Education Act


 

CHAPTER 1

OF THE

ACTS OF 1995-96

amended 1998, c. 18, s. 555; 2000, c. 11; 2002, c.5, ss. 8-16;
2003, c. 9, ss. 44-46, 48; 2004, c. 3, ss. 16-19; 2004, c. 4, s. 110;
2004, c. 6, ss. 3, 4
NOTE - This electronic version of this statute is provided by the Office of the Legislative Counsel for your convenience and personal use only and may not be copied for the purpose of resale in this or any other form. Formatting of this electronic version may differ from the official, printed version. Where accuracy is critical, please consult official sources.

An Act Respecting Education

WHEREAS the education system of Nova Scotia is of vital importance to the future of Nova Scotia;

AND WHEREAS meaningful partnerships between and participation by students, parents, teachers, other staff in the public school system, school board members and the public should be encouraged to ensure a high-quality education system;

AND WHEREAS students should have a right and a responsibility to participate fully in learning opportunities, contribute to an orderly and safe learning environment and, in appropriate circumstances, participate in decisions that affect their schools;

AND WHEREAS parents should have a right and a responsibility to support their children in achieving learning success and participate in decisions that affect their children;

AND WHEREAS the education community, in making decisions, should consider the diverse nature and heritage of society in Nova Scotia within the context of its values and beliefs;

AND WHEREAS the education system should be committed to fair and equitable participation and benefit by all people in Nova Scotia:

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Education Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 1 .

Purpose of Act

2 The purpose of this Act is to provide for a publicly funded school system whose primary mandate is to provide education programs and services for students to enable them to develop their potential and acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous and sustainable economy. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 2.

Interpretation

3 (1) In this Act,

(a) "African-Canadian education" means the development of programs, resources and learning materials that provide information about and promote understanding of African people and their history, heritage, culture, traditions and contributions to society, recognizing their origins as Africans;

(b) "Conseil acadien" means the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial established by this Act;

(c) "conseil d'école" means a conseil d'école established pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards Act;

(d) "district school board" means a district school board established by or pursuant to this Act;

(e) repealed 2000, c. 11, s. 1.

(f) "educational facility" means a school house, building or classroom, including a mobile classroom;

(g) "electoral district" means a district for the election of a member of a school board;

(h) "entitled parent" means a parent who is a citizen of Canada and

    (i) whose first language learned and still understood is French,

    (ii) who received his or her primary school instruction in Canada in a French-first-language program, or

    (iii) of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in Canada in a French-first-language program;

(i) "entitled person" means an entitled parent or a person who, not being an entitled parent, would be an entitled parent if the person were a parent;

(j) "former Act" means Chapter 136 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Education Act, or any predecessor to that Act;

(k) "French-first-language program" means a school program in which the first language of instruction is French and in which the English language is taught, but does not include a French-immersion program;

(l) "home education program" means a course of study provided to a student under the direction of the student's parent and centered in the student's home;

(m) "Labour Relations Board" means the Labour Relations Board (Nova Scotia);

(n) "local amalgamation committee" means a local amalgamation committee appointed pursuant to this Act;

(o) "minimum municipal contribution" means the amount that would be raised in a municipality if tax was levied at the tax rate, determined by the regulations, on the uniform assessment of the municipality determined pursuant to the Municipal Grants Act, or such lesser amount as determined by the regulations;

(p) "Minister" means the Minister of Education and Culture;

(q) "Mi'kmaq" means all first-nations people, whether living on or off a reserve;

(r) "Mi'kmaq education" means the development of programs, resources and learning materials that provide information about and promote understanding of the Mi'kmaq and their history, heritage, language, culture, traditions and contributions to society and that recognize their origins as first-nations people;

(s) "municipality" means a regional municipality, city, incorporated town or municipality of a county or district;

(t) "parent" includes, except in the definition of entitled parent, a guardian and a person acting in loco parentis to a child;

(u) "permanent contract" means a written contract between a school board and a teacher in a form approved by the Minister that has been entered into after the teacher has served under a probationary contract, or has been employed by the school board for two or more years immediately preceding the year in which the school board entered into probationary and permanent contracts with the teacher for the first time;

(v) "person in charge" of a child means a person over the age of nineteen years with whom a child lives or who controls or is in a position to control or has the apparent charge of a child;

(w) "principal" means the principal of a public school, appointed by the school board pursuant to this Act;

(x) "private school" means a school, other than a public school, that serves school-age children and has a curriculum comparable to that provided by the public schools but does not include a home-education program;

(y) "probationary contract" means a written contract between a school board and a teacher in a form approved by the Minister whereby the teacher is employed on a probationary basis for a term of two years;

(z) "public school" means a public school maintained and conducted under this Act;

(aa) "ratepayer" means a person liable to taxation pursuant to the Assessment Act;

(ab) "regional education officer" means a regional education officer appointed pursuant to this Act;

(ac) "regional school board" means a regional school board established pursuant to this Act;

(ad) "school board" means a district school board, a regional school board or the Conseil acadien;

(ae) "school district" means the area over which a district school board has jurisdiction;

(af) "school program" means the public-school program of education prescribed by the regulations;

(ag) "school region" means the area over which a regional school board or the Conseil acadien exercises jurisdiction;

(ah) "superintendent" means the superintendent of schools appointed for a school region;

(ai) "support staff" includes persons employed in any capacity to assist a school board in providing services for the comfort, assistance, safety and conveyance of students or to provide administrative support to a school board and its schools but does not include a teacher;

(aj) "teacher" means a person who

    (i) holds a teacher's certificate or a teaching permit issued by the Minister qualifying the person to teach in the public schools in the Province, including a vocational teacher's certificate or a vocational teaching permit issued by the Minister, and

    (ii) is employed by a school board or the Minister in a teaching, supervisory or other professional capacity relating to education;

(ak) "term contract" means a written contract, other than a probationary or permanent contract, between a school board and a teacher in a form approved by the Minister;

(al) "Utility and Review Board" means the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

(2) Notwithstanding clause (1)(d), in clauses 8(i) and 9(1)(b) and subsections 9(4) and (5), 14(2), 80(4) and 93(1), "district school board" means a district school board established pursuant to the former Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 3; 2000, c. 11, s. 1.

Supervision of schools and education

4 The Minister has the general supervision of public schools and education in the Province. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 4.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Free schools

5 (1) All public schools established or conducted pursuant to this Act are free schools.

(2) Subject to this Act and the regulations and notwithstanding the Age of Majority Act, every person over the age of five years and under the age of twenty-one years has the right to attend a public school serving the school district or school region in which that person resides, as assigned by the school board.

(3) A school board may, in accordance with the regulations, admit foreign students and, notwithstanding subsection (1), fees may be charged to such students as prescribed by the regulations. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 5.

6 repealed 2000, c. 11, s. 2.

REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS

School regions and regional school boards

7 (1) The Governor in Council may designate a geographic area of the Province as a school region.

(2) The Governor in Council may establish a regional school board to administer the public schools in a school region.

(3) Each regional school board is a body corporate under the name determined by the Governor in Council.

(4) The Governor in Council may alter the boundaries of a school region.

(5) The Governor in Council may annex the whole or any part of a school district or school region to another school region.

(6) Notwithstanding subsections (1) to (5), there shall be at least seven school boards. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 7.

Consequences of establishing a board

8 Upon the establishment of a regional school board for a school region,

(a) existing school boards in the school region, other than the Conseil acadien, are dissolved;

(b) notwithstanding Section 42 and clause 46(2)(f), the members of the dissolved school boards are members of the regional school board pending the next election of school board members;

(c) the assets and liabilities of the dissolved school boards are vested in the regional school board, including all employee benefits and entitlements;

(d) the vesting of any assets of the dissolved school boards in the regional school board does not void any policy of insurance with respect to any of the assets, including any public liability policy, and the regional school board is deemed to be the insured party for the purpose of such policy;

(e) the regional school board is substituted for a dissolved school board with respect to any agreement to which the dissolved school board was a party;

(f) all persons employed by the dissolved school boards become employees of the regional school board, the employment and seniority with the dissolved board of each employee is deemed to be employment and seniority with the regional school board and the continuity of employment and seniority is not broken;

(g) the regional school board is a successor employer for the purpose of the Pension Benefits Act;

(h) the regional school board shall continue to pay any pension or annuity, being paid by a dissolved school board, according to its terms; and

(i) notwithstanding clauses (c) and (f), Section 71 of the Labour Standards Code does not apply to a period of employment with a district school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 8.

Terms of employment

9 (1) For greater certainty, a regional school board is a transferee for the purpose of Section 31 of the Trade Union Act and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,

(a) the regional school board is bound by successor rights as determined pursuant to the Trade Union Act and the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act; and

(b) subject to the Trade Union Act and the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act, the regional school board and the employees, who are covered by collective agreements, of a district school board are bound by the collective agreement as if the regional school board were a party to them.

(2) The Public Sector Compensation (1994-97) Act applies to a regional school board and members and employees of the board except that, notwithstanding subsection 3(4) of that Act,

(a) Section 23 of that Act does not apply;

(b) the Labour Relations Board may exercise all of its powers under the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act or the Trade Union Act but the total effect of any changes to collective agreements shall not increase the total cost of all compensation in respect of all employees to whom the collective agreements changed apply and the pay rates, as defined by the Public Sector Compensation (1994-97) Act, are not more than permitted by that Act; and

(c) no change shall be made in a collective agreement without the approval of the Labour Relations Board in accordance with clause (b).

(3) For greater certainty, subsection (2) does not confer any additional powers on the Labour Relations Board with respect to persons to whom the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act applies except as provided by that Act.

(4) Where the Labour Relations Board, in applying subsection (1) or (2), determines that those employees, of the regional school board, who were not previously included in a bargaining unit of a district school board are to be included in a bargaining unit of the regional school board, those employees are deemed to have seniority credits with the regional school board equal to the employment service they had with the district school board.

(5) The right of an employee of a district school board to employment with a regional school board in a bargaining unit position is not affected by whether that employee was previously employed pursuant to a collective agreement and the employee is deemed to have seniority credits with the regional school board equal to the employee's service with the district school board.

(6) In subsections (4) and (5), "employee" means an employee as defined in Section 2 of the Trade Union Act but, for greater certainty, does not include those described in subsection 2(2) of that Act.

(7) The Labour Relations Board may exercise its powers pursuant to this Section upon the Governor in Council making the order establishing the school region.

(8) Where, in the opinion of the Minister of Labour, the workload of the Labour Relations Board requires additional members, the Governor in Council may, in addition to the Vice-chair appointed pursuant to subsection 16(4) of the Trade Union Act, appoint additional members and vice-chairs to the Labour Relations Board for such period of time as is set out in the appointment.

(9) An appointment pursuant to subsection (8) does not increase the quorum of the Labour Relations Board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 9 .

Superintendents

10 (1) There shall be a superintendent for each regional school board and the Conseil acadien.

(2) The superintendent and each assistant superintendent of a regional school board and the Conseil acadien shall be chosen from all interested candidates

(a) through an open and unrestricted competition; and

(b) strictly on the basis of merit, including educational qualifications, professional experience, personal qualities and general ability to discharge the responsibilities of the office.

(3) Nothing in this Section affects the status of a superintendent or assistant superintendent under a collective agreement in effect when this Act comes into force. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 10.

DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARDS

Dissolution of Southwest Regional School Board

10A (1) The Southwest Regional School Board is dissolved.

(2) The South Shore Regional School Board is established to administer the public schools in the school region composed of Lunenburg County, Queens County and that part of the former school region administered by the former Southwest Regional School Board in Annapolis County and the Tri-County Regional School Board is established to administer the public schools in the school region composed of Digby County, Shelburne County and Yarmouth County.

(3) The employees, assets and liabilities of the South Shore District School Board as of July 31, 2004, are the employees, assets and liabilities of the South Shore Regional School Board and, for greater certainty, employees of the South Shore District School Board employed on July 31, 2004, are entitled to the same salary and benefits as employees of the South Shore Regional School Board.

(4) The employees, assets and liabilities of the Tri-County District School Board as of July 31, 2004, are the employees, assets and liabilities of the Tri-County Regional School Board and, for greater certainty, employees of the Tri-County District School Board employed on July 31, 2004, are entitled to the same salary and benefits as employees of the Tri-County Regional School Board.

(5) For greater certainty, Sections 7 to 9 apply mutatis mutandis to this Section. 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

Employees, assets and liabilities

10B (1) The employees, assets and liabilities of the Southwest Regional School Board, including the Provincial funding allocation, shall be allocated between the South Shore Regional School Board and the Tri-County Regional School Board as determined by the Governor in Council.

(2) For greater certainty, employees of the Southwest Regional School Board employed on July 31, 2004, are entitled to the same salary and benefits as employees of the South Shore Regional School Board or the Tri-County Regional School Board, respectively.

