Do you have questions about the role of the Governing Board (Conseil d’établissement) with respect to the Intensive ESL project, or any other project, in your school? At the last Hot Topics Web Event in April, many teachers expressed interest in knowing more about their governing board and what its role is concerning the Intensive ESL project.

In this post, I have provided answers to the questions asked by Intensive ESL about the Governing Board and the Intensive ESL Project, to the best of my knowledge.  I interpreted the answers found in the Education Act, which is the set of laws that governs the rights and obligations of students, teachers, schools and school boards in Quebec.

Before you begin reading, here are the English and French equivalents of the information provided in the Education Act, and the breakdown of the sections where you can find the information about Division II: Governing board.

 IN ENGLISH  IN FRENCH
 Chapter I-13.3: Education Act  Chapitre I-13.3 : Loi sur l’instruction publique
 Governing board  Conseil d’établissement
 Section  Article
 Sections DIVISION II
Governing board
 Articles SECTION II
Conseil d’établissement
 42-46  Composition  42-46  Composition
 47-55  Formation  47-55  Formation
 56-73  Operation  56-73  Fonctionnement
 74-83.1  General functions and powers  74-83.1  Fonctions et pouvoirs généraux
 84-89.2  Functions and powers relating to  educational services  84-89.2  Fonctions et pouvoirs reliés aux services éducatifs

The answers to the following questions also include the section numbers where you can find more detailed information.

 1. WHAT IS A GOVERNING BOARD?

According to the document, The Governing Board, A Great Way to Get Involved in School Life, MEQ, the governing board is defined as, “…an organization with substantial powers to help a school, vocational training centre or adult education centre meet the needs of all students… A school’s governing board exercises powers and functions related to matters such as the school’s educational project, student supervision policy, the rules of conduct, the approach for the implementation of the basic school regulation, the time allocation for each subject and the use of the school’s premises.”
The governing board is a body established by the Education Act. The Education Act is a piece of legislature whose provisions are implemented by the MEQ.

2. WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD?

(Section 42)
A governing board is composed of a maximum of 20 members:

  • at least four parents
  • at least four members of the school staff
  • one member of the daycare staff in schools providing childcare
  • two students, in schools providing instruction at the Secondary IV and V levels
    (non-voting members)
  • two community representatives (non-voting members)

Its members work in partnership to ensure that all students receive the best possible learning opportunities.

(Section 46)
The principal of the school takes part in the meetings of the governing board but is not entitled to vote.

 3. WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF ADDING THE INTENSIVE ESL PROJECT TO A SCHOOL?

(Section 84)
When teachers would like to add a project to their school, they will present it to the principal, who in turn must present it to the members of the governing board. The members will then decide to vote for or against the project.

(Sections 85) (Section 86)
The Intensive ESL project is about enriching and adapting the contents of a curriculum, and involves different time allocated to the subject, therefore must be presented to the members of the governing board.

4. WILL THE GOVERNING BOARD NEED TO BE INFORMED ABOUT WHICH ESL PROGRAM (CORE OR EESL) THE SCHOOL DECIDES TO USE FOR ITS INTENSIVE ESL PROJECT?

(Sections 85) (Section 86)
Yes, the governing board will need to be informed as to which program the school will choose to use (Core or EESL).

 5. CAN THE GOVERNING BOARD DECIDE TO REMOVE THE INTENSIVE ESL  PROJECT FROM THEIR SCHOOL?

(Section 84) (Sections 85) (Section 86)
The governing board cannot remove a project from the school, unless the principal proposes that it should be removed.  At that point, the members still have the right to vote whether the project stays or not. The governing board may or may not approve the implementation of an Intensive English ESL project or any other type of special educational project. The governing board can approve or reject a proposal that was made by the principal.

 REFERENCES

If you would like to read more about the governing board:

  1. La loi sur l’instruction publique
    Education Act
  2. The Governing Board, A Great Way to Get Involved in School Life, MEQ
  3. Schéma: Le conseil d’établissement d’une école
  4. School Governance – How to participate
    Gouvernance scolaire – Comment y participer
  5. Video capsules: Compulsory Training for governing board members and principals and directors of educational institutions
    Capsules : Formation obligatoire pour les membres des conseils d’établissement