Policy Council is the governing body of Head Start, in partnership with the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees, which makes decisions about policies, operating procedures, budgets, hiring and firing of Head Start staff, and ensures that program guidelines are followed. Policy Council is composed of parent representatives elected by center committees, Shippensburg University Council of Trustee representatives, and community representatives. Policy Council may be made up of 51% parents and 49% community representatives.
Policy Council members will elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Co-Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. The duties of these officers, as stated in the Policy Council by-laws are as follows;
- Chairperson- prepares the agenda and runs the meeting.
- Vice-Chairperson- presides at meetings when the Chairperson is absent.
- Secretary- takes notes of the meeting and prepares minutes of the meeting.
- Co-Secretary- takes notes and prepares minutes in the absence of the meeting.
- Treasurer- reads monthly statement of Policy Council funds and is aware of account activity.
- Parliamentarian- presides over the order of the meeting.
The goals of Policy Council are;
- To have approval power in all program operations, specified in the Head Start Performance standards. (1304.50)
- To have operating responsibilities for evaluating the Head Start program.
- To have general responsibilities in hearing and resolving complaints about the Head Start program.
These goals are achieved by the sub-committees of Policy Council, which are composed of elected policy council representatives, SU Council of Trustee representatives, and community representatives. The sub-committees are as follows; By-Laws committee, Budget Committee, Human Resources/Personnel Committee, Health Services Advisory, Selection Committee, Strategic Planning Committees, Ad Hoc Committees, and Program Evaluation/Review Committee-(includes Family and Community Partnerships, Program Design and Management, Child Development, Health Services, and Transportation/Facilities). Recommendations of each committee are submitted to Policy Council and then to the SU Council of Trustees monthly and as needed.
Policy Council meetings are generally held the third Thursday of every month at 10:00AM. This is subject to change following revision of Policy Council by-laws. Any Head Start parent or primary caregiver of an enrolled Head Start child may attend the monthly meetings.
Training is provided for Policy Council members and SU Council of Trustees to help implement their roles and responsibilities operating the Shippensburg Head Start Program.