Guideline for Policy and Procedure Review

The Board’s policy and procedure development and review process is a collaborative process involving trustees, staff, school councils and members of the educational community.

The following questions are taken into consideration by trustees, staff members and various other stakeholders engaged in the review process when recommending changes to Board policy and/or procedure.

  1. Does the policy and/or procedure support the learning, achievement and well-being of students and staff and align with the Board’s Mission, Vision and Values?

  2. Does the policy and/or procedure align with the Multi-Year Plan, the Director’s Annual Plan and Board, School and Workplace Improvement Plans?

  3. Has the policy and/or procedure been reviewed through the equity and inclusivity lens?

  4. Is the policy and/or procedure written in plain language that is clear to all staff and our parent and school communities?  What changes, if any, are recommended to the wording?

  5. Who will be impacted by these changes?  How will they be impacted?  Who else needs to provide input into this document and how?

As outlined in Policy and Procedure #285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents, parents, staff and other members of the educational community are encouraged to seek clarification about Board policies and procedures through their school principal, manager or superintendent (where applicable) and provide feedback on policies and/or procedures that are related to their role, through their school council, principal, manager or superintendent (where applicable).

When providing input on Board policies and procedures, the following questions should be considered.

  • Does the feedback align with the role of the school council or advisory committee or my role with the Board?

  • Does the feedback support Board priorities, including, but not limited to, the Multi Year Plan, Director’s Annual Plan and the school or department improvement plan?

  • Does the feedback represent the needs of students, staff and other members of the educational community?

  • What other factors might trustees and staff members need to be aware of in making any future revisions to this policy and/or procedure?

Formal comment may be submitted, in accordance with the processes outlined in Policy and Procedure #285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents, at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca, via fax at 905-727-3984 or sent in hard copy format (contact us) to the attention of the Assistant Manager, Corporate Policy.

Your feedback should include the following: 

  •  identification of the specific section(s) of the policy and/or procedure you would like to see addressed;

  • a rationale for the concerns; and

  • specific, alternate wording to reflect the position of the person(s) submitting a response.

Please contact the Assistant Manager, Corporate Policy at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca or at extension 2570 if you have any questions about the policy and procedure review process.

Policy and By-Law Committee
March 2015


 

Current Policies Under Review

YORK REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

Policy #238.0, Parent, Family and Community Engagement Procedure #238.0, Parent, Family and Community Engagement Procedure #238.1, Community Advisory Committees

 

Procedure #238.2, Supporting Community and Fundraising Events


The Parent and Community Engagement, Community Advisory Committees and Supporting Community and Fundraising Events policy and procedures support the Board’s commitment to parent and community engagement in order to support student achievement and well-being.

Who has responsibilities?

  • Board of Trustees
  • Director of Education
  • Associate Directors
  • Coordinating Superintendent(s)
  • Superintendents of Education
  • Principals, Managers and Supervisors
  • Community and Fundraising Events Review Committee
  • Staff members
  • Students
  • Parents and Guardians
  • Community Advisory Committee members
  • External Community Organizations

How is this policy and/or procedure related to Board priorities?

The Parent and Community Engagement, Community Advisory Committees and Supporting Community and Fundraising Events policy and procedures supports the development of positive, inclusive and respectful relationships among students, staff, parents/guardians and community members by promoting engagement in public education.

Legislative Context

Education Act

Related Policies and By-Laws

Equity and Inclusivity School Councils

Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents York Region District School Board Operational By-Law

Department

Director’s Office


Board Policy #238.0 Parent, Family and Community Engagement

Policy Statement

The York Region District School Board values parent, family and community engagement in public education and the positive effect it has on student achievement and well-being. Parent, family and community engagement is a collective responsibility.

Parents, families and community partners play an essential role in supporting student achievement and well-being and make valuable contributions to classrooms and schools.

The Board welcomes the ideas, perspectives and contributions that come from these partnerships. Their collective input informs Board policies, practices and planning and helps to ensure the Board’s actions and decisions accurately reflect the needs and concerns of the communities it serves.

The Board of Trustees recognizes the need to be equitable, inclusive, respectful and innovative by using diverse strategies to attract meaningful input from partners and to facilitate engagement in support of student achievement and well-being and public confidence in public education. Effective governance and leadership are the foundation to a successful education system.

