Board Role and Responsibilities
Role of the Board
The Board of Governors functions at an institutional policy level, which means that the role of the Board is to govern the school, not to administer it.
The Board employs the Head of School and delegates the running of the school and the education of students to the Head and the professionals who are engaged for these purposes. Governors are not involved in matters directly affecting individual students; staff handle subjects of concern or interest to parents relating to their children.
Governors are charged with the promulgation and prosecution of the school's mission, and are responsible for the long-term viability of the school. The Board plans strategically, and develops and sets the policies under which the school is run.
Governors are also the fiduciaries of the school and are responsible for overseeing the school's fiscal management. Working with school management on the annual budgetary process, operational revenues and expenditures are approved by the Board, together with the setting of tuition fees.
Major duties of the governors also include fundraising for the school's immediate needs, as well as long-term capital funding for buildings and endowment, in execution of the mission and the Strategic Plan. The Board follows the practice of full disclosure and reporting on financial matters to Society members, and communicates regularly with them on other matters of governance.
Responsibilities of Governors
Governors are elected to a three-year term and may be re-elected for a maximum of three consecutive terms, with the exception of the chair who may be re-elected for four consecutive three-year terms.
Governors are guided by certain principles of good practice with regard to school governance which, prior to nomination, candidates are asked to subscribe to. These principles encompass current best practices relating to governance of independent schools and are adapted from those developed by Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). They include:
- active support and promotion of the school’s Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan;
- undertaking to keep all board deliberations and correspondence confidential;
- separation of the interests of the school from the specific needs of a student or school community constituency, and observation of the proper lines of communication;
- participation in Board deliberations and decisions, and agreement to accept the majority decision, once taken; and
- contribution of significant time, effort and financial support to the school.
Governors are expected to commit to significant time and effort in serving on the Board. The commitment encompasses full preparation for, attendance at and effective participation in:
- monthly committee meetings (with service on at least one committee);
- multi-day retreats twice a year.
Additional expectations include:
- positive contribution to the development of the school by the use of specific knowledge and skills;
- contribution to the development of the school through annual giving and other campaign financial support;
- contribution as a fiduciary of the school, setting the course for sound fiscal and educational policy.
Evaluation of the Board
Each year a comprehensive appraisal of progress relating to the governance of the school takes place.
It takes the form of an evaluation by governors of achievements made in the execution of the Strategic Plan and the fulfilment of the Mission of the school and includes an appraisal of the performance of individual governors, as well as the Board Chair. Additionally each year as part of its review and assessment to select and recommend a slate of candidates, the Nominations Committee confidentially assesses the Governors who are eligible for re-election on a number of factors, including the strength of their contributions to date, their background qualifications, and the needs of the Board moving forward.
Nominations are required each year and the Nominations Committee is charged by the Bylaws with ensuring that both nominations and elections, if required, are well communicated to Members. Please refer to the Nominations and Elections page for information relating to the nominations process.