Parent Volunteer Opportunities
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (ELAC)
Each California Public School from Kindergarten through grade 12, with 21 or more English learners must form a functional English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). The ELAC is a committee for parents or other community members who want to advocate for English Learners.
The purpose of the ELAC (or subcommittee, if appropriate) is to advise the principal and school staff on programs and services for English learners and the SSC on the development of the Single School Plan for Student Achievement. The ELAC also assists the school on other tasks listed below
The committee advises and assists the school principal, staff and School Site Council (SSC) as follows:
- The school's program for English learners.
- The development of the Single School Plan for Student Achievement.(BSC/SPSA)
- The school's needs assessment.
- The school's annual language census (R-30 LC Report).
- Efforts to make parents aware of the importance of regular school attendance.
The percentage of parents of English learners on the committee must be at least the same as that of English learners at the school.
Requirements for ELAC elections include:
- Parents/guardians of English learners elect parent members of the school committee.
- The parents/guardians are provided the opportunity to vote for committee members.
- Each school committee shall have the opportunity to elect at least one member to the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC).
The district shall provide for all ELAC members:
- Appropriate training and materials to assist each member to carry out his or her legally required advisory responsibilities.
- Training planned in full consultation with ELAC members. ElA-LEP and/or district funds may be used to cover the costs of training and attendance of ELAC members (e.g., costs associated with childcare, translation services, meals, and other reasonable expenses).
20 USC 6312[g]; E.C. Sections: 62002.5; 35147; 52176 and 52168; and Title 5. CCR, Section 11308
Frequently Asked Questions
Which schools are required to have an elected English Learner Advisory Committee?
Each school with 21 or more students of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in attendance, regardless of language, must form a functioning English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC).
What is the role of the ELAC?
The role of the ELAC is to advise the principal and School Site Council on programs and services for English learners. The ELAC acts in an advisory capacity. It is not a decision making body, but it is the voice of the English learner community. Specifically the ELAC:
- Advises on the development of services for English learners in the Balanced ScoreCard/Single Plan for Student Achievement (BSC/SPSA).
- Assists in the development of the school's needs assessment and efforts to make parents aware of the importance of regular school attendance.
- Has representation on District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC).
What is the composition of the ELAC?
The ELAC membership must include parents of English learners (ELs), but may also include other duly elected family & community members. The percentage of parents who are elected must be at least equal to the percentage of English learners at the school site. For example , if 50% of the students at a given site are English learners, at least 50% of the membership of the ELAC must be parents of ELs. The remaining 50% of the committee members can be the principal, community members, teachers of participating
students, instructional aides, parent liaisons, other parents and staff.
How are members elected to the ELAC?
Only parents of English learners may vote for members of the ELAC. All parents of ELs must receive ballots.
When should ELAC elections take place? What is the term of office?
ELAC elections take place on even years. ELAC elections must be completed in the fall at the same time as School Site Council elections. The term of office is two years. If there are vacancies, schools may conduct elections at any time, or refer to the ELAC by-laws as how to fill the vacancies.
Can elections be organized so that ELAC members' terms of office are staggered?
Yes, this would provide for continuity and schools are encouraged to do this. As new members are elected to the committee, "experienced" members would serve as models. The committee could continue its important work without the interruption of beginning anew every two years.
Must we elect an ELAC if there are parents of English Learners on the School Site Council?
Yes, you must have an ELAC, state law requires this committee unless they relinquish their responsibilities according to State law. (See next question.)
Can the ELAC delegate their responsibilities to the SSC?
After the ELAC has been trained on their responsibilities as a committee, it may relinquish their responsibilities of all tasks required, to the SSC for up to two years (EC 52870). In order to relinquish their responsibilities to the SSC, the members of the ELAC would have to vote to do so. Once this action is taken, then accepted and recorded in the minutes by the SSC, The SSC functions as the ELAC for all purposes required by law or regulations.
What is EIA-LEP?
Economic Impact Aid-Limited English Proficient (EIA-LEP) is a state categorical program. These supplemental funds are used, kindergarten through grade twelve, to support additional educational programs for English Learners (EL's). The purpose of these funds is to improve students' academic achievement. The use of these funds at each school site is described in the site's academic plan (BSC/SPSA). Typical examples include the purchase of supplemental materials, services of instructional aides, and supplemental resource teachers.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Get Connected: Join PTA
SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL (SSC)
What are the roles of the School Site Council (SSC)?
A School Site Council must be established at all VUSD Schools. The elected members of the SSC represent parents, students, community members, and school staff in school governance. By state law , the SSC must oversee the site-based budgeting of categorical funds. In VUSD, the SSC plays a broader role in developing the Academic Plan and overall school site budget. The SSC is expected to:
- Review and analyze student data.