Application

Parents, families and community members are engaged with the Board in a variety of ways. These include community advisory committees, school council forums, school councils, parent and student surveys, policy and procedure review, Ontario Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants, other informal means and many other working groups and community partnerships, which are important components of the Board’s operations.

A culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement includes:

  • establishing a welcoming, inclusive and respectful environment where parent, family and community engagement is encouraged, respected and valued;
  • actively encouraging and providing opportunities for parents, families and community partners to share ideas to support Board planning to advance student achievement and well-being;
  • recognizing the many different ways parents and families support student learning, achievement and well-being;
  • providing opportunities for parents to engage with the school community and participate in their child’s learning and education, and effectively communicating  with parents about their child’s learning;
  • identifying and removing discriminatory barriers to parent and community engagement;
  • developing and strengthening relationships with community members whose work supports the Board’s mission, vision and values and who reflect the diverse communities the Board serves;
  • reviewing existing partnerships and seeking to expand them to reflect the diversity of our families and the broader community; and
  • providing open and transparent access to relevant information to members of the public about educational policies, programs and services.

Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  • reviewing the Parent and Community Engagement policy in accordance with the priorities in the Multi- Year Plan, relevant legislation and the approved policy review cycle;
  • understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Parent and Community Engagement policy and procedure, where applicable;
  • seeking and considering meaningful input from community partners and serving as a conduit for community views and ideas that support Board priorities;
  • facilitating parent, family and community engagement in ways that support student achievement and well-being;
  • developing and sustaining inclusive and respectful relationships with community advisory committees that facilitate meaningful input into Board matters that is aligned with the purpose/mandate of the community advisory committee;
  • adhering to the Operational By-Law for each community advisory committee;
  • postponing the appointment of community members to Board committees until after election day in a municipal election year, when possible;
  • forwarding  requests  for  support  from  community  organizations  to  the  Director’s  Office  for consideration; and
  • as referenced in the Good Governance: A Guide for Trustees, School Boards, Directors of Education and Communities, supporting the work of community advisory committees by;
    • promoting the value and supporting the mandates of each community advisory committee,
    • supporting communication between school councils, community advisory committees and the Board,
    • ensuring the Board reports back to community advisory committees on the actions taken by the Board and appropriate rationale in response to advice provided by community advisory committees,
    • making community advisory committees aware of relevant Board policies, and
    • promoting and encouraging collaborative relationships among the Board, community advisory committees and the broader community.

Chair’s Committee is responsible for:

  • considering all recommendations for appointments to community advisory committees in accordance with the relevant Operational By-Law and legislation.

TheDirector of Education is responsible for:

  • implementing and operationalizing the Parent and Community Engagement policy and procedures;
  • promoting parent, family and community engagement with staff and the community; and
  • reporting to the Ministry of Education and Board of Trustees, as required.

Definitions

CommunityAdvisory Committees

Community advisory committees support parent and community engagement and provide advice and/or recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

The three community advisory committees are:

Procedure #238.1, Community Advisory Committees outlines the roles and responsibilities of  each community advisory committee.

CommunityMembers

Community members include, but are not limited to, committee members, contractors, parents/guardians, permit holders, vendors, volunteers, visitors, service providers, community partners and all other persons who attend, visit and who are invited to or who work on Board property.

Parent,Family and Community Engagement

Parent, family and community engagement refers to the interdependent relationship and partnerships established to support student achievement and well-being in alignment with the Ministry of Education’s Parent Engagement Policy for Ontario Schools. Parent, family and community engagement also refers to engaging people at various levels within the organization and the community.  This can occur in a variety of contexts; at home, in the community, in the classroom, at school, within community education centres, and at the Board. This engagement also supports the development of strategic, cooperative, collaborative partnerships with parents, families, communities, agencies, businesses and others.

ParentsReachingOut (PRO) Grants (As defined by the Ministry of Education)

Ontario's PRO Grants are designed to support parents in identifying barriers to parent engagement in their own community and to find local solutions to involve more parents in support of student achievement and well-being.

There are two types of grants:

Parentand Student Surveys

The surveys provide the Board and schools with valuable information about how parent(s) and students feel about the school and public education in York Region. Results are used to guide planning to support student achievement and well-being.

