Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Parent Council News

Message from Parent Council Co-Chairs

This week, Shelley Laskin, our School Trustee, issued a reminder regarding expectations of School Councils from the TDSB.  We've summarized that reminder notice below, and also provided a description of what our Parent Council actually does to meet these requirements:

A Reminder on School Councils (from O. Reg.612/00)

A friendly reminder of the expectations of School Councils…

Roles and Responsibilities of Council Members
School councils have been created to enhance students’ learning through the cooperative efforts of parents, students, staff members and others in the community. Your school council is an advisory body of volunteers who work together to provide ideas and opinions to help the principal and sometimes the school district, make the school a better place for learning. Accepting the role of school council member carries with it certain responsibilities. Each school council will define the roles and responsibilities of its members in its Constitution and By-Laws.

Brown School’s Parent Council works to facilitate communication between the Office and parents, by funding and running the website, the Bulletin, as well as regularly assisting with more adhoc requests for information. Parent Council also raises money through a combination of events and initiatives which have a secondary benefit of increasing parent engagement and community awareness. Our fundraising strategy, developed in tandem with the priorities identified by the school administration, is centered around 3 buckets:  classroom enrichment, technology, and extracurricular activities such as sports.

Recruiting Council Members
Effective school councils are continually seeking responsible volunteers. As part of this process, the school council chair/co-chairs and principal are on the lookout for qualified people from the school community to take on new responsibilities.

Brown has a volunteer coordinator, a class representative coordinator, a kindergarten representative, as well as our two Co-Chairs, all of whom work to recruit and retain volunteers. As well, all committee chairs recruit their own network of volunteers as well as seeking support from the above representatives to recruit new volunteers to assist on particular initiatives and projects.  Our focus in the month of May is to ensure that every family contributes in some way to Garden Fete, our main community event of the year and one which our children anticipate with delight all year.

Elections and Term of Office
A one-year term is stipulated and the election must be held within the first 30 days of the start of the school year. The regulation does not restrict the number of times that a member can be re-elected or reappointed to school council. The first meeting of the new council must occur within 35 days of the election. Parents must be given 14 days’ notice of the election date.

Brown’s practice has been to ask Co-Chairs and Committee Chairs to commit to a 2-year term; however, from time to time such commitments may be shorter depending on the individual volunteer’s needs or circumstances.  Many roles that were held from 2012 until now are up for re-election this fall at our Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in the third week of September. If you would like to learn more about the openings, please contact one of the Co-Chairs at or

Annual Reports
At the end of its term, the school council must prepare and submit a written report to the school (usually presented at the June School Council) and to the board outlining the following information:

  • The council’s goals for the previous school year
  • Activities and achievements
  • Fundraising activities
  • List of council members and positions held
  • Dates of previous school year’s council meetings

Brown has traditionally presented this report at the AGM in September. However, some of this data has been presented at each meeting, and we intend to provide much of this information before the end of the school year.  Parent Council will meet with the Principals this month in order to set fundraising priorities for the 2014-2015 school year.

The School Council Financial Report, supported by bank records, must be submitted to Board Office by August 31st as required by the Public Sector Accounting Board.

Please Note – According to O. Reg. 612/00, elections must take place at the same time each year – within the first 30 days of each new school year. Since September is a busy time of the year for parents and educators, school councils may want to prepare an election plan in June for execution in September.

Our Parent Council Treasurer, in conjunction with the Co-Chairs and the Principals, files this report according to the required timelines.

GARDEN FETE: MAY 24 between 11 am - 3 pm
With less than two weeks to go, Garden Fete is promising to be quite an exciting event. The Organizing Committee is proud to announce a lot of new cool things do to this year. In addition to the new games and "rides", we are also welcoming new partners to the event.

Here is the summary of what is new at Garden Fete 2014:

Climbing Wall
This year our children will have the opportunity to climb a 24' high wall. Located beside the inflatables, this activity will certainly be the highlight of Garden Fete 2014.

Carnival Games
In 2013, Brown has welcomed a lot of new students, especially in the kindergarten classes. We improved the Carnival Games by adding new games particularly oriented for our little ones. They will love them!

Sport Zone
For the first time, Sport Zone will offer Tennis. Our new partner, TAC Sports ( is joining us with their team of experts to teach our kids the basics of tennis and soccer. They will provide all the necessary gear (rackets and balls). You just have to show up, learn new techniques and take part in their drills to earn ticket prizes!

Market Place
Our special Brown Boutique will offer new water bottles for the upcoming months of warm weather as well as brand new Brown T-shirts.

Pan Am 2015 Games
We are welcoming the Pan Am games organizers this year! It is such an honour for Brown to have been selected in their busy schedule. Make sure you stop by their booth to learn about the games as well as have fun while playing. Ticket prizes will be awarded there.

Loot Bags
The parents requested and they are back! Have you brought your gently used toys to the office already? If not, please do so. We need lots of toys to sell, the more the merrier!

Raffle Table
This table is for parents looking for a great opportunity to acquire summer
camp vouchers. We will offer vouchers for the following camps:

Unicorn - 1 week of summer camp
Avenue Road Art school  - $100 voucher towards summer camp or regular school
TAC Sports - 1 week of tennis camp at any location offered
TAC Sports - 1 week of soccer camp at any location offered
TAC Sports - 1 week of soccer camp at any location offered
TAC Sports - 1 week of soccer camp at any location offered
Champion Taekwondo Centre - 1 week of Taekwondo summer camp

Dipping Dots
In addition to all delicious treats from Our Garden Fete cafe, snow cone and candy
floss, this year we are offering the favourite Dipping Dots to cool down the
heat! It will come in two different flavours: rainbow or cookies & cream.

Face Painting
Another partner is joining us. Centre of Gravity Circus School
( will kindly execute cool design on our children's
face! Don't miss it.

Main Stage
Oh, our little talents are always surprising us and making us feel so proud
of their accomplishments! This year, during Garden Fete, they will show us how
talented they, dance, gymnastics and much more. Also, in the main stage we will have a special Tae Kwon Do performance executed by the Champion Taekwondo Centre students (  You have to watch them to believe what our kids can do!

Unicorn Table
Our favourite day care, has planned a day of fun during Garden Fete. Their
activities are:
11:00 am - shaving cream sculptures
12:00 pm - Brazilian Straw structures
1:00 pm - Tissue Mummy Wrap
2:00 pm - Sandtastick hands on Sensory
11:00 am - 2:30 pm - Medieval Castle Dress-up Centre: Great photo ops of your
child so bring your camera.

Avenue Road Art School table
Go Team Go!
Please join the Avenue Road Arts School to celebrate the 2014 World Cup!
Come by our table at Garden Fete to show your support to your favourite
soccer team. Use materials such as markers, oil pastel, tempera paint and
more to create a festive flag.

We are still looking for prizes and donations! Cash, gift cards or toys are welcome! Our kids love them, so please contribute.

As I mentioned before, it will be an exciting day. Have you signed up already? Without volunteers we can't run the stations... We are counting on you! One hour of your time means hundreds of kids playing together.

Also, don't forget that this year we are celebrating the World Cup in Brazil! Please have your children wearing their favourite team jerseys and make Garden Fete even more fun.