This archived statute consolidation is current to May 14, 2001 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.

SCHOOL ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 412

Part 6 — School Boards

Division 1 — Corporate Status and Meetings

Board is a corporation

65 (1) The trustees elected or appointed under this Act for each school district and their successors in office constitute a board of school trustees for the district and are a corporation under the name of "The Board of School Trustees of School District No. 1 (Fernie)" (or as the case may be).

(2) A board may

(a) establish committees and specify the functions and duties of those committees,

(b) establish a district advisory council comprised of persons representing parents' advisory councils and other organizations in the community, and

(c) delegate specific and general administrative and management duties to one or more of its employees.

(3) Committees of trustees or individual trustees may not exercise the rights, duties and powers of the board.

(4) Unless expressly required to be exercised by bylaw, all powers of a board may be exercised by bylaw or by resolution.

(5) A board may exercise a power with respect to the acquisition or disposal of property owned or administered by the board only by bylaw.

Quorum

66 A quorum of a board is a majority of the trustees holding office at the time of the meeting of the board.

Meetings and chair

67 (1) After the general local election of trustees in a school district, the secretary treasurer for that school district must convene a first meeting of the board as soon as possible and in any event within 30 days from the date that the new board begins its term of office.

(2) At the meeting convened by the secretary treasurer under subsection (1), the board must elect a chair and may elect a vice chair from among its members.

(3) A board must meet as often as is necessary to transact its business and in any event not less than once in every 3 months.

(4) A majority of the board may elect a new chair or vice chair at any time.

(5) A board must establish procedures governing the conduct of its meetings and must permit any person to inspect those procedures.

(6) A board may allow trustees to participate in or attend a meeting of the board by telephone or other means of communication if all trustees and other persons participating in or attending the meeting are able to communicate with each other.

(7) If a trustee participates in or attends a meeting of the board by telephone or other means of communication as provided under subsection (6), the trustee is to be counted for the purposes of establishing a quorum.

Passage of bylaws

68 (1) Before it is passed, a bylaw of the board must be given 3 distinct readings.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), at each of the readings of a bylaw, the bylaw must be read in full.

(3) A reading of a bylaw may, if a written or printed copy of a bylaw is in the possession of each trustee and is available to each member of the public in attendance at the meeting at which the bylaw is to be read, consist of a description of the bylaw by

(a) its title, and

(b) a summary of its contents.

(4) The board may not give a bylaw more than 2 readings at any one meeting unless the members of the board who are present at the meeting unanimously agree to give the bylaw all 3 readings at that meeting.

Attendance of public and secretary treasurer at meeting

69 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the meetings of the board are open to the public.

(2) If, in the opinion of the board, the public interest so requires, persons other than trustees may be excluded from a meeting.

(3) Despite subsection (2), the secretary treasurer or another employee designated by the board under subsection (4) must be present at the time that a decision of the board is rendered and must record any decision.

(4) If the secretary treasurer is unable to attend a meeting or if the meeting concerns the work performance or employment of the secretary treasurer, the board may designate another employee of the board to attend the meeting in place of the secretary treasurer to perform the duties of the secretary treasurer at the meeting.

Improper conduct at meetings

70 (1) The chair or other member presiding at a meeting of the board may expel from the meeting a person, other than a trustee, who the presiding member considers guilty of improper conduct.

(2) A majority of the trustees present at a meeting of the board may expel a trustee from the meeting for improper conduct.

(3) A person who disturbs, interrupts or disquiets the proceedings of a meeting of a board commits an offence.

Remuneration and expense allowance

71 (1) A board may

(a) authorize annually the payment of remuneration to the chair, vice chair and other trustees, and

(b) authorize annually the payment of a reasonable allowance for expenses necessarily incurred by trustees in the discharge of their duties.

(2) The board is responsible for any payments under subsection (1).

(3) The remuneration for the chair and vice chair may be greater than for the other trustees.

Minutes

72 (1) The minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of the board must be

(a) legibly recorded in a minute book,

(b) certified as correct by the secretary treasurer or other employee designated by the board under section 69 (4), and

(c) signed by the chair or other member presiding at the meeting or at the next meeting at which the minutes are adopted.

(2) Except for minutes of a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, the minutes must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.

(3) A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.

(4) [Repealed 2000-11-43.]

Division 2 — Powers and Duties

Establishment and closure of schools

73 (1) A board may

(a) with the approval of the minister, open, close or reopen a school permanently or for a specified period of time, and

(b) temporarily close a school building if the health or safety of the students is endangered.