Partnerships

Partnership refers to a relationship in which the Board, its schools and staff members are involved with parents, families, caregivers, business partners, various levels of government, volunteers, community service agencies and parent groups.  In general, it refers to those who contribute to and have an interest in supporting student achievement and well-being in York Region public schools.

Policyand Procedure Review

The cyclical process by which the Board ensures policies remain current as outlined in Policy and Procedure #285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents. This includes soliciting feedback from members of the educational community in a fair, equitable and transparent manner.

School Councils

Advisory bodies which may make recommendations to the school principal or to the Board of Trustees on matters as stated in all applicable Board policies and procedures.

School councils are comprised of:

  • parents/guardians (constituting the majority of members of the school council);
  • one student (optional at elementary level);
  • at least one community representative;
  • the school principal;
  • one teaching staff member; and
  • one support staff member.

School Council Forums

School council forums provide school council members with information on Ministry and Board initiatives; as well as providing an opportunity for dialogue among local trustees, council members and Board and school administrators.

History

Approved: 2008

Working Document: June 2014, October 2017

Revised: 2012, March 2015, June 2018


Board Procedure #238.0 Parent, Family and Community Engagement

This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of trustees, staff, students, parents, family members and community partners in supporting parent and community engagement.

Responsibilities

TheDirector of Education shall:

  • allocate staff and resources to support the implementation of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement policy and procedures; and
  • create a culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement as outlined in the Parent, Family and Community Engagement policy.

TheAssociate Director(s), Coordinating Superintendent(s), Superintendents of Education, Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  • support the creation of a culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement as outlined in the Parent, Family and Community Engagement policy; and
  • provide leadership to support the implementation of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement procedure.

InclusiveSchoolsand Community Services shall:

  • build and maintain strong partnerships with students, parents, families, communities, community organizations and social service agencies to ensure the Board is able to meet the diverse needs of our school communities through the provision of services such as, but not limited to,
    • translation and interpretation services,
    • providing culturally responsive approaches to ensure student school-community engagement,
    • supporting  the  implementation  of  equity  and  inclusive  education  policies,  procedures  and practices,
    • supporting  schools  in  developing  learning  environments  that  are  respectful,  supportive and welcoming to all, and
    • liaising with community organizations that are reflective of the many diverse populations within the Board.

CorporateCommunications shall:

  • support the clear communication of Board information and opportunities for parent, family and community engagement such as, but not limited to, website content, community outreach, resource materials.

Staffmembersshall:

  • foster a culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement as outlined in the Parent, Family and Community Engagement policy.

Studentsshall:

  • understand that they have an important role in fostering a culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement; and
  • supporting the engagement of their families and community in their achievement and well-being.

Parent(s)shall:

  • understand that they have an important role in fostering a culture that supports and encourages parent, family and community engagement.

History

Working Document: October 2017 Approved: June 2018


Board Procedure #238.1 Community Advisory Committees

This procedure outlines the role and responsibilities of trustees, staff members and community advisory committee members in supporting the operations of community advisory committees to facilitate meaningful input into Board matters that is aligned with the purpose/mandate of the community advisory committee.

Application

At the York Region District School Board three community advisory committees provide advice to the Board on matters related to equity and inclusivity, parent and community engagement and special education.

Equityand Inclusivity Advisory Committee

As outlined in the Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee (EIAC) Operational By-Law, EIAC provides advice on the development and implementation of the Board’s Equity and Inclusivity Strategy, policies and procedures and helps to ensure that the Board addresses all dimensions of diversity.

EIAC achieves its purpose by:

  • providing equity and inclusivity advice on Board policies and procedures;
  • making recommendations to the Board of Trustees on effective practices relating to equity and inclusivity;
  • providing input on major system initiatives; and
  • receiving information and reports.

Parent,Family and Community Engagement Advisory Committee

As outlined in the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC) Operational By-Law, PEAC supports, encourages and enhances parent engagement at the Board level in order to improve student achievement and well-being.

As outlined in the Education Act and Ontario Regulation 612/00, School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees PEAC shall achieve its purpose by:

  • providing information and advice on parent engagement to the Board of Trustees;
  • communicating with and supporting school councils of schools of the Board; and
  • undertaking activities to help parents of pupils of the Board support their children’s learning at home and at school.

