Collaborative School Committee (CSC)

 CSC Members:

CSC- Elected Committee

Kira Withrow (5th grade Teacher Representative)

Laura Orndoff (ECE Teacher Representative)

Cynthia Rivera (5th Grade Parent)

Gabriela Gonzalez (ECE, 1st and 5th grade parent)

Nebula Beckmann (5th Grade Parent)


Meeting Notes:


Barnum Elementary CSC By-Laws


Approved by CSC Committee:

Mission Statement:  We at Barnum are on a PATH to excellence. Personalized, Academic Excellence, Technology and Heart!

We provide a personalized learning experience that meets the needs of all students. Our academic programming and curriculum meet the highest standards of excellence. We ensure that students utilize technology to engage with 21st century learning. Our learners develop their minds and hearts through meaningful experiences that deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.


To provide the CSC committee with an established set of rules and procedures under which to most effectively function.  In addition to these bylaws, the CSC will function within Board of Education Policy BDF-R4 which in many instances specifies CSC committee requirements and functions, and the Agreement between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and the Denver Public School District, hereafter referred to as the Agreement.

The purpose and scope of CSC is now found in Board of Education Policy BDF-R4 of the DPS/DCTA Agreement


The purpose and scope of the Collaborative School Committee (CSC) shall be to focus on the Unified Improvement Plan as its primary responsibility at the school based on the “Multiple Measures”.

These are district-established indicators of individual school performance and data in the following areas:  attendance, graduation-rate, school leadership, instructional quality, student respect, school safety, and other measures such as the School Accountability Rating.

In particular the CSC will work to provide guidance, evaluation, and recommendations regarding staffing allocations as it relates to the UIP, school budget, and school program design, including consultation regarding adjustments that may be made due to pupil-count issues.

  • to enhance student achievement and school climate by engaging the school community in collaborative efforts supporting the school and district’s goals;
  • to provide strategic direction in support of the school’s mission and vision as stated in the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP). The UIP with the school’s program design, should serve as the strategic plan for the school;
  • to be in compliance with state and federal law, regulations of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), applicable U.S. District Court orders, the District Affirmative Action plan, the DPS/DCTA Agreement, other contracts and District mandates;
  • to use evaluation tools and systems using a variety of longitudinal measures or the School Performance Framework to determine student achievement, overall organizational strength, school’s accreditation ratings for reporting to the CDE and to provide input to the teacher and principal compensation.


Selection for membership should be through volunteers.  Elections should be held every two years.  The composition of the CSC committee should be, at a minimum, as follows:

  • The principal of the school or principal’s designee;
  • One (1) teachers, elected by majority vote of the faculty in the school (elected by secret ballot);
  • Three (3) parents or guardians of a student enrolled in the school, elected by majority of voting parents with children in the school;
  • One (1) adult member of an organization of parents, teachers and students recognized by the school; nominated by a member of the CSC and approved by the other members of the CSC;
  • One (1) business/employer or community representative from the local community nominated by a member of the CSC and approved by the other members of the CSC;



Member Diversity

The diversity of the school student population should be represented in the CSC committee membership.



CSC committee members are elected to a one or two-year term.  Members may be elected to no more than three (3) successive terms.  Staggered terms may be used to promote continuity.




Election of CSC committee members should be held (e.g. within the first two weeks of school, or during the month of May for the following school year)


Persons nominated for the CSC committee must adhere to and sign a nomination form.  Nomination forms will clearly state due-dates and must be in the office by the date and time specified.  The CSC committee will be notified; the ballots will be prepared and sent to the appropriate constituents.


  • The reason a candidate wishes to serve on the CSC should appear on the ballot
  • Parent ballots are sent home with the students
  • Certificated-Staff ballots are distributed through inter-school mail
  • One vote per household permitted
  • All ballots must be returned to the school by the due date and time, and placed in the ballot box located in the office
  • The CSC Committee will count the ballots
  • All ballots will be kept on file for a period of one year following the election
  • Electronic ballot is an allowable option


Transition of New Members

Orientation for new members should include the following:

  • Copy of the CSC Handbook
  • Copy of the bylaws and procedures
  • The current Unified Improvement Plan
  • Participation in CSC training



If a vacancy occurs during the school year, the remaining members of the CSC shall fill the vacancy by majority vote (remaining CSC members should look to fill the vacancy with a representative of the constituent group that the vacating member represented).  Upon completion of his/her vacancy term, he/she may be re-elected for a full term.  The vacancy term served will not be counted as a successive term.  In case of vacancy of the Business Representative position, a CSC committee member will recommend a business representative to the remaining CSC committee members for approval.


