The District is Edmonton Public Schools, which includes the Board of Trustees, central service departments and all schools.
Stakeholders are people who contribute to, and have an interest in public education and supporting student achievement and well-being within the District. The Education Act uses the phrase “partner(s) in education” to describe stakeholders. Stakeholders include but are not limited to:
- students, parents and/or guardians, and staff;
- all members of the Edmonton community including citizens, businesses, agencies, not-for-profit organizations and service groups;
- other school boards and educational institutions; and
- municipal, provincial, federal and international levels of government.
Stakeholder Relations is how the District relates to, and interacts with, our stakeholders. The District’s approach to stakeholder relations focuses on best practices in communications, engagement and collaboration to support meaningful stakeholder participation, as well as strategic and mutually beneficial relationships between the District and its stakeholders. The District relies on recognized standards for public participation practice, such as the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum for Public Participation. It provides a framework for increasing levels of public engagement depending on the purpose of stakeholder participation and degree of impact a decision or initiative may have on stakeholders. The levels of engagement from IAP2 are: inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower.
Stakeholder Relationships are defined by the manner or role in which stakeholders engage with the District. There are different expectations and parameters for interactions with a student, parent, staff member, community connection, donor, funder, partner, sponsor, school council, tenant, vendor or volunteer. However, all stakeholder relationships require varying degrees of support and communication, and a common understanding of each party’s role and responsibilities.
- A community connection is an individual, business or organization in the community that has an informal relationship with a school, for example the owner of the local convenience store and the principal connect each August to establish communication and support around students patronizing the store; or the seniors centre that invites the school choir to perform for residents on special occasions.
- A donor is an individual, organization or business that voluntarily transfers property, monies, goods, or services to the District for charitable reasons and may be eligible for a district charitable donation receipt under Canada Revenue Agency regulations.
- A funder is an individual, organization, business or government that grants money to the District for a specified purpose and in exchange the District accepts accountability to the funder for performance in relation to the purpose being funded.
- A parent (or guardian), is an individual who under the Education Act has the right to be involved in their child’s education and specific responsibilities to support their child’s educational success.
- A partner is an individual or organization that is a party to a formal partnership with the District. A partnership is one of the most complex relationships founded upon shared values and co-created objectives and expectations. Roles, responsibilities and commitments of each partner are clearly articulated and formalized with a written memorandum of understanding and binding agreement. Partnership Agreements impose obligations on all parties to the agreement.
- A school council is a council, established pursuant to the Education Act, for which the majority of its members are parents of students who are enrolled in the school. The Board recognizes a school council as the official school-community organization representing the collective interests of the parents and students of the school.
- A staff member is any individual who is employed by the District.
- A student is an individual who is enrolled in a school.
- A sponsor is an individual, organization or business that agrees to provide goods, services or money to the District in exchange for a defined level of public recognition or advertisement.
- A tenant is an individual or group that enters into an agreement with the District, as landlord, for the use of school space under certain conditions and for a specified period of time.
- A vendor is an individual or business that provides a service or product to the District in exchange for a fee thereby entering into a purchasing contract.
- A volunteer is a member of the community who, without compensation, commits to assist the District or a school with a designated task under the direction and supervision of a district staff member.
The Board believes education is the foundation for a democratic and civil society, and that everyone has a vested interest in education. A thriving education system that engages all students to their capacity is a shared responsibility between the District and members of the community. In order to serve the diverse needs of students and support their full development and well-being, the District needs the help of all education stakeholders in:
- supporting the District Vision, Mission, Values and Priorities;
- enhancing the educational opportunities and supports available for students;
- supporting early childhood development and preparation of children for success in school;
- supporting the smooth transition of students from high school to the next phase of their lives;
- creating school environments that provide additional supports for children, families and communities;
- contributing ideas and perspectives to inform District decision making at the system and school level;
- creating efficiencies in the use of public and community resources through the coordination and integration of services; and
- advocating support for the District, publicly funded education, and community initiatives focused on students and families.
- Stakeholder relationships require an investment of time and effort to build mutual understanding, respect and trust. The Board believes that a consistent approach to stakeholder relations will encourage the establishment of strategic stakeholder relationships throughout the District that help to translate the District Vision, Mission, Values, and Priorities into positive actions for its students.
- The Board believes that the greatest impact on improving student outcomes can be achieved by working collaboratively with stakeholders to:
- identify areas where support is needed in the school and/or community to improve student outcomes;
- explore and develop strategic relationships and partnerships to leverage required expertise and resources;
- identify evidence-based approaches that have the potential to address targeted needs;
- develop the strategies to support implementation of the initiative; and
- maintain and evaluate the results to inform next steps and ensure continuous improvement.
- The Board holds the District accountable for working with stakeholders in a way that maintains welcoming, and safe learning and working environments, and that recognizes the value of diversity, dialogue and the right of all persons to be treated respectfully.
- The following principles shall guide stakeholder relations processes and practice for engagement and communication:
Accessible: Ensure equity by striving to remove barriers to understanding, input and participation.
Appreciative: Acknowledge stakeholder contributions and collaboration.
Collaborative: Promote the exchange of information, ideas, perspectives, professional expertise, resources and effort.
Inclusive: Respect the diversity within school communities.
Proactive: Anticipate and respond to the information needs of stakeholders to support and maintain their collaborative relationship with the District by providing accurate and timely information about decisions to be made, opportunities to be involved and how stakeholder input informed the final decisions.
Relevant: The level and extent of stakeholder engagement should be aligned with:
· the scope and complexity of the issue or decisions being made;
· how the issue or decision may affect stakeholders; and
· available District resources (time, funding, people).
Respectful: Honour stakeholders’ experience, skills, talents, knowledge, expertise and authority.
Transparent: Be open and clear about purposes and processes, issues, constraints and implications, efforts and results.
- The Board supports and encourages the pursuit of strategic stakeholder relationships that:
- align with the District Vision, Mission, Values, and Priorities;
- preserve the District’s reputation;
- reflect the objectives and goals of all parties;
- clearly define and appropriately communicate and/or document expectations, roles, responsibilities and authorities of all parties;
- provide conflict resolution processes to address issues;
- provide resources and services to complement, not replace, public funding for education;
- do not require an exclusive endorsement of products or service, nor exploit students or the District commercially, politically or otherwise; and
- ensure the District’s responsibilities are acknowledged with respect to student safety, personal information, management of financial resources and infrastructure, and compliance with legislation, staff collective agreements, board policy and administrative regulations.
The Superintendent of Schools shall implement this policy by assigning roles and responsibilities, and developing administrative regulations, processes and best practices aligned with recognized standards of practice for public bodies. This work must include district standards and guidelines for:
- exploring, establishing, maintaining, evaluating and reporting on stakeholder relationships;
- using data on stakeholder engagement and its impact on student achievement to inform practices;
- communication practices;
- responding to inquiries and vetting requests from stakeholders such as how to: establish a scholarship or sponsorship; make a donation; offer a program; or distribute materials through district distribution mechanisms;
- stakeholder engagement processes; and
- establishing, maintaining, reporting and recognizing sponsorships and partnerships.
(please see Sections s.27(2), s. 22, and s.12 Students of the School Act)