Policy 10

Policy Making

Background

Policy development is a key responsibility of the Board. Policies constitute the will of the Board in determining how the District will operate. Policies provide effective direction and guidelines for the action of the Board, Superintendent, staff, students, electors and other agencies. Policies also serve as sources of information and guidelines to all who may be interested in or connected with the operation of the District. Adoption of new Board policies or revision of existing policies is solely the responsibility of the Board.

The Board shall be guided in its approach to policy making by ensuring adherence to the requirements necessary to provide public education and compliance with the School Act and provincial as well as federal legislation. Further, the Board believes that the development and review of policies are enhanced when the process allows for the meaningful involvement of staff and other interested groups and persons where appropriate.

Board policies shall provide an appropriate balance between the responsibility of the Board to develop the broad guidelines to guide the District and the opportunity for the Superintendent to exercise professional judgment in the administration of the District.

The Board shall adhere to the following stages in its approach to policy making:

  1. Planning
    The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, shall assess the need for a policy, as a result of its own monitoring activities or on the suggestion of others, and identify the critical attributes of each policy to be developed.
  2. Development
    The Board may develop the policy itself or delegate the responsibility for its development to the Superintendent.
  3. Implementation
    The Board is responsible for the implementation of policies governing its own processes. The Board and Superintendent share the responsibility for implementation of policies relating to the Board-Superintendent relationship. The Superintendent is responsible for the implementation of the other policies.
  4. Evaluation
    The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, shall review each policy in a timely manner in order to determine currency and if it is meeting its intended purpose.

Specifically

  1. Suggestions or recommendations in regard to new or existing policy may be made to the Superintendent at any time. Such suggestions or recommendations shall be submitted in writing to the Superintendent and include a brief statement of purpose or rationale. Any trustee, elector or staff member may initiate proposals for new policies or changes to existing policies.
  2. Normally, requests for new policy or amendments to existing policy originating from schools will be directed through the Principal to the Superintendent.
  3. Policy development or revision may also be initiated as a result of a public consultation, survey, needs assessment or policy evaluation.
  4. The Superintendent shall be responsible to prepare a proposal.
    1. If the Board requests that a new policy be drafted or an existing policy be reviewed for possible amendment, the Superintendent shall implement procedures to develop a draft proposal.
    2. Draft proposals may be developed in consultation with advisory committees, various employee groups, senior administrative staff, or outside agencies and consultants.
    3. The engagement of outside agencies or consultants to assist in policy development shall require prior approval of the Board if the total anticipated costs will exceed budget approved allocations.
    4. When appropriate, the Superintendent shall seek legal advice.
  5. Proposed policies which are accepted as information by the Board shall be made available on the web and notification given to District staff, all schools, employee group representatives, and school council representatives.  
  6. The Board may seek additional input into proposed changes in policy, or drafts, whenever it is deemed appropriate. The Board may also expedite the process where the policy has been drafted as a result of legal agreements, legislative change, in urgent or emergency situations or when the modifications are minor and do not affect the intent of the policy or where the policy involves matters unique to the Board and its operations.
  7. The final draft of the policy or amendments shall be presented to the Board for its consideration and approval.
  8. Only those policies, which are adopted and recorded in the minutes, constitute the official policies of the Board.
  9. In the absence of existing policy, the Board may make decisions, by resolution, on matters affecting the administration, management and operation of the District. Such decisions carry the weight of policy until such time as specific written policy is developed.
  10. The Board may request the Superintendent to change an administrative procedure to a draft Board policy. In doing so, the Board will provide rationale.
  11. The Superintendent must develop administrative procedures as specified in Policy 11 – Board Delegation of Authority and may develop such other procedures as deemed necessary for the effective operation of the District; these must be in accordance with Board policies.
  12. The Board may also delete a policy and subsequently delegate the Superintendent authority over this area. The Superintendent may choose to then develop an administrative procedure relative to this matter.
  13. The Superintendent must inform the Board of any substantive changes to administrative procedures in a Board meeting agenda.
  14. The Superintendent shall arrange for all Board policies and administrative procedures and subsequent revisions to be posted on the District’s website, in a timely manner, for staff and public access.
  15. The Board shall review each policy a minimum of once per term.
Legal Reference: Sections 60, 61, 113, School Act