The Board of Trustees
A Board of Trustees governs the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. The Board of Trustees is made up of 12 trustees elected by zone and 2 student trustees. School board trustees are responsible for overseeing a thriving and progressive educational system, which serves over 72,000 students in 147 schools and sites. Trustees are empowered under the Education Act to set policy for the operation of all public schools in the Ottawa area.
The role of the school board is to:
- Articulate the Board's vision for education;
- Develop policies based on vision and provincial policy;
- Set budgets and goals;
- Monitor policy and student achievement; and
- Provide equitable access to programs for all students.
Public school taxpayers elect trustees every four years during the municipal election. The current term for trustees is December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2014.
Read more information on the Board’s policies relating to trustees and governance.
Communicators with the Public
Trustees are accountable to their community for the decisions made by the Board. They communicate with the public through organized and informal meetings with parent groups and concerned citizens, and also through the distribution of newsletters and other materials. Trustees field numerous telephone inquiries and are available and accessible to address concerns from the community with respect to Board policies and procedures.
They also act as ambassadors for the system, officiating and speaking at school openings and events. Trustees are ombudspersons for students and community members, advocating a wide range of issues regarding public education.
Trustees have the ultimate responsibility for approving the policies and by-laws which govern the Board’s entire operation. Policies are developed in conjunction with staff to address program, student, staff, property, Board and administration requirements. The Board is also active in many provincial educational associations and lobbies the Ministry of Education and other government bodies for changes to existing policies and legislation.
Advocates for Quality Education
The Board ensures that the quality of public education in Ottawa is maintained through the development, review and evaluation of curriculum standards and testing instruments. The focus is on meeting the educational goals and needs of all students in a changing global environment.
Trustees must allocate budget funds provided by the provincial government in accordance with Ministry of Education legislation, regulations and guidelines. The budget provides for payment of all expenses incurred for school purposes including staffing, textbooks, curriculum materials, school buildings, property and equipment.
One of the Board’s primary roles is that of employer of nearly 7000 employees. Trustees maintain responsibility for ensuring health and safety and employment equity standards in accordance with the current legislation. The Board also negotiates the collective agreements with federations representing its various employee groups. Trustees approve recommendations with respect to the appointment of senior staff and supervisory officers and are responsible for the hiring and terms of employment for the Director of Education.
Trustees spend a considerable amount of time serving on Board Standing and Statutory Committees. In addition to the regular bi-monthly Board meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays, trustees may be required to serve on Board Standing Committees which meet once a month: Education Committee; Business Services Committee; Chairs’ Committee and Human Resources Committee. The Special Education Advisory Committee, a statutory committee, also meets once a month.
Committees develop recommendations for the Board ’s consideration with respect to educational programs, budgets, facilities and property issues, and policies and procedures.
The entire Board of Trustees also assemble in ‘Committee of the Whole’ in order to deal with business more informally. Committee of the Whole meetings are often called for budget deliberations and accommodation reviews. As with other committees, the Committee of the Whole submits its recommendations to the Board for approval.
There are numerous other advisory and ad hoc committees on which trustees can serve, in addition to representing the Board on provincial organizations such as the Ontario Public School Boards Association.
For more information contact Monica Ceschia, Manager of Board Services at 613-596-8211, ext. 8381.