SpecialEducationAdvisoryCommittee

As outlined in the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Operational By-Law, SEAC makes recommendations to the Board on any matter affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the Board.

As outlined in the Education Act and Ontario Regulation 464/97, Special Education Advisory Committees SEAC’s responsibilities are:

  • to make recommendations to the Board in respect of any matter affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the Board;
  • to participate in the Board’s annual review of its special education plan;
  • to participate in the Board’s annual budget process as it relates to special education; and
  • to review the financial statements of the Board as they relate to special education.

Responsibilities

TheDirector of Education shall:

  • ensure compliance with appropriate legislation, Board policy and Operational By-Laws; and
  • allocate staff and resources to support the implementation of the Community Advisory Committee procedure.

TheDirectorofEducation,AssociateDirector(s), Coordinating Superintendent(s) and Superintendents of Education shall:

  • support the development of inclusive and respectful relationships between the Board and community advisory committees that facilitate meaningful input into Board matters that is aligned with the purpose/mandate of the community advisory committee.

Thesenior staff member(s) identified to support community advisory committees shall:

  • support  the  implementation  of  community  advisory  committees  in  accordance  with  appropriate legislation and Operational By-Law;
  • support the development of community advisory committee annual reports for the Board of Trustees;
  • support the committee with the process of revising Operational By-Law;
  • oversee the committee appointment process in accordance with all applicable legislation and the Operational By-Law;
  • provide Chair’s Committee with relevant legislation and background information about community appointments to community advisory committees;
  • coordinate orientation for community advisory committee members;
  • ensure advisory committees are aware of relevant system initiatives; and
  • ensure follow-up reports are provided on the actions taken by the Board and/or staff members in response to advice provided by community advisory committees.

CorporateSecretariatand Trustee Services shall:

  • schedule, for consideration by the Board of Trustees, the appointment of members to community advisory committees;
  • support the senior staff member(s) identified to support community advisory committees to provide an orientation for community advisory committee members and to implement Operational By-Laws;
  • provide support to community advisory committees to communicate and ensure awareness of the work of community advisory committee(s); and
  • support the Board of Trustees by making community advisory committees aware of relevant Board policies.

Communityadvisorycommitteemembersshall:

  • understand the role and meet the requirements of the community advisory committee as outlined in applicable legislation and Operational By-Law;
  • develop and sustain inclusive and respectful relationships with the Board of Trustees and staff members that facilitate meaningful input into Board matters that is aligned with the purpose/mandate of the community advisory committee;
  • work collaboratively with trustees and staff members to increase awareness of the role and work of community advisory committees; and
  • provide meaningful input on relevant Board policies and matters that is aligned with the purpose/mandate of the community advisory committee and supports student achievement and well-being.

School Councils shall:

  • be aware of and share information about the Board’s community advisory committees.

History

Working Document: October 2017 Approved: June 2018


Board Procedure #238.2 Supporting Community and Fundraising Events

This procedure supports the mission, vision and values of the organization as it relates to centrally supported community and fundraising events.  Information about school fundraising activities is outlined in School Fundraising and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure.

Application

Organizations that the Board will support must:

  • be York Region based or serve students, staff and families of York Region;
  • be a government organization or provide proof of not-for-profit status; or their registered charitable number;
  • if not a government organization, confirm their status as a non-profit or registered charity is up to date with the required government agency (e.g. Canada Revenue Agency, or etc.);
  • demonstrate commitment to student achievement and well-being;
  • demonstrate that the partnership has a net positive effect, as determined by the Community and Fundraising Events Review Committee, on student achievement and well-being;
  • provide services, which are not provided by the Board, to students and their families;
  • work to support York Region students, families, staff members and communities;
  • demonstrate commitment to the principles of equity and inclusivity;
  • demonstrate that the organization’s values and priorities align with the Board’s mission, vision, and values; and
  • not be a political party or affiliated with partisan activities.

Responsibilities

TheDirector of Education shall:

  • allocate staff and resources to support the Supporting Community and Fundraising Events procedure.

