- The operating style of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council will focus on.
- leadership that looks as the long range vision;
- the future while learning from the past;
- a clear distinction of the Council and the Superintendent;
- identifying and dealing with problems and issues before they happen.
- In this spirit the Council is committed to:
- keep its major work to the long term impact of the organization and not operational issues;
- direct, control and inspire the organization through policies. By starting the policy development process, the Council, not the staff, will be accountable for the results achieved by the organization;
- to operate with excellence. This includes treating each other with dignity and respecting the roles of Council staff;
- speak with one voice and allow no officer, individual or committee of the Council to assume the Council's authority;
- through on going rapport, be accountable to the communities for competent, conscientious and effective accomplishments;
- monitor and regularly discuss the Council's own operation and performance. Regular review and update of Council operation policies will ensure continued improvement;
- use the expertise of various Council members to enhance the quality of the council as a body, rather than to substitute their individual values for the group's values.
Procedures for Operating Style Policy
Council Performance Review
The Council will set aside a half day annually to discuss and monitor the Council's own operation. The responsibility for ensuring fair, balanced discussion will rest with the Council's chair.
The Council calendar will note the need for this annual review. At each regular Council meeting, ongoing review will occur. This includes having at least one Council policy included on the agenda and a meeting evaluation form at the end of the Council package.
2. Council Operation
The purpose of the orientation is to acquaint new Council trustees with the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, the role of individual trustees. Orientation is an ongoing process. An orientation record will be kept for each trustee.
- Types of Orientation
- There are three types of orientation:
- Orientation to the organization
- Orientation to the Council
- Orientation to the trustee's role and responsibilities
- There are three types of orientation:
- Orientation to the organization
- Initial orientation will be done at the earliest opportunity and no later than before the second Council meeting. The Council manual will be organized to contain this material. The Council chairperson, or designated trustee, will review the Council information while the Superintendent will review the operational manual.
- The orientation will cover the following:
- 2.2.1an overview of the organization, including the mission statement, principles, values, history and services delivered by the Council;
- 2.2.2 the roles, responsibilities, relationships and structure of all levels of the organization;
- 2.2.3 the legislation affecting the organization and the relationship of the organization to the government.
- Orientation to the Council
- This orientation for the new trustee on the following areas:
- 2.3.1 the role of the Council and its relationship to the communities;
- 2.3.2 a review of the Council's operational model and Council policies;
- 2.3.3 an introduction to the Council's calendar;
- 2.3.4 the Council's relationship with other organizations
- This orientation for the new trustee on the following areas:
- Orientation to the role and responsibilities of the trustee on the following areas:
- 2.4.2 specific responsibilities, expectations and benefits of the Council's role;
- 2.4.3 level of authority and accountability of individual trustees;
- 2.4.4 role of ad-hoc committees, resources available to committee members;
- 2.4.5 methods of reporting and communicating;
- 2.4.6 performance expectations for individual trustees.
Policy Development Process
The Council sees the development of policy as providing effective parameters and guidelines for the action of the Council and the Superintendent.
In fulfilling its responsibility for developing high standard policies, the Council will be directed by the following:
- Policies will be statements of values which address:
- Results - statements that define results to be achieved by the organization and used as the basis for long range planning. Results policies will describe what benefits are to be delivered to which groups of people at what cost;
- Superintendent Constraints - policies that limit the Superintendent's authority;
- Council Operations - how the Council conceives, carries out and monitors its own tasks, as well as, the manner in which the Council represents the community and provides strategic leadership to the organization;
- Council and Superintendent Relationship - the delegation of authority, definition of the relationship and monitoring of the Superintendent;
- Council and DEA Relationships - policies that define the relationship between the Dehcho Divisional Education Council and the District Education Authorities;
- Monitoring Policies - policies that define how and when the Council will monitor the Council's policies and the ability of the organization to achieve the results as defined by the Council.
- When developing policy , the Council will take into account the existing organizational policies and ensure that they are in compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and Contribution Agreement.
- When developing policy, the Council will seek input from a variety of sources including each trustee, community leaders, other organizations, Education Culture and Employment and the staff.
