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School Advisory Council

NEW members Welcome. We are looking for Community and Parent Reps for the 2016-2017 school year.  Our first meeting is Monday October 3rd, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Park View conference room.  Please email pvecprincipal@ssrsb.ca if you have any questions. 

PVEC SAC Information

The SAC ideally consists of 4 parents, 3 students, 3 teachers, 2 support staff and 2 community members.  The principal is a non-voting, non-elected member. Members are elected for a two or three year term.  

SAC meets at least six times per year but generally on a monthly basis. The SAC provides input to principal, staff and school board regarding school policies and programs that affect students and staff.  They communicate with the groups they represent in order to articulate diverse views. They work as a team to represent the best interests of students.



The purpose of this Letter of Agreement between Park View Education Centre School Advisory Council, the South Shore Regional School Board, and the Nova Scotia Minister of Education is to establish an agreement under Section 20(3)(b) of the Education Act and to set out the composition of the School Advisory Council for Park View Education Centre and its responsibilities under Section 22 of the Education Act.

For that purpose the Partners agree as follows:

1.         Definitions and Interpretation

1.1       As used in this Agreement, in any amendment to it and the attached schedules:

(a)        “Act” means the Education Act, S.N.S. 1995-96, c.1, as amended from time to time.

(b)        “Agreement” means this Letter of Agreement and includes all amendments and Schedules to it.

(c)        “By-Law” means a By-Law of the SAC attached as Schedule B.

(d)        “First Council” means the Park View Education Centre School Advisory Council, which existed immediately before this Agreement came into effect.

(e)        “Member” means a member of the SAC.

(f)         “PVEC” means Park View Education Centre.

(g)        “Partner” means the SAC, the School Board or the Nova Scotia Minister of Education and “Partners” means any two or more of them as the context requires.

(h)        “Principal” means the Principal of Park View Education Centre.

(i)         “SAC” means the PVEC School Advisory Council.

(j)         “School Board” means the South Shore Regional School Board.

(k)        “School Community” includes students, parents, guardians, teaching staff, support staff of PVEC and community representatives in the geographical region serving the school.

1.2       Headings are for convenience only.

1.3       The following Schedules are attached to this Agreement and form part of it:

(a)        Schedule A – The Existing School Advisory Council.

(b)        Schedule B – By-Laws of the SAC.

2.         General

2.1       This Agreement is made in compliance with the requirement of section 20(3) of the Act.

2.2       The Partners agree that:

(a)        this Agreement does create or contain legally enforceable obligations and is intended to be binding on the Partners as a contract, and

(b)        in the event of a disagreement or dispute under or about this Agreement their only recourse is discussion and negotiation with a view settling the matter by mutual agreement.

2.3       This Agreement comes into effect when signed by all Partners and continues in effect until terminated by written agreement among the Partners.

2.4       This Agreement will be reviewed annually if requested by any of the parties.

2.5       The Partners may, from time to time, amend this Agreement by written agreement among them provided that:

(a)       A Partner who proposes an amendment shall give 60 days written notice of the proposed amendment to the other Partners together with reasons for the proposed amendment; and

(b)       An amendment shall not come into effect until it has been ratified by and signed by the Partners.

3.         Composition of the SAC

3.1       The First Council shall continue as the School Advisory Council for Park View Education Centre pursuant to Section 20 of the Act.

3.2       The members of the First Council, their qualification under Section 21 of the Act and, subject to section 3.6.

3.3       The membership of the SAC and will consist of 15 individuals who are qualified under Section 21 of the Act and who are elected or appointed as Member in accordance with this Agreement and the By-Laws as follows:

(a)        The Principal of Park View Education Centre is a non-voting/non-elected standing Member of the SAC.

(b)        Four parents,

(c)        Three students,

(d)        Three teachers,

(e)        Two support staff, and

(f)         Two community members.

