School Accountability Committees

Each school is responsible for establishing a School Accountability Committee (SAC) and should consist of at least the following seven members:

  • The principal of the school or the principal’s designee
  • At least one teacher who provides instruction in the school
  • At least three parents of students enrolled in the school
  • At least one adult member of an organization of parents, teachers, and students recognized by the school (Your PTA!)
  • At least one person from the community.

SACs must select one of their parent representatives to serve as chair or co-chair of the committee.

Generally, a parent who is an employee of the school or who is a spouse, son, daughter, sister, brother, mother or father of a person who is an employee of the school is not eligible to serve on a SAC. However, if, after making good-faith efforts, a principal or organization of parents, teachers and students is unable to find a sufficient number of persons who are willing to serve on the SAC, the principal, with advice from the organization of parents, teachers and students, may establish an alternative membership plan for the SAC that reflects the membership specified above as much as possible.

What are School Accountability Committees Responsible For?
  • Making recommendations to the principal on the school priorities for spending school moneys, including federal funds, where applicable
  • Making recommendations to the principal of the school and the superintendent concerning preparation of a school Performance or Improvement plan, if either type of plan is required
  • Publicizing and holding a SAC meeting to discuss strategies to include in a school Priority
  • Improvement or Turnaround plan, if either type of plan is required, and using this input to make recommendations to the local school board concerning preparation of the school Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan prior to the plan being written
  • Publicizing the district’s public hearing to review a written school Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan
  • Meeting at least quarterly to discuss whether school leadership, personnel, and infrastructure are advancing or impeding implementation of the school’s Performance, Improvement, Priority Improvement, or Turnaround plan, whichever is applicable, and other progress pertinent to the school’s accreditation contract
  • Providing input and recommendations to the DAC and district administration, on an advisory basis, concerning principal development plans and principal evaluations. (Note that this should not in any way interfere with a district’s compliance with the statutory requirements of the Teacher Employment, Compensation and Dismissal Act.)
  • Publicizing opportunities to serve and soliciting parents to serve on the SAC
  • Assisting the district in implementing at the school level the district’s family engagement policy
  • Assisting school personnel to increase families’ engagement with teachers, including families’ engagement in creating students’ READ plans, Individual Career and Academic Plans, and plans to address habitual truancy.
Understanding the Role of School Accountability Committees in Charter Schools

Are charter schools required to have School Accountability Committees?

Yes, the requirements of the Education Accountability Act of 2009 apply to all Colorado public schools, including charter schools. For more information about the requirements of the School Accountability Committees, please see the State Board of Education’s Rules for the Administration of Statewide Accountability Measures, available on the web page for the Education Accountability Act.

What is the relationship between a charter school’s governing board and its School Accountability Committee?

Charter schools are administered and governed by a governing body in a manner agreed to and set forth in the charter contract. Colorado law allows the State Board to waive for charter schools many of the state requirements and rules promulgated by the State Board, which includes statutory and regulatory requirements of the Education Accountability Act of 2009. Charter Schools authorized by the Charter School Institute may not waive any statute or rule relating to the creation of and membership requirements for School Accountability Committees (see section 22-30.5-507(7), C.R.S.), but they can seek waivers from section 22-11-402, C.R.S., concerning the duties of the School Accountability
Committee.

Charter schools may choose to have one or two members of their governing body serve on the School Accountability Committee in order to complete any of the required duties of the School Accountability Committee. In the alternative, governing boards may establish both a School Accountability Committee and Finance Committee that report to the governing board on all tasks that are delegated to them, including making recommendations for the school’s improvement plan and making recommendations on school spending priorities.

In the past, school advisory councils were not required in any school that had in place, prior to 2000, a committee or council that performed the same duties as were outlined in law. Does that grandfather clause still apply?

No, the grandfather clause was removed from legislation with the passage of the Education Accountability Act of 2009. The duties for School Accountability Committees are outlined in section 12.0 of the State Board of Education’s Rules for the Administration of Statewide Accountability Measures (1 CCR 301-1), available on the web page for the Education Accountability Act: http://www.cde.state.co.us/Accountability/StateAccountabilityRegulations.asp.

How are members of the School Accountability Committee selected?

The Education Accountability Act of 2009 indicates that local school boards and the Institute must determine the actual number of persons on School Accountability Committees and the method for selecting the members of the committees. (See section 22-11-401, C.R.S.) For charter schools, local school boards or the Institute may delegate these responsibilities to the charter school governing board, or negotiate an arrangement in the charter contract. Ultimately, it is the charter school’s authorizer that determines how a school implements its School Accountability Committee.

Colorado School District Web Sites

Unified Improvement Planning

Unified Improvement Planning Process Map

Unified Improvement Planning was introduced to streamline the improvement planning components of state and federal accountability requirements. The common Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) template and planning processes used represent a shift from planning as an “event” to planning as a critical component of “continuous improvement.” This process reduces the total number of separate plans schools and districts are required to complete with the intent of creating a single plan that has true meaning for it stakeholders. Because schools and districts are required to publicly post their improvement plans through the state department of education website (www.schoolview.org), Unified Improvement Planning also provides a mechanism for external stakeholders to learn about schools’ and districts’ improvement efforts.

Based on the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (SB212-08), the primary purpose of improvement planning is to align efforts to: Ensure all students exit the K-12 education system ready for postsecondary education, and/or to be successful in the workforce, earning a living wage immediately upon graduation. In addition, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that improvement planning be focused on ensuring that all students in the state reach proficiency in English language arts/reading and mathematics.

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Click Here to view the actual language of the Education Accountability Act of 2009 (S.B. 09-163)

Accountability, Performance and Support: Click the Image Below to Learn More

District Accountability Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide an outline of the requirements and responsibilities for state, district and school stakeholders in the state’s accountability process established by the Education Accountability Act of 2009 (S.B. 09-163), additional relevant state statutes, as well as federal requirements and responsibilities under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

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School View

Colorado Growth Model
Visualization tool to view student growth for schools or districts.

Data Center:
Tool to view school, district, and state education data

Learn About the Impact of H.B.15-1323 on School and District Accountability
A fact sheet is available with an impact summary of H.B. 15-1323 on assessments and the accountability process for 2015-16. It includes an overview of school and district ratings, the accountability clock and the unified improvement planning process.
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HB1323 fact sheet screen shot

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