Board Committee Principles
These committees continue from year to year to assist the Board in addressing specific roles and responsibilities and are responsible to the Board or the Conference Committee.
- Board committees are established by the Board of Trustees to assist the Board of Trustees in meeting its role and responsibilities as a corporate board of governors.
- A Committee is a Board Committee if the Board establishes it and defines its terms of reference or mandate, regardless of whether or not it is called a committee or whether non-Trustees sit on the committee. A Task Force established by the Board is considered a Board committee.
- The Board shall approve the Terms of Reference or scope of work for any Board created and appointed Committee.
- Committee membership shall be reviewed annually at the organizational meeting or as the Board of Trustees so determines.
- Board committees shall be comprised of no more than three Trustees from among whose members a chair will be selected unless otherwise specified within the terms of reference. The Superintendent of Schools will assign an administrator to assist the committee in its work.
- Each Board Committee shall be charged with meeting within four weeks of being established to identify a Chair for the Committee and a preliminary schedule for its business.
- Board committees may not speak or act for the Board of Trustees except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes.
- Board committees shall not exercise authority over staff nor direct staff operations. Expectations and authority shall be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the Superintendent of Schools.
- All Trustees are welcome to attend and ask questions at all Committee meetings, with Committee decision-making being reserved for Committee members (effective December 13, 2011). Attendance of others at meetings of Board committees shall be limited to administrative support and invited guests, and if decided by the Board of Trustees, the public may attend as observers.
- Each committee shall be responsible for providing written reports and recommendations to the Board of Trustees or appropriate Committee of the Whole.
- Committees of the Board normally meet bi-monthly or as required. The Board expects that responsibilities for committee work and Board representation will be distributed equitably among all Trustees.
The Advocacy Committee consists of three Trustees who are responsible for assisting the Board of Trustees in developing and carrying out an advocacy plan for building positive intergovernmental and public relations as a way of furthering District priorities and the Board's strategic plan.
Terms of Reference
The Board recognizes that it needs government and public support for public education; that the Board's objectives can be furthered through advocacy and the assistance of others; that effective advocacy is dependent on positive relationships with stakeholders; that building positive relationships takes time; and that the Board must use the time it has available to it efficiently and effectively.
The Advocacy Committee will:
In conjunction with the Board's Strategic Plan, review, confirm and develop strategic actions for advocacy/influence that can be realized through positive stakeholder activities.
Following an election and after the new District Priorities have been approved by the new Board, recommend to Conference Committee a three-year advocacy plan for Board liaison with targeted stakeholder groups including but not limited to staff, students, parents, other levels of government and external agencies for the purpose of furthering the Board's strategic objectives and, or advocacy initiatives. The plan will identify objectives, existing activities and where additional activities and strategies are needed for implementation of the Board's strategic advocacy plan.
In non-election years, monitor, review and update the Board's strategic advocacy plan mid-year or as required and report to the Conference Committee.
The Board Chair, by virtue of the office, plays a crucial role in keeping the Conference Committee apprised of government and public relations opportunities extended to the Board.
Audit Committee (Approved November 8, 2011)
The purpose of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board of Trustees in ensuring the assets of the corporation are preserved and resources utilized effectively. The Audit Committee is part of a system of checks and balances and as guardian of the District's interests, assesses whether the organization is appropriately administering public funds.
The committee meets at least twice a year "in camera".
Prior to the annual audit to:
recommend the appointment of an external Board auditor to the Board of Trustees on an annual basis and in accordance with Board Policy DIE.BP - Auditor and the School Act (part 6, division 1)
meet with the external auditor prior to commencement of the audit to review the engagement letter and assure the auditor's independence from management; and
review and discuss the audit plan with the external auditor and make a recommendation to Board
Following the annual audit to:
meet with the external auditor and Administration to review the external auditor's assessment of the District's system of internal controls and accounting policies, the draft annual audit report, accept receipt of the external auditor's independence letter, audit findings report and accompanying draft management letter.
make a recommendation to Board on whether to accept the annual audit report and financial statements for forwarding to the Minister of Education.
receive the Superintendent of School's report on internal audit activities.
The membership of the Audit Committee shall be comprised of:
three Trustee members, one of which is the Board Chair
Term of appointment shall be one year for trustees, consistent with all Trustee Standing Committees. The term of appointment for external members shall be three years. Notwithstanding any such term, each committee member shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees who reserves the right to terminate any appointment without notice, with or without cause.