(2) The board may operate more than one school in a single building or location.

Management of schools and property

74 (1) A board is responsible for the management of the schools in its school district and for the custody, maintenance and safekeeping of all property owned or leased by the board.

(2) A board must ensure that an administrative officer is responsible for each school in its school district.

Provision of educational program

75 (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act and the regulations and to any orders of the minister under this Act, a board must make available an educational

program to all persons of school age resident in its district who enroll in schools in the district.

(2) A board may provide an educational program to persons referred to in subsection (1) in its own school district or elsewhere.

(3) A board complies with subsection (1) if

(a) the educational program is provided by the board,

(b) with the approval of the minister, the educational program is provided by a Provincial school, or

(c) with the agreement of another board or a francophone education authority, the educational program is provided by that other board or by the francophone education authority.

(4) A board may assign and reassign students to specific schools or to educational programs referred to in subsection (3).

(5) Unless the board of the school district in which a person of school age resides objects, any other board may make available to that person an educational program.

(6) A board may recognize as part of a student's educational program an educational activity that is not provided by the board.

(7) Subject to the regulations, a board is responsible for evaluating all of the educational programs and services provided by the board, including services provided under an agreement under section 86 (1) (a).

(8) A board may, in accordance with any terms and conditions specified by the board, permit a person who is older than school age

(a) to attend an educational program, or

(b) to enroll and receive instruction in an educational program sufficient to meet the general requirements for graduation.

Conduct

76 (1) All schools and Provincial schools must be conducted on strictly secular and non-sectarian principles.

(2) The highest morality must be inculcated, but no religious dogma or creed is to be taught in a school or Provincial school.

(3) The discipline of a student while attending an educational program made available by a board or a Provincial school must be similar to that of a kind, firm and judicious parent, but must not include corporal punishment.

School calendar

77 (1) On or before May 31 of each school year, a board must, for each school in its school district,

(a) make available, in accordance with the regulations, a school calendar for the following school year to every parent of a student in the school, and

(b) specify for the following school year

(i) the length of school days,

(ii) the number of minutes of school operation to be provided in a school day,

(iii) the number of minutes of instruction to be provided in a school day, and

(iv) the number and length of recesses to be provided in a school day.

(2) In the case of a school for which a board has adopted a school calendar that differs from the standard school calendar, the references in subsection (1) to "the following school year" are to be read as references to the period covered by that school calendar.

Standard school calendar

78 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must, by regulation,

(a) set a standard school calendar that is applicable to a period of 5 consecutive school years,

(b) set the first of the standard school calendars required by this section for the 1993-1994 school year and the 4 subsequent school years, and

(c) on or before May 31 of the fourth school year in each period of 5 consecutive school years covered by a standard school calendar, set a new standard school calendar to take effect on the expiry of the then existing standard school calendar.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, in a standard school calendar set under subsection (1),

(a) set the days in session in a school year,

(b) set a minimum number of days within the days in session that must be days of instruction,

(c) set a maximum number of non-instructional periods within the days in session,

(d) set the number of days in a calendar week within the days in session that are to be school days,

(e) set the minimum number of hours of instruction that must be provided in a school week,

(f) specify the opening and closing dates for schools,

(g) specify the dates of vacation periods and holidays within the days in session, and

(h) set the date for the administrative day.

(3) A board may adopt, in accordance with the regulations, a school calendar that differs from the standard school calendar for one or more

(a) schools in its school district, or

(b) groups of students in a school in its school district.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a school calendar adopted under subsection (3) need not be based on the school year but must cover a period of 12 consecutive months.

(5) A school calendar adopted under subsection (3) must cover a period of more than 12 months if necessary to ensure that it applies immediately on the expiration of the previous school calendar.

Student records

79 (1) Subject to the orders of the minister, a board must

(a) establish written procedures regarding the storage, retrieval and appropriate use of student records, and

(b) ensure confidentiality of the information contained in the student records and ensure privacy for students and their families.

(1.1) Subsection (1) applies also in respect of records referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of "student record", even though those records are excluded from that definition.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a board must, if required by the orders of the minister, permit a person providing health services, social services or other support services access to information in student records required to carry out that service.

(3) Subject to the orders of the minister, a board must establish and maintain a record for each student and for each child registered with the board's schools under section 13.

