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Good Governance for School Boards

Trustee Professional Development Program


Module 12 — Running Effective Meetings

Page last updated in June 2019

Videos developed in 2011

Running Effective Meetings
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Module 12 is composed of 2 videos in which trustees will explore:

  • Why a board of trustees meets (e.g. governance role, decision-making power of board)
  • The basics of parliamentary procedure (e.g. rules of order, hierarchy of rules, types of motions)
  • How meetings work from start to finish (e.g. types of meetings, agendas, reports, minutes)
  • The role and conduct of the chair (e.g. set agenda with director, adjourn meetings)
  • The role and conduct of individual trustees (e.g. declare conflict of interest)

Trustees should use the information presented in this module to help ensure meetings are handled effectively, achieve intended outcomes and demonstrate to the public that the board is accountable, transparent and inclusive.

Before reviewing Part A, please note:

  • Trustees should learn what parliamentary procedure system is used by their board and read their board’s by-laws.

Before reviewing Part B, please note:

  • The module states the term of office begins on December 1 of an election year. Effective 2022, the term of office will begin on November 15. This change was made through an amendment to the Municipal Elections Act.
  • The Education Act was amended to allow for a trustee to take a pregnancy or parental leave for up to 20 weeks without authorization from their board.
  • Trustees should be aware of the legislative requirements to attend board meetings in person and also how to participate via electronic means. The regulation that outlines electronic meeting rules (O. Reg. 463/97) was amended to allow boards to permit the board and committee chairs to preside over meetings electronically, in certain circumstances.
  • Effective March 1, 2019, there are new requirements for declaring a conflict of interest under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. For example, a trustee that discloses a pecuniary interest must file a written statement at the meeting the conflict is disclosed, or as soon as possible afterwards. Each school board must establish and maintain a registry of statements and declarations of interests of members. The registry is to be made available for public inspection.
  • The module refers to section 14 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as “personal information” but it is actually entitled “personal privacy”.
  • The module refers to Bill 177 – which allows for trustees to be excluded from meetings following a breach of the board’s code of conduct. For more information about trustee codes of conduct and sanctions, please refer to Module 17 – Developing a Code of Conduct for Trustees.