The purpose of the Family Council is to develop community and facilitate parental involvement in the school life and culture. The Family Council consists of the parent coordinator for each class and other members who wish to participate. This organization includes and is available to all parents and other family members of students attending Wasatch Charter School. Monthly meetings provide a means for families to be informed of and involved in festivals, fundraisers, staff appreciation, new family support, and other activities as needed.

Purpose:

Parent support is essential to the success of the Wasatch Charter School and your participation is expected and embraced. Our community thrives on family involvement. Through our Family Council (FC), mothers, fathers, and even grandparents are offered many opportunities to share their skills, talents for the community. This all-volunteer, parent-run organization’s mission is to foster the well-being of the school community by facilitating communications among the bodies of the school, inspiring parent participation in school life, and organizing our efforts.

Role Within the School: 

Family Council is a way for parents to actively participate in, serve, and contribute to the functioning and organization of the school. The Family Council is the third organizational body of the school (the other two being the Pedagogical Council (Teachers) and the Governing Board (Board of Trustees)). The Family Council’s main sphere of influence is in the social realm, while the school’s main sphere is the pedagogical realm and the Board is mainly responsible for financial and legal matters.

Meetings: 

The Family Council has regular meetings once a month while school is in session and occasional, additional meetings. Monthly meetings are open to all parents of children enrolled in the school. The Family Council meets on the first Friday of each month from 9:00 – 10:00 am. All parents and guardians are welcome to attend. Small children are welcome to come and sit on laps or play quietly.

In addition, the Family Council hosts Morning Mingles for parents (by grade level) from 9-10 AM on the other Friday mornings.  These gatherings include coffee and tea, refreshments, and conversation (often around a particular topic or idea as outlined in a brief article shared in advance).

Structure: 

All parents and guardians of children currently enrolled at Wasatch Charter School are automatically considered members of the Family Council. Each member is welcomed as a valuable contributor to the mission and goals of the council. The success of Family Council rests on the commitment and contributions of our parent body.

Leadership:

Family Council Structure consists of a Chair (or two co-chairs), one Secretary, and four Vice Chairs of Parent Coordinators.  The Family Council also consists of sub-commitees and each subcommittee has a Chair.  Officers are selected by application and approved by a vote of the membership.

The Chair leads and directs the meetings of the Family Council, sets the agenda, serves as a member of the Joint Committee and serves between 1-3 years.

The Vice-Chairs support and collaborate with the chair and secretary, take the lead on coordinating efforts with the Parent Coordinators, may lead meetings in the Chair’s absence, may be elected as the succeeding Chair, and will subsume the role of Chair should the Chair be unable to fulfill the responsibilities.

The Secretary takes and distributes minutes of the meetings, distributes agendas and notifications of meetings, and provides other support for the Family Council.

Family Council Officers are required to participate in training and sign and adhere to agreements for conduct appropriate to their positions.

Parent Coordinators work directly with the teacher in their child’s class to provide support, logistical assistance, communication, and other activities. Parent coordinators serve for one school year and are expected to belong to, participate in, and attend meetings of the Family Council.

Each Class is expected to have a Parent Coordinator (or a team of Parent Coordinators that share responsibilities) selected by the Family Council Chair / class teacher.

Parent Coordinator Responsibilities:

  1.   Attending all Family Council meetings (approximately 2 hours per month). Continuity of attendance is important for decision-making.
  2.   Transferring information back and forth between the class and the Family Council.
  3. Supporting the class teacher by helping with communication, events, planning, volunteer needs, and other activities.
  4.   Starting the phone / email tree for your class as necessary (as needed).
  5.   Supporting one event/festival per class each year and conveying information about school events to parents in the class and delegating the responsibility for organizing your class’ portion of the event to one of the parents in the class.
  6.   Educating oneself as to the organizational forms that exist within the school, the functioning of the three bodies, and the procedures and policies of the school.
  7.   Attending occasional meetings of other bodies or groups when invited (such as Joint Committee/Board/Pedagogical meetings or meetings with outside consultants), as a representative of Family Council.
  8.   Supporting parents in the class who have questions or concerns about the school by directing them to the proper channels by which to get these matters resolved.
  9.   Maintaining an awareness about what it means to represent – to proactively solicit and convey the issues and concerns of your class to the Family Council or the appropriate individual or body, even when those issues and concerns are different than your personal viewpoint.
  10. Striving to be a role model within the parent body, to consciously try to hold matters that concern the school in the highest way within yourself and to communicate clearly and appropriately with others in the school community about school matters.
  11. Welcoming new families to our community.

