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ASCA Board Meeting Highlights
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Board News

Here you will find highlights of the Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA) Board of Directors Meetings 



March 2017


Alberta Education Initiatives

ASCA Directors were pleased the Minister of Education announced the new Minister’s Youth Council where 32 junior and senior high school students with diverse interests, identities and backgrounds, will be invited to provide their perspectives to the Minister on educational issues important to them. Students have until May 5 to apply.
Go to  for information.  


Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees was introduced in the Legislature on March 2 after the throne speech. $54 million dollars will be dedicated to the reduction of school fees in the 2017-2018 school year. This represents approximately 25% of what parents are currently paying in school fees across Alberta.


If this legislation passes, Alberta’s public, separate and Francophone school boards will not be permitted to charge fees for instructional supplies or materials such as textbooks, workbooks, printing and paper costs. Additionally,  transportation for students attending their designated schools who live more than 2.4 km away from their school will no longer have to pay fees. Consultation with stakeholders has begun. For more information about Bill 1, go to


ASCA Conference and Annual General Meeting April 28-30, 2017 at the Delta Edmonton South

This year promises to be another exciting weekend with speakers from the Ministry of Education (with Q&A), Canadian renowned Chief Wilton Littlechild and a plenary on drug awareness with a focus on fentanyl. In addition, 27 breakout sessions are available and networking with parents, trustees and district leaders from across Alberta. Visit for more information and to register for the event.


The ASCA Board of Directors election will take place at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday April 30. Information on running for a position of Director is available in the Nominations Package on the website at



ASCA Budget

The Board of Directors approved the ASCA Budget for the 2017-2018 year. The budget will be presented to the membership at the Annual General Meeting and is posted on the website.


Executive Director and Board Evaluations

Directors fulfilled their governance duties by conducting an annual Executive Director Evaluation and Board Self-Evaluation.





January 2017


Alberta Education Initiatives

Directors were pleased the Minister of Education announced that Provincial Achievement Tests for grades 6 & 9, will be administered within a “window” of time, rather than on one prescribed day. The hope is that with more time to write, the writing participation rate will increase and more students will have an opportunity to be captured in the data.


The Carbon Levy was implemented in Alberta on January 1, 2017. ASCA Directors are asking school councils to have a conversation with their principals and school leaders about the financial impact of the levy and how it will be absorbed in the school board budget.


Through a letter of support to the Minister of Education, ASCA President, Allison Pike has urged the Minister to implement the draft Professional Standards into Ministerial Orders before the start of the school year in 2017. There are clauses within these draft standard documents that speak directly to school authorities supporting school councils across Alberta.


Amendments to the Public Health Act received royal assent in December which means the ministries of Education and Health have the opportunity to share pertinent information about student health and wellness. This sharing of information will provide school leaders with the ability to better prepare and program for students at risk. ASCA encourages school councils to have a conversation with their principals and school boards about policy changes that may occur due to the passing of this bill.  


Directors received a presentation from Alberta Education on the six year Curriculum Redevelopment initiative. A presentation for school council delegates will be available at the annual conference.


Conference and AGM

The Board was provided an update on the Conference and Annual General Meeting scheduled for April 28-30, 2017. This year promises to be an awesome event - with the Minister of Education speaking (with Q&A), Canadian renowned Chief Wilton Littlechild and a presentation on drug awareness and the dangers of Fentanyl. In addition, over 20 breakout sessions will be offered and networking opportunities with other parents on school councils from across Alberta. Please visit Conference Information for details.


Awards of Recognition

“School Council Parent of Distinction”, “School Council Award of Merit” and “Excellence in Learning Partnerships Award” nomination deadlines are February 28. Winners will be recognized at the ASCA Conference. Please visit Awards Information  for more details.


School Council Engagement Task Force

Thanks to those who have signed up and participated in the technology survey – it’s great to know what is happening in your schools as it relates to how technology is used. New topic questions will be sent out shortly.





November 2016



Over the next six years, Alberta Education will be developing K-12 curriculum. A provincial survey was launched for public input with a closing date of November 18, 2016. The Minister of Education indicated that approximately 30,000 participated in the survey - many who were parents in the system. ASCA was pro-active to ensure information and sessions about the survey were reaching school councils across the province. ASCA will continue to participate in the curriculum development process and provide feedback to the ministry as required.


Guest, Charlene Bearhead, Education Lead, National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, attended to speak about her work educating Canadians about Canada’s residential school history and Alberta’s Joint Commitment to Action. The Board of Directors passed a motion that Treaty Land acknowledgements be included at all events and meetings of the ASCA. ASCA will continue to participate in dialogue to be part of this historic movement.


