Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

Site Council By-Laws 9/12/12

Site Councilbrittney


Creative Science School is a focus-option K-8 serving the diverse students and families in Portland Public Schools.  Our constructivist approach to learning ensures that all of our students become critical, reflective thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, and engaged, compassionate community builders. 


Through the deliberate use of relationship-building experiences, exploration of essential questions, and integration of multiple perspectives, we inspire students to actively participate in their education and create tangible evidence of meaningful learning.


Core Principles 

1.    The Creative Science School is based on constructivist beliefs and theories.

2.      At the Creative Science School, learning and teaching are interconnected.

3.      At the Creative Science School, curriculum is created with a focus on “Big Ideas” and the connections within and between those ideas.

4.      At the Creative Science School, reflection and assessment are interwoven into daily activities and projects.

5.      At the Creative Science School, there is an emphasis on creativity and autonomy that enhances the students’, educators’ and parents’ sense of personal satisfaction and success.


The Creative Science School (CSS) Site Council provides leadership, direction and support to the school community to achieve school improvement that addresses both district and school priorities in accordance with Oregon Administration Regulations for the 21st Century School and Portland Public Schools Policies for Site Councils. Site Council members include our school principal, four teachers, four parents/guardians and to the extent possible, one classified staff, one student, and one community member.


Scope of work of the Site Council includes:

  1. Provide the leadership and direction to support, evolve, and communicate the Creative Science School vision and mission.
    1. Develop, approve, and monitor the annual school-wide improvement plan and ensure it aligns with mission and vision.
    2. Develop and coordinate plans to improve the professional growth of the school’s staff
    3. Oversee and ensure that school dollars are spent in alignment with the school improvement plan and vision and mission.
    4. Oversee improvement of the school’s instructional program and how district requirements are incorporated into CSS constructivist philosophy and storyline approach.
    5. Oversee school culture, climate and safety issues.


The Site Council meets regularly, typically monthly. Meeting frequency will be adjusted based on the level of activities and work of the Site Council.  All meetings follow the Open Meeting Law of the State of Oregon; thus all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Meeting agendas will be published no less than 24 hours prior to Site Council meetings.


Responsibilities of Site Council Members

Members are expected to participate in scheduled meetings of the Site Council. In case of personal emergency, a representative should be identified and attend the meeting in his/her place.  The representative is free to vote as s/he chooses on issues that may come up for a vote unless written voting instructions are provided by the council member being represented.

Members are expected to adhere to the Norms and Guidelines in Addendum A.

Members are expected to familiarize themselves with the necessary background and knowledge to effectively participate in Site Council business and agenda topics.  This may include reading and learning about educational topics, data, and research and/or discussions with other members of the community.

The success of Site Council is based on open and active two-way communication between Site Council members and the broad CSS community.  Members are expected to regularly engage in discussions among the community members they represent whether parents, students, teachers, staff, or committee members.


Decision-Making Process

In order to conduct official business, at least three-fourths of the pool of teachers, an administrative member, and at least three-fourths of the elected parent members must be present. A person authorized to serve in place of another Site Council member counts as present.

The Site Council works toward achieving mutual understanding and agreement in decision-making. It is expected that most decisions are made this way. All in attendance at any Site Council meeting are welcomed and encouraged to participate in discussions.  Actual voting and approval/decline is done by Site Council members.  Decisions will be made following the decision making process in Addendum B.

The Site Council bases its decisions on several factors, i.e., whether or not a proposal is consistent with the Creative Science School Plan, Site council Bylaws, best practices, etc. Proposals may require research and drafts before a decision may be made.



Site Council members our school principal, four teachers, four parents/guardians and to the extent possible, one classified staff, one student, and one community member.  The teacher representatives should include at least one representative from K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 grade levels.


Qualifications and Terms of Representatives

  1. Teacher Representatives

a. Eligibility

Any certified staff member working at least half-time at CSS is eligible for election to the Site Council. The teachers are elected by their peers during or before the last staff meeting in June for the next school year.

b. Term

Teacher representatives serve a one-year term beginning in August of the school year elected. Any teacher representative may be re-elected for a second term. After any two consecutive terms of service, the teacher is ineligible for this position for one year.


  1. Classified Representative

Any classified staff member working at least half-time at CSS is eligible for election to the Site Council. The Classified representative will be elected by peers, or appointed by the principal, during August and serve a one-year term.


  1. Parent/Guardian Representatives

a. Eligibility

Parents/guardians willing to perform the responsibilities and commit the necessary time are eligible for election as a member of the Site Council.

b. Term

Parent/guardian representatives will be elected by a CSS general ballot election and serve staggered two year terms beginning in June of the year elected. Any parent representative may be re-elected for a second term. After any two consecutive terms of service, the parent representative is ineligible for this position for one year. Parents of seventh grade students may run for a two-year term and resign at the end of the first year thus being able to serve during their student's eighth grade year.

c. Election procedure

The election will be completed and winners announced prior to the first Site Council meeting in May.  Candidates interested in the open positions must review the CSS Site Council by-laws and provide a written statement of their interest in serving on Site Council.  The statements for all candidates will be shared with the CSS community.  Candidates will also have the opportunity to speak at the April general PTA meeting to advocate for their candidacy.  The voting method will be an anonymous ballot placed in a ballot box located in the school office.  The voting period will be 2 weeks.

