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Top 10 things a school council needs to know

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2003 Peel board survey of councils, showed need for more support and training for councils ... bulletin boards. school website. email message out to parents ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Top 10 things a school council needs to know


1
Top 10 things a school council needs to know
2
  • 1. Councils have a historyand a clear purpose

3
Evolution of councils
  • 1995 recommended by Royal Commission on
    Learning
  • 1995/96 community consultation
  • Sept 1996 schools required to have elected
    council
  • 1997 review showed effectiveness of councils
  • 2000 new regulations
  • 2003 Peel board survey of councils, showed
    need for more support and training for councils

4
Council expectations
  • School councils are expected to
  • advise the principal, and where appropriate, the
    board
  • place student interests first
  • support the board's school success planning
    goals
  • encourage parent and community involvement
  • promote positive attitudes towards public
    education

5
  • 2. No one ever seems to actually get elected to
    the elected position of school council member

6
The election quiz
  • How many of you
  • had a hard-fought battle for council supremacy
    filled with political intrigue and active
    campaigning fuelled by a desperate desire to be
    out one more night a month?

7
The election quiz
  • How many of you
  • were at the right place, wrong time
  • had a weak moment
  • said "yes" without knowing what you agreed to
  • found that you couldn't back out
  • a willing parent

8
  • The reality

9
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10
  • 3. There is a way to make sure you don't always
    have same 7 people on your school council

11
Encourage parents to run for election to council
  • form Election Planning Committee
  • mentor existing council members
  • recruit parent leaders and active volunteers
  • seek out parents who represent diverse
    communities
  • ask teachers about parents who might be
    interested

12
Encourage parents to run for election to council
  • Nomination Week
  • school newsletter
  • send home nomination forms
  • bulletin boards
  • school website
  • email message out to parents
  • ask students to talk to their parents

13
  • 4. Some people are actually not welcome on the
    school council

14
Not allowed as members
  • trustee
  • MPP
  • cannot be parent member if employed at the
    school, can be staff rep

15
Council membership
  • parents majority
  • 1 student (secondary mandatory, elementary
    optional)
  • principal (VP may attend in principal's place)
  • 1 teacher
  • 1 non-teaching staff rep
  • 1 or more community reps
  • 1 rep from Home and School Association

16
Council membership
  • must have minimum of 9 members (or 11 if there
    is a student rep)
  • if vacancies, must continue to try to fill
  • may create by-law to allow more than minimum
    number of members
  • if no by-law, must have an election if more
    nominations than the minimum

17
Council membership
  • parents must be majority
  • principal or VP cannot vote
  • chair or co-chairs must be parent(s)

18
Who is a parent?
  • has child currently enrolled in the school
  • if school board employee, must disclose employer
    prior to election
  • school board employees are not allowed to be
    chair or co-chair

19
  • 5. A council is not a private club

20
Open door policy
  • all council meetings are open to the public
  • all meetings of council sub-committees are open
    to the public
  • every meeting must have question period
  • agendas and minutes of all meetings must be
    available to all parents

21
  • 6. There is no proven link between more meetings
    and effectiveness

22
Meeting must-haves
  • must have at least four meetings a year
  • first meeting must be within 35 school days of
    the school year
  • principal must notify parents of date, time,
    place of all school council and committee
    meetings
  • councils may have committees each committee
    must have parent rep

23
  • 7. Sad but true, there's no law requiring your
    advice to be taken

24
School council mandate
  • act as an advisory body providing ideas and
    suggestions to assist the principal, trustee and
    superintendent in making decisions on educational
    issues
  • school calendar
  • code of behaviour/dress code
  • program priorities and curriculum delivery
  • budget priorities
  • extracurricular activities
  • fundraising
  • school success planning
  • Board policies and guidelines

25
School council mandate
  • facilitate two-way communication between the
    school and parents/community
  • promote the best interests of the school

26
  • 8. The school council is not the place for
    private grudges, pet peeves or personal
    preferences

27
Duties responsibilities
  • legally required to operate with Education Act
    and Peel board policies
  • adhere to the code of ethics
  • maintain school-wide perspective
  • act in best interest of the school and all
    students
  • foster good relationships

28
  • 9. You have enormous power over the reputation of
    your school

29
Hierarchy of effective communication
1. One-to-one, face-to-face 2. Small group
discussion/meeting 3. Speaking before a large
group 4. Phone conversation 5. Handwritten,
personal note 6. Typewritten, personal letter not
generated by computer 7. Computer generated or
word-processing-generated personal letter 8.
Mass-produced, non-personal letter 9. Brochure or
pamphlet sent out as a direct mail piece 10.
Article in organizational newsletter, magazine,
tabloid 11. News carried in popular press 12.
Advertising in newspapers, radio, TV, magazines,
posters 13. Other less effective forms of
communication (billboards, skywriters, etc.)
30
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31
  • 10. You can make a real difference in supporting
    student success

32
Parent Involvement Survey
  • parents typically consider themselves to be
    involved
  • most common involvement daily follow-up
  • parents feel they're most engaged in parenting,
    assisting student learning and communication with
    the school
  • although principals make communication a
    priority, some parents feel they do not receive
    enough info., especially newcomers

33
Parent Involvement Survey
  • although principals make communication a
    priority, some parents feel they do not receive
    enough info., especially newcomers
  • parents feel well-connected in the early grades
  • most common involvement daily follow-up
  • overall, findings point to a fundamental
    difference between educational approach in
    Ontario and in most countries of origin
  • inquiry based approach leads to frustration

34
Parent Voice in Education Survey of parents
who are actively involved in their childs
school of parents who would be involved, if
they were asked
35
Parent Voice in Education survey of parents
who are actively involved in their childs
school 11 of parents who would be involved,
if they were asked 50
36
  • What are the top barriers to parent involvement?

37
Barriers to involvement
  • busy life/working
  • communication gaps/confusion about how to be
    involved
  • language
  • lack of curriculum information
  • involvement discouraged by older children
  • lack of subject knowledge/confidence
  • transportation
  • selective involvement and others

38
Here's what they said
  • "I think life just gets in the way."
  • "As a new immigrant, it's hard to be
    involvedbecause we are so busy doing survival
    jobs to support our family."
  • "My son is 16--he won't tell me anything. I have
    to work at finding out the information because
    he's 16."
  • "Since there is a language barrier, I cannot
    effectively help my child academically."

39
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42
  • Questions?

43
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