3.4       Except for the Principal, fifty percent of the Members will be elected annually.

3.5       A Member of the SAC will hold office for a term of two years with the exception only of the First Council, one half of whom shall be chosen by lot to serve a three year term expiring September 1998, subject to Section 3.10.   

3.6       A Member may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

3.7       After serving two consecutive terms a Member must sit out at least one election before again becoming eligible to seek election to the SAC.

3.8       An incumbent Member who seeks election to a second term must be qualified under By-Law 2.2 and follow the election process under By-Law 3.

3.9       If any Member of the First Council becomes ineligible to be a member of the SAC or resigns before the expiry of his or her term of office, an election will be held in the following September or within 6 months of the vacancy, whichever comes first in accordance with By-Law 3 and the successful candidate will serve a full two year term.

3.10     At the meeting of the SAC immediately preceding September 1997 the SAC shall, having regard to the impact of events described in section 3.10 on the members of the First Council, determine how many members of the First Council should serve a three year term in order to implement Section 3.5 and the members of the First Council who shall serve a three year term will be determined by the drawing of lots.

3.11     All other rules and procedures governing the election of Members, the conduct of the meetings and business of the SAC, and the operation of the SAC are set out in the By-Laws.

3.12     The School Board hereby expressly approves the By-Laws pursuant to Section 22(g) the Act.

3.13     An amendment to the By-Laws shall not come into effect until approved by the partners.

4.         School Council Responsibilities and Commitments

4.1       The SAC recognizes the importance of its responsibility to:

(a)        consider all views, concerns and representations relating to PVEC which are within the mandate of the SAC and that are brought to its attention by the School Community, and

(b)        carry out its functions and commitments in a timely and effective way so as to promote and advance the best interests of PVEC and the School Community.

4.2       The SAC will be responsible for:

(a)        providing members of the School Community with an opportunity to have input in the SAC’s decision making process.

(b)        collaborating with school staff in developing a school improvement plan for recommendation to the School Board.

(c)        assisting in and advising on the development of school policies which promote academic excellence and a positive learning environment.

(d)        all aspects of student discipline in accordance with By-Law 11.

(e)        providing advice and support to the Principal and staff and advising the School Board with respect to programs and services that deal with curriculum, student services including student-support services and extra curricular activities, policy development, funding and fund-raising, parent-school communication, communication strategies, and similar matters.

(f)         preparing an annual accountability report in such form and containing such information as the partners determine.  The report will include an account of school improvement activities undertaken during the year, specific results that have been achieved and factors that influenced the results.

(g)       maintaining effective communication within the School Community and among the Partners.

(h)       assisting with the selection of the school vice-principal by providing the principal with a profile of characteristics required for the position.

(i)         preparing, in conjunction with the principal, a list of priorities for the programming/staffing for the next school year.

5.         School Board Commitments

5.1       The School Board is committed to providing the following support to the SAC:

(a)        Acting in good faith to honour the spirit and terms of this Agreement including approving all amendments to the By-Laws unless there is good reason not to do so.

(b)        Provide consultation on school board policies and procedures.

(c)        If advice, recommendations or requests to the School Board are initiated by the SAC, the School Board will consult with the school advisory council with respect to matters assigned to school advisory councils pursuant to the Education Act.

(d)        Providing an orientation session for all new Members and occasional workshops for all Members on special topics.

(e)        Providing a facilitator to assist the SAC as required.

(f)         Giving feedback to the SAC on the annual accountability report.

(g)        Providing an agreed upon mechanism for consultation, particularly concerning policies affecting curriculum and student services.

(h)        Designating the appropriate senior representative who will attend SAC meetings as required and as requested by the SAC.

(i)         Provide PVEC with sufficient funds to operate the SAC.  Any extraordinary expenses must have prior approval by the School Board.

6.         Selection of Principal

6.1       As the SAC and the Principal of Park View Education Centre must have a satisfactory working relationship, the SAC shall participate in the selection of the Principal in accordance with existing School Board policy.