(3) For greater certainty, Sections 8 and 9 apply mutatis mutandis to this Section. 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

Officials

10C (1) The appointments of the Chief Executive Officer of the Southwest Regional School Board, the Director of Education of the South Shore District School Board and the Director of Education of the Tri-County District School Board are revoked effective July 31, 2004.

(2) Notwithstanding any enactment, contract or policy of a school board, any employment contract relating to a person referred to in subsection (1) is null and void as of July 31, 2004, and, for greater certainty, no compensation or damages shall be paid pursuant to such contract or policy after that date.

(3) No person referred to in subsection (1) has a cause of action with respect to the revocation of that person's appointment pursuant to subsection (1). 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

Superintendents of successor regional school boards

10D (1) Before August 1, 2004, the South Shore District School Board and the Tri-County District School Board shall each choose a person to be appointed the superintendent of their respective successor regional school board.

(2) When choosing a person pursuant to subsection (1), the district school board shall follow the procedure set out in subsection 10(2) and clause 64(2)(m) applies. 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

Membership of successor regional school boards

10E The number of members of the school board and the number and boundaries of the electoral districts in the school district for the South Shore District School Board and the Tri-County District School Board, as determined by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, are the number of members and the number and boundaries of electoral districts for the South Shore Regional School Board and the Tri-County Regional School Board, respectively. 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

Application of Sections 10A to 10E

10F Sections 10A to 10E apply mutatis mutandis to a school district and a district school board designated in the regulations. 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

10G to 10K repealed 2004, c. 3, s. 16.

CONSEIL SCOLAIRE ACADIEN PROVINCIAL

Establishment of Conseil

11 (1) The Governor in Council may establish a school board with jurisdiction throughout the Province, a body corporate to be known as the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, for the purpose of providing a French-first-language program to the children of entitled parents.

(2) The Conseil acadien is responsible for the delivery and administration of all French-first-language programs.

(3) A public school, or part of a public school, in which a French-first-language program is provided shall be known as an école acadienne.

(4) Upon the establishment of the Conseil acadien,

(a) every conseil d'école is dissolved;

(b) the Conseil acadien becomes responsible for the control and management of every educational facility of a conseil d'école;

(c) the assets and liabilities of the conseils d'école are vested in the Conseil acadien, including all employee benefits and entitlements;

(d) the vesting of any assets of a conseil d'école in the Conseil acadien does not void any policy of insurance with respect to any of the assets, including any public liability policy, and the Conseil acadien is deemed to be the insured party for the purpose of such policy;

(e) the Conseil acadien is substituted for a dissolved conseil d'école with respect to any agreement to which the dissolved conseil d'école was a party;

(f) all persons employed by a conseil d'école become employees of the Conseil acadien, the employment and seniority of each of the employees with the conseil d'école at the time of establishment of the Conseil acadien is deemed to be employment and seniority with the Conseil acadien and the continuity of employment and seniority is not broken;

(g) the Conseil acadien is a successor employer for the purpose of the Pension Benefits Act;

(h) the Conseil acadien shall continue to pay any pension or annuity, being paid by a conseil d'école, according to its terms;

(i) notwithstanding clauses (c) and (f), Section 71 of the Labour Standards Code does not apply to a period of employment with a conseil d'école; and

(j) Sections 9 and 10 apply mutatis mutandis. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 11 .

Entitlement to program

12 The children of an entitled parent are entitled to be provided a French-first-language program by the Conseil acadien if they otherwise have a right pursuant to this Act to attend a public school and if the numbers warrant the provision of the program out of public funds. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 12.

Election of Conseil

13 (1) The Conseil acadien shall be elected by entitled persons, at the same time as the regularly scheduled elections for school boards.

(2) An entitled person may vote in an election for the Conseil acadien or for another school board if that person is otherwise entitled to vote in an election for a school board but that person is not entitled to and shall not vote in the same election for both.

(2A) For greater certainty, an entitled person who votes in an election for either the Conseil acadien or for another school board may vote for either the Conseil acadien or for another school board in a special election that follows the election.

(3) Notwithstanding the Municipal Elections Act,

(a) for greater certainty, only entitled persons may be members of the Conseil acadien;

(b) only an entitled person may nominate a candidate for election as a member of the Conseil acadien and a person nominating such a candidate shall be required to sign a statement stating that person's status as an entitled person, in a form prescribed pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act;

(c) a person applying to vote in an election for the Conseil acadien shall not be required to take an oath or make an affirmation attesting to that person's status as an entitled person but shall be required to confirm the person's status as an entitled person as defined in the Education Act and, where a person wishes to provide the confirmation, the person may provide the confirmation by requesting the ballot to vote for the Conseil acadien and that request constitutes the confirmation;

(d) where a person votes in an election for the Conseil acadien, that fact shall be entered in the poll book in the manner prescribed by or pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act;

(e) for greater certainty, the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs may, pursuant to that Act, prescribe or alter any forms under that Act for the purpose of this Section; and

(f) the Municipal Elections Officer may give such directions as may be necessary for the purpose of this Section.

(3A) A returning officer shall accept

(a) subject to subsection 44(5) of the Municipal Elections Act, a signed statement, in a form prescribed pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act, of a candidate that the candidate is an entitled person; or

(b) a statement signed pursuant to clause (3)(b),

as sufficient evidence that the candidate or person is an entitled person.

(4) Pending the election of the first Conseil acadien, the Governor in Council shall appoint the members of the Conseil acadien.

(5) Commencing with the first election of the members of the Conseil acadien,

(a) the Province shall be divided into eight electoral districts or such greater number of districts as the Utility and Review Board determines;

(b) the boundaries of the electoral districts shall be as determined by the Utility and Review Board; and

(c) the same number of members need not be elected from each electoral district.

(6) In determining the boundaries of the electoral districts and the number of members to be elected from each, the Utility and Review Board shall give consideration to effective representation of the Acadian and francophone communities in the Province and effective representation shall be considered of greater importance than parity of voting. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 13; 2000, c. 11, s. 4; 2003, c. 9, s. 44 .

Designation of facilities

14 (1) The Governor in Council may designate educational facilities that are to be used to provide a French-first-language instruction program.

(2) Upon designation pursuant to subsection (1) of an educational facility owned by a district school board or regional school board,

(a) where the educational facility is an entire school, the ownership of the school and its control and management are transferred to the Conseil acadien; or

(b) where the educational facility is not an entire school, the ownership of the school and its control and management are transferred to the Conseil acadien if the Governor in Council so orders.

(3) Upon designation pursuant to subsection (1) of an educational facility owned by a municipality,

(a) where the educational facility is an entire school, the control and management of the school is transferred to the Conseil acadien; or

(b) where the educational facility is not an entire school, the control and management of the school is transferred to the Conseil acadien if the Governor in Council so orders.

(4) In subsections (2) and (3), "school" includes the real property upon which the school is situate.

(5) Where an educational facility is designated pursuant to subsection (1), the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister after consultation by the Minister with the Conseil acadien and the school board responsible for the facility before the designation,

(a) after consultation by the Minister or the Minister's representative with persons employed by a school board in or with respect to the facility or their representative, designate them to become employees of the Conseil acadien;

(b) designate assets and liabilities of a school board within or pertaining to the facility to be vested in the Conseil acadien;

(c) designate assets of a school board within or pertaining to the facility, including assets designated pursuant to clause (b), to be shared by the school board and the Conseil acadien;

(d) designate agreements in which the Conseil acadien is to be substituted for the school board.

(6) Upon designation of a person pursuant to clause (5)(a),

(a) that person becomes an employee of the Conseil acadien;

(b) the period of employment and seniority of that person with a school board at the time of designation of that person is deemed to be employment and seniority with the Conseil acadien and the continuity of employment and seniority is not broken;

(c) the Conseil acadien becomes responsible for all employee benefits and entitlements that person had as an employee of the other school board;

(d) the Conseil acadien is a successor employer for the purpose of the Pension Benefits Act; and

(e) Section 9 applies mutatis mutandis.

(7) Upon designation of assets and liabilities pursuant to clause (5)(b),

(a) those assets and liabilities are vested in the Conseil acadien; and

(b) the vesting of any assets of a school board in the Conseil acadien does not void any policy of insurance with respect to any of the assets, including any public liability policy, and the Conseil acadien is deemed to be the insured party for the purpose of such policy.

(8) Upon designation of assets pursuant to clause (5)(c), the assets shall be maintained by the school board that owns the assets and each school board shall pay its share of the costs necessary to operate and maintain those assets, as agreed upon by the school boards.

(9) Where as a result of a designation pursuant to subsection (1) an educational facility becomes a facility shared by the Conseil acadien and another school board, each school board shall pay its share of the costs necessary to operate and maintain the facility and of the outstanding capital costs pertaining to the facility, as agreed upon by the school boards.

(10) Where the Conseil acadien and another school board cannot agree upon their shares of the costs referred to in subsection (8) or (9), the Minister shall determine each school board's share.

(11) Upon designation pursuant to clause (5)(d) of an agreement to which a school board is a party, the Conseil acadien is substituted for the school board with respect to that agreement. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 14 .

Language of administration and operation

15 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the language of administration and operation of the Conseil acadien and all French-first-language program facilities shall be French.

(2) When the circumstances warrant the use of English, the Conseil acadien and French-first-language program facilities shall use English. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 15.

Duties of Conseil

16 The Conseil acadien shall

(a) promote and distribute information about the French-first-language program;

(b) include in its learning materials information about the Acadian culture; and

(c) in providing its educational programs, engage in activities that promote Acadian culture and the French language. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 16 .

17 to 19 repealed 2000, c. 11, s. 5.

SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCILS

Establishment of councils

20 (1) A school board shall establish a school advisory council for a public school where

(a) eight or more parents of students attending the public school;

(b) a home and school association, parent-teacher association or similar organization for the public school; or

(c) the principal of the public school,

requests, by a petition in writing to the school board, that a school advisory council be established for the school.

(2) A school board may establish one school advisory council for more than one school where requested by the persons referred to in clause (1)(a) for each school.

(3) Upon the establishment of a school advisory council for a school pursuant to subsection (1),

(a) subject to Section 21, the initial composition of the school advisory council shall be determined in the manner prescribed by the Minister; and

(b) the school advisory council, the school board and the Minister shall enter into an agreement setting out, subject to this Act, the composition and responsibilities of the school advisory council pursuant to Section 22 and additional advisory duties, if any.

(4) The school advisory council, the school board and the Minister may, from time to time, amend the agreement made pursuant to subsection (3).

(5) A school advisory council established pursuant to the former Act is continued in accordance with this Act and, for the purpose of this Act, is deemed to be established pursuant to this Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 20 .

Composition of Council

21 (1) A school advisory council for a public school shall have at least five and not more than eighteen members consisting of

(a) at least one parent of a child attending the school, elected by the parents of the children attending the school;

(b) where the school is a school with students in grade seven or a higher grade, at least two students attending the school, elected by the students attending the school;

(c) where the school is an elementary school, at least two students attending the school if the agreement made pursuant to subsection 20(3) so provides, elected by the students;

(d) at least one person from the teachers employed at the school, elected by the teachers, and at least one person from the support staff employed at the school, elected by the support staff;

(e) the principal of the school; and

(f) at least one representative of the community in which the school is situated, appointed by the school advisory council or, where the school advisory council so determines, elected by the community.

(2) Unless the agreement made pursuant to subsection 20(3) otherwise provides, a school advisory council shall not have more than one third of its members from any of the clauses referred to in subsection (1).

(3) A person shall not be a member of a school advisory council and a member of a school board for the school district or school region in which the school is situate.

(4) A principal is a non-voting member of a school advisory council unless the agreement otherwise provides.

(5) A vacancy on a school advisory council does not impair the authority of the remaining members to act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 21.

Duties of council

22 A school advisory council for a public school shall

(a) after consultation with the staff of the school, develop and recommend to the school board a school improvement plan;

(b) prepare an annual report in such form and containing such information as the Minister determines;

(c) advise on the development of school policies that promote academic excellence and a positive learning environment;

(d) advise the principal and staff of the school on curriculum and programs, school practices, student discipline, fund-raising and parent-school communication and similar matters;

(e) advise the school board on curriculum and programs, student-support services, policy development, funding, communication strategies and similar matters;

(f) participate in the selection of the principal of the school by representation on the school board's selection committee;

(g) subject to the approval of the school board, make by-laws respecting the election of its members, the conduct of its meetings and the operation of the school advisory council; and

(h) perform such other duties and have such powers of the school board as the agreement made pursuant to subsection 20(3) provides and the Governor in Council transfers to the school advisory council pursuant to Section 23. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 22.

Transfers from school boards to councils

23 (1) The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister and in accordance with an agreement made pursuant to Section 20, may transfer duties and powers of a school board to a school advisory council for a public school and, upon such transfer, the school board ceases to have those powers and duties with respect to that school and those powers and duties are powers and duties of the school advisory council.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the power to hire, suspend, dismiss or discipline an employee of a school board shall not be transferred to a school advisory council. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 23.

