School Council

Mission Statement

Our School Council is committed to enriching our children’s educational community and maintaining their enthusiasm as life-long learners. 


Our School Council

An active school council meets every second month (the last Thursday of the month at 7:15 pm) to discuss school programs, school policy, current educational issues and ways to enhance the educational endeavors of the school.  ALL parents are members of the School Council and are encouraged to be part of this advisory board. 


2017/2018 School Council Executive

Chairperson: Angela Wyhman Richter -

Vice Chairperson: Michelle Huston


Kim Willington

Veronica Whitbread


Staff Representative(s):

Tracy Somers-Brown

Tracy Duckett

Christine Graves


Project Information

The School Council organizes a number of activities for students in the school, including monthly hot lunches & special snacks, family dances, family movie nights, and the White Elephant sale.

The School Council also fund raises to ensure that programs are affordable and accessible to ALL students and their families at JS. They run a variety of fundraising activities at different times throughout the year including AD-Mazing coupon books and QSP Magazine sales. School Council also participates in Boston Pizza’s School Fundraising program.  Simply collect receipts when you have dined at BP’s anywhere north of Airdrie and send them to school. A portion of the total goes back to the School Council. It can add up fast!

Watch for details on new and upcoming events happening at EJSMS!


Next Parent Council Meetings 2017/2018:

November 23 @ 7:15pm: Ecole James S. McCormick School

January 25 @ 7:15pm: Ecole James S. McCormick School

April 26 @ 7:15pm: Ecole James S. McCormick School

May 30 @ 7:15pm: Ecole James S. McCormick School


Minutes From Past Meetings:


Ecole James S. McCormick School

School Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Present:   Angela Wymann-Richter    Veronica Whitbread Tracy Duckett      Danielle Gouchie         Christine Graves     Michelle Barefoot Kim Willington     Kelly Lowry, trustee


1.0 The meeting was called to order at 7:20.

2.0 Kim moved acceptance of the agenda.

3.0 The April 26 minutes were adopted as read.

3.1 Business Arising from the Minutes

Kelly talked about the letters she received from parents about funding cuts. They helped her have a better understanding of how cuts affect this school, in particular.

  • Should other departments of the government provide funding for health and safety and/or social services as they are currently provided through education funding? For example, education dollars put EAs in group homes.
  • She used the letters to create data identifying main themes from the parents’ and community concerns.

3.2 An addition was made to the minutes. During the April 26th meeting, a question was asked about whether dropping school fees resulted in the current cuts to education funding. Kelly clarified the school fees are not used for personnel. Veronica moved the minutes adopted as amended.


4.0 Reports

4.1 The current account balance is $8,394.82. Yet to come out are the staff gift cards. Approximately $4300.00 will be left. It was discussed there should be more advertising about what fundraising dollars go to and that the school council initiatives are often fundraisers that support many extras for all students.

4.2 Fundraising for next year:

  • The ADmazing Savings Coupon Books will be more expensive next year, but the school will still make $10.50/book. It will be continued next year.
  • Magazines brought in $500.00, which is not likely worth the amount of work that went into the fundraiser this year. It will not be continued next year.


5.0 New Business

5.1 Tracy reported on the updated class sizes and said the grade three French Immersion classes have 26 students each, but they will have .55 fte of literacy support from a second teacher. She said the FSLW is only being cut by .1 fte due to the additional Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF), which is funding from the government as a result of an agreement with the ATA. The inclusion coach is still going to be cut back to .5 fte, and the administrators’ time is still going to be cut back by .2 fte.

5.2 Outdoor Classroom:

  • The school has a partnership with Correctional Services Canada in Bowden who have a government mandate to support minority languages. Due to the French Immersion aspect of the school, JSM qualifies for the partnership.
  • A 10’ x 12’ shed is being built for the school, as well as a gazebo and picnic tables, birdhouses, and three playhouses. They are also putting up a tipi.
  • Wolf Creek Public Schools is paying for a 6’ chain link fence, but we want an 8’ fence and will have to pay the difference.
  • They will be here to do the work and installation on June 29, July 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • Security cameras were suggested to help avoid vandalism.
  • Kim moved to provide $200.00 for the workbee as snacks. Carried.

5.3 It was suggested bike racks be put on the C den, so Tracy will look into whether we can get some from the Facilities department.

5.4 Christine shared the Mathology kits which have recently been purchased. Sets of books match the kits which are designed to blend numeracy and literacy. The school would like to have the Mathology materials from K to 3. There was some discussion as to whether the remaining school council funds should be spent this year or saved for the fall to support initiatives such as the outdoor classroom and numeracy.  