7.         Minister’s Commitments

7.1       The Department of Education and Culture acting for and on behalf of the Minister, will support the PVEC School Advisory Council by

(a)        Acting in good faith to honour the spirit and terms of this Agreement.

(b)       The Minister will review recommendations submitted by the School Advisory Council.

(c)        Providing mediation when there is an unresolved conflict between the SAC and the School Board.

(d)        Communicating effectively and in a timely manner with the School Board and the SAC on all matters affecting or of interest to them.

(e)        Developing and supplying materials to support the SAC including copies of the Act, regulations and all relevant policies and procedures.

(f)         Training regional school advisory council support teams.

(g)        Providing ongoing professional development sessions and conferences.

8.         Acceptance

8.1       The Partners assure each other that they clearly understand this Agreement and that they are committed to implementing it in a spirit of partnership.

If you are in agreement with the contents of this letter, please sign and date all three copies where indicated below, and ensure that each Partner receives a copy signed by all Partners.

Yours truly,

Park View Education Centre School Advisory Council



Confirmed and Agreed to by South Shore Regional School Board

Confirmed and Agreed to by Minister of Education_____________________________       

Schedule B
School Advisory Council for Park View Education Centre

1.         General

1.1       Terms used in these By-Laws have the same meanings as defined in the Letter of Agreement.

1.2       If there is any conflict or inconsistency between these By-Laws and the Letter of Agreement, the Letter of Agreement will prevail.  In case of any conflict or inconsistency between the By-Laws or the Letter of Agreement and the Education Act, the Education Act shall prevail.

2.         Membership and Eligibility

2.1       The SAC shall consist of 15 members.

2.2       Eligibility for membership is governed by Section 21 of the Act.

2.3       A vacancy on the SAC does not impair the authority of the remaining Members to act.

3.         Elections

3.1       Elections of Members will take place in September of each year starting in September 1997 unless an earlier election is held to fill a vacancy.

3.2       One half of the elected Members shall be elected annually.

3.3       All elections will be conducted by secret ballot on a designated election day at PVEC.

3.4       Nominations for elections must be

(a)        made in writing and received by the Principal at least one week prior to date set for the election,

(b)        made by a person who is eligible to vote for the candidate under By-Law 2.2, and

(c)        accepted by the candidate.

3.5       Community Members will be appointed by the SAC.

3.6       The candidate with the majority of the votes shall be declared elected and a run-off vote may be required in order to elect a candidate with a majority of votes.

3.7       If there is a tie vote for any position a second vote shall take place with only the names of the tied candidates on the ballot.

3.8       Teacher representatives on the SAC shall be elected by teachers on the staff of PVEC.

3.9       Support staff representatives on the SAC shall be elected by support staff at PVEC.

3.10     One grade 10 representative and one grade 11 representative will be elected by grade 10 and 11 students.  The grade 12 representative will be the student council president or designate (who must be a grade 12 student).

3.11     Parent representatives on the SAC shall be elected by parents who have children at PVEC and shall not be employed at PVEC.

3.12     If after being elected a Member ceases to meet the eligibility requirements under Section 20 of the Act, his or her position shall be declared vacant.

3.13     If a vacancy occurs on the SAC, the SAC may appoint a person to serve out the term of office of the Member whose position is vacant provided:

(a)        The person appointed to fill the vacancy must be selected from the group represented by the Member whose position is vacant,

(b)        The candidate is the person who received the next largest number of votes for the vacant position in the previous election,

(c)        the unexpired term for which the appointment period is less than one year.

If the unexpired term of the vacancy is a year or more, the vacancy shall be filled by election and the normal election process will apply.

3.14     Elections shall be run by the Principal.

4.         Community Members

4.1       The SAC will develop a list of individuals interested in serving as community representatives on the SAC through personal contacts and by advertising.  Interested individuals may put their names forward to the SAC for consideration.

4.2       The SAC will consider all forwarded names and make the Community Member appointment for the following school year no later than June of each year.