STUDENTS

Duties and rights

24 (1) It is the duty of a student to

(a) participate fully in learning opportunities;

(b) attend school regularly and punctually;

(c) contribute to an orderly and safe learning environment;

(d) respect the rights of others; and

(e) comply with the discipline policies of the school and the school board.

(2) Students are accountable to their teachers for their conduct while under their teachers' supervision.

(3) Students may participate in decisions that affect their schools through representation on school advisory councils or committees in accordance with school board policy.

(4) It is the right of students to be informed of their educational progress on a regular basis. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 24.

PARENTS

Duties and rights

25 (1) It is the duty of parents to

(a) support their children in achieving learning success;

(b) cause their children to attend school as required by the regulations;

(c) communicate regularly with their children's school;

(d) ensure the basic needs of their children are met, including ensuring that their children are well-nourished and well-rested when they go to school; and

(e) support their children's teachers in their efforts to provide an education for their children.

(2) Parents of students with special needs shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the development of an individualized program for their children.

(3) Where

(a) the parent of a child with special needs does not agree with the individualized program plan that has been developed for that child; and

(b) the disagreement cannot be resolved by a school board appeal process,

the parent or the school board may initiate an appeal as prescribed by the regulations. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 25 .

TEACHERS

Duties

26 (1) It is the duty of a teacher in a public school to

(a) respect the rights of students;

(b) teach diligently the subjects and courses of study prescribed by the regulations that are assigned to the teacher by the school board;

(c) implement teaching strategies that foster a positive learning environment aimed at helping students achieve learning outcomes;

(d) encourage students in the pursuit of learning;

(e) monitor the effectiveness of the teaching strategies by analyzing outcomes achieved;

(f) acknowledge and, to the extent reasonable, accommodate differences in learning styles;

(g) participate in individual-program planning and implement individual program plans, as required, for students with special needs;

(h) review regularly with students their learning expectations and progress;

(i) conduct such assessments and evaluations as are necessary to document student progress;

(j) administer such evaluation and assessment instruments as required by the school board or by the Minister;

(k) take all reasonable steps necessary to create and maintain an orderly and safe learning environment;

(l) maintain appropriate order and discipline in the school or room in the teacher's charge and report to the principal or other person in charge of the school the conduct of any student who is persistently defiant or disobedient;

(m) maintain an attitude of concern for the dignity and welfare of each student and encourage in each student an attitude of concern for the dignity and welfare of others and a respect for religion, morality, truth, justice, love of country, humanity, equality, industry, temperance and all other virtues;

(n) attend to the health, comfort and safety of the students;

(o) report immediately to the principal the existence of any infectious or contagious disease in the school or the existence of any unsanitary condition in the school buildings or surroundings, and perform such duties as are from time to time prescribed by or under the Health Protection Act;

(p) take all reasonable steps to secure full and regular attendance at school of the students under the teacher's supervision;

(q) keep accurate attendance records and report absent students to the principal as prescribed by the regulations;

(r) communicate regularly with parents in accordance with policies established by the school board;

(s) keep such records as are required by the school board or the Minister and permit the inspection of those records by the board, the superintendent or superintendent's representative, the principal, the supervisor and the Minister or Minister's representative or, upon their request, provide the records to them;

(t) assist in the development and implementation of the school improvement plan;

(u) maintain their professional competence;

(v) serve, to the extent reasonable, on committees established within the school to improve student achievement and success;

(w) implement programs and courses as prescribed by the public school program; and

(x) perform such other duties as are prescribed by this Act or the regulations.

(2) Teachers are accountable to the school board through the principals of their assigned schools with respect to the performance of their responsibilities. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 26; 2004, c. 4, s. 110 .

Powers of teacher

27 A teacher has general oversight and supervision over school premises during school hours and, subject to the authority of the school board and the principal, may exclude from those premises any person who is not a student enrolled in the school and disturbs the learning environment. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 27 .

Qualifications of teacher

28 Except as provided in this Act or the regulations, a school board shall not engage as a teacher or permit to teach in the public school a person who does not hold a teacher's certificate or permit under this Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 28 .

Effect of determination

29 (1) A determination pursuant to this Act or the former Act of the classification, re-classification, certificate or permit of a teacher, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Act, is final and binding.

(2) No determination pursuant to this Act or the former Act of the classification, re-classification, certificate or permit of a teacher, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Act, gives rise to any cause of action for damages, retroactive remuneration or other loss or damage of any kind.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), retroactive remuneration may be paid to a teacher as the result of a re-classification in accordance with the terms of a professional agreement between the Minister and the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union setting out conditions with respect to the effective date of re-classification for salary purposes. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 29 .

Written contract

30 (1) When a school board that has authority to engage a teacher engages a teacher other than a substitute teacher, the board shall enter into a written contract with the teacher in such form as may be approved by the Minister.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of this Act, or any contract or agreement between or governing a school board and a teacher,

(a) the date for a teacher giving notice of termination of the teacher's contract shall be deemed to be April 15th in the year in which the contract will be terminated after the school year;

(b) the date for a school board giving notice of termination of a teacher's contract shall be deemed to be May 15th in the year in which the contract will be terminated after the school year. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 30.

Teacher-training students

31 Every school board and every teacher employed by a school board shall admit to classrooms under the jurisdiction of the board students who are enrolled in a teacher training course approved by the Minister and the instructors of those students for the purpose of observation and teaching practice, and shall give them any assistance requested by the instructors. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 31.

Permanent and probationary contracts

32 (1) Where the probationary contract of a teacher is not terminated as provided in this Act or the teacher is not suspended or discharged, the school board shall offer the teacher a permanent contract at the end of the second year of the probationary contract and may offer the teacher a permanent contract at the end of the first year of the probationary contract.

(2) A teacher who has had a contract or contracts with a school board for more than two consecutive years, inclusive of the school year 1971-72, is deemed to have had a permanent contract.

(3) Any teacher, who during the school year 1971-72 or any school year thereafter has a permanent contract or is deemed to have had a permanent contract and is hired thereafter by any school board, may be hired by way of a probationary contract, which probationary contract shall not be for more than one year. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 32 .

Suspension of teacher

33 (1) A school board may suspend, for just cause, with or without loss of salary but without loss of other benefits, any teacher in its employ at any time for a reasonable period, and a written report stating the reason for the suspension shall be furnished to the teacher within seven days of the date of suspension.

(2) A school board may authorize the superintendent to suspend, for just cause, with or without loss of salary but without loss of other benefits, any teacher in its employ at any time for a period not exceeding ten days, and a written report shall be furnished to the school board, with a copy to the teacher, within seven days of the date of suspension.

(3) A teacher who has been suspended shall

(a) be given written notice of the complaint against the teacher upon which the suspension of contract is based by the school board within seven days of the date of suspension; and

(b) be given an opportunity to appear before the school board, in person, with or without counsel, to make answer to the matters in the complaint within fourteen days of delivery of the notice of complaint.

(4) Within ten days of any appearance pursuant to clause (3)(b), or where there is no such appearance within twenty days of the giving of written notice pursuant to clause (3)(a), the school board shall confirm, vary or revoke the suspension of the teacher and, where the suspension is revoked, it is deemed not to have taken place.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or (2), no salary shall be deducted from a teacher until the suspension is confirmed or varied and in such case, where the suspension as confirmed or varied is with loss of salary, the school board shall deduct from the salary of the teacher an amount equivalent to the salary paid to the teacher for the suspension period prior to the confirmation or variation. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 33 .

Termination of teacher

34 (1) A school board may, at any time for just cause, by notice in writing, discharge any teacher in its employ.

(2) A school board may

(a) by notice in writing given to the teacher not later than May 15th, terminate a probationary contract at the end of the first or second year;

(b) by notice in writing given to the teacher not later than May 15th, terminate a permanent contract at the end of the school year

    (i) for just cause, or

    (ii) if, in the system under the jurisdiction of the school board, the estimated enrolment of courses the teacher is qualified and willing to teach is insufficient to justify the employment of the teacher.

(3) A school board shall not terminate a probationary contract pursuant to clause (2)(a) until

(a) the school board has given the teacher written notice of the reasons upon which the termination is to be based; and

(b) within fourteen days, but not before seven days after the school board has given notice to the teacher pursuant to clause (a), an opportunity has been given the teacher by the school board to appear before the school board, in person, with or without counsel, to present the teacher's comments upon the notice and reasons upon which the termination is to be based.

(4) Where a school board terminates a probationary contract, the termination is not subject to any grievance procedure provided in a contract relating to the employment of the teacher nor to any appeal.

(5) A school board shall not discharge a teacher pursuant to subsection (1) or terminate a permanent contract pursuant to clause (2)(b) until

(a) the school board has given the teacher written notice of the complaint against the teacher upon which the discharge or termination of contract is based;

(b) within fourteen days but not before seven days after the school board has given notice to the teacher pursuant to clause (a) an opportunity has been given the teacher by the school board to appear before the school board, in person, with or without counsel, to make answers to the matters in the complaint; and

(c) the discharge or termination of contract is approved by a resolution passed by a majority of the members of the school board who vote at a duly called meeting at which at least eighty per cent of the members are in attendance. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 34.

Power to vary or revoke

35 A school board may, at any time prior to the constitution of a board of appeal pursuant to subsection 36(2), vary or revoke the discharge or termination of contract of the teacher and, when the discharge or termination is revoked, it is deemed not to have taken place. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 35 .

Revocation of termination at end of 1999-2000

35A The termination, for other than just cause, of a teacher's contract at the end of the 1999-2000 school academic year by notice given before May 16, 2000, is revoked and the termination is deemed not to have taken place. 2000, c. 11, s. 6 .

Appeals

36 (1) A teacher who is suspended or discharged, or whose permanent contract is terminated, may appeal the suspension or discharge or termination by giving written notice of appeal to the school board and the Minister within twenty days of

(a) any confirmation or variation of the suspension pursuant to subsection 33(4); or

(b) any discharge or termination of contract.

(2) When a notice of appeal is given pursuant to subsection (1), a board of appeal, composed of one person, shall be appointed by the Minister.

(3) The board of appeal has the powers of a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act and shall inquire into the suspension, discharge or termination of a contract and, after hearing the teacher and the school board, make an order confirming, varying or revoking the suspension or discharge or confirming or revoking the termination of contract.

(4) An order made by a board of appeal shall be final and binding upon the teacher and the school board and a copy of the order and a copy of any decision, reasons or report shall be transmitted forthwith by the board of appeal to the teacher, the school board and the Minister.

(5) Nothing in this Section prevents a board of appeal from attempting to effect a settlement of the differences between the teacher and the school board and the term of any settlement agreed upon by the teacher and the school board is final and binding.

(6) One half of the costs, expenses and fees of the board of appeal shall be paid by the teacher and the other half by the school board.

(7) Notwithstanding any other enactment or agreement, the costs of the board of appeal shall not be included in any calculation for the purpose of determining financial assistance to the school board by the Province. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 36 .

Rights of teacher preserved

37 Nothing in this Act prevents a teacher from terminating a contract in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract or in accordance with any method permitted by law. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 37 .

PRINCIPALS

Function and duties

38 (1) The principal of a public school is the educational leader of the school and has overall responsibility for the school, including teachers and other staff.

(2) It is the duty of a principal to

(a) ensure that the public school program and curricula are implemented;

(b) keep attendance records respecting every student enrolled at the school and report thereon to the school board, as required by the school board;

(c) take all reasonable steps to secure full and regular attendance at school of the students enrolled in the school in accordance with policies established by the school board;

(d) communicate regularly with the parents of the students;

(e) ensure that reasonable steps are taken to create and maintain a safe, orderly, positive and effective learning environment;

(f) ensure that provincial and school board policies are followed;

(g) identify the staffing needs of the school;

(h) assist the school board with the selection of staff for the school;

(i) evaluate the performance of teachers and other staff of the school;

(j) assist the school board in the development and implementation of professional-development programs;

(k) encourage teachers and other staff of the school, students and parents to participate in school decision-making through representation on school advisory councils and committees;

(l) participate in the establishment and operation of a school council;

(m) assist the school advisory council in the development of school improvement plans and, upon approval by the school board, co-ordinate their implementation;

(n) assist the school advisory council in the preparation of its annual report;

(o) account to the school board for money received from the school board or any other source;

(p) account to the school board, through the superintendent, for the performance of the school;

(q) co-operate with the staff of other departments and agencies of the Government to better meet the needs of the students in the school; and

(r) perform such other duties as are prescribed by this Act or the regulations or assigned by the superintendent. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 38 .

SUPERINTENDENTS

Function and duties

39 (1) A superintendent is accountable to the school board and has overall responsibility for

(a) the efficient operation of the school board office and the public schools in the school district or school region; and

(b) the supervision of all employees of the school board.

