1 School Councils Top 10 Toolkit Prepared by: Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) Published Summer 2012 Updated Summer 2013 Tools in the Kit 1. School Council Handbook/Website 2. Books & Resources 3. Continuity Binder 4. Fundraising Plan & Field Trip Plan 5. Administration Team Profile 6. Volunteer Orientation / School Needs 7. Annual Fund $500 for School Councils 8. PRO Grants 9. School Council Annual Report 10. School Improvement Plan Introduction Thank you for all you do for your school council! The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has developed this Top 10 Toolkit to assist school council members with the activities they perform each year. The Toolkit is also helpful for orientation with new school council members. The PIC would love to hear your feedback about the following resources, tools and samples. Help us make the toolkit even better. Send your suggestions to The foundation for an effective school council is a respectful and trusting relationship among council members, the principal and viceprincipal. Some ways that you can develop trust in your school council are to: show that you are genuinely trying to do a good job for the benefit of all students in the school. give credit to others be honest and open in communications with one another use criticism only in a helpful manner confront the problems not the people admit mistakes or apologize when necessary listen your way back to repairing a relationship Also, click here to find out who the school trustee is for your area. Lead courageously because no one has ever been in the same situation or timing that you are in right now. And remember to make everyone feel welcome at all times; it takes a community to help both students and their school, reach their full potential. Tool # 1 School Council Handbook and Website The School Councils Handbook has everything you need to facilitate meetings, understand policies, bylaws, and guidelines, and run a successful School Council. These handbooks are available at each school or you can access a copy on the school board website at
2 Also at under Policies, you can review SCDSB Policy 4310, School Councils, and under Parents you will find answers to questions and ideas for best practices. This is an important tool for information and support for new and experienced school council members. That website section also includes the following link to the Ministry of Education s School Council Handbook: ral/elemsec/council/ See SCDSB s Procedure A7200 for School Council Elections details and rules. Tool # 2 Books and Resources School, Family, and Community Partnerships Your Handbook for Action by Joyce Epstein, et al, provides School Council Chairs with a variety of techniques to facilitate meetings, ways to engage council members, icebreakers (especially great for the first couple of meetings), and many useful ideas for planning, organizing, developing and implementing school projects. If your school does not have a copy of this book please speak to your school s Principal to get one. Pages Types of Parent Involvement are especially helpful to school councils. School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition, by Joyce Epstein ISBN: Ontario Ministry of Education resources: Planning Parent Engagement Guidebook for School Councils: nt_engagement/pa%20downloads/ CODE%20Parent%20Engagement %20Guidebook.pdf Parent Tool Kit to help parents help their child succeed at school: nt_engagement/pa%20downloads/ CODE%20Parent%20Toolkit.pdf Other resources: Bridges Out of Poverty: /Downloads/ Beyond the Bake Sale: Bake-Sale-Essential- Partnerships/dp/ Continuity Binder Tool # 3 The continuity binder may also be online on a school council page of the school s website. The binder should contain at least the last two full years of school council business, motions and votes, and past and current projects, including fundraising, newsletters, a list of the family of schools, PRO Grants and other special events. This allows continuity from year to year, in case of changes to School Council membership. It can be reviewed at the beginning of the year to see what has taken place and what projects need to be looked at for the new school year. Suggested contents for Continuity Binder: Membership List Annual meeting schedule Agendas Minutes Fundraising plan Field trip plan Administrative team profile School improvement plan Annual report Tool # 4 Fundraising Plan and Field Trip Plan A fundraising plan for the school year must be developed and submitted to the school board by the end of October. Monies expected to be raised from each fundraiser must be designated to student and school needs, and signed by the Principal and School Council Chair or Co-chairs before submitting to the school board. It is possible to have changes or additions to the fundraising plan throughout the year, and a revised plan must be signed and submitted to the Board office. A financial report is available to review with the Principal for these non-board funds. The SCDSB Fundraising Resource Guide is available at under the Parents section. The SCDSB Fundraising Policy can be found here. The Ministry of Education s SCDSB School Councils Top 10 Toolkit UPDATED Summer 2013 PAGE 2
