School Council Chairperson: Part One video script

Welcome to the Role of the School Council Chairperson.

This training session is part of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s commitment to communication with, and professional development for, school councils.

This training is divided into three videos: Communications and Meeting Planning; Managing Meetings; and Sharing the Workload and Keeping Members

Communications and Planning

School councils are advisory in nature, providing input on matters ranging from policy to student achievement.

As chairperson, you have a responsibility to prioritize topics that are brought up and need to be addressed, and to direct council members, other parents, and community members to the appropriate channels. 

For example, if asked, the chairperson cannot address concerns about an individual student, but could instead recommend that the issue be brought to the school principal.

The principal is a key resource and ally in organizing school council meetings. The previous chairperson and the council’s constitution are also important resources. 

The school council meeting is your main avenue for gathering and disseminating information. Preparing for, managing meetings, and follow-up are your responsibilities as chairperson. 

Planning for Meetings

You will working with the principal to:

• identify agenda items, 

• help determine the priority of each item, 

• decide long each item will take to discuss, 

• approve the draft minutes from the last meeting, and 

• identify any communications that need to be done before the council meets. 

The agenda serves four purposes: it provides structure, it provides time limits for items, it provides a start and end time, and it is a courtesy to others.

Take a look at the agendas from previous sessions to learn more. The agenda for upcoming meetings should be distributed early enough to give people time to prepare for the topics of discussion.

Before the meeting, ensure that the room is set up, and any audio or visual equipment that is required is available and in working order.

Handouts and other materials should be copied in advance. Some observers may arrive unexpectedly, so it is a good idea to have a few extra copies of the agenda and materials, and extra seats. 

Our next video will look at Managing Meetings.