Share Power and Decision Making
“Shared leadership… is less like an orchestra, where the conductor is always in charge, and more like a jazz band, where leadership is passed around… depending on what the music demands at the moment and who feels most moved by the spirit to express the music” (Schlechy, 2001).
What is this best practice area?
Shared power and decision making is about making sure that family voice is heard. Often, families can share their voice by attending meetings. If a family cannot be present, however, or may not be available, it is still important for families to voice their opinions, questions and concerns.
Ideally, diverse family perspectives and voices are heard, reflected, and used to inform critical discussions and decisions both within schools and the district as a whole.
When school leadership, advisory groups, and governance teams reflect and represent the whole school community, and work together across diverse and different backgrounds, it leads to better outcomes for all students, especially when tackling issues of access and equity.
Make This Best Practice Area Come to Life
1. Bring Your Voice to the Conversation to Inform Decisions
2. Get Involved with an Affinity Group that Supports Specific Families & Students
3. Reflect on Your School Community & Advocate for the Voices that are Missing
Bring Your Voice to the Conversation to Inform Decisions
Identify two actions you will take this year to bring your voice to the conversation to inform site-based decisions. For example:
- Attend a virtual principal chat to share your ideas, questions or concerns. Reach out to your child's school and ask how you can participate. You are the expert on your own experiences, strengths and needs.
- Find out when the School Site Council (SSC) at your school meets and consider attending. Every school has one, and it is expected to meet, even if virtually. You can find contact information for your school and school site staff by searching here.
- Help identify solutions. When you see things that aren’t working, you can offer suggestions for what might work better.
Get Involved with an Affinity Group that Supports Specific Families & Students
Get involved with an affinity group that supports specific students and families. They exist both at the school site level and at the district level. Here are some to consider:
- African American Parent Advisory Council
- Community Advisory Council for Special Education
- District English Learner Advisory Committee
- English Leaner Advisory Committee (School-based)
- Early Education Department District Parent Advisory Council (EED DPAC)
- Foster Youth Services Executive Advisory Council
- Inclusion Committees (School-Based)
- Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee
- Migrant Education Parent Advisory Committee
- Pacific Island Parent Advisory Committee
- Parent Advisory Council
Reflect on Your School Community & Advocate for the Voices that are Missing
Reflect on your school community and advocate for the voices that are missing from the decision-making process at your school by asking questions such as:
- What voices are represented on our School Site Council (SSC)?
- Who is missing from the conversation?
- How can we bring the missing voices to the table?
This page was last updated on June 6, 2022