3 Guideline for School Fundraising can be accessed here. A Sample Fundraising Plan is included as Appendix A. Suggested fundraising ideas: o o o o o o o o o o o o Ford Test Drive Gift cards which give back 3% Local restaurant chains Grocery store receipt programs Food receipt programs BBQ/School Fairs Chocolate sales QSP Magazine sales Hot Lunch/Fun Lunch program Milk at lunch program Hockey game nights (Barrie Colts) Popcorn Day sales Tool # 5 Administrative Team Profile Each year an administrative team profile recommendation is developed by the Principal and School Council. This profile covers areas such as goals, school community, strengths, areas for development, expectations for administrators and a School Council statement. This profile assists Senior Administrators when there are transfers/and or appointments to the school. These recommendations are signed by the Principal and School Council Chair and submitted each year to the Board. SCDSB Administrative Procedures Memorandum (APM) 7510, Transfer of Principals and Vice- Principals, includes Form , School Council Annual School Administration Profile. See Procedures section. A sample School Council Annual School Administration Profile Form is included as Appendix B. Tool # 6 Volunteer Orientation and School Needs Individuals wanting to become involved with the school through volunteering must provide a Criminal Background Check. Once this is completed it is important to provide these volunteers with an orientation and tour of school, which is facilitated by either the Principal or Vice-Principal. Each volunteer would be given a volunteer handbook and policies related to confidentiality, privacy and responsibilities would be reviewed. It is helpful to provide a list of school needs to help volunteers decide where their interest and expertise can best be matched, considering each volunteer s availability. One suggestion is to have a list of school needs posted each month for volunteers to sign up for days they are available. It may be helpful to have one parent work with the Principal and SCDSB School Councils Top 10 UPDATED Summer 2013 PAGE 3 act as a Volunteer Coordinator who organizes duties each month. Every school needs volunteers, and every volunteer needs to know where they can help. Recruiting for volunteers can include parents, extended family, community members, retirees, high school students (community hours), etc. Available Funds for School Councils Each year School Councils are provided with $500 as an expense fund. This can be used in a number of ways for parent engagement or involvement and must be discussed and voted on in your minutes by members of the School Council. If you have any questions please discuss this with your school s Principal. School Councils must vote on how to spend the $500 fund each year and record that vote in their minutes. A related PowerPoint presentation in PDF format is attached as Appendix C. PRO Grants Tool # 7 Tool # 8 PRO (Parent Reaching Out) Grants have an early deadline for submission to the Ministry of Education, in spring. There are two types of grants available - a school grant up to
4 $1,000 and a regional grant up to $30,000. Every School Council has the opportunity to apply for an event to host at your school, or group of schools. Some examples for these events could be a Literacy Night, Math Night, Fun Fair, etc. As part of your school council agenda it is important to put together a plan early so that your school does not miss out. The developed plan should be placed in the Continuity Binder at your school and when the deadline date is announced a parent member may submit the application on-line on the Ministry of Education website: nts/reaching.html The Ministry s PRO guideline is also accessible at the above-noted link. Other resources: Beyond the Bake Sale Bake-Sale-Essential- Partnerships/dp/ A related PowerPoint presentation is attached in PDF format as Appendix D. Tool # 9 School Council Annual Report At the end of each school year an annual report from School Council should be prepared, providing an overview of School Council accomplishments, student achievement goals and acknowledgement of volunteers and School Council members. This report should be submitted by the end of June to the Board. School Council can also send copies to parents as a newsletter. There are sample annual reports in the School Council Handbook. A helpful related PIC presentation is attached as Appendix E. As well, an example Financial Reporting template is included as Appendix F. School Council Annual Report Checklist: Council members and roles Council meeting dates Council projects and events of past year Fundraising summary of funds raised and where the funds were used Topics that Administration consulted Council on, and/or that Council advised Administration on Thanks and appreciation for the accomplishments of parents, council, volunteers, students and school staff Tool # 10 School Improvement Plan Review the provincial assessment (EQAO) results for your school, and the Principal s annual school improvement plan, and discuss how the school council can support those objectives by improving student achievement and enhancing the school learning environment. School-by-school EQAO results may be viewed at: The SCDSB Board Improvement Plan may be viewed at under About Us. Toolkit Appendices Appendix A: Sample Fundraising Plan Appendix B: School Council Annual School Administration Profile Form Appendix C: School Council Funding $500 (PIC Presentation) Appendix D: Parents Reaching Out Grants (PIC Presentation) Appendix E: School Council Annual Report Development Process (PIC Presentation) Appendix F: Financial Reporting template Information Source: SCDSB Parent Involvement Committee Layout: SCDSB Communications SCDSB School Councils Top 10 Toolkit UPDATED Summer 2013 PAGE 4
