School Council Meetings and Committees

Typically, School Councils meet in the evening once a month during the school year. At a minimum, your School Council must meet 4 times a year. The first meeting must be held within 35 days of the first day of the school year after your new School Council is elected.

For all School Council meetings, a majority of the current members of the School Council must be present. Of the members who are present, the majority must be parents/guardians. For committee meetings, at least one member must be a parent member of the School Council.

The preferred model for making decisions is through consensus. Consensus allows all School Council members to contribute to the solution and promotes a sense of common purpose. Your School Council can also make decisions by voting. Each member (except the principal) is entitled to one vote.

Running School Council Meetings

All School Council meetings and School Council committee meetings must be open to the public and held at a location that is accessible to everyone. Typically, School Councils meet in their school. The times and dates of School Council meetings must be published and made available to all parents/guardians.

School Councils may also hold meetings virtually using Google Meet. For instructions, please refer to our Tips for Hosting School Council Meetings using Google Meet. If your council holds a virtual meeting, the meeting link should be shared directly with parents and participants; for security, it should not be publicly posted on the school website or social media accounts. Councils can share our Guide to Using Google Meet for School Council Attendees with guests to help them participate in the meeting.

Minutes of School Council meetings, including committee meetings, must be prepared after each meeting and retained for the current school year, plus five years. Records that include financial information, such as those that pertain to School Council generated funds, are kept for the current year, plus six years. Learn more about records management.

School Council Committees

Committees are created by a School Council to delve deeper into an issue that is too time consuming or complicated to discuss at council meetings alone.

A committee can be made up of members of the School Council and/or additional parents, teachers, or members of the community who are unable to attend regular council meetings but who may be willing to serve on a short-term specific-task committee.

Committees should be formed after the School Council holds an initial discussion of the topic and obtains consensus to create a committee to look into the matter. Items requiring more lengthy discussions or research are assigned to the committee.

The School Council should establish a clear mandate for the committee. Committees should make decisions or recommendations, according to the mandate the School Council gives them.

Committee members should:

  • Be willing to participate, both individually and as a team
  • Be willing to prepare reports for the School Council, as required
  • Set priorities and follow through on them
  • Understand the expected time commitment
  • Work towards consensus

Here are some committees your School Council may wish to consider striking:

  • Constitution or Operational Procedures Committee: to review or prepare the School Council constitution and/or operational procedures to present to the School Council for discussion and approval. The committee may also work towards developing a School Council mission or vision statement.
  • Special Events Committee: to plan events such as volunteer appreciation.
  • Communications Committee: to plan and carry out communication strategies to improve the links between home and school, and between the community and the school and local media.
  • Fundraising Committee: to plan and coordinate fundraising campaigns for special projects.
  • Education-Business Partnership Committee: to help establish partnerships that enhance student learning with community businesses.

Effective Collaboration

The following tip sheets, with content originally produced by Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board, provide teamwork and conflict resolution tips to help School Councils make the most of their meetings:

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