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. School councils are structured groups of parents, principals, teachers, secondary students, and community representatives who work together to effectively support and enhance student learning. They provide a method for members of the school community to consult with and offer advice to the principal and the school board. 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If an early childhood services program is offered at the school, parents of children enrolled in the program can serve on a School Council.
- It is expected that there be an opportunity for representation from the broader community.
- If the school includes a senior high school program, at least one person who is a student enrolled in the high school, elected or appointed by the students enrolled in the high school will be included to serve on School Council. **Note: Section 8(1)(c) in the regulation makes this statement.
- If a school has no school council, the school must, within 40 days after the start of the school year, hold a meeting for the purpose of establishing a school council.
- 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 an advisory committee to carry out one or more duties or functions of a school council in the interim until a school council is established.
- Any advisory committee established under section 3 is dissolved on the establishment of a school council.
- The school principal will ensure notice is given to a parent of each student enrolled in the school, a parent of each child enrolled in an Early Childhood Services program at the school, the school staff, other members of the school community who, in the principal's opinion, should be given notice. Notice will be given at least 10 school days prior to the date of the meeting and may be given by any means that the principal considers appropriate, including electronic means.
- The central focus of the School Council must be the desire to create a stronger learning environment for the students.
- 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.
- Once established, the School Council may specify its model of governance. Each School Council may operate by a set of by-laws:
- Respecting the location of the meetings, number of times the School Council must meet each year, and calling of meetings;
- Prescribing officers, roles of officers, and election of officers;
- Respecting the number of members that constitutes a quorum;a and
- Respecting a conflict resolution process for internal school council disputes.
- 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.
- The School Council is to annually receive a report from the school which includes the following information:
- The results for the school from provincial assessments and any other provincial measures, and the interpretation of those results and measures.
- The school operational budget shall be presented to School Council no later than November 30.
- The School Council will have the opportunity to provide advice on the development of the school's:
- Foundation statements, if any, respecting the school's vision, principles and beliefs;
- Annual School Advancement Plan and Annual Results Report; and
- Budget forecast and implications for the following year.
- The School Council may receive donations on behalf of a board but no School Council shall raise funds or otherwise solicit donations in any manner that would require a gaming license under the Gaming and Liquor Act.
- The School Council must handle and report all monies it receives, if any, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Board.
- The chair of a School Council must prepare and provide to the Board by September 30 of each year a report that:
- Summarizes the activities of the School Council in the past school year; and
- Includes a financial statement prepared by the school secretary relating to money handled by the School Council in the past school year, if any.
- 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.
- Such a society is a separate entity from the School Council.
- 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.
- 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.
- Date for First Meeting of School Council:
- For any school year, the first meeting of the School Council must be held within 20 school days after the start of the school year or as specified in the bylaws of the School Council.
Sections 20, 22, 30, 60, 61, 78 School Act
School Councils Regulation 113/2007 (with amendments up to and including Alberta Regulation 163/2018)
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
Revised June 2019