Since 1994, the Minneapolis Public Schools has operated under site-based decision making to move decision making closest to the students served. The goal of site-based management is to improve student achievement.
Under site-based decision making, district and school efforts, theoretically, should complement each other. District offices set parameters, facilitate the sharing of information and best practices among schools, help evaluate progress, and give constructive feedback to both the schools and the Board. Schools have freedom (within approved decision-making parameters) to design site plans.
Although what site-based decision making looks like at each school may vary, schools typically have a team of representatives from all areas to serve as a "site council," "education council" or "shared leadership team." This will include principals, parents, students, teachers, specialist teachers, clerical, other building staff, business partners, and the community/neighborhood.
The councils meet monthly to make decisions and discuss long-range program goals for the school. Parents who are not on the council may attend and if they would like to have a subject discussed, may submit agenda items and talk to a member. Under the site-based decision making philosophy, these councils are to examine everything that might be standing in the way of student achievement-be it grade levels, student groupings, materials, or school policies and practice-and recommend keeping what is working and changing what is not.
For more information on site-based management or how to get involved, check with your school.