- The Council Chairperson is responsible for the implementation of the Council Operations policies and the Council - Superintendent Relationship policies.
- The Superintendent is responsible for the implementation of both the Results and working within the Constraints policies.
Council Job Description
The Dehcho Divisional Education Council works to achieve its mission in an ethical and prudent manner. The Council is required to make certain contributions that assure Dehcho Divisional Education Council's performance conforms with the mission. The function of the Council shall be to:
- Define the Dehcho Divisional Education Council's reason for existence. The Council develops written statements on programs and service that will benefit the people of the Deh Cho, within existing resources.
- Provide Linkage. This requires dialogue with community members, other Council and organizations. The responsibility is further defined in the policy, Linkage to the Community.
- Define how the Council will organize to get its work done. This requires policies on how the Council develops, compliments and monitors its own tasks.
- Be Accountable. The Council will be accountable to the residents of the Deh Cho and other stakeholders by ongoing communication.
- Define limits on the Superintendent's authority and actions. The Council will limit the Superintendent's authority and actions.
- Assess the Superintendent's performance. This requires the Council to make statements about when, how and how often monitoring will occur. The assessment of the Superintendent's performance will be determined by his or her compliance with constraint policies. A reporting system is required so that the results of the organization are communicated to the Council.
- Advocacy. To advocate on behalf of the residents of the Deh Cho to improve their education health and well being.
- A Council Calendar will be planned annually. This calendar will include:
- policy monitoring schedule
- dates and places of regular public Council meetings
- dates for Council self-evaluation
- school calendars
- dates of selected conferences (Teachers' Conferences, CAPSLE)
- NWT Education Week
- graduation dates
- This calendar will be updated quarterly.
Code of Conduct
Trustees are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical, legal and professional manner.
- Trustees must represent loyalty to the interests of the general public.
- This loyalty is bigger than one community, special interest group, or membership on other Boards or workplace.
- This loyalty is bigger than the personal interest of any trustee acting as an individual user of the Council's services.
- This loyalty requires that information not be withheld if it is a matter of concern.
- This loyalty requires that information not be withheld if it is a matter of concern to the organization. An exception to this is when a trustee learns privileged information while fulfilling duties for other organizations.
- The trustees must avoid any conflict of interest with respect to their responsibilities as a trustee.
- There must be no self-dealing of private business or personal service between any trustee and the organization, except as procedurally controlled to assure openness, competitive opportunity and equal access to otherwise inside information.
- The trustee
- Should a trustee be considered for employment in the organization, s/he must temporarily withdraw from Council deliberation, voting and access to applicable Council information
- Trustees must not attempt to exercise individual authority over the operation of the organization except as explicitly set forth in Council policies.
- Trustee's interaction with the Superintendent or with office staff must recognizethe lack of authority in any individual members or group of members, except as noted above.
- Except for the authority granted to the Council chairperson, trustees' interaction with the public, press or other entities must recognize the restriction of any member to speak for the Council
- Trustees will not be judgmental of the Superintendent or staff performance, except as that performance is measured against Council policies using the approved protocol. (See policy on monitoring Superintendent performance)
- Information must be kept confidential whenever required in the best interest of the organization.
- The part of a meeting where sensitive issues or personnel matters may be disclosed shall be kept confidential.
- All Council trustees will sign an oath of confidentiality and will receive a copy of the Conflict of Interest and other relevant sections of the Education Act Individual Expectations
- Trustees will deal with outside entities or individuals, with staff and with each other in a manner reflecting fair play, ethics and straightforward communication.
- Trustees shall not use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol.
- Trustees shall attend all Council meetings and training sessions.
- Trustees shall be punctual when attending Council meetings and training sessions.
- When a trustee is unable to attend a Council meeting or training session, the trustee will make every effort, to have the alternate attend.
Procedures for the Code of Conduct Policy
- Trustees must carry out duties in good faith with a high standard of diligence, care and skill. If a trustee is deemed to be negligent in carrying out their duties, then the Council has the right to make and enforce its own policies to discipline the offender.
