Policy 7 Updated: 2020-06-16
The Board believes that its ability to discharge its obligations in an efficient and effective manner is dependent upon the development and implementation of a sound organizational design. In order to discharge its responsibilities to the electorate of the Division, the Board shall hold meetings as often as is necessary. A quorum, which is a simple majority of the number of trustees, must be present for every duly constituted meeting. The Board has adopted policies so that the business of the Board can be conducted in an orderly and efficient manner.
The Board believes that its fundamental obligation is to preserve, if not enhance, the public trust in education, generally, and in the affairs of its operations in particular. Consistent with its objective to encourage the general public to contribute to the educational process, Board meetings will be open to the public. The Board believes its affairs must be conducted in public to the greatest extent possible.
The Board believes there are times when public interest is best served by private discussion of specific issues in "in-camera" sessions. The Board believes it is necessary to protect individual privacy and the Board's own position in negotiating either collective agreements or contracts and therefore expects to go in-camera for issues dealing with individual students, individual employees, land, labour, litigation or negotiation.
The Board further believes having members of the public make presentations at Board meetings can enhance public interest.
The Board also believes that public forums dealing with specific educational topics and held on a regular basis in various communities within the Division can enhance communications and the effectiveness of the Board.
1. Elections/Appointments
1.1 Wards
Within the stipulations of Ministerial Order 002/97, which established Holy Family Catholic Regional Division No. 37 and subsequent Ministerial Order 043/2013, the Board has decided to provide for the nomination and election of trustees within the Division by wards and electoral subdivisions.
Copies of the Ministerial Orders are available from the Division Office.
1.1.1 Each of the following is established as a ward of the Regional Division: The High Prairie Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 56. The McLennan Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 30. The Valleyview Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 84. The North Peace Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 43.
1.1.2 The number of trustees to be elected in each ward is as follows: One (1) trustee from the High Prairie Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 56 ward. One (1) trustee from the McLennan Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 30 ward. One (1) trustee from the Valleyview Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 84 ward. Four (4) trustees from the North Peace Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 43 ward: one (1) from the Manning/Fort Vermilion electoral subdivision, (1) from the Grimshaw electoral subdivision and two (2) from the Peace River/Nampa electoral subdivision.
1.1.3 All electoral subdivisions shall comprise all those lands as outlined in the appendix to Ministerial Order 043/2013.
1.1.4 The provisions of the Local Authorities Election Act respecting the election of trustees shall apply to every election in each ward.
1.1.5 If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board during the four (4) years following an election, a by-election may be held, unless this vacancy occurs in the last six (6) months before the next election. If two (2) vacancies occur prior to the fourth year of the term of office, a by-election must be held.
1.2 Appointments
One (1) trustee may be appointed by each of the Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council and the Western Cree Tribal Council in accordance with signed agreements.
2. Organizational Meeting
2.1 An organizational meeting of the Board shall be held annually, and no later than four (4) weeks following Election Day, when there has been a general election. The first official meeting of the Board following a general election shall be an organizational meeting.
2.2 The Superintendent or designate will give notice of the organizational meeting to each trustee as if it were a special meeting. The Superintendent or designate shall call the meeting to order and act as Chair of the meeting for the purpose of the election of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair.
2.3 Each trustee will take the oath of office immediately following the call to order of the organizational meeting after a general election. Special provisions will be made for a trustee taking office following a by-election.
2.4 After elections for Chair and Vice-Chair, the Board Chair shall preside over the remainder of the organizational meeting. The Board Chair shall normally be elected for a period of one (1) year.
2.5 The organizational meeting shall, in addition:
2.5.1 Establish a schedule (date, time and place) for regular meetings and any additional required meetings for the ensuing year;
2.5.2 Create such standing or ad hoc committees of the Board as are deemed appropriate, and appoint members;
2.5.3 Appoint Board representatives to the various Boards or committees of organizations or agencies where the Board has regular representation, as appropriate;
2.5.4 Review trustee conflict of interest stipulations and complete disclosure of information requirements;
2.5.5 Review Trustee Compensation Rate Schedule, Policy 7 Appendix B.
2.5.6 Address other organizational items as required.
3. Regular Meetings
Regular Board meeting dates and times shall be established at the annual organizational meeting.
