Join a school council

  • What school councils do
  • Find a school council
  • Responsibilities of councils
  • How to join a school council
  • Resources for members of a school councils

School councils provide a way for Yukon residents to get involved in the education of children.

 


  1. What school councils do

    The Public Schools Branch of Department of Education leads most school councils.

    The Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon (CSFY) leads the French First language schools:

    • École Émilie-Tremblay; and
    • Académie Parhélie.

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

    These include:

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

    Protecting privacy

    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.


  2. Find a school council

    To find a school council, visit the school's website. Find a school website on our Find a school webpage.

     

     


  3. Responsibilities of councils

    The school council liaison provides support to school councils.

    • Providing information and advice about school council to members and to the public on:
      • mandates;
      • responsibilities;
      • policies; and
      • procedures.
    • Helping with problem-solving.
    • Training school council members.
    • Supporting recruitment between general school council elections.
    • Coordinating and managing annual school council conferences.
    • Working with school councils on the annual school calendars.
    • Working with Yukon First Nations on the appointments of guaranteed representatives.
    • Researching issues and developing and proposing policies as requested by school councils.

    School administrators and superintendents also support school councils.

    The Department of Education provides resource materials and offers professional development opportunities such as:

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

     

    These associations also support school councils:

    Roles and responsibilities

    Rules and regulations

    Much of a school council’s work is described in acts, regulations and policies.

    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, ethics and code of conduct

    New school council members need to make an oath or declaration when they are:

    • elected;
    • acclaimed; or
    • appointed.

     

    Secretary-treasurers who are hired by a school council must:

    • swear an oath; or
    • make a declaration of non-disclosure (to protect privacy).

    New Whitehorse councillors may be invited to come to the Department of Education to swear their oaths.

    Outside Whitehorse, councillors can swear an oath in their communities.

    1. Fill in 1 of these oath forms.
    2. Take it to a local notary.
    3. Swear the oath.
    4. Send the notarized form to our offices.
      Email: lori.choquette@gov.yk.ca
      Fax: 867-393-6339
      Mail:
      Government of Yukon
      Public Schools (E-1)
      Box 2703, 
      Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

    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.


  4. 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 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.

    Run for election to a school council

    You can be elected to a school council. To run in an election, you have to get nomination signatures from at least 3 people who are qualified to vote in the election.

    Elections are held:

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

    Visit the Elections Yukon website for more information about school council elections.

    Filling vacancies on a school council

    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
    • 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:

    Disqualification of council members

    Section 151 of the Education Act says that a person is no longer qualified and forfeits their seat on a council when they:

    • are absent from 3 meetings in a row without authorization;
    • are no longer an elector in the attendance area (i.e., moves away);
    • use information gained as a council member for financial gain;
    • are a judge other than a justice of the peace or youth court; and
    • are employed in a school operated by the school council, with the exception of a secretary-treasurer of a school council.

    If a member has a financial interest in a matter before the council, the member is has to:

    • disclose the interest before the discussion in council;
    • not vote on any question relating to the matter;
    • not discus the matter; and
    • leave the room until after the discussion and voting are finished.

    Members who break these rules:

    • are no longer qualified; and
    • forfeit their seat on the council.

    Any person can apply to the court to determine if a member is qualified to remain on the council. The Education Act describes the process in detail.


  5. Resources for members of a school councils

    Building relationships with your council and community

    Invest time to develop good working relationships in your school community. These documents can give you ideas:

    Holding effective meetings

    Tips to help councils hold effective meetings and keep meaningful records:

    Policy development

    The Department of Education policies provide guidance for school-based policies. Here are some guides and examples to help councils develop policies:

    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: lori.choquette@gov.yk.ca or phone: 867-667-8226 or toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, ext. 8226.