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School Council

School Council

School Council

School Councils are very important in maintaining quality schools as they provide a means for parents to have a say in how their children may benefit the most while attending school. The goal of our council is to improve student achievement and enhance the accountability of the education system to parents.

School councils are able to make recommendations to their principal and school board on any matter. Likewise principals and school boards must consult with school councils on a variety of matters that affect student achievement.

The research on parental involvement is clear. Involvement of parents is one of the most significant factors contributing to a child’s success in school. A student’s level of achievement increases when parents are involved with their school.

“Be an important partner in the education system and call us at R.H. Murray for more information.”

Chair: Joanna Schmidt
Secretary: Kim Koch
Teacher Rep: Sara Neva
Principal: Chris Bourré

Cherlynn McLean
Adam Kolari
Klaryza Lehocky
Kate Lair
Keitha Mahon
Tiffany Young-Flora

Terms of Reference


BECAUSE the Rainbow District School Board is committed to the belief that successful education requires a strong partnership and active involvement among the school, the home, the staff and members of the community; and

BECAUSE the Board believes that relationships among these partners will be strengthened by the formation of School Councils in each school.

THEREFORE, it is the policy of the Rainbow District School Board that each school establishes School Council.

Robert H. Murray Public School hereby establishes School Council, which will operate according to the provisions of the by-laws that follow:

A. Mandate and Role

The School Council will serve in an advisory capacity to the school’s Principal and the Board to promote continued excellence in education, and will place the overall interest of the school and students first.

The School Council will provide advice to the Principal and, where appropriate, to the School Board on any of the matters listed below that the council has identified as a priority:

-Local school year calendar

-School code of behaviour

-Curriculum and program goals and priorities

-The response of the school or school board to achievement results in provincial and board assessment programs.

-Preparation of a school profile

-Criteria for selection of principals

-School budget priorities, including local capital improvement plans

-School community communication strategies

-Methods of reporting to parents and the community

-Suggestions for extracurricular activities in the school

-School-based services and community partnerships related to social, health recreational, and nutrition programs

-Community use of school facilities

-Local coordination of services form children and youth

-Development, implementation, and review of board policies at the local level

-Such other matters as the board may direct

In addition to its advisory responsibilities, the School Council:

-Shall establish its goals, priorities and procedures

-May establish an annual statement of priorities each year

-Shall organize information and training sessions to enable members of the Council to develop their skills as Council members

-Shall communicate regularly with parents and other members of the community to seek their views and preferences with regard to matters being addressed by the Council, and to report on the activities of the Council to the school community

-May organize information sessions to facilitate opportunities for parents and the school community to discuss existing Ministry, Board and School policies and guidelines

-May review, consider, and make recommendations on existing Ministry, Board, and School policies and guidelines, develop and recommend new policies and guidelines; and forward these in writing to the Principal and/or Board when required

-Shall promote the interests of the school community

B. Structure and Composition


a)Participation on the School Council and its sub-committees is on a voluntary basis

b)Members of the School Council shall include:

-Parents and guardians of students enrolled in the school (Min.5 & Max. 12)

-Community representative (1)

-The School Principal

-A teacher

-A non-teaching staff member

c)Parents and guardians shall form the majority of the Council

d)The community representative shall be appointed by council

e)The Chair shall be a Council member who is a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the school, and shall be elected by Council by ballot if required

f)The Vice-Chair shall be a Council member who is a parent or guardian of a student, and shall be elected by Council by ballot if required

g)Only one family member per household may serve on the Council at a time

h)The Recording Secretary shall be appointed by Council

2.Term Of Office

a)Elected and appointed members of the Council shall hold office for a one-year term. Council members may seek a subsequent term, as there are no restrictions on the number of times a member can be re-elected.

b)The School Council year shall begin on Oct 1 and end on September 30.

3.Election Procedures

a)It will be the responsibility of the Principal to notify persons qualified as potential Council members

b)Nominations and/or expressions of interest to serve on the School Council must be received by the Principal 14 days prior to the election

c)If the number of nominees/interested persons is equal to or fewer than the number of vacant positions, the nominees/interested persons shall fill these positions by acclamation.

d)When elections are required, they shall be held by direct ballot at a time determined by the Principal during the month of September

e)Parent/guardian representatives shall be elected by parents and guardians of students enrolled in the school

f)The teaching staff representative shall be elected by members of the teaching staff

g)The non-teaching staff representative shall be elected by members of the non-teaching staff


a)Vacant positions will be advertised in the school newsletter for two consecutive months. If there are no successful applicants during this time, school council membership shall be restricted to those already on the list. Selection of an eligible person to fill a vacant position shall be by majority vote of School council.

b)A member who is selected to fill an unexpired term of less than one year, may serve additional terms of office.

c)If a member does not attend three consecutive meetings, without an acceptable reason, Council may deem the position vacant.

d)Resignations shall be submitted in writing to the Chair.

