Board Policy 03: Director of Education and Secretary of the Board Job Description

Legal References

Education Act: Part II School Attendance; Education Act: Part VIII Compliance with Board Obligations; Education Act: Part IX Finance; Education Act: Part X Teachers, Designated Early Childhood Educators, Pupil Records and Education Numbers; Education Act: Part XI Supervisory Officers; Education Act: Part XIII Behavior, Discipline and Safety; Bill 177 Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act

The Director of Education and Secretary of the Board is both the Chief Education Officer and the Chief Executive Officer of Avon Maitland District School Board. The Director reports directly to and is accountable to the Board of Trustees. The Director is also accountable, through statute, to the Minister of Education for the organization and operation of Avon Maitland District School Board. All board authority delegated to staff is delegated through the Director of Education and Secretary of the Board.
The Director of Education and Secretary of the Board advises the Board of Trustees and recommends actions to address current emerging issues and trends to ensure that Avon Maitland District School Board policies and programs result in the attainment of the board mission and system goals. It is the policy of the Board to conduct an annual performance appraisal of the Director of Education in meeting the duties under the Education Act and Regulations, Ministry Directives, Board Policy, the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan, and any other duties assigned by the Board. See Appendix A.

Director of Education

Areas of Responsibility include but are not limited to:

1. Student Achievement and Well-Being
1.1. Demonstrates care for and commitment to students.
1.2. Demonstrates commitment to student achievement.
1.3. Promotes an atmosphere of trust within the school community, setting the tone for
mutually respectful relationships.
1.4. Provides guidance, focus and leadership to ensure the success of all students.
1.5. Takes the necessary steps to provide for the safety and welfare of students while participating in school programs or while being transported to or from school programs on transportation provided by Avon Maitland District School Board.
1.6. Takes the necessary steps to provide facilities to accommodate Avon Maitland District School Board students.
1.7. Acts as, or designates, the local attendance counsellor for Avon Maitland District School Board.
1.8. Broadly promotes the board’s mission, vision and goals articulated in the multi-year Strategic Plan and ensures that the directions of the system are understood and shared by members of the organization.
1.9. Assumes responsibility for ensuring evidence of a coherent instructional guidance system through the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW).
2. Educational and System Leadership
2.1 Provides leadership in all matters relating to education in Avon Maitland District School Board and acts as Secretary of the Board.
2.2 Develops and maintains positive and effective relations with schools and board departments.
2.3 Provides leadership to promote clear, consistent expectations that focus on successful outcomes for students.
2.4 Undertakes professional development related to the role of the Director.
2.5 Demonstrates positive and proactive leadership that has the support of the staff with whom the director works most closely.
2.6 Constructively addresses the rate of progress related to the multi-year Strategic Plan.
3. Fiscal Responsibility/Compliance Mandate
3.1 Ensures that the fiscal management (budgets, time, personnel, policies and procedures) of Avon Maitland District School Board is in accordance with the Ministry’s funding model, other applicable grant regulations, and in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act and Regulations.
3.2 Ensures that the fiscal management of the district is in alignment with the priorities and goals in the board’s multi-year Strategic Plan.
3.3 Monitors to ensure that Strategic Plan priorities and goals are used to develop aligned department level goals.
3.4 Demonstrates effective organizational skills that result in district compliance with all legal, Ministerial and board mandates and timelines.
3.5 Reports to the Minister with respect to matters identified in and required by the Education Act and Regulations.
4. Planning
4.1 Provides leadership for the development of a multi-year Strategic Plan with corresponding annual plans that promote student achievement and well-being, and deliver effective and appropriate education programs to its pupils.
4.2 Consults the Board of Trustees in the planning process of the multi-year Strategic Plan, and ensures that the Plan establishes the board’s priorities and identifies specific measures and resources that will be applied in achieving these priorities.
4.3 Reports annually on implementation and results achieved in relation to the board’s multi-year Strategic Plan and the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW).
4.4 Aligns the content of professional training with the capacities needed for district and school management.
4.5 Provides evidence that succession planning is facilitated through capacity building and the distribution of leadership to ensure strong future leadership.
5. Personnel Management
5.1 Has overall authority and responsibility for all personnel-related issues, save and except those personnel matters precluded by board policy, legislation or collective agreements.
5.2 Ensures effective systems are in place for the selection, supervision, development and performance review of all staff.
5.3 Ensures involvement of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as other board members as applicable, in the process of Superintendent selection.
5.4 Ensures compliance with human rights and labour relations legislation.
5.5 Makes every effort to identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers that would limit the opportunities for individuals from diverse communities for employment, mentoring, promotion, and succession planning in all board and school positions.
6. Policy/Procedures
6.1 Facilitates the planning, development, implementation, review and evaluation of board policies.
6.2 Provides leadership in the planning, development, implementation, review and evaluation of administrative procedures and accompanying forms.
7. Director/Board Relations
7.1 Establishes and maintains positive working relations with the Board of Trustees.
7.2 Supports the Board of Trustees in performing its role as a policy-governance board, and facilitates the implementation of its role as outlined in board policy.
7.3 Communicates effectively with the Board of Trustees and individual trustees.
8. Communications and Community Relations
8.1 Establishes effective communication strategies to ensure that key monitoring reports, student, volunteer and staff successes, local issues, and board decisions are widely known, understood and shared by all members of the organization.
8.2 Ensures that open, transparent and positive internal and external communications are in place.
8.3 Ensures that school councils have the opportunity to provide appropriate advice and support as required in the regulations and/or board policy.
8.4 Participates in community affairs in order to enhance and support Avon Maitland District School Board and promote public education.
9. Student, Staff and District Recognition/Public Relations
9.1 Establishes effective recognition programs and strategies to ensure that internal and external audiences are aware of student, volunteer, staff and Avon Maitland District School Board successes.