5 Appendix A PIC Top 10 Toolkit, SCDSB School Community Annual Fund Raising Plan School: SCDSB Public School Year: Final October 3, 2011 No. Timeline Activity Anticipated Profits Purpose for Which Profits Will be Used School/School Community Liaison 1 September June Fun Lunches $7, Classroom Enhancement and Extracurricular Funding School Council 2 September June Milk $1, Program Enhancement Fund School Council 3 September June Popcorn $ Grade 8 Celebration Funding Principal 4 Fall, Winter, Spring Movie Nights $1, Music Program Funding School Council 5 September Terry Fox $1, Donation to Cancer Society Teacher Representative 6 September Magazine Sales $,1, Program Enhancement Fund Vice Principal 7 October Lifetouch Photos $ Ontario Education Leadership Camp Funding Principal 8 October Lottery $8, Technology Enhancement Fund School Council, Principal, Vice Principal 9 October/November Gatorwear Clothing Sale $ Program Enhancement Fund School Council 10 October & February Restaurant Night Wendy s $ Music Program Funding School Council 11 November BarrieColts Night $1, Program Enhancement Fund Vice Principal $10,000 Primary Skating & Swimming 12 November Community Reinvestment Program - Organizational $20, Fund Grant Town of Innisfil Effectiveness Grant School Council $10,000 Spring Fair Community Events Grant 13 November & June Book Fair $ Library Resource Center Materials Teacher-Librarian Representative 14 December Christmas Cheer Food, Toy and Book Drive Donation of Food, Toys and Books Community Support Teacher Representative 15 December Breakfast with Santa $4, Library Resources Funding Principal, Vice Principal, Librarian, Teacher Representatives 16 January Toonie Toss $2, Program Enhancement Fund Vice Principal, School Council 17 March Dance-a-thon $1, Extracurricular Funding Vice Principal, School Council 18 May Jump Rope For Heart $5, Donation to Heart & Stroke Foundation Teacher Representative 19 June Yearbook Advertising $ Yearbook production/camera Vice Principal $1,750 Program and Technology 20 June Spring Fair $3, Funding Enhancement Fund and School Council, Principal, Vice $1,750 Special Education Resources Principal, Teacher Representatives SUMMARY The anticipated profit from this fundraising plan is $60, for the school year, of which $6,000 will be donated to charity. If any fundraiser generates more than expected the Principal will allocate where the need is greatest. Principal School Council School/Community/Fund Raising Superintendent of Schools Representative
6 Administrative Procedures Memorandum 7510 Page 5 of 7 FORM A7510 2a School Council Annual School Administration Profile School Name School Year Background Information On an annual basis, the school council, assisted by the school principal, shall review the School Administration Profile and complete and/or update all sections. Periodically, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) will consider the transfer and/or appointment of administrative staff. The School Council Annual School Administration Profile will provide input to Senior Administration in regard to the qualities and skill set conducive to a particular school setting. School Council Priorities Each year, the school administration and staff in consultation with the School Council shall work collaboratively to develop a School Improvement Plan which will identify school priorities in each of the four goals of the SCDSB Strategic Plan. 1. Relevant, purposeful learning supporting high achievement, well-being and learning for life 2. Inclusive, equitable and safe learning and working environments 3. Responsible stewardship of resources 4. Confidence in public education School Council Priorities Identify one or more priorities for School Council under each of the goals of the SCDSB Strategic Plan which are in keeping with the School Improvement Plan
7 Administrative Procedures Memorandum 7510 Page 6 of 7 FORM A7510 2b Identify three strengths of the school Identify three leadership qualities and/or skills which are conducive to the school setting Identify three strategies School Council supports for effective home and school communication Identify three strategies School Council supports to maintain a safe learning and working environment
8 Administrative Procedures Memorandum 7510 Page 7 of 7 FORM A7510 2c School Council Statement Provide a summary statement regarding School Council s view of the most effective school administrator(s) for the school. The School Council Annual School Administration Profile has been prepared by School Council and shared with school administration. School Council Chair Principal Date
9 * Where will you spend yours?
