School Councils provide a way for Yukon residents to get involved in the education of children.
School Councils have three to seven members. Members are elected to two-year terms and receive honoraria for attending regular meetings.
Most Yukon schools are run by the Public Schools Branch of Department of Education. École Émilie Tremblay and Académie Parhélie, the French First language schools, are run by a school board, the Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon, (CSFY).
The Department of Education funds School Councils and CSFY.
On this page, you will learn
About school councils
Responsibilities of councils
Tips for school council members
The duties and powers of School Councils are described in sections of the Education Act , primarily Section 113. They include:
For information about a specific School Council, visit the school website listed on our school directory page.
You are eligible to serve on a School Council if you are a Canadian citizen at least 18 years old and:
You cannot serve on a School Council if you work in the school according to Section 151 of the Education Act .
If you wish to run for election to a school council, you must obtain nomination signatures from at least three people who are qualified to vote in the election.
Elections are held every two years, in even-numbered years in the spring.
Visit the Elections Yukon website for more information about School Council elections.
The Minister may appoint a person recommended by a School Council to fill a vacancy, under Section 108 of the Education Act . The same section also allows the Minister to call a by-election to fill the vacancy.
Section 68 of the Education Act provides for guaranteed representation of Yukon First Nations on School Councils. To find out more about these positions, contact your local principal, School Council, First Nation office or the School Council Liaison at the Department of Education.
The School Council Liaison provides support to School Councils including:
School administrators and superintendents also support School Councils.
The Department of Education provides resource materials and offers professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops and training to School Councils.
These associations also support School Councils:
Much of a School Council’s work is described in acts, regulations and policies.
School Councils are legally required to report on the funds they receive from the government. The Education Act sets out how councils can use their funds. Councils conduct banking arrangements, pay their accounts and report on an annual basis how they used the funds.
School Council members may receive honoraria for the meetings they attend. Canada Revenue Agency considers honoraria a taxable benefit. School Council members may choose to donate their honoraria to their schools or School Councils.
When new School Council members are elected, acclaimed or appointed, they need to make an oath or declarations. Secretary-treasurers who are hired by a School Council must swear an oath or make a declaration of non-disclosure (to protect privacy).
New Whitehorse councilors may be invited to come to the Department of Education to swear their oaths. Outside Whitehorse, councilors might prefer to fill in one of these oath forms, take it to a local notary, swear their oath and send the notarized form to our offices.
The Education Act (Section 151) says that a person is no longer qualified and forfeits their seat on a council when they are:
If a member has a financial interest in a matter before the council, the member is required to
Members who break these rules are no longer qualified and forfeit their seat on council. Any person can apply to court to determine if a member is qualified to remain on council. The Education Act describes the process in detail.
When School Council members are legally exercising their powers under the Education Act in a way that is not negligent, Section 194 protects School Council members from legal liability. Negligence normally refers to
To be negligent, harm has to actually occur to a person.
Invest in time to develop good working relationships in your school community. These documents can give you ideas.
Tips to help councils hold effective meetings and keep meaningful records.
Department of Education policies provide guidance for school-based policies. Here are some guides and examples to help councils develop policies.
School Councils have a role in evaluating principals. They also may recommend to the superintendent the dismissal, transfer, discipline or demotion of teachers, principals or other employees in the school.
To learn more, read
The school growth process sets out a school’s priorities for improving the success of its students. School staff, School Councils, parents, Yukon First Nations, Elders and students are involved in planning, determining appropriate actions to achieve goals and monitoring progress.