• What Is a School Improvement Council?

    In South Carolina, a School Improvement Council is an advisory council to the principal and school on issues related to school improvement. By law, every K-12 public school in South Carolina must have an SIC that is made up of parent, teacher, student (grades 9-12), and community member representatives. The principal is an ex-officio member of every SIC. An SIC may create additional ex-officio positions such as the school’s Teacher of the Year, PTA or PTO President, past SIC Chair, or a representative of the school’s Title I Advisory Committee.

    What are the Rules that Apply to SICs?

    There are two sets of rules that apply to SICs. The first is existing state laws and regulations. Current state law requirements regarding SIC membership, elections, and duties are set forth in Title 59 (Education) of the SC Code of Laws. 1 Because SICs are technically considered "public bodies," SICs must also follow the rules regarding open meetings and public records contained in the state’s Freedom of Information Act.2 The second set of rules is contained in an SIC’s bylaws. Bylaws are a set of written rules that members of an organization agree to follow in running their organization. Every SIC should have a current set of bylaws that has been approved by the membership and that is consistent with state law.

    SC-SIC has created a set of sample SIC bylaws that meet all state law requirements and include SC-SIC recommended practices.3 If an SIC doesn’t have bylaws or can’t locate them, it can modify and adopt the sample bylaws. An SIC can also choose to write its own bylaws from scratch. If it does so, however, the SIC must submit the bylaws to SC-SIC for review before they take effect to ensure that their provisions do not conflict with state law.

    What is the role of SIC?

    SICs will need to set aside a certain amount of time each year to fulfill their statutory duty to report on their school’s progress toward improvement to the greater school community. SICs do this in two ways: (1) by writing the yearly SIC Report to the Parents; and (2) by assisting the principal in writing the narrative to the SC School Report Card.

    Most SIC members, however, want to do more than report on what their school is doing - they want to
    take action themselves to improve their schools. That can be accomplished by the group taking an active role in preparing and monitoring the School Improvement Plan and by developing, planning, supporting, and implementing improvement activities.