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Shared Decision Making

District Improvement Plan

In March 1991, the Board of Regents of the State of New York adopted “A New Compact for Learning” which targeted the improvement of student learning in elementary, middle and secondary public schools during the 1990s. A key feature within the context of the New Compact for Learning was the implementation of mandated, site-based decision making in every school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). Section 100.11 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education governs this mandate and required that by February 1, 1994, each Board of Education and each BOCES adopt a plan for participation by teachers and parents with administrators and school board members in school-based planning and shared decision making.

In response to Section 100.11, the Board of Education of the Williamsville Central School District authorized a representative committee to formulate a plan for shared decision making within the district.  The committee became known as the District Planning Team and began meeting in January 1993. Membership included the Superintendent, three principals, three teachers, three parents, one support staff, one Board of Education member, one student, one SEPTSA parent, and one member from the business community. With the assistance of a professional facilitator, the group developed the plan for participation. The plan was reviewed with stakeholder groups during the month of October 1993 and presented to be the Board of Education for review and approval in November 1993.  

The implementation of the plan began in February 1994. Thirteen building teams and a district team began meeting and working within the guidelines of the plan. A training cadre was formed to provide support and training in the shared decision making process. By November 1994, each of the building teams had developed a plan to guide their work through the following year. The district team reviewed the building plans and developed its 1995 plan, including mission, goals and objectives for the following year.  The Board of Education reviewed and approved the 1995 plan in February 1995.  

During 1995, the State Education Department forwarded self assessments for shared decision making teams to complete. The self assessments indicated the need and opportunity to focus on Means and Standards. As a result, a draft Means and Standards for the Williamsville Central School District was developed and circulated for review and comment. As in the previous year, each of the building teams had developed a plan to guide its work through the following year.

1996 was a year of continued work for the building teams and a period of debate around the purpose and direction of the district team. As a result, the district team decided to redraft the Plan for Participation in 1997.

In 2009 the District Shared Decision Making Team revised the plan in order to align it with the Data Team Process implemented in each building. With the required implementation of the New York State Reform Agenda and associated mandates, as well as significant feedback form stakeholders, this plan for participation was further revised in 2012 and 2016. Minor changes were made in 2017 to reflect the process used to identify the high school student representatives (to ensure that student representation is secured prior to the first District SDM meeting) and to provide additional detail regarding parental involvement. In January 2022, the plan has been further refined to align with the anticipated adoption of the District’s strategic plan and ongoing strategic planning processes. When the strategic planning process is implemented, SDM will be embedded within the structure by design, and schools will be required to utilize the processes and templates therein.