Appendix A - AMDSB Director Performance Appraisal Procedure

The purpose of the Director Performance Appraisal process is multi-faceted, as outlined below:
    • Ensure alignment with the goals and priorities of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP), and the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW), and Director’s Work Plan (DWP)
    • Confirm compliance with legislative requirements and Ministry directives
    • Promote personal and professional growth of the Director
Key Principles
The Director Performance Appraisal is a flexible process, allowing the Director and the Board of Trustees to modify goals, as mutually agreeable, based on emerging priorities of the Director, Board, and/or Ministry of Education.

The key principles of the Director Performance Appraisal process are similar to those found in the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association Template re: Director Performance Appraisal (DPA); and the Ministry of Education Supervisory Officer Performance Appraisal Guideline, Draft 2013, as follows:
    • Growth and Accountability – the process is designed to foster leadership development, provide meaningful professional dialogue to promote learning and growth, and identify opportunities for support, as required. Reflection is a key component.
    • Growth-Oriented Performance Appraisal Context – The principles of continuous improvement form the basis for individual growth, and that of the organization. In the appraisee/appraiser relationship, the process is viewed as supportive and an effective way to develop leadership. There should be no surprises in the process. Providing helpful, concrete and objective feedback to the Director will optimize personal development and future performance.
    • Alignment – The process is designed to promote alignment between the performance goals and development activities of the Director, and the district’s goals and priorities for student achievement and well-being, providing benefit to students and the entire school system. It should also assist the board in providing quality education programs and services.
    • Professional Dialogue – Collaborative conversations assist in deepening the understanding about what it means to be an effective leader and what good leadership practices can look like to support professional growth and contribute to a healthy district culture of learning and development.
If the Board of Trustees has serious concerns about the Director’s performance or behavior, or suspects the Director of intentional malice, these must be addressed immediately under a separate process as identified in the Director’s contract and other procedures such as AP 406: Progressive Discipline.
Responsibilities of the Director
The Director’s Performance Appraisal combines both quantitative and qualitative inputs and measures. The Director will:
    • Establish annual goals (short term and long term) and performance indicators in collaboration with the Board, based on the Multi-Year Strategic Plan, Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW), and Director’s Work Plan (DWP)
    • Provide regular updates (including presentations and reports at Board meetings, informal meetings, etc.) to the Board of Trustees regarding the implementation of the annual goals.
    • These reports, presentations and updates will form the evidence of progress on the Director’s Work Plan goals, as well as goals established at the beginning of the review period.
    • Build a positive culture of mutual respect
    • Respond to new policies or requests from the Board of Trustees based on board motion
    • Respond and implement policies or programs through Ministry directives or legislation
    • Prepare the Director’s Annual Report and present to the Board according to Ministry of Education and Board requirements; and
    • Support Staff to fulfill their respective duties and responsibilities and ensure that areas of concern are addressed in a timely manner.
Responsibilities of Board of Trustees
It is the role of all Trustees to ask questions, offer advice, and actively engage in the work being presented. Should issues arise, with respect to performance, trustees should speak to the Chair of the Board. The Chair, in turn, will promptly speak with the Director to address the concerns. The Board of Trustees will establish a Director Performance Review Committee (DPA), which will meet periodically to support the work of the Director. The DPA Committee will consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, 2-3 additional Trustees (with the intention that, to provide continuity, at least two trustees will serve for a two- year term on the committee), and external support, as required. The DPA Committee, at the first meeting in the calendar year (and no later than the end of February), will elect a Trustee who will serve as Chair of the Committee. The DPA Committee, through the DPA Chair, will make regular reports to the Board throughout the year as the DPA process is implemented. It is expected that all Trustees are engaged and aware of the work impacting the Director’s Performance Appraisal.
The key responsibilities of the DPA Committee are as follows:
    • Act as a liaison between the Board and the Director, through the DPA Committee Chair
    • Collaborate with the Director to approve the Director’s Annual Goals, and performance indicators for the review period (using the template provided)
      • The Chair of the DPA Committee will request a Trustees-and-Director-only Closed session seeking input from the Board on the Director’s Annual Goals and performance indicators.
    • The reports/presentations shared with the Board will form the basis of evidence of the Director’s goals as identified in the Director’s Work Plan, as well as agreed upon goals established at the start of the DPA process.
    • Conduct an informal mid-year performance check-in meeting with the Director, and provide written feedback using the template
    • Help build mutually respectful and supportive relationships between the Director and the Board of Trustees
    • Provide clarity with respect to ‘other’ duties/responsibilities assigned by the Board
    • Provide the Director with written communication should misunderstandings arise, as stated in the Director contract
    • Support the Director’s on-going development for growth.

