This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
There has been a push from a coalition of community groups to spread School Advisory Councils (SACs) to more District schools. On Saturday, Nov. 3, community members will join SAC teams, parents, students, and others interested in serving on one of the councils for an SAC Summit.
The summit will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin High School, with a continental breakfast and registration beginning at 8 a.m. Participants can take part in a number of workshops covering topics such as parent recruitment and retention, facilitating an effective meeting, understanding school data, and teamwork, inclusion and conflict resolution.
School Advisory Councils, a part of a school’s overall leadership structure, are made up of peer-elected representatives from various stakeholder groups at a school. SACs were created to involve parents, community members, staff, and students in a school’s decision-making process.
Claudia Averette, deputy chief for the District’s Office of Parent, Family, and Community Services, has been working with community groups about the expansion of SACs. She said that the goal this year is to have SACs at the 73 full autonomy schools. These are schools that, according to Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, have “had consistent leadership for the past two years and have either improved the School Performance Index score or met Adequate Yearly Progress.”
Currently, there are 38 SACs, not counting Renaissance Charters, and by 2015-16, Averette said, she expects to have working SACs in all District schools.
To register for the summit, visit www.philasd.org/sac or call 215-400-4180 to RSVP. Advance registration is required.