3.1 All meetings will ordinarily be held in the Division Office in Peace River.
3.2 Notwithstanding the schedule noted in 2.5.1, the Board may, by resolution, alter the schedule in such manner as it deems appropriate.
3.3 All trustees shall notify the Board Chair or the Superintendent if they are unable to attend a Board meeting.
3.4 All trustees who are absent from three (3) consecutive regular meetings shall:
3.4.1 Obtain prior authorization by resolution of the Board to do so; or
3.4.2 Provide to the Board Chair evidence of illness in the form of a medical certificate respecting the period of absence.
Failure to attend may result in disqualification.
3.5 If both the Chair or Vice-Chair through illness or other cause are unable to perform the duties of the office or are absent, the Board shall appoint from among its members an acting Chair, who on being so appointed has all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the Chair during the Chair’s and Vice-Chair’s inability to act or absence.
3.6 Regular meetings of the Board will not be held without the Superintendent and/or designate(s) in attendance, unless the Superintendent’s contract is being discussed.
3.7 The Board is not required to give notice of the regular meetings of the Board. 
4. Special Meetings
4.1 Occasionally, unanticipated or emergent issues require immediate Board attention and/or action.
4.2 Special meetings of the Board will only be called when the Chair, the majority of trustees, or the Minister is of the opinion that an issue must be dealt with before the next regular Board meeting.
4.3 A written notice of the special meeting including date, time, place and nature of business shall be issued to all trustees by registered mail (at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting) or in person (at least two (2) days prior to the date of the meeting), by personal service on the trustee or a person capable of accepting service at the trustee’s residence or by fax, email or other electronic receiving number of the trustees as shown on the records of the Board, unless every trustee agrees to waive in writing the requirements for notice.
4.4 The nature of the business to be transacted must be clearly specified in the notice of the meeting. Unless all trustees are present at the special meeting, no other business may be transacted. Items can be added to the agenda only by the unanimous consent of the entire Board.
4.5 Special meetings of the Board shall be open to the public recognizing that specific agenda matters may be held in-camera.
4.6 Special meetings of the Board will not be held without the Superintendent and/or designate(s) in attendance, unless the Superintendent’s contract is being discussed.
5. Meetings by Electronic Means
Meetings by electronic means may be convened in the event of extenuating circumstances. Participation from outside the boundaries of the Division for more than one meeting is at the discretion of the Board by resolution.
5.1 In accordance with Section 5 of the Board Procedures Regulation,  a trustee may participate in a meeting of the Board by electronic means or other communication facilities if the electronic means or other communication facilities enable the trustees participating in the meeting and members of the public attending the meeting to hear each other.
Trustees participating in a meeting of the Board by electronic means or other communication facilities are deemed to be present at the meeting.
5.2 At least one (1) of the following persons named in each of 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 must be present at Division Office during the meeting:
5.2.1 A member of the Board.
5.2.2 The Superintendent or designate.
5.3 Reasonable steps must be taken to notify the public of locations from which members of the public may participate.
5.4 A trustee may participate from a location to which the public does not have access.
5.5 A trustee must ensure the means and location used to participate in the meeting will allow moving in-camera, and will meet all requirements of an in-camera session.
6. In-Camera Sessions
The Education   Act uses the term “private” for non-public meetings. Robert’s Rules of Order uses the term “executive session” for the same distinction. The term “in-camera” is most commonly used and is synonymous with the other two terms.
The Board may, by resolution, schedule an in-camera meeting at a time or place agreeable to the Board or recess a meeting in progress for the purpose of meeting in-camera. Such resolutions shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board and shall specify those individuals eligible to attend in addition to trustees and the Superintendent.
