Section 59C of chapter 71 of the General Laws: "The principal of each school, in consultation with the school council established pursuant to this section, shall on an annual basis…develop and submit for approval by the district superintendent and school committee a plan for improving student performance[.] Plans shall be prepared in a manner and form prescribed by the department of elementary and secondary education and shall conform to any policies and practices of the district consistent therewith.
A school improvement plan, as described in the legislation, has the following elements:
In addition, in school systems with language minority populations, the professional development component of the council's plan shall address the need for teachers' professional development on second language acquisition and on working with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. The spirit of the law calls for collaboration between the council and the principal. The principal needs to create an environment of openness, collegiality and respect for all participants.
Plans are submitted annually to the school committee. As reviewing and approving authorities, school committees have the discretion to set their own schedule and timelines for the submission and review of the improvement plans. School committees are strongly encouraged to support the efforts of councils and work collaboratively with them.
For information on School Improvement Plans as they pertain to Massachusetts state laws, please go to School Councils Questions and Answers.