Learn about school councils

  • What school councils do
  • Find a school council
  • How to join a school council
  • Role of the School Council Liaison
  • Resources for members of a school council

"The goal of the Yukon education system is to work in co-operation with parents to develop the whole child...recognizing that meaningful partnerships with greater parental and public participation are encouraged for a high quality Yukon education system."

(Excerpts from the preamble of the Yukon Education Act)


  1. What school councils do

    The duties and powers of school councils are described in sections of the Education Act, primarily Section 113.

    In partnership with their principal these duties and powers include: 

    • reviewing and approving school growth plans;
    • reviewing and developing school-based policies;  
    • participating in hiring school principals;
    • making recommendations on how school budgets are spent; and
    • advising on matters such as:
      • school calendar;
      • staffing needs;
      • school renovations;
      • school programming;
      • discipline policies;
      • student transportation; and
      • proposing locally developed courses in consultation with the Department of Education.

     

    The Department of Education funding for school councils covers an honoraria for members and operational expenses. School Councils meet monthly during the school year. 

    Rules and regulations 

    Much of a school council’s work is described in the documents below. 

    Protecting privacy

    As elected officials school council members are bound by an oath of confidentiality. They must not reveal personal information about staff or students. Sometimes meetings must be closed to the public to protect personal information. 

    Protection from liability 

    Section 194 of the Education Act  protects school council members from legal liability, when they: 

    • are legally exercising their powers; and 
    • in a way that is not negligent. 

     

    Negligence normally refers to: 

    • acts that are wilfully intended to harm; 
    • acts that members should reasonably expect would cause harm; and 
    • wilfully ignoring a situation that would likely cause harm. 

     

    To be negligent, harm has to actually occur to a person. 


  2. Find a school council

    Yukon Education schools are schools directly under the authority of the Department of Education rather than under the authority of a school board.

    All Yukon Education schools have a school council. You can find a school council link on school websites at  Find a school . 

    If the school's website does not have a school council link, please contact the school directly. 


  3. How to join a school council

    Eligibility for school council membership 

    You are eligible to serve on a school council if you are a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old and: 

    • you have lived in the school’s attendance area for at least 3 months; or 
    • you are the parent/guardian of a child who attends the school. 

    According to Section 151 of the Education Act, you cannot serve on a school council if you work in the school. 

    School council election  

    Elections are held: 

    • every 2 years; 
    • in even-numbered years; and 
    • in the spring. 

    The next school council election is May 2024 with nominations opening April 15, 2024. For more information visit the Elections Yukon website. 

    Filling vacancies on a school council 

    Between elections the Minister allows for appointment of members. 

    Under Section 108 of the Education Act

    • a school council can recommend a person fill a vacancy; 
    • the Minister of Education can appoint a person recommended by the council; or 
    • if there is only 1 member acclaimed and the council is unable to recommend appointments the Minister can call a by-election to fill the vacancy. 

    Guaranteed representation for Yukon First Nations 

    Section 68 of the Education Act provides for guaranteed representation of Yukon First Nations on School Councils. To find out more about these positions, contact: 

     

     

     

     


  4. Role of the School Council Liaison

    The school council liaison is the primary Department of Education contact for school councils. 

    The school council liaison provides support by: 

    • Providing information and advice about school council to members and to the public on: 
      • mandates; 
      • responsibilities; 
      • policies; and 
      • procedures. 
    • Attending school council meetings. 
    • Helping with problem-solving. 
    • Training school council members (Roberts Rules of order and dispute resolution policies and procedures). 
    • Supporting recruitment between general school council elections. 
    • Collaborating with partners and stakeholders on the annual school council conferences.  
    • Working with Yukon First Nations on the appointments of guaranteed representatives. 
    • Researching issues and developing and proposing policies as requested by school councils. 
    • Working with School administrators and superintendents to support the work of school councils. 

    The Department of Education provides resources to the Association of Yukon School Councils, Boards and Committees and the Catholic Education Association of Yukon who offer professional development opportunities such as: 

    • conferences; 
    • workshops; and 
    • training to school councils. 

     


  5. Resources for members of a school council

    Building relationships with your council and community

    Yukon School Council Resource Guide

     

    The Association of Yukon School Councils, Boards and Committees (AYSCBC) worked in partnership with Yukon First Nation Education Directorate (YFNED), Catholic Education Association of Yukon (CEAY), Department of Education (DOE) and many others to develop this resource guide.

    The guide provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of school council members and includes a variety of tools, templates and tips to assist members during their time on council.

    Roles and responsibilities 

    Financial information and reporting 

    School councils are legally required to report on the funds they receive from the government. The Education Act  sets out how councils can use their funds. Councils conduct banking arrangements, pay their accounts and report on an annual basis how they used the funds. 

    Honoraria 

    School council members may receive honoraria for the meetings they attend. Canada Revenue Agency considers honoraria a taxable benefit. School council members may choose to donate their honoraria to their schools or school councils. 

    Oaths and ethics  

    All school council members are required to take 2 prescribed oaths at the start of each Term of office. This also applies to any member appointed between elections. 

    • Oath of office 
    • Oath of non-disclosure (confidentiality) 

    This applies when a member is: 

    • elected; 
    • acclaimed; or 
    • appointed. 

    Secretary-treasurers who are hired by a school council are required to take 1 prescribed oath: 

    • Oath or declaration of non-disclosure for contracted/non-member school council secretary-treasurer (confidentiality)  

    Hired secretary-treasurers are not voting or participating members of the Council . They are hired to provide administrative support.  

    When you are ready to be sworn in: 

    1. Fill in the required oath form(s) 
    2. To take the oath contact the Department of Education School Council Liaison at [email protected] or (867) 667-8226. 
    3. Send the notarized form to the Department of Education office. 

    School Council Liaison Email: [email protected] 
    Fax: 867-393-6339 
    Mail: 
    Government of Yukon 
    Public Schools (E-9) 
    Box 2703,  
    Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6 

    School staff hiring and performance review

    School councils have a role in evaluating principals. They may provide a recommendation to the superintendent for teachers, principals or other employees in the school on:

    • dismissal;
    • transfer;
    • discipline; or
    • demotion.

    To learn more:

    School growth process

    The purpose of the school growth process is to improve the success of each Yukon learner.

    School staff, school councils, parents, Yukon First Nations, Elders and students are involved in:

    • planning;
    • determining appropriate actions to achieve goals; and
    • monitoring progress.

     


Contact 

For questions, email [email protected] or phone 867-667-8226 or toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, ext. 8226.