Trustees examine board development in Sask. Rivers

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board of education met at the Education Centre in September

Even trustees need to continue to keep learning.

That was the message as Board Development Committee chair trustee Darlene Rowden provided a report and led a discussion about trustee learning opportunities at the Sept. 13 Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division board meeting.

Bratvold said trustees are acting as role models in learning and growth through their trustee development.

“I just think that it’s important that people know that the school board trustees are learning all the time,” director of education Robert Bratvold said.

“(It’s) important as educational leaders to model that lifelong learning, but it’s also important in terms of if you are going to be a good trustee. If you are going to be an effective governance team, you need to learn and stay on top of things and they are doing that.”

Bratvold added that the elected educational leaders are doing extra work to make sure they remain current and competent in their work.

“In my mind, I think it’s important for the public to know that,” Bratvold said.

Trustees took part in several development events last year, and the committee was pleased to hear the positive feedback from those efforts.

Trustees attended virtual events on topics ranging from finance to reconciliation to governance and more. Bratvold said there were more opportunities for learning thanks to the increase in virtual presentations brought on by COVID-19.

“There was actually more capacity for trustees to learn more things,” he explained. “There was less travel and all of those other expenses required, so they could participate in a greater number of workshops and training sessions.

“That is a silver lining. COVID has been tough, and still is tough. (We) can’t gather all together in the usual way but the virtual events were really important to that trustee learning piece and that was a good thing.”

The Development Committee survey was used to establish priorities for this year’s development and trustee learning.

The survey was sent in August to get feedback on the options from 2020-2021, six surveys were completed.

In a release the division explained that good governance requires continuous learning and is actively modelling lifelong learning as educational leaders as an effective governance team.

The Board Development Committee met on Sept. 7 and Rowden updated members on plans for the 2021-2022 school and reviewed last year’s plan.

The survey results from 2020-2021 were also shared.