What Time Commitment is Necessary to be an Effective School Trustee?
The work schedule of a trustee can vary greatly depending on the time of year. In general, BGSD trustee work occurs during the school year and often, but not always, during the school day. Successful trustees should have the ability to be very flexible in their work schedules.
See below for a few examples of the required/expected engagements that trustees must attend (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):
- Alberta School Boards Association General Meetings: 2x per year = 4 days
- Regular Board meetings: 11x per year = 11 days
- Committee of the Whole meetings: 6x per year = 6 days
- School Visits: 10 days per year
- Committee Work: Varies by committee
- Professional Development: Varies: 2 – 4 days per year
- Attending School Council meetings: Varies 2 – 4 evenings per month
- Representing the Board at school events: Varies 6 – 12 events per year
- Reading and meeting preparation 2 – 4 hours per week.
In general, trustee work falls under the following categories:
BGSD trustees hold regular meetings that are open to the public at which they conduct the business of the board by making decisions on policy, budgets, curriculum, planning, etc. Typically there is a minimum of one, and sometimes two, “Regular Board” meetings per month. These day long meetings are held on Wednesdays during normal business hours.
In addition, Trustees hold monthly Committee of the Whole meetings. These full day meetings are usually on Wednesdays during normal business hours.
Trustees are expected to prepare for meetings in advance by reviewing reports, information and agenda items.
BGSD trustees have the opportunity to sit on a variety of committees related to the work of the Board, the Division and/or the community at large. Committee work can take place during the work week or on weekends, during the school year or during summer break and during normal business hours or in the evening.
Trustees represent BGSD at a variety of school and community events. Board representation is considered to be an essential part of a trustee’s work as this is the most common and effective methods by which trustees communicate with education stakeholders.
Trustees also respond to inquiries and concerns raised by community stakeholders. This can involve phone calls, email and personal meetings and often requires research and consultation with Division staff.
Conference and Workshops
Trustees have the opportunity to attend a variety of conferences and workshops to further their knowledge of education and to represent the interests of BGSD in the community. Most of these events take place in and around Edmonton, although some are located in Red Deer, Calgary or outside Alberta. These events are typically from one to four days in duration and may require overnight travel.