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110

School Councils

Background

The Division recognizes the rights of parents to be involved in their children’s education and for parents, community members and school staff to be involved in key decisions about the education of students.  In each school in the Division, parents and the school community are to be provided with the opportunity to establish and maintain a School Council. School Councils have a role in advising and consulting with the Principal on any matter relating to the school.

The Division encourages parental, staff, student (where appropriate) and community participation in making decisions that create a stronger learning environment for students served in schools. 

Procedures

  1. Each Principal is to provide for the establishment of a School Council with the stipulation that the majority of the members are parents or guardians of students attending the school.
    1. Any parent or guardian of a student registered in Division schools can serve on a School Council; however the executive of a School Council must be comprised of a majority of parents.
    2. It is expected that there be an opportunity for representation from the broader community.
  2. Where a school is unsuccessful in establishing a School Council pursuant to Regulation 113/2007, the principal shall make every effort to establish a Parent Liaison Committee for that year.
    1. If there are fewer than five (5) parents or guardians in attendance or if an establishment meeting is not successful in establishing a School Council, a principal may establish and advisory committee for that year.
  3. The central focus of the School Council must be the desire to create a stronger learning environment for the students.
  4. The School Council may advise the Principal and the Board respecting any matter related to the school.  This most often includes, but is not limited to planning, communication, community relations and school programming.
  5. Once established, the Council may specify its model of governance. Each School Council may operate by a set of by-laws:
    1. Respecting the number, location, and calling of meetings;
    2. Prescribing officers, roles of officers, and election of officers; and
    3. Respecting the number of members that constitutes a quorum.
  6. The School Council must retain at the school a copy of the minutes for each meeting of the School Council and make them available to the Superintendent on request.  The minutes for each meeting are to be retained for at least seven years.
  7. The School Council is to annually receive a report from the school which includes the following information:
    1. Five years of achievement test and/or diploma examination results based on those writing in relation to the local targets and provincial standards;
    2. Percentage of students in grade 3, 6, and 9 who write provincial achievement tests and/or student participation in diploma examinations; and 
    3. The school budget.  The school budget shall be presented to School Council by November 30.
  8. School Councils may fundraise, according to the following:
    1. Fundraising is to be for predetermined purposes decided upon in consultation with the Principal and consistent with applicable Board policy.  Funds must be expended as agreed by both parties.
    2. Any funds raised by the Council must be deposited in the accounts of the Division.
    3. Funds will be held in a school trust account.  Such funds are subject to audit by the Superintendent or designate on an annual basis.
  9. The chair of a School Council must prepare and provide to the Board by September 30 of each year a report that:
    1. Summarizes the activities of the School Council in the past school year; and 
    2. Includes a financial statement prepared by the school secretary relating to money handled by the School Council in the past school year, if any.
  10. A School Council may not incorporate under the Societies Act.  Parents or guardians wishing to incorporate as a society for the purpose of holding a gaming license must do so under the Societies Act.
    1. Such a society is a separate entity from the School Council.
    2. If the proposed society bears a direct relationship to the school community in the name or in the function, a copy of the proposed charter must be approved, in writing, by the Superintendent or designate.
  11. Any costs associated with the operation of the School Council must be approved by the principal and included in the operational budget of the school. 

References:

Sections 20, 22, 60, 61 School Act

School Councils Regulation 113/2007

School Councils Policy 1.8.3

Alberta School Council Resource Manual

Board Policy 2 Role of the Board

Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent

 

Reviewed February 2017