Looking for topics of interest to start a conversation in your school community?
This section provides information, links and questions to consider for discussion purposes, on issues
or items of interest in provincial education.
Alberta Education Curriculum Development and the "Future Ready" initiative (announced on October 18, 2016).
The 2015-2016 Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) results released on October 7, 2016
This is a great topic for discussion to include on your upcoming school council agenda.
Once your principal has the opportunity to review results for Grade 6 and/or 9 in your school, he/she can engage with parents on your school council and school community in a discussion on student achievement in your school and how this looks in the provincial picture.
Possible improvement strategies generated at the school council level in consultation and collaboration with the principal will assist in developing shared knowledge between parents, classroom teachers and school administrators that will benefit the students in your school.
District-wide PAT results discussions may also be beneficial on your Council of School Councils (COSCs) or jurisdictional umbrella group agenda.
You can find the province-wide Provincial Achievement Test results at https://education.alberta.ca/admin/testing/achievement-results/
Diploma Exam results are available at https://education.alberta.ca/diploma-exam-administration/diploma-results/
If you would like more information about the programs of study at the Division I (Grades 1-3), II (Grades 4-6) or III (Grades 7-9) levels, visit https://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mychildslearning/index.html .
As Chair, you may want to share these links with parents in your school community so everyone has access to the same information before the discussion of results occurs at the school council meeting.
If parents wish to have in-depth conversations about their individual child’s results on the PAT, they are encouraged to talk one-on-one with their child’s classroom teacher about teaching strategies the teacher is able to use that can enhance the learning successes of that child.
Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) advocacy policy positions support conversations both school-wide through school council and parent-teacher-student, where the focus is on a student’s learning moving forward. More ASCA policy statements on these topic areas are available in the ASCA Advocacy Policy Manual at http://www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca/?Policy .
Learning and Technology Policy Framework
The Learning and Technology Policy Framework (2013) describes Alberta Education's vision for the role of technology in education and establishes a set of Policy Directions for school authorities.
A great topic for discussion to include on your upcoming school council agenda, click here to download information and discussion questions.
School Councils, Knowledgeable Advising and Thoughtful Advocacy
School Councils can advise on K-12 education and learning successes of kids at the local and provincial levels of the system.
1. Local Advising on district policy(ies)
School Council is a great opportunity for parents to engage in discussions with Principals, Trustees, school staff and each other about knowing what protocols, processes and policies are in place to keep children comfortable and safe when they are at school.
Policies related to keeping children safe as learners could range from Field Trip policies through to Sexual Orientation and Gender policies.
The policies a Board refers to and requires its staff to comply with will all be accessible through the district website, usually linked to a tab for the information about the Board of Trustees and their work.
Generally speaking, districts have regularly scheduled policy review dates in place.
If any of your district or school policies are being reviewed your school council may request to provide input to the policy or input on the proposed revisions, or often, school councils or Councils of School Councils (CoSC’s) will be approached by their districts and invited to provide input to policies up for review or on proposed policy revisions.
As a school council executive you may choose to:
- have the item on a meeting agenda and after input and discussion from parents, work together to submit a single response or;
- act as the communication conduit between the parents in the school community and the district by inviting parents to submit their individual feedback to your council and your council can forward responses as received to the district;
- make parents in your school community aware of the opportunity to provide input and let them submit on their own if they wish;
- co-ordinate an all school community night with trustees from your school board to discuss the issue.
2. Provincial Advising ASCA on provincial initiatives
ASCA seeks and strongly supports opportunities to connect parents through school councils directly to Alberta Education invitations for input. ASCA may do this by providing:
- links to surveys hosted by Alberta Education;
- topic specific informational webinars hosted by ASCA eg Competency Indicators in Curriculum. Archived webinars are also housed on the site if you wish to listen to them at a later date;
- invitations to school councils to share their thoughts on specific initiative implementation in their districts.
Available Input opportunities will be communicated to school council through
- the regularly distributed enews which goes to all school council chairs for whom we have a current email address as well as to all schools
- the webinar calendar through the website
Please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate you wish to be added to our email list.
In addition to providing local level and district support and information for school councils, The Alberta School Councils’ Association is invited to work closely at the provincial level to provide advice to Alberta Education on numerous K-12 education projects and initiatives. ASCA advice is based on member advocacy positions that are communicated to the Board of Directors annually at the provincial Annual General Meeting, as well as through the province-wide School Council Engagement Task Force.
To find information on what ASCA is saying at the provincial level visit www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca/Advocacy
Here your council can find annual advocacy updates on representation ASCA has provided on behalf of its member school councils as well as the Advocacy Policy Manual of the ASCA.
If your school council is an ASCA member and you need to develop an advocacy policy position on an issue, your school council is able to adopt the ASCA position if it is appropriate to your circumstance.
To access information about the K-12 education system visit www.education.alberta.ca or connect to Alberta Education through our website