Catholic School Council
Parent involvement is essential in education, and we believe that parents are the primary educators of children. All parents are welcome to participate in Catholic education as active members of a Catholic School Council (CSC).
Monsignor Leo Cleary Catholic Elementary School Council is an advisory body mandated to help look after the well-being of our students. The Council reviews Board Policies and Administrative Procedures in their draft form and provides feedback. They make recommendations to the school Principal and the Board on many topics, including school budget priorities, the school year calendar, extracurricular activities, fundraising, etc. The Catholic School Council also submits an annual report of its activities to the Principal and the Board.
The Catholic School Council is elected in the fall each year. All parents/guardians are welcome to join our meetings in the library. Meetings dates are announced in our monthly newsletters.
Who forms the Catholic School Council (CSC)?
CSCs are composed of:
- Parents, who are elected by other parents of students enrolled at the school
- A teacher, who is elected by other teachers
- A support staff member, who is elected by other support staff
- The parish priest or designate
- The school Principal, who is not entitled to vote
- A student
Catholic School Councils cannot include:
- The election committee
- Parents employed by the school or at the Catholic Education Centre
- Board Trustees
- Supervisory Officers from the Board
What are the elected positions?
Elected positions on Catholic School Council and their responsibilities include:
- Chair/Co-Chair - Promote and advocate for Catholic Education; call Council meetings in co-operation with the Principal; prepare the agenda for meetings in co-operation with the Principal; chair Council meetings
- Vice Chair - Promote and advocate for Catholic Education; fulfill the role of the Chair when he/she is absent
- Recording Secretary - Promote and advocate for Catholic Education; take Council meeting minutes and distribute to Council members; assist the Chair
- Treasurer - Promote and advocate for Catholic Education; oversee the finances of the Council and produce financial statements for meetings as required; comply with the Guidelines for School Generated Funds as approved by the Board; authorize all withdrawals/disbursements from the account as approved by Council motions
- Parent Representative - Promote and advocate for Catholic Education; participate in meetings; act as a link between the Council and the school community
When do nominations occur?
The election is held within the first 30 days of the school year. Interested parents should complete the nomination form in the school newsletter and return it to the school by the end of September.
How does the election work?
An election committee, formed by the Principal, a staff member, and a parent, oversees the election process. The staff member and the parent from the election committee cannot be running for election.
The committee receives nominations for the parent seats, and nomination forms must have two other parent signatures. A list of candidates and their biographies are made available to the community. Voting is conducted by secret ballot.
No individual campaign material may be distributed in the school, and no school resources can be used to support individual candidates.
How many parent seats are available?
The number of parent seats depends on the number of community and school members. The number of available parent seats on the council must be a majority. The election committee estimates the number of community-held seats to determine a majority number of parent seats available.
What is the term of office?
Elected or appointed members of the Catholic School Council hold office from the date elected or appointed to the date of the first meeting after the next year's election.
How often does the Catholic School Council meet?
The first meeting of the Catholic School Council must be held within the first 35 days of the school year after the election. The date is set by the school Principal. A Catholic School Council meets at least four times during the school year.
To hold a meeting, a majority of the current members and the Principal or designate must be present. A majority of the Catholic School Council members present must be parent members.
What is the Code of Ethics for a Catholic School Council member?
A member of the Catholic School Council will:
- Consider the best interests of all students
- Be guided by the school and Board mission statements
- Act within the limits of the roles and responsibilities of a school council, as identified by the school operating guidelines, the Board, and the Ontario Ministry of Education
- Become familiar with school policies and operating practices and act in accordance
- Maintain the highest standards of integrity
- Recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community
- Treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption
- Encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued
- Acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council
- Respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations on the operation of the school council
- Not disclose confidential information
- Limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole
- Use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise
- Promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community
- Declare any conflict of interest
- Not accept any payment or benefit financially through school council involvement
Where can I find additional resources?
If you have any questions regarding our Catholic School Council, you can contact Mrs. Mather, Principal at 905-433-0331. You also visit the Catholic School Councils page on the Board website.