Cowichan Valley school district looks at its policies of self-governance

Along with many levels of government, the Cowichan Valley Board of Education is taking another look at how it governs its own actions.

Known by various names, like code of ethics, code of conduct, self-governance policy, the subjects of accountability and transparency have been much discussed by elected officials this year.

Now, school trustees are progressing with an in-depth policy review.

It’s taken extra time because of “the redirection of resources to the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement on teacher class size and composition (Bill 28),” according to a report by Jason Sandquist, Secretary-Treasurer, Rod Allen, Schools Superintendent.

Trustees decided to bring in a consultant.

On Dec. 7, a small group of high-level district administrators met with policy and governance consultant, Leroy Sloan, to talk about what work he will do for the district.

He described for the group his Role Clarification & Accountability (RCA) model of governance.

“The model strengthens the trustees’ authority by clearly defining the responsibilities and decisions of the board, establishing accountability through regular evaluation of senior staff and the board, and aligning board priorities to strategic directions,” according to Sandquist and Allen.

Sloan, an education expert, has implemented the RCA model in 80 per cent of the school districts in Alberta, 50 per of the school districts in Saskatchewan and has worked with many districts in B.C., most recently Vancouver School Board.

Sloan plans to provide key governance policies developed with the trustees in a full-day working session.

These will include: What is the Board’s brand?; Role of the Board; Role of the Trustee; Trustee Code of Conduct; Role of the Board Chair and vice-chair; board operations; committees; policy development; delegation of authority; role of the superintendent; appeals by students or teachers; school closure, and more.

Following the development of these governance policies with the board, Sloan and his partner Terry Gunderson will then meet with district leadership staff over two full days to develop the administrative procedures.

Motions would then be presented to the board at a meeting prior to June 30.

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Alberta consultant Leroy Sloan will work with the Cowichan Valley school board on clarifying its roles. (Submitted

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