Transmitting records

79.1 Despite section 79 (1), if a francophone education authority enters into an agreement with a board or with another francophone education authority for the provision of services, including the provision of all or part of an educational program or a francophone educational program, each party to the agreement must provide to the other party access to information in those student records that are necessary for the other party to satisfactorily perform the contract.

Annual reports

80 (1) A board must prepare an annual report respecting the general effectiveness of educational programs in the district and other matters required by the minister.

(2) A board must on or before December 31 of each year submit its annual report for the previous school year to the minister and must make its annual report available to residents of the school district and to parents of students attending schools in the district.

Reports

81 In addition to its annual report prepared under section 80, a board must prepare and submit to the minister reports and statements in the form and at the time required by the minister.

Fees and deposits

82 (1) A board must provide free of charge to every student of school age resident in its school district and enrolled in an educational program in a school,

(a) instruction in an educational program sufficient to meet the general requirements for graduation,

(b) instruction in an educational program after the student has met the general requirements for graduation, and

(c) educational resource materials necessary to participate in the educational program.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a student is resident in a school district if the student is ordinarily resident in the school district and the guardian of the person of the student is ordinarily resident in British Columbia.

(2.1) Subject to subsection (2.2), if a board permits a student who is older than school age and is ordinarily resident in its school district to enroll in an educational program leading to graduation, the board must provide free of charge to that student

(a) instruction in an educational program sufficient to meet the general requirements for graduation, and

(b) educational resource materials necessary to participate in the educational program.

(2.2) Subsection (2.1) does not apply to a student who has

(a) already met the general requirements for graduation, or

(b) completed the requirements for graduation from a secondary school or high school in another jurisdiction.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2.1) and to the orders of the minister, a board may charge fees for goods and services provided by the board.

(4) A board may require a deposit for educational resource materials provided to students and to children registered under section 13.

(5) If a board requires a deposit under subsection (4), it must refund all or part of the deposit to the student or child on return of the educational resource materials.

(6) A board must publish a schedule of the fees to be charged and deposits required and must make the schedule available to students and to children registered under section 13 and to the parents of those students and children before the beginning of the school year.

(7) A board is not responsible to pay for any educational activity undertaken by a student that is not provided by the board.

Financial assistance

83 A board may

(a) assist in paying the cost of transportation, board or lodging of a student, or

(b) subject to the approval of the minister, assist in paying the cost of transportation, board, lodging or tuition fees of a person attending an educational institution outside of British Columbia.

Insurance

84 (1) A board must maintain insurance in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

(2) A board may maintain insurance, other than insurance referred to in subsection (1), that the board considers necessary.

(3) Subject to the regulations, if the board maintains insurance, the board must be the named beneficiary of the insurance.

Power and capacity

85 (1) For the purposes of carrying out its powers, functions and duties under this Act and the regulations, a board has the power and capacity of a natural person of full capacity.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a board may, subject to this Act and the regulations, do all or any of the following:

(a) determine local policy for the effective and efficient operation of schools in the school district;

(b) subject to the orders of the minister, approve educational resource materials and other supplies and services for use by students;

(c) make rules

(i) establishing a code of conduct for students attending educational programs operated by or on behalf of the board,

(ii) respecting suspension of students and the provision of educational programs for suspended students,

(iii) respecting attendance of students in educational programs provided by the board,

(iv) respecting the establishment, operation, administration and management of

(A) schools operated by the board and educational programs provided by the board, and

(B) transportation equipment used for the purposes of the board,

(v) respecting the provision of volunteer services,

(vi) respecting the management of student housing facilities and the supervision of students accommodated in them, and

(vii) respecting any other matter under the jurisdiction of the board;

(d) suspend students, in accordance with the rules under paragraph (c) (ii), so long as the board continues to make available to those students an educational program;

(e) if approved by the council of the municipality in which the school is located, provide a system of traffic patrols to assist in the control of motor vehicle traffic on highways or elsewhere in that municipality so far as the traffic may affect students going to or from school;

(f) provide housing accommodation for students;

(g) subject to the orders of the minister, permit persons other than students to utilize board facilities, equipment and personnel;

(h) subject to the orders of the minister, evaluate and recognize educational activities of an educational program undertaken by a student outside of the school;

(i) develop and offer local programs for use in schools in the school district;

(j) subject to the orders of the minister, cause an educational assessment to be made of students or groups of students;

(k) establish loan funds or bursaries for students resident in the school district and spend money received by donation.

