Policies and Procedures

Back to Policies and Procedures

221: Role of the Trustee

1.0 POLICY

The Board of Trustees is committed to Public Education and its Trustee members shall conduct themselves ethically and responsibly in carrying out the duties that they have been elected to fulfill. It is expected that all interactions related to the operations of the Board is characterized by mutual respect, which acknowledges the dignity and worth of all individuals.

2.0 GUIDELINES

2.1 The role of each individual Trustee is to:

2.1.1 Represent his or her constituents and consider the interests of all Division stakeholders when making decisions.

2.1.2 Be familiar with the Education Act and Division policies and procedures.

2.1.3 Be familiar with and adhere to the Trustee Code of Conduct.

2.1.4 Stay informed on significant developments in Public Education.

2.1.5 Following a Trustee development activity, share materials and ideas gained in written format with fellow Trustees.

2.1.6 Support the corporate decisions of the Board.

2.1.7 Respect and support the authority of the Superintendent to direct the work of administration and staff.

2.1.8 Observe the Board’s rules of order for conduct at Board meetings.

2.1.9 Promote positive relationships between the Board and all Division stakeholders.

2.2 Trustees shall not attempt to exercise individual authority over the organization and/or schools; the Superintendent; or any member of the staff. In particular:

2.2.1 Individual Trustees will not assume personal responsibility for resolving operational problems or complaints. Any such complaints will be referred forthwith to the Superintendent for investigation and resolution

2.2.2 Trustees shall not encourage direct communication with employees and members of the public who attempt to bypass school or Central Office Administration but shall encourage employees and members of the public to utilize reporting lines at the school level or within Central Office Administration to bring concerns to the Board.

2.2.3 Trustees shall comply with their fiduciary duty to inform Administration of concerns brought to their attention

2.3 Trustees shall recognize that:

2.3.1 The Board Chair is the official spokesperson for the Board of Trustees, and therefore, the only person authorized to speak to the public, media or other entities and communicate corporate decisions or positions on behalf of the Board.

2.3.2 Without limiting the right of Trustees to express their own personal views, when interacting with the public, media or other entities, Trustees shall accurately represent and accept the corporate decision of the Board, once a decision has been made.

2.4 Trustees shall be prepared for Board deliberations by attending in person or by electronic means:

2.4.1 All regularly scheduled or special meetings of the Board of Trustees and any committee meetings to which they are assigned, on a regular and punctual basis.

2.4.1.1 The presence or absence of every Trustee shall be recorded in the minutes. If a Trustee wishes to be absent during a meeting, they will declare this wish and ensure that the recording secretary has noted it. Failure to do so will result in inaccuracies in the recording of minutes.

2.4.1.2 As outlined in the Education Act, a person is disqualified from remaining as a Trustee of a board if that person is absent, without being authorized by a resolution of the board to do so, for three consecutive regular meetings of the board, unless his/her absence is due to illness and he/she provides evidence of that illness in the form of a medical certificate respecting the period of absence.

2.4.1.3 Repeated partial or late attendance shall be cause for disciplinary action, as determined by the Board.

2.4.1.4 Unless an absence has been previously approved by the Board, failure to attend regular and special meetings as well as scheduled committee meetings will result in the deduction from trustee remuneration.

2.4.1.5 Two days per year are allowed without deduction for illness on the part of the Trustee, and two days of compassionate leave are also permitted. If, however, a Trustee is absent from any regular or special meeting of the Board or scheduled committee meetings due to illness, beyond the two sick days permitted, he/she must produce a doctor’s certificate and no deduction from trustee remuneration will be made.

2.5 With regards to Standing Committees of the Board, the administrators assigned to support these committees will include in the meeting notes the date and time of the next scheduled committee meeting, the estimated length of the next scheduled meeting and the names of those Trustees who will be in attendance.

2.6 Trustees should attend Trustee Orientation and Renewal sessions, Board Retreats, School Council meetings, Student Discipline Hearings, Teacher Transfer Hearings and meetings with external organizations (such as Municipal Councils and Chamber of Commerce). Trustees are also expected to attend the annual general meetings of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta (PSBAA) and/or the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) and other conferences as approved by the Board.

2.7 Board Chair Responsibilities

The Board, at the Organizational Meeting and thereafter at any time as determined by the Board, shall elect one of its members to act as Board Chair, to hold the office at the pleasure of the Board. The Board Chair shall have the authority on behalf of the Board to:

2.7.1 Preside at all Board meetings and ensure that meetings are conducted in accordance with the Education Act and policies and procedures established by the Board.

2.7.2 Before each Board meeting confer with the Vice Chair and the Superintendent on the items to be included on the agenda, the order of the items and become familiar with the items.

2.7.3 Bring to the Board all matters requiring a corporate decision by the Board. In regular contact with the Superintendent and Vice Chair to maintain a working knowledge of current issues and events.

2.7.3.1 Sign all documents required by law or as authorized by the action of the Board.

2.7.3.2 Represent the Corporate Board as required.

2.7.3.3 Ensure that the Board engages in an annual assessment of its effectiveness as a Board.

2.8 Vice Chair Responsibilities

2.8.1 The Vice Chair shall be elected by the Board at its Organizational Meeting, and thereafter at any time determined by the Board, to hold office at the pleasure of the Board. The Vice Chair shall:

2.8.1.1 In the Board Chair's absence, act on behalf of the Board Chair and the Vice Chair shall have all the duties and responsibilities of the Board Chair.

2.8.1.2 The Vice Chair shall assist the Board Chair in ensuring the Board operates in accordance with its own policies and procedures.

2.8.1.3 Prior to each Board meeting, the Vice Chair shall confer with the Board Chair and the Superintendent on items to be included on the agenda, the order of the items and become familiar with them.

2.8.1.4 The Vice Chair shall be an alternate signing authority for the Division.

References:

Policies:

220 Trustee Code of Conduct 
230 Board Committees 

Education Act: Sections 34, 51, 52, 67, 75, 85-87
Board Procedures Regulation 82/2019
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

History

2022 Mar 23 Initial Approval