Shared Decision Making Committee (SDMC)
The Memorial Elementary Shared Decision Making Committee is designed to establish, monitor, and evaluate goals for budgeting, staffing, curriculum, planning, school organization, staffing patterns, and staff development. This model is aligned to state legislation and HISD board policy. The intention of the SDMC is to pull together our community in a constructive, organized, and unified body to enhance the education of all students.
SDMC representatives are elected by the faculty and parents are elected by the PTO membership. It meets quarterly and as needed to discuss issues brought forth by the administration, staff, parents, or community. The Council is supported by standing committees that address budgeting, staffing, curriculum, planning, school organization, staffing patterns, and staff development. Standing committees meet as needed. Parents are encouraged to serve on standing committees.
The SDMC functions under the direction of the Head of School. Members of the SDMC attend SDMC meetings for the term of his/her office, monitor the implementation of the School Improvement Plan, address issues presented by the Head of School, present issues for discussion and recommend resolutions to the SDMC, create ad hoc committees by consensus of the SDMC, chair standing committees and ad hoc committees, submit minutes to the Head of School for committee meetings, and report the recommendations to the SDMC. The SDMC is responsible for approving all professional development plans for the school.
The Head of School coordinates the process of shared decision making, facilitates communication for all stakeholders, considers issues and recommendations from the community, SDMC, and standing committees, and makes decisions based on those recommendations.
Shared Decision-Making Process
Consensus is the ultimate goal of the SDMC. Agreement by all participants is not always possible or necessary for consensus. Consensus is a collective process that provides a forum for full dialogue on appropriate/applicable responses to issues.
Members of the committees discuss and make recommendations to the SDMC. The SDMC reviews recommendations and reaches consensus. Sufficient consensus is defined as a willingness to settle an issue in favor of the majority. All points of view will be considered and general agreement must be reached before decisions will be implemented. If general agreement is not reached, further study of the issue will occur and alternatives will be presented until agreement is reached. After all alternatives have been explored, a deadlock can be broken by a majority vote. As issues arise for discussion, the chairperson is responsible for ensuring that all present have a legitimate opportunity to state their case. The Head of School retains the authority to exercise a veto over decisions made by the SDMC.
Method of Communication
Members of the school community may submit non-personnel issues for consideration through the shared decision-making process. Written issues or concerns are submitted to any SDMC member. A school community member may attend a meeting of any committee to discuss or present an issue. All meetings are on the monthly calendar. The SDMC delivers issues to appropriate standing committees for action. Communications from all committees are transmitted to faculty, staff, and parents.
According to HISD Board Policy, the Head of School serves as chairperson of the committee and as a member; a co-chairperson is elected from the school professional staff. Each September an election is held by secret ballot to determine the school-based members of the SDMC.