Board Policy 4

Appendix A: Trustee Communications Protocol

A role of an individual trustee as outlined in Policy 3 – Role of the Trustee is to contribute to a positive and respectful learning and working culture both within the Board and the Division. Paramount in the achievement of this role is communication.

  1. As stated in Policy 4 – Trustee Code of Conduct, trustees shall reflect the Board’s values, priorities, policies, and resolutions and be respectful of current Division practices when communicating with the public.
    1. Trustees shall speak with deliberation and care, understanding that when they speak, the perception often is that the Board is speaking.
    2. When speaking, trustees will communicate as accurately as possible at all times.
    3. Trustees may speak about a motion they put forward prior to the debate and Board decision. Once a decision is made, all trustees are expected to publically respect the Board decision.
    4. A trustee may provide personal opinion or comment as the electoral subdivision trustee on local issues, while recognizing that all local issues may have Division implications.

  2. As stated in Policy 5 – Role of the Board Chair, the Board Chair will act as the chief spokesperson for the Board except for those instances where the Board has delegated this role to another individual group.
    1. The Board Chair will respond promptly to emails addressed to all trustees. The return email will indicate that all trustees are aware that the Board Chair is responding on behalf of the Board. Trustees will not respond if they are copied in an email.

  3. As stated in Policy 4 – Trustee Code of Conduct, trustees will maintain the highest standards of civility and respect, and abstain from criticism of fellow Board members, the Board, employees, students and parents.
    1. Trustees will be respectful of others in the volume of electronic communications sent to colleagues, will read information received from colleagues, will avoid debate by email and will avoid compromising the public nature of debate in sharing information.
    2. Public statements will avoid criticism of the intentions or actions of other Board members, the Board, employees, students and parents.
    3. Recognizing that electronic communications is not a secure communication, trustees will not use email to pass along sensitive or confidential information.
    4. Trustees will inform the electoral subdivision trustee prior to contacting or visiting community groups, organizations or MLAs in electoral subdivisions other than their own.

  4. In accordance with Policy 4 - Trustee Code of Conduct, trustees shall endeavor to work with fellow Board members in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences of opinion that may arise during debate.
    1. Trustees are not to congregate in any formal meetings of greater than three trustees outside of Board meetings.

  5. As stated in Policy 3 – Role of the Trustee, trustees are to provide for the engagement of parents, students and various communities.
    1. Trustees must be aware of social media etiquette when inviting feedback on Board proposals, including policy, and in modeling the principles of open and transparent governance and inclusiveness in public education.
    2. Trustee personal blogs, websites and social media groups will be respectful of Board values, priorities, policies and resolutions and respect confidentiality. (The expression of personal opinion may impact the range of feedback received or the perception that the trustee is going into a debate with an open mind.)
      1. Trustees will consider the accuracy and potential legal liabilities of all posts before posting.
      2. Trustees will monitor personal sites.

Legal Reference:

Section 33, 34, 51, 52, 53, 64, 67, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 Education Act

Approved: August 21, 2018

Reviewed: October 3, 2019