School Council Conversation Starters
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.
Great topics for discussion to include on your upcoming school council agenda.
Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) Results
Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) Results for 2016 - 2017 were released on October 17, 2017
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.
School Fees and Transportation
Alberta Education held consultations throughout September about potential amendments to the School Act. Two of the topics that were addressed during these consultations were School Fees and Transportation.
ASCA appreciated that the Minister of Education asked each School Board to invite one parent representative from an ASCA member school council to participate in the consultations. This left many ASCA member school council parents unable to participate or contribute.
If Bill 1 and Student Transportation are on your school council agendas please feel free to use the following as conversation starter questions with your school community parents.
Bill 1 Agenda Topic October 2017
The Ministry is engaged in a number of initiatives related to the learning successes of students in K-12.
As a school council you may wish to share some of the following links about the initiatives with parents in your school community.
Click here to access information links on the following initiatives:
Education for Reconciliation
High School Completion Strategic Framework
Regional Collaborative Service Delivery
K-12 Funding Manual
As parents and recognized partners in the education of children, access to common and shared information is beneficial in discussions about student learning at school council or COSC meetings.
Knowledgeable Advising and Thoughtful Advocacy
Alberta Education Curriculum Development and the "Future Ready" initiative (announced on October 18, 2016). Click here to access detailed information on this important topic.
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. Guiding Questions for School Council Discussion