What is a School Board Trustee?

Peel board trustees advocate for their communities

Public school trustees are the critical link between communities and school boards. They are elected by taxpayers during municipal elections every four years and are directly accountable to the community. The current 12 trustees have been elected to serve from Dec. 1, 2010, to Nov. 30, 2014.

Working together, trustees:

  • govern and establish policies
  • set budgets and govern the provision of curriculum, facilities, human and financial resources
  • advocate for the needs of their communities, and explain the policies and decisions of the board to residents
  • work with all levels of government to help ensure student success

Trustees are available to help taxpayers, parents and others address any issues they may have about the public school system. 

Trustees meet as a board on a regular basis and also participate on organized standing committees. The meeting schedule lists public meetings.

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Trustee Roles & Responsibilities

The Peel District School Board, like every public school board in Ontario, is governed by aboard of trustees. They are elected by public school taxpayers every four years during municipal elections and are directly accountable to the community. The current 12 trustees have been elected to serve from Dec. 1, 2010, to Nov. 30, 2014.

Authority

School trustees are responsible for the operation of the public school system. They are elected in accordance with the Education Act at each municipal election, by the electoral group the board represents. In the case of the Peel board, the electoral group is made up of the public school tax supporters residing in the Peel Region. The Education Actdefines, by formula, the maximum number of trustees to be elected in each particular jurisdiction. It also  establishes how much trustees are paid.

Accountability

Public school trustees are the critical link between communities and school boards. They ensure public schools meet the diverse needs of students in their communities. Together, trustees are responsible to their communities for the quality of education provided in local schools within an approved financial framework.

Each trustee is accountable, through applicable legislation and adopted policies, to their constituents, the Peel board and the province of Ontario. Trustees are encouraged to:

  • attend and participate in all regular board meetings and, as appointed, all standing committee meetings 
  • attend other board committees or task force assignments for which the trustee has volunteered or been appointed by the board 
  • represent the board on community-based committees and functions for which the trustee has volunteered or been appointed by the board 
  • be knowledgeable about the Peel board and provincial/federal legislation so that specific responsibilities can be carried out appropriately

Trustees have no individual authority. Trustees have an individual responsibility to represent the constituents of their respective ward(s) to the best of their ability. In this respect, it is the duty of the board, its staff and officers, to facilitate this opportunity, by receiving written or oral delegations and presentations by groups and individuals and to respond to them appropriately. For more information, contact the Director’s Office at905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2011.

Evaluation

Trustees are responsible to:

  • evaluate and review, on a regular basis, the board's achievement of its goals, objectives and strategic plan 
  • ensure that the board is responsibly meeting its legal and financial requirements and obligations 
  • monitor the implementation of board directives 
  • monitor the activities of the board, including the review of reports and positions taken at board and committee meetings

Public relations

Trustees are responsible to:

  • represent and actively promote the Peel board in their ward(s) 
  • work in partnership with school councils 
  • support and encourage public education

Human resources

Trustees are responsible to:

  • establish the policies that govern the administration of personnel 
  • appoint senior administration and other staff as identified in the Education Act 
  • evaluate the performance of senior management of the board 
  • support and provide opportunities for the orientation, training and development of all board employees, including trustees 
  • bargain in good faith with all employee groups

Trustees must ensure that the board's employment practices conform to employment standards and all other employment-related laws, such as employment equity, pay equity and health and safety legislation. The board provides safe environments free from any form of racism or discrimination for its approximately 12,000 employees.

Ethics

The following are principles and procedures derived from explicit laws (statutes), common law precedents and long established practice:

  • The board may delegate authority to an individual trustee, employee or committee. However, ultimate control and responsibility remains with the board as a whole. 
  • Members of the board are the trustees of the assets which belong to the board.
  • Members of the board are obligated to consider and protect the future of the board. It is the duty of trustees to always consider the long-term effects of each decision.
  • Trustees avoid any conflict of interest, within the spirit and letter of the law.
  • "In Committee" confidentiality must be maintained.

Election Information

Number of trustees currently serving on the Peel board: 12

Next municipal election: October 27, 2014

Purpose of Position

A school trustee is responsible, as a member of the board:

  • to govern and set policy for the Peel board 
  • to govern for the provision of curriculum, facilities, human and financial resources for the Peel board 
  • to advocate for the needs of their communities 
  • as a constituency representative, to explain the policies and decisions of the Peel board to residents

Trustees are available to help taxpayers, parents, and others address any issues they may have about the public school system.

Policy development and administration

Policy is the framework that governs the administration and operation of the board.

By the act of approving a policy, the board assumes full political, financial and legal responsibility for it.

Bylaws are the set of rules that govern the process of board meetings and the board's affairs. 

Trustees are responsible to:

  • ensure that the board's bylaws and policies are current and that all parties operate within them 
  • set and evaluate policy for the board and to ensure that it is implemented 
  • ensure that the board's purpose, governing principles, function and activities are being pursued in a responsible manner with the utmost integrity

Finances

The board of trustees are responsible to:

  • participate in the annual budget development process
  • approve the board budget and to monitor its progress 
  • demonstrate fiscal accountability 
  • ensure the allocation of resources to support the board's policies and programs

Trustee expenses

Trustee expenses are posted on the board's website annually, in accordance with Board Policy #75.

 

 

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