Admin

School Council

Q: What do school councils do?
A: School Councils bring together the parent community and enhance the communication between the school and the school community. This is accomplished by providing feedback and advice to your school principal and the school district on significant education issues, and by planning activities that support the active participation of parents/guardians and your school community.

Q: How are school council's responibilities established?
A: The responsibilities of school councils are established provincially in the Ontario Education Act under regulations 612/00 and 613/00. At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, our policy, P.014.SCO: School Councils and procedure PR.509.SCO: School Council Elections, Constitution, and By-Laws outline the responsibilities of school councils in the Board’s jurisdiction. Your school council constitution further describes the responsibilities of your school council that are specific to your school community.

Q: Who sits on school council?
A: Membership on school councils is open to all parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school, as well as community members, intermediate/secondary students, the school principal (non-voting), teachers and administrative staff. There must be a majority of parents/guardians among your school council members. Your school council should reflect the diversity of your community. Members of the Council are elected annually in the fall.

Q: What are the responisilities of school council members?
A: Your constitution will describe the responsibilities of the officers and members of your school council. These responsibilities may include the following:

Chair/Co-Chair

  • arrange for meetings, prepares agendas, and chairs meetings

  • ensure that meeting minutes are recorded and kept in a safe place for a minimum of four years

  • participate as ex-officio member on council committees

  • communicate with the school principal on behalf of council

  • maintain the constitution and ensure a regular review by the council

  • communicate with the school community on a regular basis and ensure that parents/guardians of all students are consulted on matters under consideration

  • facilitate the resolution of conflicts

  • consult with senior board staff and trustees as required

  • prepare an annual report and ensure the treasurer prepares financial statements to be submitted to the principal for distribution to the school community and the OCDSB

 

Parent Representatives

  • contribute to school and school council discussions

  • solicit views of other parents/guardians and community members to share with the council

  • participate on council committees

  • observe the council’s code of ethics and constitution

  • encourage parents/guardians and community members to participate in events and programs

 

Community Representatives

  • contribute to school and school council discussions

  • represent the community’s perspective and help build partnerships and links between the school and the community

  • participate on council committees

  • observe the council’s code of ethics and constitution

  • encourage parents/guardians and community members to participate in events and programs

 

Student Representatives

  • contribute to school and school council discussions

  • solicit views of students to share with the council

  • participate on council committees

  • observe the council’s code of ethics and constitution

  • communicate with students on behalf of the council

 

School Staff Representatives

  • contribute to school and school council discussions

  • solicit views from staff to share with the council

  • participate on council committees

  • observe the council’s code of ethics and constitution

  • communicate with staff on behalf of the council

 

School Principal (Non-voting)

  • seek input of the school council on the School Learning Plan (SLP), school budgets and community partnerships

  • facilitate annual school council elections

  • distribute and post council communications to parents/guardians (including the annual report)

  • support and promote the council’s activities and acts as a resource on by-laws, regulations, and policies

  • attend all school council meetings or appoint a vice-principal delegate when required and may participate on council committees

  • forward relevant information from the OCDSB and the Ministry to the council

  • consider each recommendation made by the school council and advises the council of any action taken in response to the recommendation

  • solicit views of the school council on important educational issues such as: the development of school policies and guidelines regarding student achievement and well-being

  • develop school code of conduct, dress code, school learning plans, the communication of those plans to the public; and Board policies (as directed)

  • communicate with the council chair

  • observe the council’s code of ethics and established bylaws

  • encourage parents/guardians and community members to participate in events and programs

 

Q: Can School Council members be paid?
A: No remuneration or honorarium may be paid to school council members.

Q: Are School Council members insured?
A: School council members are protected by the OCDSB’s liability insurance policy while acting within the scope of their duties on behalf of the OCDSB. Such duties/activities must be sanctioned by, and under the jurisdiction and control of, the principal.

Q: What are the School Council's annual goals and priorities?
A: In addition to the responsibilities as an advisory body, school councils are responsible for establishing annual goals and priorities, providing information and training for your new school council members, and promoting the best interests of the school community as a whole.

The following are some ideas on how School Council can create effective goals for the upcoming year:

  1. Understand your community – identify the unique characteristics, resources, needs of your community.

  2. Create a list of goals – determine your top priorities. Are they aligned with the school learning plan?

  3. Develop strategies – maximize the resources and skills of the people in your school community to achieve your goals.

  4. Evaluate your results – analyse what works and what doesn’t in your school community to help with future planning.

 

Q: What is in a School Counil Constitution?
A: The school council is responsible for developing and maintaining a school council constitution that outlines the way in which school council will conduct its business. The constitution must comply with both the provincial regulations and the OCDSB’s policies and procedures and, at a minimum, the school council constitution must include:

  • the council’s name, purpose, and objectives;

  • the council’s officers and members;

  • the responsibilities of the officers and members on council;

  • the council’s requirements for meetings, quorum, and voting rights;

  • the council’s rules for conduct at meetings;

  • the procedures to amend the school council’s constitution/bylaws;

  • the council’s procedures for annual elections and filling interim vacancies (for example through election, rotation, or by seeking volunteers);

  • the council’s procedures to address any conflicts of interest;

  • the council’s resolution process for internal school council disputes;

  • the council’s affiliation with other organizations, such as the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils (OCASC); and

  • any other committees of the council and its membership.

 

Q: Is there a link to more information regarding School Councils?
A: Yes. The OCDSB has a comprehensive guide that you can access at this link: School Council Resource Guide
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