(2) It is the duty of a superintendent to

(a) administer and evaluate the programs offered by the school board;

(b) conduct, or cause to be conducted, an annual performance appraisal of every principal, every vice-principal and all other staff employed by the school board;

(c) provide centralized management of services for public schools that are most efficiently provided on a school district-wide or school region-wide basis;

(d) oversee the carrying out of the Minister's and the school board's policies and report annually to the school board on the carrying out of those policies;

(e) monitor public-school improvement plans, the annual reports of school advisory councils and annually report to the school board on their status;

(f) ensure that resources are distributed to public schools in accordance with school board policies and guidelines;

(g) maintain a safe, orderly and supportive learning environment in all schools in the school district or school region;

(h) provide leadership in the school district or school region in promoting quality education, enhanced community involvement and the efficient delivery of services;

(i) assist principals in efficient and effective management and decision-making at the school level;

(j) work with principals to ensure that students and schools meet the expectations of the school program;

(k) co-operate with the Minister and other departments and agencies of the Government to ensure the effective and efficient carrying out of this Act and the regulations;

(l) operate and maintain buildings, equipment, supplies and student conveyance under the jurisdiction of the school board;

(m) report to the school board as requested by the school board; and

(n) perform such other duties as are prescribed by this Act or the regulations or assigned by the school board.

(3) A superintendent is accountable to the school board for the educational performance of the students and schools in the school district or school region and shall report to the school board annually on such performance. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 39 .

SUPPORT STAFF

Duties

40 (1) It is the duty of a support staff member to

(a) support students in their participation in school activities;

(b) maintain an attitude of concern for the dignity and welfare of each student;

(c) co-operate with the school board, superintendent, principal, teachers, students and other staff members to maintain an orderly, safe and supportive learning environment;

(d) respect the rights of students;

(e) participate in staff-development opportunities identified by the person to whom the staff member reports, if requested to do so; and

(f) subject to any applicable collective agreement in effect when this Act comes into force, perform such other duties as are assigned by the school board, the superintendent or the principal.

(2) Every support staff member is accountable to the principal or other person designated by the school board.

(3) Where a district school board has been established by this Act or the regulations, then, so long as the district school board continues, in the school region in which the district school board is established,

(a) a reference to the school board and the superintendent in clause (1)(c) shall be read as a reference to the Minister, the regional school board, the district school board and the director of education;

(b) a reference to the school board, the superintendent or the principal in clause (1)(f) shall be read as a reference to the regional school board; and

(c) every support staff member, other than a teacher assistant, is accountable to the regional school board and subsection (2) does not apply. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 40; 2000, c. 11, s. 8.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERSHIP

Election of members

41 (1) Except as otherwise provided by this Act, all of the members of a school board shall be elected.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 4 of the Halifax Regional Municipality Act, there shall not be an election for school boards in the County of Halifax in 1995 and, notwithstanding subsection (9) of that Section, there shall be school board elections in the County of Halifax in 1997.

(3) Subsection (2) has effect on and after October 16, 1995.

(4) Notwithstanding the Municipal Elections Act, the lists of electors used in the 1995 municipal elections for the Halifax Regional Municipality may be used in the school board elections in the County of Halifax in 1997.

(5) Notwithstanding Section 5 of the Queens Regional Municipality Act, there shall not be an election for school boards in the County of Queens in 1996 and, notwithstanding subsection (8) of that Section, there shall be school board elections in the County of Queens in 1997.

(6) Subsection (5) has effect on and after January 29, 1996.

(7) Notwithstanding the Municipal Elections Act, the lists of electors used in the 1996 municipal elections for the Region of Queens Municipality may be used in the school board elections in Queens County in 1997. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 41 .

Membership

42 (1) A school board consists of such number of members, not less than eight nor greater than eighteen, as determined by order of the Utility and Review Board.

(2) A school board is generally accountable to the electorate.

(3) A school district or school region consists of such electoral districts, as determined by order of the Utility and Review Board.

(4) After consultation with the Mi'kmaq community and the school board, the Minister may appoint a Mi'kmaq representative to each regional school board that has a tuition agreement with a Mi'kmaq band council and that representative is in addition to the number of members determined pursuant to subsection (1). 1995-96, c. 1, s. 42 .

African Nova Scotian representative

42A (1) In this Section,

(a) "African Nova Scotian" means a person who is African Nova Scotian or a black person;

(b) "African Nova Scotian elector" means a person who is qualified to vote in an election of a school board who is also

    (i) an African Nova Scotian, or

    (ii) the parent of an African Nova Scotian.

(2) This Section does not apply with respect to the Conseil acadien.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the membership of a school board includes, in addition to those members as determined by the Utility and Review Board, one African Nova Scotian representative, elected by African Nova Scotian electors throughout the school district or school region over which the school board has jurisdiction.

(4) The election of the African Nova Scotian member of a school board shall be held at the same time as the regularly scheduled elections to the school board.

(5) Notwithstanding the Municipal Elections Act,

(a) only a person who is

    (i) an African Nova Scotian, and

    (ii) qualified to be a candidate for election to a school board,

is qualified to be a candidate for election as the African Nova Scotian member of a school board;

(b) only an African Nova Scotian elector may nominate a candidate for election as the African Nova Scotian member of a school board and a person nominating such a candidate shall be required to sign a statement stating that person's status as an African Nova Scotian elector, in a form prescribed pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act;

(c) where a person intends to vote in an election of an African Nova Scotian to a school board, that person shall not be required to take an oath or make an affirmation in a form attesting to that person's status as an African Nova Scotian elector, but shall be required to confirm the person's status as an African Nova Scotian elector as defined in the Education Act and, where a person wishes to provide the confirmation, the person may provide the confirmation by requesting the ballot to vote for the African Nova Scotian elector and that request constitutes the confirmation;

(d) where a person votes in an election of an African Nova Scotian member of a school board, that fact shall be entered in the poll book in the manner prescribed pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act;

(e) for greater certainty, the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs may, pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act, prescribe or alter any forms under that Act for the purpose of this Section; and

(f) the Municipal Elections officer may give such directions as may be necessary for the purpose of this Section.

(6) A returning officer shall accept

(a) subject to subsection 44(5) of the Municipal Elections Act, a signed statement, in a form prescribed pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act, of a candidate that the candidate is an African Nova Scotian as sufficient evidence that the candidate is an African Nova Scotian; or

(b) a statement signed pursuant to clause (5)(b) as sufficient evidence that the person is an African Nova Scotian elector if that person is qualified to vote in an election of a school board.

(7) A signed statement in good faith of a candidate that the candidate is an African Nova Scotian is conclusive evidence that the candidate is an African Nova Scotian.

(8) A statement signed pursuant to clause (5)(b) in good faith and stating that the person is an African Nova Scotian elector or a confirmation provided pursuant to clause (5)(c) in good faith confirming that the person is an African Nova Scotian elector is conclusive evidence that that person is an African Nova Scotian elector, if that person is qualified to vote in an election of a school board.

(9) Except as provided by this Section, the Municipal Elections Act applies mutatis mutandis to the election of the African Nova Scotian member to a school board as if the district or region over which the school board has jurisdiction were a single electoral district.

(10) A qualified African Nova Scotian elector may vote in a school board election for either

(a) a candidate for election as the African Nova Scotian member of the school board; or

(b) a candidate for election to the school board other than as the African Nova Scotian member of the school board,

but not both.

(11) For greater certainty, a qualified African Nova Scotian elector, who votes in an election for either a candidate for election as the African Nova Scotian member of the school board or a candidate for election to the school board other than as the African Nova Scotian member of the school board, may vote for either candidate in a special election that follows the election. 2000, c. 11, s. 7; 2003, c. 9, s. 45.

Application to determine boundaries

43 Subject to clause 18(1)(d), in the year 1999 and every eighth year thereafter, every school board shall apply to the Utility and Review Board to confirm or change the number and boundaries of the electoral districts in the school district or school region. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 43; 1998, c. 18, s. 555 .

Powers and duties of Utility and Review Board

44 (1) In determining the number and boundaries of electoral districts, the Utility and Review Board shall make such decision as in its opinion is just, and is not restricted to the proposal advanced by a school board in its application.

(2) The Utility and Review Board may reject an application and require a school board to re-apply within such time as the Utility and Review Board directs, and may give such directions for the re-application as the circumstances of the case dictate.

(3) In determining the number and boundaries of electoral districts, the Utility and Review Board shall give consideration to

(a) subject to subsection 13(6), ensuring as nearly as practical equal numbers of electors in each electoral district;

(b) population density;

(c) distribution of the school-age population;

(d) the principal language of instruction of the school board and language of instruction of the school population in areas of the district; and

(e) any other relevant matter that in the opinion of the Utility and Review Board affects the necessity, expediency or justice of the order sought.

(4) The Utility and Review Board shall, in setting the numbers and boundaries of electoral districts, have regard to the existing boundaries of polling districts and wards. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 44 .

Application of certain legislation

45 Subject to this Act, the powers of the Utility and Review Board and procedures set out in the Municipal Government Act apply mutatis mutandis. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 45; 1998, c. 18, s. 555 .

Qualifications of candidates

46 (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, every person is qualified to be elected as a member who

(a) is a Canadian citizen of the full age of eighteen years at the time of nomination;

(b) has been ordinarily resident in the school district or school region or in an area annexed to the school district or school region for a period of six months preceding nomination day, and continues to so reside; and

(c) repealed 1998, c. 18, s. 555.

(d) is not disqualified pursuant to this Act.

(2) No person is qualified to be nominated or to serve as a member of a school board who

(a) is a member of the House of Commons or Senate of Canada;

(b) is a member of the House of Assembly;

(c) is a member of another school board;

(d) is a judge of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia or the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia;

(e) would be a member of a school board and a member of the council of a municipality at the same time;

(f) accepts or holds office or employment in the service of the school board;

(g) repealed 2003, c. 9, s. 46.

(h) has been convicted of any corrupt practice or bribery contrary to the Municipal Elections Act within the ten years preceding nomination day; or

(i) has been disqualified from any office pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act or the Municipal Elections Act and the period of disqualification has not expired.

(3) A member of a school board, if otherwise qualified, is eligible for re-election.

(4) Every person who sits or acts as a member of a school board after becoming disqualified is guilty of an offence for each day that the person so acts or sits. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 46; 1998, c. 18, s. 555; 2003, c. 9, s. 46 .

47 repealed 2003, c. 9, s. 46.

Elections

48 (1) The election of members of a school board shall take place concurrently with and as part of the regular municipal elections for members of the councils of municipalities.

(2) The election of members of a school board shall be conducted by the returning officers responsible for the conduct of municipal elections.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a special election may be conducted by the school board if the Minister consents.

(4) Any additional cost incurred by a municipality from

(a) the inclusion of the election of members of a school board with the regular municipal elections; or

(b) a special election for a member of a school board,

may be recovered by that municipality from the school board for which the cost was incurred.

(5) In the event that there is a dispute between a municipality and a school board over the amount to be recovered, the dispute shall be submitted to the Minister, who shall consult with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, or an official designated by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and shall render a decision thereon, which decision is binding and final. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 48 .

Restriction on number of votes

49 (1) In this Section, "election" includes a special election.

(2) A voter shall cast only one vote for the election of a member of a school board at an election. 2003, c. 9, s. 48.

Term of office, first meeting and oath of office

50 (1) A member of a school board takes office after taking the oath of office pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act at the first meeting of the school board following the election at which the member was elected, or within such extended time as the school board allows, and holds office for four years or until the next elected school board members take office.

(2) The first meeting of the school board after an election shall be held not less than fourteen days nor more than thirty days after the election.

(3) The superintendent shall call the first meeting of a school board after an election.

(4) A judge or a justice of the peace may administer the oath of office.

(5) The secretary of the school board shall enter a certificate of the taking of the oath in the minutes. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 50; 1998, c. 18, s. 555 .

Vacating of seat

51 (1) The seat of a member becomes vacant if the member

(a) dies, resigns or ceases to reside in the school district or school region;

(b) acknowledges to the secretary of the school board or is found by a court to have become disqualified to serve pursuant to this Act or the Municipal Elections Act;

(c) neglects or refuses to take the oath required to be taken, at or before the first meeting of the school board after the election, or within such extended time as the school board allows.

(2) A member who is elected to the House of Assembly or the House of Commons or who is appointed to the Senate of Canada shall resign as a member of the school board within thirty days of such election or appointment.

(3) Where a seat becomes vacant, the secretary shall report the fact to the school board in writing and the school board shall thereupon declare the seat vacant.

(4) A vacancy in the seat of a member of a school board shall be filled by special election pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 51 .

