Board Policy 2

ROLE OF THE BOARD

As the corporate entity established by provincial legislation and given authority by the School Act and attendant Regulations and the corporate body elected by the electors that support Westwind School Division No. 74, the Board shall provide overall direction and leadership to the Division. It is accountable for the provision of appropriate educational programs and services to resident students of the Division to enable their success, in keeping with the requirements of government legislation and the values of the electorate.

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 wise use of resources.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

  1. Accountability for Student Learning
    1. Provide overall direction for the Division by establishing vision, mission and values.
    2. Support the establishment of a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.
    3. Annually approve process and timelines for the refinement of the Three-Year Education Plan.
    4. Identify Board priorities and initiatives at the outset of the annual Three-Year Education planning process.
    5. Provide for school and program reviews as necessary to monitor the achievement of outcomes.
    6. Monitor the effectiveness of the Division in achieving established priorities, desired results and key performance indicators.
    7. Annually approve the “rolling” Three-Year Education Plan/Annual Education Results Report for submission Alberta Education and for distribution to the public.

  2. Community Assurance
    1. Make informed decisions that consider community values and represent the interests of the entire Division. 
    2. Engage the community in a dialogue about Division programs, needs and desires.
    3. Establish processes and provide opportunities for community engagement.
    4. Establish a forum for student engagement.
    5. Report Division outcomes to the community at least annually.
    6. Meet at least twice yearly with the Division School Council.
    7. Develop appeal procedures and hold hearings as required by statute and/or Board policy. 
    8. Model a culture of respect, integrity, openness and transparency. 
    9. Maintain transparency in all fiduciary aspects.

  3. Accountability to Provincial Government
    1. Act in accordance with all statutory requirements to implement provincial standards and policies. 
    2. Perform Board functions required by governing legislation and existing Board policy. 
    3. Ensure all students, teachers and Division leaders learn about First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, experiences and contributions throughout history; treaties, and the history and legacy of residential schools.

  4. Fiscal Accountability
    1. Within the context of results-based budgeting, approve budget assumptions/principles and establish priorities at the outset of the budget process.
    2. Approve the annual budget and allocation of resources to achieve desired results. 
    3. Approve annual fees for instructional resources, transportation and tuition.
    4. Approve expense reimbursement rates.
    5. Approve substantive budget adjustments when necessary.
    6. Monitor the fiscal management of the Division, through receipt of at minimum quarterly variance analyses and year-end projections.
    7. Receive the Audit Report and ensure the management letter recommendations are addressed. 
    8. Approve annually the Three-Year Capital Plan for submission to Alberta Education. 
    9. Approve borrowing for capital expenditures within provincial restrictions.
    10. Set the parameters for negotiations after receiving advice from the Superintendent and others.
    11. At its discretion, ratify Memoranda of Agreement with bargaining units.
    12. Approve the Superintendent’s contract.
    13. Approve annually signing authorities for the Division.
    14. Approve transfer of funds to/from reserves.
    15. Approve investment parameters. 
    16. Annually report financial results to community stakeholders.
    17. Ensure all programs are regularly reviewed to test the relevancy, effectiveness, and efficiency of the programs against desired outcomes.

  5. Board/Superintendent Relations
    1. Select the Superintendent; provide for succession planning as required. 
    2. Provide the Superintendent with clear corporate direction. 
    3. Delegate, in writing, administrative authority and identify responsibility subject to provisions and restrictions in the School Act. 
    4. Respect the authority of the Superintendent to carry out executive action and support the Superintendent’s actions which are exercised within the delegated discretionary powers of the position. 
    5. Demonstrate respect, integrity, and support, which is then conveyed to the staff and the community.
    6. Annually evaluate the Superintendent, in accordance with a pre-established performance appraisal mechanism. 
    7. Annually review compensation of the Superintendent.

  6. Board Development
    1. Develop a plan for governance excellence in fiduciary, strategic, and generative engagement modes.
    2. Annually evaluate Board effectiveness in meeting performance indicators and determine a positive path forward.

  7. Policy
    1. Identify how the Board is to function.
    2. Develop/revise policies using a generative engagement process.
    3. Monitor policy currency and relevancy.

  8. Political Advocacy
    1. Act as an advocate for public education and the Division.
    2. Identify issues for advocacy on an ongoing basis.
    3. Develop a plan for advocacy including focus, key messages, relationships and mechanisms.
    4. Promote regular meetings and maintain timely, frank and constructive communication with locally elected officials.
    5. Arrange meetings with elected provincial and federal government officials to communicate and garner support for education.

Selected Responsibilities

The Board shall:

  1. Acquire and dispose of land and buildings; ensure titles to or enforceable long-term interests in land are in place prior to capital project construction.
  2. Approve school attendance areas.
  3. Name schools and other Division-owned facilities.
  4. Approve the Division school-year calendar(s).
  5. Consider transportation requests of non-resident students
  6. Ensure the recognition of students, staff and community.
  7. Make a recommendation to the Minister for the dissolution of a School Council.
  8. Arrange for educational services on Hutteritarian Brethren colonies, as requested, in
    facilities to be provided by the colony, for an annual rental fee
  9. Approve facility Joint Use Agreements.
  10. Encourage the formation of a Division School Council (DSC).
    1. If a DSC is formed, its primary purpose shall be to enhance communications among the School Councils, the Board, the Superintendent and the community.
    2. Parents with concerns are encouraged to present their concerns directly to the teacher/Principal. School personnel or individual student concerns are not to be discussed at DSC meetings.
  11. Approve locally developed courses.
  12. Hear unresolved student or staff complaints of discrimination or harassment.
  13. Approve all international field trips and out-of-province field trips.

Appendix

Board Policy 2 Appendix A: Board Annual Work Plan

Board Policy 2 Appendix B: Facilitated Board Self Evaluation Process

Board Policy 2 Appendix C: Board Self Evaluation Performance Process

 

Legal Reference

 Section 33, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 139, 222 Education Act

Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act

Local Authorities Elections Act

Borrowing Regulation

Disposition of Property Regulation

Early Childhood Services Regulation

Investment Regulation

School Fees Regulation

Trust and Reconciliation Commission Calls To Action


Approved: August 21, 2018

Reviewed: October, 2019