The Board may convene in-camera only to discuss matters of a sensitive nature, including:
6.1 Individual students;
6.2 Individual employees;
6.3 Matters relating to negotiations;
6.4 Acquisition/disposal of real property;
6.5 Litigation brought by or against the Board;
6.6 Other topics that a majority of the trustees present feel should be held in private, in the public interest.
Such sessions shall be closed to the public and press. The Board shall only discuss the matter(s) that gave rise to the in-camera meeting. Board members and other persons attending the session shall maintain confidentiality and shall not disclose the details of the discussion at such sessions.
The Board shall, during the in-camera session, adopt only such resolution as is required to re-convene the Board in an open, public meeting.
7. Agenda for Regular Meetings
The Superintendent or designate is responsible for preparing an agenda for Board meetings in consultation with the Board Chair and Vice-Chair.
7.1 The order of business at a regular meeting shall generally be as follows:
7.1.1 Call to Order;
7.1.2 Prayer
7.1.3 Approval of the Agenda;
7.1.4 Approval of Minutes;
7.1.5 Monthly Reports from Trustees;
7.1.6 Professional Development
7.1.7 Regular Business;
7.1.8 In Camera;
7.1.9 Superintendent’s Report;
7.1.10 Secretary   Treasurer’s Report;
7.1.11 Chair’s Report;
7.1.12 Standing Committee Reports;
7.1.13 External Committee Reports;
7.1.14 Association Business;
7.1.15 Closing Prayer;
7.1.16 Adjournment.
Items scheduled for a specific time shall be clearly identified on the agenda.
7.2 The agenda will be supported by copies of letters, reports, contracts and other materials as are pertinent to the business that will come before the Board and will be of value to the Board in the performance of its duties. The Board may request a recommendation from the Superintendent when considering action items.
7.3 Items may be placed on the agenda in one (1) of the following ways:
7.3.1 By notifying the Board Chair or Superintendent or designate at least eight (8) calendar days prior to the Board meeting.
7.3.2 By notice of motion at the previous meeting of the Board.
7.3.3 As a request from a committee of the Board.
7.3.4 Emergent issues that require Board action may arise after the agenda has been prepared. The Board Chair, at the beginning of the meeting, shall ask for additions to and/or deletions from the agenda prior to agenda approval. Changes to the agenda may be made by a majority of those present.
7.4 The agenda package, containing the agenda and supporting information, will be available to each trustee five (5) calendar days prior to the Board meeting. All trustees are expected to be conversant with the materials. Subsequently, emergent information may be provided at the meeting; and further, the Superintendent shall advise the Chair regarding the emergent nature of such information.
7.5 The Board will follow the order of business set by the agenda unless the order is altered or new items are added by agreement of the Board.
7.6 During the course of the Board meeting, the majority of trustees present may amend the agenda and place items before the Board for discussion. The Board may take action on such items.
7.7 The list of agenda items shall be posted on the Division website and be available at the Division Office.
8. Minutes for Regular or Special Meetings
The Board shall maintain and preserve by means of minutes a record of its proceedings and resolutions.
8.1 The minutes shall record:
8.1.1 Date, time and place of meeting;
8.1.2 Type of meeting;
8.1.3 Name of presiding officer;
8.1.4 Names of those trustees and senior administration in attendance;
8.1.5 Approval of agenda
8.1.6 Approval of preceding minutes;
8.1.7 All resolutions, including the Board’s disposition of the same, placed before the Board, are to be entered in full;