Policy Governance Review

As a policy-governance board, and part of ongoing board development, the Board of Directors have begun a review process of their governing policies. The policies on Governance Style, Policy Development Process and Board Role were reviewed.


Strategic Planning

The Board of Directors approved the ASCA Results Plan 2016 – 2019. The four Desired Results statements in this document are:

  1. Stakeholder groups in the public education system seek the Alberta School Councils’ Association’s provincial perspective prior to implementation of new education directions and policy.
  2. School Councils are recognized by education stakeholders and community as essential organizational elements in every school that are knowledgeable, valuable contributors to the public education system through the ASCA.
  3. Alberta school councils know and understand the influence the ASCA exercises on their behalf.
  4. Alberta school councils will promote and encourage knowledge and understanding of First Nation, Metis and Inuit issues in education.

Click here to view the ASCA 2016-2019 Results Plan



The Alberta Rural Education Symposium is March 5 – 7, 2017 at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton. Please click here for more information and registration details.




September 2016


School Council Engagement Task Force

The ASCA Board is pleased to continue the School Council Engagement Task Force (previously the Parent Engagement Task Force). If your school council has signed up to be part of this task force (and it’s not too late), the first series of questions distributed will be on the use of technology in your school and school district. Alberta Education is developing a policy framework on learning with technology and we are hoping to provide feedback to inform their work. We wish you rich discussion around your school council table on this important issue.


  • The Board received a communications tool kit that provides resources for school councils to use in their day to day operations as well as information to assist in conversations with principals, district leaders and elected officials.
  • The NEW School Council Resource Guide has been released.  An updated digital, concise guide (only 20 pages) that replaces the previous School Council Resource Manual (104 pages). It is an A-Z guide on  school councils in Alberta, with over 40 electronic links to documents, templates and tip sheets. Click here to download a copy.

Results Planning Session

The ASCA board took part in a Results Planning session where they identified their Desired Results and Objectives for the Association going forward. The 2016-2019 plan is in draft form and will be approved in its final form at the November meeting. To view the 2015-2018 plan, please click here.


Board Committees

The Board has endorsed the 2016 – 2017 Terms of Reference for the following committees:

  • Internal Finance Committee (lead is Past President,  Brad Vonkeman)
  • Community Engagement Committee (Co-leading are Director, Judy Ducharme and Vice President, Dawn Miller)
  • Awards Committee (lead is Director, Lorna Spargo)
  • Governance Committee (lead is Director, Tyla Savard)

External Committees

The Board was updated on the status of a number of external committees that ASCA sits on provincially including the Alberta School Boards Association - First Nations Metis and Inuit Task Force, Excellence in Teaching Awards, Student Learning Assessment Pilot, High School Completion, Welcoming, Respectful, Caring, Safe Schools Project, Rural Education Symposium and the Nutrition Pilot Program.  




June 2016


This was the first meeting of the new Board of Directors elected in April at the AGM. After being sworn in by Oath of Office and a welcome from the President, Saturday was spent in an orientation session where staff presented information about the Association policies, bylaws, charter and history.  

Board members had opportunity to learn about the Association’s partners in education, Alberta’s political context as it relates to school councils as well as diversities in local context across the province. The meeting provided a good chance to get to know one another, learn perspectives and team build.


Day 2 was the Board meeting beginning at 9am with a full agenda of business. Some highlights are:

  • As part of the conditional grant application to Alberta Education, the board approved the Annual Plan.
  • The Board discussed new ways to extend the reach of ASCA to school councils across the province.
  • The Board approved the following dates for the 2016-2017 Board meetings:
    September 24 - 25, 2016
    November 19 - 20, 2016
    January 14 -15, 2017
    March 11 -12, 2017
    April 28, 2017
  • The Board approved a name change of the Parent Engagement Task Force to the “School Council Engagement Task Force (more details to come in the fall)
  • Updates were provided to the Board on external working committees
  • The Board determined four internal committees would be established for the year 2016-2017 and that the terms of reference for each will be reviewed over the summer by the committees. (Internal Financial Audit Committee, Governance and Bylaw Committee, Community Engagement Committee,  Awards Recognition Committee)
  • The Board received the Financials for monitoring purposes.