5.         SAC Executive

5.1       The Executive of the SAC shall be the Chairperson/Co-Chairpersons, Vice Chairperson and Secretary who will be elected annually by the SAC from among the Members at its first regular meeting following the elections.

5.2       The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary may serve two consecutive one-year terms in executive positions.

5.3       The Vice Chairperson will represent and perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson.

5.4       The Principal is an ex officio member of the Executive.

6.         Procedure for Decision Making

6.1       The SAC shall only make decisions within the mandate of the SAC as established in the Letter of Agreement and these By-Laws.

6.2       The SAC will make decisions in the following way:

(a)        All decisions will be made by consensus after all relevant, available information has been gathered, distributed to Members and discussed at a regular SAC meeting.

(b)        All reasonable efforts will be made to distribute relevant, available, information to Members at least one week prior to the meeting at which the matter to which it relates will be decided.

(c)        If consensus cannot be reached on a matter to be decided, Member(s) who do not agree with the majority are expected to give reasons for their dissent or to offer alternatives for discussion and the SAC may request any additional information that it believes may be necessary or helpful in evaluating an alternative or alternatives for purposes of making a decision at the next meeting to be held within thirty days.

(d)        If consensus cannot be reached on a topic after the Chair decides in his or her sole discretion that all reasonable efforts to do so have been made the Chair shall direct that the SAC shall decide the matter by vote.

(e)        If a vote is held to decide a matter a quorum must be present and 70% of those present must vote in favour of a motion for it to be passed.

(f)         Where the matter on which a vote is held concerns any advice or recommendation to be given by the SAC, the advice or recommendation of the SAC shall, at the request of the minority or dissidents, include minority or dissenting views which shall be forwarded together with those of the majority to the person or body to whom the advice or recommendation is being given.

(g)        The School Community will be informed of all SAC decisions through an appropriate medium by the SAC Communications Sub Committee.

6.3       A quorum of the SAC is 10 Members.

6.4       The Principal shall have the option to be full participating Member of the SAC.

6.5       The Principal shall give all recommendations, advice and requests of the SAC full and fair consideration and give the SAC timely reasons for any variation or, or refusal to accept, its advice, recommendations or requests.

7.         Duties, Conflict, Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality

7.1       A Member has duty to:

(a)        faithfully, honestly, impartially and to the best of his or her judgement and ability perform his or her duties as a Member of the SAC;

(b)        disclose to the SAC any conflict of interest he or she may have with respect to any matter being dealt with by the SAC or a committee of the SAC and to leave any meeting while the matter which gives rise to the conflict of interest is being dealt with;

(c)        treat and deal with other Members, all members of the School Community, and PVEC’s Partners courteously, with respect and in good faith;

(d)        be accessible and available to receive concerns from the School Community, seek the advice and input of the sector of the School Community which he or she represents, and to be honest and candid in advancing the interests and views of the sector of the School Community which he or she represents;

(e)        advance and promote the interests of the School Community as a whole and the quality of education at PVEC;

(f)         not to hold him or herself out as representing the SAC or to speak on any issue for the SAC unless a position has been agreed to by the SAC and he or she has been authorized to act as spokesperson;

7.2       The SAC recognizes the need to try and resolve any conflicts or personal antagonisms that may arise through discussion at a meeting of the SAC.

7.3       If a conflict or antagonism is not resolve through discussion by the SAC,

(a)        the Chair may refer the matter to the School Board facilitator, and if the facilitator is unable to assist the antagonists and the SAC to resolve the matter,

(b)        the facilitator may request the Department of Education and Culture to try to mediate a resolution of the conflict.

7.4       The Chair may expel from a meeting any Member or observer who is acting in an actively antagonistic or abusive manner and by doing so is disrupting the proceedings of the SAC.

7.5       Without restricting the generality of By-Law 7.1(b), a Member has a conflict of interest if he or she is interested in a contract with PVEC as described in section 47 of the Act except that wherever the phrase “school board” is mentioned in that section it shall be replaced by “PVEC” for purposes of this By-Law.

