Board Governance

 Board Governance

The Board leads the Division as a unified body, encouraging and strengthening the entire Division to achieve exciting and unprecedented results for students. The primary activity of the Board is governance, which means that in its leadership capacity, the Board guides the achievements of the School Division by making high level decisions, setting broad goals, and ensuring that the Board's policy manual is current, relevant, and complied with. The Board contribution is vital in its power and leadership, and the role of the individual Trustee is to learn to govern with excellence.

 

The Role of an Elected School Board

 

School Boards are responsible, by law, for the delivery of fair and equitable public education within their jurisdiction. As the governing Board, the Trustees are responsible to:

  • Identify, express, and represent values which reflect the best hopes and aspirations of the community
  • Choose and organize priorities and outcomes for the School Division
  • Establish structures and systems, and retain a Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer and Secretary Treasurer for the school division
  • Acquire and allocate resources
  • Set out vital principles and the limits of acceptable behavior
  • Encourage commitment and compliance within the school division
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of themselves, the Superintendent/CEO, and the school division
  • Move the organization forward according to established decisions and standards.
  • Be accountable to the general public for the overall performance of the division.

 

Policy Leadership as Strategic Governance

 

Through governance policy statement (The Board Policy Manual) the Board provides leadership for the Division. According to The Public Schools Act, only the Board can adopt new policies or revise existing policies. In Border Land, this is accomplished through policy leadership in order to ensure the pursuit of excellence within the Division.

Strategic governance is practiced by the Board. This informs the Board's governance role and strengthens the connection between the Board and the community it is elected to represent. Policies are clearly worded and re-examined regularly by the Board to ensure that desired results are being achieved within the Division. Accountability is clearly established through the delegation of authority to the Superintendent/CEO in written Board policy. A regular monitoring cycle for Board policies ensures the necessary framework for Administration to demonstrate achievement of the goals established by the board and holds the Superintendent/CEO accountable for compliance with Board policies.

Strong governance policies:

 

  • Illustrate the relationship between core values and the actions of the school division
  • Eliminate overlapping policies
  • Provide easy maintenance
  • Offer assurance of compliance
  • Set a clear framework for operations within the school division
  • Clarify accountability.

 

School boards develop four types of policy:

  • The Vision for the Division which the system is to work to achieve
  • Identification of what divisional management can and cannot do
  • How the board will conduct their business
  • The relationship between the Board and the Division staff.

 

Administrative procedures are the delegated responsibility of the Superintendent/CEO and may be developed, altered and modified without prior approval of the Board, except in those areas specifically identified through Board policy as requiring Board approval (See Policies 13 and 15).

Policies are developed depending on responses to the following three questions:

  • Does this policy communicate clearly the purposes of the Board?
  • Does this policy define the Board's instructions to the Superintendent/CEO in such a way as to allow the Superintendent/CEO an acceptable range of implementation?
  • How will this policy be monitored?

 

By practicing strategic governance, the Board ensures that the policy is the basis for action and decision-making within the school division.