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S.M. 2013, c. 29
Bill 12, 3rd Session, 40th Legislature
The Community Schools Act
(Assented to December 5, 2013)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
The following definitions apply in this Act.
"community" includes a neighbourhood or other identifiable area. (« quartier »)
"community school" means a school in which the community school philosophy and model have been adopted. (« école communautaire »)
"community schools program" means the Community Schools Program established under section 5. (« Programme des écoles communautaires »)
"coordinator" means the person appointed as the coordinator of the community schools unit. (« coordonnateur »)
"department" means the department of government over which the minister presides. (« ministère »)
"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)
"participating community school" means a school that under section 6 is designated to participate in the community schools program. (« école participante »)
"school" means a public school as defined in The Public Schools Act. (« école »)
This Act recognizes and facilitates the implementation of the community school philosophy and model.
The community school philosophy endorses and promotes the following:
(a) schools are an integral part of the community;
(b) the whole of the community in which the school is located, including its agencies, organizations, businesses and trades, is a resource for the school;
(c) parents are partners in their children's education and are encouraged and offered opportunities to have meaningful involvement in their children's education and the planning process for the school;
(d) the culture of the students and the culture of their community is reflected in the school;
(e) school facilities are community resources and are shared in accordance with the school board's community use policy.
The community school model recognizes that
(a) the health and well-being of students cannot be separated from the health and well-being of their families and communities;
(b) to achieve success in an academic program, students need to have the social, emotional and physical health and well-being to come to school ready to engage in the learning process every day;
(c) the following are examples of what may be required to support students, their families and communities:
(i) health and mental health services,
(ii) nutrition services,
(iii) early childhood education programs,
(iv) before and after school programs,
(v) mentoring and other youth development programs,
(vi) cultural awareness activities,
(vii) parent education and development activities,
(viii) crime prevention and rehabilitation services;
(d) the school is a community-level hub that can be used to deliver the services, programs and activities that students, their families and communities require, before, during and after school and on weekends and holidays; and
(e) parents and community members can play an active part in the planning process for the school and can contribute expertise and resources to assist in meeting the needs of students, families and their communities.
COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PROGRAM
A government program to be known as the "Community Schools Program" is hereby established.
The purpose of the community schools program is to support the capacity of the public school system to enhance the social, emotional and physical health and well-being of students in socio-economically disadvantaged communities so that they may
(a) come to school ready to engage in the learning process every day; and
(b) take full advantage of the educational opportunities available at the school.
On the recommendation of the community schools unit, the minister may designate a school to participate in the community schools program.
The school division or school district in which a participating community school is located must assign an employee of the division or district to act as the community liaison for the school.
Using the community school philosophy and model, and working in conjunction with school administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and community members and organizations, it is the responsibility of the community liaison to
(a) identify the non-academic impediments that prevent students from
(i) coming to school ready to engage in the learning process every day, and
(ii) taking full advantage of the educational opportunities available at the school;
(b) identify services, programs and activities that are complementary or in addition to school programming that will remove, lessen or prevent those impediments;
(c) facilitate and coordinate the delivery of those services, programs and activities through the use of the school as a community-level hub; and
(d) work cooperatively with the community schools unit in identifying best practices that may be adopted in other schools across the province.
COMMUNITY SCHOOLS UNIT
The community schools unit is hereby established.
The unit is part of the department and operates under the direction of the minister.
A coordinator of the unit is to be appointed in accordance with The Civil Service Act.
The community schools unit is to
(a) provide support and assistance to participating community schools;
(b) subject to the eligibility criteria established by regulation, recommend to the minister schools that may be designated as participating community schools;
(c) assist community liaisons in facilitating and coordinating the provincial services and resources that are available to support students, families and schools;
(d) coordinate and maintain a community schools network that
(i) serves as a venue for community schools to share best practices in implementing and further developing the community school philosophy and model, and
(ii) provides information, professional development, training and mentoring for community liaisons, school administrators and other school division and school district staff;
(e) work with other levels of government, residents and community stakeholders on matters related to community schools;
(f) provide advice to government departments on issues and opportunities related to community schools;
(g) establish performance measures for the community schools program; and
(h) perform any other function that the minister may assign.
In providing advice to government departments on issues and opportunities related to community schools, the community schools unit is to consult with the community schools advisory committee.
From money appropriated by or under an Act of the Legislature, the minister may provide funding to a school division or school district with a participating community school if the division or district has
(a) submitted to the coordinator an annual plan that is satisfactory to the minister and that includes proposed initiatives and activities, as well as any other information required by the minister;
(b) submitted to the coordinator an annual progress report that is satisfactory to the minister about the initiatives and activities previously undertaken; and
(c) met any other term and condition established by the minister or prescribed by regulation.
DEPUTY MINISTERS' COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
The deputy ministers' committee on community schools is hereby established.
The committee is responsible for
(a) ensuring that government departments work collaboratively using a cross-departmental approach to address issues relating to community schools;
(b) making recommendations to the government about financial priorities and resource allocations in relation to participating community schools; and
(c) assisting the community schools unit in establishing performance measures for the community schools program.
The members of the committee are
(a) the deputy minister of the department whose minister is responsible for The Public Schools Act, who is the chair;
(b) the deputy ministers of the departments whose ministers are responsible for administering
(i) The Child and Family Services Act,
(ii) The Healthy Child Manitoba Act, and
(iii) The Poverty Reduction Strategy Act; and
(c) any other deputy minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The committee is to meet at the call of the chair.
The community schools advisory committee is hereby established.
The role of the advisory committee is to advise the minister, the deputy ministers' committee and the coordinator about any matter relating to the community schools program and network, including providing assistance in identifying services, programs and activities that may achieve the aims of the community school philosophy and model.
The minister is to appoint at least nine persons to the advisory committee, the majority of whom are to be chosen from a list of persons nominated by the advisory councils of schools that have been designated as participating community schools.
A member is to be appointed for a term not exceeding three years.
After a member's term expires, the member continues to hold office until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.
The minister must designate one member of the advisory committee as chair and another as vice-chair, to act if the chair is absent or unable to act.
In 2014 and in each fourth year after that, the community schools unit must prepare a report on the activities of the community schools program. The report must contain a summary of
(a) the performance of the program with reference to the performance measures established by the unit; and
(b) the consultations carried out by the unit.
The minister must make the report available to the public by posting it on a government website and by any other means the minister considers advisable.
The minister may make regulations
(a) establishing the criteria to be used in determining if a school is eligible to be designated as a community school;
(b) prescribing terms and conditions that apply to community schools funding;
(c) respecting any matter that the minister considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.
Section 196.1 of The Public Schools Act is repealed.
This Act may be referred to as chapter C168 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.