8.1.8 Names of persons making the motions;
8.1.9 Points of order and appeals;
8.1.10 Appointments;
8.1.11 Receipt of reports of committees;
8.1.12 Declaration of all votes on a motion (when requested pursuant to the Board Procedures Regulation; and
8.1.13 Individual trustee declaration of vote pursuant to the Board Procedures Regulation.
8.2 The minutes shall:
8.2.1 Be prepared as directed by the Superintendent or designate;
8.2.2 Be reviewed by the Board Chair, and Superintendent or designate prior to submission to the Board;
8.2.3 Be considered an unofficial record of proceedings until such time as adopted by a resolution of the Board; and
8.2.4 Upon adoption by the Board, be deemed to be the official and sole record of the Board’s business.
8.3 The Superintendent or designate shall ensure, upon acceptance by the Board, that Board Chair’s and Secretary Treasurer’s signatures are appended to each page of the minutes, and that signatures of the same are affixed to the concluding page of the minutes.
8.4 The Superintendent or designate will establish a codification system identifying resolutions determined by the Board, and maintain a file of all Board minutes.
8.5 As part of its ongoing effort to keep staff and the public fully informed concerning its affairs and actions, the Board expects the Superintendent to institute and maintain effective and appropriate procedures for the prompt dissemination of information about decisions made at all Board meetings.
8.6 The approved minutes of a regular or special meeting shall be posted to the website as soon as possible following approval. The Superintendent or designate is responsible to distribute and post the approved minutes.
8.7 All committees of the Board, unless otherwise directed, shall prepare and submit copies of meeting minutes to the Board.
8.8 All representatives appointed in accordance with Policy 9 shall provide a report to the Board.
9. Motions
Motions do not require a seconder.
9.1 Notice of Motion
The notice of motion serves the purpose of officially putting an item on the agenda of the next or future regular meeting and gives notice to all trustees of the item to be discussed. A notice of motion is not debatable and may not be voted on.
9.2 Discussion on Motions
The custom of addressing comments to the Board Chair is to be followed by all persons in attendance.
A Board motion or a recommendation from administration must generally be placed before the Board prior to any discussion taking place on an issue. Once a motion is before the Board and until it is passed or defeated, all speakers shall confine their remarks to the motion or to the information pertinent to the motion. Motions may be submitted by any trustee, including the Board Chair.
9.3 Speaking to the Motion
The mover of a motion first and every trustee shall have an opportunity to speak to the motion before any trustee is allowed to speak a second time.
If the Board Chair wishes to speak on a motion, they are to vacate their seat as Chair and ask the Vice-Chair to preside. The Chair will normally speak just prior to the last speaker who will be the mover of the motion.
The mover of the motion is permitted to close debate on the motion.
As a general guide, a trustee should not speak longer than five (5) minutes on any motion. The Board Chair has the responsibility to limit the discussion by a trustee when such a discussion is repetitive or digresses from the topic at hand, or where discussion takes place prior to the acceptance of a motion.
No one shall interrupt a speaker, unless it is to ask for important clarification of the speaker’s remarks, and any such interruption shall not be permitted without permission of the Board Chair.
Should a trustee arrive at the meeting after a motion has been made and prior to taking a vote, the trustee may request further discussion prior to the vote. The Board Chair shall rule on further discussion.
9.4 Reading of the Motion
A trustee may require the motion under discussion to be read at any time during the debate, except when a trustee is speaking.
9.5 Recorded Vote
Whenever a trustee requests a recorded vote, before the vote is taken, the minutes shall record the names of the trustees who voted for or against the matter. Immediately after a vote is taken and on the request of a trustee, the minutes shall record the name of that trustee and whether that trustee voted for or against the matter.
9.6 Required Votes
The Board Chair, and all trustees present, unless excused by resolution of the Board or by the provisions of the Board Procedures Regulation, shall vote on each question. Each question shall be decided by a majority of the votes of those trustees present. A simple majority of a quorum of the Board will decide in favour of the question. In the case of an equality of votes, the question is defeated. A vote on a question shall be taken by open vote, expressed by show of hands, except the vote to elect the Board Chair or Vice-Chair, which is by secret ballot.
