The Board values the views of all stakeholders on educational issues and seeks to provide opportunities to hear from the public in a variety of ways.
The intent of this policy is to clarify the Board's procedures for its official Board meetings with respect to members of the public and staff group representatives providing general comments to the Board on an educational issue or on specific Board meeting agenda items, making formal presentations to the Board or presenting a petition to the Board.
In accordance with the Education Act, the Board of Trustees as the Corporate Board of Edmonton School Division holds its official business meetings in public. Board meeting agendas are posted to the Division website www.epsb.ca. No person will be excluded from the meeting except for improper conduct. Attacks on the personal character or performance of any individual or disruptive remarks will be ruled out of order and persistence in such remarks shall cause the individual to be excluded from the meeting room.
- GENERAL COMMENTS ON AN EDUCATIONAL ISSUE AT A BOARD MEETING
- A member of the public or a staff group representative may address the Board on any educational issue.
- A member of the public or a staff group representative may speak for three minutes at a public Board meeting under the agenda category Comments from the Public and Staff Group Representatives. The total duration of the Comments from the Public and Staff Group Representatives section of the agenda will not exceed 20 minutes. Exceptions to the time limits may be made by a majority vote of the Board.
- Speakers will address their comments to the Board Chair.
- COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC BOARD AGENDA ITEMS
- If a member of the public or a staff group representative wishes to give a position to the Board on a specific board agenda item, the individual must register with the Board office by noon the business day before the meeting.
- The Board Chair will, through the approval of the agenda, seek agreement of the Board to hear the individual.
- Speakers will confine themselves to three minutes and address their comments to the Board Chair. This may be extended to accommodate individuals who have disabilities that affect their communication, translation requirements or other required communication supports. Extensions will be granted at the discretion of the Board Chair or designate.
- The total duration of public comment on a specific agenda item will not exceed 20 minutes per agenda item. Exceptions to the time limits may be made by a majority vote of the Board.
- FORMAL DELEGATIONS, PRESENTATIONS, AND PETITIONS TO BOARD
- The Board office will advise the delegation on the procedures for submitting a brief and/or making a verbal presentation and assist the delegation in making their request.
- Groups or individuals who wish to appear before the Board to make a presentation to or a request of the Board will first discuss the request with the Superintendent of Schools or a designate. This provides the presenter an opportunity to clarify his/her understanding of Division practices related to the presentation topic and determine what other assistance may be available through the administration.
- If after meeting with the administration an appearance before the Board is still desired, the delegation must make their request in writing to the Board office at least three weeks in advance of the preferred meeting at which they wish to appear. Notwithstanding the three week notice, the Superintendent of Schools may consider a request to waive the timelines if circumstances warrant; for example, if the Board will be making a decision on the matter before the delegation is scheduled to present to Board.
- The Board reserves the right to determine whether the delegation will be heard, and if so, whether it will be heard by the Board or by a committee of the Board. For matters clearly within the practice and mandate of the Board, the Board office in consultation with the Superintendent of Schools and Board Chair will make appropriate arrangements for the delegation to be heard.
- Written briefs or a digest of the information to be presented must be submitted to the Board office at least five days prior to the meeting. The notice and the brief will be provided to each Trustee with the notice of meeting at which the delegation is to appear.
- The delegation may have 10 minutes in total to make its presentation and may appoint two spokespersons.
- Decisions regarding requests made by delegations will be dealt with at the next meeting of the Board or appropriate committee unless the Board will be making a decision on the matter as part of another scheduled item of business on the agenda or it is otherwise agreed to by a majority vote of the members present.
- Petitions received by the Board may only pertain to matters other than those articulated in Sections 102, 110 and 190 of the Education Act.
- Petitions will be reviewed by the secretary to the Board to ensure the petition meets the requirements articulated in the Education Act.
- The Board will administer petitions in compliance with the Education Act. This includes giving public notice, when and as required under the Act, and in alignment with the Petitions and Public Notice Regulation.