- Solicit community input.
- Assist the principal in developing the Academic Plan and school site budget.
- Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the Academic Plan on an ongoing basis.
- Approve the Academic Plan and school site budget before it is submitted to the District for final review and approval.
What is the composition of members of the SSC?
The council shall be composed of the principal and representatives of teachers selected by teachers at the school; other school staff selected by other school staff at the school; parents of students attending the school or community members selected by parents of students and, in secondary schools, students selected by students (California Education Code Section 52852).
How many members are elected to the School Site Council at the secondary level?
At the secondary level the council shall be constituted to ensure parity between (a) school staff members (principal, classroom teachers and other school staff); and (b) parent/community members and students (EC 52852). In addition, the number of parent/community members must be equal to the number of student members. In other words, one-half of the members must be school staff (with classroom teachers comprising the majority of this half of the council), one-quarter of the members must be parents/community members, and one-quarter of the members must be students.
For example, a 12-member SSC could satisfy this requirement:
- Six School staff members (1 - principal, 4 - classroom teachers and 1 - other school staff), and
- Three Parent/community members, and
- Three Student members.
A site may choose to have a larger SSC, but parity between school staff members and parent/community/student members must be maintained; the parity between parent/community members and student members must also be maintained.
Another option for the composition of the SSC is to have 3 classroom teachers, 2 other staff, and 1 principal = 6, maintaining parity and the majority of the school staff members are teachers.
Who are the "classroom teachers" elected to the School Site Council?
A "classroom teacher" is a credentialed employee of the school district whose primary job responsibility is to provide daily instruction to students on their registry/class list. School staff members of the SSC are elected by other school staff members.
Who are the "other school staff" elected to the School Site Council?
"Other school staff" are persons who work directly with students. This includes: Non-classroom teachers (e.g., resource teachers, instructional reform facilitators), school psychologists, counselors, school nurses, instructional aides, school clerks, custodians and learning support professionals. School staff members of the SSC are elected by other school staff members. The school should ensure that all staff who work directly with students, whether or not they are classroom teachers, are invited to participate in the election process.
Who are the "parents" elected to the School Site Council?
A "parent" is a mother, father or guardian of a child. A parent has the full responsibility
for the nurturing and care-giving of children.
Who are the "community members" elected to the School Site Council?
A "community member" is a person who is not employed by the school district, nor the parent or guardian of a pupil attending the participating school. Community members seeking seats on the SSC are listed on the same ballot as parents. Parent/community members of the SSC are elected by parents.
Can seats on the SSC be reserved for members representing special school committees or interests, (e.g., PTA president, SAC chairperson, ELAC chairperson, department representatives, etc.)?
No, seats may not be reserved on the SSC. Members must be elected to the council. When coordinating the election, schools are encouraged to seek diversity in their candidates to ensure that the SSC broadly represents the entire school community.
Can parent members of a School Site Council (SSC) be employed at that school?
No, the parent cannot serve as a "parent member" if (s)he is employed at that school site; however, (s)he may be elected as a "staff member" on the SSC. If (s)he has a child attending another VUSD school, s(he) is eligible to run for a seat as a "parent member" on that school's SSC.
Can student body officers at the secondary schools automatically serve as student members of the SSC?
No, the student members must be elected to their seats on the SSC. However, one strategy a school might use is to make School Site Council membership one of the required duties of student body officers. They could be elected to both positions at once, via the student body elections.
Who coordinates the election for the School Site Council (SSC)?
Typically, the principal or designee coordinates the SSC election for parent and community members and for student members.
When should SSC elections take place? What is the term of office?
The Department of State and Federal Programs announces the SSC elections deadline
each year; generally, it is in mid-October. The term of office is two years.
Can elections be organized so that SSC members' terms of office are staggered?
Yes, this would provide for continuity and schools are encouraged to do this. As new members are elected to the council, "experienced" members would serve as models. The council could continue its critical work without the interruption of beginning anew every two years.
Is the School Site Council required to develop bylaws?
Yes, the School Site Council is required to develop and maintain a set of bylaws. The SSC may seek assistance from school officials in this process. The bylaws must be in accord with VUSD policies and state law. There is no state requirement for review or approval of council bylaws by any other entity; however, the bylaws should be regularly consulted in the conduct of SSC business and revised whenever a need is identified.
What may be done to ensure reasonable attendance of members at council meetings?
The School Site Council bylaws may specify the participation required of members and the means to vacate seats and select alternate members.