May 2018

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Date:May 7, 2018

Memorandum to: Directors of Education

Supervisory Officers and Secretary-Treasurers of School Authorities

Executive Director of Provincial and Demonstration Schools

From: Martyn Beckett
Chief Student Achievement Officer
Assistant Deputy Minister
Student Achievement Division

Denys Giguàre
Assistant Deputy Minister
French-Language Teaching, Learning and Achievement Division

Subject: Regulatory amendments coming out of the 2017 governance engagement

Further to the Deputy Minister's memo on March 26, 2018, about the government's proposals resulting from the 2017 governance engagement, I am pleased to confirm that the following proposed regulatory amendments have been approved.

Ontario Regulation 246/18 – Members of School Boards – Code of Conduct
Ontario school boards are now required to have a code of conduct for trustees in place, to make it available to the public, and to review it after each general election, beginning with the new term of office in 2018.

School boards that currently do not have a trustee code of conduct are required to establish one by May 15, 2019. After each review of their code of conduct, boards must pass a resolution to adopt the code, either as it exists or as amended.

Ontario Regulation 357/06 – Honoraria for Board Members
The regulation has been amended to:

  1. Increase the maximum base amount for trustees of district school boards from the current annual rate of $5,900 to the new rate of $6,300.
  2. Establish honoraria limits for members of school authorities established under section 68 of the Education Act and members of the newly established Centre Jules-Léger Consortium (CJLC).

The changes to honoraria will be effective for the term of office beginning in December 2018.

Ontario Regulation 7/07 – Student Trustees
The regulation has been amended to:

  1. Provide district school boards with the option to provide their student trustees with one-year or two-year terms of office.
  2. Require all district school boards to have either two or three student trustees.
  3. Require boards that decide to have student trustees serving two-year terms of office to stagger their terms where possible.
  4. Move the student trustee election date to the end of February for boards that maintain a one-year term of office.
  5. Establish student trustee requirements taking into the account the unique structure of CJLC.

The amendments providing for two-year terms of office for student trustees in DSBs in #1 are effective immediately. The amendments related to #2, 3 and 4, above, will take effect for the term of office beginning on August 1, 2020. Changes concerning the CJLC will take effect for the 2019-2020 school year; however, CJLC may put student trustees in place during the 2018-19 school year under special transitional rules.

Ontario Regulation 463/97 – Electronic Meetings
Under the amended regulation, school boards may permit their board and committee chairs to preside over meetings electronically if any of the following applies:

  • The distance from the chair's current residence to the meeting location is 200km or greater; or
  • Weather conditions do not allow the chair to travel to the meeting location safely; or,
  • The chair cannot be physically present at a meeting due to health-related issues.

No more than half of board or committee meetings in a 12-month period can be chaired electronically. School boards are now required to establish processes to ensure the security and confidentiality of proceedings held during closed meetings.

For more details about the changes to the above regulations, please refer to the consolidated version of the regulations that are available at e-Laws, which provides online access to official copies of Ontario's statutes and regulations.

I kindly request that you share this information with your board's advisory committees, student senates, school councils and other partners as appropriate.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the governance engagement and for your continued work supporting strong and accountable school board governance.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Martyn Beckett

Denys Giguère

c.c. Ontario Public School Boards' Association
Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association
Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario
Council of Ontario Directors of Education
Ontario Student Trustees' Association / Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l'Ontario
Executive Secretaries to the Directors of Education
Debra Cormier, Director, Field Services Branch
Regional Managers, Field Services Branch
Bruce Drewett, Director, Leadership, Collaboration and Governance Branch