7.6       Regardless of anything in By-Laws 7.1(b) and 7.5, the Principal and a Member who is a teacher, member of the support staff or a student shall not be considered biased or to be in a conflict of interest solely because he or she is the Principal, a teacher, member of the support staff or student.

7.7       All issues of specific name, student discipline and Principal hiring will be confidential and be dealt with by the SAC at in-camera meetings.

8.         Regular School Advisory Council Meetings

8.1       All meetings of the SAC will be open to the public with the exception of in-camera meetings described in By-Law 7.7.

8.2       Minutes of all meetings except in-camera sessions will be taken by the Secretary and kept at PVEC.

8.3       The SAC will make all reasonable efforts to inform the public of the date, time and place of all SAC meetings and shall make the agenda of all meetings and the minutes of all public meetings available to the public at PVEC.

8.4       The SAC will hold an annual general meeting in June on at least two weeks notice which shall be published in a local newspaper and posted in PVEC.

8.5       The SAC will hold a minimum of six regular meetings a year with the frequency and the length of time between meetings to be decided at the annual general meeting.

8.6       Nothing prevents the SAC from convening meetings in addition to those described in By-Law 8.5.

8.7       The SAC Executive will develop meeting agendas in consultation with the Principal and other members and the agenda will be distributed to all Members prior to the meeting.

8.8       A member of the School Community with a concern or issue within the mandate of the SAC may submit the issue or concern to the SAC in writing at least one week prior to a meeting or bring the matter to the attention of a Member.

8.9       The SAC may in its sole discretion determine whether a matter described in By-Law 8.8 will be put on the agenda of a SAC meeting for discussion and, if so, will notify the individual(s) concerned of the date, time and place that the matter will be considered and invite the individual(s) to meet with the SAC.

8.10     At all public meetings time will be allotted for members of the School Community to address the SAC on issues or concerns directly related to PVEC and the SAC may, in its sole discretion, debate issues or concerns that are raised, decide not to deal with them, or take them under advisement for further study.

8.11     If a matter is taken under advisement under By-Law 8.10 it shall be placed on the agenda of a future meeting and the individual(s) who initiated the issue will be notified of the date, time and place the SAC will deal with the issue.

8.12     The chairperson has at all times a discretion to ask a particular speaker or group to limit their remarks in order that one person or group does not dominate a meeting, and may request that the person or group be rescheduled for a future meeting so as to facilitate better and more complete discussion.

9.         Sub-Committees

9.1       The SAC may establish sub-committees from time to time as it deems appropriate.

9.2       A sub-committee shall be established for the sole purpose of a specific duty.

9.3       A sub-committee shall continue in existence for such term as may be established by the SAC which may also end the term or dissolve a sub-committee at any time.

9.4       The Members may appoint non-SAC members to serve on sub-committees with the exception of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee.

9.5       At least one member of a sub-committee shall also be a Member of the SAC.

9.6       A sub-committee shall elect one of its members as chairperson.

10.       Discipline

10.1     PVEC will promote appropriate behaviour and instil in students a strong sense of responsibility to themselves and society, and discipline policies and procedures at PVEC shall be consistent with this aim.

10.2     Discipline will be implemented according to the Education Act as outlined in Section 123(3), 124(3), 125(1b), School Board policies, the Agreement, the PVEC Code of Behaviour and any other applicable federal and provincial laws.

10.3     The PVEC Code of Behaviour will be distributed to each student and to all parents/guardians of students at the beginning of each school year.  The PVEC Code of Behaviour will outline behavioural expectations, consequences and the review process.
Powers and Functions of the SAC

10.4     The SAC shall establish a Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee under By-Law 10 and this By-Law and the SAC will have overall responsibility for this committee.

10.5     The SAC will:

(a)        develop ways of supporting, encouraging or rewarding behaviours that show responsibility and are appropriate and are consistent with discipline policies,

(b)        provide advice, and assistance to the Principal and Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee on student discipline matters,

(c)        provide advice about the Code of Behaviour and any changes or additions to it,

(d)        provide advice and recommendations to the School Board on its discipline policy after hearing the recommendations and views of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee,

(e)        appoint the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee.

