Every July, in Cedar City, there is a conference hosted by the rural schools in our state, Utah Rural Schools Association. I have attended the conference for the past four years as an officer for Utah School Boards Association, twice to present a workshop and the other times to attend workshops and meet the men and women who work in schools in some of the smallest districts in our state. Hands down, its one of the best conferences, filled with great information, wonderful speakers and some of the best people I have ever met.
This year, I had the privilege to present a work shop, “School Community Councils: Teachers Matter”, on the importance of being involved in our school’s community councils( SCC’s) at the local schools. The community councils are an important cog to the governance at each neighborhood school. The councils are comprised of teachers, parents, staff, and principal, all coming together to set student achievement goals in their School Improvement Plan, create a plan to spend the Trustlands dollars allocated to each school, oversee safe walking routes, wellness plans, emergency plans and any other issues the parents or principal want the SCC to weigh in on.
It’s important that our parents and teachers understand their voice matters in the discussions at the local SCC meeting. I was thrilled to be able to talk with teachers in Cedar City, about their SCC meetings and hear about how the council is working together for their students. It also gave me an opportunity to talk about Trustlands and the responsibility each council has to make sure the funds are expended for the academic achievement of students. Those dollars are a gift and should be safeguarded so our schools across the state continue to receive those resources.
Its local governance at its best! I have had the opportunity to serve on SCC’s as well as be a chair when my children were in school. Now, as a board member, I attend the SCC meetings at each of the feeder schools in my precinct. It’s a big time commitment, but in order for me to stay informed about local issues in the school, I would be out of touch with what is happening in my community.
The SCC meetings are usually filled with information and data about how the school is functioning, any challenges or changes to procedures and always a celebration around the good things happening in the school. Each time I attend these meetings, I come away knowing a little more about the great work going on in the building and gain a greater appreciation for the men and women who serve on these councils.