Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's Local Government Week from October 16 to 20, 2023 page

Local Government Week from October 16 to 20, 2023

Local Government Week from October 16 to 20, 2023
Posted on 10/15/2023
Graphic for Local Government Week, October 16-20, 2023 with BWDSB logo and background image of BWDSB Education CentreGraphic for Local Government Week, October 16-20, 2023 with BWDSB logo and background image of BWDSB Education CentreIn Bluewater District School Board, we join our partners at the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) by observing Local Government Week.

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 our system today.

The Board of Trustees sets our vision, mission, and priorities as outlined in our multi-year strategic plan for student achievement and well-being, and develops policies, allocates resources, and determines the goals that lay the foundation driving programs and operations in our board.  Trustees are also collectively responsible for recruiting and monitoring 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 are responsible for overseeing a budget of $258,150,330 that supports approximately 18,500 students in 40 elementary schools and nine secondary schools, and the 3,000 permanent and casual staff.

Did you know?
  • Trustees are elected every four years during municipal and school board elections.  This amounts to more than 320 publicly elected trustees representing 31 public English school boards and three school authorities across Ontario.

  • Indigenous trustees are appointed to the board by their First Nation.  More than half of Ontario’s English public school boards have Indigenous trustees.

  • Student trustees are elected by the student body of the board.  The Ontario Student Trustees' Association (OSTA-AECO) represents more than two million students.

  • Bluewater District School Board consists of nine elected trustees, one appointed First Nations representative, and two student trustees (representing the Student Senate).  View our Meet Your Trustee web page for our 2022 – 2026 Board of Trustees and the areas each trustee represents.

  • The kindergarten to Grade 12 education sector is the second-largest recipient of provincial funding, after healthcare.  The provincial government estimates that they will invest about $27.6 billion in education for the 2023 – 2024 school year.

  • Public school trustees oversee budgets ranging from approximately $50 million to well over $3 billion.

  • 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.

  • The next municipal election will be held on October 26, 2026.
Trustee Roles and Responsibilities

Trustees are required to:
  • attend and participate in meetings of the board, including meetings of board committees
  • consult with parents, students, and supporters of the board on the board’s multi-year plan
  • bring concerns of parents, students, and supporters of the board to the attention of the board
  • uphold the implementation of any board resolution after it is passed by the board
  • entrust the day–to-day management of the board to its staff through the board’s director of education
  • maintain focus on student achievement and well-being
  • comply 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 and for ensuring effective stewardship of the board’s resources.

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
  • 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.

  • Ontario’s English public district school boards provide universally accessible education for all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds; social or economic status; gender; individual exceptionality; or religious preference.

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

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

  • Public school boards also 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.

  • English public district school boards, in partnership with parents and caregivers, prepare students for success in whatever field they choose.
For more information on Local Government Week, please visit the OPSBA website.
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.
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