School Councils are an advisory group, made up mostly of parents, who work with the school Principal. At regular meetings they may discuss a variety of issues ranging from the school's discipline policy to upcoming special events or seasonal activities. Generally, the School Council is not involved in fundraising, although in practice it is often the same active parents who co-ordinate fundraising activities, just under a different name, i.e. School X Parent Association.
Some school jurisdictions have a district wide "Council of School Councils", although Edmonton Public does not. I think our district would benefit if it provided some kind of mechanism for school councils to interact and share their ideas, concerns, and experiences.
There is a provincial association of school councils( click here to visit their website) and they've just recently released a discussion paper on the future of school councils that is worth reading.
New Trustees would be wise to contact the school council chairs in their respective wards with an open invitation to visit with them for a discussion of education issues at both the school and district level. Once these relationships are established, they become an useful ongoing channel for communication and assistance in dealing with the various issues that emerge.