You can get involved in your child’s education in many ways, including through the school council at your child’s school and the school board parent involvement committee (PIC).

Both PICs and school councils, encourage parent involvement in support of student achievement, equity and well-being.

All schools in Ontario are have a school council. They are important advisory bodies to the schools and school board. The purpose of a school council is, through the active participation of parents, to improve student achievement and increase accountability of the education system to parents.

As a school council member, you can help your council learn about ways to contribute to the education of students in your school. Education is a partnership involving parents, students, teachers, principals, school boards, government, and the community. Through your involvement in the council, you are part of a team working to support a high-quality education system for the children of Ontario. Your participation can make a difference.

Frequency of meetings

School councils meet at least four times a year, and everyone is invited to attend meetings and find out how school councils work.

How to join

To find out more about how to join, or when meetings are held, check your school website or contact your school.


School councils are led by parents, and most of their members are parents. Any parent of a child enrolled in the school can stand for election at the beginning of each new school year.

The principal, staff representatives, one or more community representatives, and in some cases, students are also members of the council.


Elections of parent members on school councils are held within the first 30 days of each school year on a date that is confirmed by the chair or co-chairs of the school council in consultation with the principal. Elections can be held in person, by electronic means, by telephone, or by a combination of such means in order to ensure accessibility and equity in electing parent members.

Tips for running effective committees

Running meetings

Use these tips to help ensure effective school council meetings:

  • Plan in advance by selecting meeting dates for the entire school year.
  • Find a meeting location that is central for all attendees or consider alternative ways for members to participate, for example by videoconference or teleconference.
  • Create an agenda for each meeting and circulate it to members in advance.
  • Record minutes and maintain financial records.
  • Inform all participants of any operational procedures at the beginning of the first meeting of the year.
  • Facilitate meetings so that all members are given the opportunity to participate.

Best practices

Effective school councils are those that:

  • prioritize student achievement, equity and well-being
  • focus on the needs and interests of all students in the school
  • are composed of members who represent the diversity of the board
  • promote effective, ongoing communication among all partners in education
  • establish a positive relationship with the school principal and staff
  • provide feedback to parents by letting them know how their advice and ideas have been considered
  • have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities
  • have a clear and consistent process for decision making and conflict resolution
  • maintain high ethical standards