Audit Committee External Member Selection Process (Approved November 8, 2011)
The Administration will post a request for Audit Committee members on the following websites: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, CMA Alberta, Certified General Accountants of Alberta and the University of Alberta business department.
The Audit Committee, with support of the Superintendent and Executive Director, Finance and Infrastructure, will select the two external members of the Audit Committee.
A quorum of the Audit Committee consists of three members of the Committee; two members which must be from the Board of Trustees.
Rules of Order
The agenda format, rules of order and confidentiality requirements for Conference Committee will be observed. All committee members shall commit to ethical conduct; proper use of authority, decorum and professional conduct.
There is no identified budget for this committee. External committee members are not entitled to honoraria.
For Trustee Reference: Financial Statement Readability Tool Kit (Alberta Education, Auditor General and Association of School Business Officials)
two external members who are designated accountants.
Board and Superintendent of Schools Evaluations Committee
(Amalgamated - September 13, 2011)
The Board and Superintendent of Schools Evaluations Committee consists of three Trustees who are responsible for assisting the Board of Trustees to conduct:
an annual Board self-evaluation for continued Board development and improved Board performance with respect to the Board's role and responsibilities.
an annual evaluation of the Superintendent of Schools in accordance with Board Policy GGB.BP - Evaluation of Superintendent of Schools and the review and or renewal of the Superintendent of Schools Contract in accordance with the School Act.
The Board Evaluation
The Committee will:
recommend a plan to Conference Committee for the annual evaluation of the Board of Trustees in keeping with the terms of reference for the Board self-evaluation.
develop and recommend to Conference Committee a proposed Board result statement based on an analysis of the Board's self-evaluation.
present the Board evaluation result statement on behalf of the Conference Committee to public Board for approval.
In the 3rd year of a term, assist in the creation of a summary document of the Board's results and work still to be accomplished to aid in the transition for the next Board.
Terms of Reference
The Board shall undertake an annual Board evaluation for the purpose of Board development and to model its policy of system-wide evaluation as a means of continuous improvement.
The Board Evaluation process should:
assist the Board in identifying Board strengths and areas for improvement, and common beliefs and values amongst Trustees,
provide an opportunity for Trustees to reflect on how they work collectively and as individuals with respect to the Board's mandate and role and responsibilities,
provide an opportunity for Trustees to discuss the Board Evaluation results in the context of Board development, and
provide an opportunity to recognize the Board's accomplishments.
The Board Evaluation Instrument should:
be brief; it should not take more than one hour for completion by each Trustee.
be specific to the Board of Trustees of Edmonton Public Schools.
measure Board performance with respect to the mission statement, the roles and responsibilities of the Board, the principles of operation of the Board, the district priorities and the Board strategic plan.
measure Board performance in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
lend itself to ease of aggregating results.
provide a basis of comparison of Board performance from year to year over the Board's three-year term.
The Superintendent of Schools Evaluation
The Committee shall be responsible for initiating a review and or renewal process for the Superintendent of Schools contract of employment no later than September of the school year the contract is due to expire.
Terms of Reference
(The following is taken from Board Policy GGB.BP - Evaluation of Superintendent of Schools)
The Evaluation of the Superintendent of Schools Committee shall be responsible for:
The evaluation process shall provide the Superintendent of Schools with an opportunity to:
recommending the evaluation process to be used to Conference Committee;
overseeing the approved evaluation process; and
reporting the evaluation results to the Conference Committee.
The chair of the Trustee subcommittee shall report the results of the evaluation to Board at a public board meeting.
review all information used in the evaluation;
discuss the evaluation report with the Trustee subcommittee;
include a response to the evaluation in the report to Conference Committee; and
discuss the evaluation report with the Conference Committee.
Notwithstanding 1.a. iii. and 2.a. above, if the evaluation process calls for individual Trustee evaluations of the Superintendent of Schools, the individual evaluations shall be compiled and summarized for reporting purposes by the administrator assigned to assist the committee and destroyed once the Superintendent of Schools has an opportunity to review them.
The Superintendent of Schools shall be provided a copy of the evaluation report submitted to Conference Committee and the final evaluation report to Board.
The Conference Committee evaluation report and Board evaluation report shall be filed in the Board corporate records. The records shall be accessible to the Superintendent of Schools, a Board Trustee for that evaluation period, or as directed by motion of the Conference Committee.