If a CSC committee member accumulated three consecutive unexcused meeting absences during the school year, this should be grounds for removal from the committee.  However, under extenuating circumstances each situation should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.



If a CSC committee member fails to comply with these bylaws, procedures or rules and regulations of the CSC Committee, or the district, this failure should be grounds for removal from the CSC Committee.


If a CSC committee member was elected or chosen by a constituency group (parents, teachers, community representative, adult member of school recognized organization, classified member or students) that member may be recalled using the following process:

Step 1. A constituent from that group contacts the CSC to inform them of their intent to recall the member

Step 2. The constituent circulates a petition to call for a recall election.  The required number of names for a petition to be valid will be 50% of the eligible voters for a teacher or classified member, and 50% of the actual number of votes cast by the parents in the elections for a parent representative.

Step 3. The constituent presents the petition for recall, with the required number of signatures, to the CSC.

Step 4. The CSC will ensure that a recall election takes place.

Step 5. The CSC member will be recalled by a majority vote.

Step 6. The standard process for election will be followed for replacing the CSC member for the remainder of the individual’s term.



CSC meetings should be scheduled by the CSC and held a minimum of once a month.



Duties should be assigned at the beginning of the school year by consensus of the committee.  Leadership positions should consist of a CSC committee chairperson and a secretary.



The chairperson is responsible for maintaining order of each meeting.  This is achieved through effective facilitation of discussions, recognizing the individual who has the floor and conducting the collaborative resolution for issues under consideration by the CSC committee.


The secretary is responsible for compiling the meeting minutes along with a list of decisions made for all meetings.  The CSC Secretary should compile minutes of each meeting in a notebook for each school year.



Agendas should be made available to staff and the community at least one working day before the CSC meeting.

A partial agenda for the next meeting should be discussed at the conclusion of each meeting.  A final agenda will be prepared through consultation with the principal and chairperson with input from the committee members.  Agendas will be posted on the CSC communication board and/or other agreed-upon location.  Topics for consideration must be submitted to the CSC committee.  These may be submitted in writing or to a CSC committee member.  It is the responsibility of each CSC member to present issues conveyed to them with the intent that the information be shared with the CSC committee.


            Minutes from the most recent meeting should be made available to staff and to the community in a timely fashion and put in CSC file for the school’s records.


A quorum must be present at the CSC committee meeting in order to enact, or take action upon issues.

  • A majority of CSC members, of whom the principal is one, should constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present at the CSC committee meeting in order to enact or take action upon issues.
  • Quick turnaround decisions that must be resolved prior to the next scheduled meeting may be addressed by an emergency meeting called by the principal. A quorum must be present to make a decision.  The entire CSC committee will abide by the decision derived from this emergency meeting.  These discussions will be communicated to all CSC members at the next scheduled meeting.


Decisions should be made by consensus.  A consensus decision is either unanimous or a majority decision that the entire committee (including dissenter(s)) will implement and support.  The CSC committee will seek to operate in an environment marked by mutual support and respect.  Collaborative decision-making is based upon trust and on the belief in the strength of shared responsibility in decision-making.  All participants must be able to state their cases, be listened to, and have their points of view considered.

  • Members cannot be instructed by their representative groups on how to decide. Members decide for the good of the students.
  • Members will see proposals before decisions are made on the proposals.
  • The CSC committee will follow norms established at the first meeting. The ground rules/norms for conducting the CSC committee meetings are as follows:
  • Growth Mindset- step into your learning zone
  • Use Technology for learning
  • Be present
  • Assume positive intent
  • Ask questions
  • Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer
  • Have fun!
  • Take risks – we’re in a safe space
  • Know thy self- be reflective, confront personal biases
  • Facilitation may be requested whenever any three representatives of the CSC committee want to improve the collaborative decision-making process.

