At a recent School Reform Commission meeting, principal of Southwark Elementary, Andrew Lukov, sat on a board to discuss the effective use of School Advisory Councils. Southwark Elementary is one of the schools setting an example, with the use of a SAC to represent the diversity within the school.
These “active and engaged” advisory groups of families and the community are meant to take some of the burden off the district and do everything from reviewing school budgets to approving policies.
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At the meeting, before participants broke up for small group discussions, a panel that included parents, community members, and principal Andrew Lukov of Southwark Elementary School discussed both the benefits and the challenges of having a SAC.
Lukov, whose school has a functioning SAC, said that it is a “free resource” for overburdened principals and “can be powerful in terms of making decisions.” He also said a SAC brings together people from different cultural groups – Southwark has a diverse student body – and can bring attention to a variety of concerns that may not otherwise get it.