What is the Governing Council?
Palisades Charter Elementary School is governed by our Governing Council, which oversees the operation of the school and its Committees. The membership of the Governing Council is comprised of elected representatives of the parents, administration, teachers and staff of Pali Elementary.
In accordance with the school’s charter, responsibilities are distributed among several different Committees that report back to the Governing Council, where final decisions are made. These Committees, comprised of parents, administrators and teachers, include: Curriculum and Professional Development, Technology, Budget, Personnel Selection, Parent and Community Outreach and more.
Interested parents can sign up to participate as members of certain Committees, when new members are solicited in the Fall. These groups generally meet on a monthly basis to discuss instruction, LAUSD and school policies, budgets and more.
Governing Council Meetings
The Governing Council reviews and votes on every new program or activity at the school. Anyone can come to the meetings, held once a month on Thursdays at 2 PM, and speak on items on the agenda. The agenda items are posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of Pali Elementary on the first school day of the week of the particular Governing Council meeting. In order to be included on the agenda of a particular meeting, an item (or concern or idea you wish to make known to the Governing Council), must be submitted to the Pali Elementary office by no later than the prior Wednesday (of the week before the meeting.) Additionally, parents (or other school community members) interested in proposing new programs or changes to the school's existing programs or curriculum should refer to the charter and the New Ideas Flow Chart. The chart serves as a guide to the manner in which all new ideas and programs are initiated/ introduced, approved by the relevant Committee(s) and Governing Council and, thereafter, funded and implemented at Pali.
What the Governing Council Oversees
The Governing Council oversees the receipt and management of the categorical block grant funds and other funds, and has authority over areas of autonomy relating to the school's Charter, namely:
- Budgeting and spending of categorical block grant funds and funds raised by the school community, including from grants and PEP
- Selecting (and involvement in the hiring of) administrative, certificated, and classified employees.
- Reducing class sizes below District norms (subject to having the necessary funds to achieve such class size reductions)
- Implementing instruction, curriculum and assessments in accordance with the educational program described in the approved charter (which may differ from regular District schools)
- Professional development for staff
- Scheduling classes (provided that the school complies with state Education Code requirements relating to required instructional minutes)
- Increasing the availability of technology in individual classrooms or at the school site itself (subject to having the funds needed for such improvements)
- Overseeing school site-specific policies (as long as such policies do not violate District policy or applicable laws and regulations)
Since its establishment as an affiliated charter school in the 1990s, Pali Elementary's stakeholders have valued, supported, and fostered a school culture that focuses on community consensus-building, which fosters human development, resiliency, and learning, including via the use of our Tribes learning community. Parents are active and work together with the teachers and staff as members of Committees, as volunteers and fundraisers for the non-profit booster club, PEP, and as part of the Governing Council.
Due to this dedication and involvement, as well as the participation of students - including on Student Council and in volunteer groups such as Peacemakers, Waste Warriors and Garden Club, Pali Elementary continues to improve and expand its programs, dedicated to enriched academics and the process of innovation.
Thanks in large part to the school's structure, and particularly its Governing Council, Pali Elementary's stakeholders have created a successful school environment, where students, parents and staff work together to strengthen community and create an enriched child-centered learning experience. With Pali Elementary constantly striving to improve itself as a community, under the leadership of its Governing Council, the school's culture embraces social responsibility while excelling in academics, humanities, science, and technology.
2017-2018 Governing Council Members
Gary Saunders, Principal
Laurie McKenna, Teacher
Jennifer Cundey, Teacher
Jean DeLonge, Teacher
Amy Baker, Parent
Trisha Jochen, Parent
Jessica Masterson, Parent
Roxanne Tanemori, Parent
Jackie Sidman/Chris Maxwell, UTLA Rep
2017-2018 Governing Council Minutes
June 2018 (unapproved)