The School Council is made up of parents, guardians, teachers and principals and our primary function is to act as an advisory body to the principal and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. We discuss various school issues and work collaboratively with staff to establish the best learning environment for our students. It is a great way to get involved in your child’s education.
What is the School Council’s purpose and role?
- All schools are required by the Ontario Education Act to have a School Council. (Details are spelled out in regulations and the publication, School Councils – A Guide for Members, available in the School Office.)
- The two key purposes of School Council are:
- to improve student achievement and
- to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents.
- School Councils advise the Principal and the School Board. School Councils can now make recommendations to the Principal and the Board on any matter.
- Principals and School Boards must consult with School Councils on a variety of matters that affect our students’ learning.
- Principals and School Boards must consider recommendations made by School Councils and must report back to them on how they plan to act on the advice or why a recommendation was not acted upon.
What kinds of issues can Principals and School Boards bring to School Councils for input?
- Budget priorities
- Capital improvement plans
- Action plans for improvement based on EQAO test results
- School/classroom organization
- Student homework policies
- Review of school boundaries
- Use of volunteers in the school
- Parent involvement and communication policies and implementation plans
- Policies regarding scheduling special school events
- Policies regarding field trips for students
- Safe arrival policy and implementation plans
- Code of Conduct policy and implementation plans
- Appropriate dress policy and implementation plans
- School profiles
- School Council meetings at A.A. Greenleaf have discussed issues from the state of carpets in the kindergarten classrooms, cleanliness and maintenance in the school, air quality, school parking lot entrance and exit safety, class carriers for information, frequency of science fairs, and volunteer orientation, to gender-specific learning strategies, EQAO plans, supply teacher strategies, and class size/teacher allocations, among others.
What is the membership of School Council?
- Elections are held annually and individual membership may change from year to year.
- In general, the make-up of School Council includes:
- A majority of parents
- The Principal or Vice Principal
- One or more teachers employed by the school
- One or more community representatives appointed by the elected council
How does School Council represent parents?
- Advice provided to the Principal or School Board by the School Council is based on the general views of the School Community and the best interests of all students at A.A. Greenleaf – individual biases are checked at the door.
- Information is shared with parents about matters under consideration by the School Council through the School Bulletin, issue-specific communications, the School website, and the School Council notice board.
- The impact of issues before School Council vary, from those having only indirect impact to those affecting all enrolled students. The degree of impact determines the formality of the consultation undertaken from information only to tear-off responses, to surveys, to town-hall style meetings.
- Parents should always feel free to contact School Council members or the Principal to raise issues and suggestions, ask questions, seek information and offer opinions.
When and where does School Council meet? How does it work?
- School Council meets monthly. Meeting dates are available here.
- Meetings begin at 7:00 pm sharp in the staff room.
- Minutes are posted on the School Council website.
Why should I get involved with the School Council?
- Our children are our community’s future and the quality of their education is their springboard to opportunity.
- Keep yourself informed about what is happening in the school, the Board and in provincial education policy and funding.
- Make a time investment in an invaluable asset – your own child. A parent’s involvement in a child’s education has been shown to have a significant effect on his/her performance and achievement. There are also many other important regular and one-off volunteer opportunities in the classroom and school. Think about how much time we commit to supporting our children’s extra-curricular activities.
- Contribute to the shared goal of improving overall student achievement.
- Your views are valued – whether as an elected member of School Council or a parent at large. Take the time to express your opinions to a member on the issues that are relevant to you and your children.
- Partnership in the education system and your community produce tangible benefits, along with demonstrating to our children the important value and service of volunteerism.