Policy 5

Role of the Board Chair

The Board believes that its ability to discharge its obligation is enhanced when leadership and guidance is forthcoming from its membership.

The Board, at the Organizational Meeting and thereafter at any time as determined by the Board, shall elect one (1) of its members to serve as Board Chair, to hold office at the pleasure of the Board. The Board entrusts to its Board Chair primary responsibility for providing leadership and guidance.

The Board delegates to the Board Chair the following powers and duties:

  1. Act as the official spokesperson for the Board, except for those instances where the Board has delegated this role to another individual or group and for the Division when there are potential political implications.
  2. Preside over all Board meetings and ensure that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the School Act and the policies and procedures as established by the Board.
  3. Prior to each Board meeting, confer with the Vice-Chair, the Superintendent and/or designate on the items to be included on the agenda, the order of these items and become thoroughly familiar with them.
  4. Be familiar with basic meeting procedures.
  5. Perform the following duties during Board meetings:
    1. Maintain the order and proper conduct and decorum of the meeting so that motions may be formally debated.
    2. Ensure that all issues before the Board are well-stated and clearly expressed.
    3. Display firmness, courtesy, tact, impartiality and willingness to give everyone an opportunity to speak on the subject under consideration.
    4. Ensure that debate is relevant. The Board Chair, in keeping with his/her responsibility to ensure that debate must be relevant to the question, shall, when s/he is of the opinion that the discussion is not relevant to the question, remind members that they must speak to the question.
    5. Decide questions of order and procedure, subject to an appeal to the rest of the Board. The Board Chair may speak to points of order in preference to other members, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Board by any member duly moved.
    6. Submit motions or other proposals to the final decision of the meeting by a formal show of hands.
    7. Ensure that each trustee present votes on all issues before the Board. When appropriate advise trustees of a possibility of a conflict of interest.
    8. Extend hospitality to trustees, officials of the Board, the press and members of the public.
  6. Keep informed of significant developments within the Division.
  7. Keep the Superintendent and the Board informed in a timely manner of all matters coming to his/her attention that might affect the Division.
  8. Be in regular contact with the Superintendent to maintain a working knowledge of current issues and events.
  9. Convey directly to the Superintendent such concerns as are related to him/her by trustees, parents or students that may affect the administration of the Division.
  10. Provide counsel to the Superintendent.
  11. Review and approve the Superintendent’s vacation entitlement, leaves, sick leave and expenditure claims.
  12. With the exception of the Board Chair’s own expenses and the selected Trustee to sign the Board Chair’s expenses, review and approve Trustee expenditure claims, in accordance with Board approved rates.
  13. Make recommendations to the Board regarding deductions to trustee remuneration relative to unauthorized trustee absences.
  14. Bring to the Board all matters requiring a corporate decision of the Board.
  15. Act as ex-officio member of all Board committees.
  16. Act as a signing authority for Board minutes.
  17. Act as a signing authority for the Division as follows:
    1. As required by the Government of Alberta.
    2. As required by financial institutions.
  18. Represent the Board, or arrange alternative representation, at official meetings or other public functions.
  19. Address inappropriate behaviour on the part of a trustee.
  20. Ensure the Board engages in regular assessments of its effectiveness as a Board.


February 19, 2020

Legal Reference:

Section 33(1h,1i), 34, 52, 53, 64 Education Act

Section 6 Local Authorities Election Act

Cross References:

Policy 7 Board Operations

Policy 8 Board Committees

AP 403 Duty to Report

AP 404 Conflict of Interest

AP513 Expense Reimbursement

AP 514 Authorized Signature and Cheque Writing Services