Toronto District School Board
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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, providing equitable access to learning opportunities and outcomes so that all students can be successful.

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 role of elected officials and the system’s governance structure. The Governance and Policy Committee, established in November 2016, is concentrating on several identified areas. Its work, approved by the Board of Trustees, provides thoughtful and positive improvements to the overall effectiveness of our system with the goal of improved student achievement and wellbeing.

Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees
  • The Board continues to communicate its roles and responsibilities through print and electronic materials, such as customized Back to School letters, TDSB Connects, social media and
Multi-Year Strategic Plan
Board Committee Structure
  • The Board continues to make changes to its Board and Committee meeting structure to facilitate effective debate and decision making.
  • Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Board and its Standing Committees are provided with on-going training and written materials on chairing effective meetings.
  • The Board’s new Board report format will be revised to align content within the context of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan and its commitments to equity, student achievement and wellbeing.
Delegation Procedure
Board Bylaws
  • The Board is in the process of revising its procedural ByLaws to ensure effective Board and committee meetings, decision making processes and accountability and transparency regarding its governance structure.
Professional Development for Trustees
Board Performance Assessment
  • The Board will be considering the development of Board Performance Assessment tools, which may also include Committee and self-assessment components, and an exit questionnaire to evaluate the effectiveness of the Board as a governing body.
Organizational Structure
  • The Director of Education created three new senior leadership roles, as part of larger structural changes to the Senior Team, that emphasize the Board’s focus on higher achievement, school improvement, student well-being, equity and service excellence.
  • A new system-wide model with four Learning Centres was created to improve school effectiveness, including relationships with students and school communities. Learning Centres will be hubs where staff can collaborate and share resources to support students.
Integrity Commissioner
  • The Code of Conduct supports trustees’ commitment to meeting high standards of ethical and respectful conduct in their role as elected officials.
  • The Board of Trustees worked with the Integrity Commissioner to review the Board Member Code of Conduct and the corresponding Complaint Protocol to ensure alignment with the current legislation, government directives and Board’s Bylaws.
Policy Review
  • The Governance and Policy Committee oversees the review of TDSB policies in accordance with a four-year review schedule and approved process (PR501). Eleven policy reviews have been completed, with another fourteen reviews in progress.
  • The Board approved a new Equity Policy (PO37) and staff is currently working on an equity assessment tool to complement the new policy.
  • The Policy Development and Management Procedure (PR501) is being revised to align with the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan and to enhance consultation with students and the school community during policy reviews.
  • The four-year Policy Review Schedule is also being updated to align with the Board’s equity commitments and other priorities outlined in the Multi-Year Strategic Plan.
Ensuring Transparency
  • The Board approved an Open Data Policy (P091) on June 20, 2018 to promote transparency and accountability and to ensure the public has greater access to TDSB data.Staff is currently developing corresponding operational procedures.