In accordance with the Education Act provisions which allow the Board to set the minimum requirements for attendance at meetings, this Board supports the policy that Board Members and student trustee(s) shall be physically present at Regular Board Meetings and Committee Meetings each year beginning December 1 to November 30, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
The Education Act also provides that if a member of the Board absents himself or herself from three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the Board without being authorized by resolution entered in the Board minutes, the member vacates his/her seat.
The District School Board of Niagara supports the concept that the holding of Board and committee meetings where Board Members, staff members and members of the public are physically present in the same room allows for greater ease of personal interaction, enhances meaningful discussion, facilitates the decision-making process, and simplifies the voting procedures and declarations of conflict of interest.
However, the Board recognizes that special circumstances may arise that prevent the attendance of Board Members and student trustee(s) from being physically present at meetings of the Board or at committees of the Board. In these limited special circumstances, in the interest of ensuring that a quorum is reached and providing for the maximum opportunity for participation by Board Members and student trustee(s), the Board shall provide the electronic means for participation, where practical, at all Board and committee meetings through the establishment of telephone conference call connections in designated meeting rooms.
Permission must be granted by the Chair of the Board to join a meeting by electronic means. Such requests would normally be made at least twenty-four hours before the scheduled meeting.
In the event a Board Member is unable to attend a committee meeting, the Board Member or the Committee Chair shall make every effort to find an alternate Board Member to attend as their designated replacement and shall notify the Committee Chair of the name of the designated Board Member. If a designate has not been named, then the Committee Chair will have the right to designate another Board Member, and the designated replacement will have all voting privileges.
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