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Policy 1: Role of the Board of Trustees






Board of Trustees Palliser Regional Schools


July 2017


May 25, 2021


June 15, 2021



Policy Statement:

As the corporate entity established by provincial legislation and given authority by the Education Act and attendant Regulations and the corporate body elected by the electors that support  Palliser School Division, the Board of Trustees (The Board) shall provide overall direction and leadership to the Division. It is accountable for the provision of educational programs and services to enrolled students of the Division to enable their success, through safe and caring environments, in keeping with the requirements of government legislation.

The Board is therefore charged with the responsibility of providing an education system that is organized and operated in the best interests of the students it serves. It exercises this responsibility through setting of clear strategic direction and the prudent use of resources, financial and human, in alignment with the strategic plan and Division goals.  

Board Action:

The following actions are required but are not limited to:

  1. Legislated accountability
    The Board shall:
    1. Act in accordance with all statutory requirements of provincial legislation to implement educational standards and policies.
    2. Perform Board functions required by governing legislation and existing Board policy.
  2. Accountability to and Engagement of Community
    The Board shall:
    1. Make decisions that address the needs of the student population in the Division.
    2. Establish processes and provide opportunities for community engagement.
    3. Report Division outcomes including student outcomes to the community at least once annually.
    4. Develop procedures for and hear appeals as required by statute and/or Board policy.
    5. Meet regularly with municipal and provincial government representatives and as required with other entities to achieve desired educational outcomes.
    6. Model a culture of respect and integrity.
    7. Establish plans for collaborative work between the Division and First Nations.
    8. Establish a forum for student engagement.
    9. Provide a visible board presence in the community and encourage two way communication.
    10. Encourage trustees to meet with school councils to receive information and to inform and clarify for school councils the activities of the Board. 
    11. Meet with societies of alternative school programs. 
    12. Ensure Trustee representation to schools in Calgary.
  3. Accountability to Student Learning and Wellness
    The Board shall:
    1. Align the plans of the province, the division and the schools
    2. Support a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.
    3. Be committed to student achievement.
    4. Enable the infusion of cultural perspectives within student learning, as defined by each community.
    5. Ensure Professional development coincides with but is not limited to division goals.
    6. Ensure board agendas reflect the Board’s relentless commitment to improving student success.
    7. Ensure integration of strategic plan aligns with Provincial directives, Division goals and School student learning objectives.
    8. Ensure resources for approved initiatives to improve student outcomes are included in the annual operating budget.
    9. Ensure the effectiveness of the Superintendent’s leadership in improving student outcomes is assessed annually.
  4. Strategic and Divisional Planning|
    The Board shall:
    1. Monitor the effectiveness of the Division in achieving established priorities, desired results and key performance indicators.
    2. Annually approve the “rolling” Three-Year Education Plan/Annual Education Results Report for submission to Alberta Education and for distribution to the public.
    3. Provide overall direction for the jurisdiction by establishing strategic priorities and reporting key results.
  5. Policy
    The Board shall:
    1. Set policy and monitor policy impact.
    2. Ensure that all procedures are consistent with Board policy.
  6. Board/Superintendent Relations
    The Board shall:
    1. Recruit, appoint, support and evaluate the Superintendent as outlined in the Education Act.
    2. Provide the Superintendent with clear Board direction.
    3. Delegate, in writing, administrative authority and identify responsibility subject to provisions and restrictions in the Education Act.
    4. Respect the authority of the Superintendent to carry out executive action and support and monitor the Superintendent’s actions which are exercised within the delegated discretionary powers of the position.
    5. Evaluate the Superintendent in regard to the Superintendent’s job description, professional standards of practice and execution of Board directives.
    6. Annually review compensation.
    7. Provide for Superintendent succession planning.
  7. Board/ Division Staff Relations
    1. Board is committed to providing a safe and caring work environment for division staff, in alignment with Policy 16 - Safe and Caring Learning Environment.
  8. Political Influence and Advocacy
    The Board shall:
    1. Develop a yearly plan for advocacy, including focus, key messages and mechanisms.
    2. Advance District positions and priorities where applicable.
    3. Arrange meetings with elected provincial/federal government officials to communicate and garner support for Palliser School Division priorities and directions.
    4. Advocate for public education.
    5. Advocate for the needs of the Palliser School Division.
  9. Board Development
    The Board shall:
    1. Ensure that appropriate orientation is provided for trustees.
    2. Develop a yearly plan for Board development.
    3.  Develop an action plan that gauges the Board’s effectiveness.
  10. Fiscal Accountability
    The Board shall:
    1. Approve budget assumptions at the outset of the budget process.
    2. Approve the budget annually and ensure resources are allocated to achieve desired results.
    3. Annually Approve the Three-Year Capital Plan for submission to Alberta Education.
    4. Appoint an Audit Committee and based on their recommendations appoint an external auditor and approve annually the terms of engagement for the external auditor.
    5. Receives the Audit Report from the Audit Committee, ensuring quality indicators are met.
    6. Monitor the fiscal management of the division through receipt of quarterly variance analyses and year-end projections.
    7. At its discretion, ratify Memorandum of Agreements with bargaining units.
  11. Board Evaluation
    1. The Board has the responsibility to hold itself accountable for the overall performance of its responsibilities and to evaluate its effectiveness.
    2. In a positive, constructive environment Board members will provide information for the purpose of identifying actions to improve the performance of the Board. The Board will use a variety of mechanisms to gather information from various sources within the Division.
    3. The Board Evaluation Instrument will be administered at the October Board meeting, except in the year of an election.
    4. An independent facilitator will summarize the report of Board members on a confidential basis and review the summary with the Board.
    5. A special session will be convened by the Board for a full and comprehensive discussion of Board Performance and next steps for improvement.

Selected Responsibilities

  1. Approve the selection of the auditor, bank, legal counsel and architect as required.
  2. Acquire and dispose of land and buildings; ensure titles and services to or enforceable long-term interests in land are in place prior to capital project construction.
  3. Approve school attendance areas.
  4. Name schools and other Division-owned facilities.
  5. Approve the Division school-year calendar(s).
  6. Provide for recognition of students, staff and community.
  7. Make a recommendation to the Minister for the dissolution of a School Council.
  8. Approve joint-use agreements.
  9. Approve locally developed courses.
  10. Hear unresolved student or staff complaints of discrimination or harassment.
  11. Consider funding requests for national/international competitions on a case-by-case basis.

Scope and Limitations of Superintendent:
Not Applicable

Information and Monitoring Requirements:

The Board will use the following but not limited to:

  • Annual Accountability Pillars Report
  • Board and Trustee Evaluation
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Surveys to be determined


Legal Reference: