To ensure that families and school staff participate in the decision-making processes at public schools, the NYC Department of Education (DOE) requires every public school to elect a School Leadership Team (SLT). A consensus committee composed of an equal number of parents/guardians and staff, the SLT works throughout the school year to help the school administration develop sound educational policies that reflect the needs and interests of all school members.
As mandated by the DOE, the main SLT function is to review the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). The CEP is a document submitted annually to provide a needs-assessment of the school, as well as objectives designed to address the identified needs. The SLT also reviews the school’s budget to ensure it is aligned with the CEP objectives.
At PS 8, the SLT goes beyond these required tasks in an effort to be as responsive as possible to the concerns of our families. The SLT conducts annual parent surveys, which enable the team to provide current and detailed information to the school administration about what is working well and what needs improvement. Recent SLT projects include:
- bringing in the Mighty Milers program to the lower school;
- starting a Diversity Initiative – Workshops for parents and teachers and the Diversity Potluck;
- Restorative Justice/Peer Mediation – The team researched programs and made recommendations about training for staff to the school. We wrote a grant application, that was unfortunately denied, for funding to bring a fuller restorative justice program to the middle school;
- revising the Volunteer Handbook;
- establishing Survey Gizmo as an effective and efficient means to survey the school community;
- revising the PS 8 Curriculum Guide;
- exploring a PS 8 workshop program;
- assisting in the process of hiring an assistant principal for the middle school; and
- revising student report cards.
- Diversity – This is an ongoing initiative in which we continue to support students, teachers and families in embracing and celebrating the diversity of our community as we work to make sure that all members of the community feel welcome and safe.
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – This year the team will explore ways to better make learning accessible to all.
- Homework – We are beginning research into teachers’ and parents’ attitudes about homework and exploring a variety of approaches to making the connection between learning at school and at home productive and meaningful for students.
- Technology – The team is exploring ways in which we may better enhance learning through the use of technology as well as ways in which to incorporate additional instruction on technology in the curriculum.
SLT members are elected each spring for a two-year term. Parents and guardians elect family members and teachers elect teacher members. The school principal, the teachers’ United Federation of Teachers (UFT) representative, and a PTA representative are mandated members. The PTA representative provides updates to the PTA on a regular basis.
The SLT meets twice a month at a regularly scheduled meeting time set at the beginning of each school year. All SLT meetings are open to the public, and families are encouraged to attend. Minutes are generally made available as downloadable links below once they are approved during the immediately subsequent meeting. For a schedule of meetings, please see the calendar available at http://ps8brooklyn.org/calendar/. You may contact the SLT for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.