The School Council

School Councils work to improve student achievement and enhance the accountability of the education system to parents and caregivers. As collaborators in education schools, School Councils recognize that all parents/caregivers have an equitable place in our school’s community, free from racism, classism, and other isms, intentional or unintentional.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

As a volunteer council under the guidance of the Toronto District School Board, we value

  • each and every student;
  • a strong public education system;
  • a partnership of students, schools, family and community;
  • the uniqueness and diversity of our students and our community;
  • the commitment and skills of our staff;
  • equity, innovation, accountability and accessibility; and
  • learning environments that are safe, nurturing, positive and respectful.

OUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Every year new members are elected (or acclaimed) into the three core roles of the Howard Public School Council (HPSC)’s Executive Committee. For the 2020/2021 school year, those are:

  • Co-Chairs – Taralyn Fodor & Jennifer Johal
  • Treasurer – Lesley Brown
  • Secretary – Sima Gandhi

The Executive includes other members as appropriate given the needs of a particular year. This year, those are:

  • Communications – Samantha Rupert
  • Health & Wellness – Andrea Thomas
  • Ward 7 & PIAC Liaison – Alice Romo 
  • Equity Liaison – Midori Miyamoto
  • Member-at-Large – Alfredo Cabeza

OUR OTHER COMMITTEES

The Howard Public School Council’s committees are the heart and soul of the Council and its impact. Volunteers bring their ideas, energy and talents to fill gaps and enhance the school experience for all Howard students (and some teachers too!). From year-to-year, the committees that are active will change based on the availability of volunteers. This year, the committees and their chairs are:

  • Arts – Alex Dean
  • Equity – Midori Miyamoto & Haley Gaber-Kat
  • Outdoor Learning – Kate Van de Ven & Kat Cizek
  • School Yard Revitalisation – Lee Greenberg
  • Sport – Kathy Narraway
  • Technology – Arturo Fuentes

To get involved with one of these committees or to create your own, email howardschoolcouncil@gmail.com.

School Councils are legislated and governed by Regulation 612 of the Education Act. Review the full Council operations document and School Council information and tools on the TDSB website.

Key Guidelines for the 2021-2022 School Year

As we resume the 2021/2022 school year with a hybrid school model of in person and virtual learning, there are some carryover guidelines from last year as it relates to school council operations.  The purpose of the Council operations is to provide clarity for Councils, staff and parents/caregivers on Council operations for the 2021-2022 school year.

– Latha John TDSB

Outlined below are a few Council operation highlights:

Elections

  • Considering the extended return to school protocols the 30-day requirement outlined in O Reg. 612/00, s.4 (4) will start on September 21, 2021. Therefore, Council elections must be held by the last week of October.
  • The principal shall, at least 14 days before the date of the election of parent/caregiver members, on behalf of the School Council, give written notice of the date, time and location of the election to every parent of a student who, on the date the notice is given, is enrolled in the school (O’ Reg. 612/00, s.4(6)
  • School Council elections are held for parent/caregiver representatives (O’ Reg. 612/00, s.3 (1-1) NOT chair, co-chair, treasurer (Council executives) etc. Council By-laws should outline the number of parent/caregiver representatives that will be elected to council (O Reg. 612/00, s.8 (2/1)
  • Virtual parent/caregivers may choose whether they become voting members of School Council on either their existing homeschool or the virtual host school (virtual kids are registered in virtual/host schools).  
  • Elections maybe held virtually or in person (possibly ballot stations set-up outside or in safe spaces of the school) 

Meetings

  • School Council meetings may be held or postponed until October, 2021
  • Councils meetings and committee meetings will remain virtual until further notice
  • Councils may record and post their meetings for the purpose of access to parents/caregivers.  A Notice of Collection must be promoted on all school council meeting communication in advance of the meeting. In school sites where parent/caregivers may feel uncomfortable around recording, the school council may consider seeking consent at each meeting prior to recording.
  • Council are required to have a minimum of 4 meetings per year

ByLaws

  • O’Reg.612/00, s.15 requires that all School Councils have By-laws. To ensure alignment of bylaws to the Regulations and Board policies, the Board has collaborated with the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee and parents/caregivers in revising the Boards ByLaws template. This template will be shared with all schools and Councils for adoption at Council  in November 2021. We recognize that there are Councils who have bylaws, others who have been working diligently to draft them and those who have yet to do so. To honour this variance, Councils will be asked to adopt the template with the mandatory sections approved by the Ministry and the Board.  Councils will have the opportunity to include all non-mandatd sections.

Fundraising (O’Reg. 612/00, s.22)

  • Fundraising maybe convened in November 2021
  • fundraising activities will adhere to all school and public health guidelines
  • For safety reasons, TDSB cannot allow fundraising for HEPA air filters, HVAC related items. The rentals and/or purchase of tents is also not permissible currently.  It is important to note that the TDSB has been working over the summer to review building ventilation and filtration systems and is implementing a number of strategies to improve ventilation in our schools and increase the volume of fresh air to the maximum extent possible. 
  • We continue to follow our practice which prohibits fundraising for anything the government would typically cover. We will be providing additional guidelines to help support schools and School Councils regarding fundraising and school council operations.