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Policy 2900 - Trustee Professional Development and Attendance at Conferences

The role of trustees is increasingly demanding and complex. In order for trustees to fulfill this role it is important for individual trustees to recognize the need for, and take advantage of, professional development opportunities available.
It is the responsibility of the Surrey Board of Education to ensure that budgetary provisions are made to facilitate the professional development of trustees and it is the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure that trustees are kept informed of professional development opportunities available. 
The professional development of trustees should include:
a)Access to the resources of the school district.
b)Access to educational publications such as books, journals and newsletters.
c)Participation in conferences, workshops and in-service activities at local, provincial, national and international levels; and
d)Memberships in educational associations.



In order that they may fulfill their role in a dynamic, complex school district like Surrey, trustees are encouraged and have a responsibility to attend and participate in appropriate conferences, conventions, seminars, workshops and other programs that will contribute to their growth as a school trustee. “Appropriate” conferences and programs are not limited to, but include those where:
Representatives of educational systems meet to debate and formulate positions to be taken and submissions to be made to higher levels of government regarding educational matters. Examples include the annual general meetings of the B.C. School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA), B.C. Council for Leadership in Education (BCCLEA), the Canadian School Trustees’ Association, (CSTA), and the Canadian Education Association (CEA). This definition would also include specially called BCSTA conferences, called from time to time as issues arise, at which the school district should be represented.
Conferences and training workshop programs aimed at the dissemination of information intended to assist locally-elected representatives of educational systems to meet their responsibilities and duties. Examples would include BCSTA’s New Trustee Workshops and Annual Zonal Trustee Education programs.



Budgetary provisions will be made annually to permit each trustee to attend BCSTA’s New Trustee Workshops, in the first year a trustee is elected to the board. 
Discretionary Conference Attendance
The board will include in its annual operating budget, a lump sum to make provision for trustees to attend other conferences, conventions, etc., that they individually deem to be appropriate professional development opportunities. The following guidelines shall govern the administration of the fund:
a)The lump sum will be reduced by an appropriate amount to provide a reserve for new trustees who arrive mid-year, and the balance divided equally among trustees and placed in a discretionary fund.
b)When a new trustee assumes office, the reserve, and the balance of the accounts established for departing trustees, shall be used to provide an amount equal to that initially allocated to each trustee, prorated to recognize the point of time in the fiscal year.
c)A trustee may authorize the expenses of another trustee, incurred under this section, to be charged against his/her allocation, but in any case, the allocations may not be exceeded.
d)If discretionary funds are to be used for attendance at the CSTA or CEA annual general meetings, there will be no restriction on attendance if held in the Province of B.C. Where both are held out of-province, trustees may attend one or the other. 
e)This fund may also be used for attendance at local district sponsored or hosted professional development programs when expenses are incurred.



In recognition of the fact that appropriate memberships, and a variety of educational journals and publications are available and could provide trustees with valuable assistance in performing their role, the board will make provision in the annual operating budget for the cost of providing this form of professional development.



Trustees attending functions in accordance with this policy may claim reimbursement of necessary expenses as provided in Board Policy 4410 –Travel Expense Reimbursement.

Policy 4410

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