School Council Update #1
September 17, 2021

Welcome to the new school year!

We were pleased to welcome students and families back to school last week. As part of our work to ensure a safe and sustainable return to school, some of our regular activities will continue to be modified at the start of the year, including school council meetings, which will be held virtually. Throughout the year, this monthly newsletter will share helpful information, tips and resources to support school councils.

We look forward to collaborating with our dedicated community of school councils this year. We are grateful for your continued contributions and excited to work together to build our OCDSB Culture of Caring, Innovation and Social Responsibility.
School Council Information
An Update on School Councils for 2021-2022

The revised practices for school councils established last year will continue to apply for the 2021-2022 school year. The revised school council election procedure PR.509.SCO School Council Elections, Constitution and By-laws clarifies the specific provisions. 
 
  • All elections to school council shall be held electronically, with necessary modifications to allow for and support electronic voting.
  • Elections shall be held by October 14th (within 30 days of the first day of school which was September 9th, 2021).
  • Where a school is unable to hold the election by October 14th, every effort shall be made to hold the election as soon thereafter as practically possible;
  • Meetings shall be held using Google Meet.

Similar to last year, parents of students enrolled in a virtual school can:

  • Seek election to the school council of the virtual school;
  • Be non-voting members of their child’s home school council;
  • Seek election to the school council of the home school if there are insufficient numbers of parents of in person students who have put their names forward for election;
  • Be eligible for appointment to any position on the executive if they have been elected to the home school council.
School Council Elections

The details about the election process are outlined in the School Council policy and in the School Council Elections procedure. The election of officers (Chair, Co-chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) happens after the members of council have been duly elected. Don't forget to review your school council constitution for specific provisions with respect to your school. 
 
The following information may help to clarify how to administer elections relating to OCV parents.

  • For most school councils, all parents in the school are considered non-voting members of the council. OCV parents will be considered like all other parents in this regard.
  • If your school council constitution has specific non-voting parent member positions, then an OCV parent would be entitled to seek election to the non-voting position(s).
  • If an OCV parent wants to seek election to the home school council, he or she can file their nomination paper in accordance with the established process for all nominations.  At the close of nominations and prior to the election, if there are more nominations than eligible positions, the OCV parents would be considered ineligible for election and their names would be removed from the ballot.
  • If, at the close of nominations, there are some OCV parents seeking election and some in person parents seeking election to a council, and the total number of candidates is the same as the total number of positions, all parents can be acclaimed and will be voting members of the council.
  • If an OCV parent has been elected/acclaimed as a member of the council, they are eligible to put their name forward for election to any executive position.  Such an election can include both in person and OCV parents for consideration.
 
The following resources are available to support school councils:

  • Resource guide for the use of Google Meets for school council meetings;
  • Election Checklist to assist you with the running of the school council election; 
  • Ballot template – a Google Form that is set up for managing electronic elections to council.
Share Your Updated Contact Information 

We want to stay connected. Please send us an updated list of school council contact information after your elections by completing this online form.
School Council Year-end Report

It is never too early to start drafting your year-end report. Board Policy P.014.SCO School Councils requires school councils to prepare an annual report on the school council activities, including fundraising. Your report must be submitted to the school principal and to yearendfinancials@ocdsb.ca by 31 October of each school year. Below are some points that could help you draft your report.
 
  • Your school council’s mission and vision 
  • Members of the school council 
  • Note from the Chair
  • Fundraising activities by the school council
  • Other activities by the school council
  • Spending plans of raised funds
  • Comments for the successor school council
School Council Year-End Financial Reporting

Reminder: The financial report must be submitted by September 20, 2021. Your council may want to draft the financial report using this Google Form: https://forms.gle/xMWphjTA5Ri5fpSt6. Typically, school council’s financial reporting year ends on 31 July. However, the Google Form will allow you to select your fiscal year for the report. Please ensure the opening balance for this year matches the closing balance from the previous year’s report. The opening balance plus funds collected less funds spent equals the closing balance.

The Google Form will ask for the following information:
 
  • School Name
  • School Council Chair
  • School Council Banking Arrangements
  • Fiscal Year Date Range
  • Reconciled opening balance of all bank accounts, investments and cash on hand separate from the school on fiscal start date, i.e. August 1, 2020. (Please use reconciled opening balance instead of actual bank balance)
  • The gross amount collected in school council accounts separate from the school during the fiscal year, i.e. August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. (Please enter all funds collected within the fiscal year, including outstanding deposits; i.e. deposits dated within the fiscal year)
  • The amount spent in school council accounts separate from the school during the fiscal year, i.e. August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. (Please enter the amount spent within the fiscal year, including all uncleared cheques; i.e. cheques dated within the fiscal year)
  • Reconciled closing balance of all bank accounts, investments and cash on hand separate from the school on fiscal year-end, i.e. July 31, 2021. (Closing balance = opening balance + funds collected - funds spent and should match the reconciled closing balance as shown on your trial balance instead of the actual bank balance)
  • Portion of the above gross amount collected which was processed through the school’s School Cash Online program where the funds were transferred from the school to the school council bank account
 
In cases where the school council’s banking arrangements are administered by the school, it is not necessary to provide the financial details because the school council’s financial information will be reflected within the school’s financial report. Instead please use the form to identify your banking arrangements.
School Council Records and End of School Year Tasks
 
As the school year begins, many school councils are asking about how to manage their records. Records that contain financial information, such as those that pertain to School Generated Funds, are kept for the current year, plus 6 years. As such, financial records from the 2014/2015 school year can be destroyed. School Council meeting minutes are required to be maintained for the current school year, plus 5 years. Thus, the 2014/2015 minutes can also be destroyed. When destroying records, please be sure to shred anything which contains personal or sensitive information. If you have records for destruction, you can bring them to the school, boxed and clearly marked “school council records for shredding”.

Corporate Records welcomes questions with regard to document maintenance and can be reached through email at Corporate.Records@ocdsb.ca.
School Council Insurance

The OCDSB provides school council liability insurance. This coverage provides protection for the school council executive members and all volunteers acting on behalf of the school council that may face lawsuits arising out of their activities for the school council. The coverage is for various types of liabilities arising out of injuries to third parties or damage to leased or borrowed premises.

Insurance Coverage Highlights:
  • Annual policy, effective November 1st of each year;
  • $2 million liability coverage;
  • Coverage includes: negligent acts causing bodily injury and property damage, personal injury and advertising liability, tenants legal liability, non-owned automobile liability, errors and omissions, directors and officers wrongful acts.
Trustee Electoral Zone Boundary Review

The OCDSB has 12 elected trustees and each trustee represents one electoral zone. These zones must be based on the City’s ward boundaries. 

The City of Ottawa (the City) recently completed a comprehensive review of its ward boundary configuration and has adopted a new ward structure that will be used for the next three municipal elections. The OCDSB must adjust its trustee zone boundaries to align with the City’s 24 new wards.

Visit our consultation page to learn more, review our preliminary electoral zone models, and share your feedback.
Additional Resources:

Further School Council information and resources can be found on our website.
Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings
The next public Board meeting will be held on September 28th, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Watch the meeting live here.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: 


For a summary of our board meetings, read our Boardroom Newsbriefs here.
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