TheCommunity and Fundraising Events Review Committee shall:

  • be coordinated and chaired by the Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Equity and Community Services;
  • be comprised of;
    • the Associate Director of Education, Program,
    • the Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Equity and Community Services,
    • the Chief Financial Officer,
    • the Manager, Corporate Secretariat and Trustee Services or designate, and
    • the Senior Manager, Corporate Communications or designate;
  • consider  and  respond  to  requests  for  support  from  not-for-profit  community  organizations  in accordance with the Supporting Community and Fundraising Events procedure;
  • establish a process to expedite recommendations, where possible;
  • maintain a record of recommendations and rationale for decisions; and
  • provide regular updates and a written annual activities report to the Director of Education.

ExternalCommunity Organizations shall:

  • ensure that requests for support for community and fundraising events;
    • are submitted to the Director’s Office for consideration, and
    • meet the criteria listed in Application of the Procedure.

Definitions

Communityand Fundraising Events Review Committee

A staff committee that reviews and makes decisions regarding requests received from external, not-for- profit organizations to  support  community and  fundraising  events in accordance with  Board goals, priorities, policies and procedures and budget availability.

History

Working Document: June 2014, October 2017

Approved: March 2015

Revised: June 2018

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Policy and Procedure #262.0, School Councils

 The School Councils policy and procedure outline the roles and responsibilities for the development and operation of school councils.

Who has responsibilities?

  • Board of Trustee
  • Director of Education
  • Superintendents
  • Principals
  • School Council Chairs and Members

How is this related to Board priorities?

 The School Council procedures supports the goal of advancing student achievement and well-being and the delivery of effective and sustainable educational programs

Itisthe expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property; or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities will respect the policies and procedures of the Board. The term “parents” refers to both biological/adoptive parents and guardians in all Board policies and procedures.


Policy Statement

Board Policy #262.0 School Councils

The York Region District School Board believes that collaborative and inclusive partnerships among schools, families and their communities are essential to advancing student learning, achievement and well- being, and to increasing a shared sense of confidence in public education.

Strong and inclusive partnerships are built from a common vision and common goals, and are nurtured through regular communication and meaningful consultation involving all members of the school community.

School councils play an important role in building school, family and community partnerships by providing input into relevant Board and school-level decisions and by encouraging the involvement of all members of the school community in support of student learning, achievement and well-being.

Responsibilities

TheBoardofTrusteesisresponsible for:

  • reviewing the School Councils policy in accordance with the priorities in the Trustees’ Multi-Year Plan and the approved policy review cycle;

  • understanding and communicating with members of the community about the School Councils policy, as required;

  • receiving and considering advice from school councils on the establishment and amendment of Board policies that relate to student achievement and well-being and to the accountability of the education system to parents/guardians;

  • consulting with school councils on the development of the Trustees’ Multi-Year Plan; and

  • considering recommendation school councils make to the Board and provide the school council, through the appropriate superintendent, with a rationale for any decisions reached or actions taken in response.

TheDirector of Education is responsible for:

  • implementing and operationalizing the School Councils policy;

  • consulting school councils on the development of implementation plans for new education initiatives that relate to parent engagement and its impact on student achievement and well-being and to the accountability of the education system to parents/guardians; and

  • consulting school councils on Board planning processes.

 AssociateDirectors,Schools are responsible for: 

  • providing support, as required, in responding to internal disputes of school councils.

Thesenior staff member identified to support school councils is responsible for:

  • ensuring internal disputes of school councils that are referred by the Superintendent of Schools are responded to in an appropriate manner.

 SuperintendentsofSchools are responsible for: 

  • providing support to principals in responding to internal disputes of school councils in an appropriate manner;

  • referring internal dispute of school councils to the senior staff member identified to support school councils, as required; and

  • ensuring the Associate Director, Schools is informed of internal school council disputes, as required.

 Principalsareresponsible for: 

  • ensuring that a school council is established that represents the school community and promotes improved student learning, achievement and well-being through the development of equitable and inclusive school practices;

  • promoting the development of strong and inclusive family and community partnerships;

  • communicating and collaborating with school councils;

  • encouraging school council members to share their ideas for advancing student achievement and well- being;

  • supporting parents/guardians in informing the school improvement plan;

  • supporting school councils in understanding the implementation of Board policies and procedures and their role in the review process;

  • actively seeking representation of diverse parent(s)/guardian(s) groups on school councils;

  • working with the school council to identify opportunities that promote parent(s)/guardian(s) education and strategies to support children’s learning at home;

  • forwarding information on community resources to school councils;

  • engaging in internal conflict resolution activities in accordance with relevant Board policies and procedures, and the school council constitution and/or by-law;

  • referring internal disputes of school councils to the Superintendent of Schools, if required; and

  • ensuring school councils understand their roles and responsibilities as outlined in the School Councils policy and procedure and appropriate guidelines and legislation.

