What is a School Advisory Council?
The School Advisory Council (SAC) is a team of individuals from various segments of the community—parents, teachers, students, administrators, support staff, business/industry people and other interested community members. The purpose of the SAC is to assist the principal in developing and evaluating the results of the school improvement plan and the annual school budget.
It is the responsibility of the School Advisory Council to help increase student success. In the process of developing the school improvement plan, the SAC conducts a needs assessment that identifies internal and external factors that affect student learning. Then, working with the information revealed by the needs analysis, the SAC assists in clarifying the vision for the school and establishing indicators of student success. The SAC focuses on the needs of students, including what they need to know (curriculum content) and be able to do (performance application). The plan also should reflect any special interests and needs of the students and community served by the school. Another primary task of the SAC is to regularly communicate with other parents, educators, students and the community about the school improvement plan. Other key responsibilities of the School Advisory Council include:
- holding well-publicized, open meetings;
- encouraging innovation; and
- involving other members of the school community in the school improvement process.
Each school in the State of Florida must have a SAC. While Pinellas County Schools has always encouraged parent and teacher participation in the strategic planning process at both the district and school levels, Florida law requires it. Also by law, each School Advisory Council must be composed of the principal and an “appropriately balanced” number of stakeholders. These individuals must be representative of the ethnic, racial and economic makeup of the community served by the school. Elementary schools cannot have students on their official SAC roster. In any event, the majority of SAC members (over 50 percent) must be non-district employees.
To comply with Florida Statute 1001.452, schools must establish a School Advisory Council that is comprised of a majority of members who are not district employees. “Each advisory council shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.”