Board Community Relations Committee
(Terms of Reference approved - September 13, 2011)
The Board deems it important to listen to the community and build stronger relations to increase Trustees' understanding of the community perspective.
The Board Community Relations Committee will be responsible for listening to stakeholders in matters related to the Board and governance process. The committee will work in partnership with the Administration to formulate and recommend opportunities to enhance community relations and inclusiveness. As district ambassadors, committee members will nurture and promote a sense of pride and belonging to be associated with Edmonton Public Schools.
Mandate (Updated October 23, 2012)
Support the goals and carry out the activities defined in the Board and committee's annual work plans.
Engage in regular stakeholder mapping to ensure the full range of community views are included.
Explore different and more effective methods to engage Community and Stakeholders in discussion on current issues affecting the District.
Provide advice to the Board on policy and practices that will ensure the contributions, interests and needs of stakeholders are heard and considered.
Following the administrative process as outlined in Board Policy JAB.BP - Comments, Delegations and Presentations at Board Meetings by Public and Staff Representatives, meet with delegations wishing to speak to the Board and/or make a request of the Board.
The committee will consist of three Trustees from among which a chair will be selected. The chair is responsible for leading the discussion at each meeting and formally report back to the Board about the committee's activities.
A representative from the Superintendent's office will be assigned as a staff resource. Additional resources may be involved as requested by the Superintendent and/or designate.
The Committee will establish a schedule of meetings with the public to be approved by the Board.
District Priorities and Governance Committee
The District Priorities Committee is established for the first year of a Board's term after an election. The Committee consists of three Trustees who are responsible for assisting the Board in identifying the priorities that will guide district operations and its budget planning cycle for the Board's three-year term of office.
Terms of Reference(Updated November 13, 2012)
District priorities should be within the Board's mandate and few in number in order that district resources may be effectively concentrated to achieve measurable results.
After an election, following the organizational meeting, the committee will:
On June 26, 2012, the Board approved the following motions:
recommend and facilitate a process for each Board member to contribute to the development of the District priorities
seek student, staff, parent and community stakeholder input into the District priorities
consider all input received and develop and recommend a District priorities statement to Board for approval
That the Board expand the mandate of the District Priorities Committee, to include:
Reviewing and updating the School Board Governance and Operations Section of the Policy Manual (Trustees' Manual) at least once per term or as required,
Reviewing the Trustee remuneration package every three years,
Developing an orientation plan for the next Board,
Reviewing the Trustee Protocols to ensure they are current and relevant,
Reviewing and monitoring Board Work Plan progress, and
Developing Board Retreat agendas
That the District Priorities Committee be renamed the District Priorities and Governance Committee.
Policy Review Committee
The Policy Review Committee consists of three Trustees who are responsible for assisting the Board in reviewing Board policy by ensuring that Board policies submitted for Board approval are developed and reviewed in accordance with the Board's policy on policy development and review (Reference: Board Policy CH.BP - Framework for Policy Development and Review). The committee will:
recommend an annual plan for policy reviews to Board
review and recommend to Board for approval those policies recommended by the Superintendent of Schools that meet the Board's criteria for policy development and review. (Reference: Board Policy CH.BP - Framework for Policy Development and Review)
On January 31, 2012 the Board approved the following motion: That the Board undertake a full review of all its policies and update them using a standard framework for process, content development, structure and format. That the review process and standard framework be developed by the Policy Review Committee and recommended to the Board for approval.
Terms of Reference
(See Board Policy CH.BP - Framework for Policy Development and Review)
Three-Year Budget Planning Review and Results Review Committees
To provide an opportunity for Trustees to review and discuss with principals and central service administrators:
the proposed budget priorities and three-year plans for schools and central service departments and how these relate to the District priorities and Trustee initiatives.
the extent to which results for the previous year have been achieved.
Terms of Reference
The Board, each year, as part of the budget and results review process, will approve the requirements, format and timelines for review meetings.
Meetings of the committees will be open to the public.
September 14, 2010 board meeting
September 13, 2011 board meeting
November 8, 2011 board meeting
December 13, 2011 board meeting
January 31, 2012 board meeting
June 12, 2012 board meeting
June 26, 2012 board meeting
October 23, 2012 board meeting
November 13, 2012 board meeting