School councils are responsible for:

  • supporting and promoting family and community engagement in advancing student achievement and well-being in an equitable and inclusive manner;

  • participating in the development and implementation of the school improvement plan;

  • communicating with and providing ongoing advice to the principal on school-related matters;

  • collaborating with the principal to coordinate community resources that support student learning, achievement and well-being; and

  • understanding and communicating with members of the community about the roles and responsibilities of school councils as outlined in the School Councils policy and procedure and appropriate guidelines and legislation, as required.

Legislative Context

Education Act

Definitions

School Community

The school community includes, but is not limited to, students, parents/guardians, staff members and members of the local community.

School Councils

School councils are advisory bodies which may make recommendations to the school principal or to the Board on matters as stated in all applicable Board policies and procedures. School councils are comprised of:

  • parents/guardians (constituting the majority of members of the school council);

  • one student (optional at elementary level);

  • at least one community representative;

  • the school principal;

  • one teaching staff member; and

  • one support staff member.

Department 

Director’s Office

Policy History 

Approved 1996

Reviewed 1997

Amended 2001

Amended 2005

Revised 2007

Revised 2011

Working Document February 2015 Revised November 2015


Procedure,

Board Procedure #262.0 SchoolCouncils

 This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities for the development and operation of school councils.

Application of Procedure

School Council Membership

Community Representative

The community representative is appointed by school council members. The representative cannot be employed at the school as a member of a bargaining unit, an administrator or a manager. If the individual is employed as a member of a bargaining unit, an administrator or a manager elsewhere in the Board, they must inform other members of the council of this before the appointment.

School council chair, co-chairs and officers

These members of the school council must;

  • be elected by members of the school council,
  • be parent(s)/guardian(s) members of the school council, and
  • not be a person who is an employee of the Board or who is a member of a bargaining unit at the school.

Parentmembers

Any parent/guardian with a child enrolled in the school are eligible;

  • for election to school council,
  • for acclamation to a position on the school council when the number of candidates is equal to, or less than the number of parent(s)/guardian(s) member positions on the council, and
  • to be appointed to the school council if additional vacancies exist.

Studentrepresentative

The student representative is a member of the school council and will be;

  • named by the student council in secondary schools, and
  • appointed by the principal after consulting with the school council, where applicable, in elementary schools.

Supportstaff member representative

The support staff member representative is a member of the school council. This representative must be;

  • employed at the school,
  • not be the principal or vice-principal, and
  • elected by support staff members employed at the school.

Teacherrepresentative

The teacher representative is a member of the school council. This representative must be employed at the school and is elected by teachers employed at the school.

Responsibilities

TheDirector of Education shall:

  • allocate staff and resources to support the School Councils policy and procedure; and
  • consider advice from school councils on the establishment and amendment of Board procedures that relate to student learning, achievement and well-being and to the accountability of public education in York Region to parents/guardians.

Thesenior staff member identified to support school councils shall:

  • coordinate regional opportunities for school councils to meet at least twice annually, when appropriate;
  • in collaboration with school council representatives, offer relevant professional development for council chairs, principals, and council members; and
  • appoint school council representatives to ad hoc advisory committees, as required by the Ministry of Education or deemed appropriate by the Board.

SuperintendentsofSchools shall:

  • consider  and  forward  recommendations  school  councils  make  to  the  appropriate person(s)  for consideration;
  • annually solicit the views of school councils with respect to the process and criteria applicable to the selection and placement of principals and vice-principals, through the development of the Principal Profiles; and
  • respond to recommendations made by school councils.