Consequences of absence from meetings

52 Where a member fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the school board without reasonable excuse satisfactory to the school board, the school board shall declare the seat of that member vacant, the member thereupon ceases to be a member of the school board and the school board shall forthwith call an election to fill the member's seat pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 52 .

Effect of vacancy

53 A vacancy on a school board does not impair the authority of the remaining members to Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 53.

Remuneration and reimbursement

54 (1) In this Section, "Association" means the Nova Scotia School Boards Association.

(2) The Minister and the Association shall, on or before April 1st in the year 1997, the year 2000 and in every fourth year thereafter, jointly appoint a person to make an inquiry and a report respecting the remuneration to be paid to and the reimbursement for expenses incurred by members of school boards for the four-year period commencing when the members take office following the next election.

(3) A person appointed pursuant to subsection (2) shall complete the inquiry and deliver the report to the Minister and the Association on or before June 30th in the year in which the person is appointed.

(4) A person appointed pursuant to subsection (2) has all the powers and privileges and immunities of a commissioner pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act.

(5) The remuneration referred to in subsections (2) is to be a maximum annual stipend for the chair of a school board, a maximum annual stipend for a vice-chair of a school board and a maximum annual stipend for the other members of a school board.

(6) The reimbursement for expenses referred to in subsection (2) is to be a travel allowance at a rate per kilometre, specified levels of reimbursement for local expenses and specified levels of reimbursement for overnight accommodation, meals and auxiliary expenses incurred in attending meetings or conferences outside the school district.

(7) Members of a school board are entitled to such remuneration and reimbursement, not exceeding the remuneration and reimbursement set out in the report referred to in subsection (2), as the school board determines and are not entitled to any other remuneration or reimbursement as members of a school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 54; 1998, c. 18, s. 555.

SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

Chair and vice-chair

55 (1) The members of a school board shall, at the first meeting of the school board after an election, and annually thereafter until the next election, elect a chair and a vice-chair from among the members.

(2) The superintendent shall preside at the first meeting of the school board until the chair of the school board is elected, unless a temporary chair is appointed by the members.

(3) For greater certainty, the superintendent shall not preside at more than one meeting of the school board.

(4) The school board shall, if a chair is not elected, choose a temporary chair to preside over the meetings of the school board until a chair is elected or appointed.

(5) Where a majority of the members do not agree upon the choice of a chair, the Governor in Council shall appoint a chair from among the members.

(6) The vice-chair shall perform the functions of the chair in the event of the absence or incapacity of the chair. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 55 .

Term of office

56 (1) The term of office of the chair and of the vice-chair is one year and they may be re-elected.

(2) Where a vacancy occurs in the office of the chair, the school board shall, at its first meeting after the vacancy occurs, elect a chair. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 56 .

Minimum number of meetings

57 Each school board shall meet at least four times in each year at such time and place as the chair designates or the by-laws prescribe. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 57 .

By-law making powers and community representatives

58 (1) A school board may, by by-law,

(a) fix the date, hour and place, or any of them, of the meetings of the school board;

(b) regulate its own proceedings and provide for preserving order at meetings of the school board;

(c) provide for standing and special committees of the school board.

(2) A school board may include on its committees representation from the community. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 58 .

Meetings

59 (1) All meetings of a school board shall be open to the public.

(2) A school board shall not determine by secret ballot any matter before it other than the election of a chair and vice-chair.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a meeting, or part of a meeting, of a school board may be held in private for the purpose of considering issues involving individual students, personnel matters or other confidential information as determined by a majority of the members of the school board present.

(4) Where a school board meets in private pursuant to subsection (3), the school board may not make any decision in private other than to revert to an open meeting.

(5) The person presiding at any meeting of the school board may cause to be expelled and excluded any person who is disrupting the proceedings of the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 59 .

Conduct of meetings

60 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the chair of a school board shall preside at all meetings of the school board.

(2) During the temporary absence of the chair, the vice-chair shall preside or, if neither is present, the school board may appoint a person from among the members present to preside at the meeting.

(3) A quorum of a school board is a majority of its members serving at the time.

(4) All questions arising at a meeting of the school board shall be decided by a majority of votes.

(5) The chair has a right to vote on all questions before the school board and, in the event of a tie, the question voted on shall be deemed to be determined in the negative. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 60 .

SCHOOL BOARD OFFICERS AND RECORDS

Secretary and treasurer

61 (1) A school board shall appoint a secretary and a treasurer or a person as both secretary and treasurer.

(2) The secretary and the treasurer of the school board shall perform such duties as are assigned by the school board.

(3) The secretary and the treasurer of the school board shall, before entering upon or continuing to perform the duties of their offices, give security in the form of a bond or policy of a guarantee company, approved by the Governor in Council pursuant to the Sureties Act, in such amount as is prescribed by the school board, but in no case less than the amount of one hundred thousand dollars. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 61 .

Minutes and other records

62 (1) A copy of the minutes of a meeting of a school board certified by the secretary of the school board to be a true copy, or an extract from the minutes similarly certified, is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or appointment of the secretary and is prima facie proof of the matters stated in the copy or extract.

(2) The books, records and accounts of a school board, of a committee of a school board and of the secretary of a school board or committee of the school board, including gross salaries of its employees and members of the school board and its committees, including employment and personal services contracts of employees but not including personnel records, shall be open to the inspection of any person without fee at all reasonable times. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 62; 2002, c. 5, s. 8 .

By-laws respecting records

63 (1) Subject to this Act and the Government Records Act, a school board may make by-laws with respect to the preservation, destruction or disposal of records of the school board.

(2) A school board shall not authorize the destruction of

(a) documents, plans and surveying records pertaining to or affecting the title to real property;

(b) records required to be kept by the provisions of any Act;

(c) records less than six years old;

(d) minutes, by-laws or resolutions of the school board;

(e) records relating to school attendance by students;

(f) records relating to student progress; or

(g) records relating to the employment and service of teachers.

(3) No record of a school board shall be destroyed pursuant to a by-law of the school board unless

(a) the secretary of the school board has submitted to the school board the secretary's certificate stating that the secretary has personally examined the records proposed to be destroyed and that, in the secretary's opinion, there is nothing of value therein; and

(b) the school board has approved the destruction of the records referred to in the certificate. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 63 .

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
AND POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

Duties and powers

64 (1) A school board is accountable to the Minister and responsible for the control and management of the public schools within its jurisdiction in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

(2) A school board shall, in accordance with this Act and the regulations,

(a) make provision for the education and instruction of all students enrolled in its schools and programs;

(b) ensure that its schools adhere to the provincial program of studies;

(c) promote excellence in education;

(d) develop and implement educational programs for students with special needs within regular instructional settings with their peers in age, in accordance with the regulations and the Minister's policies and guidelines;

(e) develop short and long term plans for the provision of barrier-free access to and within educational facilities;

(f) promote its schools as safe, quality learning environments and as community resources;

(g) subject to the regulations, provide and pay for the conveyance of students to and from school;

(h) pay for the boarding of students in accordance with the regulations;

(i) pay the tuition of students educated in public schools operated by other boards or authorities in accordance with the regulations;

(j) provide regional services to assist public schools;

(k) subject to any applicable collective agreement in effect when this Act comes into force, establish and follow a fair-hiring policy;

(l) hire and pay the superintendent, principals, teachers and other staff;

(m) invite the Department of Education and Culture to name a representative to participate in the process of hiring the superintendent and to participate in the annual evaluation of the superintendent;

(n) identify staff-development needs;

(o) establish policies respecting the communication by teachers to students and parents of learning expectations and progress;

(p) establish an attendance committee to monitor attendance and carry out school board policies in respect of the absenteeism of students in the schools;

(q) take remedial steps, in accordance with school board policy, in respect of those students who have been reported to the school board by a principal as being habitually absent from the school without acceptable excuse;

(r) establish a regional student-discipline policy consistent with the Provincial discipline policy established by the Minister;

(s) develop policies and implement programs consistent with the Minister's policies and guidelines respecting students who have been suspended for more than five days or expelled from school;

(t) establish a policy for the protection of students and employees from harassment and abuse;

(u) develop other regional policies, consistent with any policies established by the Minister, that reflect the board's responsibilities, including policies with respect to staffing, student-support services, programs, school-based fund-raising and transportation;

(v) develop regional strategic and business plans;

(w) enter into an agreement, with a school advisory council and the Minister, determining the composition and responsibilities of the school advisory council;

(x) encourage the development of school advisory councils within its school district or school region;

(y) provide leadership training for members of school advisory councils;

(z) approve school-improvement plans and the annual report submitted by the school advisory council;

(aa) consult with school advisory councils with respect to matters assigned to school advisory councils pursuant to this Act;

(ab) provide for the effective and efficient management of the financial affairs of the board;

(ac) supervise capital expenditures;

(ad) provide and pay for adequate equipment and furnishings for public schools and the maintenance and operation of equipment, furnishings and school buildings;

(ae) manage, maintain, repair and keep safe all real and personal property owned, leased or used by the board;

(af) insure, in amounts agreed upon by the Minister, all buildings and personal property owned by the school board;

(ag) pay its own administration costs including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the provision of office space, supplies and equipment, payments to auditors and board members, and the enforcement of this Act;

(ah) provide the sums required to pay the cost of arbitration boards appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act and to implement the awards of such boards;

(ai) designate persons to execute agreements on behalf of the school board;

(aj) establish a public tendering and procurement policy, consistent with the Atlantic Provinces Procurement Agreement or similar or successor agreement;

(ak) with the approval of the Minister, enter into agreements with municipalities for the purpose of carrying out this Act and the regulations;

(al) co-operate with other school boards and Government departments and agencies to ensure the effective and efficient carrying out of this Act and the regulations;

(ala) establish a school board conflict of interest policy for school board staff consistent with the Provincial conflict of interest policy for school board staff established by the Minister in the regulations;

(am) submit to the Minister an annual report containing such information as is required by the Minister; and

(an) perform such other duties requested by or delegated to it by the Minister or required to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

(3) A school board may

(a) provide such courses as are approved by the Minister;

(b) provide such additional services and benefits as the school board may consider desirable;

(c) enter into agreements, including tuition agreements, for the provision of services and benefits;

(d) permit persons to offer religious studies in its schools in accordance with the policies of the school board.

(3A) An employment or personal-services contract entered into between a school board and senior staff, as defined in the regulations, of the school board has no effect until approved by the Minister.

(3B) A school board shall implement the administrative structure for senior staff, as defined in the regulations, of the school board in accordance with the administrative structure prescribed by the Minister in the regulations.

(3C) A school board shall establish a compensation framework for senior staff, as defined in the regulations, of the school board in accordance with the compensation framework established by the Minister in the regulations.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), in any fiscal year a school board shall not incur or make expenditures that will result in the total of the amounts of expenditures being in excess of the total of the amounts of the school board's revenue from all sources in that fiscal year.

(5) A school board designated in the regulations shall share services and related resources as defined in the regulations with one or more school boards, at such time, in the manner and on the terms and conditions as prescribed in the regulations.

(6) A school board, in carrying out its responsibilities under this Act, shall meet education program, service and performance standards established by the Minister. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 64; 2002, c. 5, s. 9; 2004, c. 3, s. 17.

Commercial activity

64A A school board shall not engage in or carry out any commercial activity, including lending, without the approval of the Governor in Council. 2002, c. 5, s. 10.

Unauthorized activity

64B For greater certainty, a school board shall not engage in or carry out any activity that is outside the authority, powers, duties and responsibilities of the school board pursuant to this Act and the regulations. 2002, c. 5, s. 10 .

Report on salaries and expenses

65 (1) Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, commencing with the 2001-02 fiscal year, a school board shall publish, in the manner and form prescribed by the regulations, a report of all payments, including salaries and expenses, made to and all benefits conferred on members and employees of the school board during the fiscal year of the school board ending on March 31st in that year.

(2) Within four months after the end of each fiscal year, a school board shall file with the Minister a copy of the report referred to in subsection (1).

(3) A copy of the report required by subsection (1) shall be available at the offices of a school board for inspection and may be purchased at cost by any person. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 65; 2002, c. 5, s. 11 .

Power to make certain agreements

66 A school board may enter into and carry out an agreement or agreements with any other school board for the education of some or all of the students residing in the area within its jurisdiction, for the transportation of students to school, for maintenance of public schools, for obtaining supplies, for sharing facilities and services and respecting any other services required by the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 66 .

Certain by-law making powers

67 With the approval of the Minister, a school board may make by-laws for the conduct and operation of a public school and the exercise of the powers of the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 67 .

Carrying out of responsibilities

68 (1) In carrying out its responsibilities and in exercising its authority under this Act, a school board shall comply with the policies of the Department of Education and Culture and the directives of the Minister issued in accordance with this Act.

