About Specialist Councils

What Are Specialist Councils?

The Association’s 21 specialist councils were created to foster the professional development of teachers interested in common curriculum or specialty areas. By organizing annual conferences, producing publications, maintaining websites and offering regional workshops and seminars, councils provide members with opportunities to share ideas and gather new information.

Each council is operated by a team of volunteer teacher members who contribute their time, talents and enthusiasm to plan and implement programs and activities for the council. The Association plays a supporting role by contributing financial grants, providing publication services, hosting websites and offering administrative advice.

Joining a Specialist Council

Three kinds of membership are available in specialist councils:

As a benefit of ATA membership, active members are entitled to join one specialist council of their choice each year at no cost.

Regular Membership is restricted to active members of the ATA and to associate members who are ineligible for active membership as specified in ATA bylaws. Regular members are entitled to all the benefits and services of council membership including the right to vote and hold office. Regular membership in a specialist council is available online using the Specialist Council Membership system.

Life Membership is available to life members of the ATA as specified in ATA bylaws. Life members have all the benefits and services of council membership except the right to hold office. An application for life membership is available online.

Student Membership is available, at a reduced rate, to university students who are enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs and who belong to ATA student locals. Student members are entitled to all the benefits and services of council membership except the right to hold office. An application for student membership is available online.

Membership in specialist councils is not available to those who, under the Teaching Profession Act and the Teacher Membership Status Election Regulation, are eligible to make an election of membership and have elected associate membership or non-membership in the ATA.

Subscribing to Specialist Council Publications

Persons (including teaching assistants, parents, retired teachers and non-active teachers) and corporations (including libraries) who are ineligible for active or associate membership in the ATA may be connected with a specialist council by paying a subscription fee. Subscribers are eligible to receive council publications, attend council conferences at the member rate and obtain other services as determined by the council. However, they are not members of the council. A subscription application form is available on line.

Contacting Executive Members of a Specialist Council

To obtain a list of the executive members of a council, select the relevant council from the specialist council directory.

Each specialist council is urged to advise Professional Development staff at Barnett House of the names and addresses of their executive members. An online specialist council executive form is available for that purpose.