Menu

Board Policies

Policy 7

Board Operations

Background

 

Background

The Board ability to discharge its obligations in an efficient and effective manner is dependent upon the development and implementation of a sound organization design. In order to discharge its responsibilities to the electorate of the Division, the Board shall hold meetings as often as necessary. A quorum, which is a simple majority of the number of trustees, must be present for every duly constituted meeting. The Board has adopted policies so the business of the Board can be conducted in an orderly and efficient manner.

The Board’s fundamental obligation is to preserve, if not enhance, the public trust in education, generally, and in the affairs of its operations in particular. Consistent with its objective to encourage the general public to contribute to the educational process, Board meetings will be open to the public. Towards this end, the Board believes its affairs must be conducted in public to the greatest extent possible.

There are times when public interest is best served by private discussion of specific issues in "in- camera" sessions. The Board believes it is necessary to protect individual privacy and the Board's own position in negotiating either collective agreements or contracts and therefore expects to go in-camera for issues dealing with individual students, individual employees, land, labour, litigation or negotiation.

Having members of the public make presentations at Board meetings can enhance public interest. Public forums dealing with specific educational topics and held in various communities within the Division can enhance communications and the effectiveness of the Board.

  1. Organizational Meeting
    1. An Organizational Meeting of the Board shall be held annually, and no later than four (4) weeks following Election Day, when there has been a general election. An Organizational Meeting will be held in June in a non-election year. The first official meeting of the Board following a general election shall be an Organizational Meeting.
    2. The Superintendent or designate will give notice of the Organizational Meeting to each trustee as if it were a special meeting. The Superintendent or designate shall call the meeting to order and act as Chair of the meeting for the purpose of the election of the Board Chair.
    3. Each trustee will take the oath of office immediately following the call to order of the Organizational Meeting after a general election. Special provisions will be made for a trustee taking office following a by-election.
    4. Upon election as Chair, the Board Chair shall take the oath of office or make an affirmation and preside over the remainder of the Organizational Meeting. The Board Chair shall normally be elected for a period of one (1) year.
    5. The organizational meeting shall, in addition:
      1. Elect a vice-chair.
      2. Establish a schedule for regular meetings, and any additional required meetings.
      3. Create such standing committees of the Board as are deemed appropriate, and appoint members.
      4. Appoint Board representatives to the various boards or committees of organizations or agencies where the Board has regular representation, as appropriate.
      5. Establish annual honorarium and mileage rates.
      6. Review Board member conflict of interest stipulations and determine any disclosure of information requirements.
  2. Regular Meetings

Regular Board meeting dates and times shall be as established in June of each year.

  1. All meetings will ordinarily be held in the Division Office in Wild Rose School Division with the exception of three meetings per year which will be held in Drayton Valley.
  2. Notwithstanding the schedule established in June, the Board may, by resolution, alter the schedule in such manner as it deems appropriate.
  3. All trustees shall notify the Board Chair if they are unable to attend a Board meeting.
  4. Regular meetings of the Board will not be held without the Superintendent and/or designate(s) in attendance, unless the Superintendent’s contract is being discussed.
  1. Special Meetings
    1. Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be held from time to time as provided for under section 67 of the School Act. These are public meetings.
    2. The nature of the business to be transacted must be clearly specified in the notice of the meeting. Unless all trustees are present at the special meeting, no other business may be transacted.
    3. Whenever practical, the Board will endeavor to make known the date, time, and place of such meetings to persons who may be interested in the topics to be discussed.
    4. Special meetings of the Board will not be held without the Superintendent and/or designate(s) in attendance, unless the Superintendent’s contract is being discussed.
  1.   In-Camera Sessions
    1. The Board believes that its fundamental obligation is to preserve and enhance the public trust in education generally and in the affairs of its operations in particular. The Board believes this trust is preserved through the conduct of Board meetings which are open to the public, but at the same time recognizes that occasions may arise when it is in the best public interest to discuss sensitive matters in closed meetings.
    2. The Board reserves the right within the constraints of statute to hold In-Camera Sessions.

