To ensure strong faculty and parent direction and participation in the governance of the school, standing and ad hoc committees exist. These committees help create and implement policy, curriculum, budgetary, and personnel decisions within the school.
The Charter Council, consisting of representatives from the community, faculty, and parents, serves as the board of directors of the corporation and is the final decision-making body of the school. A collaborative model governs Charter Schools; therefore, the Charter Council weighs recommendations from Faculty Council and Parent Council and the Administration in its decision-making.
The Charter Council is composed of nine (9) members. There are two (2) Woodland Star Charter School teachers, four (4) parents, and three (3) members appointed by the seated Council (these may be parents, community members, but not employees of the school). Parent representatives are chosen in an election sponsored by the Parent Association. Terms are for two years. Under California corporate law, board members must always act in the best interests of the whole of the corporation (school) in their decision making and may not represent particular interests.
The faculty is the backbone of Woodland Star Charter School. They hold the pedagogical vision and mission of the school. Working within a consensus framework, the Faculty Council is a weekly committee of full-time teachers. Part-time teachers who wish to regularly contribute to the work of the faculty are invited to attend any faculty meeting. It oversees all of the pedagogical aspects of the school as they pertain to students, parents, teachers, and staff. They develop and share curriculum ideas, oversee festivals, provide support, and conduct regular studies ranging from teaching methodology, child development, and best practices. They establish student conduct rules and review policies that relate the pedagogical offerings of the school. The Faculty Council reviews and revises faculty goals and procedures and provides valuable input to the governance of the school at all levels. They also ensure that the faculty is represented in all school committees.
The Parent Association is the body that coordinates various parent groups to ensure the support for the operation of the school where parents and family members are able to contribute. It is also a body for directing parental input. The Parent Association is function based. Its members are representatives who belong to the various functional groups (Committees) at the school. The Chair is picked by vote from among the Committee Chairs and serves to coordinate and track the various Committees.
Parent Association Duties
Parent Association meetings are held on a regular basis, with a member of each Committee in attendance. The duties of the Parent Association include, but are not limited to the following:
- For each Committee, ensure that the group’s developments, needs and goals are:
• Communicated to the school body at large
• Coordinated with other school groups as needed
• On-track within timelines and scheduled outcomes
- Serve as a resource to direct parent inquiries and initiatives to the appropriate school group.
Parent Association Chair
The Parent Association Chair is appointed (by vote) by the current members (Committee Chairs) of the PA. The term is, ideally, two years. The PA Chair may or may not be the PA representative for Charter Council. The PA Chair reports (dotted line) to the Administrator.
The PA Chair’s main responsibility is to ensure that all Committees are in communication and coordination with the appropriate school councils and other committees as necessary. The Chair also keeps records of all Committee updates which are accessible by the school for the purpose of informing beyond the PA.
The PA Chair approves committees as necessary. The Committees are a means by which parents contribute time and skills toward the betterment of the children and the WSCS. The PA Chair maintains a list of active Committees that include, but are not limited to: Class Parents, Parent Education, Festivals, Gardening, Volunteering, and Parent Initiatives.
The Committee Chairs also report on Committee activities to the Parent Association at PA meetings. By their nature, the Committees work with various bodies within the WSCS, providing support and activities as appropriate.
Additional Parent Involvement
To encourage additional parent involvement, WSCS will, at a minimum, also do the following:
- Develop an ongoing list of extensive participation opportunities for parents
- Offer free parent education lectures
- Possible volunteer activities may include, but are not limited to:
- Service on a school committee or council
- Assisting in the classroom or the school office
- Playground supervision before and after school and during recess
- Assisting during festivals
- Teaching a specialty class
- Hospitality (hosting a visiting teacher candidate or speaker)
- Site maintenance
- Service as “class parent”
- Service as Parent Association or Charter Council representatives
We recognize the uniqueness of requiring parents/guardians to volunteer; the intention is to focus on the joy of service while recognizing that the WSCS truly needs the active support of its participants. Volunteering is not a requirement.
With the vision and mission of the school in mind, The Marketing committee provides guidance and input to the director and outreach coordinator. The establish goals and desired outcomes of all school marketing efforts including the design of marketing materials such as brochures, website, social media, and other marketing outreach avenues.
The Administration/Finance Committee drafts and revises the operating budget of the school. They oversee related financial policy relating to faculty and administrative issues, reviews and amends existing policy. This is an ad hoc committee established by the Administrator and Business Manager. It is comprised of Charter Council board members, parents with financial expertise, faculty members, the business manager, and the school director. The committee is usually activated in February and continues its work until the Charter Council has approved the budget for the following year in June. It is also convened at other times as circumstances and needs arise.
Fundraising is a function of the Woodland Star Educational Foundation (WSEF), an independent nonprofit corporation established to support Woodland Star Charter School. WSEF’s board includes Woodland Star parents, and its Fundraising Committee works hard on behalf of the school.
Grant Writing Committee
The Grant Writing committee works to support the school by researching and writing grants for individual class teachers, programs, and equipment. No experience is required to join this group, although we certainly welcome anyone with prior grant-writing experience.
The garden/site committee is composed of faculty and parents who create long-term landscape/garden/site use plans for the campus. They work together with the school’s staff to organize community workdays, special projects, events, and to make related recommendations to the school administration.