Minimum Standards for the Operation of a Student Council

These standards were developed and endorsed by a joint effort between the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and the Texas Association of Student Councils. These standards are written with the understanding that conditions in schools vary, making it necessary for student councils to function differently from school to school.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

  • Local Constitution on file that recognizes Student Council activities are subject to the approval of the principal
  • Faculty advisor designated or approved by the principal
  • Systematic election of representatives - Student Council Representatives should represent the total student body. High grade standards should not be a requirement for membership, although UIL standards should be met.

OPERATIONS

Meetings

  • Executive Board (Officers & Committee Chairpersons)
  • General Council Meetings (no less than once a month)
  • Committee Meetings
  • Written agenda for each meeting
  • Practice good meeting skills

Minutes

  • Dated and signed with permanent record maintained
  • Annual evaluation and report of achievements submitted to the Principal. (Consider using Outstanding Student Council Report)

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE

  • Annual budget itemizing projected income and expenditures
  • TASC Dues (which include TASC District Dues) paid by school
  • NASC dues paid by school (optional)
  • Council/school subsidizes student and advisor registration for TASC events if possible
  • Follow school district guidelines for all financial policies and procedures

COMMITTEES

Required

  • Executive Committee - Composed of Student Council officers and other positions specified in your constitution
  • State Project Committees - (Drugs, Alcohol, Safety, Health; Energy & Environment, Pride & Patriotism, Community Service)
  • Others as determined by school need

ACTIVITIES

School Activities

  • Promote school spirit/pride 
  • Sponsor school social activities 
  • Supervise school elections 
  • Staff Appreciation activities
  • New student orientation
  • Assist with school functions such as assemblies, open house, citizenship activities, etc.
  • Alcohol, drug, safety, health education
  • Provide energy and environment activities
  • Sponsor homecoming activities if applicable
  • Provide community service opportunities for the student body
  • Keep a  record on council activities

Community Activities

  • Public relations with community
  • Sponsor Community Service projects

TASC State/District Activities

  • Attend TASC District meetings and events
  • Complete/submit Outstanding Student Council Report Form
  • Complete/submit other TASC report forms (DASH, E&E, P&P, CS)
  • Participate in TASC State project(s)
  • Participate in  training at one or more TASC workshops (Advisor, Summer, Advanced)
  • Attend TASC State Conference (HS or ML)

Areas of Student Council Authority

A breakdown of communications between the principal and the student council may result when the council fails to understand its areas of authority. Council must recognize the levels in which it may operate, and this information must come from the principal of the individual school. Nevertheless, a council has only delegated powers; and the principal retains the veto power over every action of the council. Cooperation, understanding, and advance planning will usually result in relatively few veto actions.

Essentially there are three levels of student participation in school government: the area in which the students have no authority at all, the area of nearly complete authority (*subject to advisor and principal), and the areas shared with the administration and faculty. This latter category is generally the largest. Sample areas of authority are listed below:

No Authority:
Grades and scholarships | Homework | School maintenance | School equipment purchase | Employment of school personnel | Hall passes | Discipline and punishment | Cafeteria personnel, cost | Length of vacations and school day | Teacher pay | Counseling, administrative procedures | Student enrollment | Academic Credits | National Honor Society selection | Teaching procedures and curriculum | School Board policies

Shared Authority:
Homecoming | Dances and social events | Organization and chartering of new clubs | School morale and pride | General welfare of student and faculty | Schedule of activities and meetings |  Charity drives | Promotion of citizenship, scholarship, leadership | Fund raising | Safety Education | Student-faculty-student council relations and communications | New student orientation | School policy: student voice (conduct/dress |  Assemblies  | Meeting accountability standards  | Transition programs

Nearly Complete Authority:
Council projects | Staff appreciation | Publicity responsibilities | Council meetings | Evaluation of council projects | Evaluation of student council constitution | Elections, general school | Annual report to Board/Education | Student attitude and involvement | Committee set-up and follow-through | Committee set-up and follow-through | Council fund raising | Spirit week | Encouragement and support of other student organizations in these pursuits