- The Council chairperson may censure offending trustees with a letter being sent to the member outlining the circumstances. The trustee will have the opportunity to respond to the Chairperson.
- Continues offence will result in a motion of censure being brought to the Council. This motion may result in a voluntary withdrawal or corrective action. A second letter will be sent to the trustee and a copy sent to the District Education Authority.
- Continues offence by a trustee will result in a recommendation by the Council to the District Education Authority for removal from office. If the District Education Authority does not accept the recommendation the Council may decide to remove the trustee from the Dehcho Divisional Education Council.
- In circumstance of an extreme nature, the offending member will be suspended from the office immediately by the Council.
- When the offending trustee is an alternate, a letter will be sent to the alternate with a copy to the regular member and the District Education Authority.
Code of Conduct
Linkage to the community requires that trustees will actively seek out the needs, concerns and opinions of groups and individuals from the communities
Linkage may be established as follows:
- Attitudinal: Trustees behave in the belief that the trustees act on behalf of the region. The intention establishes a frame of mind that leads to Council to appropriate considerations and loyalties when resolving value issues.
- Statistical: The Council gathers statistical evidence of the public and trustee's concerns, needs, demands and fears.
- Personal: The Council engages in understanding the needs, concerns and opinions of community groups and individuals that are facilitated by:
- meetings with District Education Authorities, and community leaders;
- dialogue with other Boards or public officials;
- studying responses from questionnaires and comments from key community advisors and members;
- reviewing articles in the media;
- presentations at Council meetings;
- school reviews and development of growth plans
Information gathered through linkage will be used to design the Results policies
There will be no side committees established under the Dehcho Divisional Education Council. The full Council will always do the work of the Council. Should urgent or emergency issues arrive between the regular meetings of the Council, the Council chairperson will arrange to hold a teleconference of all trustees. A quorum of trustees is necessary to hold a teleconference meeting.
- The Council Chairperson Shall:
- ensure that the conduct of the Council is consistent with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization;
- chair Council meetings with all the commonly accepted powers of that position (e.g. ruling, reorganizing)
- ensure meeting discussion content will only be those issues that, according to Council policy, clearly belong to the Council to decide, not the Superintendent;
- ensure Council discussion will be timely, fair, orderly and thorough, but also efficient, limited to time and kept to the point;
- ensure Roberts' Rules of Order are observed except where the Council's Bylaws and Policies have superseded them;
- keep in contact with all of the trustees;
- keep him/herself well informed through effective communication;
- act on directions given by the Council as a whole;
- have his/her appointment evaluated annually;
- lead the Superintendent evaluation process;
- have a lead role in public relations;
- be a positive role model.
- The Council Chairperson shall act in a manner consistent with policies on Council Operations and the Council - Superintendent Relationships.
- Council Chairperson authority does not extend to making implementation decisions within the Strategic Plan or Operational Policy areas, each of which is the responsibility of the Superintendent.
- Council Chairperson authority does not extend to supervising, interpreting Council policies to, or otherwise directing the Superintendent.
An honourarium shall be paid to trustees of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council operating under the authority of the Education Act within the following guidelines:
- This policy applies to all trustees of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council except employees of the GNWT, unless they are serving in a private capacity.
- The honourarium entitlement shall be as follows:
- Chairperson: $250/day (over four hours equals 1 day)
- Trustee: $200/day (50% for half days up to 4 hours)
- Travel Time: Half day each way for those who travel
- Trustees will receive and honourarium for each day actually spent on official Council business including travel time, at regular Council and Council related meetings, or on Council business, which has been specifically approved by the Chairperson, or designate.
- Honourariums are subject to the following deductions:
- NWT Payroll Tax
- Canada Pension Plan deduction if annual amounts exceed $3,400.00
- Income Tax
- These guidelines are not meant to limit the Chairperson's discretion in holding back any portion of a trustee's honouraria for non-performance of duties.
- The honourarium entitlement shall be as follows:
- Verification of attendance at Council activities is required to process honouraria payments. Attendance will be taken at all Council related activities for which honouraria will be paid.
- Any Council trustee who does not wish to receive the honourarium, must notify the Council Chairperson in writing.
