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Roles and Responsibilities of School Council

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Members' Roles and Responsibilities
Chair
Principal
Parent/Guardian Representatives
Community Representatives
Teacher Representatives
Student Representatives
Role of the School Board and School District

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Members' Roles and Responsibilities

For school councils to be truly effective, school council members and the school community they serve must recognize individual responsibilities. Section 26 of the Schools Acts, 1997 outlines the general role and functions of school councils.

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Chair

The chair is elected by members of the school council and, with the exception of the principal, any member of the school council can be elected as chair. The chair, in collaboration with the principal, sets the school council meeting agenda (i.e. determine items suitable of council discussion). The school council chair must be very clear on the functions and responsibilities of the school council and must constantly ensure that school council discussions focus on improving the teaching and learning environment for all students rather than focusing on the specific or isolated issues of any one individual.

The responsibility of the chair is most evident when non-council members are in attendance and have requested to speak on an issue. In such instances, the chair must be prepared to tactfully focus discussion on issues rather than on individuals. The chair may choose to allot a specific period of time for discussion on an issue.

As a member of a school council, the chair:
School council chairpersons may also be responsible for compilling correspondence and communicating with others on behalf of the school council. Such communication should follow procedures as outlined in the school protocol agreement and the bylaws of the board.

All correspondence and media contact should represent the consensual view of the council.

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Principal

The school principal is responsible for the establishment and operation of the school council. The principal may not be chair; however, he or she may chair the first two meetings until a chair has been elected. The responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the school remains with the principal under the direction of the school district.

Effective leadership is a critically important element in schools where students are successful at learning and achieving. Current literature and research support the key role of principals in determining the educational success of their school and students.

The principal is the main link between the school community and the school. The manner in which the principal fulfills his/her leadership responsibilities largely determines the attitudes which students and parents have towards the school. As educational leader, the principal is a key player in promoting and facilitating a collaborative culture and climate within the school and the school council.

As a member of the school council, the principal:
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Parent/Guardian Representatives


Any parent/guardian is eligible to serve as a parent representative on the school council provided they have a child attending that school at the time of election and is not employed as a teacher at that school.

As a member of the school council, the parent representative: ~ expresses the viewpoint of the parents they represent; [Return To Top]

Community Representatives

A community representative must be a member of the community and can be a parent of a child in the school. Community representatives are appointed by school council members. A community representative brings an additional perspective to council decision.

As a member of the school council, the community representative:

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Teacher Representatives

Teachers may serve as parent representatives on the school council on any school their children attend, provided they are not employed as a teacher at that school.As a member of the school council, the teacher representative:
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Student Representatives


In a school where high school courses are offered, at least one high school student must be elected to the school council. For continuity purposes, it is recommended that at least two high school students become members of council, one of whom is a Level II or I student.

As a member of the school council, the student representative:

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Role of the School Board and School District

It is important that school council members recognize the roles their school board and the school district officials play as members of their school community.

School boards are the governing bodies of our education system. They consider the big picture in terms of what needs to be done to improve the teaching and learning environment of the schools. School boards are comprised of a chair and elected trustees. There are currently five school boards in existence in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (see Appendix F).

School districts, under the direction of their director/CEO, are the operating bodies for school boards, and are responsible for implementing governance and operational policies developed by school boards. School districts communicate board policies and guidelines to their principals. School councils must operate under the by-laws of their boards and adhere to the school protocol agreement in place between the school council and the board.

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