by Andy Cen and Johnny Ha
Helping to give input on how the school should use their funding, the SSC (School Site Council) meets once a month to discuss the best way to allocate the money given to Galileo from the district. The SSC focuses on the balance scorecard, the proposed school budget for each academic school year, to deliberate how money can be best distributed among the different departments.
Once the SSC comes to a consensus, the principal uses the SSC’s recommendations to make a final decision about the school budget for the next year. Galileo Principal Dr. Michael Reimer says, “a complete SSC is a very important governing body in the school site that helps bring input from different stakeholders to the principal’s attention.”
This year, Galileo’s SSC consists of principal Dr. Reimer, four teachers: Ms. Michelle Moffett, Mr. Jonathan Ring, Mr. David Barrios, and Ms. Vicki Ung, one staff member: Ms. Betty Grinnell, three students: Junior Yuyang Zhong, Seniors Teddy Wong and Cyrus Quan, and three parents: Mele Lau-Smith, Jim Fong, and Charles Nelson. Each representative member are elected by their peers.
Although there are only 12 elected members of the SSC, the meetings are open to anyone interested in learning more about the decision making process, and everyone is encouraged to come. Associated Student Body (ASB) Business Vice President Yuyang Zhong said, “The School Site Council welcomes the public to join the meeting.”
Teachers who are part of the SSC feel that they are making an important contribution to the school. Math teacher Mr. Ring, who has been serving in the SSC for 16 years, said, “the SSC is a way for students, teachers, parents, and staff to get together to make decisions for ways to make the school a better place for everyone. It’s been a really rewarding experience; I’ve been in this school for a long time and I feel very passionate about it. I like to represent teachers and have their voice heard when decisions are made.”
First year Galileo’s principal, Dr. Reimer has enjoyed working with the other members of the SSC. He said, “I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the conversations in those meetings. We’re about halfway through the school year and I’m already very impressed with the insightful conversations and the data we looked at, and the fact that different groups of people together to figure out what’s best for Galileo.”
Dr. Reimer adds, “The SSC is doing very well and I’m proud of having a properly comprised SSC. I am very pleased with the fact that this year, at Galileo, we have a full set of properly elected representative members. We’ve had well planned and meaningful meetings as a group to do a couple things: set the budget for the school, which is key, and craft the academic plan. Our team has worked hard to work on the best combination. so that we can get a great program for our kids in the classrooms. I am proud of the important conversations about how to best structure things for kids. Whether it’s about technology, or increasing test scores for kids or graduation rates, or instruction in classrooms, those are very, in my standpoint, important conversations.”
“The School Site Council has lots of power to move the school forward and make the best decisions as long as each member of the SSC remembers who they’re representing and as long as every faction of SSC has equal representation (students’ voice just as powerful as teachers’ voice which is just as powerful as administration which should just be as powerful as parents, equal voices). If they do, then a lot of good things can come to the tough decisions,” said AVID Counselor, Lauren Marshman.