(2) Where, in the opinion of the Minister,

(a) the health, safety or educational welfare of the students of a school are endangered or the resources of a school board are not being used in a responsible manner;

(aa) a school board has failed to meet the standards referred to in subsection 64(6); or

(b) the school board has failed to comply with a request of the Minister to take corrective action,

the Minister may appoint a person who shall carry out such responsibilities and exercise such authority of the school board as the Minister determines and in such manner as the Minister determines and, to the extent the Minister determines, the school board ceases to have such responsibilities or authority. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 68; 2002, c. 5, s. 12; 2004, c. 3, s. 18 .

Volunteers

69 (1) A school board may permit volunteers to assist in its schools in accordance with board policy.

(2) Where a school board permits volunteers to assist in its schools, it shall establish policies respecting the role of the volunteers. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 69 .

Prohibitions

70 (1) No person shall, in or upon any public school premises or school bus and in the presence of any student attending that school, use profane, threatening, abusive or improper language towards the teacher, other staff of the school board or bus driver, or speak or act in such a way as to impair the maintenance of discipline by the teacher in the school or the bus driver on the school bus.

(2) No person shall wilfully interrupt or disturb the proceedings of a school meeting or a public school by acting in a disorderly manner or by making a noise either within the place where the meeting is held or the school is conducted or so near thereto as to interfere with the proceedings of the meeting or the conduct of the school.

(3) Every person who contravenes this Section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months, or to both. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 70 .

SCHOOL YEAR

Academic and fiscal years

71 (1) The school academic year begins on August 1st in each year and ends on July 31st next following.

(2) The school fiscal year begins on April 1st in each year and ends on March 31st next following. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 71 .

SCHOOL BOARD FINANCES AND PROPERTY

Grants

72 The Minister shall make grants to school boards as determined by the regulations with respect to services provided pursuant to Section 64. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 72 .

Financial assistance and municipal contribution

73 (1) The Minister shall, in each fiscal year, provide to each school board and each municipality that, pursuant to this Act, is to make payments to that school board a statement of

(a) the amounts of financial assistance to be paid by the Minister;

(b) the total of the minimum municipal contributions to be paid by those municipalities; and

(c) the rate to be used in determining the minimum municipal contribution to be paid by municipalities,

in the immediately following fiscal year to school boards pursuant to this Act and the regulations.

(2) The Governor in Council shall determine the rate referred to in subsection (1). 1995-96, c. 1, s. 73.

Statement for municipality

74 Within thirty days of receipt from the Minister of a statement pursuant to Section 73, each school board shall submit to each municipality in the school district or school region, a statement setting out

(a) the amount of the minimum municipal contribution that the municipality is required to pay pursuant to clause 76(1)(a); and

(b) any additional amount that the municipality is requested to pay pursuant to clause 76(1)(b),

for the fiscal year with respect to which the Minister's statement is made. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 74.

Statement of revenues and expenditures

75 (1) Within sixty days of receipt of the Minister's statement pursuant to Section 73, each school board shall cause to be prepared and approve a statement of all estimated revenues and expenditures for the education program and services proposed by the board.

(2) The statement of estimated revenues and expenditures shall be prepared in the form prescribed by the Minister and shall be submitted to the Minister and to each municipality in the school district or school region within thirty days of approval by the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 75 .

Amount of municipal payments to board

76 (1) Unless an agreement made and approved pursuant to Section 27 of the former Act or made between a municipality and a regional school board pursuant to subsection (2) otherwise provides, each municipality shall pay to the school board

(a) the minimum municipal contribution that is required to be paid by each municipality to the school board; and

(b) the municipality's proportion of the amount that is requested by the school board to provide for the estimated expenditures of the board, after deducting

    (i) the amount of the Minister's contribution as set out in the Minister's statement pursuant to Section 73, and

    (ii) the sum of the minimum municipal contributions to be made by the participating municipalities pursuant to clause (a),

to the extent that the amount has been approved by the municipalities.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a regional school board may, by agreement with all the municipalities within the school region, vary the minimum municipal contribution of each of the municipalities within the school region, so long as the combined minimum municipal contributions made pursuant to the agreement equal the total minimum municipal contributions due to the regional school board pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) The amount required to be paid to a school board by a municipality pursuant to subsection (1) shall be paid in twelve equal monthly instalments in each fiscal year unless the school board and the municipality agree otherwise. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 76 .

Power to borrow

77 Where a council of a municipality refuses or neglects to make provision for or to pay to the school board the amounts payable to the school board pursuant to Section 76, the board may borrow the amount, or so much thereof as is so refused or withheld, from any bank or person who will advance the same, and the amount so advanced, together with interest and all other borrowing and recovery expenses, may be recovered in an action against the municipality. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 77 .

Payments by Minister

78 (1) The Minister shall pay annually to each municipality the sums required by the municipality in that fiscal year to pay interest and repay the principal of sums borrowed by the municipality for the purposes of erecting, acquiring, purchasing, altering, adding to, improving, furnishing or equipping buildings for public schools or acquiring land therefor.

(2) The Minister may pay annually to each school board or its assignee an amount equal to the amount the board requires to pay the interest and repay the principal of sums borrowed by the school board pursuant to clause 87 (1)(d) and (e).

(3) The Minister shall pay annually to each school board, the area of which was an amalgamation area before its designation as a school district under the former Act,

(a) the sum required in that fiscal year to pay the interest and repay the principal of sums borrowed by the municipalities, for the purposes referred to in subsection (1), prior to the date of the designation of the area as an amalgamation area; and

(b) the amount required to pay the interest and repay the principal of sums borrowed by the amalgamated school board for the purposes set out in subsection (1). 1995-96, c. 1, s. 78 .

Power of Minister to withhold payments

79 The Minister may withhold the payment of all or any part of financial assistance that would otherwise be payable to a school board or a municipality if the school board or the municipality

(a) fails to provide and administer any part of the public school program that is required to be provided under this Act and the regulations;

(b) fails or refuses to furnish such schedules and reports that the Minister may from time to time require concerning the administration and operation of public schools; or

(c) fails to pay its minimum municipal contribution to the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 79.

Special reserve fund

80 (1) A school board shall create a special reserve fund into which shall be paid or credited such sums of money equal to any portion of any grant for capital purposes that has not been expended at the end of a fiscal year.

(2) Where an item of real or personal property with a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more is no longer required by the school board for its purposes, the board may, with the consent of the Minister, sell the same and pay the proceeds into the special reserve fund.

(3) The proceeds from the sale or the recovery of insurance proceeds in respect of real or personal property pursuant to Section 88 shall be paid into the special reserve fund.

(4) The proceeds from the sale or the recovery of insurance proceeds in respect of real property or furniture and equipment in a school building, acquired from a former amalgamated school board when the district school board was established, shall be paid into the special reserve fund.

(5) The interest earned by the special reserve fund forms part of the fund.

(6) The special reserve fund shall be used only for capital purposes as approved by the Minister. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 80 .

Investment policies

81 (1) Subject to subsection (2) and the regulations, a school board may, for the sound and efficient managment [management] of any money of the school board, establish and adhere to investment policies, standards and procedures that a reasonable and prudent person would apply in respect of a portfolio of investments and loans to avoid undue risk of loss and to obtain a reasonable return.

(2) Nothing in this Section or the regulations permits a school board to invest money received under a trust in investments that are expressly forbidden by the instrument, if any, creating the trust. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 81 .

Disbursement of funds

82 The funds of a school board shall be disbursed only by the board, and if the board determines the services provided by it or some of them shall be provided by others, payment for those services shall be made only on certification of accounts in a manner satisfactory to the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 82 .

Financial statements

83 Every school board for each fiscal year shall prepare financial statements in the form prescribed by the Minister and shall submit the statements to the Minister and to each municipality in the school district or school region before July 1st of the ensuing fiscal year. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 83.

Auditor

84 (1) Every school board shall annually appoint a person who is a licensed public accountant or a firm in which a member is a licensed public accountant to be the auditor of the school board.

(2) Where a school board does not appoint an auditor in accordance with subsection (1), the Minister may appoint one on behalf of the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 84 .

Audit

85 (1) Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the auditor of a school board shall examine and report on the financial statements of the board for the preceding fiscal year, including

(a) a statement of revenue and expenditure for the operating fund and any other fund of the board;

(b) a continuity of the surplus or deficit statement for the operating fund and any other fund of the board;

(ba) those matters that are required to be published pursuant to subsection 65(1);

(c) a statement of assets and liabilities for the operating fund and any other fund of the board as of the end of the fiscal year; and

(d) such other statement or information as may be required by law or by the school board.

(2) The auditor shall perform the annual examination in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.

(3) The auditor shall attach to the financial statements a report which shall state

(a) whether the auditor has obtained all the information and explanations the auditor has required;

(b) whether the auditor's examination was made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and accordingly included such tests and other procedures as the auditor considered necessary in the circumstances; and

(c) whether the statements present fairly the financial position of the school board as at the end of the fiscal year and the results of its operations for the preceding fiscal year in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, as set out by the Minister in the financial management system approved by the regulations.

(4) Every auditor shall have free access at all times to the records, documents, books, accounts and vouchers of the school board and shall be entitled to receive from the officers and employees of the school board such information and explanations that in the opinion of the auditor are necessary for the performance of the auditor's duty, and it shall be the duty of the school board officials and employees to promptly provide such access and such information and explanations.

(5) Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the auditor shall present to the school board at a meeting of the board

(a) the audited financial statements for the preceding fiscal year;

(b) the auditor's report on the financial statements; and

(c) any management letter or other written communications between the school board and the auditor detailing weaknesses in internal control, deficiencies in management-information systems, transactions lacking authority, defalcation, irregularity or other area requiring attention or improvement.

(6) Within four months after the end of each fiscal year, the school board shall provide to the Minister a copy of the material referred to in subsection (5), together with any other reports the Minister prescribes. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 85; 2002, c. 5, s. 13 .

Audit committee

85A A school board shall establish an audit committee of the board composed of those persons and with the terms of reference prescribed in the regulations. 2002, c. 5, s. 14 .

Independent audit

86 The Minister may, from time to time at the Minister's discretion, appoint an auditor to conduct an independent audit of the records, documents, books, vouchers or accounts of a school board or school and subsection 85(4) applies mutatis mutandis. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 86 .

Property and finances

87 (1) For the purpose of establishing, maintaining and operating public schools, a school board may

(a) acquire, hold, improve and maintain any real or personal property for such consideration and on such conditions as the Minister may deem proper;

(b) lease, sell or convey any real or personal property for such consideration and on such conditions as the Minister may deem proper;

(c) improve, renovate, alter, add to, repair, extend, provide service, furnish and equip buildings for public school purposes on such terms and conditions as the Minister may deem proper;

(d) subject to the Municipal Finance Corporation Act and with the approval of the Minister, borrow money by the issue of bonds, debentures, promissory notes or other securities to evidence such borrowing on such terms and conditions as are approved by the Minister;

(e) with the approval of the Minister postpone a borrowing pursuant to clause (d) and borrow by way of a temporary loan from a chartered bank, trust company or other financial institution in the Province by the execution of promissory notes or other instruments used in connection with temporary borrowings;

(f) with the approval of the Minister, borrow money from the Maintenance Stabilization Trust Fund;

(g) with the approval of the Minister, borrow up to one per cent of the operating expenditure budget for the current fiscal year to meet current operating expenditures.

(2) The amount borrowed pursuant to clause (1)(g) shall be repaid in full by the end of the fiscal year in which the amount was borrowed.

(3) The Minister may, on behalf of Her Majesty in right of the Province, guarantee the repayment of principal and payment of interest on any borrowings made pursuant to subsection (1) on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council determines.

(4) A school board shall pay the interest and repay the principal in respect of sums borrowed by the board pursuant to this Section. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 87 .

Further provisions respecting property

88 (1) Where the Minister has received a report pursuant to the regulations and the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary to acquire property or to construct, purchase, alter, add to, improve, furnish or equip buildings or other works for public school purposes, the Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council,

(a) acquire property for such consideration and on such conditions as the Minister may deem proper;

(b) construct, alter or add to buildings or other works for school purposes; or

(c) furnish and equip such buildings,

and all expenditures for such purposes shall be paid by the Province.

(2) Upon completion of a project, the Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may convey title to such property to the school board, or to the municipality if title was acquired from the municipality for the purpose of the project, for such consideration and on such conditions as the Minister may deem proper.

(3) Where alterations, additions or improvements are made to public school property owned by a municipality, the municipality holds such property upon trust that the school board is entitled to receive

(a) in the event of the sale of such property; or

(b) in the event of partial or complete destruction of the property,

the proportion of the proceeds from the sale, or any insurance recovery, less any amount required to be paid to the Province pursuant to subsection (5), that the value of alterations, additions or improvements made by or on behalf of the school board is to the appraised value of the whole property, and such proportion shall be paid into the special reserve fund established pursuant to Section 80.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where a building owned by a municipality or school board and used for public school purposes is partially or completely destroyed and the school board requires that the building be repaired or replaced, the school board shall receive the proceeds from any insurance recovery and shall pay the proceeds into the special reserve fund established pursuant to Section 80.

