School District 27 is asking for public input on four draft policies discussed during its regular board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Accumulated operating surplus, provision of menstrual products, student withdrawals and a trustee code of conduct are among the topics the board is asking for public consultation on.
1.) Accumulate Operating Surplus
The board says in its policy they believe adequate surplus levels are important in supporting educational goals, ensuring financial health, stability and mitigating risk, and considers an accumulated operating surplus balance to provide resiliency in addressing fluctuations in funding, one-time costs or unforeseen expenditures.
The target accumulated operating surplus balance is established in the range of two to four per cent of operating expenses and may be restricted for varying reasons.
A contingency reserve fund would also be established from available operating surplus to mitigate any financial impact from unforeseen risk or circumstances that could negatively impact the resources allocated for educational programs.
The board said it should maintain a contingency reserve of a minimum of 1.5 per cent and a maximum of 2.5 per cent of annual operating expenditures, and should also maintain an unrestricted operating surplus.
“Meaning, surpluses that have not been designated for specific uses, for working capital purposes,” its policy says.
The board also said proposed uses of the accumulated operating surplus should be clearly displayed and referred to the board for approval during the annual budget process.
2.) Provision of Menstrual Products in Schools
The board said it recognized a lack of access to menstrual products can negatively impact student attendance and social-emotional well-being and, in its policy, is asking for ongoing commitment to remove barriers to education and provide safe, inclusive and healthy learning environments.
“The Board of Education of School District No. 27 is committed to providing students with access to free menstrual products in schools,” the policy says.
Schools will ensure menstrual products are made available to students in accordance with the following guidelines:
• free of charge
• ensuring protection of privacy
• barrier free accessibility
• consistency in delivery and availability
3.) Student Withdrawals
SD27 is also seeking public input on implementing formalized procedures for course withdrawals.
Regulations adopted in the draft policy see withdrawals available at the request of a parent, student where appropriate, principal or vice-principal or, in some cases, the assistant superintendent, schools to develop their own school-specific procedure, and where a change of school is involved.
4.) Trustee Code of Conduct
In its Trustee Code of Conduct SD27 says trustees must reflect the board’s recognition and respect of the public’s trust in the board as elected representatives of the community. The code of conduct describes acceptable behaviours, clarifies rules of civil engagement, promotes high standards of practice and provides a framework for professional conduct and responsibilities.
“At each inaugural meeting of the board, each trustee will be requested to sign a code of conduct document acknowledging and accepting the expectations carried within,” its policy states.
Expectations include integrity, respect, confidentiality, responsibility, conflicts of interest and relationships.
The policies will be brought to committee a number of times prior to receiving final approval by the board of education.
Input from the public can be e-mailed to SD27 executive assistant Carrie Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of the policies is listed below in its entirety:
Accumulated Operating Surplus
Trustee Code of Conduct