Meetings and Minutes
Volunteering on school council is a hobby—it should be fun! Plan to have great meetings.
Choose your meeting dates
School Councils meet a minimum of four times per school year. These meeting dates are determined by the chair and the principal, in consultation with council members. The first meeting should take place within the first 35 calendar days of the school year. Meetings dates should be selected based on the availability of members, and cannot fall on holy days that are indicated with a red circle on the board’s
Holy Days and Holidays calendar.
Set your agenda
The Chair sets the agenda in consultation with other council members and the principal. The agenda should be shared with your entire school community via email, your school newsletter and/or your school website.
Meeting agendas should include:
- meeting date, time and location
- list of agenda items
- "approval of the agenda" at the start of the meeting. An agenda should be thought of as being in draft form until it has been approved at the meeting.
- a section for public questions at the end of your meeting
Recorded by the School Council Secretary, minutes are a permanent and accurate record of a group's decisions and actions, including key background information and the people responsible for follow-up. They are a reference for everyone – especially for those not present at the meeting – giving background and rationale for decisions.
Minutes should include:
- School Council name
- date, time, and place of meeting
- attendance and absence, including guests
- approval of agenda
- approval of previous minutes
- list of agenda items
- public question period
For more tips on creating effective minutes, view our guide
or samples: Sample 1
, Sample 2
Quorum at meetings
A School Council meeting cannot be held unless the school principal (or designate) is present and quorum is met. A meeting has quorum when:
- A majority of the current members are present
- A majority of members present at the meeting are parent members
Without a quorum, issues may be discussed but council cannot consider or approve motions.
A School Council is an advisory group who regularly makes decisions. When making decisions, there are two possible methods: by consensus or by voting. Whenever possible, the Peel board recommends that councils make every attempt to reach a consensus in their decisions.
To learn more about decision making at School Council meetings, view this tip sheet.
In any decision-making process, there is potential for conflict to develop. Follow these conflict guidelines to help manage disagreements in your
council more effectively and find solutions that work to everyone's benefit.
All meetings are open to the public
A School Council is not a private club. The meetings are open to the public and we encourage all parents to participate in the activities of council. Even if a parent wasn’t elected as a parent rep, they can attend meetings, participate in discussion and join sub-committees. However, they are not able to vote.
Members of the public who are not parents of students at the school can ask questions during the public question segment of the agenda, unless they've been invited by the council to attend to share information about a specific topic on the agenda.
If a member of the public is interested in presenting at a council meeting, they must receive approval by the School Council in order to be placed on the council agenda. To make this request, they can submit the Request to Present at a School Council Meeting
form to be reviewed by the Chair, in consultation with the principal and council.
For more information about planning effective meetings, watch the
meetings and decision making webinar.