March 2016

  • As part of the ASCA Board’s governing roles and responsibilities, a Board Self-evaluation and Executive Director evaluation was conducted on Saturday, March 12.
  • The Draft Budget for year 2016-2017 was approved by the Board.  It is posted on the website with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) materials.
  • The annual Conference and Annual General Meeting  (AGM) will be held Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24. The Board approved the Agenda for the AGM which will begin on Sunday at 9am. Minister Eggen will be joining us at the Conference on Saturday, April 23 at 10:15 am.
  • The Board had the opportunity as one of the Education Partners, to provide input into the development of the new Teacher Quality Standard and the School Leader Standard. These documents are still in draft form and expected to be completed later in the school year through a Ministerial Order.
  • As a provincial education partner, ASCA was invited to participate in the Excellence in Teaching selection committee.  At the end of the school year, Alberta Education will host a gala event to celebrate the recipients of this award.
  • ASCA President Brad Vonkeman met with the Minister of Education to discuss a variety of current Alberta Education initiatives. 
  • Webinars and workshops continue to be delivered for school council participants around the province.  Please see the website  for more information on school council development, Conference/AGM news and current issues in education.



January 2016

  • Dr. Kim Raine and Kayla Atkey of the The Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (APCCP) made a presentation to the Board on the topic of promoting healthy food in Alberta Schools.  APCCP is calling for a “Universal School Food Strategy for Alberta”. Their findings suggest that on a relative scale the more healthy foods are offered in schools, the more students will choose healthy over unhealthy.   Creating a policy promoting healthy food is a first step to a healthy food culture at school. Food for thought! Related links: APCCP Priorities  and   Read the Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth – Alberta
  • An update on the ASCA Conference and Annual General Meeting was provided to the Board. The conference theme of “Celebrating My ASCA” is an event not to be missed April 22-24!  The conference will provide an opportunity for delegates to connect and discuss all things education in Alberta. The Minister of Education will provide remarks with Q&A, over 25 learning sessions will be offered, the resource gallery and of course a gala to celebrate school councils. Register at 
  • ASCA Board members had the opportunity to provide input into the Draft Alberta Education Inclusive Education Policy Framework. This facilitated discussion focused on providing input to six draft policy directions. For more information on inclusive education, go to the Alberta Education website at
  • With school boards being asked by Minister Eggen to prepare Safe and Caring policies respecting those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, ASCA Board members discussed the importance of authentic engagement by school boards with school councils.
    ASCA advocacy policy on engagement - Timely Involvement of School Councils by School Boards, reads School boards should give school council representatives opportunities to provide advice on all matters related to schools at the school board committee level. Furthermore, “school councils should be active participants in district level deliberations relating to district policy development and revisions”.
    ASCA Advocacy Policy Manual  




May 2015

  • Board members took their oath of office and were welcomed to their new term by President Brad Vonkeman.
  • Directors reviewed the draft ASCA Annual Plan to Alberta Education. This plan is filed with Alberta Education annually (prior to July 30th) and contains the targets and goals to be achieved in return for the conditional grant.  A Results Report indicating success on meeting established targets is filed with the department before November 30th annually.
  • The Board of Directors agreed to invite member school council parents to be part of the 2015-2016 ASCA Parent Engagement Task Force.  Two opportunities to join will be available to interested parties – an application and invitation to join will be posted prior to the end of May, and again in September.
  • The Board approved resources to support school councils who wish to continue to build relationships with their individual school boards and their new MLAs.  Information and support documents will be posted on the ASCA website.
  • The following internal board committees were struck: Governance and Bylaw Review, Awards &Recognition, ASCA Legacy, Internal Financial Audit, Political Relations, and Advocacy.  Terms of reference for each committee will be reviewed and endorsed by the board at the September meeting.
  • The entire Board of Directors was able to walk to the Legislature grounds and witness the swearing in of Premier Notley and her cabinet.  Afterwards, the President and Directors met and introduced themselves to the Minister of Education David Eggen.


April 2015

  • The main topic of discussion at this final meeting of the term of office was a strategy to raise awareness and call school council members to action during the run-up to the provincial election.  Draft key messages and other support documents were considered.  The president will announce the “call to action” at the ASCA AGM.


  • Directors reviewed their role and duties at the conference and AGM.



March 2015

  • The Board evaluated the performance of the executive director and their own performance as a board.  The executive director was commended for an outstanding performance review.


  • The Board reviewed a request from the Alberta Coalition for Healthy Schools and Communities (ACHSC), an independent organization whose mandate is under review by their interim board of directors.  After discussion and consideration, the Board passed a motion endorsing the ACHSC’s “consensus statement”, the first step in ACHSC’s quest to revamp their organization.

  • Directors also considered responses from the Parent Engagement Task Force who were asked to consider the issue of school fees.  A draft (new) School Fees Regulation is expected to come into force in the next school year.
  • The Board also heard reports from the lead Director of various internal committees:
    • The Bylaw and Governance Review committee considered several suggested changes to the board’s actions at the ASCA Annual General Meeting of the Association.  As well, draft bylaw changes were discussed.
    • The Awards committee presented the selected winners of ASCA awards – 9 Parent of Distinction awards, and one School Council of Merit award will be presented this year.  The “Friend of ASCA” award was also considered.


