School Council Update #8
April 1, 2021

School Council Information
Springing into Action - School Council Action List

With the arrival of April, many school councils find themselves with lots of things on the go and only three meetings until the end of the school year. Here’s a quick list of action items that might help with your planning.

1.   REVIEW YOUR WORKPLAN – Take a quick look at your work plan; what have you accomplished? What action items remain for this year? What might carry over or continue into next year? If you didn’t have a work plan, give some thought to whether a work plan would be a useful tool for next year. Don’t forget to take a minute to celebrate your accomplishments!

2.   PRO GRANT OR OTHER EVENTS – Have you taken advantage of the School Council Virtual Speaker Nights? There are still a few spaces. Do you have other events planned for the balance of the year? Take a look at your planned calendar of events, make sure your community knows what is coming up. Reminder messages help to drive up participation. Participation helps to build parent engagement.

3.   VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION – Recognizing the contributions of volunteers is important. Does your council have plans or practices that recognize and celebrate those who donate their time and talent to your school community? Have you considered nominating someone in your community for one of our community recognition awards?

4.   REVIEW PRACTICES AGAINST YOUR BY-LAWS – Do your by-laws need an update? At this time of year, councils have a good understanding of current practices. That can make it easier to do a quick read of your by-laws and assess whether there are sections that need updating. If you have to make changes, remember that by-law amendments usually have longer notice periods.

5.   TRANSITION PLANNING – Council membership changes annually. Are there members who are moving on next year? Do you have practices for maintaining your agendas, minute and other records? Is there anything that needs to be put in place to ensure a smooth transition?

6.   RECRUITING FOR NEXT YEAR – School council elections are held in the fall, but it is not too early to start encouraging new parents to join the council. Is your current council representative of the school community? What kind of formal and informal conversations might help to encourage people to get involved?

7.   PLANNING FOR YEAR END REPORTING – Every year councils must complete an annual report. More details about reporting requirements will be shared next month. Make sure annual reporting is on your to-do list.

8.    SHARE FEEDBACK – Councils have really important discussions and we always welcome your feedback. What issues are most frequently discussed at your council meetings? What resources would help to support your council? How could the School Council Newsletter be improved? If you have ideas, please send them to us at schoolnewslettersinfo@ocdsb.ca.
Reminder: PRO Grant Speaker Series Registration

School Councils have the opportunity to register for one Virtual Speaker Night. As sessions are selected by a school council, dates are eliminated from the application form. The successful applicants are notified shortly after registration is complete. The following sessions are currently available for registration:


Please refer to the registration email sent on March 22, 2021 for full details. Should you require any assistance, contact Engy Abdel Masieh, Policy Analyst, Board Services at engy.abdel.masieh@ocdsb.ca.
OCDSB Community Recognition Awards: Nominate a Volunteer!

Nominations are open for the 2020-2021 OCDSB Community Recognition Awards! Volunteers make such an important contribution to our schools. These awards are a great opportunity for you to recognize the individuals in your school or community who make a difference. 

If you know a community member, parent, volunteer, or business partner who has made a difference, please consider nominating them through our formal recognition awards program.

Nominate a volunteer online by 11:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021.

There are six award categories:

  • Community Award
  • Community Partnership Award
  • Distinguished School Council Service Award
  • Excellence in Equity Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Chair’s Award

Visit our Community Recognition Awards webpage to learn more about each award category and meet the inspiring 2020 award recipients. We will be celebrating the 2020-2021 award recipients virtually in the spring.
Further School Council information and resources can be found on our website.
Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings
The next public Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on April 6th, 2021, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Action and discussion items include: Equitable Recruitment and Hiring Policy; OPSBA Policy Resolution; Universal Screening Tool Exploration and Update; and COVID-19 Update.

Watch the meeting live here.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: 

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