The Kennedy-Longfellow School Council is established under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993. The School Council assists the principal in:
- Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
- Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
- Reviewing the annual school building budget
- Formulating a school improvement plan
- Representing Kennedy-Longfellow School in school district initiatives
- Seeking out the opinions, questions and concerns of parents and teachers within the school in order to bring them into School Council discussions
Meetings shall be held each month of the school year, with additional sessions held as needed. The dates, times and location will be determined prior to the first meeting of the school year and advertised to all families via school newsletters and the school website. All meetings will meet the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. All meetings, along with the proposed agenda, will be posted at least 48 hours in advance. Minutes will be recorded and voted upon on the following meeting and then posted on the schools website.
The Kennedy Longfellow School Council is Co-Chaired by the Principal and one Parent/Guardian Representative. The Council will include up to five Parent/Guardian Representatives (including the Council Parent Co-Chair), up to five Teachers Representatives, and up to four “Other Members.” There must be an equal number of teachers and parent representatives comprising the School Council. Any member of the Kennedy-Longfellow School community can attend meetings and is warmly encouraged to participate in all discussions and deliberations, but voting members have special responsibilities outlined below.
- Parent/Guardian Representatives may be any parent of a current Kennedy-Longfellow student who is not a member of one of the other membership categories. Up to five Parent Representatives (including the Co-Chair) commit to serving staggered two-year terms, and may serve on the School Council for up to 2 consecutive terms (four years), as long as their child remains at Kennedy-Longfellow School.
- Teacher Representatives are any education staff member (teachers, specialists, and paraprofessionals). Up to 5 teacher representatives may serve on the School Council, with no set terms or term limits.
- Other Members are appointed by the Principal, and may include up to 4 stakeholder/supporters of the school, such as: Kennedy-Longfellow counseling or related service providers, Kennedy-Longfellow administrative/clerical/support staff, community partners, and East Cambridge residents or organizations. “Other Members” do not have set terms or term limits.
3. Roles and Responsibilities
The duty of the Co-chairs is to jointly oversee and direct the Committee’s meetings in a fair and productive manner. This includes preparing an agenda for each meeting and directing the discussions in a way that promotes clarity, understanding, and a full hearing of all views in a concise and respectful manner.
- Recording Secretary
The duty of this position is to take and keep minutes of all council meetings and distribute the minutes of each meeting for review before the next meeting.
The Representatives of the council act as a link between the council and the school community. Representatives will regularly participate in council meetings and should provide feedback on council issues, introduce discussion points for meetings and vote on discussed topics. Representatives are encouraged to promote council awareness and participation within the school community and participate in subcommittees, school activities and School committee meetings that affect the council’s overarching goals and objectives.
4. Decision Making
To conduct business, a quorum consists of greater than 50% of members present. Decisions are affirmed by a simple majority vote of the members present. In the event that a quorum is not present, the meeting may be held but no vote may be taken.
5. Goals and Objectives
On an annual basis, the School Council will identify goals and objectives aimed at supporting school needs and facilitating the School Improvement Plan. The Council will discuss and vote upon goals and objectives by the second meeting of the school year. These will establish a focus of effort for the school year. At the end of the school year the goals and objectives will be reviewed to assess progress and discuss paths forward for the following year.
The Council may establish subcommittees to promote its objectives. Each subcommittee will have at least one school council member. Non-members may be selected to serve as subcommittee members.
- Election Committee
Each November, an election subcommittee will be formed and composed of at least one parent, one teacher, and the Principal or his/her designee. No member of the election subcommittee may run in that year’s election, and the election subcommittee may, or may not, be comprised of School Council members.
The election committee is responsible for:
Teacher Representative Recruitment
- Identifying vacancies and expected vacancies.
- Distributing nomination forms and an invitation to run for School Council to all families within Kennedy-Longfellow School. Nomination forms should be solicited in December for a January interim election; or in May for year-end elections.
- Producing an invitation to Teacher Representatives to volunteer.
- Distributing electronic and paper ballots to families.
- Counting votes.
- Announcing the results in parent newsletters and parent and teacher email lists.
To recruit Teacher Representatives, the teacher member of the election committee will solicit participation from his/her colleagues. Teacher volunteers will be recruited based on the number of vacancies to be filled and will be considered to be elected by unanimous consent.
Election of Officers
The Co-Chair and Recording Secretary will be elected by a simple majority of all voting members who are present at the last meeting of the school year. Members wishing to be considered for the position of Co-Chair will nominate themselves or assent to being nominated by another member. If there is only one nominee, he or she will be considered to be elected by unanimous consent. If there are no nominees for either or both Co-Chair or Recording Secretary, Parent Representatives may split the duties of these offices, so long as all duties will be fulfilled.
These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting or special meeting called for such purpose, by a majority vote. Notice of the meeting for the purpose of amending the by-laws must be sent to the members at least (10) calendar days prior to the meeting via notices, email and/or social media.