- School Councils
Here you will find the latest news, updates and messages from the ASCA President
President's Message January 2017
As we head into the last half of the school year, I wanted to reach out and share some important items.
I would like to personally invite all of you to attend our Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM). It is April 28-30, 2017 at the Delta Edmonton South. We have some exciting speakers, including the Minister of Education, and a variety of valuable sessions for parents on school council. In addition to the sessions, there are many great opportunities to network with other school councils from across the province. The AGM has a number of resolutions for the membership to debate and vote on, and we will have elections for five board member positions.
I know many of you participated in the Curriculum Development sessions and online survey this fall. ASCA supported many school councils in the consultation process and will continue to do so as the initiative rolls into the next phase: Scope and Sequence, in May and June.
I have had the opportunity to meet regularly with Education Minister Eggen and discuss provincial initiatives such as Student Learning Assessments (SLA’s), Nutrition programs and the Education Act. As well, he met with the entire ASCA Board of Directors in October. We will continue to meet and ensure the parent voice through school councils is heard.
ASCA continues to support school districts and school councils around the province with skill and knowledge development. Please contact the office and set up a workshop booking (at no cost to ASCA members). And don't forget about Webinar Wednesdays -- sessions are offered on Inclusion, Careers, Meeting Management and a variety of other topics. The great part is, you can attend the sessions from the comfort of your home - after the kids are off to school (mornings at 9:30 am) or in bed (evenings at 8:30 pm).
President’s Message September 2016
Dear School Council Members:
Due to the dedication and commitment of people like you - school councils continue to have positive impacts on the learning success of children in public schools.
Resources available on the ASCA website are for everyone in the school community. The website offers conversation starter topics for school council consideration, information about provincial initiatives at Alberta Education, how to participate in the ASCA School Council Engagement Task Force, as well as workshops and materials to create effective school councils.
The majority of school councils in the province are members of ASCA through sponsorship from their school districts. ASCA provides information on K-12 education and engaging school councils in Alberta to all parents, school council executive members, principals, teachers, trustees and superintendents. Support is available through a variety of methods ranging from one-on-one conversations to province-wide webinars, to onsite facilitation and presentations.
As you start planning for the school year, please review our services and resources, and contact us with any questions. We would be happy to come to your school and assist with a workshop!
Welcome back to a new school year - we look forward to hearing from you soon!
President's Message June 24, 2016
It’s hard to believe another school year has come and gone! The Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) has been very busy this year supporting school councils across the province as well as engaging in many conversations at the provincial level with government and education partners.
There is so much happening in the education department and we are paying attention to it all! I have had opportunity to connect with the Minister of Education, David Eggen on a number of initiatives. Most recently I talked to him about plans for Curriculum Redevelopment, the announcement of Joint Commitment to Action (to ensure Alberta teachers are given tools to advance the FNMI history and perspectives in the classroom), the Education Act (delayed by one year), student assessment, the Climate Leadership Plan, the Carbon Levy, as well as new advocacy policies passed by the ASCA membership at this year’s Annual General Meeting.
With the direction of the membership and the Board of Directors, I will continue to connect with the Minister and other education partners to advocate the value of the parent voice through school council.
The fall calendar is already filling up with school council workshop bookings - and we are glad to help! We can support you at your school council, district and board level, so don’t hesitate to contact us. This past year, ASCA delivered more than 190 on-site workshops and 53 instructional webinars (offered each Wednesday – in the morning and evening). We are pleased school councils are enthusiastic for learning more about their important role in the school community.
If your school council wants to contribute input to the ASCA Board of Directors and participate in the School Council Engagement Task Force (formerly known as the Parent Engagement Task Force), details about signing up will be available on the website at the end of August.
Summer is ideal to relax and refresh, and enjoy time with family. Our thoughts are with all of the Fort McMurray families, school councils, school boards, and communities, as they begin to rebuild. I wish you the best throughout the coming months and look forward to connecting again in September.
President's Message May 5, 2016
Dear School Council Members:
It is with some somberness that I write this first President’s message since being elected at the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 24.
The fires of Fort McMurray have severely impacted our friends and neighbours and their school communities. Thankfully, at this time, there are no injuries to report.
Our ASCA Executive Director, Jacquie Hansen, has been in touch with Alberta Education to determine how the community will be supported as they flee homes and set up temporary housing elsewhere. There are many factors to consider for parents and students as they face new circumstances, and schooling is one of those factors.
For those of us not directly involved (and a feeling of helplessness), there are things we can do. At this time, making a donation to a trusted relief agency is best. At the Association, we have made a donation to the Red Cross. All donations made to the Red Cross will be matched dollar for dollar by the province.
