“Council” means the School Council for the School;
“Parents” means parent, guardian or primary caregiver of any child enrolled in an educational program at the School;
“Regulation” means the School Councils Regulation as provided through Alberta Provincial Legislation;
“School community” means persons other than parents (as defined in 1C above) who have, in the opinion of the majority of the Members of the School Council, an interest in the well-being of the students and the School;
“Operating Procedures” means the governing document serving the same purpose as Bylaws referenced in the Regulations.
The St. Gabriel School Council derives its authority to participate in the education of our students through Alberta Provincial Legislation, hereinafter referred to as “legislation.”
3. MISSION STATEMENT/PHILOSOPHY
The mission of St. Gabriel School Council is expressed in the word “SUCCESS”:
to provide opportunities for everyone in our school family to plan and to participate in activities which serve themselves, their families, their peers, their school, the community, and God
to recognize and provide for the uniqueness of each individual through programs and activities which build and develop individual skills
to foster religious teaching and understanding of the Catholic faith; to develop an understanding of values from other religious beliefs; to participate in celebrations and faith development
To provide a safe school – emotionally, physically, socially, and intellectually; to emphasise care, respect, and responsibility as guiding principles for action; to form a mutual cooperation between parents, students, and staff in the development of appropriate behaviour
To strive for excellence in all that we do; to foster achievement while recognising that individual success depends upon student ability, motivation, and support from the home, school, and teachers
To strive for quality in all activities whether it be the meeting of objective skill development, evaluation, or any aspect of educational life
To provide the opportunity to achieve personal success which is everyone’s right and responsibility
Our mandate is to develop a nurturing environment for all children and to work cooperatively as a Catholic Christian community for the betterment of the school.
The objectives of the School Council, in keeping with the legislation, are to:
A. Represent the parent perspective by providing advice to and consulting with the Principal and the School Board on matters relating to the School such as: the School philosophy, mission and vision, policies, improvement plans, programs and directions, and budget allocations to meet student needs;
B. Foster a positive, collaborative environment with a variety of opportunities for meaningful engagement by members of the School community;
C. Support special events that will support and enhance student learning, encourage participation and promote the well-being of the School community;
D. Facilitate a performance evaluation of our School Council and communicate the results of this evaluation to the School Board and the School community;
E. Develop a communication plan to share information with parents and the community and facilitate communications with all educational stakeholders;
F. Adhere to School Council’s Code of Ethics;
G. Consult with other School Councils and provincial organizations;
H. Support an approach to education in which decisions are made collaboratively;
I. Advise School Boards, Alberta Education or other provincial organizations on broader educational issues;
5. GOVERNANCE, MEMBERSHIP and DECISION MAKING
St. Gabriel School Council uses a Town Hall Model of Governance.
A. The membership of the School Council shall consist of:
1) All parents, as defined in 1C above
2) The Principal of the School
3) One or more teachers and staff of the School, elected or appointed by the teachers
4) School Community, as defined in 1E above
B. The voting Members of the School Council shall consist of: Parents and community members, as defined in 1E above;
C. The non-voting Members of the School Council shall consist of: the Principal and staff representative, as defined in 2 & 3 above;
D. The parent/other ratio may vary at times, but the number of parent Members must always exceed the number of administration, staff, students and/or community representatives.
6. DECISION MAKING
Decisions at School Council meetings will be made by consensus as much as possible.
A. A decision made by consensus must be stated clearly and recorded as such in the minutes of the meeting.
B. If a decision is made by a vote, the motion must be moved and passed by the majority of School Council voting members present at the meeting at which the vote was taken.
A. Quorum will be attained when the majority of meeting attendees are voting Members of School Council, and the Principal or designate is present.
B. In the absence of a quorum:
1) If the parents and School Council Members present agree to proceed in the absence of a quorum, the School Council may continue for the purposes of discussion of issues.
2) No motions shall be considered or approved.
3) No decisions by consensus shall be reached.
8. EXECUTIVE and TERMS OF OFFICE
The positions of the Executive shall consist of: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
A. All Executive positions must be filled by parents as defined in 1C above, or community members, as defined in 1E.
B. Every parent, or community member, is eligible to be elected to an Executive position on the School Council.
C. The terms of office are from the close of the Annual General Meeting to the close of the following Annual General Meeting. Any elected member may serve 4 consecutive terms in the same position.
D. The Executive of the School Council will be elected by parents, or community members attending the Annual General Meeting or in the event of vacancies after the Annual General Meeting, elected by the voting Members present at a subsequent School Council meeting. E. Any Executive member may resign his/her position by providing written notice to one other Executive member and the Principal.
F. Any Executive member may be removed from the Executive at any time with cause by a majority vote of the Executive whenever, in its judgement, the best interest of the School Council will be served.
