Purpose, Structure, & Policies
The Parent Council serves on a volunteer basis as a liaison to the school community in Mendham Borough. Board policy Relations With Parents provides that there shall be a Parent Council for each school (see policies 1010.1, 10101P) to meet regularly with the principal to discuss matters of interest. The primary objective of this Council is to foster dialogue and communication between parents and administration and to provide advice and counsel to administration relating to school-wide topics.
The Councils are not a substitute for individuals having direct contact with the appropriate school personnel. There is a board policy entitled Public Complaints and Inquiries (see policy 1312). Although members of the Parent Council may be contacted for advice with respect to the most appropriate way (teacher, guidance, principal, superintendent, Board) for parents and other interested parties to seek resolution of complaints, grievances and misunderstandings, members of the Parent Council should not be contacted for the purpose of intervening in disputes between administration or staff members and individual students or parents.
Council Selection & Terms
The Councils are comprised of two parent representatives per grade level. Each Parent Council representative may serve two years, and several new members will be needed each year. After serving a two-year term, a Parent Council representative may be eligible to return to either Council after a two-year period. Council representatives shall not serve more than one grade level (K-8) at a time, and they shall serve out their term before moving between Councils.
The parent community will be advised of potential vacancies for the following school year by April 30th. Vacancies wil1 be filled by interested parents who contact the present chairperson at each school. If the response is more than needed, a lottery system will be used to select the new representative(s). It is the responsibility of the current chairs to ensure that names put into the lottery meet eligibility criteria. Names shall be selected at a Parent Council meeting.
Parent Council representatives may be asked to attend at least one School Board Meeting per year to represent their Parent Council.
Parent Council representatives for kindergarten will be solicited during the spring kindergarten orientation so that the position is open to new parents.
Parent Council representatives who are selected to serve their first year as the 4th grade representative for the Hilltop School Parent Council shall serve their second year as the 5th grade representative on the Mountain View Parent Council.
Parent Council representatives who are selected to serve their first year as the 8th grade representative shall be given first priority to fill a Parent Council opening in a lower grade for their second year, providing they have a child in that grade. If there is no opening, or the representative does not have a child in a lower grade, the representative's term is completed.
Resignations & Replacements
When a Parent Council representative resigns, the vacancy will be announced to the parent community. If the interest level is more than needed, a lottery system will be used to select the replacement. Replacements must meet the same criteria as new representatives. In the event a representative resigns, the replacement has two options:
- Finish the remainder of the that school year and serve one more full year; in which case the replacement is then considered having served a full term and will then wait two years before being eligible to serve again; or
- Finish the remainder of that school year and resubmit his/her name in the open selection process for a new two-year term without having to wait the two years.
Meetings & Administrations
By the last meeting of the year, a chairperson and a secretary will be selected for each Council. It is suggested that the new chairperson be a second-year representative. New representatives selected before the end of the school year may be invited to observe the last meeting but will not be considered active/voting members at that meeting.
Children should not attend Parent Council meetings. Parent Council representatives are expected to make other arrangements for their children.
Working with the principal, the chairperson will plan meeting agendas, which will be posted prior to the scheduled meeting. The chairman and principal will schedule a minimum of four (4) meetings per year. Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed, not to exceed one per month. Open forums may be held to allow for an in-depth discussion of identified topics.
A draft copy of the minutes will be sent to council members for review and correction within one week. After final review by the principal, a final copy of the minutes will be posted on the website. Minutes will be officially approved prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Additional community or faculty members may be invited by the principal and chairperson to attend a meeting where there is a specific item of interest on the agenda.
Separate meetings will be held at Hilltop School and Mountain View School although joint meetings of both groups may be held as needed.