School Councils and School Boards
Every Yukon school has a School Council or School Board. The Yukon Education Act (1990), Part 7 provides legislation for the organization and operation of these bodies.
These Councils are made up of locally elected and appointed members of the community who have important roles in providing advice and making decisions about some of the operation of schools. The members work with the principal and the people in their community to bring ideas, suggestions, concerns and issues to the table and work to resolve them in a way that is most beneficial to student learning.
The term of office is two years. Sixteen School Councils have some seats that are designated for Guaranteed Representatives. These seats are filled by people appointed by a First Nation who have students attending that school. The total number of seats to be filled per School Council ranges from 5 to 10.
There are three legal requirements of anyone wishing to put their name forward for election or appointment to a School Council, which are to be:
- a Canadian citizen;
- 18 years of age or older;
- a resident in the attendance area of the school for at least 3 months,
a parent of a child attending the school
NOTE: Point #3 does not apply to the Guaranteed Representative members of School Councils.
Some of the duties of School Councils include working with the principal to:
- establish the annual School Plan, including goals and ways of meeting those goals;
- develop and review school policies to ensure they are working well and supporting student learning;
- review student achievement and raise any concerns if there is inadequate progress of students;
- advise the Minister about the school calendar on an annual basis;
- keep students, parents and others in the community informed and to listen to their concerns and suggestions and bring them forward to School Council meetings;
School Councils also serve a very important role in the recruitment of their school principal.
School Councils must always focus on the best interests of students, ensuring that their needs and concerns are raised and considered. Members must also respect a high level of confidentiality in order to protect the rights of students, their families and staff as well.
On Being a School Council Member
The most important question we can ask… “IS IT GOOD FOR KIDS?”
To guide us in our work as School Council members:
There must be a dynamic shared vision for education that reflects student needs and community priorities. We demonstrate our commitment to the shared vision by using it to guide decision making.
We are involved in the development of long and short term plans that are annually revised through a process involving extensive participation, information gathering, research and reflection.
We encourage and support innovative approaches to teaching, learning and the continuous renewal of education.
We celebrate achievements of students and accomplishments of others who contribute to education.
We advocate for children and families and establish and maintain relationships with parents and other mentors to help support students.
We support partnerships with individuals, groups and organizations to promote and expand the educational opportunities for ALL students while continually improving teamwork, problem solving and decision-making skills.
We perform in a fair and responsible manner for ALL students to promote School Council service as a meaningful way to make long term contributions to society.
We need to proactively identify and address issues affecting the education of ALL students.
We need to receive regular reports on student progress and needs based on a variety of assessments to evaluate the quality and equity of the educational program.
We need to evaluate our own performance in carrying out our responsibilities as a Council.
Adapted with permission by the Association of Yukon School Councils, Boards & Committees (AYSCBC) from 'Board Standards - A Framework for Alaska School Boards' by the Association of Alaska School Boards
Parents are encouraged to attend School Council meetings, they provide an opportunity to learn more about what is happening at the school and to raise questions and ideas they may have.
The Yukon Francophone School Board/Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon (CSFY) is the only Yukon School Board. CSFY offers education services to increase the personal growth and cultural identity of Yukon francophone learners. They operate École Emilie- Tremblay in Whitehorse, a Kindergarten to Grade 12 school, with French as the language of instruction. The Board has considerably more authority and responsibility than a School Council. They have the additional responsibilities of staffing and overseeing the operation and maintenance of their school.
More information is available at: http://commissionscolaire.csfy.ca/fr.