(f)         receive and consider reports from the Principal and Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee.

(g)        include a summary report on discipline in the annual report in the annual accountability report.

(h)        liaise with the School Board and the Department of Education on discipline related matters and policies.
Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee

10.7     The Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee will be comprised of a minimum of three Members.

10.8     No more than one member of the teaching staff may serve on the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee.

10.9     Students are not eligible to be members of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee.

10.10   An alternate Member will be selected for the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee who will serve as a full member when a Member is absent.

10.11   No Member or member of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee shall participate in a disciplinary proceeding if he or she has had direct involvement in the matter which is the subject of that proceeding or has any other conflict of interest related to the proceeding or any of the parties involved in the proceeding.
Powers and Functions of Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee

10.12   The Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee will hear all student suspension reviews in accordance with School Board and provincial policies and guidelines and may confirm or revoke any recommendation of the Principal that a student be suspended for under five school days.

10.13   All discipline proceedings shall be held in-camera and be kept confidential unless the student or parent request a hearing in public.

10.14   Decisions of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee shall be made by majority vote and for that purpose each member has one vote except the Chairperson who shall only vote in the event of a tie.

10.15   The Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee will regularly report a summary of discipline cases at PVEC to the SAC.
Duties of the Principal

10.16   The Principal will promote responsible behaviour, the PVEC Code of Behaviour, implement discipline rules and procedures and assume primary responsibility for all disciplinary matters at PVEC.

10.17   The Principal and the chairperson of the Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub-Committee will give regular reports to the SAC summarizing significant behaviour successes and problems and all disciplinary action that takes place in the school.

10.18   Students and parents/guardians may request a review of discipline decisions according to the Education Act.

10.19   The School will support and help the SAC and Suspension Review and Recommendation Sub Committee in carrying out their duties and exercising their powers including, providing funds, resources and full legal counsel and representation when necessary.

11.       Communication And Information Guidelines

11.1     The SAC will endeavour to use various mediums, such as the school newspaper, the Panther Press, and school notices, to inform the School Community of SAC activities, current issues and meetings.

11.2     Media relations on official SAC matters will be handled by a Member appointed by the SAC who may, after consultation with the Executive, issue appropriate press releases on matters of public interest.

11.3     Members will attend relevant school functions such as Parent/Teacher night, awards and graduation ceremonies where SAC activities can be communicated and parent/community/school concerns can also be addressed.

11.4     The Chairperson or a Member appointed by the SAC for that purpose will be responsible for communicating with the School Board in timely written reports and/or oral presentations when warranted.

11.5     The Chairperson or a Member appointed by the SAC for that purpose shall meet with SAC’s feeder schools on matters which jointly affect the feeder school and PVEC.

11.6     The Annual Accountability Report will be presented annually to the School Board.  Upon acceptance of the School Board the SAC will make it available to the School Community.

12.       Amendments to the Agreement and By-Laws

12.1     Any Member of the SAC may propose an amendment to the Agreement or the By-Laws or the dissolution of the SAC.

12.2     A proposed under By-Law 9.1 shall require a written Notice of Motion to be presented at least two regular meetings of the SAC prior to the Annual General Meeting.

12.3     The Notice of Motion shall be publicized by the SAC.

12.4     The proposal shall be considered at the Annual General Meeting of the SAC.

12.5     Any member of the School Community may address the Annual General Meeting regarding the Notice of Motion during the time allotted by the SAC at the Annual General Meeting for that purpose.

12.6     The proposal may be approved with or without amendment or rejected by consensus of the SAC or, if the Chair decides in his or her sole discretion that consensus cannot be achieved within a reasonable time at the Annual General Meeting, by a two thirds majority vote.

12.7     A quorum for an Annual General Meeting is 10 members of the School Community.