Policy development is a key responsibility of the Board. Policies constitute the will of the Board in determining how the Division will be operated. Policies provide effective direction and guidelines for the action of the Board, Superintendent, staff, students, electors and other agencies. Policies also serve as sources of information and guidelines to all who may be interested in or connected with the operation of the Division. Adoption of new Board policies or revision of existing policies is solely the responsibility of the Board.
Board policies shall provide an appropriate balance between the responsibility of the Board to develop the broad guidelines to guide the Division and the opportunity for the Superintendent to exercise professional judgment in the administration of the Division.
The Board shall be guided in its approach to policy making by ensuring adherence to the requirements necessary to provide public education and compliance with the School Act and provincial legislation. Further, while reserving unto itself the authority and responsibility to determine and adopt policies, the Board desires to collaborate with the community to carry out this responsibility. Obtaining comments from a broad base of stakeholders in the Division community is seen to be essential to ensure the adequacy, suitability and effectiveness of Board policies in ensuring that students have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister.
The Board shall adhere to the following stages in its approach to policy making:
- The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, shall assess the need for a policy, as a result of its own monitoring activities or on the suggestion of others, and identify the critical attributes of each policy to be developed.
- The Board may develop the policy itself or may delegate the responsibility for development to the Superintendent.
- The process for the development and review of policies will allow for the participation of interested and concerned groups and individuals as appropriate to their circumstances.
- The Board is responsible for the implementation of policies governing its own processes.
- The Board and Superintendent share responsibility for the implementation of policies relating to the Board-Superintendent relationship.
- The Superintendent is responsible for the implementation of all other policies.
- The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, shall evaluate each policy in a timely manner in order to determine whether or not it is meeting its intended purpose.
- Any trustee, employee, taxpayer, parent, student or School Council of the Division may make suggestions regarding the possible development of a policy or the need for policy revisions on any matter, by presenting a proposal for a policy or revisions in writing to the Superintendent. The proposal shall contain a brief statement of purpose or rationale.
- The Superintendent shall inform the Board of the request for policy development/revision. The Board will determine the action to be taken.
- If necessary, the Superintendent or designate shall draft amendments to an existing policy or a new policy as the case may be.
- When developing policy, input must be sought from those affected by the policy. Input may also be requested from government, community leaders, other Boards or agencies, and contractors.
- When appropriate, the Superintendent shall seek legal advice on the intent and wording of the policy.
- Once stakeholder comments have been taken into account, the policy will be recommended to the Board for final approval.
- The formal adoption of policies shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board meeting.
- In the absence of existing policy, the Board may make decisions, by resolution, on matters affecting the administration, management, and operation of the Division. Such decisions carry the weight of policy until such time as specific written policy is developed.
- The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures as specified in Policy 11 – Board Delegation of Authority and may develop such other procedures as deemed necessary for the effective operation of the Division; these must be in accordance with Board policies, and be provided as information to the Board.
- When developing administrative procedures, input must be sought from those affected by the administrative procedure.
- The Board may request the Superintendent to change an administrative procedure to a draft Board policy, and will provide the rationale for same.
- The Board may also delete a policy and subsequently delegate the Superintendent authority over this area. The Superintendent may choose to then develop an administrative procedure relative to this matter.
- The Superintendent shall arrange for all Board policies and administrative procedures to be posted on the Division’s website for staff and public access and to be distributed electronically to all principals and administrative staff.
- The Superintendent shall inform the Board of changes to administrative procedures.
Section 33, 51, 52, 53, 222 Education Act
Board Procedures Regulation
Approved: January 10, 1995
Amended: January 10, 2008; November 1, 2016; August 21, 2018
Reviewed: January 13, 2020