At the end of the annual performance period the committee will provide written feedback to the Director using the template provided. This feedback will include evidence of overall performance and accomplishments in relationship to the mutually established annual goals, as well as identify areas where performance may be improved, based on the evidence. The confidential report will be filed in the Director’s Office, as well as in the Director’s personnel file in Human Resources.
Performance Appraisal Cycle
    • The Director will provide an update to the DPA Committee on the previous year’s personal goals and accomplishments based in part on the Director’s Work Plan.
    • The DPA Committee will collaborate with the Director to establish annual goals (September to August) for the up-coming performance review period, including professional goals, as well as the performance indicators (measures and outcomes of performance) using the report form as attached.
    • The DPA Chair will present a report to the Board for input, (in closed session with the Director), on the Directors’ annual goals, together with the performance indicators (measures and outcomes of performance).
    • The Director will present the Board of Trustees with the Director’s Work Plan, which is based on the Board’s MYSP. The Board will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Director on the Director’s Work Plan.
    • Within a year and a half of the tenure of a new Director, and in the fourth year of the five-year contract of the Director, stakeholders (Trustees, Superintendents, and other staff members where appropriate) will be engaged to provide feedback on specific leadership skills of the Director. The DPA Committee, in collaboration with the Director, will determine the leadership skills to be assessed, feedback process, and timing of this part of the assessment.
      • The assessment of leadership skills may include a third-party assessment tool or outside consultant to meet with stakeholders. A summary of key leadership strengths and areas for improvement will form part of the DPA Report under Leadership Skills, for that year.
      • Participants in the assessment will be determined jointly by the Director and DPA Committee depending on the leadership skills being assessed.
    • The annual review with the DPA Committee and Director will be held in a meeting format. This is the conclusion of the formal annual performance assessment, and will include the following:
      • The Director will complete the report form which fully describes each goal, as well as the progress made throughout the year. Other accomplishments may also be reflected in the Director’s Final Comments section on the report form. The completed form will be shared in writing with the DPA Committee, at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
      • The DPA Committee will have an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the Director about the year end’s results, as well as provide the Director with feedback on the year’s performance based on evidence and provide examples of strengths and next steps, including area(s) of improvement, as recorded on the report form. The dialogue may also include 3-4 questions, not included in the final written report, but which are meant to be a self-reflection for the Director. These questions will be provided to the Director prior to the annual review meeting.
      • In the year in which stakeholders have been engaged to offer feedback on the Director’s leadership skills, a summary of the feedback will form a part of the Director’s final performance appraisal assessment. Other training and/or other possible development opportunities may also be discussed and documented.
      • The DPA Committee will report back to the Board to share the contents of the year end DPA review. The DPA Committee will solicit input from the Board regarding the review in a closed session meeting, to be considered for the final report.
      • The DPA Committee will then meet to complete the report form including the overall summary and considerations for the next review period.
    • The completed report prepared by the DPA Committee must be provided to the Director no later than the end of November.
    • The Chair and Vice-Chair will meet with the Director to discuss the summary report, and sign off.
    • The Director will present the Director’s Annual Report to the Board.   
    • Prior to the end of April, the Board of Trustees will meet with the Director in a closed session, in a mid-year review comprising an informal conversation, to discuss progress of the agreed upon goals, using the report form.
    • The Director will update the report form indicating mid-year progress on goals and receive written feedback from the DPA Committee using the report form.
Performance Improvement Plan
In situations where the Director Performance Appraisal determines the performance to be unsatisfactory, an improvement plan will be developed by the DPA Committee. This improvement plan will include the following:
    • Criteria for the identified improvement(s)
    • Identification and evidence regarding the area(s) of concern
    • Area(s) requiring attention, with links to the specific goals as determined at the start of the process
    • Concrete steps to be taken to correct the action, with timelines for completion; and
    • Indicators of success.
The DPA Committee will monitor progress of the identified area(s) of concern, and ensure they are addressed in accordance with the agreed upon criteria and timelines. Once area(s) of concern have been positively implemented, the DPA Committee will inform the Director in writing.
If the Director fails to meet the expectations outlined in the Improvement Plan by the timelines identified, the Board may take further action, including, but not limited to coaching and dismissal.

Please see the Director Performance Appraisal Report Form - AMDSB in the attached PDF file

Updated June 2021