Broad parent participation on committees that determine school direction and funding is critical to ensure that the needs of all students are represented. Here are few examples of advocacy and/or accountability groups that you can get involved with at your child's school:
School Site Council (SSC)
A School Site Council must be established at all schools that receive federal or state funding for program improvement and targeted student groups. The elected members of the SSC represent parents, students, community members, and school staff in school governance. By state law, the SSC must oversee the site based budgeting of categorical funds and the development and monitoring of the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). Contact your principal to get involved with your school's SSC and visit ousd.org/engagement for resources.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA)
Activities vary from group to group, but at schools where these groups are active they generally organize volunteer efforts and raise money for projects of school-wide benefit. Some also publish newsletters, offer adult education opportunities, fund school enrichment classes, and more. Contact your school office for more information about joining the PTA or PTSA. If you are interested in forming a PTA at your school, contact Peralta District PTA at (510) 670-4109 or visit www.peraltadistrictpta.org. It oversees all PTAs and PTSAs in Alameda County.
School Site English Language Learner Subcommittee (SELLS)
A Site English Language Learner Sub-Committee or SELLS must be established at schools with more than 20 English Language Learners (ELL's) to ensure that the parents and guardians of those students can advise the School Site Council and the entire school community on how to best support their unique needs, particularly through the development of the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). A majority of sub-committee members must be parent or guardians of English Language Learners who are elected by their ELL parent peers. For more about the role of the SELLS see page 56 of the www.ousd.org/ellmasterplan.
Special Education Advisory Committee (SPEAC)
Some schools have SPEACs composed of parents, guardians, students, teachers, and other staff dedicated to addressing the unique needs of special education students and families in the school community. This committee also advises the School Site Council and school site staff on how to best support students with disabilities who receive Special Education and on the development of an accessible and inclusive school-wide program. If your school does not currently have a SPEAC and you would like to start one, talk to your principal and attend the monthly meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education for additional support. Visit www.ousd.org/communityengagement for more information.
Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD)
Some schools have PCADs that organize parents and other community members to work on issues related to educational equity for students of African descent. They advocate for culturally responsive and equitable school-wide programs for those students. If your school does not currently have a PCAD and you would like to start one, talk to your principal and contact African American Male Achievement staff (www.ousd.org/aama) and African American Female Excellence staff (www.ousd.org/aafe) for additional support.
Parent Leadership Team (PLT)
Some schools have PLTs comprising parent representatives from each classroom who collectively give voice to parent concerns and issues. If your school does not currently have a PLT and you would like to start one, talk to your principal.