Principalsshall:

  • be a member of the school council;
  • review the school council handbook and on-line modules with their school council at the beginning of each school year and highlighting best practices for consideration by council;
  • work with other staff members and school council members as required to identify community, student, support staff member and teacher representatives on the school council;
  • provide guidance to school councils to support their decision-making process;
  • provide learning opportunities for school councils on relevant topics such as, but not limited to, legislation, policies and regulations, meeting records, code of ethics, conflict resolution, fundraising and community engagement;
  • not be entitled to vote on matters under consideration by the school council or a committee of the school council;
  • attend all school council meetings, unless unable to do so due to illness or other cause beyond their control;
  • in extenuating circumstances, if unable to attend a school council meeting, arrange for the vice-principal to attend on their behalf;
  • schedule the first school council meeting within the first 35 days of the school year;
  • in the case of a new school, identify the date for the first school council election during the first 30 calendar days of the school year;
  • provide at least 14 days notice of dates, times and locations of the election of school council members to parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school on the date notice is given;
  • communicate the names of members of the school council to parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school within 30 days after school council members have been determined;
  • advise school council members when there is a need for volunteers in the school;
  • make the dates, times and locations of school council meetings available to members of the school community; ensure that the following documents are available to members of the school community;
  • school council meeting minutes,
  • school council constitution and/or and by-law,
  • school council communications, and
  • school council annual report;
  • in accordance with all applicable legislation, Board policies, procedures and guidelines and best practices, support the school council in creating a constitution and/or by-law that is fair and equitable and includes the following;
    • a code of conduct,
    • the process of making constitutional and/or by-law amendments,
    • electronic participation in school council meetings and decision making,
    • election procedures and the filling of vacancies,
    • participation in school council proceedings in cases of conflict of interest, and
    • a conflict resolution process for internal school council disputes;
    • distribute to each member of the school council any materials received from and/or identified by the Ministry of Education or the Board as being relevant for distribution to school councils;
    • support the council in obtaining information about the roles, responsibilities and functions of school councils, including information relating to relevant legislation, regulations and policies;
    • consider each recommendation the school council makes and provide the council with a rationale for any decisions reached or actions taken in response;
  • solicit the views of the school council with respect to;
    • the establishment and amendment of Board policies and procedures that relate to student learning, achievement and well-being and to the accountability of the education system to parents/guardians, and
    • the establishment, implementation, review and communication of the school improvement plan and school profile;
  • develop a annual fundraising plan, selecting fundraising activities and managing and administering funds in accordance with Board School Fundraising and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure;
  • ensure that school council financial records are maintained and available for examination for a seven- year period;
  • ensure the procurement of materials and services is carried out in accordance with all applicable Board policies and procedures;
  • ensure the school council is aware that insurance coverage is provided through the Board for school councils if carrying out a Board-approved event and following applicable Board policies and procedures;
  • support and promote the school council's operations and activities;
  • support the school council in communicating with the school community; and
  • clarify the implementation of Board policies and procedures with school councils to ensure compliance.

School councils shall:

  • carry out their responsibilities in accordance with;
  • create a constitution and/or by-law regarding;
  • school council member code of conduct,
  • the process of making constitutional and/or by-law amendments,
  • electronic participation in school council meetings and decision making,
  • election procedures and the filling of vacancies,
  • participation in school council proceedings in cases of conflict of interest, and
  • a conflict resolution process for internal school council disputes;
  • be familiar with their responsibilities, as outlined in the School Councils policy and procedure and the  School Council Handbook;
  • provide annual input into the development and/or review of a Principal Profile;
  • hold elections for school council members during the first 30 calendar days of each school year;
  • fill membership vacancies by election or appointment in accordance with the school council constitution and/or by-law;
  • appoint community representative(s) to the school council;
  • ensure that a parent(s)/guardian(s) qualifies to be school council member in accordance with legislative requirements;
  • continue its duties even if there is a vacancy;
  • meet at least four times during the school year, with the first meeting occurring within the first 35 calendar days of the school year;
  • ensure that all meetings are open to the public and in an accessible location;
  • ensure the agenda is communicated to members of the school community and available to members of the public within a reasonable amount of time;
  • only make decisions when a majority of the members are present and where a majority of the members in attendance are parent(s)/guardian(s) members;
  • record and maintain minutes of all meetings for a four-year period;
  • ensure that minutes are accessible to any member of the public;
  • complete the annual report template by June 30 of the school year;
  • support  the  fundraising  plan  and  activities  as  outlined  in  the  Board  School  Fundraising  and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure;
  • ensure that all financial transactions are conducted in accordance with all applicable Board policies and procedures;
  • consult with parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school about matters under consideration by the school council;
  • adhere to the School Council Communications Protocol;
  • understand that insurance coverage is provided through the Board for school councils if carrying out a Board-approved event and following applicable Board policies and procedures;
  • not be incorporated and not be a registered charity; and
  • not provide any remuneration to any members including, but not limited to, the chair, parent members, the community representative, the student member or staff members.

