Effective Date: November 9, 1998
Revised: November 1, 2001
Responsibility: Director of Education
The Near North District School Board encourages and utilizes electronic meetings as a tool for both educational and business operations of the system in accordance with Ontario Regulation 463/97 Electronic Meetings and Board Policy GP-14: Board Meetings and determines that:
- (a) Meetings of the Board and Committees of the Board using electronic means be held when and where such meetings are organized in a manner that is consistent with procedures set out in this Administrative Guideline.
- (b) Trustees, staff and public participating in these meetings are governed and regulated according to the procedures set forth within this Administrative Guideline.
- (c) The equipment necessary to enable meetings to take place is operated and controlled in the manner set forth within this Administrative Guideline.
A. Electronic Meetings are defined as those carried out via teleconference, and/or video conference.
B. Private Session is defined as those proceedings defined by the Education Act:
- i the liability of the Board involving legal implications;
- ii personnel matters involving efficiency, discipline, termination of employment, extension of employment beyond retirement age and medical reports;
- iii negotiations for the purchase, lease or other acquisition of properties;
- iv negotiations of wage schedules of employees; and
- v matters concerning individual staff member and or students.
1.0 Board Meetings
1.1 A member of the District School Board and staff who participates in a meeting through electronic means in accordance with Board policy and Regulation 436/97 shall be deemed to be present at the meeting.
1.2 Trustees, staff and or members of the public who elect to participate through electronic means will participate at the Board Office location nearest their place of residence. Where Trustees or staff finds that circumstances dictate it is more cost and time efficient to be present at one of the alternate Board Office locations, attendance will be permitted.
1.3 On the request of any Board member, or the public, to participate in a meeting of the Board or a committee of the Board, through electronic means, the Board shall provide the appropriate technology ensuring:
1.3.1 Two-way communication is available to all participants in the meeting during public sessions of the meeting.
1.3.2 Two-way communication is available to Trustees and appropriate staff during Private Session.
1.3.3 Cellular, portable or radio phones are not used for electronic meetings.
1.4 The Board may refuse to provide a member with electronic means of participation in a meeting of the Board, a meeting in Private Session or a meeting of any other committee of the Board, if conditions outlined in 1.3 are not possible.
1.5 At every meeting of the Board or Private Session, and according to the schedule
established annually for Board and Committee meetings, the following persons shall be physically present in the meeting room:
1.5.1 The Chair of the Board/Committee or designate.
1.5.2 The Director of Education or designate.
1.5.3 One additional member of the Board/Committee.
1.6 At every meeting of a committee of the Board, the following persons shall be physically present in the room:
1.6.1 The chair of the committee or designate.
1.6.2 The Director of Education or designate.
1.7 A schedule of the Board meetings will be established annually identifying location of the meetings.
1.8 Trustees and Administrative Staff may access Board and Committee meetings electronically from places other than the designated sites, when they are accessing a meeting from outside the jurisdiction of the Board, or due to inclement weather or illness.
1.9 The public may not access Private Session as outlined in the Education Act.
1.10 The Board may at any time, by motion, deem it necessary to convene a face-to-face meeting where all Trustees are required to attend in person.
1.11 All committee meetings are accessible via electronic means for all participants and are accessible for public participants at the designated sites upon request.
1.12 Requests for participation at the designated sites must be made to the Executive Assistant to the Supervisory Officer acting as administrative resource for the committee, 48 hours in advance of the meeting date and time.
2.0 Procedures for Meetings of the Board
2.1 All Trustees and administrative staff will be provided with a copy of the agenda package prior to the Board meeting as required by Board by-laws.
2.2 All Trustees and administrative staff and committee representatives will be provided with an agenda prior to a committee meeting.
2.3 Any information which is circulated in hard copy at the Board or committee meeting shall be faxed or e-mailed to the specified locations 30 minutes prior to the time of the meeting for copying and circulation to the participants.
2.4 The Chair of the Board shall ensure declarations of conflict of interest are heard by all in attendance.
2.5 Private Session is a meeting or portion of a meeting that is closed to the public. The Chair of the meeting shall request all members of the public to vacate the meeting during the portion of the meeting deemed as Private Session.
2.6 Members of the public shall participate in Board and committee meetings according to the appropriate place on the Board or committee agenda.
2.7 The meeting room of the Board or Committee of the Board shall be open to permit physical attendance by members of the public, except where a meeting, or a portion of a meeting is closed to the public as defined by the Education Act.
3.0 Support For Meetings
3.1 Trained site monitors will be available at each of the Board office locations that are joining the Board or committee meetings via electronic means.
3.2 Site monitors will act under the authority and on the direction of the Executive Assistant to the Director as required.
3.3 Site monitors will be responsible for setting up and monitoring the equipment to ensure clear communication is achieved throughout the meeting. The monitor will also shut down and store the equipment following the closure of the meeting or when there are no longer Trustees, staff or members of the public present at the site of the electronic meeting or 15 minutes following the scheduled starting time of the meeting when no one is present.
3.4 Site monitors will ensure members of the public are requested to leave the proceedings of any meeting, which are deemed by the Chair, according to the requirements of the Education Act, to be in Private Session.
3.5 Site monitors will leave the meeting during Private Session, unless a Supervisory Officer or Trustees fills the role of site monitor.
4.0 Meeting Procedures
4.1 Roll call for Trustees for all meetings will be taken verbally and duly recorded.
4.2 All procedural by-laws established by the Board shall remain in force during Board meetings being accessed electronically.
4.3 Trustees participating electronically shall inform the Chair of their departure from a meeting, whether temporary or permanent, to ensure a quorum is maintained at all times.
4.4 Upon the Chair requesting for a mover and a seconder for any motion, the first Trustee identifying him or herself by name intending to act as the mover or the seconder, shall be deemed to have moved or seconded the motion.
4.5 Upon the Chair asking if there is any discussion on the motion, Trustees shall identify him or herself by name. The chair shall record the names in order and call upon Trustees to speak in the same order. Upon completion of the speakers list, the Chair shall again request if there is any further discussion on the motion and repeat the same process according to the allowances provided according to the by-laws of the Board for each portion of the meeting. Trustees not speaking shall not interrupt those called on by the Chair through the speakers' list. When no further discussion is required or permitted as defined by the procedural by-laws, the Chair shall call the question or request Trustees to confirm consensus.
4.6 Upon the Chair asking Trustees to indicate if they are in favour of the motion to confirm consensus, the Chair shall ask Trustees by site to indicate so by stating their name. The same process shall be followed to establish those not in favour of the motion. The Chair shall then declare if the motion is carried or defeated.
4.7 When a ruling is appealed, the Chair shall poll the members alphabetically by their last name to verify the decision.