5.Member Responsibilities

1.All members of the School Council elected and appointed shall:

a)Participate in Council meetings and activities

b)Participate in sub-committee meetings and activities, as appropriate, and report to Council on sub-committee activities

c)Participate in information and training sessions

d)Act as a link between the School Council and the community

e)Encourage the participation of parents within the school community

2.T he Chair of the School Council shall:

a)Call Council meetings

b)Prepare the agenda for the meetings

c)Chair school Council meetings

d)Ensure that the minutes of the meetings are recorded and maintained

e)Communicate and work closely with the School Principal

f)Ensure there is regular communication with the school community

g)Consult with Board staff and trustees as required

3.The Vice-Chair shall:

a)Assume the duties of the Chair in his/her absence.

4.The School Principal shall:

a)Notify persons qualified as potential Council members

b)Facilitate the establishment of the School Council and assist in its operation

c)Support and promote the Council’s activities

d)Seek input from the Council in areas for which it has been assigned advisory responsibility

e)Assist in the development and implementation of the Council’s annual statement of priorities

f)Act as a resource on laws, regulations, Board policies and collective agreements

g)Obtain and provide information required by the Council to enable it to make informed decisions

h)Communicate and work closely with the Chair of the Council

i)Ensure that any recommendations received from the School Council are included in the Principal’s Annual Report

j)Ensure that copies of minutes of Council meetings are distributed to Council members within two weeks, and that a copy be kept at the school

k)Assist the Council in communicating with the school community

5.The Recording Secretary shall:

a)Keep a full and accurate account of all proceedings and transactions of all Council meetings

b)Provide a copy of the minutes to the Principal and Chair within two weeks of the meetings

c)Maintain an updated Council membership list

d)Provide the Principal and Chair with copies of minutes from all sub-committee meetings, all correspondence and reports

D. Operating Procedures

1.Rules of Order

In the absence of any by-law provisions to the contrary, all

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern proceedings of Council and sub-committees


The desired method of reaching decisions is through consensus. Where consensus cannot be reached within a reasonable time period, the following rules shall be applied:

a)Each member of Council shall have one vote

b)The Chair of Principal prior to the meeting will accept written votes from absent members. Written votes must be delivered in a sealed envelope and will be opened at the time of the tallying of the votes

c)All members are encouraged to vote, but shall be permitted at abstain

d)Generally the Chair will not vote. However, in the event that a resolution receives a tie vote, the Chair may cast the deciding vote


A quorum for all regular meetings of Council shall consist at least of five council members, including three parent or guardian representatives. At any given time, parents must be in the majority.

4. Meetings

a)Meetings of the School Council will generally be held at 6:30 PM on the third Thursday of the month between September and June

b)There will be a minimum of four meetings held in each school year, and additional meetings may be held by Council, as deemed necessary

c)All regular meetings of Council are open to the public

d)Council may invite members of the community for consultation and/or advice


a)The Chair of School Council shall ensure that the agenda for meetings is prepared and distributed to council members at least four working days prior to a regular meeting

b)Material related to matters to be discussed will be circulated with the agenda, if possible.

c)Each meeting shall include the following:

1)Call to order

2)Acceptance of agenda as it stands, or with approved changes

3)Acceptance of the minutes of the previous meeting as it stands, or with approved changes


5)Business arising from the minutes

6)Committee reports

7)Principal’s report

8)New Business


6. Presentations

a)Any member of the community may requestto make a presentation to the council. Requests must be made in writing to either the School Principal or the Chair of the Council at least two weeks prior to the meeting date. The request must include a brief outline of the presentation

b)The School Principal and the Chair will jointly determine whether the presentation is appropriate for the Council (i.e., whether the topic falls within the Council’s mandate) and assign the earliest possible date for the presentation. The requestor will be informed of Council’s decision at least one week prior to the subsequent meeting

c)Presentations will generally be limited to 15 minutes. As much as possible, discussion on the presentation will be public. However, the Chair reserves the right to discuss the matter in camera.


a)The Recording Secretary will prepare draft minutes of each meeting. They will be distributed by the Principal within two weeks of the meeting to all Council members

b)Minutes will be available to the public in the general office of R.H. Murray Public School


a)Standing or ad hoc sub-committees may be established by Council, as needed

b)At least one member of the Council will sit on each sub-committee, and shall report to the Council on sub-committee activities

E. Amendments to The By-laws

1.The by-laws may be amended only after a motion has been given, in writing, stating the content of the motion and the names of the mover and seconder, together with the reasons for the amendment(s).

2.The written notice of a proposed amendment shall be delivered to each Council member at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be considered

3.The amendment must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of Council before being passed

Community Rep: Adam Kolari
Teacher Rep: Sara Neva
Principal: Chris Bourre