Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

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225: Role of the Board

POLICY

As elected representatives of the community, the Board of Trustees is held accountable through the Education Act. The Board provides overall direction and leadership to the Division. The Board is a corporate entity and exercises its authority through a democratic process and always models a culture of respect and integrity.

The Government of Alberta has legislated that the Board, as a partner in education, has the following responsibilities:

Education Planning and Programming 

The Board shall deliver appropriate education programming to meet the needs of all students enrolled in a school operated by the Board and to enable their success [Education Act s. 33(1)(a)]. Specifically, the Board:

1. Review and approve the vision for the Division.

2. Annually review and approve education goals including the Annual Education Plan.

3. Set governance standards for reviewing and approving educational programming.

Assurance and Accountability

The Board shall be accountable and provide assurances to students, parents, the community and the Minister for student achievement of learning outcomes [Education Act s. 33(1)(b)]. Specifically, the Board:

4. Develops and implements a reporting and accountability system on any matter the Minister prescribes;

5. Disseminates any information, in the reports and accounts produced, under the reporting and accountability system to students, parents, electors and/or the Minister in the manner the Minister prescribes; and

6. Reviews Division performance, on an ongoing basis, and approves the Annual Education Results Report.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

The Board shall provide, where appropriate, for the engagement of parents, students, staff and the community, including municipalities and the local business community, in Board matters, including the Board’s plans and the achievement of goals and targets within those plans [Education Act s. 33(1)(c)]. Specifically, the Board:

7. Establish processes to engage the community and stakeholders in a dialogue about Division programs and future planning.

8. Make informed decisions that consider community values and represent the interests of the entire Division.

9. Meet at least annually with the Council of School Councils or School Council Chairs.

10. Promote the schools’ programs which reflect the needs and desires of the community.

11. Report Division outcomes to the community annually.

Safe, Caring, Respectful and Healthy Environments

The Board shall ensure that each student enrolled in a school operated by the Board and each staff member employed by the Board is provided with a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging [Education Act s. 33(1)(d)]. Specifically, the Board:

12. Maintain a policy respecting the Board’s obligation to provide a welcoming, caring, respectful, healthy and safe learning environment that includes a code of conduct.

13. Model a culture of respect and integrity.

14. Develop culturally appropriate protocols to guide the Division.

15. Establish plans for collaborative work between the Division and First Nations.

Supports and Services

The Board shall provide a continuum of supports and services to students that is consistent with the principles of inclusive education [Education Act s. 33(1)(e)]. Specifically, the Board:

16. Supports the removal of barriers with learning partners and within learning environments; and

17. Develops ongoing relationships with government, school and system leaders, families and community partners to strengthen and renew their understanding, skills and abilities to create flexible and responsive learning environments

Collaboration

The Board shall collaborate with municipalities, other boards and community-based service agencies in order to effectively address the needs of all students and manage the use of public resources and collaborate with post-secondary institutions and the community to enable smooth transitions for students from secondary to post-secondary education [Education Act s. 33(1)(f)(g)]. Specifically, the Board:

18. Promotes positive community engagement within the Division; 

19. Represents the community’s needs, hopes and desires for education;

20. Supports the schools’ programs, needs and desires to the community;

21. Acts as an advocate for public education and the Division.

22. Identifies issues for advocacy on an ongoing basis.

23. Develops an annual plan for advocacy including focus, key messages, relationships and mechanisms (Appendix A).

24. Promotes regular meetings and maintains timely, frank and constructive communication with elected officials, service providers, business leaders, thought leaders and all stakeholders to garner support for public education.

