Table of contents

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Overview

School councils consist of:

  • a majority of parents
  • principals
  • teachers
  • secondary students
  • community representatives

School council members work together to support and enhance student learning. They provide a way for members of the community to consult with and offer advice to principals and school boards.

School councils:

  • are a bridge between the school and community
  • focus on what is best for all students in the school
  • consider the interests of all school stakeholders
  • develop, maintain and reflect the culture of the school
  • represent the parent voice in the school community

School councils are legislated under the Education Act and are mandatory for all schools in the public education system, including charter schools.

Role of parents

Parents play an important role in student success. School councils allow parents to participate in decisions that impact student learning.

Parents actively contribute to the success of the school community by contributing knowledge, perspective and ideas at school council meetings and through other methods established by the school council, including, but not limited to, participating in:

  • surveys
  • focus groups
  • committees
  • projects teams
  • volunteer activities

Parents of students enrolled in the school must make up the majority of the school council. School councils may also decide to include one or more parents of children enrolled in an Early Childhood Services (ECS) program at the school or other individuals who have an interest in the school.

How to engage with your school council

Contact your school’s principal school council chairperson, trustee or your school authority to learn how to engage with your school council. All parents with a student in the school are eligible to be members of school council.

Resources

Assurance Framework

Alberta’s Assurance Framework describes the approach to build public trust and confidence that the education system meets the needs of students and enables their success.

Through action and evidence, education partners throughout the system demonstrate that they are meeting their responsibilities across key areas or domains.

The framework reflects the importance of stakeholder engagement in its guiding principles, key enabling processes and requirements for school authority planning and results reporting.

One of the key ways that school authorities demonstrate accountability and provide assurance is through the development and publication of their education plans and annual education results reports (AERRs)

School authorities engage key stakeholders, including parents and school councils, in the planning process to establish key priorities for their education plan and to share results and report on progress toward achieving those priorities in their AERR. To that end, school authority education plans and AERRs are expected to provide evidence and document that school authorities have engaged with stakeholders.

In their education plan and AERR, school authorities also describe the actions they have taken to meet their obligations under Section 12 of the School Councils Regulation, to provide the opportunity for school councils to be involved in developing school education plans/AERRs and to share results from provincial assessments and information from its reporting and accountability system with school councils.

Supporting the Assurance Framework

School councils can play a role in supporting the Assurance Framework by:

  • Becoming familiar with the Assurance Framework and the related school authority planning and reporting requirements
  • Learning about the role your school council has in developing the school education plan and annual education results report
  • Discussing at a school council meeting their school authority’s education plan and annual education report that are posted annually on school authority website by November 30 and May 31, respectively
  • Discussing at a school council meeting their school’s education plan and annual education report that are posted annually on school or school authority website
  • Participating in opportunities to engage around the development of school/school authority education plan priorities
  • Participating in opportunities to learn about the results showing progress towards meeting the school authority’s priorities
  • Encouraging parents to complete the Alberta Education Assurance parent survey, if they are a parent of a student who is enrolled in Grade 4, 7 or 10

School councils have an important role in supporting public assurance and accountability at the local level including:

  • Representing and informing parents
  • Advising the principal and the board on matters relating to the school
  • Participating in the development of school education plans, annual education results reports and budget
  • Facilitating communication and supporting parent engagement within the school and school authority

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