News Release Archive

EDUCATION/CULTURE--School Advisory Council Conference To Open
Nova Scotian educators, students and parents will meet at the
Dartmouth Holiday Inn on Friday and Saturday to share ideas on
how to improve schools, set up school advisory councils and get 
parents and the community more involved in the schools.

The conference, entitled School Advisory Councils: Schools,
Families and Communities Working Together, will enable
participants to share experiences and best practices and look for
ways to open doors to the community.

"Each of our schools is unique. Each one faces many different
challenges and opportunities, but they all share common goals of
being safe, happy and successful," said Education and Culture
Minister Robbie Harrison.

"This conference is an excellent opportunity for parents,
teachers, students and community members to work together in the
best interests of students and for school improvement."

Twelve schools from across Canada, including six from Nova
Scotia, will lead conference discussions by sharing their
experiences. All have stories to tell about improving schools and
getting parents and the community involved in their schools.

Many of the schools have advisory councils in place to maintain
links between school and community. The conference will include
sessions on teamwork and collaboration, solving problems and
managing conflict, tracking results and writing school annual

In Nova Scotia, school councils are responsible for developing
plans with short-and long-term goals to improve schools. 
Promoting academic achievement, increasing extra-curricular
opportunities and advising on student-discipline procedures are
some of the tasks school councils take on.

School councils are relatively new to the province --the first
was set up in June 1996. So far, nearly 250 schools --from
Yarmouth to Amherst to North Sydney --have advisory councils
established or in various stages of organization.

The goal is to have advisory councils in all 470 schools by the
next school year.

Keynote speaker at the conference will be Joyce Epstein,
professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
and director of the Centre on School, Family and Community
Dr. Epstein will discuss how schools, families and communities
can work together to promote student learning. She has written
more than 100 publications on the effects of school, classroom,
family and peer environments on student learning and development.


Contact: Doug Hadley
         Department of Education

NOTE TO EDITORS: Media are invited to the conference and can 
interview Dr. Epstein on Saturday.

ngr                 Nov. 20, 1997                  3:30 p.m.