G. The Executive will carry out the day-to-day operation of the School Council.
9. DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE MEMBERS
It is expected that the School Council Chair will be a parent of a student enrolled in the School. Unless otherwise delegated, the Chair of the School Council will:
1) Chair all meetings of the School Council;
2) Coordinate with the Principal to establish meeting agendas;
3) Communicate with the Principal on a regular basis;
4) Decide all matters relating to rules of order at the meetings;
5) Ensure that School Council Operating Procedures are current and followed;
6) Be the official spokesperson of the School Council;
7) Ensure that there is regular communication with the whole School community;
8) Review any communication to the School community prior to distribution and include the Principal in same;
9) Stay informed about School Board policy that impacts School Council;
10) Comply with the School Councils Regulation by providing the School Board with an annual report that summarizes the School Council’s activities for the previous School year, including a financial statement relating to money, if any, handled by the School Council, no later than September 30th;
11) Have general responsibility for all activities of the School Council;
12) Act as “ex-offico” members of all committees.
Unless otherwise delegated, the Vice-Chair of the School Council will:
1) In the event of resignation, incapacity or leave of absence of the Chair, fulfill the Chair’s responsibilities;
2) In the absence of the Chair, supervise the affairs and preside at any meetings of the School Council;
3) Work with and support the Chair in agenda preparation;
4) Ensure the appropriate management, in compliance with PIPA, of any personal information collected on behalf of the School Council;
5) Assume responsibility, in consultation with the School Council, for communicating with the Fundraising Association or other parent groups within the School;
6) Promote teamwork and assist the Chair in the smooth running of the meetings;
7) Keep informed of relevant School and School Board policies;
8) Assist the Chair and undertake tasks assigned by the Chair.
Unless otherwise delegated, the Secretary of the School Council will:
1) Act as a recorder at each meeting and ensure that the minutes are prepared accurately to reflect the directions agreed to at the meeting;
2) Keep minutes, correspondence, records and other School Council documents, and ensure that all relevant documents (as per legislation) are available to the public in an accessible location in the School, for a period of 7 years;
3) Maintain a dated record of all the Members of the School Council who have knowingly provided their contact information, in compliance with PIPA;
4) Distribute, as determined by the School Council, agendas, minutes, notices of meetings and notices of other events;
In the absence of the Secretary, the School Council shall choose a recording Secretary for the meeting.
Unless otherwise delegated, the Treasurer of the School Council will:
1) Keep accurate records of all financial transactions;
2) Ensure that records are available upon request of the School Board, public or School community;
3) Be responsible for the forwarding the deposits of all monies paid to the School Council to the school office;
4) Present a full, detailed account of receipts and disbursements to the School Council as required by the School Council, and prepare the financial statements for the annual report.
E. Past Chair (Optional)
The Past Chair of the School Council will:
1) Serve in an advisory capacity to the new School Council;
2) Act in the absence of both the Chair and Vice-Chair.
F. Members at Large/Coordinators/Community Members/Others as decided by the School Council
These Members will:
1) Share their professional knowledge, expertise and life experience;
2) Encourage feedback and participation from community groups and individuals;
3) Communicate information of interest to the School Council and the School community;
4) Share information from School Council meetings with the community;
5) Have a clear understanding of the School Council‘s objectives;
6) Attend School Council meetings;
7) Identify possible topics for agendas;
8) Serve as a liaison between the School Council and their organization or area of responsibility.
With the exception of the School Council positions filled by the Principal and teacher representative, any vacancy of the School Council will be advertised to the parent community. Elections for a vacant position will be held at subsequent meetings of the School Council until the vacancy is filled.
A. Annual General Meetings
Where the School Council has not been operational the year prior, an Establishment Meeting will be held in accordance with legislation; otherwise, an Annual General Meeting of the School Council will take place once each School year.
1) The Annual General Meeting of the School Council will be held not later than 30 days after the first instructional day of the School year and will advertised throughout the School and the community at large at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.
2) All parents as defined in 1C, and community members as defined in 1E, above are eligible for election.
3) All parents as defined in 1C, and community members as defined in 1E, above are eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting.
4) The business of the Annual General Meeting shall include:
a. the election of Executive Members;
b. any proposed amendments to the Operating Procedures;
c. presentation of the financial statement of the previous year;
5) And may also include:
a. plans and budget for the upcoming year;
b. discussion of any major issue in which all parents should have input such as changes to the Vision or Mission of the School or School Board, School policy or other major changes in the School program or focus;
c. any evaluation of the School Council.
B. Special General Meetings Upon receipt of a written request of at least 10 parents or request of a School Council Executive, the Chair must ensure a special meeting will be called within 14 days. Notice will be given at least 5 days before the meeting. The notice will state the time, date and place of the meeting, and describe the matters to be dealt with. At any Special General Meeting, all parents, or community members in attendance shall have the right to vote.
