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Executive Director's Report
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Here you will find updates and messages from Jacquie Hansen, the ASCA Executive Director:


Executive Director's Report 


May 2017


We have just come through another successful Conference and Annual General Meeting! On behalf of the Alberta School Councils’ Association, many thanks for your strong parental voice in education!  Almost 300 delegates joined us for learning, networking and fun at the Delta Edmonton South, April 28-30.


As part of the organization’s commitment to the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the ASCA Conference offered the experience of the Blanket Exercise which many participated in for the first time. Delegates told us it was an awakening experience where many learned more about Canadian history than they ever did in school.


We want to thank our partners in education, particularly Charlene Bearhead, for helping us provide an experience that many won’t soon forget.

We encourage school councils to join in the movement of Truth and Reconciliation by acknowledging Treaty lands at your meetings, hosting cultural activities at your school or placing a Treaty flag in your school foyer. More information about First Nations, Metis and Inuit can be found at


At the AGM, we said goodbye to three of our esteemed Board members and welcomed three new Directors. Thank you to Past President, Brad Vonkeman and Directors Tyla Savard and Dena Friars for your service.


Our newly elected ambassadors are Directors Rick Sakundiak (Peace Wapiti), Shelley Odishaw (Red Deer Public) and Lisa Arlint (Peace Wapiti). 


Your provincial Board for the 2017-2018 year are:

·         President, Allison Pike - Lethbridge Public 

·         Vice President, Dawn Miller - St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic

·         Jacquie Surgenor - Elk Island Public

·         Lisa Arlint - Peace Wapiti

·         Laura Andreas - Red Deer Catholic

·         Brandi Rai - Edmonton Public

·         Judy Ducharme - Peace River

·         Alana Sala - Westwind

·         Rick Sakundiak - Peace Wapiti

·         Hollie Tarasewich - Lethbridge

·         Shelley Odishaw - Red Deer Public

·         Lorna Spargo - Fort McMurray Public



Curriculum Development

In May, Alberta Education will launch the next phase of the Curriculum Development. This phase is “Scope and Sequence” and will take a more in-depth look at curriculum across all subject areas in the K-12 system. As with the first phase of this initiative, there will be face to face consultation sessions as well as an online survey for parents and the public to participate in.


Please contact your local consortium to see how you can participate in a face to face session geared towards community consultation and understanding the on-line survey. To find your area consortium go to the Alberta Regional Consortia website at If you are interested in hosting your own face to face session at your school council or in your community, your local consortia can facilitate that planning with you.


School Fees

Bill One: An Act to Reduce School Fees has passed third reading and soon there will be a regulation to accompany the Bill. ASCA will provide links on our website as we learn more about changes to school fees in the 2017-2018 school year.



From the ASCA office to your school councils, we wish you a restful and relaxing summer with your families. 


Remember, we are here to assist you in your school council effectiveness, so please do not hesitate to call. 





780-451-7145 direct





September 2016




A new school year has begun and, just like students and staff around the province, we have started with energy and enthusiasm!


As you may have read in the President’s message, the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) is here to support your efforts in achieving a successful school council year. 


Whether you’re a first time attendee or a seasoned veteran on school council, we can provide you with all you need to enhance your skills and knowledge. Some reminders as you plan out your school year:


Webinar Wednesdays 
Using the online platform of Blackboard Collaborate (from the comfort of your own home), we have scheduled a series of one hour learning sessions held twice on each Wednesday with topics to provide the knowledge you need to have a successful school council. Click here for the schedule.


Progressive Learning Program (PLP)
Workshops! ASCA will come to your community to deliver training. Whether it’s the basics of running a meeting, fundraising or how to navigate school board policies and procedures, click here to find the right workshop for your school council, groups of school councils or school district.


Conference & Annual General Meeting (AGM) SAVE THE DATE April 28 - 30, 2017 Delta Edmonton South.


Issues for Change in Education

  • If your school council has an educational issue (resolution) you would like discussed at a provincial forum please follow the process as outlined here. Resolution forms need to be into the ASCA office by December 12, 2016 for consideration at the April 2017 AGM.
  • Six provincial resolutions (click here) were passed at the 2016 AGM, and sent to the Education Ministry. To read the Education Minister’s response to those resolutions, please click here.
  • ASCA Bylaws and Charter – please click here to read.


As always, the staff is here to help. If you need assistance to understand school council legislation, regulations, workshops or communications, please do not hesitate to call our office for information at 780-454-9867 in Edmonton or toll free 1-800-661-3470.




780-451-7145 direct






February 2016


Happy New Year!


Where does the time go? I have been the Executive Director for three months and continue to be amazed at the awesome engine we call ASCA.


ASCA Conference and AGM
We know there is a direct correlation between parental involvement at school and the learning success of children. That is why it is time to celebrate the work of school councils! To that end, the Association is busy gearing up for the Annual Conference and AGM being held April 22 – 24 at the Delta Edmonton South. This year’s theme is about celebrating school councils and the work that you do contributing to your school community and education at large. We have a great program for you with over 20 learning sessions, opportunities to collaborate and keynote speakers - including a visit from the Minister of Education. We look forward to seeing not only parents on school councils, but trustees and educational partners and guests.


Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy
In early November, Minister Eggen mandated that school boards create safe and caring policy that includes specific provisions for the LGBTQ community. On January 12, he then released a document called The Guidelines for Best Practices:  Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions.  The purpose of the document is to provide assistance to boards as they create their local policy. The guidelines have spurred a number of discussions in school councils across Alberta. As with any board policy development, ASCA encourages meaningful dialogue between school councils,  principals, district leaders and school boards in order to get informed, and provide feedback and advice (as per your legislative role as school councils) about the policy. School Boards have been asked to complete this policy by March 31, 2016, so please ensure you know the engagement process in your school district so that you can participate if you wish.

President Vonkeman posted this message on the ASCA website at


ASCA staff and board members continue to participate at Alberta Education tables regarding ongoing initiatives; inclusive education, high school completion, assessment and more. We’ll keep you informed of developments as they take shape.   


Winter has been kind to us this year and spring is just around the corner! 


See you at the conference!










December 2015  


It has been a whirlwind of activity and learning since joining the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) team on November 5th. The welcome from Board, staff, and so many others, has been truly humbling. Thank you all.


The calendar has been full as I get up to speed on all things ASCA, including my first Board of Directors meeting. Two full meeting days provided opportunity to get to know the Board members and see their passion for education first hand.

ASCA is involved with a number of provincial educational committees covering curriculum development, assessment, inclusion, and First Nations, Metis and Inuit engagement. I’m happy to report that ASCA’s voice is strong and well respected around these committee tables.


Our member services team is busy developing and providing workshops and webinars to school councils across Alberta. Thanks to our “Field Instructors” who assist in delivering the workshops – we know they are well received. I am looking forward to attending some of these sessions and meeting our members.


Save the Date!  Plans are underway for the 2016 Conference and AGM on April 22- 24 at the Delta Edmonton South. A great opportunity to connect and dialogue on education - I look forward to seeing many of you again, and making new connections as well.


Again, a big thanks to the team here for all the support…. Tracy, Wendy, Jolaine, Shauna and Kathy!


It is December and the holidays close at hand - may you find peace, rest and fun, with family and friends. 


Warm regards,  









Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA)
#1200, 9925-109 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2J8

Phone: 780-454-9867 Toll Free: 1-800-661-3470
Fax: 780-455-0167