Tips for School Councils: Get the Word Out

Tips for School Councils: Get the Word Out
Posted on 02/06/2024

The Ministry of Education has created 25 helpful tips for School Councils on involving parents in the school. This month, we’re sharing tips #17-21, which focus on communication.

Get the word out

Communication is essential to building parent involvement. What parents know and perceive about the school depends on what they see, hear and read. These tips will help you use a variety of communications tools to keep parents informed and engaged in the life of the school.

Tip 17: Create a bulletin board

Bulletin boards are often placed in highly visible locations within the school. They can announce school events and important dates. Bulletin boards are most effective when they are well-maintained and up to date. A member of School Council can volunteer to ensure that bulletin board items are refreshed regularly.

Items might include:

  • a meeting schedule for the year
  • notices of upcoming meetings including an agenda
  • minutes of past meetings
  • information about how to contact School Council members
  • tips or frequently asked questions for parents on a variety of topics

Tip 18: Have a school newsletter and website

Newsletters and school websites can include information about important School Council decisions, and to keep parents informed about school council meetings and activities. Ask your principal about possibilities. Here are a few suggestions:

  • consider creating a school council newsletter which is sent home on a periodic basis, such as fall, winter and spring
  • request that school council activities and announcements are included in the school newsletter
  • consider requesting that an article by a council member be included in each issue of the school newsletter to maintain consistent visibility
  • make the newsletter and other information about school council available on the school website, and update that information regularly

Tip 19: Create a school council display

You can enhance the visibility of school council considerably by creating a special school council display in a prominent, high-traffic public area of the school, or on the school website. Similarly, consider mounting a school council display at school events and information nights or virtual events. You might like to include a school council email or sign-up sheet in your display that will enable parents to volunteer for council activities and provide contact information.

Tip 20: Keep a parent contact list

Take every available opportunity to collect parent contact information for use in sending information updates and reminders, keeping in mind appropriate freedom of information and school board protocols (ask your school principal for information). Contact information may include telephone, text, email, or mailing address.

Note: The OCDSB cannot provide School Councils with parent/guardian contact information, but Councils may collect information from parents/guardians through a Google Form hosted on the official OCDSB School Council Google Account. Councils can also speak with their school administration about sharing information through the Principal’s newsletters.

Tip 21: Use a direct contact program

One to three times per year, consider using your contact list to reach parents directly with a good news item or update. This will help ensure that all parents consistently and reliably receive information, understand the role and activities of school council and have ongoing opportunities to become involved.


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