Travel expenses are separate from honourariums and shall be reimbursed according to government duty travel allowances and limits as they are established from time to time. Return airfare, accommodations and transportation (to/from the airport), meals and taxis. Childcare will be reimbursed at the rates and procedures specified in the FMBS Human Resources Manual.
Council Trustees' Attendance at Conferences
- Each Trustee, of good standing, is encouraged to attend at least one conference, convention, workshop or exhibition per term that is related to the duties and or responsibilities of the Council.
- The Council shall consider the Trustee's request before a decision is made.
- The Council will determine if the Trustee is in good standing by referring to the Council Job Description policy and the Council Code of Conduct policy.
- If the Council decides that the Trustee is not in good standing the Council Chairperson will inform the Trustee of the decision.
- When a Trustee attends an event, they will make a report to the Council.
Relations with the Media
Other than in specifically authorized instances, the Council Chairperson and the Superintendent are the only persons authorized to speak on behalf of the Council. Each has the authority to issue press releases and respond to the media on behalf of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council.
Relations with the media in matters referring to Council policy and major education issues are the responsibility of the Council Chairperson and relations with the media in regard to operational policies of matters are the responsibility of the Superintendent.
Duties of the Chairperson at Meetings
- At all meetings of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, the Chairperson of the Council shall:
- maintain the order, proper conduct and decorum of the meeting;
- Decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the rest of the Council.
- The Chairperson shall preside at the meetings of the Council and shall vote with the trustees on all questions.
- The Chairperson may introduce motions and may vote on all matters as a regular member of the Council representing his/her community.
- In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside and while presiding (s)he has all the powers of the Chairperson.
- The Chairperson should speak just prior to the last speaker who will be the mover of the motion. The mover of the motion has the right to close the debate.
- The Chairperson may speak to the points of order and shall decide questions of order, subject to appeal to the Council duly moved and seconded.
General Regulations of Meetings
- Each and every member of the Council has equal rights.
- The Chairperson shall call the meeting to order precisely at the hour for which the meeting is called, providing a quorum is present.
- If a quorum (5) is present, but the Chairperson is absent, the Vice-Chairperson shall call the meeting to order.
- A quorum is a majority of the whole Council and no business can be legally transacted without a quorum being present.
- If there is no quorum when the meeting is scheduled to begin, those trustees present, operating as a committee, may wish to proceed with the business of the meeting. When a quorum is present the legally constituted meeting would then be asked to approve the decisions made by the committee.
- The first person recognized by the Chairperson as desiring to speak has the right to the floor.
- No Trustee shall be interrupted while speaking, unless (s)he is out of order, or on a point of privilege or for clarification.
- When any matter is before the Council, the consideration of the same cannot be interrupted except on a motion: to adjourn; to table; to postpone; to refer; or to amend.
- During a presentation by a delegation, the Council members should not express opinions, but should only ask questions for clarification. The Council should discuss the presentation during the normal course of the meeting.
- Every member, prior to his/her speaking, shall address the Chairperson.
- Any trustee who feels aggrieved by a decision of the Chairperson has the right to appeal by motion duly moved and seconded.
- A question once decided by the Council shall not be reversed unless:
- a motion of a proposal to reverse the decision has been given for consideration at the next meeting
- a majority (5) of the total number of Trustees for the Council votes in favour of the reversal.
- The tentative agenda should be prepared by the Superintendent and be approved by the Chairperson. Items can only be added to the agenda after the meeting has started, by a motion.
- Since the Council holds open meetings, the public will have an opportunity to ask questions for clarification.
- The agenda is a public document. Extra copies will be available for the visiting public.
- A tentative agenda should be in the hands of the trustees at least two weeks before the meeting.
- Members of the public, employees, trustees etc., shall be able to place items of business on the agenda by writing or contacting the Superintendent's office and outlining, in the request, the business to be discussed.
- To begin a motion, "I move that" is the correct phrase.
- A motion made must be seconded and then repeated distinctly by the Chairperson or read aloud.
