Graphic of a committee (group) of people in circle

Okaloosa Schools Seeking Professional Leadership and Skills From Community

Have you ever watched the nightly news and thought “I have an idea to improve our schools”?  If so, then the Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) has an opportunity for you!

“A strong, vital school system is crucial to the local economy, and we have one of the best right here in Okaloosa County - ranked #2 in the State!” said Superintendent of Schools, Mary Beth Jackson.  “Now, your schools need YOUR unique skills and experience.   The district’s individual schools are looking for community partners to serve on their “School Advisory Councils” (SAC).”

No children in the district?  Not sure which school to help?  No problem!  Beyond traditional curriculum, our schools have diverse programs such as biomedical, aerospace engineering, IT, robotics, culinary, HVAC, just to name a very few of our career programs that make our district so special.  We can match your professional skills to a program where you can help many students prepare for the future.

As a member of a SAC, you will play an important role.  You and your fellow council members are entrusted with the improvement of your public school.  Underlying the law that created these councils is a belief that all children can learn, and that the public schools can and will change to better prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace.

Each public school is unique. It has its own community setting, resources, challenges, and most importantly, a student population unlike any other. The people best suited to decide what will be effective in helping our students learn are the people closest to each school:  the principal, faculty and staff, parents, students, local business people, and community members. These “stakeholders” are represented on your advisory council.

SACs are governed by state statute, have clearly defined roles:

  1. SAC councils shall be the sole body responsible for final decision making at the school relating to implementation of provisions of ss.1001.42 (18) and 1008.345” (implement school improvement and accountability);
  2. Assists in the preparation & evaluation of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) or School Performance Plan (SPP);
  3. Assists the principal with the school budget;
  4. Decides how school improvement funds are spent;
  5. Decides jointly with school faculty how A+ recognition funds are spent – except after February 1; and
  6. Perform functions as prescribed by regulations of the school board.

SACs consist of 17 members, made up of the school principal, instructional and/or support staff, parents, students, and community partners!  They meet just once a month, and provide an extremely valuable role in shaping our district. 

“Our goal is not to be the #2 district, and our schools need your input to make the leap to #1,” said Jackson.

If you have questions about SACs or about finding a school that is right for you, please contact the District SAC Point of Contact, Denise McLaughlin, at or 850-833-3385.   If you already know the school that’s right for you, please contact the school you are interested in directly.  You can also learn more here at