Advisory School Councils: Questions and Answers

About Advisory School Councils

Schools are accepting Declarations of Interest for Advisory School Council members for the 2019-20 school year. If fewer individuals declare an interest than there are available positions, those filing Declarations of Interest are chosen by acclamation. 

In cases where the number of candidates exceeds the number of available positions, the principal may choose to allow all those declaring an interest to serve, or may hold an election from among those declaring an interest to determine who shall serve on the council.   If fewer persons declare an interest than there are available positions, the principal may fill the remaining positions by appointment. 

Who may serve on a school council?

Advisory School Councils include parent, school staff, and community members.  The school principal must serve as an active member of the council.  School councils in the Rio Rancho Public Schools must include at least seven members: two school staff members, two parent members, two community members, and the principal.  Councils may include more than seven members at the principal’s discretion as long as the number of staff members, parents, and community members remains equitable.    

  • School employee members must be currently employed by the Rio Rancho Public Schools at the school on whose council they serve.
  • Parent members must have a child currently enrolled at the school on whose council they serve.
  • Community members must reside in Rio Rancho or must have a child enrolled in a Rio Rancho public school.If possible, one of the community members should be a representative of the business community.

What does a school council do?

Per state law, school councils “assist the principal in an advisory capacity with school-based decision making and . . . provide parents with the opportunity for greater involvement in their child’s education.”

State law defines the following specific responsibilities school councils are expected to perform:

  • Work with the school principal and give advice, consistent with state and school district rules and policies, on policies relating to instructional issues and curricula and on the public school’s proposed and actual budgets;
  • Develop creative ways to involve parents in the schools;
  • Where appropriate, coordinate with any existing work force development boards or vocational education advisory councils to connect students and school academic programs to business resources and opportunities; and
  • Serve as the champion for students in building community support for schools and encouraging greater community participation in the public schools.

School councils meet a minimum of four times a year, and may meet more often at the discretion of the principal and the council.  School councils have broad discretion in setting their agendas to meet the needs of their individual schools.  School council members may also be invited to represent their schools on district-level panels such as the Community/Parent Advisory Team (CPAT) and the Superintendent’s Staff Advisory Council (SAC).  RRPS encourages members of the council to act as liaisons to their school PTA/PTSA/PTSO and to their school community. 

How does someone apply to serve on an Advisory School Council?

Candidates interested in serving on a school council may fill out a Declaration of Interest form online on the district or their school website, or may pick up a paper version of the form from any school office or from the Rio Rancho Public Schools District Office at 500 Laser Rd. NE.  If not submitted online, forms may be returned to the school where the individual wishes to serve. 

What is the deadline for returning Declarations of Interest?

The deadline for the return of declarations of candidacy for the 2019-20 school year will be Friday, August 16. 

What authority does the school council have?

School councils as established in statute and district policy are advisory in nature and work with the principal to review curriculum, budgets and other issues as specified by law or requested by the principal.  School councils do not set policy or provide direction to the principal.  Under state law, subject to the general supervision of the Superintendent and Associate Superintendent, the principal is responsible for the administration and overall instructional leadership of the school.  Meetings of the council are not subject to the Open Meetings Act because the council is an advisory, not a policy-making, body.

Do members get paid for serving on the council?

Sorry, no.

Where can I learn more?

If you have questions, please feel free to talk to your school’s principal or assistant principal, or you may call 896-0667 extension 51249 or 51219.