As an organic in-district charter school in AISD, Travis Heights Elementary School is committed to the principles of community building and educational excellence. As a school, we are committed to a process of democratic governance and collaborative decision-making, as described and defined in this document and supported by our charter agreement with AISD.
In practice, collaborative decision-making is often difficult and requires extensive communication, trust, respect, and patience. Our hope is that our process is inclusive of all members of our school community. As a new in-district charter school, we realize we are just beginning. Some of our processes will work and some will need revision. This is our first attempt at making our decision-making protocols transparent.
The Thunderboard, PTA Executive Board, Instructional Leadership Team, and Team Leaders have reviewed the decisions made during a school year. What follows is an ABCD decision-making model to help guide our school community in our decision-making moving forward. We will utilize this model to denote who has the authority for each decision. We expect to review this model each year and make adjustments where necessary.
Travis Heights Elementary School
Decision Making Model
This model serves as a guide to our school communication systems and the decision-making process that we use. Ideas and proposals that impact the school community are decided upon in one of the four quadrants below. However, groups are not meant to work in isolation, and all groups promote cross-representation and communication. Each quadrant describes the decision-making process, defines the scope of decision-making authority with examples, and lists key contacts.
Whole Campus Decisions
A draft proposal is created through Administration working with the Thunderboard, PTA Executive Board, or designated committee. It’s then presented to the school as a whole, revised based on the feedback received, and voted on.
- Development of our Vision, Mission, and Beliefs statements
- Major school-wide initiatives
- School Calendar – when we’re at school, holidays, etc. (While parts of this have contributions from various departments, everyone approves it.)
Leadership Team Decisions
These leadership groups consisting of Team Leaders (TL), the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), and Thunderboard (TB) create draft proposals and then present it to Administration and teachers. Administrators revise the proposal based on feedback and then seek approval by the specific board. The final project is presented to the staff and leadership teams.
- Instructional calendar, testing, and field trips (TL)
- Master Schedule for our Campus including lunch, special area time, and recess (TL)
- Curriculum including grade level Project-Based Learning and Service Learning units – scope and sequence (ILT)
- Professional Development Plan for our campus (ILT)
- Annual plan, Campus Improvement Plan (TB)
- Budget & Grants (TB)
- Team Leaders
- ILT Chairs
- Thunderboard Co-Chairs
PTA Executive Board Decisions
Decisions related to the activities in this area are made by the PTA Executive Board but only after considerable input from the community. Events and activities are led by members of the PTA and parent leaders.
- Family communication
- Fundraising and PTA budget
- PTA membership
- Volunteer opportunities
- Teacher appreciation
- Grounds and plans for outdoor learning areas
- Young Scientists’/Artists’/Writers’ Workshop
- Community-wide events such as the Fall Carnival, Multicultural Festival, and Guero’s end of year celebration
The decisions are made by school Administration and generally don’t require input or approval from other leadership groups.
- Discipline – While Positive Behavior Support (PBS) provides a system for all, the Assistant Principal and other Administrators work with each student individually
- Staff communication
- Testing calendar and protocols – Administrators are responsible for the testing calendar and protocols, and work with teachers to address specific needs for students
- Emergency incidents
- Facility use
- Hiring of Office and Custodial Staff
- Prime Time schedule and classes