10 *Parent engagement policy in Ontario, for each school, provides *
11 *Grow the number of people around your school council table *
12 *money must be spent by the end of June *must have receipts to submit *use of the funds must be documented in the school council minutes *reach out to promote parent involvement *
13 *Communications *Paper stock to print newsletters *Magnets with school information *Monitor screen/closed circuit TV which displays school information and activities *
14 *Learning at home *Information about effective study and homework habits and tips *Transitional kits for JK and high school *Parent skill workshops *Parent library resources *
15 *Events *Guest speakers *Family nights *Creativity Exhibit Fair *Invite a Friend Meeting for school council *Parent Tool Kits *
16 *Confirm your ideas with your principal *Put this item on your next school council agenda *Let the communicating begin! *
17 Parents Reaching Out (Pro) Grants Parent Involvement Committee February 2012 Based on Parent Engagement Office Marjorie Dowdell PIC vice-chair
18 What is a Pro Grant? $$ to encourage parent engagement at all levels local, regional, and provincial To support parents in identifying barriers to parent engagement in their own community Also to find local solutions to involve more parents in support of student achievement and well-being
19 Two Types of Pro Grants School Councils Individual maximum $1,000 Regional / Provincial In Partnership maximum $30,000
20 Who is eligible? School councils can submit only 1 proposal, each year a) individually b) with another school council(s) in the same board c) with other groups in the school or community (i.e. Family of schools)
21 When working with a Partnership The applications can be identical, and the budget will reflect each school council s portion Each school council is eligible for the maximum amount of $1,000 Each school council is responsible for its own application and project budget
22 Project Focus Each grant application should contain information from the following two parts Part 1 Support school based initiative to reach parents who face barriers to becoming involved in their child s education or school a) Communication - could include translation b) Geography reaching parents in a larger or remote area c) Parents new to the System
23 Part 2 The grants should focus on initiatives that are designed to inform or engage parents in support of improved student achievement and well-being Funds are to be spend by the end of the following school year Implementation of the PRO is the responsibility of the school council
24 Applying for a Grant Apply online Information can be saved to allow work on the application at different times Make a copy of the completed application for the school council file and provide a copy to the Director of Education Principal of the school Keep your registration address active for one year for future notifications
25 Tips to Help with the Application Aim at parents not students Keep the application short, brief and concise Focus on what you will do to engage, include, and involve parents Make sure the goal is clear and simple Be sure to have a way to measure how well the project achieves your goal
26 Popular Ideas Character development Environmental education Healthy schools Safe schools Special education Student success Running parent workshops Literacy / numeracy event Ideas on website as to previous approved grants
27 Budget Enter all items and estimate the cost of each Speaker Child care Transportation Refreshments up to 15% of total allocated Translation Photocopying Promotion up to 5% of total allocated
28 Costs /Activities NOT Eligible Activities that have already taken place Payment to staff Purchase of goods & services for which the Ministry provides funding Student focused activities or purchases Computer software, voice messaging systems or website maintenance Capital items such as TVs, sports equip, school signs Bbq s, fun fairs, dinners, celebrations/entertainment Full list on the website
29 Declaration Signed by the school council chair and the principal Once approved, it becomes the contract Mail your declaration to Parent Engagement Office 900 Bay Street 12 th Floor, Mowat Block Toronto, ON M7a 1L2
30 Approval of the Proposal Applicants funded for proposal will be asked to sign a contract before receiving the funding Funds will be paid in two installments 1) A payment of 80% after the contract is signed 2) A payment of 20% after the final report is completed and submitted Check online when year end reports are due.
31 More Information Questions (800) Technical support for help with the online application Get all your answers
32 Last Years Results Over 17,000 Pro grants were funded across Ontario totaling 1.8 million 93% of school council applications submitted were approved highest approval rate ever
33 Become a Success Story Success stories at Don t wait become a success story for your school community! There are many other grants available, do a little investigating to see what you can find
34 ANNUAL REPORT REQUIRED, BUT NOT PAINFUL
35 WHY WRITE IT? Every school council shall annually submit a written report on its activities to the principal of the school and to the board that established the council. The annual report shall include a report on fundraising activities.
36 WHO SEES IT? The principal, on behalf of school council, shall give a copy of the report to every parent of a pupil enrolled in the school by posting the report in a location that is accessible to parents. The report must be available for four years.
37 SO WHAT DO WE SAY? Time to BRAG! Outline the council s goals, activities, and achievements, including any fund-raising activities.
38 CONTENT: FOR STARTS Direct the report to parents and the school community Include an invitation to attend all school council meetings List the names and positions (e.g. council chair, secretary, principal, teaching staff, student) on council
39 CONTENT: NEXT Name and acknowledge the efforts and commitment of outgoing school council members from the previous year List the dates of the previous year s school council meetings, as well as any available information on upcoming meetings
40 CONTENT: WRAP IT UP! Highlight some of the great council achievements for the year! Include a financial statement if the school council held any fundraising events.
41 FINANCIAL STATEMENT Fundraisers! Using a chart, outline the event/activity, expenses, receipts, and net proceeds Then, show where the proceeds went!
42 FINANCIAL STATEMENT Operating Funds! State operating cash on hand at the beginning of the school year Outline incoming money (from board) and expenses End with balance on hand at the end of the school year
43 WHERE TO LOOK School Councils A Guide for Members document available from the Ministry of Education council/council02.pdf They provide content and examples under 10.1 to 10.3