The Upper Canada District School Board is recognizing Local Government Week this week, held annually to increase youth and public awareness about the role local government plays in various areas of life. School board trustees are an excellent example of local government as these politicians play a vital role in providing residents a voice to improve their schools and their communities.
School Board Trustees are elected through the municipal election process. Each school board also has student trustee representatives that are elected by their Student Senate peers. School board trustees are elected for a four-year term and each student trustee serves for a one-year term.
“Trustees are the voices of the people about educational issues,” explains UCDSB Student Trustee Colten Kelford. “They bring forward residents’ concerns about issues such as programs, attendance rates, and busing. Anything to do with the school board. You have one person dedicated to bringing your concerns to the Board about the causes you’re passionate about.”
School board trustees (including student trustees) advocate for quality education, set school board policy on everything from safe schools to student dress codes and oversee the main budget. Trustees also relay news about important decisions regarding education and happenings in their respective areas.
School board trustees and student trustees are the key connection between the school board, students and the trustee table.
“My mission is to promote public education and instill public confidence by working collaboratively with schools, school councils and municipalities. We work together to come up with new ideas and help improve policies that impact students and staff within their schools. We are always looking to improve ways we can deliver curriculum to our students,” says John McAllister, Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board.