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This summary outlines the function and mission of the Collaborative School Committee. CSC represents what is the next step for site-based leadership within our schools.
Collaborative decision-making was part of Denver Public Schools for ten years. Through a careful review of the CDM process by a CDM Commission composed of representatives from each CDM constituency, the desire to take what was the best of CDM as well as insights and a new vision for site-based leadership has led to the creation of CSC.
To understand what is distinctive about CSC from CDM, we begin with the recognition that CSC is defined in Board Policy BDFH. The process of CDM was outlined in the contractual agreement between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and the school district.
What the agreement now affirms is that there will be a Collaborative School Committee at each school site.
The work of the former CDM is now divided into three separate areas. They are
- The Collaborative School Committee (CSC)
- The School Leadership Team (SLT)
- The Personnel Committee (PC)
Understanding the role and function of each and the way they have a distinct task as well as those times when they inter-connect is important to each CSC member.
The policy also outlines the areas that are not the responsibility or connected to the work of the CSC. They are
- Participate in the day-to-day operations of the school
- Be involved in issues relating to individuals (staff, students or parents) within the school
- Be involved in personnel issues (Personnel Committee will stand alone in the current DPS/DCTA contract)
The role of CSC will be far-reaching, explore now what is focus and structure.
The template for the district School Improvement Plan provides what are core objectives that apply to each school across the district as well as the opportunity for each school to envision those ideas that represent the uniqueness of the given school.
The School Improvement Plan should be viewed as a living document and it becomes a strategic plan for the school.
Keeping in mind that some areas like teacher working conditions are now the work of the SLT.
The CSC has a broad range of activities that are found in policy. These include
- Use Multiple Measures and align resources to support the SIP and the school’s program design
- Provide guidance, evaluation and approval for the SIP
- Provide guidance, evaluation and approval for the use of the staffing allocations provided by the district as it relates to the SIP, school budget and school program design, including consultation regarding adjustments that may be made due to pupil-count issues.
A School Improvement Plan that is truly a living plan will have a far-reaching impact on the achievement of the school, and the parents and community surrounding the school.
Structure for CSC
The operating procedures provide the structure for CSC. Some highlights in this section are
- Changes to procedures of the CSC
- Evaluation of School Improvement Plan
The mission, focus and structure of CSC offers the committee a great deal of promise and potential. To unite principals, parents, teachers, support staff and students around the common purpose of planning and implementing strategies for the achievement of all children is one of the greatest responsibilities that any group can be assigned today.