 

Family Council Chair Responsibilities:

The job of the Family Council Chair (or two parents who agree to share the position as co-chairs) includes the following responsibilities:

 

  1. To facilitate monthly Family Council Meetings in an atmosphere of integrity and responsibility.
  2. To keep meetings orderly.
  3. To assure that all parents are made to feel welcome at meetings.
  4. To provide a strong sense of leadership to the Family Council.
  5. To attend special session meetings with other leadership bodies or chairs or organizations as needed.
  6. To attend monthly Joint Committee meetings with the Governing Board Chair, Executive Director, Pedagogical Director, and Faculty Representative(s).

 

Family Council Secretary Responsibilities:

  1.   Create agendas for each monthly Family Council meeting. [Agenda items will be topics within the appropriate realm of Family Council, including topics that are carried over from previous Family Council meetings and topics that are suggested to the Chair prior to the meeting by parent coordinators, parents, teachers, subcommittees or any other school body or individual.]
  2.   Post the agenda on the Family Council prior to each meeting and distribute agendas and relevant documents to everyone who attends the monthly meeting and also Parent Coordinators who were absent from the monthly meeting.
  3.   Work with school administrative staff to ensure that all meetings are noted on the school calendar and newsletter.
  4.   Attend all Family Council Meetings.
  5.   Keep written minutes of each meeting (usually the equivalent of 2 – 5 typed pages per meeting). The writing should describe the major threads of discussion and, in most cases, not specifically detail who said what. Care should be taken to describe the discussions as accurately and objectively as possible.
  6.   Show the written minutes to the Chair as soon as possible (ideallywithin one weekof each meeting) for review and revision.
  7.   Make any needed revisions in a timely manner.
  8.   Distribute a copy of the final version to each of the members of the Family Council.
  9.   Post a copy of the minutes on the Family Council webpage so they are available for other members of the community to read.
  10. Keep the Family Council notebook that is stored in the school office updated with agendas, minutes and other PC documents.
  11. Strive to be a role model within the parent body, to consciously try to hold matters that concern the school in the highest way within yourself and to communicate clearly and appropriately with others in the school community about school matters.

 

Family Council Vice-Chair Responsibilities:

[Typically, the vice-chairs also serve as Parent Coordinators and work with a particular grade-range: Early Childhood, 1-3, 4-5 & 6-8.]

 

  1.   Attend all Family Council Meetings and transfer information back and forth from the Family Council to seta of Parent Coordinators (typically coordinating with 4 – 8 Parent Coordinators at a time).
  2.   Convey information about school events to other Parent Coordinators, supporting and delegating the responsibility for organizing your grades’ portion of events and classroom activities within each respective parent community.
  3.   Educate oneself as to the organizational forms that exist within the school, the functioning of the three bodies, and the procedures and policies of the school.
  4.   Attend occasional meetings of other bodies or groups when invited (such as Joint Committee/Board/Pedagogical meetings or meetings with outside consultants).
  5.   Support parents in the class who have questions or concerns about the school by directing them to the proper channels by which to get these matters resolved.
  6.   Maintain an awareness about what it means to represent – to proactively solicit and convey the issues and concerns of your class to the Family Council or the appropriate individual or body, even when those issues and concerns are different than your personal viewpoint.
  7.   Strive to be a role model within the parent body, to consciously try to hold matters that concern the school in the highest way within yourself and to communicate clearly and appropriately with others in the school community about school matters.
  8.       Welcome new families to our community.
  9.       Facilitate and orient new Parent Coordinators.

 

Committee Chair / Coordinator Responsibilities:

Some school committees can only accommodate a limited number of representatives. (Other committees can accommodate any number of interested parents.) It is the responsibility of the Committee Chairs representatives to:

 

  1.   Attend all meetings of the committee of which you are a member.
  2.   Participate in the work of the committee.
  3.   Transfer information back and forth between the committee and the Family Council. This includes reporting to the Family Council on committee topics which are still in progress in the committee and gathering feedback from the Family Council on these topics to take back to the committee.
  4.   Be responsive to parents in the school who have questions or concerns about the realm of the school which is handled by the committee of which you are a member.
  5.   Maintain an awareness about what it means to represent – to proactively solicit and convey the issues and concerns of the Family Council and the parents who are to be affected by the issue at hand to the committee of which you are a member, even when those issues and concerns are different than your personal viewpoint.
  6.   Educate oneself as to the organizational forms that exist within the school, the functioning of the three organizational bodies, and the procedures and policies of the school.
  7.   Strive to be a role model within the parent body, to consciously try to hold matters that concern the school in the highest way within yourself and to communicate clearly and appropriately with others in the school community about school matters

 

Committees and Coordinator Roles with active Parent Involvement include:

Events Committee

Traffic Committee

Student Safety Patrol Coordinator

Fundraising Committee

Grants Coordinator

Parent Enrichment Coordinator / Committee

Newsletter Coordinator

Garden & Grounds Committee

Volunteer Coordinator