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Washburn Site Council Bylaws

June 2015

Washburn’s Mission:
Through intercultural understanding and respect, WHS’s mission is to ensure students’ academic and social growth in an environment that fosters active student involvement while nurturing compassionate life-long learners and global citizens. Education at Washburn takes place within integrated/inclusive classrooms where instruction focuses on raising the achievement of all students thereby narrowing the gaps between the highest and the lowest performing students and eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.

Purpose of the Site Council:
The Site Council supports the administration, staff and district in fulfilling the mission of Washburn High School. The Site Council works for the common good of all Washburn students and community members.

Role of the Site Council:
The Site Council performs advisory duties as defined in Minneapolis Public Schools Policy 1692. Its larger role is to nourish working partnerships among staff and administration, families, and the district. The working culture of the Site Council is collaborative. Members challenge each other in a respectful manner in order to develop constructive actions and outcomes. All Site Council members work on initiatives, projects and working teams as needed. Members focus their efforts in three areas:
1) Members Advise:
The Site Council fulfills the district mandate for a parent-teacher advisory/governance group. As such, the Site Council acts on specific initiatives required by the district, as directed by Washburn's administrative leadership.
2) Members Communicate:
The Site Council communicates with Washburn families about the mission, values and practices of the school. They support the school's vision by being the eyes and ears of the Washburn community. They act as interpreters and bridge builders among the faculty, administration and parents.
3) Members Act:
The Site Council acts on issues and challenges that emerge in the community by initiating constructive conversations and developing venues and pathways for addressing challenges. Sub-groupings can be formed to implement actions or initiatives by drawing from Washburn community members and families.
Membership should reflect the racial, ethnic, language, learning, ability, and cultural diversity of the Washburn community. Members serve two-year terms beginning in September. Total membership does not exceed 20.

● At least one parent from each grade.
● Washburn Foundation representative.
● Parent Council representative.
● DPAC representative.
● Teachers. (At least two.)
● Students.
● Administration. The Principal is a standing member.
● Parent liaison.
● Community member(s). (At least one.)

Two Co-Chairs chosen by the Principal serve staggered terms of two years. The Co-Chairs and the Principal develop the agenda.

The Site Council and Washburn administration actively recruit potential members, focusing on the criteria above. Individuals may nominate themselves or others by contacting the school or a Site Council member, and information about membership will be offered on the Washburn website, in school communications to families, and at events and orientations. The Co-Chairs keep a list of interested persons.

In the late spring, all interested individuals are contacted and asked to write a one- paragraph statement about their interests and why they want to serve on the Council. Individuals must agree to the purpose and role of the Site Council and the mission of Washburn High School in order to be considered for selection. A selection team comprised of the Principal and three Site Council members reviews all applications for membership. The selection committee may interview nominees. Members are chosen based on the statement of interest, on the interview, if any, and on the current openings available as determined by the criteria described above. The Principal appoints faculty and student members.
Members whose terms expire may reapply for another term if they meet the criteria for membership. If there are more qualified applicants than open positions, priority is given to diversity of representation and to new applicants. The selection committee may fill mid-year vacancies arising from the resignation or removal of a member.

A member may be removed from the Site Council by a majority vote of all other members. Reasons for removal may include chronic non-attendance at meetings or uncooperative or disrespectful behavior. Members being considered for removal have an opportunity to explain their actions before the Council. Expression of dissenting opinions does not in itself constitute uncooperative behavior.

Recruitment of new members takes place in April and May, with orientation in early September. Regular meetings are held monthly from September through May. Other meetings may be called by the Co-Chairs as needed to address time-sensitive issues. Co-

Chairs may cancel or reschedule meetings in response to schedule conflicts or other exigencies.

Decision Making:
When decisions are required by the administration or district, the Site Council pursues consensus whenever possible using a “fist-to-five” process. Only Site Council members may vote. In the event that consensus is impossible, decisions are made by majority vote.

Communication, Outreach, and Community Participation:
Site Council meeting dates and agendas, minutes, and contact information for members are posted on the school website. Periodic updates on Site Council activities are included in the school newsletter. Parents and staff are free to attend meetings as observers, and non- members may join working groups. Portions of meetings may be closed if they involve issues of data privacy. Although guests do not participate in meetings, they may address the Site Council during an open comment portion of the agenda.