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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Board Governance and Administration

A-01 Student Trustees on Boards

Date Jun 2016
Review Jun 2021

It is the policy of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to include a maximum of two (2) non-voting student trustees on its Board of Trustees to serve from August 1st to July 31st. A student trustee may apply to be a candidate for a second term.

The inclusion of student trustees enables the perspective of students to be considered in Board of Trustee decisions. It also provides students with valuable learning experiences.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for this role, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Students must be entering or enrolled in the senior division as a full-time student at a school within the jurisdiction of the DSBN. An exceptional student in a special education program for whom the Board has reduced the length of the instructional program on each school day is eligible so long as the student would be a full-time student if the program had not been reduced; and
  2. Students must have achieved, in the previous school year, and maintain a minimum average of 60% across all subjects; and
  3. Students must have demonstrated an interest and prior involvement in school, extra-curricular and/or community based activities.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Students must be willing to commit the necessary time to attend meetings and perform the duties and responsibilities of a student trustee. The responsibilities of the student trustee include the following:

  1. To regularly attend all Board of Trustee meetings except meetings that are closed to the public under clause 207 (2) (b) of the Education Act;
  2. To be knowledgeable about, and willing to comply with, DSBN By-Laws and Rules of Procedure;
  3. To select and regularly attend and participate in at least one Statutory or Standing Committee meeting per month, in addition to Student Trustee Senate;
  4. To serve as the co-chair and lead the Student Trustee Senate;
  5. To act as the student liason representative, by consulting and informing the Student Trustee Senate about DSBN issues of interest and concern to students.

Even though the student trustee is a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees, he/she will have the same opportunity for participation at meetings of the Board of Trustees and at meetings of committees of the Board of Trustees as granted to elected Board of Trustee Members.

ELECTION

Each candidate for the position of student trustee will submit a concise application outlining their academic, school, extra-curricular and/or community involvement experiences, including a brief explanation of their interest in serving in this role.

In consultation with Student Council and following school based processes, each school may submit one application, signed by the Principal.

In April of each year, a meeting will be held by the Student Trustee Senate, at which time an election for the student trustee(s) will take place. Campaigning for the position of student trustee is restricted to the distribution of the candidate’s application form and a three-minute presentation on the date of the student trustee election forum. There will be no opportunity for a question period of the candidates.

Regardless of the number of school representatives in attendance, each secondary school present will receive one (1) ballot and have the right to cast votes for the two (2) candidates of their choice. Elections will be held by secret ballot and the two (2) candidates with the most votes will be announced as the student trustees for the following school year.

The DSBN shall provide the Ministry with the names of the student trustees elected, not later than 30 days after the date of the election or by-election.

ORIENTATION

Orientation for the newly elected student trustees will be provided by the Director of Education and/or designate, as well as the outgoing student trustees. During their term, the student trustees may request additional information and assistance, as required.

REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES

Student trustees will be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses reasonably incurred in carrying out their duties, in accordance with DSBN policies. Prior approval and reimbursement for attendance at workshops, training sessions and/or conferences must be authorized by the Director of Education.

HONORARIUM

A student trustee is entitled to receive an honorarium from the DSBN in the amount of:

  1. $2500.00 if the student trustee holds office for a complete term of office.
    or
  2. $2500.00 prorated according to the proportion of a term for which the student trustee holds office, if the student trustee holds office for less than a complete term of office.

VACANCIES

A student trustee elected by his or her peers may be disqualified if he or she fails to remain as a full-time student at a secondary school within the DSBN, or if the student fails to remain in good standing within the school and community, or fails to fulfil the responsibilities of their role, or if the student is charged or convicted of a criminal or serious provincial offence during the term of office, or if he or she is serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution.

A member of the DSBN or of the Student Trustee Senate who has reasonable grounds for concern that may lead to disqualification of a student trustee should express that concern to the Director of Education. The disqualification of a student trustee would require a majority vote of the Board of Trustee Members present in Committee of the Whole.

In the event a vacancy arises prior to the expiration of the term, the candidate receiving the third highest number of votes will be offered the opportunity to fill the vacancy. If the third place candidate declines to accept the position, it will be offered to the fourth highest candidate, and so on until the vacancy is filled or until no more candidates remain.

A vacancy will not be filled if a vacancy occurs within two months of the next scheduled election, or if no candidates are willing or able to serve. If the Board of Trustees determines that a vacancy shall be filled, it shall be filled by a by-election.