  1. Student Representative

Any student council member is eligible for election to the Site Council. The student representative will be elected by the Student Council members, or appointed by the Student Council sponsor, during September and serve a one-year term.


  1. Community Representative

Any representative of the community whose constituency is not already represented in this body is eligible for election to the Site Council based on expressed interest in participating and being an active member of the site council.  The community representative will be elected by the Site Council in September and serve a one-year term.



A Site Council representative may resign from the Site Council by giving written notice of resignation to the Site Council or to any Site Council member who can present it to the Site Council and call for the filling of the vacancy.

Removal from site council


Members of Site Council may be removed from the Site Council if their participation and conduct are determined to be detrimental to CSS and the work of the Site Council.  One example of detrimental conduct is a pattern of missing meetings.

A member may be removed from Site Council by a two-thirds vote of the Site Council.  Site Council must notify the member of the upcoming vote for removal at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the vote will be called. As soon as the vote for removal passes, the Site Council can issue a call for the filling of the vacancy.


In the case of resignation of any elected parent representative, the first runner-up (as recorded in the election results) will be asked to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term of the resigning parent representative. If the first runner-up is not available, the second runner-up will be asked to serve.  If no runner-up is available to fill the Site Council vacancy, the Site Council will call a special election to elect a new representative for the remainder of the term of the resigning parent representative. The regular election procedure will be followed except, the duration of the election may be changed for expediency in filling the vacancy.

In the case of resignation of any teacher, staff, student, or community representative, a replacement will be voted in according to the original election procedure for the remainder of the term for the resigning representative.


Election and Terms of Officers

The Site Council will be run by a facilitator, recorder, and process keeper elected by Site Council members. All positions are to be held for one year beginning in June.

  1. Facilitator
    1. Responsibilities
  • Ensure Site council members understand the purpose of the meeting and have received the necessary training to be an effective member of the CSS Site Council.
  • Facilitate the work of the CSS Site Council establishing an annual plan of activities for the Site Council including topics, timeline, and any necessary background or knowledge required for each topic.
  • Prepare, publish, and distribute an agenda for each upcoming meeting.
  • Preside at all meetings of the Site Council or designate an appropriate alternate.
  • Ensure coordination with PTA board and communicate Site Council activities as appropriate in the monthly PTA meeting.  The facilitator can designate a Site Council representative to perform these responsibilities.
  1. Term

The facilitator for the following year will be elected at the May Council meeting.  The facilitator must have previously served on the Site Council.  The newly elected facilitator will assume leadership of the Site Council at the June Council meeting.


  1. Recorder
    1. Responsibilities
  • Record the minutes of all proceedings of the Site Council meetings.
  • Prepare, publish, and distribute the minutes of each meeting.
  • Prepare correspondence as directed by the Site Council.
  1. Term
  • The Recorder will be elected by the Site Council members at the August/September Site Council meeting, taking office immediately.
  1. Process Keeper
    1. Responsibilities
  • The process keeper shall be responsible for observing the process at each meeting. This person will give a brief report on member participation, decision-making, adherence to the norms and areas of improvement.
  1. Term
  • The Process Keeper will be elected by the Site Council members at the August/September Site Council meeting, taking office immediately.


Removal from Office

An officer who does not comply with assigned responsibilities may be relieved of office by a two-thirds vote of the Site Council members. The Site Council members will then elect another member to fill that office.




Creative Science School Site Council Norms and Guidelines


As the members of the CSS Site Council, we have identified the following guidelines as essential in helping us make the most of our time together. Our aim is to create a safe and productive space where all individuals can make contributions toward reaching our goals:


  • · Active Listening & Respectful Dialogue – We will focus not only on the words

that are being said but also on the spirit of what is being communicated.


  • · Collaboration and Compromise – We will seek to build consensus and find

common ground.


  • · Discipline – We will keep track of our time, focus on our goals, and come to

meetings prepared.


  • · Distributive Leadership – In order for us to be successful, we must be willing to

assume and delegate responsibilities.


  • · Accountability & Honesty – We will hold ourselves and each other accountable

through critical and constructive reflection. We will avoid silent disagreements. As

a part of this we will seek clarity on where we have power to make decisions and

where we are offering input but not making a decision.


  • · Acknowledging Good Work – We recognize the importance of reflecting on and

celebrating group and individual accomplishments. We will track our progress and

do regular report backs on the results of our work.


  • · Keeping it Light – While we know that our work is important, we want to remember not to take things too seriously.