Doing What’s Best for Kids

Policy 2: Role of the Board

As the corporate entity established by provincial legislation and given authority by the Education Act and attendant Regulations and the corporate body elected by the electors that support Fort McMurray School Division, the Board of Trustees 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 other guiding documents.

The Board is therefore charged with the responsibility of providing an education system that is organized and operated in the best interests of the Division to support the students it serves. It exercises this responsibility through the 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. Annually approve the process and timelines for the refinement of the Three-Year Education Plan.
    3. Identify Board priorities at the outset of the annual Three-Year Education planning process.
    4. Monitor the effectiveness of the Division in achieving established priorities, desired results, and key performance indicators, through the Alberta Education Assurance Measures (AEAM) and other administrative reporting.
    5. Annually approve the “rolling” Three-Year Education Plan/Annual Education Results Report for submission to Alberta Education and for distribution to the public.
  2. Community Assurance
    1. Make informed decisions that are in the best interest of the Division and that consider community values.
    2. Inform the community about Division programs, needs, and desires.
    3. Establish processes and provide opportunities for community engagement.
    4. Report Division outcomes to the community at least annually.
    5. Convene a meeting for Networks at least four times yearly.
    6. Develop appeal procedures and hold hearings as required by statute and/or Board policy.
    7. Model a culture of respect and integrity.
    8. 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.
  4. Fiscal Accountability
    1. 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 three-yearly variance analyses and year-end projections.
    7. Receive the Audit Report and management letter and ensure recommendations approved by the Board are implemented in a timely manner.
    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 soliciting advice from the Superintendent and others.
    11. At its discretion, ratify the Memorandum of Agreement with bargaining units.
    12. Review annually signing authorities for the Division to ensure appropriate control measures are in place. 
    13. Approve transfer of funds to/from reserves in conjunction with budgets and Audited Financial Statements.
    14. Annually review investment parameters.
    15. Ensure programs and services are identified for review to test the relevancy, effectiveness, and efficiency of the programs against desired outcomes.
  5. Board/Superintendent Relations (“First Team”)
    1. Select the Superintendent and notify the Minister.
    2. Provide the Superintendent with clear corporate direction.
    3. Delegate, in writing, administrative authority and identify responsibility subject to provisions and restrictions in the Education 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. Approve the Superintendent’s contract and any amendments thereto.
    8. Annually review the compensation of the Superintendent.
  6. Board Development
    1. Develop a plan for governance excellence in fiduciary, strategic and generative engagement modes.
    2. Encourage individual trustees to participate in conferences and other activities to further develop Board and trustee effectiveness.
    3. 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. Establish policies.
    3. Monitor policy currency and relevance.
  8. Political Advocacy
    1. Act strategically as an advocate for public education and the Division.
    2. Participate in local, provincial, and national advocacy processes.
    3. Reinforce local, provincial, and national positions with media and members of the regional council, legislature, and parliament.
    4. Identify issues for advocacy on an ongoing basis.
    5. Annually develop a plan for advocacy including focus, key messages, relationships, and mechanisms.
    6. Promote regular meetings and maintain timely, frank, and constructive communication with locally elected officials.
    7. Arrange meetings with elected provincial, municipal and federal government officials to communicate and garner support for education.

    Selected Responsibilities:

  9. The Board shall:
    1. Approve of disposition 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. Approve alternate programs
    4. Name schools and other Division-owned facilities.
    5. Approve the Division school-year calendar(s).
    6. Provide for recognition of students, staff, and community.
    7. Make a recommendation to the Minister for the dissolution of a School Council.
    8. Approve joint-use agreements.
    9. Approve locally developed courses.
    10. Hear unresolved complaints of discrimination or harassment.
    11. Approve all international field trips.