Our Board of Trustees works closely with our chief superintendent and his team to set priorities to best meet our students' needs. Our priorities are:
- Faith Formation
- Student Success
- Indigenous Education
These areas are the lenses through which our board focuses its efforts. Our board strives to ensure that every student receives support to reach their potential and be healthy, successful learners in faith-filled spaces.
Our Board Policy Handbook (updated May 11, 2022) contains policies and procedures that have most recently been approved or reaffirmed at a public board meeting.
Policy Governance Model
This model of governance focuses on the use of board policies as the instruments for creating the vision, establishing the purposes, setting parameters for administration and evaluating district outcomes.
The Policy Governance Model has major implications for the way that our Board of Trustees relates to our district’s administration, ratepayers and stakeholders. Through its election by Catholic school ratepayers, our board has been granted the legal and moral responsibility and authority to govern our district. This is the value that our board—viewed as a cost-centre—adds to our district’s output.
As suggested by policy governance, the role of the school board is to act on behalf of the ratepayers to ensure that the school district achieves what it should while avoiding what is unacceptable.
- The board speaks with “one voice”.
Only the board as a whole legitimately wields its authority, which is granted by the Alberta Education Act. Hence, the chief superintendent is bound by what the board collectively says not by what any individual trustee says. This principle of “one voice” is important to the board’s ability to delegate its authority to manage the district to the chief superintendent.
- The chief superintendent is considered to be the board’s one employee.
He or she is the one person who is held responsible by the board for ensuring that the district achieves what it should and avoids that which is unacceptable. All other employees are hired by, work for and are responsible to the chief superintendent.
- The clear delineation of governance and administration.
The board has its own job to do; its task forces are expected to deal with governance or policy issues not administrative matters. This means that when it wishes to give direction to district administration, the board addresses the chief superintendent. The voice of the board is expressed most clearly and comprehensively through its policies, as found in the Board Policy Handbook. The chief superintendent expands on these policies through district Administrative Procedures that give specific direction to district employees.
Acting on Behalf of the Ownership
The Policy Governance Model has important implications not only for the board’s relationship with the chief superintendent, district administration and staff, but also for ratepayers, parents and other stakeholders.
The Board of Trustees is not the ownership of the CCSD. It as an elected body that legally represents the moral owners, who are the ratepayers. The board speaks and acts on their behalf, a task that requires both knowing who the owners are, what their desires are and distinguishing “owners” from “customers” (students) and other stakeholder groups.
Trustees have a major challenge in trying to link with their owners. For the last several years, our board has embarked on new efforts to forge these links with its ownership. Among the most interested ratepayers, of course, are the parents who serve on school councils. Our board has significantly increased its contact with school council chairpersons by meeting with them in Parent & Trustee Forums.
Trustee Leadership Quality Standards
In Alberta’s publicly-funded school system, a trustee is a person who is elected by and accountable to the local community to serve a Board of Education in accordance with the Alberta Education Act. The Education Act also defines the roles and responsibilities of elected boards and holds boards accountable to be responsible stewards and to engage in a generative governance process that includes the broader community in achieving optimal student success.
As governors of a Catholic school district, trustees have a dual role: they are accountable to the minister through the Education Act and to the local bishop through Canon Law. The Board of Trustees are members of the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA). Both organizations have policy handbooks which clearly define the role of a trustee.
Our board, in its efforts to govern with excellence, has developed the Trustee Leadership Quality Standards as a self-assessment tool to assist individual members of the board to achieve the highest level of leadership.
The annual board self-evaluation process is usually completed subsequent to the chief superintendent evaluation. The two evaluation processes are complementary in nature. The answers to these questions provide the data for the development of a positive path forward.
- How well have we fulfilled each of our defined roles as a board this past year?
- How do we perceive our interpersonal working relationships?
- How well do we receive input and how well do we communicate?
- How would we rate our board-chief superintendent relations?
- How well have we adhered to our governance policies?
- What have we accomplished this past year? How do we know?
Our board believes that our students deserve the very best learning opportunities. Inherent to this belief is the notion that there should be equitable opportunity and equity with respect to the allocation of infrastructure funds among districts. Our board is very concerned that there is a disparity in capital awards between CCSD and other metro boards. In fact, CCSD received an average of 23 per cent less in infrastructure funding than our Edmonton counterparts (2013—2019).
Help Address the Inequality
- Contact your MLA
- Share the message with your community
- Get social using #CCSDedu and @AlbertaEd
The Importance of Catholic Education
Our board discusses the importance of Catholic education in this video series.