Conflict of Interest

Open Meetings

Meetings should be open to the public.

Notice of meetings should be posted in a timely fashion in appropriate public places as well as published in the school calendar, newsletter or other appropriate medium.

Public Input

At least once a month, CSC meetings should include time for public input.



Constituency Meetings

To the extent possible, the CSC committee should communicate with the constituency groups they represent to inform them about the activities of the CSC committee.  Voluntary monthly constituent meetings are recommended and should be scheduled in advance with the principal to avoid conflict with other activities.




To understand what is distinctive about Collaborative School Committees from other school committees (School Leadership Team, Personnel Committee and English Language Acquisition Parent Advisory Committee ELA PAC), we begin with the recognition that CSC is defined in Board of Education Policy BDF-R4, the SLT and PC are outlined in the contractual agreement between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and the school district; and ELA-PACs are called for in the Order of the 1999 U.S. District Court – Denver Public Schools English Language Acquisition Program.

What the Agreement now affirms is that there will be a Collaborative School Committee at each school site.

Other CSC references can be found as follows: Article 5-6-3, page 12 – Program Change (School Redesign and Restructuring), Article 8-6, 8-6-1, page 24 – Department Chairs for HS,  Article 12-1-1, page 39 – Instructional Materials, Article 13-8-2, page 41 – Personnel Committee, Article 13-9-2, page 42 – Changes in Program, Article 13-10-1, page 43 – Reduction in Building Staff (RIBs), Article 18- page 52, 18-2 53 – Student Discipline, Article 24, page 61 – Joint Activities,  Article 25, page 62 – Job Sharing and Half-Time, Article 26-2, page 63 – Professional Behavior, Article 32-6, page 79 – Calendar of Activities


The CSC is one of 4 separate committees

  • The Collaborative School Committee
  • The School Leadership Team
  • The Personnel Committee
  • The English Language Acquisition Parent Advisory Committee (where appropriate)

Understanding role and function of each committee, how each committee has a distinct task and how they inter-connect is important for each CSC member.

Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee stands apart from the CSC and provides oversight for UIP staffing decisions. (Please note that there may be up to two parents on the Personnel Committee (PC), appointed by the CSC. The PC is defined in Article 13.8 of the Agreement).

School Leadership Team

The School Leadership Team reviews data and collaborates on the development of the UIP and professional development among its responsibilities. More on responsibilities can be found in Articles 5.4 and 8 of the Agreement.

English Language Acquisition Parent Advisory Committee (ELA PAC)

Every ELA Program school must have a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), chosen by the parents of students receiving ELA Program services at the school. The purpose of the ELA PAC is to provide information regarding the ELA Program, increase communication between ELL parents and the District, review implementation of the ELA Program, and listen to concerns of parents. The ELA PAC may be a subcommittee of a larger committee.  At least 2 parent representatives must attend monthly District meetings and report back to the school committee.

See full mandate on Chapter 6 Parental Oversight, of the 2012 Consent Decree of the U.S. District Court – Denver Public Schools English Language Acquisition Program

Communication among all school committees (Collaborative School Committee, Personnel Committee, School Leadership Team, ELA PAC) should flow concisely and regularly

They should understand their separate work, as well as common roles and functions and support what each is doing:

  • The Collaborative School Committee will be informed about the DPS/DCTA agreement;
  • The Collaborative School Committee will be informed and understand the work of the Personnel Committee, both their interconnection, as well as their separate responsibilities;
  • The Collaborative School Committee will be informed and understand the work of the School Leadership Team, both their interconnection as well as their separate responsibilities;
  • The Collaborative School Committee will be informed and understand the work of the English Language Acquisition Parent Advisory Committee, both their interconnection as well as their separate responsibilities.



At any time, the CSC committee may create task forces, or standing subcommittees to facilitate the completion of the CSC committee’s work.  The CSC committee has final decision-making authority over all CSC-created subcommittees and task forces.  These subcommittees or task forces should consist of anyone within the school community including staff, parents, students and/or community members.


Decision Process

All subcommittee and task forces created by the CSC committee should follow the same collaborative decision-making guidelines for the decision-making process as the CSC committee within the boundaries of decision-making delegated to them by the CSC committee.



