
- (A) Determine what information and data the task force will need, plan and schedule presentations on the information and data which shall be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
- (B) Examples may include state test data, discipline statistics, teacher-student ratio, student and teacher attendance data, faculty composition by race, gender, ethnicity, and professional preparation of educators;
- (A) Define the communication process and person responsible for disseminating information to the public.
- (B) Communication shall include the posting of information on a website and shall provide appropriate translations, as needed;
- (A) Establish a policy statement on closing the achievement gap for the local school administrative unit.
- (B) This statement shall address why closing the achievement gap is important to the entire community;
- (A) Set aside specific meetings to analyze and synthesize data and information.
- (B) The task force shall use the data to identify and prioritize the problems with student achievement;
- (A) Set aside specific meetings to analyze and synthesize data and information.
- (6) Identify and review current effective programs and instructional strategies that address student achievement needs, identify criteria used to determine their effectiveness, determine changes to improve the effectiveness, identify gaps in services, and identify needed information to determine research-based programs and strategies that are effective in addressing the gaps; and
- (7) Develop a report to the school and community that includes an implementation plan, benchmarks, and the monitoring process. (e)
- (1) Each task force may establish subcommittees to research answers to the critical questions.
- (2) If subcommittees are established, they shall present their findings to the full task force.
Wellness Committee Responsibilities
This memo lists the required members for the local wellness committee which includes parents.