Board Operations

Policy 9 – Board Operations

Date Adopted:  June 23, 2010

Revised: February 7, 2018

 

  1. Role of the Chair

    The Chairperson shall:

    1. call and set the agenda and program (with the assistance of the Superintendent and the Secretary-Treasurer) of all regular and special meetings of the Board;
    2. maintain the order and proper conduct and decorum of the meetings;
    3. decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the rest of the Board;
    4. if, in the opinion of the Chairperson, any person other than a member of the Board is guilty of disorderly or improper conduct, require such person to leave the meeting immediately and if the person fails to do so may cause the person to be removed.
    5. preside at the meetings of the Board and vote with the other members on all questions and each question on which there is an equality of votes is deemed to be negative. (Public Schools Act, Section 31)
    6. be an ex-officio non-voting member of all committees of the Board;
    7. represent the Board at all public, government, community and Board functions (this duty may be delegated to another member of the Board or to the Superintendent by the Chairperson);
    8. report to the trustees, officers, employees and residents of the Division at such times as he or she deems fit or as requested by the Board, with regard to the interests of the Board;
    9. act as the Board’s only designate in speaking to the media on behalf of the Board (this duty may be delegated to another member of the Board or to the Superintendent by the Chairperson);
    10. sign all legal documents on behalf of the Board;
    11. perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Board.

       

  2. Principles Surrounding Committee Structure

    Committees of the Board are established to enhance the work of governance. They complement the work of the Board. and are different from administrative committees. Board Committees assist the Board to do its work; they do not assist or advise the staff. Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees of the Board are established by the Board for a specified purpose. In keeping with the broad focus of the Board, Board committees will not normally have direct dealings with staff operations.

     

  3. Meetings

    .1) Inaugural Meeting

    1. The first meeting of the Board shall take place in August. In a trustee election year, the first meeting of the Board shall take place within 14 days after Trustee general elections, in accordance with the Public Schools Act.
    2. The Board shall not proceed with any business at its Inaugural Meeting in each year unless there is a quorum and all newly elected members of the Board have taken the declaration of qualification and the oath (or affirmation) of office.
    3. At the Inaugural Meeting of the Board in each year, the trustees present shall elect from among themselves a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a 2nd Vice-Chairperson for the next ensuing school year and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division shall preside at the election, or, if there is no Secretary-Treasurer present the trustees present shall elect one of themselves to preside at the election and the member selected may vote on the election. (Public Schools Act, Section 29(2))
    4. In the event of a tie in selecting a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson or a 2nd Vice-Chairperson the members of the Board shall determine by lot who shall cast the deciding vote. (Public Schools Act, Section 29(3)

       

      .2) Regular Meetings

  4. Community Connections

    The Board will strategically establish formal connections with the Border Land community, with government, and with other relevant agencies and organizations to build understanding toward the achievement of Board goals for the School Division. The Board will share information, proactively identify issues of importance, work collaboratively, and build relationships.

  5. One Voice Commitment
  1. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held at least monthly. At the organizational Meeting the members of the Board shall set a specific day or days in each month on which regular meetings shall be held as well as a time and a place for such meetings.
  2. The Board may change the date, time and location of a regular meeting by motion at a preceding regular meeting.
  3. Written notice of a regular meeting, together with a proposed agenda and such material as is available and may be useful in preparing for the meeting shall be given to all trustees not less than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time of the meeting. However, timely notice of a regular meeting of the Board or receipt of proposed agenda materials may be dispensed with by the consent of the trustee(s) not receiving notice as set out herein. The forty-eight hours minimum may be dispensed with by majority vote of the Board when circumstances warrant.
  4. The Chairperson shall call the regular, special, and emergency meetings to order precisely at the hour for which the meeting is called, providing a quorum is present. If a quorum is present but the Chairperson is absent the Vice-Chairperson shall call the meeting to order. In the absence of both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson the 2nd Vice-Chairperson shall call the meeting to order.
  5. It shall be the duty of the presiding chairperson at all times to preserve order, and to endeavor to conduct all business before the Board with propriety and dispatch.
  6. If the Chairperson wishes to speak on a motion he or she should vacate his or her seat as Chairperson and ask the Vice-Chairperson to take over. If both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson wish to speak then the 2nd Vice-Chairperson shall take the seat as chairperson. The mover has the right to close the debate.

     

     

    .3) Special Meetings

  1. A special meeting of the Board may be called by:
    1. the Chairperson of the Board, or
    2. a majority of the trustees.
  2. Notice of a special meeting must be given to all members of the Board at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. The notice may be verbal or in writing and shall include a statement of the subject(s) to be taken into consideration and the date, time, and location of the meeting.
  3. A special meeting may be held without notice if all trustees agree to waive the requirements for notice in (b) above.
  4. Unless all trustees are present at a special meeting, no business other that that stated shall be transacted at the special meeting. Additional items of business may be added to the agenda only if all trustees agree to the addition.
  5. Emergency meetings dealing with an emergency situation may be called at any time and at any place where every attempt has been made to contact all members of the Board, and where a quorum can be obtained.

     

     

    .4) In Camera Meetings

    According to the Public Schools Act of Manitoba, all School Board meetings are held openly and no one is excluded or removed from those meetings except for improper conduct. However, at all times, it is appropriate for the Board to meet behind closed doors when the Board must deal with sensitive matters such as negotiations, personnel matters, litigation, student files, land acquisitions/disposal, security and discipline matters. All discussion is, and shall be, confidential.

     

    .5) Delegations to the Board Meeting

    It is the right of any individual, organization, or group from within the Division to make a presentation to the Board. The Board may, on occasion, be in a position to make an immediate decision about a specific matter presented, but generally will require additional time to gather information or to have the matter studied. Notification of the decision of the Board will be provided in a timely manner after appropriate study or review. For Delegation Procedures see the Board Reference Handbook, Policy Code KCFA.

     

According to provincially legislated authority and accountability, the Board is a corporate body established to provide governance leadership for the Border Land School Division. As members of a democratically elected body, it is important and necessary for individual Trustees to be in active attendance at Board meetings, and to encourage and represent diversity of viewpoints. Individual trustees are ultimately accountable to the public for bringing forward the voice and views of the people within the Border Land jurisdiction. This One Voice Commitment does not demand unanimous decisions, but does require that all Trustees shall respect the decisions of the Board.

 

According to this One Voice Commitment, trustees:

a. Support Board decisions. Trustees are expected to contribute and to influence the decisions of the Board. Board decisions are only those that have been voted upon and are reflected in the Minutes of the Board meetings as policies or resolutions. Once the Board has made a decision, each trustee must respect the decision of the Board and be prepared to explain the decision of the Board to the public.

b. Never attempt to exercise individual authority over the organization or the Superintendent/CEO.

  While the Board expects individual trustees to be given common courtesy, it does not require the Superintendent/CEO or any other staff member to heed any individual trustee's opinions or instructions. Individual trustees have no authority over staff and no authority to assert themselves into staff operations.

c. As members of a strategic governance board, trustees will focus on what needs to be accomplished for effective governance while at the Board table.

d. State the policy when community members, staff or trustees, raise issues. Discussion shall center on whether the concerns justify changes to the policy or whether monitoring of the policy is necessary, not on the details of the issue. (UCN GP9)

e. Recognize that the Chairperson is the official spokesperson of the Board, unless the Board or Chairperson has delegated that responsibility.