Share Power and Decision Making - Staff

What is this best practice area?

Shared power and decision making is about providing opportunities for ALL family voices to be heard and reflected in school planning, practices, and decision making at the school. 

Similarly, 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 academic, social-emotional and behavioral outcomes for students, especially when tackling issues of access and equity.

Here are some best practices: 

  • Include diverse family perspectives in critical discussions and to help inform decisions within schools and the district as a whole. 
  • Create a process for capturing families' voices, opinions, questions and concerns even when they cannot be physically present when decisions are being made.
  • Promote diversity, equity and inclusion practices across  school leadership, advisory groups, and governance teams to reflect and represent the school community as a whole.

Make this Best Practice Area Come to Life

1. Create a Virtual Suggestion Box

2. Promote Leadership Opportunities and Diverse Family Groups at Your School

3. Reflect on Family Representation and Shared Power at Your School Site

Create a Virtual Suggestion Box

Creating a virtual suggestion box gives families an opportunity to provide feedback about what’s happening at your school without them having to be physically in the building.  

Virtual suggestion box to gather  family input. Be sure to make a copy!

For any family leaders at your school, take a deeper dive by getting their feedback with this Family Leader Google form template. Again, please make a copy of the template and the accompanying Excel data spreadsheet.

Promote Leadership Opportunities and Diverse Family Groups at Your School

Promote family partnership and leadership opportunities by sharing information about the diverse parent groups that exist within your school and their leadership functions, such as the African American Parent Advisory Council, English Learner Advisory Committee, Inclusive Practices Parent Advisory Committee, PTA/PTOs, and School Site Council.

It is important to use a variety of methods to communicate and share this information with families, such as email, text, phone calls, school websites and newsletters.

Explore your understanding, commitment and knowledge about these parent affinity groups with this tool.

Reflect on Family Representation and Shared Power at Your School Site

An essential ingredient to sharing power and decision-making across diverse families is staff taking time to reflect on their practices during staff meetings, School Site Council meetings and professional development opportunities. 

Promote conversations that support the following actions:

  • Strive for diverse representation of students and families on your School Site Council (SSC) at your school.
  • Identify voices that are missing from the conversation and the decision making process..
  • Commit to two concrete actions that staff will take this year to bring the missing voices into the conversation to inform site-based decisions and planning.

To Do: Use the following tools to help site staff examine how well staff practices reflect diverse voices and perspectives in the decision making process at your school. 

This page was last updated on February 9, 2024