(5) Where a municipality receives the proceeds from an insurance recovery with respect to a building owned by the municipality and used for school purposes and there is debt owed on the school property for which the Province is responsible, the municipality shall pay the amount of the outstanding debt to the Province out of the insurance recovery. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 88.

Permanent closure of schools

89 (1) A school board may, with the approval of the Minister, make a by-law governing the permanent closure of a public school within its jurisdiction.

(2) A by-law made pursuant to subsection (1) shall be consistent with the regulations made by the Minister pursuant to this Act respecting the permanent closure of public schools.

(3) Upon identification, in accordance with the regulations made by the Minister, of a public school to be considered for permanent closing, the school board may permanently close the school within the school district in accordance with a by-law made pursuant to subsection (1) or, where there is no such by-law, in accordance with the regulations made by the Minister pursuant to this Act respecting the permanent closure of public schools. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 89 .

Powers of board respecting buildings

90 (1) A school board may

(a) declare any building used for public school purposes or any part of a building used for public school purposes, or the appurtenances or grounds thereof, to be unfit for public school purposes;

(b) enter into and carry out a lease or agreement for the renting of premises for public school purposes.

(2) No lease or agreement shall be entered into pursuant to clause (1)(b) that

(a) does not place the rental premises completely under the control of the school board; or

(b) contains any undertaking or agreement that abridges or modifies any power or duty of the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 90 .

Consequences of declaration

91 When a school board makes a declaration that a school house or building used for public school purposes or a part of a school house or such a building or the appurtenances or grounds thereof are unfit for public school purposes, the board shall notify the municipality in which the school house or building is located and the declaration shall, unless otherwise provided by the board, take effect at the commencement of the next academic school year, and the school house or building or part thereof or grounds or appurtenances shall not thereafter be used for school purposes without the approval of the school board. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 91 .

Control and management of buildings

92 (1) Buildings owned by municipalities and used for school purposes are under the exclusive control and management of school boards and school boards are responsible for providing adequate maintenance and repairs and shall insure the buildings in amounts agreed upon by the municipalities and the school boards.

(2) The school boards shall notify the municipalities when land and buildings owned by the municipalities are no longer required for the purposes of the school boards. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 92.

Consequences of declaring property surplus

93 (1) Subject to subsection (2), where land and buildings, that have vested in a district school board pursuant to the former Act, are declared surplus by the district school board or a successor school board and the land and buildings were owned by a municipality prior to the establishment of the amalgamated school board pursuant to the former Act, the municipality shall have the option of having the surplus land and buildings reconveyed to it, subject only to any lien, mortgage or charge in respect of the unmatured debt that exists at the time the land and buildings are declared surplus.

(2) Where land and buildings vested in the Conseil acadien are declared surplus by the Conseil acadien and the lands and buildings were owned by another school board prior to the vesting of the land and building in the Conseil acadien, that school board or a successor school board shall have the option of having the surplus land and buildings conveyed to it, subject only to any lien, mortgage or charge in respect of the unmatured debt that exists at the time the land and buildings are declared surplus. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 93.

SCHOOL TRUSTEES

School sections

94 (1) For the purpose of this Act, the Province is divided into school sections.

(2) The boundaries of school sections existing immediately before the coming into force of this Act are continued until altered under this Act.

(3) The boundaries of a school section may be proved in any court by a certificate of the secretary of the school board of the school district or school region in which the section is situated without proof of the handwriting or appointment of the secretary. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 94 .

Board of trustees

95 (1) Subject to this Act, there may be in each school section a board of trustees consisting of such number of persons, not fewer than three, as the school board determines, who shall be known as "The Trustees of (here insert name of Section and number, if any) in the (here insert name of school district)" to provide educational programs for some or all of the students attending a public school in the school section.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply where there is only one school section in a school district when this Act comes into force.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a district school board or regional school board may determine, subject to the approval of the Minister, that there shall be a board of trustees for an area consisting of two or more school sections in which one or more public schools are located and that the trustees shall be known as "The Trustees of (here insert name and number, if any) in the (here insert name of school district)", and where such a combination of school sections is made it shall be deemed to be a school section for the purpose of this Act.

(4) Each trustee holds office for a term of three years and may be re-elected.

(5) The board of trustees shall

(a) communicate to the school board the opinion and recommendations of the trustees and other members of the public respecting the conduct of the school program in the school section;

(b) visit the public schools of the school section not less than twice in each year;

(c) make recommendations to the school board respecting use of a public school building for purposes other than regular school purposes, so long as that use does not interfere with the proper conduct of schools;

(d) provide such assistance and perform other functions as required by this Act or requested by the school board.

(6) Upon the establishment of a school advisory council for a public school, no board of trustees has any jurisdiction or responsibility with respect to that school and, if therefore the board of trustees has no jurisdiction or responsibility with respect to any public school, the board of trustees is dissolved and no further school meetings shall be held pursuant to Section 96 or 97. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 95 .

Annual meetings of residents

96 (1) In this Section and Sections 97 to 119, "resident" means a resident who is eighteen years of age or more.

(2) A meeting of residents of the school section may be held annually in every school section. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 96.

School meetings

97 (1) An annual school meeting of every school section may be held on a date determined by the trustees of the school section.

(2) An annual school meeting may be held in a public school building or other suitable place in the section designated by the trustees.

(3) At a school meeting three residents of the school section constitute a quorum.

(4) Notice of every school meeting shall state the purpose or purposes of the meeting and shall be given by the trustees

(a) by posting the notice in not fewer than three public places in the section for not fewer than five days before the day fixed for the meeting; or

(b) by one advertisement not less than five days prior to the date of the meeting in a newspaper having general circulation in the area.

(5) When an annual school meeting has been held in the section on the date determined by the trustees pursuant to subsection (1), no election conducted or business transacted thereat shall be held to be invalid because of an irregularity or failure in the posting or giving of notices required by subsection (4) if there has been substantial compliance with that subsection.

(6) Notwithstanding Section 95, if there are no trustees in a section, the school board shall, on the written request of at least seven residents of the section, or in case there are fewer than fourteen residents in the section, on the written request of the majority of the residents, call a special meeting in the manner provided in this Section for

(a) the purpose of deciding whether to have trustees and, if it is decided to have them, electing trustees; and

(b) the consideration of any subject deemed of importance to the educational interests of the section.

(7) The term of office of trustees elected pursuant to subsection (6) is three years. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 97.

Business of annual meeting

98 The business of an annual school meeting shall be to

(a) receive and consider reports submitted by the trustees;

(b) consider any subject deemed of importance to the educational interests of the section;

(c) take such action as may be appropriate in respect of any request for assistance by the school board;

(d) decide whether there is a need for trustees; and

(e) if there is a need for trustees, elect such trustees at the first annual meeting of residents of the section after July 1, 1982, and at three year intervals thereafter. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 98 .

Special school meeting

99 The trustees of a school section at any time may, and when requested by a majority of the residents of the section shall, call a special school meeting for the consideration of matters deemed of importance to the educational interests of the section. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 99 .

Chair and secretary

100 (1) The residents of the school section present at any school meeting shall elect a chair from among the residents to preside over the meeting and a secretary to record its proceedings.

(2) The chair shall decide all questions of order and shall take the votes of the residents.

(3) The chair may vote in the case of the election of trustees, but the chair shall not vote on other questions except in the case of a tie, when the chair has the casting vote. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 100.

Challenge of voter

101 (1) If a person who offers to vote at a school meeting is challenged as not qualified, the chair presiding at the meeting shall require the person so offering to make the following declaration: "I do declare and affirm that I reside in this school section".

(2) Every person who is so challenged and makes that declaration may vote on all questions proposed at the meeting, but if that person refuses to make the declaration that person may not vote.

(3) Every person who wilfully makes a false declaration of that person's right to vote is liable to a penalty of not more than two hundred dollars and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for not more than sixty days. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 101 .

Election of trustees at annual meeting

102 (1) The trustees of a school section may be elected at an annual school meeting.

(2) The trustees shall be elected from among the residents of the section.

(3) No person is qualified to be elected or to hold office as a trustee who

(a) is a member of the school board, a regional education officer or a teacher employed in the section;

(b) is a person otherwise employed by the school board or by the trustees of the school section or district in respect of the section or district;

(c) has ceased to reside in the section;

(d) has been continuously absent from the section for more than six months;

(e) is insolvent; or

(f) is disabled from transacting business. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 102.

Requirement to vacate office

103 A trustee who becomes disqualified under Section 102 shall vacate the office. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 103.

Effect of irregularity on election

104 No irregularity in the mode of electing a trustee invalidates the election unless before the adjournment of the meeting formal objection is taken to the election by a person who is entitled to vote. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 104 .

Filling of vacancy

105 (1) Where it has been decided to have trustees and at an annual school meeting three trustees are not elected or an insufficient number of trustees is elected or for any other reason a vacancy exists, the district school board shall appoint a trustee or trustees to fill the vacancies, and persons so appointed shall hold office in all respects as if they had been elected at the annual meeting.

(2) The trustees so appointed may, in the manner provided for calling an annual meeting, call a meeting of the residents of the section who are entitled to attend an annual meeting, and at the meeting so called those persons may transact any business, except the election of trustees, that may be transacted at an annual meeting. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 105.

Secretary

106 (1) The trustees, at their first meeting after the annual school meeting, shall appoint a secretary and furnish the secretary with suitable books for keeping records of the doings of the trustees and the business of the section.

(2) The secretary holds office until the secretary resigns or until the secretary's successor is appointed. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 106 .

Duties of secretary

107 The secretary under the direction and supervision of a majority of the trustees shall

(a) keep, in proper books, accounts and records of the affairs and meetings of trustees and minutes of school meetings;

(b) generally transact any business directed by resolution of the trustees. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 107 .

Statement of finances

108 Not later than three days before the annual school meeting, the secretary shall prepare and submit to the trustees a statement of the finances of the section showing in detail

(a) the actual receipts and disbursements of the section in the preceding fiscal year;

(b) a forecast of anticipated receipts and disbursements during the current fiscal year; and

(c) the financial position of the section. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 108 .

Power of board to make certain orders

109 When a school board makes an alteration in the boundaries of a section, subdivides a section, or unites two or more sections, it may, from time to time, make such order or orders as it deems proper respecting the continuance and constitution of the board or boards of school trustees, and respecting the rights, property and liabilities of the sections affected by the alteration, subdivision or union, and generally may order and direct all things that become necessary to give effect to the alteration, subdivision or union. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 109.

Effective date of change

110 No alteration, subdivision, union or apportionment of a school section or part of a section shall take effect until the beginning of the next academic school year, but, when it is necessary for the purpose of making preparations for that school year, meetings of residents of the section and of trustees may be held and business of the section conducted before the beginning of the academic school year. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 110.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Persons required to attend

111 Subject to the regulations, every resident of the Province over the age of five years and under the age of sixteen years shall attend school in accordance with the regulations. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 111.

Responsibility of custodian of child

112 When a child lives with or is under the care or in the custody of a person other than the child's parents, that person during the time that the child lives with that person or is under that person's care or in that person's custody, is subject to the duties imposed by this Act on the parents, but the duty and liability of the parent are not thereby affected or diminished. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 112 .

Exemptions

113 A child is not required to attend a public school if the child

(a) is being provided with a home education program in accordance with the regulations;

(b) is enrolled in and in attendance at a private school operating in compliance with this Act; or

(c) meets any other exemptions contained in regulations. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 113.

Certificates

114 Certificates of exemption or of employment, of a temporary or permanent nature, may be issued by school boards or an official to whom the school board delegates its authorization in accordance with regulations made pursuant to this Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 114.

Certain employment prohibited

115 No person shall employ in any work during school hours a child who has not attained the age up to which attendance at school is required by regulations made pursuant to this Act unless an employment certificate authorizing the employment has been issued pursuant to Section 114 and the regulations and is in effect. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 115.

Duties of attendance committee

116 The attendance committee of the school board shall

(a) monitor the attendance of students in schools in the district or region;

(b) take steps to reduce the absenteeism of students from schools in the district or region in accordance with policies of the school board; and

(c) recommend to the school board remedial steps and policies in respect of those students who have been reported to the school board by the principal as being habitually absent from school without acceptable excuse. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 116 .

Duties of parent or custodian

117 A parent or other person having charge or control of any child, shall, within five days after having been served with a notice by the school board naming the child, cause the child to attend school and continue in regular attendance at school, unless the child is excused from attendance under this Act or the regulations or unless that person satisfies the school board that that person is unable to induce the child to attend public school. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 117 .

Prima facie proof

118 It is prima facie proof to file with a court the following documents:

(a) an affidavit of a person designated by the school board that a notice pursuant to Section 117 was served on a parent or person in charge of the child; and

(b) a certificate purporting to be signed by the teacher, without proof of the teacher's appointment or signature, that the child was absent from school for a period of five or more school days, not necessarily consecutive, following the receipt of the warning notice by a parent or person in charge of the child. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 118.