      Such sessions shall be convened only by proper resolution of the Board. Such resolutions shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board and shall specify those individuals eligible to attend. The reason for the In-Camera session shall be stated prior to its approval and shall be limited to discussion pertaining to the following stated reasons:
      1. Personnel matters involving students and staff.
      2. Collective bargaining issues.
      3. Litigation issues.
      4. Acquisition/disposal of property.
      5. Other topics that a majority of the trustee's present feel should be held in private, for the public interest.
    3. Such sessions shall be closed to the public and press. The Board shall only discuss the matter which gave rise to the closed meeting.  Board members and other persons attending the session are honor bound not to disclose the details of discussion at such sessions.
    4. No official action shall be taken in In-Camera sessions. The Board shall convene or re- convene a regular meeting to take action on any matter discussed.
  1. Agenda for Regular Meetings
    1. The Superintendent and/or designate is responsible for preparing an agenda for Board meetings in consultation with the Board Chair and the Vice-Chair.
    2. Items may be placed on the agenda in one of the following ways:
      1. By notifying the Superintendent or Board Chair at least seven days prior to the Board meeting.
      2. By notice of motion at the previous meeting of the Board.
      3. Request from a committee of the Board.
    3. The agenda package, containing the agenda and supporting information prepared by administration, will be distributed to each trustee at least four days in advance of regular Board meetings.
    4. Trustees adding an item to the agenda will provide supporting documentation.
    5. The agenda will be readily accessible to the general public and will be posted on the Division website. Any elector may inspect the agenda and request a copy.
    6. Emergent issues that require Board action may arise after the agenda has been prepared.

      Such items shall be brought to the attention of the Board Chair, who may bring items before the Board. The Superintendent, with the permission of the Board Chair, may also bring forth emergent items.
    7. The Board Chair, at the beginning of the meeting, shall ask for additions to and/or deletions from the agenda prior to agenda approval. Changes to the agenda may be made by a majority of those present.
    8. The Board will follow the order of business set by the agenda unless the order is altered or new items are added by agreement of the Board.
    9. During the course of the Board meeting, the majority of trustees present may request that the Board Chair place items before the Board for discussion and possible action.
  1. Minutes
    1. The Minutes shall record:
      1. A brief summary of the circumstances which gave rise to the matter being placed before the Board.
      2. All resolutions, including the Board’s disposition of same, placed before the Board.
      3. The votes, when and as requested, by a trustee, as per section 72 of the School Act.
    2. The Minutes shall:
      1. Be prepared by the recording secretary.
      2. Be reviewed by the Superintendent of Schools prior to submission to the Board.
      3. Be considered an unofficial record of proceedings until such time as adopted by a resolution of the Board.
      4. Upon adoption by the Board, be deemed to be the official and sole record of the Board's business.
    3. The Superintendent (or designate) shall:
      1. Upon approval of the Superintendent as to the accuracy of the „draft’ minutes, prepare a copy of the unofficial minutes, marked „Unofficial Draft - Subject to Ratification‟, for distribution to central office personnel.
      2. Upon adoption  by the  Board,  initial each  page of  the minutes and sign  the concluding page of the minutes. The approved minutes will be readily accessible to the general public.
      3. Establish a codification system for resolutions placed before the Board which will provide for ready identification of the resolution as to the meeting at which it was considered.
      4. Establish and maintain a file of all Board minutes.
      5. Prepare “Board Highlights” following each Board meeting.
      6. Distribute the same to local news media circulating within all areas of the Division, to schools and division office staff, school councils, the local members of the Legislative Assembly, local municipalities, and to others upon request.
    4. The Board Chair shall:
      1. Upon adoption by the Board, initial each page and sign the concluding page of the minutes. It is the responsibility of all trustees present at a meeting to check the minutes for errors or omissions.
  1. Motions

    Motions do not require a seconder, except in rare instances as described below.
  1. Notice of Motion

    The notice of motion serves the purpose of officially putting an item on the agenda of the next or future regular meeting and gives notice to all trustees of the item to be discussed. A notice of motion is not debatable and may not be voted on.

    A trustee may present a notice of motion for consideration at the next regular meeting of the Board or may specify another meeting date. A trustee may also provide the Superintendent with a written notice of motion and ask that it be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting and read at the meeting. The trustee will need not be present during the reading of the motion, however if the trustee is not present, a seconder is required at the meeting at which the notice is given, otherwise the item will be dropped.