9.7 Debate
In all debate, any matter of procedure in dispute shall be settled, if possible, by reference to Robert’s Rules of Order. If this reference is inadequate, procedure may be determined by motion supported by the majority of trustees in attendance.
Delegations at Board Meetings
The Board welcomes presentations on educational matters by individuals or groups from the community at its meetings. The Board believes it has a responsibility to conduct its meetings in an orderly and efficient fashion.
10.1 The Superintendent shall ensure that delegations wishing to appear before the Board have pursued all avenues of resolution (where appropriate) prior to requesting an opportunity to appear before the Board. Further, the Superintendent shall provide the delegation with a copy of the Board policy excerpt regarding delegations at Board meetings.
10.2 The delegation shall provide the Superintendent eight (8) calendar days written notice of intent, prior to the regular Board meeting at which they wish to appear. The notice shall include a written brief articulating the matter.
10.3 The Board Chair, in consultation with the Superintendent, shall determine if the proposed item is pertinent to the business of the Board.
10.4 If the item is placed on the agenda, the Superintendent shall inform the delegation of the time and place of the appointment.
10.5 Group delegations shall appoint a spokesperson to speak on their behalf at the meeting and to respond to questions from the Board.
10.6 The notice, the summary and the spokesperson shall be included in the agenda for the meeting.
10.7 The delegation will be afforded at least ten (10) minutes for presentation and followed by at least ten (10) minutes for trustee questions for clarification or as deemed appropriate by the Board Chair.
10.8 If a decision is required in response to a presentation, the Board may render its decision at a subsequent meeting and in a timely manner.
10.9 When a decision has been reached, it will be communicated in writing to the spokesperson.
10.10 Where notice requirements outlined in 10.2 are not met, the delegation shall be permitted to address the Board only by unanimous consent of the trustees present.
Audio/Video Recording Devices
Anyone wanting to use recording devices at a public Board meeting shall notify the Board Chair.
Trustee Compensation and Expenses
To compensate trustees for their time, contribution and expenses, the Board shall establish a trustee remuneration program.
12.1 Honoraria and Expense Compensation
The Board will pay the trustee’s honorarium as per Appendix B Trustee Compensation Rate Schedule using Appendix C Trustee Expense Claim Form:
12.1.1 Trustees shall submit claims for honoraria on the following basis: The full day constitutes up to and including eight (8) hours per meeting; and One-half the full day constitutes up to and including four (4) hours per meeting;
12.1.2 Travel time shall be reimbursed as per Appendix B Trustee Compensation Rate Schedule.
12.1.3 Trustees may submit claims for the following: Board/Committee meetings and workshops; School Council meetings and other appropriate school functions; Meetings with municipalities; ASBA and ACSTA functions; Attendance at other meetings and workshops as per Board policy. Occasions where the trustee participates in the function, having an active role as a trustee, such as speaking or making a presentation.
12.1.4 Honoraria shall not be paid for informal visits or invitations to schools where the trustee attends as an observer for example concerts or plays.
12.2 Trustees who are elected or appointed by the Board to represent the Board at Committee meetings or meetings of other organizations are eligible to claim for travel and per diem at the rate shown on the trustee remuneration schedule.
12.3 Honoraria and expenses may be claimed for professional development opportunities.
12.3.1 Conference expenses will be paid in accordance with the rates established annually by the Board.
12.3.2 Trustees’ attendance at provincial conventions, seminars, workshops and other similar functions shall be at the discretion of each trustee.
12.3.3 Trustees are encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities in their four-year term to support their role as a school trustee. A budget allocation not to exceed $4,000.00 per trustee per four-year term will be established by the Board. All honoraria and expenses will be charged against that budget allocation. It is an expectation that the trustee will give prior notice to the Board and provide a written report upon completion.
12.4 Trustees are eligible to claim travel expenses from their residence to attend all meetings of the Board and meetings of organizations to which they have been appointed to represent the Board.
