Every public school in Utah has a School Community Council formed of parents and school employees. The School Community Council acts as a liaison between parents and the school, and develops plans for improving the school using funds from the School LAND Trust Plan (the amount varies but is usually between $20,000 and $50,000 per year).
School Community Council Responsibilities:
- Develop a School Improvement Plan
- Develop a School LAND Trust Plan
- Review school U-PASS data (U-PASS is a series of student tests that measure school performance.
- Participate in the development of the Professional Development Plan
- Develop a Child Access Routing Plan (High Schools are not required to do this.)
- Advise the school administration on local school issues
- Provide an opportunity for issues of concern in the community to be presented to the school administration
- Develop a Reading Achievement Plan (Elementary schools only)
(The plans produced by the School Community Council must be approved by the district school board.)
Who's on the School Community Council?
- Faculty/staff members
- Parent/guardian members
- The size of the council may be determined by each individual school. Most councils have at least five members.
- The number of parent/guardian members must exceed the number of faculty/staff members including the principal.
How are Council members elected?
All council members, except the principal, are elected. Employees vote for employees (majority vote), and parents/guardians vote for parents/guardians (majority vote of those voting in a an election held at the school). In the event of vacancies, each group appoints replacement members from within its ranks. The selection of council members should be made no later than July 1 prior to the start of the new school year. Those interested in being on the council should inform the principal.
Where does the funding from the School LAND Trust come from?
There are 3.3 million acres of school trust lands in Utah granted at statehood to support schools. These lands generate revenue, all of which is saved in the permanent State School Fund. This fund is invested and the interest and dividends are distributed to every public school in the state based on enrollment figures. School Community Councils prepare plans, approved by local school boards, that identify an academic need and a proposed solution using the dollars that the school received from the School LAND Trust Fund.
Your School's Community Council
See who's on your School Community Council and read their School Improvement Plan and School LAND Trust Plan.
Remember, if you'd like to become a member of a School Community Council, contact your school's principal.
Parents act as the primary advocates for all children. By working as a group and understanding the legal responsibilities that lie with the principal, parents ensure the representation of various viewpoints and values within the community. Parent engagement is a key element to student achievement and student progress. Parents have at least a two-member majority of a school community council, and are often the driving force. Parents will serve as chair and may serve as vice-chair. It is important that parents on the council understand the responsibilities of the council, and are able to collaborate well with the other members of the council to effect meaningful school improvement for all children.