Toronto District School Board

TDSB Board Governance and Organizational Effectiveness

Informed and sound decision making across the TDSB is critical to the success of students throughout the system and in every school. That’s why we are focused on continuing to improve Board governance – the processes for making and implementing decisions – to ensure that every decision we make, keeps students’  in mind.

Each day, we support and educate more than 240,000 students in nearly 600 schools, employ more than 40,000 staff and manage an annual budget of more than $3 billion. We do not take this responsibility lightly and we are guided by a commitment to transparency, accountability, equity, inclusiveness and student success and well-being with direction and purpose. 

There are many elements that play a role in good decision making, including the decision makers and the system’s structure. The Governance Review Committee, established in January 2015, is concentrating on several identified areas and its work, as approved through the Board of Trustees, provides thoughtful and positive improvements to the overall effectiveness of our system with the goal of improved student outcomes. 

Here’s what we’re working on:

Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees/Professional Development for Trustees

  • Developed Trustees Roles and Responsibilities and reviewed as part of facilitation sessions on the role of Trustees in relation to staff. 
  • Launched a public awareness strategy to clarify and communicate the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees to the community.
  • Drafting a policy on Trustees’ professional development that enhances skills, builds capacity and provides the kind of information and analysis that supports informed decision-making. 



Board and Chair Performance Assessment


  • Developing a Board Performance Assessment Toolkit, including self-assessment components, to evaluate the effectiveness of the Board as a governing body.
  • Developing a list of knowledge, experience and skills specific to the role of Chair of the Board, Vice Chair and Committee Chairs, as well as introducing an exit questionnaire to advance the effectiveness of the Board’s governance model.



Education Centres and Superintendent Staffing

  • Created a new system-wide model with four Learning Centres to improve the effectiveness of our schools, make us more responsive to the needs of our communities, and increase student achievement and well-being. Learning Centres will be hubs where staff can collaborate and share resources.



Senior Staff Hiring/Performance Evaluation/Role of Director

  • Hired a permanent Director with a contract in place until December 31, 2021 to ensure stability for the system with the commitment and leadership to improve student achievement and the TDSB’s responsiveness to parents and students.
  • Reviewing the current practice of Superintendent transfers and Principal promotions and transfers to ensure its effectiveness. 



Community Outreach Workers

  • Drafted a report, currently in review, on the role of Community Support Workers and other staff positions that help assist families to navigate the school system.



Student Trustee Participation

  • Consulting with Student Trustees on election eligibility, improved representation and communication to improve outreach to students in Grades 7-12.



Integrity Commissioner

  • Reviewing the Codes of Conduct/Ethics with the Integrity Commissioner to ensure our procedures and policies support our decision-making process.



Policy Review 

  • Through the Policy Review Committee, in consultation with Executive Council, introduced a series of revisions to the policy development and management process that included updating the policy development process; updating the policy review process; setting out public consultation requirements for policy development and review; and introduced a new requirement for mandatory work plans for policy review and development.
  • Revising the Policy Development and Management Procedure (PR501) in view of the TDSB Integrated Equity Framework to ensure a mandatory review and sign-off on all draft policies by the Equity and Achievement staff.



Ensuring Transparency

  • Creating a Documents for Access, Transparency and Accountability Workgroup to ensure the public has greater access to TDSB data and research.
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