- Any trustee who shall have made a motion shall have the liberty to withdraw it, with the consent of his/her second, before any debate has taken place thereon, but not after debate has begun, without leave being granted by the majority of the Council.
- An amendment may be moved on any motion and shall be decided before the original motion; but no more than one amendment to an amendment shall be entertained. An amendment can only modify the motion, not change the intent of the motion.
- A motion for adjournment shall always be in order and shall be decided without debate, except that it cannot be entertained when the Council is voting on another question or while a trustee is addressing the Council.
- A motion for postponement takes precedent over a motion for referral and a motion for referral takes precedent over a motion to amend or a vote on the original subject.
- A motion is postponed, to a specific date and automatically appears on the agenda at that time; referred to a committee; tabled indefinitely. A tabled motion can only be removed or reintroduced to the table by a motion and majority vote of the Council.
- Trustees are required to vote on every question unless excused by the Chairperson for some particular reason. One reason acceptable to the Chairperson for absentia could be a conflict of interest. If a Trustee abstains from voting without permission of the Chairperson his/her absentia should be considered as a negative vote.
- It is the responsibility of the individual Trustee to declare a conflict of interest when a motion is being discussed which places that Trustee in a conflict position.
- Preceding the vote, any two Trustees may require the recording of the yeas and nays on any question.
- Preceding the vote, and Trustee can request that his/her vote be recorded in the minutes.
- In order to vote on any motion the Trustee must be in attendance at the meeting of the Council when the vote is called. There will be no proxy votes.
- During debate on a motion, Trustees may call for the question and unless the majority of the Trustees decide otherwise, the Chairperson shall call the vote.
- Immediately before putting the question, the mover shall have the privilege of summarizing the debate, but shall not introduce new matters.
- A secret ballot can be held when agreed to by a majority of those present. A Trustee can still have their vote recorded as in item 4.
- Voting on a motion will normally be done by a show of hands.
Delegations to the Council
- In order to make sound decisions which affect the Division, the Dehcho Divisional Education Council encourages members of the public to address the Council as a delegation at regular meetings to offer suggestions, provide information and voice concerns.
- On the agenda for each Council meeting time will be set aside for delegations to make presentations to the Council.
- Delegations wishing to make presentations will:
- inform the Superintendent in sufficient time to be included on the agenda and will outline the purpose of the presentation;
- if notice has not been provided, as outlined in 3.1, a delegation may be allowed to make a presentation provided there is unanimous agreement by the trustee.
- At the appropriate time on the agenda, individuals or groups representing adelegation will be invited to make their presentation.
- Prior to the address to the Council the Chairperson will make the delegation aware of the following:
- there is a maximum time allotment of ten minutes given to each delegation to address the Council. Time extensions are at the discretion of the Chairperson;
- trustees may wish to ask questions at the conclusion of the presentation for the sake of clarification;
- discussion or debate on the issue presented to the Council by the delegation will not take place at the time of the presentation;
- the matter presented may be placed on the agenda, if agreed to by trustees, under New Business; be placed on the agenda for the next meeting; or be considered as information to the Council which does not require action or discussion;
- issues that are specific to or refer to any trustee or staff member of the Council will not be addressed in a public meeting.
- The Chairperson will provide a written response to the delegation within a period of two weeks, that will:
- respond to the issues raised, or
- outline further action to be taken.
Monitoring of Council Policies
The purpose of monitoring is simply to determine the degree to which Council Policies are being fulfilled
It will be the policy of Council that:
- A given policy may be monitored in any or all the following ways:
- Internal Report Written information to the Council from the Superintendent.
- External Report Information gathered by an impartial, external auditor, or inspector, who is selected by, and reports directly to the Council. Such reports must assess the Superintendent's performance only against policies of the Council, not of the auditor or inspector.
- Direct Inspection Information gathered by a trustee, a committee of the Council, or the Council as a whole. This is a direct inspection of organizational documents, activities, or circumstances, which method of direct inspection shall be used and shall implement the procedures to do so.
- Upon a majority vote of the Council, any Constraint or Results policy can be monitored by any method at any time. However, Constraint and Results Policies of the Council will be classified by the Council, according to frequency and method of regular monitoring.