  2. Discussion on Motions

    The custom of addressing comments to the Board Chair should be followed by all persons in attendance. A motion, or a recommendation from Administration, must be placed before the Board prior to any discussion taking place on an issue. Once a motion is before the Board and until it is passed or defeated, all speakers shall confine their remarks to the motion or to the information pertinent to the motion.

  3. Speaking to the Motion

    The mover of a motion first and every trustee shall have an opportunity to speak to the motion before any trustee is allowed to speak a second time. The mover of the motion is permitted to close debate on the motion.

    As a general guide, a trustee should not speak longer than five minutes on any motion. The Board Chair has the responsibility to limit the discussion by a trustee when such a discussion is repetitive or digresses from the topic at hand, or where discussion takes place prior to the acceptance of a motion.

    No one shall interrupt a speaker, unless it is to ask for important clarification of the speaker’s remarks, and any such interruption shall not be permitted without permission of the Board Chair.

    Should a trustee arrive at the meeting after a motion has been made and prior to taking a vote, the trustee may request further discussion prior to the vote. The Board Chair shall rule on further discussion.

  4. Reading of the Motion

    A trustee may require the motion under discussion to be read at any time during the debate, except when a trustee is speaking.

  5. Recorded Vote

    The recording secretary shall record in the minutes the name of the trustees who voted for or against the matter. The recording secretary shall, immediately after a vote is taken and on the request of a trustee, record in the minutes the name of that trustee and whether that trustee voted for or against the matter.

  6. Required Votes

    The Board Chair, and all trustees present, unless excused by the provisions of the School Act, shall vote on each question. A trustee not voting under this provision shall excuse herself/himself from the meeting during discussion and until the vote is taken.   Each question shall be decided by a majority of the votes of those trustees present. A simple majority of a quorum of the Board will decide in favour of the question. In the case of an equality of votes, the question is defeated. A vote on a question shall be taken by open vote, expressed by show of hands, except the vote to elect the Board Chair or Vice-Chair, which is by secret ballot.

  7. Debate

    In all debate, any matter of procedure in dispute shall be settled, if possible, by reference to Robert’s Rules of Order. If this reference is inadequate, procedure may be determined by motion supported by the majority of trustees in attendance.
  1. Public Participation at Board Meetings
    1. The Board believes it has the responsibility to encourage residents of the school division to bring matters of concern regarding the education of children and the operation of the Division to regular meetings of the Board.
    2. Representation and delegations from any individual or group may be received on any subject pertinent to Board business according to the following Procedures:
      1. An outline of the general nature of the concern is to be received by the Board Chair or Superintendent (or designate) at least seven days prior to meeting.
      2. The Board may agree to receive a delegation at less than seven days’ notice where the matter is deemed to be of an emergent nature.
      3. A spokesperson(s) for the delegation is to be identified.
      4. The Board Chair has the right to restrict the length of time for any delegation at any meeting.
      5. Matters relating to personnel, or otherwise deemed to be of a sensitive and/or confidential matter, shall be heard at an in-camera session of the Board.
      6. The Board will normally hear the matter presented to it without entering into discussion or debate.
      7. The Board will not necessarily make a decision on the matter at the same meeting that a representation or delegation is heard.
      8. The delegation will be advised of the date and/or approximate time at which a decision will be reached.
      9. Individual trustees or administrators may raise questions of clarification and address these to the delegation.
  1. Board Member Honoraria and Expenses

    The Board believes that Trustees should be fairly reimbursed for their time spent carrying out Board business.
    1. Honoraria

      Honoraria and per diems shall be established at least annually by the Board. Service for which Trustees receive remuneration shall include:
      1. Regular School Board meetings.
      2. Special School Board meetings.
      3. Meetings of committees of the Board.
      4. Meetings with Division staff and tours of facilities planned by the Board.
      5. School Council meetings as per Policy 7 (9.1.14)
      6. ASBA Zone meetings.
      7. ASBA and PSBAA Conventions and Workshops.
      8. Other workshops, conventions, and retreats.
      9. Attendance at extra-curricular school activities where formally invited by the school or designated by the Board.
      10. Optional attendance at school concerts, plays and/or social functions within your ward or by special invitation of the school, school council, the ward trustee, the superintendent or the Board.
      11. Attendance at meetings held by other organizations to which the Board appoints a representative (e.g. Library Boards, Distance Learning Consortium, etc.).
      12. Attendance at graduation exercises within your ward or by special invitation of the school, school council, the ward trustee, the superintendent or the Board.
      13. The Chair shall receive a basic monthly honorarium in recognition of the responsibilities of the position.
      14. Honoraria shall be paid to trustees in recognition of trustee attendance at regular Board meetings and up  to two school council meetings per month. Per diems shall be paid in recognition of other Board responsibilities, including extra meetings, and attendance at other conventions, seminars, workshops, additional school council meetings (over 2) etc.

