Little Harbour School, 50 Clough Drive, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: (603) 436-1708, FAX: (603) 427-2306

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Teaching and Learning Team Charter

I. Mission

The Little Harbour Teaching and Learning Team is a forum that facilitates educator-parent collaboration to support the success of each of our students.

II. Team Responsibilities
Working within a framework of shared decision making and consensus, the Little Harbour Teaching and Learning Team will:
  • Provide a forum to discuss: What curriculum is being taught? What is working and what is not? And how we might support teachers in creating strategies to challenge all students at Little Harbour School;
  • Clearly communicate to parents and our community the way students learn at Little Harbour School as well as the way we assess their learning;
  • Consistently review who we are and what we do (as well as what we will not do) as a Team and then clearly communicate that to others;
  • Develop strategies to improve the communication between parents and teachers in a systematic way; and,
  • Take a proactive leadership role during times of transition in the Little Harbour School community.
III. Membership
The Team will consist of Eleven (11) members as follows:
  • School Principal (standing member)
  • five (5) teachers (elected)
  • four (4) parents (elected)
  • one (1) Central Office administrator (standing member)

The Team may also include as many as two alternate, non-voting parent members and two alternate non-voting staff members. In order to stand for election employees must be, and remain, on the staff at Little Harbour School. Parents must have a child enrolled and attending Little Harbour School at the time of election.

 

IV. Elections and Terms of Office

Teacher and parent members of the Team will be elected by secret ballot for two-year terms with no limit on the number of terms served. Nominations for elected positions will be accepted from the first day of May through the third Tuesday in May. Nominations may be made by members of the same constituency (i.e., teachers may nominate teachers, parents may nominate parents) with the nominees expressed permission. Blank nomination forms will be made available via classroom distribution, email, and/or the office of the principal and are returnable at the office of the principal.

Elections will be held on the first Tuesday in June starting in the year 2000 with two professional and two parents being elected in the even years and three professional and two parents being elected in the odd years. Ballots for parent nominees will be provided via classroom distribution to each household in the school community (a second ballot will be available upon request for parents electing to vote individually). Opportunities will be made available for parents to learn more about the parent candidates through candidate statements distributed communitywide prior to the election. Terms shall commence on the first day of September and end on the last day of July.

Parent and staff Team members will be elected based on the two candidates receiving the most votes. One alternate teacher and one alternate parent shall be named from the next highest votes from the election. In the event any member becomes ineligible for further service on the Team or resigns; the appropriate alternate will fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term.

 

V. Team Process

The Team is not intended to supplant existing methods of addressing the concerns of either teachers or parents; nor is it intended to be an ombudsman for resolving day-to-day problems. Parents with specific concerns about their childís learning in school should address the concern with their childís teacher. Likewise, concerns related to the general administration of the school should be addressed to the principal.

The Team does seek ideas, concerns, and suggestions for the overall improvement of teaching and learning. The primary source of this information is through constituent groups (eg. PTA, staff curriculum and grade-level committees) but individual members of the Little Harbour School community are also encouraged to communicate their ideas and concerns in writing to the Team. It is the Teamís responsibility to listen to and entertain all such input, but it is equally the Teamís responsibility to make critical judgments as to the priority of specific issues. Establishing the priority of issues and concerns should be supported by the collection of relevant evidence and information.

Working with input from constituent groups, the Team will formulate specific recommendations for improvement of teaching and learning. These recommendations will be communicated to all members of the school community through the LHS website, newsletter and/or Staff and PTA meetings. The Teamís recommendation will be placed before the professional staff for their ratification. Ratification of the recommendation will require a two-thirds majority of the professional staff voting. Once a recommendation is ratified by two-thirds of the professional staff, all members of the staff are required to comply with the implementation of the recommendation.

 

VI. Team Meetings

The Team will meet monthly on Mondays (excluding July and August) from 3:20 Ė 4:40 p.m. Dates for the year will be agreed upon at the September meeting. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Principal.
The Principal shall serve as chairperson of the Team. However, the process of Team meetings will be managed by all Team members on a rotating basis. Team meeting responsibilities include: Facilitator, Recorder and Observer of Time and Process. The Chair and meeting Facilitator are responsible for preparing the agenda for each meeting. Agenda items will be established by the Team at the end of each meeting for the subsequent meeting. Any additional agenda items must be presented to the Chair and/or Facilitator by the Wednesday of the week preceding the Team meeting. It is the Chairís prerogative to include additional agenda items, as time permits. A standing agenda item will be community input including the review of any correspondence to the Team by individuals, or other interested groups or parties. The meeting Facilitator will assume the responsibilities of running the meeting.. The Recorder will take the meeting minutes and share those minutes with Team members at least one week before the next meeting. The Observer of Time and Process will pay careful attention to the time to ensure that items on the agenda can be completed and at the close of the meeting will make an observation about the Teamís ability to work collaboratively together.

 

VIII. Team Decision-Making Process

A quorum will equal two-thirds of the membership of the Team. To the greatest extent possible, the Team will reach decisions by consensus. In the event, that the Team cannot reach decision by consensus, an action may be passed by a simple majority of the Team present. Any member may request a recorded vote or ballot vote.

 

IX. Charter Amendment

Proposed amendments may be made to this charter on the recommendation of the Team or a liaison group. All proposed amendments shall be placed on a meeting agenda for consideration by the Team. The proposed amendment(s) will then be placed on the Teamís next meeting agenda for a recorded vote of the membership. A two-thirds majority shall be required to amend this charter. Charter Revisions recommended by the Teacher Liaison Group and approved by LHS Staff on March 3, 2003. Charter Revisions approved by LHS Teaching and Learning Team March 10, 2003. Charter Revisions recommended by the T&L Charter subcommittee April 14, 2008. Charter Revisions approved by LHS Teaching and Learning Team April 14, 2008.

 

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