Facilitated Board Self-Evaluation Process
The annual externally facilitated Board self-evaluation process shall be completed subsequent to the Superintendent evaluation process described in the appendix to Policy 12 and entitled, Superintendent/CEO Evaluation Process, Criteria and Timelines. The two evaluation processes are complementary in nature.
The purpose of the facilitated Board self-evaluation is to answer the following questions:
- How well have we fulfilled each of our defined roles as outlined in Policy 2 during the evaluation period?
- How do we perceive our interpersonal working relationships?
- How well do we receive input and how well do we communicate with those we represent?
- How well have we adhered to our annual Board work plan as defined in Policy 2 Appendix A?
- How well do we perceive we are performing as a corporate entity in terms of fiduciary, strategic, generative and ethical governance?
- How would we rate our Board-Superintendent relations?
- How well have we adhered to our governance policies?
- What have we accomplished this past year? How do we know?
- Determine Board goal(s) for the coming year
The answers to these questions provide the data for the development of a positive path forward.
The following principles form the basis for the Board self-evaluation process.
- A learning organization is focused on the improvement of practice.
- A commitment to continuous improvement is a sign of organizational health.
- An effective evaluation process provides for growth and accountability.
- The annual Board evaluation process shall model the Board’s commitment to principles 1-3.
- A pre-determined process for evaluation strengthens the governance function, builds credibility for the Board and fosters a positive Board-Superintendent relationship.
- An evidence-based approach provides objectivity to supplement the subjectivity involved in evaluation processes.
The Board is a corporate entity created by provincial legislation and given authority by the School Act and the attendant Regulations. It is comprised of trustees elected in accordance with the Local Authorities Election Act. The Board exercises its authority through a democratic process. As governors of a Public school district, the Board has a dual role; the Board is accountable to the Minister of Education through the School Act and to its electorate.
The Board is charged with the responsibility of providing, for its students and their parents, an education system organized and operated in their best interests. It exercises this responsibility through setting of clear strategic direction and the wise use of resources.
Part 1: The Act provides the Board with significant authority including the authority to delegate. The Board must decide the authority it wishes to delegate and the authority to be retained. The Board is the only body in the district which can hold the Board accountable for performing its legally defined role.
With reference to Policy 2 Role of the Board, Policy 2 Appendix A, Annual Board Work Plan and the minutes from Regular and Special meetings held during the evaluation period trustees will assess the corporate Board’s effectiveness relative to each role area. The objective is to identify areas of strength on which to build and specific changes the corporate Board is committed to make during the next evaluation period.
Evaluation Tool: Collect, collate and analyze Trustee responses to a Role of the Board questionnaire.
Part 2: The Board functions as a corporate entity. Individual trustees have only the authority granted them by the corporate Board. Therefore the interpersonal working relationships between and among Trustees is vital to the effective functioning of the Board.
Evaluation Tool: Collect, collate and analyze Trustee responses to a Board Interpersonal Working Relationships questionnaire.
Part 3: The Board is elected for a four year term. One key role is to represent the rate payers of Public education within the boundaries of the district and effectively communicate to the electorate between elections in a manner which creates assurance and builds confidence.
Evaluation Tool: Collect, collate and analyze Trustee responses to a Communications/Representation questionnaire.
Part 4: Adherence to the Board Annual Work Plan ensures the Board’s role as defined in Policy 2 is carried out in practice.
Evaluation Tool: Review the Annual Work Plan and Board meeting minutes. Such a review will result in a commitment to change practice of the work plan if there are discrepancies between the two. Adjustments to the Work Plan will take place throughout the year as required.
Part 5: Boards have fiduciary, strategic and generative governance roles. All must be performed in an ethical manner.
Evaluation Tool: Collect, collate and analyze Trustee responses to a Readiness for Governance questionnaire.
Part 6: With reference to the functioning of the First Team during the evaluation period Trustees will assess Board/Superintendent Relationships. In other words, Is the Board effectively performing its role to make the First Team effective?
Evaluation Tool: Collect, collate and analyze Trustee responses to a Board/Superintendent questionnaire.
Part 7: The Board’s Policy role is critical to provide direction for the district, to delegate to and hold staff accountable through the office of the Superintendent, and to promote and protect Public education. Regular review of Board policies is required to ensure the currency and effectiveness of such policies.
Evaluation Tool: Examine the schedule of policy review to ensure the entire Board Policy Handbook is subjected to review and revision at least once per term, identify any lack of alignment of practice with policy (e.g. from review of minutes) and make revisions as required in policy or practice as deemed appropriate.
Part 8: Reviewing Board actions at least annually to determine perceived corporate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) can assist in defining a positive path forward and avoid repetition of less effective functioning.
Evaluation Tool: Conduct a SWOT analysis in light of Board minutes and direct Board observations.
Part 9: Board approves of the directions to be taken during the next evaluation period to strengthen Board functioning including setting of Board goal(s).
Part 10: Board assesses success or lack thereof addressing the positive path forward approved as a result of the last evaluation and includes any required actions in the current Positive Path Forward.
Part 11: Board reviews the process tools and process structure and identifies any changes desired for the next evaluation period.
Part 12: Board approves the Positive Path Forward (PPF) in a Public Board Meeting.
Note in subsequent years the evaluation process will commence with an accountability review of the previous year’s PPF to ensure actions were taken as required and desired results achieved.