12.4.1 Claims are submitted in accordance with the mileage rate established annually by the Board.
12.5 Trustee claims for travel, subsistence and honorarium are approved by the Board Chair and should be submitted to Finance for processing by the fifteenth (15th) of each month. The Board Chair’s claim shall be approved by the Vice-Chair. To account for the appropriate taxable and non-taxable calculations for honorarium and travel, payment is processed through the payroll system and direct deposited to trustees’ bank accounts with their regular paycheque.
12.6 Trustees are provided with equipment as per Policy 3 Appendix section 4. Trustees are eligible to claim supplies and material expenses.
12.6.1 Claims will be reimbursed with receipts.
12.6.2 $20.00 per month will be provided to trustees for High Speed Internet services.
Trustee Conflict of Interest
The trustee is directly responsible to the electorate of the Division and to the Board.
Upon election to office and annually thereafter, the trustee must complete a disclosure of personal interest statement and accept a position of public trust. The trustee is expected to act in a manner which will enhance the trust accorded the trustee, and through the trustee, the trust accorded to the Board.
The Board is of the firm conviction that its ability to discharge its obligations is dependent upon the trust and confidence of the electorate in its Board and in its trustee members. Therefore, the Board believes in the requirement to declare conflict of interest.
13.1 The trustee is expected to be conversant with sections 85-96 of the Education Act.
13.2 The trustee is responsible for declaring themselves to be in possible conflict of interest.
13.2.1 The trustee shall make such declaration in open meeting prior to Board or committee discussion of the subject matter which may place the trustee in conflict of interest.
13.2.2 Following the declaration of conflict of interest by a trustee, all debate and action shall cease until the trustee has left the room.
13.3 It shall be the responsibility of the trustee in conflict to absent themselves from the meeting in accordance with the requirements of the Education  Act and ensure that their declaration and absence is properly recorded within the minutes.
13.4 The recording secretary will record in the minutes:
13.4.1 The trustee’s declaration;
13.4.2 The trustee’s abstention from the debate and the vote; and
13.4.3 That the trustee left the room in which the meeting was held.
Board Self-Evaluation
14.1 The annual Board self-evaluation process will complement the Superintendent evaluation process described in the document entitled Superintendent Evaluation Process, Criteria and Timelines.
14.2 The purpose of the Board self-evaluation is to answer the following questions:
14.2.1 How well have we fulfilled each of our defined roles in relation to our mission, goals and objectives as a Board this past year?
14.2.2 How do we perceive our interpersonal working relationships?
14.2.3 How well do we receive input and how well do we communicate?
14.2.4 How well have we adhered to our annual work plan?
14.2.5 How would we rate our Board-Superintendent relations?
14.2.6 How well have we adhered to our governance policies?
14.2.7 What have we accomplished this past year? How do we know?
14.3 The principles upon which the Board self-evaluation is based are as follows:
14.3.1 A learning organization or a professional learning community is focused on the improvement of practice.
14.3.2 A pre-determined process for evaluation strengthens the governance functions and builds credibility for the Board.
14.3.3 An evidence-based approach provides objectivity.
14.4 The components of the Board self-evaluation are:
14.4.1 Review of Board Role Performance (Appendix D)
14.4.2 Monitoring Interpersonal Working Relationships (Appendix E)
14.4.3 Monitoring Board-Superintendent Relations (Appendix F)
14.4.4 Monitoring Community Engagement (Appendix G)
14.4.5 Review of Annual Work Plan Completion
14.4.6 Review of Board Motions
14.4.7 Review of Board Governance Policies
14.4.8 Creating a Positive Path Forward
Legal Reference:
Sections 52, 53, 64-69, 70-76, 80-88, 112, 123, 137, 145, Education Act
Local Authorities Elections Act
Income Tax Act (Canada)
Board Procedures Regulation  

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Holy Family Catholic Regional Division No. 37   June 2010
Board Policy Handbook