School Council is a great place to get together with other parents, teachers, and the community to talk about educational issues at our school. Meetings occur at the school approximately once a month. All minutes to the meetings can be found on-site.
A school council should review its mission, vision and goals annually to ensure they reflect the views of the current membership.
School council functions may include:
• consulting with the principal to ensure students have opportunities to meet Ministry standards, fiscal management is sound, and the community is taken into consideration during school-based planning
• advising the principal and the school board on topics as requested
• being involved in school-based planning
• sharing ideas and information with other school councils and provincial organizations
• communicating information to the school community and other school councils
• setting policies that relate to school council functions, such as:
mail, email address for school council correspondence
school council orientation and development
financial management and/or fundraising
minutes of school council meetings
pertinent information unique to the school council
As the primary role is advisory, school councils are not eligible to incorporate as societies. It is not the primary intent of school councils to fundraise or lobby.
Roles that are not to be taken on by a school council include:
• employment issues
• school management
• listening to complaints
While individual members of school council may have specific duties, all members are responsible for creating a culture of respect, collaboration and inclusion.
Each school council must decide how to fulfill its responsibility in the school community through activities, such as:
• representing the views of the school community actively and accurately (through consulting as widely as possible with parents, teachers, students and community before making major decisions or providing conclusive advice to the principal or board)
• informing the school community of items, such as meetings, committee work, news and surveys (through newsletters, bulletin boards, emails)
• involving the school community (by inviting, supporting, including)
• encouraging and promoting parental engagement and support (by publicizing opportunities for ways to get involved, not just school council meetings)
• becoming well informed (by asking questions, reading, critically examining what is presented)
• focusing on the best interests of all students (by considering a wide variety of students and families when making decisions and formulating advice)
• becoming familiar with the policies of the local school board and understanding how they impact the school community
• maintaining ethical standards and setting ground rules of respect for meetings (adopting a code of conduct for school council members, rules of order for meetings)
The school council is a legislated structure - a forum for parents and community members to participate in an advisory capacity in their local school decision-making processes. The advisory role is intended to engage parents, high school students and the community in school decision-making for which the principal is responsible.
School council may, at its discretion, advise the principal on matters relating to the school. Some of the more common topics for discussion include:
• school’s improvement planning, including three-year plans
• school division policies (e.g. school fees, school council policies)
• school budget
• school volunteers
• provincial achievement test results and diploma exam results
• guidelines and principles for the school resource allocations
• training and/or information needs of school council members
• school policy on use of facilities by the larger community
• facility renovations
• ways of reporting student achievement results to parents and public
• methods of communicating with parents and the public
• promotion of the school in the community
• programs offered in the school
• extracurricular activities offered in the school
• student attendance procedures, standards of student conduct and bullying issues
• services for students to improve learning, such as assistance from reading specialists and guidance counsellors
• school calendar and adjustments in school hours
• graduation and other school celebrations
School council may, at its discretion, advise the school board/charter board on matters relating to the school. Typical topics include:
• school division budget
• fundraising issues and methods of generating additional revenue
• school council policies
• division-wide programming priorities
• school infrastructure priorities
• safety issues that affect students/schools in the division
• advocacy for students, parents and public education
• transportation issues
• suggested criteria for hiring a school principal
School councils may also come together to advise the Minister of Education on matters that pertain to provincial educational policy and directions. When advice with the potential to affect change in schools across the province is given, it becomes advocacy. This form of advising or advocacy can be undertaken through the government recognized provincial association that represents the voice of parents in public education - the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA).
ASCA members bring forward issues, in the form of resolutions, at the annual general meeting. If a resolution is endorsed or voted in by the majority of the assembly at the meeting, it becomes a policy of the association. This policy forms the basis for advocating change to the Minister of Education.
Alberta School Council's Association website: www.