January 2015

  • The Board considered the draft 2015-2016 ASCA operating budget, and approved a balanced budget showing revenue and expenditures of just over $800,000.00.  This budget will be presented to the membership at the 2015 Annual General Meeting.
  • Directors reviewed their progress on achieving their self-identified goals for this term. As well, they agreed on a process for the executive director and board self-evaluation for the current term.
  • The Board discussed the Strategic Results update on progress toward achieving the Ends statements of the organization.
  • The draft Education Act regulations were discussed.  It was agreed that the Parent Engagement Task Force would be consulted for their views on the draft School Fees regulation.
  • It was decided that the Board would support four Directors to attend the Rural Education Symposium in Canmore in February.
  • The Board heard a presentation by Marcie Kliparchuk, concerned teacher, regarding WiFi in schools.



The following are some of the highlights from the November 2014 meeting of the Board of Directors:

  • Christine Lee, Secretary Treasurer with Lethbridge School District and former president of the Association of School Business Officials of Alberta provided an in-service on financial literacy. Christine led the Board through an in-depth look at ASCA’s financial audit and quarterly financial statements, and explained the “story” behind the numbers.
  • The Board reviewed its own evaluation goals and reflected on the accomplishment or ongoing work on the goals.
  • The president, vice-president and directors shared the activities in which they have been engaged since the September meeting.
  • The new Parent Engagement Task Force role was discussed, and the Executive Director was asked to bring a draft protocol and process for communicating with the group to the Board for their consideration.
  • The ASCA Annual Results Report to Alberta Education was discussed. In return for the grant from Alberta Education, certain conditions must be met by ASCA.  The preparation of an Annual Plan, describing the goals the Association sets for itself, is followed up by a report on the accomplishment of those goals. The Report will be sent to the department by November 30th.
  • The Board approved the ASCA Strategic Results Report for the period 2014-2017. The document contains the desired results and outcomes the Association would achieve if its Ends Statements were met. The report will be posted on the ASCA website.
  • Board committees met to discuss various initiatives. Committees include Communications & Advocacy, Awards, Internal Financial Audit, the Legacy committee and the Political Relations group (considering how to best support school councils wanting to reach out and speak with trustees and/or MLAs on various education related issues).



The following are some of the highlights from the September 2014 meeting of the Board of Directors:

  • The Board was presented with the draft external financial audit for the Association’s operating year 2013-2014, and after review, approved it.
  • Directors approved the draft Terms of Reference for the ASCA Parent Engagement Task Force, and directed the Executive Director to solicit school council parents interested on serving on this advisory committee.
  • The president, vice-president and directors shared the activities in which they have been engaged over the summer and since school-year start up.
  • Vice President Tasha Schindel will serve as the ASCA representative on the Calgary Regional Consortium, replacing Marilyn Sheptycki, former ASCA president.  The Board publicly acknowledged Marilyn’s commitment and volunteerism to ASCA over the past number of years.  They also acknowledged outgoing ASCA representative to the Learning Network (the regional consortium in northeast Alberta) Glenda Bouvier, thanking her for her continued representation and support of ASCA.
  • The terms of reference for the following internal board committees were approved: Awards, Internal Financial Audit, ASCA Legacy, Advocacy and Communications, Political Relations and Governance and Bylaw Review. 

The following are highlights from the June 2014 meeting of the Board of Directors:

  • Board members took their oath of office and were welcomed to their new term by President Brad Vonkeman.
  • Directors reviewed the draft ASCA Annual Plan to Alberta Education. This plan is filed with Alberta Education annually (prior to July 30th) and contains the targets and goals to be achieved in return for the conditional grant.  A Results Report indicating success on meeting established targets is filed with the department before November 30th annually.
  • The Board of Directors reviewed a request for membership from a private school parent group, and approved them as associate members.
  • Directors, after considering members’ feedback, reviewed and approved the ASCA response to the Task Force for Teaching Excellence Report and Recommendations.
  • The ASCA operating budget for the 2014-2015 year was reviewed and approved.  The total operating revenue anticipated in this budget year is $778,850.00. The Board asked that the full budget be posted on the ASCA website.
  • The following internal board committees were struck: Governance and Bylaw Review, Awards, ASCA Legacy, Internal Financial Audit, Political Relations, Inspiring Education, Advocacy and Communications.  Terms of reference for each committee will be reviewed and endorsed by the board at the September meeting.









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