C. Regular Meetings
A minimum of five (5) Regular School Council meetings will be held per School year or as called by the Executive. It will be decided when these meetings will take place at the Annual General Meeting. The meetings will take place at the School, unless otherwise advertised.
Any School Council member may be suspended or expelled for the duration of the School year from attendance at any Regular School Council meetings, if, upon a majority vote of voting Members present at Special General Meeting called for that purpose, it is determined to be in the best interests of the School Council to do so.
12. MEETING AGENDAS
The Chair will work in partnership with the Principal to establish the agendas for all meetings. Agenda item requests must be made through the Chair, who will, if necessary, consult with the Executive and Principal as to the appropriateness of the item requested.
The School Council may appoint committees that consist of School Council Members and/or School community members. Committees will meet outside of School Council meetings to complete their assigned tasks as per the direction of the School Council and present a report of their activities at School Council meetings.
Subject to any provincially or School Board-mandated policies and/or regulations, the School Council may make and implement policies that it considers necessary to carry out its functions.
A. The policies of the School Council will be reviewed at the beginning of every new School Council term to decide if each policy will be implemented for the new School Council and its term.
B. Topics on which School Council may wish to develop guiding policies include, but are not limited to: Elections, Communication (Internal and External), Record Keeping, Fundraising, Privacy, Location of Meetings, Official Correspondence Address, New Member Orientation, School Council Evaluation, and Social Media.
15. SCHOOL COUNCIL FUNDRAISING
Subject to any provincially or School Board-mandated policies and/or regulations, the School Council may raise funds that do not require incorporation to obtain (e.g., not casinos, bingos, raffles).
A. School Council funds given to the School will be subject to the School Board’s policy on School Council fundraising and/or School-generated funds.
17. CODE OF ETHICS
All School Council Members shall:
A. Abide by the legislation that governs them;
B. Be guided by the mission statements of the School and School Council;
C. Endeavour to be familiar with the School’s policies and operating practices and act in accordance with them;
D. Practice the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, integrity and truth;
E. Recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the School community;
F. Declare any conflict of interest;
G. Encourage a positive atmosphere in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued;
H. Apply democratic principles;
I. Consider the best interests of all students;
J. Respect the confidential nature of some School business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the School Council;
K. Not disclose confidential information;
L. Limit discussions at School Council meetings to matters of concern to the School community as a whole;
M. Use the appropriate communication channels when questions or concerns arise;
N. Promote high standards of ethical practice within the School community;
O. Accept accountability for decisions;
P. Not accept payment for School Council activities.
18. CONFLICT RESOLUTION
The School Council shall abide by the Conflict Resolution Procedures outlined in the School Board’s policies and regulations. If none exist, the School Council shall apply every effort to resolve internal conflicts using the steps outlined in these Operating Procedures.
A. If at any time, 10 parents, or 5 parents and 50% of the Executive Members of the School Council, are of the opinion that the School Council is in a state of conflict such that its operation is significantly impaired, they may deliver a signed written letter to all Executive Members and the Principal requesting a Special General Meeting, and the following will apply:
1) The Chair will call a Special General Meeting of the School Council.
2) The Secretary will provide a minimum of 5 days’ written notice to all parents and School Council Members of the date, time, place and purpose of the Special General Meeting.
3) At the Special General Meeting, all parents and School Council Members present will have an opportunity to hear and discuss the issues causing conflict.
4) On motion, a vote shall be taken respecting a proposed resolution to the conflict.
5) If the majority of voting Members present vote in favour of the resolution proposed, the School Council will immediately act upon it.
The School Council shall adhere to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and shall not use or share personal information for purposes other than those of School Council business.
As per Alberta Provincial Legislation, only the Minister of Education has the authority to dissolve a School Council. If the School Council is dissolved, the Principal may choose to establish an advisory committee to perform some or all of the duties of the School Council until the next School year. The Principal will perform the duties as outlined in Alberta Provincial Legislation with respect to the re-establishment of the School Council within forty (40) School days after the start of the next School year.
21. REVIEWS and AMENDMENTS
Subject to any provincially or School Board-mandated policies and/or regulations, the School Council may make any changes to these Operating Procedures deemed necessary to carry out its functions.
A. The Operating Procedures will be reviewed for their relevance and effectiveness annually by the School Council Executive or by a committee established expressly for that purpose.
B. The Operating Procedures of the School Council may be amended by a majority vote of the voting Members present at any scheduled Regular, Special or Annual General meeting of the School Council.
C. Notice of proposed amendments to the Operating Procedures will be provided to the School community no less than 5 days before a meeting.
These Operating Procedures have been accepted by a majority of the Members entitled to vote at a Regular, Special or Annual General meeting of the School Council.