6.0 Adjournment was at 8:35. There will be no more meetings this school year.


École James S. McCormick School

Thursday, April 26, 2018


School Council is committed to enriching our children’s educational community

and maintaining their enthusiasm as lifelong learners.



Danielle Gouchie, Michelle Barefoot, Brent Buchanan (trustee), Kim Willington,

Veronica Whitbread, Christina Rice, Tracy Duckett, Tracy Somers-Brown


1.0 The meeting was called to order at 7:19.

2.0 Kim moved approval of the agenda.

3.0 Minute

3.1 No corrections were required. Kim moved the minutes from January 25, 2018 be adopted.

3.2 Business Arising from the Minutes

  • There were lots of preschool parents out for the open house, but very few kindergarten parents. It was much earlier in the year this time to coincide with the new online registration launch.

4.0 School Council Reports

4.1 Fundraisers

  • Vesseys Bulbs will be tabled until the next meeting. Veronica asked a draw for 4 prize winners out of the 63 orders.
  • Magazines did not go smoothly this year. The rep was new which may have made it a more difficult process. Just under $500.00 was made, which may not have been worth the time and trouble. Next year’s council is advised to keep this in mind when considering the magazine fundraiser.

4.2 Hot Lunch

  • There will be no hot lunch in May and June. The numbers are up now; people may be more comfortable with the online ordering process. The ability to customize the orders is really appreciated.

4.3 Milk

  • Milk is going well. It is more profitable now. Kim is waiting for one more receipt.

4.4 Treasurer

  • The current treasurer is moving, so a new one will be needed for next year. Angela reported Christina is willing to let her name stand for next year’s election as treasurer.
  • The $100.00 per class had to be provided in the form of gift cards, so staff members made a choice out of three options.
  • It was realized the BFPA teacher, Tracy Somers Brown, was not offered the $100.00 for her preschool classes. Kim made a motion that the council provide $200.00 to share among the four classes. Veronica seconded. Approved.

5.0 School Trustee Update

  • This year’s budget was very difficult to pass.
  • Priority was to minimize cuts to front line staff (teachers and EAs).
  • The extra CIF grant was approved, today, which is approximately $900,000 for Wolf Creek.
  • The Friends of Education Award was given to the Rainbows Program.
  • Brent was asked whether the EAs would be cut as well. He said the board has committed to the same number of EAs as last year before the CIF money allowed a few more to be hired.
  • A member expressed concern about the FSLW being cut and asked if they would be spread too thin across too many schools. She also asked why inclusion has been so promoted in Wolf Creek, and now it is no longer a priority. Brent said the board has talked with the government about funding inclusion fully. Brent suggested parents write letters, so she asked if anyone has created a letter that can be used by parents.
  • Brent was asked who picks the priorities, and he said the board does. She asked what the second priority was, and he said it was a balanced budget.
  • Brent was asked whether the money that went into the building of inclusive services is now somewhat wasted by these current cuts to what was created. He said most of the reserves have been spent, so they can no longer supplement the shortfall from the government’s special needs envelope.
  • Brent was asked whether students will have to be segregated again in this division. He said he believes in inclusion and would fight against a segregated approach. He would like to see a general EA in every room and every child with needs supported.
  • Brent said he would look into a form letter. Angela said there is a school council association that would help with letter writing as well if that’s what the parents want to do.
  • He said the government Health and Municipality departments met with them as well, and they recognize there is a problem, but they have finite dollars too.
  • Brent was asked whether there is now planning or forward thinking about the next budgets, so there is money down the road.

6.0 Principal Report

6.1 2018-19 School Budget

  • It was reported the school would be losing teachers and some class sizes would be increasing. The most significant concerns are with English grade one classes increasing by 5 students/per class instead of remaining at 17, and the French Immersion grades two and three, which will have class sizes of 27 and 26 respectively. There will not be a combined class for 2s and 3s again next year. Instead .5 fte will be assigned to support each grade three class in English for approximately ½ day/week, and the other .2 fte will be assigned to support each grade 2 class for half an hour/day. The school is also hoping to have enough kindergarten registrations before the end of this school year to warrant an additional halftime K teacher.
  • It was reported the inclusion coach time at JSM was cut from the current 1.3 fte to .5 fte, and we don’t know who it will be. Currently, Karen Weidner is the inclusion coach whose role is to oversee programming for students who need any extra supports. The inclusion coach for JSM is now meant to be shared between 3 schools (JSM, LUE, and WCA).
  • It was reported the FSLW time was cut from the current 1.0 fte .6 fte, and we don’t know who it will be. Currently Kim McLean is the Family School Liaison Worker. The FSLW or SSW hired for JSM is meant to be shared between JSM, Crestomere, and Bluffton.
  • It was also reported the administrators’ time is decreasing by .2 fte which means going from 2.0 to 1.8 admin time.
  • The principal expressed concern for decreasing numbers in French Immersion kindergarten. A parent indicated the reduction is due to the half day programming. A few suggestions were put forth to offset this:
    • Ask the board to allow Blackfalds students who will be attending JSM French Immersion to ride the bus from Blackfalds to attend full day English kindergartens, before joining French Immersion in grade one. This might mitigate their loss to the Red Deer French Immersion schools that bus students from Blackfalds.
    • Ask the board to offer a bus that runs within Lacombe at noon, as parents would likely pay for the service.
    • Ask the board to run a noon bus to Blackfalds to drop off and pick up half day French students. The cost of the bus will be less than the cost of several students lost to Red Deer schools.

