Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's Local Government Week 2021 page

Local Government Week 2021

Local Government Week 2021
Posted on 10/18/2021
BWDSB logo embedded in brickFrom October 18 to 22, Bluewater District School Board joins the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) to raise civic awareness among our students by observing Local Government Week.

In Bluewater, the Board of Trustees sets our vision, develops policies, allocates resources, and creates the goals that lay the foundation that drives programs and operations in our board.  Collectively, they create our multi-year strategic plan for student achievement and well-being, and monitor the performance of the Director of Education, to ensure our progress in meeting our goals.

As leaders of our local public education system, Bluewater District School Board’s trustees are committed to student success and well-being through their responsible stewardship and effective planning to ensure the long-term sustainability of resources.  Our trustees set and assume responsibility for a budget of over $226,700,000 that supports approximately 17,400 students in 40 elementary schools and nine secondary schools, and the 3,000 permanent and casual staff who serve them.

The social media hashtag for Local Government Week is #LocalGovWeek.  Be sure to use it if you are tweeting or posting a photo on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Did you know....?

  • School board trustees are members of a district school board.  They are locally-elected representatives of the public, and they are the community’s advocates for public education.
  • School board trustees are the oldest form of elected representation in Ontario. Since 1807, generations of community-minded citizens have made decisions on behalf of local, publicly funded schools, building the foundation of the system we have today.
  • The election of school board trustees is governed by the Education Act and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. Both are the laws or rules that trustees follow.
  • There are different kinds of trustees:
    · Trustees are elected every four years during municipal and school board elections, including more than 320 publicly elected trustees representing 31 public English school boards, and three school authorities across Ontario.
    · Student senators/trustees represent the student voice in their school board. In Bluewater, student senators are elected by the student body.  The student senators then determine which two members will become student trustees.  The Ontario Student Trustees' Association (OSTA-AECO) represents more than two million students.

  • The Kindergarten-Grade 12 education sector is the second-largest recipient of provincial funding, after healthcare. The provincial government invests more than $25.6 billion each year in education.

  • School board trustees oversee budgets ranging from approximately $46 million to over $3 billion.

  • The next municipal election will be held on October 24, 2022.

Trustee Roles and Responsibilities

The duties and areas of responsibility of a trustee include:

  • attending and participating in meetings of the board, including meetings of board committees;
  • consulting with parents, students, and supporters of the board on the multi-year strategic plan;
  • bringing concerns of parents, students, and supporters of the board to the attention of the board;
  • upholding the implementation of any board resolution after it is passed by the board;
  • entrusting the day–to-day management of the board to its staff through the Director of Education;
  • maintaining focus on student achievement and well-being; and
  • complying with the board’s code of conduct.

What are the responsibilities of a school board?

School boards – the elected board of trustees – are responsible for student achievement and well-being, for ensuring effective stewardship of the board’s resources, and for delivering effective and appropriate education programs for their students.

The Education Act and its regulations set out the services that district school boards and school authorities must offer.  The responsibilities of a school board include a key governance role with respect to:
  • operating schools according to provincial legislation;
  • having a vision statement that reflects the board’s philosophy, and local needs and priorities;
  • setting the board’s budget within the provincial grants and accompanying regulations;
  • implementing curriculum according to ministry curriculum policy;
  • developing and delivering other programs that reflect provincial policies and local priorities;
  • providing for the hiring of teachers and other staff required in their schools;
  • maintaining school buildings and property with regard to student safety, and in accordance with provincial legislation; and
  • monitoring the policies of the schools and the achievement of students and, through the Director of Education, holding the entire system accountable for meeting provincial and board standards.

About Ontario’s Public Education System
  • Preparing students to become productive and contributing citizens is the foundation of a civil society.

  • Universally accessible education is provided for all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds; social or economic status; gender; individual exceptionality; or religious preference.

  • The system is founded on the principle of equity of educational opportunity: every student deserves an opportunity to achieve to their fullest potential.

  • School boards provide high standards in their programs and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students reach those standards.

  • There is also a focus on character education to ensure that students develop as caring and responsible members of their community, and of Canadian society as a whole.

  • Character education embraces values such as Citizenship, Cooperation, Courage, Empathy, Fairness, Honesty, Humility, Inclusiveness, Initiative, Integrity, Kindness, Optimism, Perseverance, Resilience, Respect, and Responsibility.

  • In partnership with parents/guardians, school boards prepare students for success in whatever fields they choose.

What are the “rules” for school?
  • In Ontario, children and youth between the ages of six and 18 must be enrolled in a formal education program.  The province’s Education Act and the regulations made under it establish the framework for the delivery of education programs.
  • Typically, an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requires students to complete 30 credits (18 compulsory, 12 optional), pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), and fulfill 40 hours of community involvement activities.  Temporary changes have been made to graduation requirements for the 2021-22 school year, consistent with the changes made for the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For this year, the OSSLT requirement for graduation has been removed, and the number of required community involvement hours has been reduced to 20.
  • Students who leave school before earning the OSSD may be granted the Ontario Secondary School Certificate.
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.