Catholic School Council
Parent involvement is essential in education, and we believe that parents are the primary educators of children. All parents are welcome to participate in Catholic education as active members of a Catholic School Council (CSC).
CSCs improve student achievement and enhance the accountability of the education system to parents. A CSC makes recommendations to the school Principal and the Board on many topics, including school budget priorities, the school year calendar, extra-curricular activities, dress code, fundraising, recruitment, etc. CSC also submits an annual report of its activities to the Principal and the Board.
CSCs are required in all Catholic secondary schools. The size of each CSC varies, but two-thirds of its members must be Roman Catholic.
Who forms the CSC?
CSCs are composed of:
Parents, who are elected by other parents of students enrolled at the school
A secondary school student, who is either appointed by the student council or elected by the student body
A teacher, who is elected by other teachers
A support staff member, who is elected by other support staff
The parish priest or designate
The school Principal, who is not entitled to vote
CSCs cannot include:
The election committee
Parents employed by the school or at the Board
Supervisory Board officers
What are the elected positions?
Elected positions on School Council include Chair/Co-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. The duties of the Chair/Co-Chair include chairing Council meetings, preparing agendas, and communication with the Principal on behalf of the Council. The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the finances of the Council and for producing financial statements for meetings as required. The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes of the meetings and the distribution of the minutes to Council members.
When do nominations occur?
The election is held within the first 30 days of the school year. Interested parents should complete the nomination form in the school newsletter and return it to the school by the end of September.
How does the election work?
An election committee, formed by the Principal, a staff member, and a parent, oversees the election process. The staff member and the parent from the election committee cannot be running for election.
The committee receives nominations for the parent seats, and nomination forms must have two other parent signatures. A list of candidates and their biographies are made available to the community. Voting is conducted by secret ballot.
No individual campaign material may be distributed in the school, and no school resources can be used to support individual candidates.
How many parent seats are available?
The number of parent seats depends on the number of community and school members. The number of available parent seats on the council must be a majority. The election committee estimates the number of community-held seats to determine a majority number of parent seats available.
What is the term of office?
Elected or appointed members of the CSC hold office from the date elected or appointed to the date of the first meeting after the next year's election.
How often does the CSC meet?
The first meeting of the CSC must be held within the first 35 days of the school year after the election. The date is set by the school Principal. A CSC meets at least four times during the school year.
To hold a meeting, a majority of the current members and the Principal or designate must be present. A majority of the council members present must be parent members.
What is the Code of Ethics for a CSC member?
A member of the CSC will:
Consider the best interests of all students
Be guided by the school and Board mission statements
Act within the limits of the roles and responsibilities of a school council, as identified by the school operating guidelines, the Board, and the Ontario Ministry of Education
Become familiar with school policies and operating practices and act in accordance
Maintain the highest standards of integrity
Recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community
Treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption
Encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued
Acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council
Respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations on the operation of the school council
Not disclose confidential information
Limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole
Use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise
Promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community
Declare any conflict of interest
Not accept any payment or benefit financially through school council involvement
Where can I find additional resources?
If you have any questions regarding our Catholic School Council, you can contact Mr. Brake at 748-6664 ext. 303. You also visit the Catholic School Councils page on the Board website.