Student Advisory Council
Student Advisory Council Functions and Responsibilities
What is the Student Advisory Council to the State Board of Elementary & Secondary Education?
The Student Advisory Council (SAC) is a statewide organization of secondary school students elected by their fellow students. The SAC advises the Commissioner and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board), and has voting representation on the state Board. There are eleven regional councils across the state that meet as five functioning regional councils (RSAC), as well as a coordinating state council (SSAC) elected by the regions. By state law, every Massachusetts secondary school is entitled to elect two student representatives to the RSAC.
Who is eligible to be a member of the Regional Student Advisory Council?
Any enrolled high school student who will not graduate before May 1, 2014 and who has resided within the Commonwealth for at least six months prior to the election is eligible for election from his/her school to the RSAC.
What does a member of the Regional Student Advisory Council do?
Each RSAC member must attend regularly scheduled meetings at which he/she represents the concerns of his/her student body along with other students representing their schools' educational concerns and needs. More important, a RSAC member acts on these needs and interests. There is no compensation for RSAC members, although the member's school committee pays travel expenses to and from regional meetings.
Typical Regional Student Advisory Council projects, proposals, and activities of past years have included:
- Testifying before the Attorney General's Commission on Bullying Prevention;
- Drafting recommendations for and providing public comment on education policy, e.g., Evaluation of Teachers and Administrators; Core Curriculum Recommendations /MassCore; Educational Proficiency Plans (EPP); English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science & Technology Education Curriculum Frameworks; Certificate of Mastery; MCAS Appeal Regulations; Charter School Regulations; Student Records Regulations; Vocational/Technical Education Frameworks; Certificate of Occupational Proficiency; and Time & Learning;
- Co-sponsoring regional student conferences and forums;
- Encouraging students to be involved in local school policy issues;
- Participating in educational decision-making at regional and state levels; and
- Advising the Board and Commissioner of Education through membership on Department and Board committees and proposal reading teams.
The RSAC and SSAC provide students with the opportunity to become involved with leadership and decision-making of many types. Student input is often sought by various units within the Department, as well as other state agencies and organizations addressing issues students face in school. In addition, guest speakers at meetings have provided students with information on many current issues: Addressing the Achievement Gap, Expanded Learning Time, Dropout Prevention, College and Career Readiness, Physical and Mental Health, Bullying Prevention, Nutrition, Wellness, and School Funding.