Hyannis West Elementary School Council By-Laws

  • Establishment

    The Hyannis West Elementary School Council was established under the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993. A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal parents, teachers, and community members, required to be established by each school pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 59C.

    School Council Responsibilities

    The law outlines four major areas of responsibility for School Councils.  School Councils are to assist principals in:

    1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
    2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
    3. Reviewing the annual school building budget
    4. Formulating a School Improvement Plan
    5. Serving on the hiring committee for the position of Principal whenever a vacancy occurs

    In addition to the above, the Council can establish ongoing subcommittees in the areas of finance, governance, and school accountability. Each subcommittee will have at least one school council member. Non-members may be selected to serve as subcommittee members.


    The Council shall consist of the principal and an equal number of parent and school personnel and one community representative.

    The law provides local leeway in the election process. It does, however, affirm the principle of peer selection:

    • Parent members are to be selected by the parents of students attending the school in elections held by the local recognized parent-teacher organization (if number exceeds available positions).
    • Teacher members are to be selected by the teachers in the school.
    • The Council will select the community representative.
    • The process needs to be fair, open and without the influence of the school committee, superintendent, or principal.
    • The Council shall be responsible for filling any mid-term vacancy.

    Decision Making

    Decision making is by consensus.  A no-fault problem-solving process will guide the council in its decisions.


    • Meetings shall be scheduled monthly, with additional sessions as needed. All members are expected to attend. Any member absent for three meetings in one year shall be replaced.
    • All meetings will meet the requirements of the Open Meeting Law.
    • Minutes of all meetings will be recorded. 

    Revised 12/19/18