Policies and procedures governing councils
Bylaw templates and samples
Your school council email address
Align your council’s work to the school’s goals
School councils are an important part of the school team. Any projects the council decides to take on should align with the school’s goals in the School Success Plan. A good way to start the year is to review the School Success Plan as a council and discuss how family engagement can support the school’s goals. Here are some resources to help with your planning:
Great meetings, great minutes
Volunteering on school council is a hobby—it should be fun! Plan to have great meetings. Set an agenda, stay on track and keep basic minutes of the meetings. The chair sets the agenda in consultation with other council members and the principal. The agenda should be shared with all parents. Include the meeting date, time, location and a list of agenda items in each school newsletter, email the agenda out to parents who would like to receive by email and post it on the school website.
Meetings are open to the public—anyone can attend. Ensure your agenda includes a section at the end for public questions. According the Peel board’s operating procedure on school councils, parents/guardians of students at the school who are not council members can participate in discussion throughout the meeting.
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.
The Peel board encourages councils to make decisions by consensus whenever possible.
For more information, watch the meetings and decision making webinar.
Here are a few additional resources to hold effective meetings:
Policies & Procedures governing school councils
Bylaw templates and samples
The Ministry of Education requires every school council to have bylaws covering election procedures, conflict of interest, resolving conflict and filling vacancies.
Bylaws governing other areas of operation may also be developed. Bylaws created by the school council must not conflict with any provisions of Ontario Regulation 612/00
or the Peel board’s School Council Policy.
Councils are not required to develop a lengthy constitution because Regulation 612/00 and the board’s policy set out the mandate and roles and responsibilities for school councils. If a council already has a constitution in place, the council may choose to continue it providing it doesn’t conflict with the regulation or board’s policy.
Watch the bylaw webinar to learn more.
The following samples are suggestions only. Councils may consider establishing a sub-committee to draft bylaws. It may be easiest to start with the samples. Provide everyone with copies of the samples. With a laptop and LCD projector, project the text on a screen so all members of the subcommittee can read and revise together.
Bylaw sample – Code of ethics
Bylaw sample – Election procedures
Bylaw sample – Roles of school council executive
Bylaw sample – Filling council vacancies
Bylaw sample – Conflict of interest
Bylaw sample – Resolving conflict
Ministry of Education School Council Guide - Bylaw section
Plan and run your election
School council terms are one year. Elections happen annually within the first 30 calendar days of the school year. Many elementary schools hold elections during their fall open house. The date of the election should be set the previous spring by the chair and principal, and publicized on the school website and in the newsletter. At the start of the school year, the school sends home an invitation for parents/guardians to nominate themselves for a parent representative position on council.
For more information, watch the election webinar.
Here are a few additional resources to hold a successful election:
School Council Candidate Nomination Form - template
Official Parent Ballot - template
The school council election process
School council election timeline
Reaching out and recruiting diverse community members for your school council
School council fundraising
Fundraising is not the primary role of school council. Not all schools fundraise. Some only fundraise for charitable causes separate from the school. When we fundraise, we must make sure we're fundraising with a purpose in mind.
Councils or schools should not be fundraising to create a pot of money to be used in the future. We must communciate how the funds will be used, and funds raised should only be used for their intended purpose.
For school councils involved in fundraising, the following resources may be helpful:
Fundraising guidelines for school councils
Policy #5 – Partnerships/Fundraising
Operating Procedure COMS1 – Raising funds for capital-related and capital projects
How to plan a successful event
Fundraising resources from the Region of Peel
School council finances
All funds raised by school councils are donated to the school and should only be used for their intended purpose. The resources below will help councils manage finances.
Acceptable and unacceptable uses of school council
How to manage school council funds
School council funds - FAQ
How to handle cash sales
How to calculate a profit or loss
School Council Cheque Requisition Form
School Council Donation Receipt Request Form
Apply for a Parent’s Reaching Out Grant
School council annual report
School councils are required to prepare an annual report. The report doesn't need to be extensive, but should outline the council activities for the year and provide an overview of expenses. The report should be shared with all parents, submitted to the superintendent of education, school trustee(s) and the Communications and Community Relations Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Sept. 30 of the next school year.
How to prepare an annual report and financial statement
Annual report and financial statement formats - sample 1 and sample 2
Your school council email address
Every school council has a @peelsb.com email address. This should be the main email used by the chair to communicate and receive council information. The log-in information should be kept at the school and provided to the school council chair or co-chairs only.
How to access and use school council email
List of school council email addresses