The School Board

The primary role of a school board is to govern the schools under its jurisdiction in accordance with all legal requirements, while at the same time reflecting community beliefs and values. The major legal obligations of school boards are described in provincial laws such as and . School boards are also bound by federal and provincial legislation in areas such as human rights and privacy protection.

Community beliefs and values are reflected in policy that  school boards develop. Policy “customizes” local schools within a common legal framework. Policy touches on many aspects of school operations. It may expand upon provincial graduation requirements, provide bus transportation to students other than those for whom that service is legally required, or offer locally developed courses or programs. Within a school division, school board policy has the weight of law.

School Boards Link Communities. A school board is made up of office workers, farmers, business owners, homemakers, doctors, students, and retirees. In short, a school board is a cross-section of the community it serves.

Because school trustees are not usually professional educators, school boards employ experts to assist them as part of a management team. Two key positions are the superintendent and the secretary-treasurer. The superintendent is a professional educator, while the secretary-treasurer is a school division’s financial officer. The school board, superintendent, and secretary-treasurer work together closely to ensure that a community’s schools are managed in a educationally sound, fiscally responsible and responsive manner.

Becoming a School Trustee

Trustee Elections ImageSchool board elections are a great opportunity to get involved in public education – by voting or running as a candidate for school trustee. School board elections are held every four years, in conjunction with municipal elections, on the fourth Wednesday in October. The most recent election was held on October 24, 2018.  View the HSD Elections page.

In order to run for school trustee, a candidate must be a Canadian citizen who is at least 18 years old and an actual resident of the school division or district in which he or she is running. The following individuals are disqualified from serving as school trustee: a Member of the Legislative Assembly or the Senate or House of Commons of Canada, a member of the council of a municipality, or a pupil in regular attendance at a school within the same school division or district. Employees may serve as trustee in the division or district where they work, but they are required to take a leave of absence to do so.

Manitoba School Boards Association

mb school boards logoThe Manitoba School Boards Association is a voluntary organization of public school boards in Manitoba. The mission of the Manitoba School Boards Association is to enhance the work of locally elected school boards through leadership, advocacy and service, and to champion the cause of public education for all students in Manitoba.

Visit to learn more.

  • Board Member Handbook
  • School Boards and Trusteeship
  • Leading Together

School Board Member Handbook (PDF)School Board Member Handbook

This resource has been developed as a reference guide for all Manitoba school trustees.  The handbook contains basic information about Manitoba’s education system, the answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as a number of appendices.

School boards are, by definition, local authorities, which mean they have the ability to establish some of their own rules and procedures. As a result, no provincial publication can address all the possible variations in school board practice and procedure that exist across Manitoba. This handbook should be considered in conjunction with all relevant legislation and divisional policy manuals.

Guide to School Boards and Trusteeship (PDF)School Boards and Trustees in Manitoba

In Canada, education is a provincial responsibility. In Manitoba, the responsibility for the delivery of public education to students in kindergarten through to high school graduation has been delegated to school boards. School boards are elected bodies responsible for the planning and delivery of educational services within geographic regions known as school divisions or school districts.

Learn more about the qualifications, roles and responsibilities of trustees, the election process, and duties of governance.

leading togetherLeading Together Resource Guide (PDF)

This manual is grounded in the concept of shared leadership and effective working relationships between boards of trustees and superintendents in a culture of mutual responsibility and accountability for student success.

The manual has been developed to assist school boards, superintendents and secretary-treasurers to establish and maintain the effective working relationships needed to serve the evolving educational needs of children and communities within their jurisdictions.