Education is a responsibility shared by the teachers, students, parents, support staff and the community, all of whom have student success as their priority. The School Advisory Council is one example of a partnership that brings together individuals who share an interest in their school and school board.
Schools in Nova Scotia are focused on improved student achievement and improved school performance. A high level of success in our education system can best be achieved through teamwork in which partners have meaningful involvement in decision making.
School Advisory Councils are volunteer organizations that were established in Nova Scotia under the education Act in 1996. The duties of the School Advisory Councils are embedded in the Act and as a legislated body, receive their authority under the Act. The specific roles and responsibilities of the Councils are set out in the Education Act, Sections 20 through 23 inclusive.
School Advisory Councils exist in most schools within the province of Nova Scotia. They were established to provide parents, community members, and where appropriate, students, with a voice that will influence decisions made in schools that impact on student learning. School Advisory Councils bring partners together to provide advice to principals and school boards, in the best interest of the students.
School Advisory Councils are guided by the following principles:
- Education is a shared responsibility
- Students must be the first consideration for all decisions
- People at the local school level have important perspectives to advise on and contribute to decisions that meet the needs of students
- Increasing the quality of education means the continuous improvement of schools
- Change must take into account the unique characteristics of each community
- Partners need to use teamwork skills and strategies to manage change effectively
- Involving the community in improving the school will enhance the learning for all students
SACs vary in size from a minimum of five to a maximum of eighteen representatives.
Members are elected by their representative groups: teachers elect teachers, support staff elects support staff, parents/guardians, and students elect students. Community members are appointed or may be elected, as determined by each school’s Letter of Agreement (LoA).
SACs become meaningfully involved in their school by:
- Participating in the ongoing efforts of the school to continuously improve student achievement and school performance
- Considering the recommendation regarding class size exemptions
- Recommending a school improvement plan to the board
- Contributing to the school’s Annual Report on the school’s effort to improve in student achievement and school performance
- Advising the principal on the school programs and policies, student discipline, fundraising policy and parent-school communication that promote learning in a positive environment
- Advising the school board on the school programs and policies, student discipline, funding and parent-school communication that promote learning in a positive environment
- Participating in selecting the school’s principal in accordance with the Education Act 22(f)
- Participating in the school review process (Regulation 18(2)) as the Study Committee, when a school is placed under review (for possible closure) by its board
- Reviewing and updating the Letter of Agreement (LoA) and by-laws for the SAC, subject to the board and Department of Education approval
- Promoting positive two way communication with all SAC partners, community and staff
TCS School Advisory Council
Stacy Smaldon - Chair/Secretary
Nicole Hynes - Vice-Chair
Jennifer Cooley - Parent
Kerry Dykeman - Parent
Greg Trainor - Parent
Sharon Lorge - Community Member
Rebecca Bowman - Staff
Lisa McCara - Staff
Lloyd Smith - Admin.
Natalie Smaldon - Student
Jaden Williams - Student