The next municipal election is on Monday Oct. 22, 2018. Those wanting to run in the election can file nomination papers from May 1, 2018, to July 27, 2018 at 2 p.m.
School board trustee eligibility
School board trustee candidates must meet all of the following requirements:
- a resident within the jurisdiction of the board;
- a supporter* of the board;
- a Canadian citizen;
- at least 18 years old;
- not legally prohibited from voting; and
- not disqualified by any legislation from holding school board office.
(*”Supporter” refers to the individual’s support for one of the four publicly funded school systems. A list of supporters for each system is kept by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.)
The following persons are disqualified from being elected to school board office:
- any person not eligible to vote in the municipality;
- an employee of any school board unless they
- take an unpaid leave of absence before being nominated, and
- resign, if elected to the office;
- a judge of any court;
- a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, a Senator or a member of the House of Commons; or
- an inmate of a penal or correctional institution under sentence of imprisonment.
A candidate for school board office cannot be a clerk, deputy clerk, treasurer or deputy treasurer of a municipality within the jurisdiction of a board.
Knowledge that would be good to have
Candidates do not need to have a background in education, however, the following skills and experience would be assets for potential trustee candidates:
- Basic understanding of official meeting procedures and governance policies
- Basic understanding of a trustee’s role as a member of a Board
- Some awareness of the legal, political and legislative parameters in which school boards operate
- Willingness to learn
Time commitments for school board trustees
Board and Committee Meetings: Trustees are expected to prepare for and participate in all Board Meetings and Standing Committee Meetings. Trustees are also expected to attend meetings for various board, system and ad hoc committees that they sit on, for example the Special Education Advisory Committee, Environmental Education and Management Committee and the Parent Involvement Committee. Preparing for meetings includes reviewing all materials, which can be time-consuming. Many meetings are held in the evening.
Community Meetings, Committees and Boards: One of a trustee’s key responsibilities is to facilitate communication between the board and community groups. Trustees may be asked to attend meetings such as: school council meetings, community groups, municipal councils, meetings with MPPs and MPs, and other community agencies such as the Muslim Society of Guelph or the United Way. Trustees are also appointed to outside community committees and boards, including the district’s Chambers of Commerce, the Upper Grand Learning Foundation, and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.
Other duties: Include attending school and board events and community functions, such as Special Olympics Track and Field, Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts, skills competitions, walk to school events and more.
Communications: A trustee is a point of contact for parents/guardians and community members who have questions and/or concerns about their local school. Responding to telephone calls or e-mails, meeting requests and queries from constituents is an important part of the trustee role and requires some time commitment. While individual trustees do not have the authority to direct board staff to undertake any particular action they can help in answering questions, finding solutions or facilitating interaction with the school and board administration.
The Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC), on behalf of the 4 school board/trustee associations and CODE, is launching a dedicated website for school board elections. The website will include trustee and candidate information for school boards across the province.
All candidates are welcome to submit their profiles to TrusteeCandidateInfo@oesc-cseo.org. Please include your name, school board and ward. You may also include a photo, a brief biography, your email address and website address with your profile.
Information courtesy of OPSBA & UGDSB