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545: Legal Guardianship of Children

Date: July 24, 2020

Responsible Administrator: Associate Superintendent Education Services


PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance to school personnel when responding to questions related to custody and/or guardianship of students.

PROCESS

The Associate Superintendent, Education Services or designate is delegated the responsibility of maintaining this Administrative Procedure.

TERMINOLOGY

Court orders might refer to either guardianship, parenting time or custody and access. Provincial legislation (Family Law Act & Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act) uses the term “guardian” and “parenting time” to indicate who has the powers, responsibilities and entitlements of guardianship. Federal legislation (the Divorce Act) uses the terms “custody” and “access” to refer to the incidents of guardianship. The Education Act uses the term “parent”.

PROCEDURE

1. A parent shall be permitted to make school related decisions on behalf of their child subject to any limitations imposed by legislation or court order.

2. Any parent claiming there is a limitation imposed by law on the authority of another parent or guardian to make decisions respecting a student has the onus to provide proof of the limitation to the Division.

3. The Principal and all school staff shall within reason and subject to any limitations imposed by legislation or court order, comply with a court order or an agreement with respect to the allocation of powers, responsibilities and entitlements of guardianship among the parents of a student.

4. In no circumstance shall the Principal or other school staff members allow parents/guardians to place them in the position of being a referee in guardianship or access disputes.

5. School personnel shall focus their energies on providing each student enrolled in a school operated by the Division and each staff member employed by the Division with a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.

6. If an individual claims to be a parent of a student enrolled in a Sturgeon Public School and the individual is not listed or identified as a parent on the student enrolment form or in the student information system, the request for information shall be referred to the Division’s FOIP Coordinator.

7. In response to an individual making a request, if the individual is not listed or identified as a parent on the student enrolment form or in the student information system, they shall be informed as soon as possible by the Principal that their request has been referred to the Division FOIP Coordinator at Central Office. The response to the individual making the request shall include the following Information:

a. The name of the claimant and their contact information;

b. The date and time of the request;

c. The nature of the request; and

d. The FOIP Coordinator’s contact information at Central Office.


References:

Education Act, Sections 2, 3
Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
Family Law Act
Divorce Act
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP)
Freedom of Information and Privacy Regulation