Role of the School Council
A school council is an advisory body that functions within the parameters of Ministry of Education and Board policy. School councils provide an opportunity and the means to advise the principal and the Board on any matter pertaining to improvement of pupil achievement and enhancing the accountability of the education system to parents/guardians. The ultimate responsibility for the administration and management of the day-to-day operation of the school rests with the principal.
A School Council Handbook has been prepared by the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Region Assembly of Public School Councils working in partnership to support school councils in their valuable role in elementary and secondary schools across the Region. A reference copy of the handbook is available in all of our schools.
A school council is an important venue for the various stakeholders in education to work in partnership. Its role, in collaboration with the principal, staff and the community, is to help set the priorities of the school, and to enhance learning opportunities, through various activities, for the benefit of our children/students.
What a School Council is not
A school council is not a place to pursue your own agenda or advocate for your own child. Individual issues should be pursued through the classroom teacher and/or principal or through your superintendent. Guidelines for parents/guardians to communicate with the school system related to individual issues are included in the School Council Handbook.
According to Waterloo Region District School Board Policy, school councils should range in size from nine to fifteen members in elementary schools, and from eleven to fifteen members in secondary schools. Schools may change the size of their school council through their own bylaw, as long as it complies with Ontario Regulation 612/00. Under the same regulation, school councils shall include:
- Parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school, elected by parents/guardians at the school. Parents/guardians must form a majority on the school council. In the case of an adult day school, students will form the majority on the school council.
- The school principal (a non-voting member)
- One teacher from the school, elected by the teaching staff
- One support staff member from the school, elected by the support staff
- One student, if a secondary school, chosen by the students. A school council at the elementary level may decide to invite student representation in consultation with and appointed by the principal
- One person appointed by an association that is a member of the Ontario Federation of Home & School Associations, if the association is established in the school
- A community representative, appointed by the school council. The school council may make a bylaw to increase the number of community representatives to two or more, but must still make sure that parents/guardians form the majority.
School Council Membership
The membership of a school council changes from year to year. Each year, potential new council members will be recruited for election, elections will take place, and the newly elected members will be oriented to their tasks (3.1). O. Reg. 612/00
Linked below is a Google Form for any parents who wish to self-nominate or nominate another parent. Anyone who wishes to be elected or become a voting member must attend scheduled meetings. A member will lose voting status after missing two meetings (as per Chalmers School Council Bylaw 4.1). Due to the COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols this year, all meetings will be virtual.
We will conduct our first virtual meeting Thursday, November 5th at 6:00pm. A meeting link will be sent out closer to this date. It will be at this meeting that we will hold our elections and set future meeting dates. The deadline to complete the nomination form is Wednesday, November 4th.
Link to Chalmers’ School Council Nomination Form:
School Council Meeting Dates 2020-21:
- Thursday, November 5th @6pm (*annual election and meeting)
- Thursday, December 17th @6pm
- Thursday, February 18th @6pm
- Thursday, April 15th @6pm
- Thursday, June 3rd @6pm
Friday, November 6, 2020.
At last evening’s School Council meeting, we conducted our annual election. I am writing to congratulate the following individuals on their new positions:
Chair– Shalon Armstrong
Secretary– Alicja Kotarska
Treasurer– Grace Frias
I look forward to partnering with each of you, and I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities that will be created through this year’s Council. Thank you for your contributions last evening. It was great to have you in the “virtual” room for our discussion and election.