6.2 2018-19 Calendar

  • The principal said JSM, LUE, and the junior high have all requested May 16 and 21 as in lieu days to extend the May long weekend.

6.3 Trickster Theatre

  • The principal reported another grant proposal was sent to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, because this year’s experience was so well received. The new theme will be Fantastical Cultural Journeys.
  • The council chair suggested financial support from the council could be considered again next year. Another member said parents would probably be willing to pay for tickets now that they know what the theatre experience is like for the children.

7.0 New Business

7.1 School council money needs to be spent before the end of the year, or allocated for a purpose for next year. Teachers will be asked to indicate areas of needs and wants for council money.

Next Meeting: May 24

The meeting was adjourned at 9:13.


Ecole James S. McCormick School

School Council Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 29, 2017


1.0 Call to Order

2.0 Approval of the Agenda

3.0 Minutes:

a. Corrections to the Minutes from October 20, 2017

b. Business Arising from the Minutes   

c. Milk: has been cancelled. Still looking into other suppliers.

d. Approval of the Minutes

4.0 Reports

            4.1 Fundraising

a. Magazines - do not have an update at this time

            4.2 Hot Lunch

a. Numbers are way down. Feedback we are hearing is people are struggling with the Parent Portal.

            4.3 White Elephant Sale

  1. Where should money go?

5.0 New Business

            5.1: Christmas Concerts: Bake Sale, Seat Sale, Best Seats in the House

6.0 Adjournment: Next meeting is January 25, 2018 at 715.



Ecole James S. McCormick School

School Council Meeting Minutes

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Present: Angela Wymann-Richter    Veronica Whitbread Tracy Duckett       Kim Willington

Michelle Huston Tracy Somers-Brown        Christine Graves


1.0 The meeting was called to order at 7:15.

2.0 Kim moved acceptance of the agenda.

3.0 Election of Officers:

3.1 Chair - Angela

3.2 Vice-Chair - Michelle

3.3 Directors - Kim, Veronica

4.0 Reports

4.1 Fundraising

4.1.1 - ADmazing Savings Coupon Book - The 3 sellers need to combine their amounts to determine the total sold, but there were not as many sold as last year.  

4.1.2 - Magazines - The leaflets go home next week.

4.2 Hot Lunch - Sales are down for the first two lunches, but the issues with the new PowerSchool payment process are possibly to blame.

4.3 Milk - There was a conversation about the frustration with the poor service. Milk is not being delivered on occasion and the right amounts of white vs chocolate aren’t always being delivered. Kim moved we discontinue the contract and review options. Michelle seconded. Carried.

4.4 White Elephant Sale - The dates have been selected as December 4-6. They will set up on the morning of the 4th, start selling that afternoon, and take down the afternoon of December 6th.

4.5 Community Building - Angela invited everyone to consider ideas for bringing the community out and getting families together.

5.0 New Business

5.1 School Council Budget - Items considered: Trickster Theatre, $100.00 per class or room, field trip busing, year-end swim, chain-link fence for greenspace, outdoor classroom.

Motion: Kim moved to cover the balance of Trickster Theatre and provide classroom and specialists with $100.00 each. Michelle seconded. Carried.

The budget will continue to be revisited over the year, depending on how fundraising goes.

5.2 Crosswalk Update - It was explained that EAs can work more hours per day this year, so they can help in the crosswalk rather than having volunteers.

5.3 ACE Plan - ACE stands for Action, Collaboration, Evidence. The plan will be posted on the school’s new website and members are asked to look at it before the next meeting. A Google doc will be created so members can provide input or feedback. Tracy explained the government’s accountability pillar survey only reflects the teachers in our school, so another survey will be developed for parents which will provide more relevant data to the school. A Google doc will be created so parents can enter possible survey questions to meet their needs. For example, do you prefer fundraising dollars be spent on science (eg., Telus World of Science),more fine arts, sports, etc.

6.0 The meeting adjourned at 8:35. The next meeting will take place Thursday, November 23 @ 7:15