AP 120: School Councils
Administration of Policy and Legislation
School Councils are an important link between the Division and school communities. School Councils bring forward critical perspectives about education, the needs of schools, and concerns of the community.
The Superintendent recognizes that community support of schools enhances the quality of learning outcomes for students in the classrooms and School Councils have the potential to foster such community support. The Superintendent supports and encourages the formation of School Councils for each of its schools in accordance with the Education Act and the School Councils Regulation.
1. Each Principal shall be responsible and accountable to the Superintendent and ultimately to the Board for all activities within the school. The Principal shall seek input and advice from the community through the School Council. Such advice shall be designed to assist the Principal and school staff in implementing or maintaining strategies which:
1.1. Foster a positive school climate;
1.2. Identify educational needs and priorities;
1.3. Encourage fiscal accountability;
1.4. Contribute to school and divisional education planning;
1.5. Contribute to the provision of high-quality student programs; and
1.6. Provide opportunities for students to meet standards set by the Minister of Education and the Board.
2. Effective and ongoing communication shall exist between the Division and School Councils.
2.1. A School Council may request an appointment to meet with the Board at a meeting of the Board regarding one or more issues specified in the request;
2.1.1. The request shall be in writing.
2.2. The Principal shall encourage School Councils to review the online posting of Board agendas and minutes.
2.3. Expectations within communities may require schools to respond in ways that are different from other schools:
2.3.1. The Superintendent may delegate or request specific duties to, or responses from a School Council from time to time.
School Councils and principals are encouraged to make every effort to work together constructively and positively to resolve issues. When an impasse occurs between the School Council and the school’s Principal regarding policies proposed or adopted for the school, the following procedures to determine a final and binding decision shall apply.
3. As per the Education Act 55(8), procedures for Conflict Resolution between School Council and the Principal include but are not limited to the following:
3.1. In the event of such a dispute, either the Chair of the School Council or the Principal may request the Superintendent to act as, or to appoint a designate to assist in the resolution of the impasse.
3.2. If reasonable mediation efforts by the Superintendent fail to bring about a successful resolution, then the Superintendent shall make a decision regarding the matter and inform the parties in writing of that decision in a timely manner.
3.3. Either the School Council Chair or the Principal may submit a written appeal to the Board regarding the Superintendent’s decision within ten (10) days from the date of receipt of that decision under the Board’s policy on appeals.
3.4. The decision of the Board or its committee making such a decision on appeal will be final and binding on all parties concerned with the matter under appeal.
School Council Reporting Requirements
4. The Division has established basic minimum requirements for School Councils to provide information for use in preparing reports to Alberta Education, including the Annual Education Results Report, and thus sets the following expectations:
4.1. Each School Council/Parent Advisory Group is to submit to the Superintendent by June 30 of each year, a report outlining the activities of the School Council during the previous year.
4.1.1. An annual summary of the school council reports shall be submitted to the Associate Superintendent – Education and System Services.
4.2. School Councils are to maintain, at the school, an official record book containing minutes of each meeting of the School Council, signed by the Chair and the person preparing the minutes, and to make such record available to the Superintendent on request.
4.3. School Councils shall communicate results of any studies undertaken and/or articles outlining significant accomplishments, major school events or projects to the Division as prudent to do so;
4.3.1. Submissions shall be coordinated by the School Council Chair through the principal to the Associate Superintendent – Education and System Services.
The Division accepts its responsibility to ensure that the best interests of its students and their community are being served by the presence of a School Council. Circumstances may occur where the Board may determine it is advisable and necessary to move to dissolve a School Council
5. As per the Education Act 55(9), The Board may request that the Minister of Education dissolves a School Council if the Minister is of the opinion that the School Council is not carrying out its responsibilities.
6. The Board may request the Minister to dissolve or suspend a School Council if, in the opinion of the Board, such negative conditions exist (e.g. fraudulent, criminal or unethical behaviour; internal dissension or adversarial relationships; disruption to the tone or climate of a school; or ongoing, unresolved disputes between council and Principal) that the interests of the students are not being well served.
7. Where the Board determines that it will submit a request for such dissolution to the Minister, it will provide written notice to that School Council and provide opportunity for the School Council to meet with the Board to discuss the concerns, before asking the Minister to proceed.
8. Where the Minister dissolves a School Council or where establishment is unsuccessful, the Principal is required to take all reasonable steps to establish an interim advisory committee for the school to serve as a School Council for the remainder of the school year. Such a committee is to include several parents, a teaching staff member and a minimum of one (1) community member.