(3) Despite any other provision of this Act, a board may refuse to offer an educational program to a student 16 years of age or older if that student

(a) has refused to comply with the code of conduct, other rules and policies referred to in section 6, or

(b) has failed to apply himself or herself to his or her studies.

Agreements

86 (1) A board may, subject to this Act, the regulations and the orders of the minister,

(a) enter into an agreement to purchase managerial or other services with respect to the operation of schools in the district or to purchase educational services that will be under the general supervision of an employee of the board who is a member of the college, and

(b) enter into an agreement concerning the promotion, development or operation of recreational and community services.

(1.1) A board may, subject to this Act, the regulations and the orders of the minister, enter into an agreement with a francophone education authority to provide all or part of a francophone educational program and health and support services, including busing and educational resources, to one or more francophone students enrolled with that authority.

(2) With the approval of the minister, a board may enter into an agreement with the government of Canada or any agency of the government of Canada with respect to the education of

(a) Indian children, or

(b) children of members of the Canadian Forces or other persons employed by the government of Canada.

(3) A board may enter into an agreement with respect to the education of Indian children

(a) with a council of a band as defined in the Indian Act (Canada), or

(b) with the council of an Indian band established by another Act of the government of Canada.

(3.1) With the approval of the minister, a board may enter into an agreement with the Nisga'a Lisims Government with respect to the education of a Nisga'a child.

(3.2) In subsection (3.1), "Nisga'a child" and "Nisga'a Lisims Government" have the same meanings as in the Nisga'a Final Agreement as defined in the Nisga'a Final Agreement Act.

(4) A board may operate a Provincial resource program or a distance education school in accordance with an agreement with the minister.

Training of student teachers

87 (1) If a board receives a request from a university established under the University Act or an institution for the training of teachers established under any other Act for permission for student teachers to practise and observe teaching, the board must permit student teachers enrolled at the university or institution reasonable access to all classrooms and other school accommodation in accordance with arrangements made by the superintendent of schools for the purposes of practising teaching, supervising, observing teaching and any related duties.

(2) A student teacher engaged in any of the duties referred to in subsection (1) has the same disciplinary authority as a teacher in the school.

Division 3 — Health and Other Support Services

Support services for schools

88 (1) A board must provide health services, social services and other support services for schools in accordance with any orders made by the minister.

(2) If a board of school trustees is represented on a union board of health under section 43 (6) of the Health Act, the expenses payable by the school board must be included in the operating expenses of the school board.

School medical officer

89 (1) The Minister of Health must appoint for each school district a medical health officer under the Health Act as the school medical officer for that school district.

(2) The Minister of Health may appoint persons other than school medical officers to perform any duties that he or she considers advisable in respect of the health inspection of schools, francophone schools and the students and francophone students of those schools.

(3) A school medical officer appointed under subsection (1) has the same rights, powers and duties in respect of francophone schools located in the school district as that medical officer has for other schools in that district.

Inspection and closure of school

90 (1) A school medical officer must, as required by the Minister of Health, cause an inspection to be made of school buildings and school surroundings and must report to the board and the Minister of Health fully and in detail the result of all examinations and set out any recommendations in the report.

(2) A school medical officer may require a board to close a school when the school medical officer considers that the health or safety of students is at risk.

Examinations and reports by school medical officer

91 (1) A school medical officer may and when required by the Minister of Health must examine or cause examinations to be made as to the general health of students of the schools in the school district.

(2) If the school medical officer considers that the health condition of any student is such as to endanger the health or welfare of the students of a school or the employees of the board, the school medical officer must so report to the board, giving the name of the student concerned.

(3) The board must promptly act on a report under subsection (2) and must remove from a school a student whose health condition is reported by the school medical officer as being dangerous.

(4) A student who is removed from a school under subsection (3) must not be permitted to return to the school until he or she delivers to the board a certificate signed by the school medical officer permitting the student to return to the school.

(5) If a teacher or administrative officer suspects a student is suffering from a communicable disease or other physical, mental or emotional condition that would endanger the health or welfare of the other students, the teacher or the administrative officer

(a) must report the matter to the school medical officer, to the school principal and to the superintendent of schools for the district, and

(b) may exclude the student from school until a certificate is obtained for the student from the school medical officer or a private medical practitioner permitting the student to return to the school.

(6) If a student is removed or excluded from school under subsection (3) or (5), the board must continue to make available an educational program for that student.

