The 12 trustees of the York Region District School Board are responsible for overseeing a thriving and progressive educational system, which serves over 127,000 students in nearly 200 schools. Trustees are elected by ratepayers (in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act) and empowered under the Education Act to set policy for the operation of all public schools in York Region.
Under the Education Act, trustees are mandated to;
- Promote student achievement and well-being;
- deliver effective and appropriate educational programs;
- develop, maintain and monitor effectiveness of Board policies;
- develop, communicate and review annually a Multi-Year Plan;
- monitor the performance of the Director of Education; and
- practice responsible stewardship of Board resources
A trustee’s responsibilities fall into several different areas; communicator with the public, policy maker and an advocate for quality education. Trustees also have personnel, budget allocation and committee responsibilities. They are accountable to all public school ratepayers in York Region.
Communicators with the Public:
Trustees are accountable to the community for 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 inquiries and are available and accessible to address concerns from the community with respect to Board policies and procedures.
Trustees are responsible for approving, reviewing and monitoring the effectiveness of the policies and by-laws which govern the Board’s 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, including the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, 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 education in York Region 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. Instructional materials are written in accordance with guidelines established by the Ministry of Education.
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. Trustees maintain responsibility for establishing policies that support health and safety and employment standards in accordance with the current legislation. The Board approves collective agreements with federations and unions representing its various employee groups. Trustees are responsible for the hiring and terms of employment for the Director of Education.
Trustees spend a considerable amount of time serving on Board Committees. In addition to the regular monthly Board Meeting, trustees are required to serve on the Board Standing Committee, which meets once each month as well as the Budget Committee which is scheduled as needed between March and June each year.