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Establishing Site-Level Teams

In true collaborative leadership teams, all staff members of the school are engaged in meaningful decision-making through representative systems and are part of learning communities that foster their ability to impact learning and improve school climate. Students, families and committed partners are also in various shared decision-making bodies and area thriving part of the school community. Though not an extensive list, the following are possible ways shared decision-making can be operationalized in community schools.

Step 1: Build a Community School Initial Implementation Team (CSIT)

At the site-level, in the initial community schools planning and implementation stages, schools should designate a site-based team with various interest-holders to support the efforts of school transformation. The membership of the initial Implementation team may include the community-school coordinator, an administrator, counselors, teachers and any other interested members. This team is responsible for developing a plan for a deep needs and assets assessment and supporting the coordinator in facilitating the mapping of the existing shared leadership teams. As schools move through the stages of
implementation, the initial implementation team’s needs may evolve and may become
part of a greater decision-making body as determined by the needs and assets

Step 2: Establish a School Site Council (SSC)/ School Governance Council:

The school-site council or school governance council is a decision-making body composed of diverse members who are elected by interest-holders that include students, families, teachers, administrators and partners. SSC’s are responsible for determining bylaws and outlining areas that support the advancement of the vision of the school. They may develop decision-making processes in areas such as budget, staffing and sustainability, and principal evaluation and election. The SSC/SGC’s help determine the priorities from the needs and assets. They may also operationalize various advisory committees that include, but are not limited to partnership committees, parent advisory groups such as English Language Advisory Councils, Restorative Justice Steering
committees and student groups.

Step 3: Create goal teams

A goal team is a group that comes together to focus on collective problem-solving and improvement science methodology to address challenges raised by the needs and assets assessment. Goal teams for example can focus on specific tasks, such as restorative practices, family engagement and school attendance.

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