Minutes are among the most important documents used to conduct business in a transparent and accountable manner. However, taking minutes can be daunting. Minute-takers are often expected to produce minutes out of chaotic and disorganized meetings. Understanding how much is too much, and what format is best in a school council setting will reduce stress and minimize conflict. Explanation of the various types of minutes, the ideal format for school councils, and how to create and use templates efficiently.
Meaningful school council meetings require strong leadership and clear, easy to follow processes for all participants. Having a solid Agenda, some simple Rules of Order and learning how to Direct Discussion will help to ensure the school council meetings are not a waste of anyone’s valuable time. Exploration of some common challenges for school council meetings and introduction of three important solution-oriented tools.
Fundraising Associations (FRAs) are separate, legal entities with distinct rules to follow, responsibilities to comply with and liabilities to consider. Positive, collaborative, mutually respectful relationships with the principal and school council are integral to the success of each and in the best interests of students. Clarity of who has authority for what, is essential. Review of relevant legislation (Societies Act and School Act), “Which Group” identification activities, and case studies.
Chairing a school council meeting can be exciting, confusing or down-right scary! Having confidence with a clear understanding of chair responsibilities and processes will help to keep meetings focused, productive and fun! Overview of the roles of the Chair, agenda preparation, duties of other members, communication, meeting management tools and skills.
Understanding the legislated role of school councils including which topics/areas are open for discussion and which require caution helps to prevent tension and dysfunction within a school council and the school community. Learning how to identify each, how to frame a “personal issue” from a school council perspective and how to broach sensitive topics will assist all school council members. Review of relevant legislation, exploring rights, responsibilities and choices, and advising examples.
Understanding the culture of the local community and basic volunteer psychology will help to identify tools and strategies that can assist the school council in its work. Identification of what school councils can do, and the resources available to assist. Understanding school community culture/barriers and volunteer motivation.