Governance and Organization  

The Board shall establish and maintain governance and organizational structures that promote student well-being and success, and monitor and evaluate their effectiveness [Education Act s. 33(1)(h)]. Specifically, the Board:

25. Develop, approve and monitor the implementation of policies to guide the Division and the Board.

26. Provide direction in those areas over which the Board wishes to retain authority.

27. Monitor the development, revision and implementation of policy.

28. Develop a plan to foster governance excellence in fiduciary, strategic and generative engagement modes.

29. Annually evaluate Board effectiveness in meeting performance indicators and determine a positive path forward.

30. Develop an annual work plan with timelines.

Board/Superintendent Relations

The Board shall recruit the Superintendent and entrust the day-to-day management of the school division to the staff through the Superintendent [Education Act s. 33(1)(j)]. Specifically, the Board:

31. Select the Superintendent and support succession planning as required.

32. Provide the Superintendent with clear corporate direction.

33. Delegate, in writing, administrative authority and identify responsibility subject to provisions and restrictions in the Education Act.

34. Respect the authority of the Superintendent to carry out executive action and support the Superintendent’s actions which are exercised within the delegated discretionary powers of the position.

35. Demonstrate mutual respect, integrity and support, which is then conveyed to the staff and the community.

36. Annually evaluate the Superintendent, in accordance with a pre-established performance appraisal.

37. Annually review compensation of the Superintendent.

Resource Stewardship

The Board shall ensure effective stewardship of the Board’s resources [Education Act s. 33(1)(i)]. Specifically, the Board:

38. Within the context of the strategic plan, approve budget assumptions and establish priorities at the outset of the budget process.

39. Review and approve annual budget and allocation of resources.

40. Approve substantive budget adjustments when necessary.

41. Approve borrowing for capital expenditures within provincial restrictions.

42. Review and approve annually the Three-Year Capital Plan.

43. Receive, review and approve the annual Audited Financial Statements.

44. Acquire and dispose of land and buildings.

45. Approve student fees annually.

46. Set the mandate for provincial bargaining.

47. Ratify Memoranda of Agreement with bargaining units.

48. Approve transfer of funds to/from operating and capital reserves.

49. Approve annually signing authorities for the Division. Approve investment parameters in alignment with the Education Act Regulation.

50. Approve the Superintendent’s contract.

Delegation

The Board may delegate any of its powers and responsibilities subject to the provisions and restrictions as outlined in the Education Act.

Conduct 

The Board shall develop and implement a code of conduct that applies to trustees of the Board, including definitions of breaches and sanctions, in accordance with principles set out by the Minister by order [Education Act s. 33(1)(k)]. Specifically:

51. Each Trustee shall act ethically and responsibly as outlined in Policies 220 and 221. The Board collectively shall operate with the same high standards, acting always in the best interests of all students and their learning.

52. The Board shall support and hold accountable its individual Trustees and the Superintendent.

53. The Board shall establish with the Superintendent the parameters for their respective roles and not interfere with the performance of the tasks that have been agreed upon as administrative responsibilities.

54. The Board shall establish a Division Code of Conduct, by policy, to apply to all students (Policy 900).

Liability

The Board shall comply with all applicable Acts and regulations [Education Act s. 33(1)(l)]. Specifically, the Board:

55. Acts in accordance with all statutory requirements; and

56. Maintains a Board Policy for whistle-blower protection (Policy 130).

Dispute Resolution

The Board shall establish appropriate dispute resolution processes [Education Act s. 33(1)(m)]. Specifically, the Board:

57. Hears appeals as required by statute; and

58. Maintains a policy for Appeals Regarding Student Matters (Policy 245).

Ministerial Direction

The Board shall carry out any other matters that the Minister prescribes [Education Act s. 33(1)(n)]. Specifically, the Board:

59. Performs Board functions required by governing legislation and Ministerial directives; and

60. Reviews and approves student attendance areas (Policy 200).

References:

Policies:
130 - Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection)
200 - Attendance Areas
220 - Trustee Code of Conduct
221 - Role of the Trustee
245 - Appeals Regarding Student Matters
700 - Superintendent of Schools
701 - Board Delegation of Authority
900 - Student Conduct and Discipline
Appendix A - Advocacy Plan
Education Act: 33, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 139, 222
School Fees Regulation 95/2019
Superintendent of Schools Regulation 98/2019
Board Procedures Regulation 82/2019

History

2019 Jan 30 Initial Approval
2021 Oct 27 Reviewed
2022 Feb 23 Reviewed
2022 Mar 23 Amended
2023 Sep 27 Amended