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The Role of School Board Trustee


School board trustees are members of the District School Board. They are locally-elected representatives of the public, and they are the community's advocate for public education.

A school board trustee is:
 

  • a member of a team
  • responsible for establishing policy direction
  • accountable, as a member of a board, to the province for the proper conduct of their duties and powers, including the implementation of provincial policy and the use of provincially allocated funds
  • accountable to their electorate
  • a community leader

 

What are the time commitments for a School Board Trustee?

 

  • attending board meetings and committee meetings
  • other duties at the School Board
  • attending community meetings as a representative of the school board
  • responding to the concerns of parents and others
  • communications - responding to telephone calls, meeting requests and mail from constituents


District School Boards

 

 

School Boards are required, by March 31, 2014, to prepare a Trustee Determination and Distribution Report. The report will confirm the number of trustees to be elected and determine the distribution based on geographic and electoral population representation.

 


According to the Ontario Public School Boards' Association:

 

"A school board is a body established by provincial legislation and governed by its publicly elected board members (trustees). The Education Act creates four different kinds of school boards: English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic.

A fundamental pillar of a democratic society is free education for its citizens. Ontario’s publicly funded
school boards provide high standards in programming and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students to reach those standards.


Recent amendments to Ontario’s Education Act established through the Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act, 2009 stipulate that every school board shall:
 

  • promote student achievement and well-being;
  • ensure effective stewardship of the board’s resources;
  • deliver effective and appropriate education programs to its pupils;
  • develop and maintain policies and organizational structures that,
  1. promote the boards goals and,
  2. encourage pupils to pursue their educational goals;
     
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies developed by the board in achieving the board’s goals and the efficiency of the implementation of those policies;
  • develop a multi-year plan aimed at achieving the boards’ goals;
  • annually review the multi-year plan with the board’s Director of Education or the supervisory officer acting as the board’s Director of Education; and
  • monitor and evaluate the performance of the board’s Director of Education, or the supervisory officer acting as the board’s Director of Education, in meeting,

(i) his or her duties under this Act or any policy, guideline or regulation made under this Act, (including duties under the multi-year plan), and
(ii) any other duties assigned by the board.


Beyond these broad areas of accountability, the Education Act also spells out duties for school  boards that include such obligations as effective operation of schools, setting the board’s budget, implementing the Ministry’s curriculum policies, and ensuring that appropriate staff are hired as required by schools.


Boards will also make determinations about such matters as pupil transportation, school libraries,
continuing education, childcare facilities on school sites. A full listing can be found in the Education Act."

 

 

 

*  excerpts taken from "Making a Difference fo Kids:  Running for Election as a School Board Trustee - Guide for Candidates and Communities" Published by the Ontario Public School Boards' Association

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