Citizen Committees

District Level Citizen Committees

Area Citizens Advisory Councils will exist to provide for greater community involvement in the educational planning process. The following procedures should be used in the selection of members.

  1. Notice of opportunities to serve on Area Citizens Advisory Councils should be made to all parents at least annually.
  2. Whenever possible, the parents/citizens selected as members of the councils should collectively be representative of the entire community and its varying viewpoints.
  3. The ultimate approval of the appointment of members will be made by the appropriate assistant superintendent to whom the committee reports.

Other committees of citizens may be selected at any time to serve as a study group for investigation of certain problems in an ad hoc capacity.

  1. These groups will serve for a specific purpose and will be dissolved after final reports are completed.
  2. Whenever possible, the parents/citizens selected as members of the councils should collectively be representative of the entire community and its varying viewpoints.
  3. The ultimate approval of the appointment of members will be made by the appropriate assistant superintendent to whom the committee reports.

All District committees will have either a charter (for standing committees) or a charge (for special committees).

A process for the adoption of operational procedures and election of officers will be determined by the members of the group unless otherwise specified by the charter or charge.

All District committees will comply with applicable local, state, and federal standards and regulations.

School Level Citizen Committees

Schools may establish standing and ad hoc committees based on the same criteria that governs District committees.

  1. Notice of opportunities to service on standing (ongoing) committees should be made to all parents at least annually.
  2. Whenever possible, the parents selected as members of committees should collectively be representative of the entire school community and its varying viewpoints.
  3. The ultimate approval of appointment of members will be made by the school principal.

A process for the selection of a committee chairman will be determined by the members of the group.

All school committees will comply with applicable local, state, and federal standards and regulations.

Tips for Selecting Citizens Who Serve on Committees

Make a general announcement to your community that positions are available and ask for volunteers.

  1. Distribute a questionnaire soliciting committee involvement when you register students in the fall.
  2. Announce and describe school and District committees in your school newsletter and a local newspaper or neighborhood association newsletter.
  3. Be sure to tell people about your criteria for membership on a particular committee. For example, if you want half of a PPC to be made up of parents who have already served on one, include that in your announcement.

Ask your citizens advisory council, PTA, or nominating committee to review volunteers for committee membership and make suggestions.

Ask existing parent or citizen groups for recommendations of possible members.

Assess the population of your school community and try to involve those traditionally left out of school activities.

Look beyond parental membership by including representatives of the community you serve.

Membership guidelines should allow flexibility of involvement. For example, you might want to maintain the membership of someone who cannot come to your daytime meetings, but will accomplish tasks which can be at other times. This usually does not work, however, unless you keep them informed about the committee actions missed.

Be mindful of the dynamics of your committee. For example, a quiet member may not speak up during a meeting, but might respond positively when asked to accomplish a specific task.

Characteristics to Look for in Committee Membership

On a large committee, try to include representation of the varying viewpoints held by your school community. Some of those areas might include:

  1. Special education and regular education constituents;
  2. Balanced participation by men and women;
  3. Balanced minority and socioeconomic representation;
  4. Grade level representation;
  5. Traditional and non-traditional families;
  6. Neighborhoods;
  7. A mixture of familiar and new faces;
  8. The articulate, the committed, the available, and the reliable;
  9. Those who can represent a viewpoint other than their own -- those with global perspective; and
  10. Those with a genuine desire to serve.

Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: BDF, KBE

Revised: May 1995
Revised:
April 1996
Revised:
May 1997

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