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Things you should know about School Advisory Councils

It's my first year serving as a parent member of Merrill Road Elementary School Advisory Council (SAC). As the school year begins to slowly wind down, I reflect on how much I've learned by being an active participant. I'd like to share things that you should know about SACs.

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What's the role of SACs?

It's allows parents, community members, faculty, staff and students to participant in the assessment of a school's needs, identifying resources, partnerships, and the assessing educational priorities. One of the major differences between the SAC and the Parent-Teacher Association is that as a SAC member, you're not responsible for coordinating fundraising activities. However, you'll have the opportunity to vote on how School Recognition Funds should be spent for the school.

Things you should know:

  • SAC members receive a SAC Handbook that details responsibilities along with the expectations of developing the School Improvement Plan that you will assess as a body throughout the school year.

  • SAC Meetings are open to the public and they're required to meet no less than 8 times per year.

  • Principals are the only administrator for the SAC and they're a voting member.

  • Each school belongs to an Area Advisory Council and they don't meet as frequently as SACs. There's a District Advisory Council as well.

  • Teachers and parents are expected to participate regularly at SAC meetings.

  • Meetings are facilitated using Robert's Rule of Order Motions Chart.

You should consider joining the SAC at your local neighborhood school! Often times, SACs are looking for community members, business and faith-based partnerships to make a difference in the lives of children. Serving on Merrill Road Elementary SAC has been a rewarding experience plus it's counts as volunteer hours for participants too. I'm grateful to work with an organization that values public education and allows me to be involved at the school-level too.

To learn more about SACs, view the SAC Handbook and get more resources visit Duval County Public Schools.

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Ale'ta Turner