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Role of School Board Trustee

March 24, 2021

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Winnipeg School Division is comprised of nine trustees, who are elected for a four-year term.

School trustees are elected officials whose prime responsibility is to function as a board to set policy regarding the provision of educational services.

The Winnipeg School Division has nine wards, with one trustee elected per ward. Although elected on a ward basis, all nine trustees have the responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of WSD as a whole, not only their own ward.


The Board of Trustees sets policy through the decisions it makes at public meetings.

Individual trustees have the right to speak and vote on matters presented at Board meetings. An individual trustee may wish the Board to take action on a particular topic and can present a motion on the subject to the Board. The motion may be discussed after it is seconded by another trustee. Action will be taken only if approved by the majority of the trustees.

The decisions made by a school board at its meetings set the overall directions and policy for the school division. The school board employs administrators to see that this direction is implemented in an effective and efficient manner and for the day-to-day operation of WSD.

Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of all Trustees to commit to the Code of Conduct and to act at all times respectfully and with good faith, and in the best interests of the Winnipeg School Division in accordance with Policies AC – Human Rights, GBEAA – Violence Prevention, GCPDA – Harassment Prevention, Board Procedural By-Law, the Public Schools Act, the Education Administration Act, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Personal Health and Information Act and its Regulations and other relevant legislation.
Trustees must work together co-operatively in order to best serve the interests of students, parents, staff and constituents.

Role of the Chair:

The Chair of the Board maintains order and proper conduct and decorum at meetings in accordance with the Public Schools Act and Procedural By-Law. They are also a voting member.

The Chair is the official spokesperson of the Board and presents the majority position of the Board. The Chair also represents the Board at public functions.

Role of the Vice-Chair:

The Vice-Chair acts for the Chair in their absence. During Board meetings, the Vice-Chair usually chairs the committee of the whole.

Role of the Committees:

The Winnipeg School Board has several committees that meet to discuss items that come under their specific terms of reference.

Committees make recommendations to the Board for consideration. They cannot make decisions without the approval of the Board. Preparing for and participating in school board and committee meetings are important roles of a school trustee.

Board meetings

Board meetings
Regular meetings of the Board will normailly be held during the 1st and 3rd weeks in the months during the school year at 7:00 pm.

Division parents, residents, students and stakeholders may appear before the Board to make a presentation.

Committee meetings

There are four standing committees of the Board. The Finance/Personnel Committee, the Building/Transportation Committee, the Policy/Program Committee and the Governance & Public Relations Committee that meet whenever necessary on the call of the Chair of the respective committees or upon direction from the Board. The Board may refer any business coming before it to the committees for recommendation and report.

Advisory Committee meetings

The Board of Trustees has established the following Advisory Committees to enhance communication between the Board (Trustees) and Parent Councils within each district: Central; Inner City; North and South Advisory Committees.

Trustees shall:

Attend duly called meetings of the Board of Trustees and any committee to which they are appointed.

Serve as chairs of committees and of the Board as called upon and accept any other assignment given to them by the Board, unless they feel that they cannot fulfil the duties thus assigned.

In no event, shall a trustee absent themselves for three consecutive Regular meetings, without the formal approval of the Board.

Keep in strictest confidence any information surrounding any matter brought to the trustee’s attention in Committee of the Whole.

Direct matters about Board policy, Board officials, principals, teachers, and other personnel through proper channels.

Act as a representative of the Board at all public functions which they are called upon to attend in the capacity of a trustee in accordance with the Protocol for School Events.

Make no statement, announcement, press or publicity release as representing Board policies, actions or plans, unless such policies, actions or plans have been formally adopted by the Board.

Trustees shall respect that the Chairperson shall be the Division’s spokesperson.

Trustees may speak on their own behalf in respect to any proposed or existing Board policies, actions or plans.

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