Board may require employee to undergo examination

92 (1) In this section, "contractor" means a person who is not an employee of a board and

(a) is present at a school, or

(b) has contact with one or more students,

because of a contract with a board.

(2) On the advice of the school medical officer, a board may, by notice to an employee of the board or to a contractor, require the employee or the contractor to undergo an examination

(a) by a medical practitioner, and to submit to the school medical officer a certificate signed by the medical practitioner setting out the medical practitioner's conclusions regarding the physical, mental and emotional health of the employee or contractor, or

(b) by a qualified person designated by the Minister of Health, and to submit to the school medical officer a certificate signed by the person conducting the examination setting out the person's conclusions regarding the physical, mental and emotional health of the employee or contractor.

(3) If an employee fails without reasonable excuse to take the examination required under subsection (2) within 14 days from the date of receiving notice from the board under that subsection, the board may summarily dismiss the employee.

(4) If a certificate submitted to the school medical officer under subsection (2) shows that the physical, mental or emotional health of the employee examined is such as to endanger the health or welfare of the students of the school, the board must

(a) suspend the employee and not permit the employee to return to his or her duties until the board receives from the employee a certificate signed by the school medical officer permitting the employee to return to his or her duties, and

(b) if the employee is a member of the college, report the circumstances to the college.

(5) An employee who fails to take an examination required under subsection (2) or who is suspended under subsection (4) must not be offered or accept a position with a board or a francophone education authority until the employee submits to the board or francophone education authority a medical certificate satisfactory to the board or francophone education authority or, if the employee is a member of the college, satisfactory to the college.

(6) An employee who is granted a superannuation allowance on medical evidence of total and permanent disability must not be offered or accept a position with a board or a francophone education authority until he or she submits

(a) to the minister, and

(b) if the employee is a member of the college, to the college,

a medical certificate, satisfactory to the minister, that the disability no longer exists.

(7) If a contractor fails to take the examination required under subsection (2) within 14 days from the date of receiving notice from the board under that subsection, the board may require the person who entered into the contract with the board to provide a replacement contractor.

(8) Expenses necessarily incurred by a board under this section must be included in the operating expenses of the board.

Division 4 — Limitation of Actions and Indemnification

Interpretation

93 In this Division, a reference to a trustee, officer or employee includes a former trustee, officer or employee.

Actions against board

94 (1) No action for damages lies or may be instituted against a trustee, an officer or an employee of a board for anything said or done or omitted to be said or done by him or her in the performance or intended performance of his or her duty or the exercise of his or her power or for any alleged neglect or default in the performance or intended performance of the duty or the exercise of the power.

(2) Subsection (1) does not provide a defence if

(a) the trustee, officer or employee has, in relation to the conduct that is the subject matter of the action, been guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence or malicious or willful misconduct, or

(b) the cause of action is libel or slander.

(3) No action may be brought against a trustee, an officer or an employee of a board or a student or volunteer in respect of personal or other injuries sustained by a person arising out of the operation by the board of traffic patrols.

(4) Subsections (1) and (3) do not absolve a board from vicarious liability arising out of a tort committed by the trustee, officer or employee of the board, student or volunteer for which the board would have been liable had subsections (1) and (3) not been in force.

Indemnification against proceedings

95 (1) A board may, by bylaw, provide that the board will indemnify a trustee, an officer or an employee of the board

(a) against a claim for damages against a trustee, officer or employee of the board arising out of performance of his or her duties, or

(b) if an inquiry under Part 2 of the Inquiry Act or other proceeding involves the administration and conduct of the business of the school district

and, in addition, may pay legal costs incurred in proceedings arising out of the claim or inquiry or other proceeding.

(2) A board may, by an affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of all its members, pay

(a) any sum required to indemnify a trustee, an officer or an employee of the board if a prosecution arises out of the performance of his or her school board duties, and

(b) costs necessarily incurred,

but the board must not pay a fine imposed on a trustee, officer or employee as a result of his or her conviction.

(3) A board must not seek indemnity against a trustee, an officer or an employee of the board in respect of any action of the trustee, officer or employee that results in a claim for damages against the board, but the board may seek indemnity

(a) against a trustee, officer or employee if the claim for damages arises out of the gross negligence of the trustee, officer or employee, or

(b) against an officer or employee if, in relation to the action that gave rise to the claim for damages against an officer or employee, the officer or employee willfully acted contrary to

(i) the terms of his or her employment, or

(ii) an order of a superior.

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