Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools




170 Chestnut Street,
Amherst MA 01002

Policy BDFA: School Councils

Home 5 Policy BDFA: School Councils


The Council improves student outcomes by uniting, in responsible participation, those closest to the teaching-learning relationship. Through the development of shared vision and planning, the Council creates a school environment which unites all members of the school community in a sense of belonging, commitment, and growth.


Councils assist principals by reviewing the school building budget and developing the school improvement plan. Councils may also take on other responsibilities as granted by the local school committee. Councils’ school improvement plans are submitted to the Superintendent for review and approval.


The Principal, except as specifically defined in the law, shall have the responsibility for defining the composition of and forming the group pursuant to a representative process approved by the Superintendent as the School Committee’s designee. The following conditions must be met:

  1. The Council shall include the principal, teachers, parents, other community members and, for the high school, at least one student representative. Parent, teacher, and student members are to be elected by their peers.
  2. The number of parent representatives must be equal to the number of teachers who serve on the Council plus the principal, and there will be outreach to ensure all eligible participants have an opportunity to volunteer.
  3. Not more than 50% of the council shall be made up of members who are not parents, teachers, students, or staff at the school.
  4. The council should be broadly representative of the racial and ethnic diversity of the school building and community.
  5. The principal and another member elected by the council from its membership will co-chair the council


The council assists principals in:

  1. Adoption of educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards.
  2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school.
  3. Review of the annual school building budget proposal.
  4. Formulation of a school improvement plan.
  5. High School Council will review student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect the following school year.


The Superintendent will annually review and approve the School Improvement Plan for each school, which shall be shared with the appropriate School Committee. School Improvement Plans must address improvement of student performance and must include any subjects the principal, in consultation with the school council, shall consider appropriate. School Improvement Plans must also align with district goals.


LEGAL REF: MGL 71:38Q, 71:59C

Region Approved 11/94 / Revised and Approved 2/25/19

Amherst Voted to Approve: 3/20/12
Pelham Voted to Approve: 5/3/12