School Councils may:

  • when drafting or reviewing the school council constitution and/or by-law, consider;
  • specifying the number of parent(s)/guardian(s) members who will serve on the committee, provided that the number constitutes a majority on the school council, otherwise the number of parent(s)/guardian(s) members shall be six,
  • specifying the number of community representatives, if more than one, who will serve on the committee,
  • outlining eligibility for elected positions,
  • specifying that the school council may have two co-chairs, otherwise there is only one chair,
  • specifying other officers of the school council, and
  • establishing norms and rules for conducting school council meetings and its sub-committees;
  • establish sub-committees to make recommendations to the school council provided that the committee includes at least one parent(s)/guardian(s) member;
  • identify other school community members to participate in sub-committees to make recommendations to the school council;
  • · refer internal disputes to the superintendent responsible for school councils for consideration, through the principal; and make recommendations, through the the minutes of school council meetings, to;
    • principals, and
    • the Board by submitting them in writing to the superintendent of schools.

School council members shall:

  • be elected during the first 30 calendar days of each school year, on a date established by the school council chair or co-chairs, after consulting with the principal;
  • in the case of a new school, hold the first school council election during the first 30 calendar days of the school year on a date identified by the principal;
  • hold office from the later of;
  • the date they are elected or appointed, or
  • the date of the first school council meeting after the election is held;
  • hold office until the first meeting of the school council after elections are held in the next school year;
  • understand that when a consensus cannot be reached and voting is necessary, or on committees of the school council on which the member sits;
  • each parent(s)/guardian(s) member is entitled to one vote,
  • the principal is not entitled to vote,
  • staff members are entitled to one collective vote, and
  • community representatives  are entitled to one collective  vote, regardless of  the  number of community representatives;
  • be aware of their roles and responsibilities as outlined in the School Council Handbook;
  • adhere to the school council constitution and/or by-law;
  • be accountable to the members of the school community they represent;
  • maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;
  • regularly attend school council meetings;
  • participate in information sharing and training programs;
  • act as a communication link between the school council and the community;
  • encourage the participation of all parents/guardians and other members of the school community;
  • receive  reimbursement  for expenses  incurred  as  members  or  officers  of  the school  council  in accordance with relevant Board policies and procedures; and
  • participate on sub-committees and assist with tasks of the school council as appropriate.

School council chairs/co-chairs shall:

  • carry out tasks in accordance with Board policies and procedures and their school council’s constitution and/or by-laws;
  • call a minimum of four school council meetings per year in consultation with the principal;
  • ensure that parents/guardians are consulted about matters under consideration by the council;
  • in collaboration with the principal, undertake fundraising and decisions about the management and expenditure of such school-generated funds in accordance with School Fundraising and Administration of School Generated Funds and other relevant Board policies and procedures;
  • prepare the agenda for school council meetings in consultation with the principal;
  • ensure  meeting  minutes  accurately  reflect  the  discussion  and  recommendations made  by  the committee;
  • ensure meeting agendas and minutes are accessible to members of the public;
  • chair school council meetings according to the agenda;
  • ensure that minutes of school council meetings are recorded and communicated with members of the school community;
  • communicate with the school principal;
  • communicate with senior Board staff members and trustees, as required; and
  • ensure that the school council constitution and/or by-law are reviewed annually and are in compliance with all applicable Board policies, procedures and guidelines.

School council vice-chairs shall:

  • assist the chair/co-chairs in carrying out their responsibilities; and
  • act on behalf of the chair/co-chairs in the event of their absence.

Parents/guardiansofstudents enrolled in the school shall:

  • each have one vote in the election of school council members.

Department

Director’s Office

History 

September 2002

Revised 2007, 2011, November 2015 Working Document February 2015 Revision drafted: October 31, 2018

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