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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Board Governance and Administration

A-01 Student Trustees on Boards

Date Feb 2020
Review Feb 2025

It is the policy of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to include a maximum of three (3) non-voting student trustees on its Board of Trustees to serve up to two (2) successive one-year terms, from August 1st during the year of their election to July 31st during the second year of their term. The three (3) non-voting student trustees will serve staggered two successive one-year terms.

Failure to serve the second of the successive one-year terms by a student trustee would be treated as a vacancy under this policy and the student trustee filling the vacancy herein would be eligible to solely serve the remaining one-year 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.


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

  1. Students must be entering their eleventh grade or second last year of secondary education 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 demonstrated an interest and prior involvement in school, extra-curricular and/or community based activities.


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-chairs and lead the Student Trustee Senate;
  5. To act as the student liaison representative, by consulting and informing the Student Trustee Senate about DSBN issues of interest and concern to students.
  6. The Indigenous Student Trustee will be invited to be a student member and attend the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) meetings.

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.


Each candidate for the position of student trustee will submit an expression of interest outlining why they are interested in serving in this role and how they will represent student voice.

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 two (2) 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 a vote for the candidate of their choice. Elections will be held by secret ballot and the candidate with the most votes will be announced as the student trustee for the next two successive one-year terms.

Indigenous Student Trustee

Between February and April each year, an Indigenous student leadership symposium will be held, at which time the Indigenous students will appoint a student for the Indigenous Student Trustee position. This appointment will be acknowledged within the next IEAC committee meeting. The IEAC committee will forward this recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval.

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 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.


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.


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

  1. $2500.00 per year if the student trustee holds office for a complete term of office.
  2. or
  3. $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.


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, a by-election shall be held.