1. Where does the Board of Trustees get its authority from?
Answer: The School Act
Through the School Act, the Government of Alberta delegates much of its authority for the governance of education to locally elected school boards. When the school board makes a decision, it may only act in accordance with the legislation that creates and legislates it. The board of trustees
- may do what the legislation says they may do
- must do what the legislation says they must do
- must not do what the legislation says they cannot or does not grant the authority to do.
2. What is the role of the School Board?
Answer: In general terms, the objective of Grasslands Regional Division #6 is to “provide the best possible education to all students attending its schools at the most economical cost.” Specific school board responsibilities include:
- Setting the overall direction for the school division
- Developing, implementing and evaluating policies that set out standards and expectations regarding the actions of administration, teachers and students
- Setting goals and priorities for the district that are consistent with provincial requirements and that meet the needs of students and the community
- Adopting an annual budget that achieves division priorities
- Communicating, informing and involving parents, staff and the community-at-large in school decisions and activities.
- Lobbying government on educational issues of importance to the division
- Adjudicating policy and decisions appeals
- Selecting a superintendent of schools, delegating administrative duties to the superintendent and evaluating the superintendent annually
- Assessment of the accomplishments of the school division
3. What is the role of trustees?
Answer: In general terms, the trustees stay in touch with community stakeholders so that they understand and reflect in their decision-making, what all citizens value and want for their public schools. Although individual trustees are elected and represent stakeholders from their areas — the board makes decisions based on the needs of the entire district. In Grasslands Division, school trustees sit on these specific committees:
- Employee Compensation
- Strategic Planning
- Council of Councils
- Alberta School Boards Association—Zone 6
- Professional Development Committee
- Newell Further Education Council
- Brooks and District Recreation Board
- Learning Resource Centres—Zones 5 & 6
- Public School Boards Association of Alberta
4. Are Board meetings open to the public?
Individuals may attend Board meetings. The Board may hold a private or in camera session when they deem it is in the public interest to hold a private discussion when considering a matter, or if information must be kept confidential. When a meeting is held in camera, the Board does not have the power to pass a motion or resolution—the Board must revert to an open meeting to pass any motion or resolution emerging from an in camera meeting. Dates of Board meetings are listed on the Grasslands website (www.grasslands.ab.ca). Individuals or groups, including School Councils, may request to be placed on the agenda.
5. Where can I find out more information about Grasslands School District and about schools boards in general?
- The Grasslands School District website (www.grasslands.ab.ca)
- The Alberta Education website (www.education.gov.ab.ca)
- The Alberta School Boards Association website (www.asba.ab.ca)
- The Public School Boards' Association of Alberta website (www.public-schools.ab.ca)