BBAA: Board Member Authority

B: Board Governance and Operations

The School Act states that the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of the Board of School Trustees (the “Board”) rest only with the legally constituted Board as a whole, not with committees of the Board or with individual trustees.  Members of the Board exercise their powers and responsibilities as a matter of public trust and only when the Board is officially in session.

The concept of Board membership as a public trust also implies, however, that the public frequently approaches individual Board members with specific requests or concerns.  When dealing with public issues outside Board sessions, Board members at all times should strive to represent the Board to the public in a forthright but discerning manner.

  • If questioned by someone about a matter on which policy has been clearly defined, an individual Board member should answer based on policy.
  • If questioned about a matter on which the Board has no established policy, individual Board members should not commit themselves to any position or make any promises other than to discuss the matter with senior management for possible Board consideration.
  • If approached with complaints or requests directly or indirectly relating to personnel, instruction, or services, Board members should refer such complaints or requests to the Superintendent of Schools who, as the Board's chief executive officer, is responsible for investigating such matters.

It is understood that certain informal lines of communication exist, and this policy is not meant to interfere with these nor is it meant to make all matters of communication between Board members, staff, and public needlessly bureaucratic.  The policy underlines, however, the corporate nature of the Board and the duty of each individual Board member to remain committed to reaching and supporting group decisions that represent the best judgment of the Board as a whole.

DMT Responsibility: S-T

Cross References: 
BBF: Board Member Ethics; KL: Public Complaints, and all subcodes
Adopted Date: 
Friday October 01, 1982
Revision Date: 
Dec 1996