Board Meeting Highlights

Board News and Updates

Here you will find highlights of the Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA) Board of Directors Meetings

October 2017

It was a full agenda at the first face-to-face meeting in the new school year for the Board of Directors.

The Board is now also utilizing Skype for "virtual meetings"  as required, in consideration of cost and time efficiencies.

Thank you to Minister Eggen for visiting on Saturday and meeting the Directors new to the Board.

The Minister had a rich discussion with the ASCA Board on many education matters such as Curriculum, Inclusion, the Nutrition Program, School Fees, Gay Straight Alliances and Provincial Achievement Tests. 

The Assistant Deputy Minister, Wendy Boje also attended and talked about the proposed School Act amendments regarding Age of Access, Age of Common Entry, School Fees and Transportation. She thanked ASCA for encouraging feedback from school councils during what were very tight timelines in the September consultations.

While there is no official announcement of what changes might be made to the School Act, the Assistant Deputy Minister affirmed that the voice of parents through school councils is critical when it comes to changing education legislation.

Also on the agenda, was Janice Boiko from Lloyd Sadd Insurance, who presented information on insurance coverage for the organization and officer/director coverage. This is part of ongoing Board development.

The Board reviewed and approved their Results Plan for 2017-2020

The Board accepted the resignation of Executive Director, Jacquie Hansen, who was recently elected to the St. Albert City Council and named Wendy Keiver, ASCA Director of Client Services, to the position of Acting Executive Director. Wendy’s bio is available online and she can be reached at wendyk@albertaschoolcouncils.ca .

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for January 27-28, 2018.

June 2017

Returning and new Board members Shelley Odishaw (Red Deer), Lisa Arlint (Grovedale) and Rick Sakundiak (Sexsmith), participated in orientation providing information on the association, the governance model and role of the Board. The focus of orientation was the dual mandate of ASCA which is one - to provide information to the Minister of Education with the collective voice of parents on school councils and two - to provide development, learning opportunities and share relevant information to school councils in Alberta.

President, Allison Pike updated the board on current Alberta Education information including Bill One; An Act to Reduce School Fees,  the Nutrition program, Playground funding, Curriculum development, Student learning Assessment and the new teacher contract deal. Information regarding these initiatives can be found on the Alberta education website.

Over the past few months, some members of the Board were able to participate in stakeholder engagement opportunities regarding both Curriculum Development and School Fees with the Ministry.

The Board reinstated its committees of Finance, Governance, Awards, Community Engagement and added Legacy as its fifth committee. The Association is almost 90 years old and is planning to celebrate its history and legacy. Committee work will begin in September.

Board meetings have been confirmed for 2017 – 2018 on the following dates:

  • October 21-22, 2017
  • January 27 – 28, 2018
  • March 23 – 24, 2018
  • April 20, 2018

 SAVE THE DATE:  The 2018 Conference and AGM is April 20-22 at the Delta Edmonton South.

The board renewed its commitment to the School Council Engagement Task Force. Invitations to be part of this task force will go out to school council chairs. This is an opportunity to provide input on board selected issues. Information is shared with education stakeholders and the Ministry. Please participate in this piece of providing the collective voice to the Minister of Education.

The new website was launched at the beginning of June, please let us know how you like it!

 

March 2017

Alberta Education Initiatives

ASCA Directors were pleased the Minister of Education announced the new Minister’s Youth Council where 32 junior and senior high school students with diverse interests, identities and backgrounds, will be invited to provide their perspectives to the Minister on educational issues important to them. Students have until May 5 to apply.
Go to https://education.alberta.ca/student-engagement/minister-s-youth-council/ for information.

Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees was introduced in the Legislature on March 2 after the throne speech. $54 million dollars will be dedicated to the reduction of school fees in the 2017-2018 school year. This represents approximately 25% of what parents are currently paying in school fees across Alberta.

If this legislation passes, Alberta’s public, separate and Francophone school boards will not be permitted to charge fees for instructional supplies or materials such as textbooks, workbooks, printing and paper costs. Additionally, transportation for students attending their designated schools who live more than 2.4 km away from their school will no longer have to pay fees. Consultation with stakeholders has begun. For more information about Bill 1, go to https://education.alberta.ca/bill-1-an-act-to-reduce-school-fees/

 

ASCA Conference and Annual General Meeting April 28-30, 2017 at the Delta Edmonton South

This year promises to be another exciting weekend with speakers from the Ministry of Education (with Q&A), Canadian renowned Chief Wilton Littlechild and a plenary on drug awareness with a focus on fentanyl. In addition, 27 breakout sessions are available and networking with parents, trustees and district leaders from across Alberta. Visit http://www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca/?page=Conference for more information and to register for the event.

The ASCA Board of Directors election will take place at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday April 30. Information on running for a position of Director is available in the Nominations Package .

 

ASCA Budget

The Board of Directors approved the ASCA Budget for the 2017-2018 year. The budget will be presented to the membership at the Annual General Meeting and is posted on the website.

 

Executive Director and Board Evaluations

Directors fulfilled their governance duties by conducting an annual Executive Director Evaluation and Board Self-Evaluation.

January 2017

Alberta Education Initiatives
Directors were pleased the Minister of Education announced that Provincial Achievement Tests for grades 6 & 9, will be administered within a “window” of time, rather than on one prescribed day. The hope is that with more time to write, the writing participation rate will increase and more students will have an opportunity to be captured in the data.

The Carbon Levy was implemented in Alberta on January 1, 2017. ASCA Directors are asking school councils to have a conversation with their principals and school leaders about the financial impact of the levy and how it will be absorbed in the school board budget.

Through a letter of support to the Minister of Education, ASCA President, Allison Pike has urged the Minister to implement the draft Professional Standards into Ministerial Orders before the start of the school year in 2017. There are clauses within these draft standard documents that speak directly to school authorities supporting school councils across Alberta.

Amendments to the Public Health Act received royal assent in December which means the ministries of Education and Health have the opportunity to share pertinent information about student health and wellness. This sharing of information will provide school leaders with the ability to better prepare and program for students at risk. ASCA encourages school councils to have a conversation with their principals and school boards about policy changes that may occur due to the passing of this bill.

Directors received a presentation from Alberta Education on the six year Curriculum Redevelopment initiative. A presentation for school council delegates will be available at the annual conference.

Conference and AGM
The Board was provided an update on the Conference and Annual General Meeting scheduled for April 28-30, 2017. This year promises to be an awesome event - with the Minister of Education speaking (with Q&A), Canadian renowned Chief Wilton Littlechild and a presentation on drug awareness and the dangers of Fentanyl. In addition, over 20 breakout sessions will be offered and networking opportunities with other parents on school councils from across Alberta.

Awards of Recognition
“School Council Parent of Distinction”, “School Council Award of Merit” and “Excellence in Learning Partnerships Award” nomination deadlines are February 28. Winners will be recognized at the ASCA Conference. Please visit Awards Information for more details.

School Council Engagement Task Force
Thanks to those who have signed up and participated in the technology survey – it’s great to know what is happening in your schools as it relates to how technology is used. New topic questions will be sent out shortly.