If you live in the Edmonton area, you may wish to donate to the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services, located at 10255 – 104th Street. They are looking for volunteers, as well as new items of diapers, baby wipes, toiletries and socks/underwear, and monetary donations.
Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the Fort McMurray school jurisdictions, students, parents, teachers and all staff who have been touched by this devastating event.
It is a time to come together, to help families, and provide support for the long journey of recovery which lies ahead.
President's Message January 2016
Dear Parents and School Council Members:
On November 5, 2015, Honourable David Eggen, Minister of Education, mandated school board authorities to have in place, by March 31, 2016, Safe and Caring Policies and Procedures for all students, including those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.
On January 12, 2016, Minister Eggen sent a letter to school board chairs and education stakeholders to advise them of a resource called Guidelines for Best practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions. School authorities have been advised to “use these guidelines to develop and/or revise policies, regulations and procedures”. The Minister has suggested that the guidelines are recommendations only, and are not mandated to be used in policy development.
The Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) has heard from a number of school councils in Alberta who are concerned with the guideline document and are looking for understanding and clarification on how and what guidelines will be implemented at their schools.
As school boards begin to write or revise this policy, the ASCA Board of Directors is continuing to encourage meaningful, positive, collaborative dialogue between school authorities and school councils to ensure school council feedback is heard. As such, ASCA has developed questions for parents on school councils to assist with engaging their principals, district leaders and school boards, available on our website at http://www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca/?page=MessageChairs.
Under the School Act 16.2(d) Parents are to “… encourage, foster and advance collaborative, positive and respectful relationships with teachers, principals, other school staff and professionals providing supports and services in the school and 16.2(e) to engage in the student’s school community”.
Boards are, under the School Act 60.2(c)” …. subject to the regulations and in co-operation with school councils, provide for parental and community involvement in schools”.
As partners in education and in order to support school council members, ASCA will continue to send the message to school boards and government on the importance of meaningful school council and parental engagement on all educational issues.
President’s Update – October 14, 2015
Executive Director Announcement
Dear School Council Members:
Alberta School Councils' Association is pleased to announce that we have completed the process of hiring a new Executive Director for the Association.
We are happy to announce the appointment of Jacquie Hansen to the position of Executive Director. Jacquie will begin her new role with the Association effective November 5, 2015. As her schedule permits, she may be involved with or attending meetings, prior to this date.
Jacquie comes to us with much experience in the K-12 education system. She has served as a parent member on school councils, a Trustee with Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, and served as both Vice President and President of the the Alberta School Boards Association.
Please join us in this exciting time, as we welcome Jacquie to our team and continue our work to move the voice of parents in education forward!
President’s Update – July 2015
Interim Executive Director Announcement
Dear ASCA School Council Members:
You may have heard about the departure of our Executive Director, Michele Mulder who, after ten and a half years of dedicated service is leaving ASCA to take on the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Michele begins her new role August 4 and we wish her much success.
This is to let you know of the steps the ASCA Board of Directors is taking to secure a new executive director for the Association.
The Board has appointed Wendy Keiver, ASCA Director of Client Services and Tracy Kaley, ASCA Senior Policy Advisor to a shared interim executive director position. These responsibilities will commence August 4th. Wendy will be the main contact person during the interim and can be reached at 780.451.7148 or at email@example.com.
The Board has also retained the services of an external executive search team to assist in finding the right person to administratively lead ASCA moving forward, as we continue to grow and support the role of School Councils in the province. A Selection Committee of the Board has been formed to liaise with the executive search professional throughout the process. The Board very much hopes the successful candidate will be able to join ASCA in November.
This is a transition period for ASCA, but we know the day-to-day business will be capably handled by Tracy, Wendy and the ASCA staff team. We look forward to sharing more news with you as the selection process unfolds and a successful candidate for this important position is named.
President’s Update – June 2015
Dear ASCA School Council Members:
I wanted to let you know about meeting with the Education Minister, Honourable David Eggen and some of his senior staff on June 18th. The Alberta School Councils’ Association attended along with the provincial partner organizations – the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Alberta School Boards Association, College of Alberta School Superintendents and the Association of School Business Officials of Alberta.
For an hour, we were able to discuss and share our individual perspectives on public education, and to demonstrate partners’ commitment to collaborate in moving our education system forward.
I spoke briefly about the opportunity to connect the Minister with school council parents through teleconference calls or other means, and my sense was - he would welcome those opportunities.
It was a very positive meeting, and we look forward to more productive conversations and opportunities to share ideas and perspectives with the Minister in the near future.
Masterful Minutes WEBINAR April 5
07/04/2017 » 08/04/2017
Inclusion Alberta Family Conference
26/04/2017 » 28/04/2017
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Gathering