Amendments to Bylaws

Amendments to the bylaws should be made by consensus of the CSC committee in accordance with the DCTA and District Agreement, state laws, regulations, District policies and procedures.

Recording Amendments to Bylaws

  • CSC committee action resulting in amendment(s) to these bylaws must be recorded in the minutes
  • Current bylaws, prior to CSC committee action resulting in amendment(s) to these bylaws, should be kept on permanent record.

Amendment(s) to these bylaws should be incorporated into the body of the bylaws resulting in a new set of bylaws.  The date of the amendment to these bylaws should appear on each page of the bylaws.  It is recommended that bylaws and procedures are reviewed annually.

Collaborative School Committees Operating Procedures

  1. Changes to the composition of the CSC

The CSC may expand its membership as long as the number of parents elected to the committee exceeds the number of representatives from the group with the next highest representation.  The CSC at any school may request permission from the Instructional Superintendent to reduce its composition due to small school enrollment, or due to the fact that extensive documented efforts to recruit members have been unsuccessful.


  1. Changes to procedures of the CSC

Changes in these procedures based on the needs of the school may be recommended to the Superintendent through the Instructional Superintendent by the CSC.

  1. Administrative Functions:

Staff that performs administrative functions on behalf of the CSC including typing minutes and agendas, contacting CSC members for meetings, or preparing materials for CSC meetings may have these functions considered as part of their normal working day.
School Committees may set their own administrative procedures consistent with the Superintendent Procedure for determining various other issues, including, but not limited to: what number of members will constitute a quorum; when and how often they will meet; when and how they will hold elections; whether they will have term limits.

  1. Constituency Meetings:

All CSCs shall communicate with the constituency groups they represent to inform them about the activities of the CSC.  In addition, regular CSC meetings shall include time for public input at least once a month.

  1. Constituency meetings are defined as: “A scheduled gathering of parents, teachers and students for the purpose of discussing issues relevant to the CSC”.
  2. Each CSC shall hold a minimum of two constituency meetings per year for parents, teachers and students. Each constituency meeting shall be called and facilitated by its constituent CSC representatives (parents for parent meetings, teachers for teacher meetings, etc.).  Principals will provide support to the representatives who are responsible for organizing these meetings.
  • Waivers:
    1. A request for from a Collaborative School Committee for a waiver from Board Policy shall be made to the Instructional Superintendent.
  1. Decision Making Process:
    1. Consensus is a process through which a group makes a decision (without voting) that all members can support. Consensus decisions represent a group decision, supported (or at least accepted) by all group members, that is based on:
      • A thorough understanding of relevant information
      • Participation by all group members
      • An understanding of different perspectives, concerns, needs and recommendations
      • Creative effort to accommodate different needs
      • A willingness to raise and understand disagreement and address the underlying needs manifested in disagreement
    2. If a CSC is not able to reach a decision by consensus and if the timing of the decision permits, the CSC shall seek facilitation assistance from Instructional Superintendent resolve the impasse. If the timing of the decision does not permit further delay, the principal shall make an impasse decision.  The fact of an impasse decision having been made by the principal will be reported in writing to the Instructional Superintendent and the CSC chairperson.  Where a pattern of impasse decisions emerges, the Instructional Superintendent will provide assistance to the principal and the CSC.
    3. The principal, the CSC chairperson and one member of each constituency group shall review bylaws and consensus decision-making process on an annual basis.
  1. District Support of Collaborative Decision Making:


  1. Technical assistance and training to CSC on the work of the committee is available through the offices of the Instructional Superintendents. This assistance and training will include information on:

The scope of responsibilities for the Collaborative School Committee as defined in Board of Education Policy BDF-R4.

  1. Evaluation of the UIP
    1. The UIP shall be based on evaluation of the multiple measures and the level of parental involvement as identified in the School Improvement Plan, and submitted to the Instructional Superintendents.
  • Input Into the Evaluation of the Principal:
  • The CSC input into the evaluation of the principal shall focus on the ability of the principal to collaborate with the CSC on the implementation of the Unified Improvement Plan.
  • The CSC input is submitted to the Instructional Superintendents and considered one component in the principal’s evaluation