Excellence in education through exceptional school board governance

Community engagement

Encouraging public involvement in public education

Enhancing school boards’ connections with their local communities is a strategic focus for the ASBA. “The lack of public involvement in publicly funded education is a threat to the health and welfare of an education system governed by locally elected school boards who represent their communities,” said former ASBA President Heather Welwood.  These resources and research will support your school board’s community engagement efforts.  Contact us.

Guide to community engagement: Budget 2015/16

These templates will help you plan and host a community engagement event focused on your school board’s 2015/16 budget. If you have any questions about these materials please contact us.


Public engagement plan (PDF–96K)

Site lay-out plan (DOC–48K)

Email to school principals (DOC–47K)

Invitation email/letter (DOC–23K)

Website and school newsletter email/letter (DOC–28K)

Invitation reminder email/letter (DOC–24K)

Confirmation email/letter (DOC–24K)

Agenda for the evening  (DOC–26K)

Instructions: Small group facilitators (DOC–37K)

Script: Main facilitator (DOC–34K)

Opening and closing remarks (DOC–29K)
PowerPoint presentation with speaking notes (PPT–554K) (Available after the provincial budget is announced)

sheet (DOC–33K)

Name tags (DOC–29K)

Evaluation form (DOC–34K)

Debriefing session (DOC–26K)

Session summary (DOC–68K)

Thank you letter (DOC–23K)


Budget principles (DOC–46K)

Budget backgrounder (DOC–59K) (Available after the provincial budget is announced)

How school boards are engaging their communities?

Hold an open house for calm and fair public involvement (PDF–195K)

GSACRD board engages community to find niche for its two high schools (PDF–132K)

Student voice getting stronger in Northern Gateway Schools (PDF–124K)

Engagement project = over 80 % reporting Living Waters Catholic schools are welcoming places (PDF–123K)

Wild Rose School Division uses online survey tool to engage staff (PDF–124K)

Westwind School Division’s key communicator network engages community members (PDF–118K)

Decade of student engagement brings solid insights to St. Albert Public trustees (PDF–105K)

Using public engagement to hire a new Superintendent (PDF–132K)

Pembina Hills engages community to tacle declining enrolment (PDF–148K)

Elk Island Catholic Schools goes online to talk with community (PDF–109K)

Online discussion doubles community response to engagement: Peace River SD  (PDF–112K)

Realigning boundaries: Red Deer Public Schools (PDF–117K)

Public engagement paves way to smooth restructuring for Calgary Catholic: Calgary Catholic Schools (PDF–118K)

Talking to students: St. Albert Public Schools (PDF–103K)

Chinook’s Edge engages teachers: Chinook’s Edge School Division (PDF–104K)

Research about community engagement

On-ramp to community engagement in public education (PDF–1.94M)
Nine recommendations for deepening school boards’ understanding of and participation in community engagement

Published August 2012

Guide to face-to-face public engagement for school boards (PDF–753K)

Published November 2009

Albertans advice to school boards: Putting the public into public education (PDF–152K)
Summary of the advice provided by the 350 people who attended the ASBA’s March 2009 Putting the Public back into public education summit

Published April 2009

Public attitudes about involvement in public education (PDF–177K)
Summary of polling and focus groups re Albertans attitudes about the work of school boards and public engagement in public education

Published March 2009

Summit handbook (PDF–243K)
Prepared for the ASBA’s 2009 Keeping the Public in public education summit

Published March 2009

Best practices in public engagement (PDF–312K)
Strategies Alberta school boards are using to engage their communities

Published February 2009


Town hall meetings that work for school boards (PDF–1.8MB)
PowerPoint presentation, Lethbridge Public and Red Deer Public

Effective focus groups (PDF–118K)
PowerPoint presentation, Anne Jacox

Public consultation (PDF–92K)
PowerPoint presentation, Garth Norris

Tips and tools for planning a successful public engagement (PDF–169K)
PowerPoint presentation, Alberta Community Development Branch

Templates for a town hall meeting

Background example (DOC–27K)

Town hall agenda (DOC–67K)

Checklist – general (DOC–36K)

Discussion sheet (DOC–618K)

Fax reminder (DOC–70K)

Instructions for group leaders (DOC–86K)

Invitation letter (DOC–39K)

Registration cards (DOC–48K)

Script notes (DOC–44K)

Seating cards – parent (DOC–47K)