        The following activities shall be considered as part of Trustee public relations for which no honorarium will be paid:

      15. Attendance at social functions of the staff except as authorized by the Board.
      16. Informal, unsolicited school or office visits and individual meetings with members of the staff or public.
    2. Per Diem
      1. A full per diem shall be paid for an eight-hour day and may be pro-rated based on the number of hours spent up to a maximum of twelve. Travel time may be used in calculating the per diem claim.

    3. School Trustee Related Activities

      Trustees are expected to provide a written report at each meeting outlining Trustee activities. Reports of professional development activities should include:

      1. Information about the event.

      2. Learnings/benefits to the students or the Division.

      3. Impressions of what took place.

    4. Travel Expense Allowances

      Expenses actually incurred by Board members in the performance of their official duties, and not reimbursed by any other source, will be deemed approved expenses and appropriate for reimbursement at rates established by the Board.

    5. Payment

      1. Payment shall be made monthly following presentation and approval by the Board of the Expense Report form.

      2. Per Diem and expense claims shall not be submitted for extra or personal days taken in conjunction with conventions, workshops, or meetings.

      3. Corporate credit cards can be made available to trustees with use pursuant to Administrative Procedures.

    6. Trustee Honoraria and Expenses Schedule

      The schedule will be approved at the organizational meeting.
  1. Board Member Conflict of Interest

    The Board believes that trustees, or their families, should not gain benefits or monetary rewards because of their position as a trustee except for any allowances, honorarium or remuneration approved by the Board for duties performed.

The Board expects:

  1. Each trustee will accept sole responsibility for declaring a conflict of interest.
    1. Each trustee will be knowledgeable with Sections 80-91 of the School Act.
    2. Each trustee will limit a declaration of conflict of interest to those matters specified in Section 80 of the School Act.
  2. Each trustee will advise the recording secretary of the declaration.
    1. The trustee will declare any personal conflict of interest at the point in the agenda where the matter arises.
    2. The trustee will absent himself or herself from the Board table when in conflict, and shall leave the meeting room until the discussion and voting on the matter are concluded.
  3. Each trustee will refrain from participating in discussion, debate or voting on any issues in which a personal conflict of interest is declared. The recording secretary will record in the minutes:
    1. The trustee’s declaration.
    2. The trustee’s abstention from the debate and the vote.
  1. Board Self-Evaluation
    1. The Board self-evaluation process shall be undertaken annually to reinforce alignment of purpose and assess overall Board functioning.
    2. The purpose of the Board self-evaluation is to answer the following questions:
      1. How well have we fulfilled each of our defined roles as a Board this past year?
      2. How do we perceive our interpersonal working relationships?
      3. How well do we receive input and how well do we communicate?
      4. How well have we adhered to our annual work plan?
      5. How would we rate our Board-Superintendent relations?
      6. How well have we adhered to our governance policies?
      7. What have we accomplished this past year? How do we know?
    3. The principles upon which the Board self-evaluation is based are as follows:
      1. A learning organization or a professional learning community is focused on the improvement of practice.
      2. A pre-determined process for evaluation strengthens the governance functions and builds credibility for the Board.
      3. An evidence-based approach provides objectivity.
    4. The components of the Board self-evaluation are:
      1. Review of Board Role Performance.
      2. Monitoring Interpersonal Working Relationships.
      3. Monitoring Board Representation/Communication.
      4. Review of Annual Work Plan Completion.
      5. Monitoring Board-Superintendent Relations.
      6. Review of Board Motions.
      7. Review of Board Governance Policies.
      8. Creating a Positive Path Forward.

Revised: November 29, 2012, September 20, 2011, January 24, 2017