What is the School-Based Decision Making Council?

  • School-based decision making (SBDM) is a shared process, in which most of the policies and plans for instruction are made at the local school. It gives teachers, principals, and parents the power to determine the direction of their schools. It was enacted to improve student learning by letting the people closest to students make educational decisions.

Council Responsibilities:

Each school council is required to set policy and make decisions about school functions. Principals continue day-to-day operation and management of the schools, and principals and faculties implement the policies and decisions made by the council. Policies in the following areas are required:

  •  Curriculum
  •  Instructional practices
  •  Assignment of students and use of space
  •  Master school schedule
  •  Assignment of staff time
  •  How the principal will consult with the council when there are vacancies  Discipline and classroom management as part of the school safety plan  Extracurricular programs and student participation policies
  •  Alignment with state standards
  •  Use of technology
  •  Program evaluation
  •  Wellness
  •  Writing programs
  •  Parental involvement (Federal requirement for Title 1 schools only)
  • Committees needed and how they will operate
  • Access to college level courses for grades 6-12
  • Enhancing student achievement
Other decisions and actions to be taken include:
  •  Instruction and instructional materials including textbooks
  •  Staff positions at the school
  • Annual review of school assessment and program data to be used in school planning  School budget including professional development funds
  •  Selection of principal
  • Targets for closing achievement gaps
  •  Ungraded primary program
  •  Program review analysis.


  • Get involved. Run for a school council seat or volunteer to serve on a council committee.
  • Attend council meetings and share your opinions with your parent and teacher representatives.
  •  Work to elect parent and teacher representatives to your school council who care about education for all children in your school. People with a broad perspective instead of a focus on one issue, usually make the best council members.
  • If there is a PTA, P.T.O. or P.T.S.A. in your school, volunteer to help with school council elections to inform parents and work to elect good council members. If there is no PTA in your school, form one. Call the Kentucky PTA office at (502) 226-6607.
  • Suggest that your school council join the Kentucky Association of School Councils. You can attend its fall conference and use its training opportunities whether your school is a member or not. See below for more contact information.
  • Recognize the contributions of school council members as they work to improve your school. Let them know you appreciate their time and commitment to your school. Recognize administrators and board members who support school councils.
  • Attend local school board meetings. Ask school board members how they are supporting school councils and helping them make the best decisions for students.

When does the SBDM meet at New Haven?

The SBDM meetings in the New Haven Media Center from 4:30-6:30pm on the third Tuesday of each month. 



SBDM Elections

***SBDM Elections will be held bi-yearly.  


Nominations for the election are below:


Click here for nomination forms and resumes.


See the New Haven SBDM Website for more information that pertains to New Haven directly. click here