Admissibility of certificate

119 A certificate respecting the enrolment and the attendance or non-attendance of a child in school that is or purports to be signed by a teacher is admissible in evidence without proof of the appointment or signature of the teacher and is prima facie proof of the facts stated in the certificate. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 119 .

Deemed within age limits

120 Where a person is charged with an offence under this Act in respect of a child who is alleged to be within the limits of the ages prescribed by regulations and the child appears to the court to be within those age limits the child shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be within those age limits unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the child is not of an age within those age limits. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 120 .

STUDENT CONDUCT

Requiring student to leave class

121 Where a student in a class is persistently disobedient or defiant or acts in a manner likely to affect injuriously the proper conduct of the class or the welfare or education of other students in the class, the teacher of the class may require the student to leave the class and shall refer the student to the principal. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 121 .

Suspension

122 Where a student enrolled in a public school is persistently disobedient or defiant or conducts himself or herself in a manner likely to affect injuriously the proper conduct of the school or the welfare or education of other students enrolled in the school, the principal, or the person in charge of the school, may suspend the student for a period of not more than five school days. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 122 .

Review of suspension

123 (1) When a student is suspended pursuant to Section 122 the principal or other person in charge of the school shall immediately notify, in writing, the student, the student's teachers, the school board and the student's parents of the reasons for the suspension.

(2) The student or the student's parents may request a review of the suspension pursuant to Section 122 by the school board within three school days of receiving the notice pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) The school board shall

(a) confirm the suspension under Section 122; or

(b) order that the suspension be revoked and that the suspension be removed from the record of the student. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 123.

Extended suspension

124 (1) Where a student is suspended pursuant to Section 122 and the principal is of the view that the student should be suspended for a period greater than five school days, the principal may, in writing, make a recommendation with reasons to the school board that the student be suspended for a period greater than five school days.

(2) When a recommendation is made pursuant to subsection (1), the school board shall immediately notify, in writing, the student and the student's parents of the principal's recommendation and reasons.

(3) Within seven days of having received the recommendation of the principal under subsection (1), the school board shall

(a) dismiss the principal's recommendation; or

(b) extend the suspension of the student for a period of greater than five school days.

(4) Where the suspension of a student begins within two months of the end of the school academic year, the period of time for which a school board may extend the suspension under subsection (3) may include a portion of the next academic year.

(5) The school board shall notify the student, the parents of the student, the student's teachers, the principal or person in charge of the school of its decision under subsection (3) within three days of the meeting at which the decision was made.

(6) Where the school board decides under subsection (3) to extend the suspension of the student, the school board shall include in its notice under subsection (5)

(a) the period for which the student is to be further suspended;

(b) the reasons for the decision to further suspend the student; and

(c) the right of the student and of the student's parents to appeal the decision.

(7) When a student or the parent of a student has been notified of the suspension of the student pursuant to (5), the student or the parent may, within seven days of receiving such notice, appeal the suspension to the school board.

(8) The school board shall, upon receipt of a notice of appeal pursuant to subsection (7)

(a) immediately notify the parent of the student and the student of the time and place of the hearing of the appeal and the right of the student or parent, or both, to appear in person with or without counsel;

(b) within ten days of receipt of the notice of appeal, hold a hearing and confirm, revoke or vary the decision of the school board.

(9) Within three clear days of the hearing, the school board shall notify the student, the student's parent, the student's counsel, the student's teachers and the principal or person in charge of the school of its decision, which decision shall be final and binding. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 124.

Manner of exercising certain powers and duties

125 (1) The powers and duties of the school board set out in subsections 123(3) and 124(3) may be performed

(a) if so directed by the school board, by one or more committees consisting of the superintendent and two members of the school board, one of whom shall act as chair of the committee;

(b) if so directed by the school board, by the school advisory council of the school or a committee of the school advisory council;

(c) with the approval of the Minister, by one or more committees of persons designated by office or named by the school board.

(2) The power and duties of the school board set out in subsection 124(8) may be performed, if so directed by the school board, by one or more committees consisting of the superintendent and two members of the school board, one of whom shall act as chair of the committee. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 125 .

Alternative educational arrangements

126 Where a student is suspended for more than five school days, the school board, in consultation with the student's parent, shall make every reasonable effort to provide alternative arrangements for the education of the student, in accordance with the regulations. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 126 .

Suspension of school bus rights

127 (1) The principal of a public school, or such other supervisory person as may be designated by the school board, may suspend a student's right to use the school bus if, in that person's judgement, the student has refused to comply with reasonable rules or regulations of the school board or directions given by the bus driver or if, in that person's judgement, the behaviour of the student while on the bus endangers the safety of others using the bus.

(2) A person who suspends a student's right pursuant to subsection (1) to use the school bus shall report this action immediately to the school board and inform the student's parent by the speediest method convenient of that person's action.

(3) Where the student's right to use the school bus has been suspended for a period of more than two days, the student and the student's parent shall be notified in writing of the reason for the suspension and, where the suspension is for a period of more than five school days, of the right of appeal pursuant to subsection (4).

(4) Where a student is suspended for a period of more than five school days, the parent of the student or the student, if the student is of the age of majority, may, within seven days of receiving notice of the suspension pursuant to subsection (3), appeal the decision to suspend.

(5) Where a notice of appeal has been received by the school board pursuant to subsection (4), the balance of the suspension shall be stayed until the school board confirms, revokes or varies the suspension.

(6) The school board shall, upon receipt of a notice of appeal

(a) immediately by registered mail notify the parent of the student, or the student, where the student is of the age of majority, of the time and place of the hearing of the appeal; and

(b) within ten days of receipt of the notice of appeal, hold a hearing respecting the suspension and within three school days following that hearing confirm, revoke or vary the decision to suspend.

(7) No parent or other person in charge of any student, having been sent by the school board by registered mail a notice of suspension of the student's right to use the school bus, shall cause, encourage or permit the student to use the bus during the period of time during which the suspension is in effect. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 127 .

HOME EDUCATION

Provision of home education

128 (1) A parent may provide a home education program to a child of the parent centered in the child's home.

(2) A parent providing a home education program to a child shall

(a) register the child for each school academic year with the Minister; and

(b) report the child's progress to the Minister,

as prescribed by the regulations.

(3) With the approval of the school board, a child in a home education program may attend courses offered by a school board, subject to any terms and conditions prescribed by the school board.

(4) The Minister may require the parent of a child in a home education program to provide evidence of the child's educational progress by providing one or more of the following as the parent determines:

(a) results of a standardized test;

(b) an assessment from a qualified assessor;

(c) a portfolio of the child's work,

as prescribed by the regulations.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), where, in the Minister's opinion, further evidence of a child's educational progress is required, the Minister may appoint an independent assessor, as prescribed by the regulations, to assess and report to the Minister whether

(a) the child is making reasonable educational progress;

(b) the home education program is adequately addressing the child's needs; and

(c) the available public school program will do more to further the child's educational progress than the home education program.

(6) A parent may request that a child in a home education program be assessed through an assessment instrument authorized by the Minister in order to determine the child's educational progress, in accordance with the regulations.

(7) When, following participation in a home education program, a child enrolls in a public school, the school board shall determine the child's grade placement. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 128.

Termination of right to provide home education

129 (1) A parent may not provide or continue to provide a home education program to a child if, based on the evidence provided pursuant to subsection 128(4) and the report made pursuant to subsection 128(5), the Minister determines that

(a) the home education program does not meet the requirements of this Act and the regulations; or

(b) the child is not making reasonable educational progress as determined by the child's performance as measured pursuant to subsection 128(4).

(2) Before making a determination pursuant to subsection (1), the Minister shall

(a) notify the parent, in writing, by registered mail of the Minister's intent to make the determination; and

(b) give the parent an opportunity to make representation to the Minister in writing as to why the home education program should be provided or continued. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 129 .

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Right to attend private school

130 A child may attend a private school. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 130.

Duties and rights of private school

131 (1) A private school shall

(a) meet local health, safety and building standards;

(b) provide statistical information with respect to the school, as required by the Minister; and

(c) where requested by the Minister, provide evidence that students are making reasonable educational progress appropriate for their age and grade level based upon results of nationally or internationally recognized standardized achievement tests.

(2) The Minister may appoint or designate a regional education officer to assess a private school, including its teachers, its educational programs and its instructional materials, to inspect its facilities and to perform such other duties with respect to the private school as the Minister may require.

(3) A private school may offer a religious-based curriculum. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 131.

Recognition of program

132 Upon application by a private school to the Minister in accordance with the regulations, the Minister may recognize the school's program of studies as meeting the requirements for a high school leaving certificate. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 132 .

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

Agreements respecting community facilities

133 (1) A school board and a municipality may enter into an agreement whereby the municipality agrees to pay the capital cost of a community facility to be acquired by the school board in or in association with a public school and the cost of maintaining and operating the community facility.

(2) For the purpose of this Act, a school property includes a proposed school property.

(3) For the purpose of this Act, the capital cost of a community facility or a school property includes all costs incurred in acquiring the community facility or the school property, including costs of acquiring land and costs of designing, constructing, furnishing and equipping the community facility.

(4) An agreement shall not be entered into unless the agreement relates to a community facility that is part of a school property, and a municipality shall not pay the capital cost of a community facility that is an alteration, addition or improvement to a school property except pursuant to an agreement.

(5) An agreement with respect to a community facility shall

(a) describe the community facility and school property to which the agreement relates;

(b) set out the capital cost of the community facility, expressed as either

    (i) an amount of money, or

    (ii) a proportion of the combined capital cost of the community facility and the school property to which the agreement relates;

(c) set out the respective obligations of the parties to the agreement respecting the operation and maintenance of the community facility;

(d) set out the respective rights of the parties to the agreement with respect to access to and use of the community facility; and

(e) include such provisions as are necessary or conducive to carrying out the intent and purpose of the agreement.

(6) An agreement with respect to a community facility is of no effect unless the agreement is approved by the Minister.

(7) A copy of an agreement with respect to a community facility, executed by both parties thereto, and on which is endorsed the approval of the Minister, shall be filed with the Minister, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the member of the Executive Council assigned responsibility for the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 133; 2004, c. 6, s. 3 .

Power to carry out agreement and impose rates

134 (1) A school board and a municipality may

(a) do every act, exercise every power and expend every sum of money necessary or proper for the purpose of implementing in every respect all of its obligations under an agreement with respect to a community facility; and

(b) do and perform the acts, matters and things that the agreement provides be done or performed by them in the manner, with the effect and under the conditions stipulated and provided in the agreement.

(2) All money required for the payment or performance by the municipality of its obligations under an agreement with respect to a community facility shall be held to be money required for the ordinary lawful purposes of the municipality and shall be levied, raised and collected in all respects as other money required for the ordinary lawful purposes of the municipality is levied, raised and collected.

(3) For the purpose of raising money to pay or perform its obligations under an agreement with respect to a community facility, the municipality may recover annually, from the area that benefits from the community facility to which the agreement relates, the amount required to pay such amounts by an area rate to be collected in the same manner as municipal rates and taxes with the same rights and remedies in the event of default of payment and, for greater certainty, the amount may be rated without a petition of the ratepayers.

(4) Any money required by the municipality for the purpose of paying the capital cost of a community facility under an agreement may be borrowed, and such borrowing is and is deemed to be for a municipal purpose within the meaning of the Municipal Affairs Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 134; 2004, c. 6, s. 4 .

Holding and disposition of school property

135 (1) Where the community facility to which the agreement relates is an alteration, addition or improvement to a school property owned by a school board, the school board shall hold the school property in trust.

(2) The municipality is entitled to receive

(a) in the event of the sale of the property; or

(b) in the event of partial or complete destruction of the property,

a share of the proceeds from the sale or any insurance recovery, less any amount required to be paid to the Province pursuant to this Act.

(3) The municipality's share is equal to the proportion that the capital amount paid by the municipality pursuant to the agreement bears to the appraised value of the whole property.

(4) Every amount recovered by the municipality pursuant to this Section shall be paid into the special reserve fund of the municipality.

(5) A school board shall not sell a school property to which an agreement with respect to a community facility relates without first offering to sell the school property to the municipality. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 135 .

Requirement for consent unaffected

136 Nothing in this Act respecting an agreement with respect to a community facility means or shall be construed to mean that either a municipality or a school board is relieved from obtaining a consent or approval of the Minister or the Minister of Municipal Affairs required by this or another enactment. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 136 .

MI'KMAQ EDUCATION

Council on Mi'kmaq Education

137 (1) There is hereby established a Council on Mi'kmaq Education.

(2) The Minister shall establish the terms of reference for the Council on Mi'kmaq Education in consultation with the Task Force on Mi'kmaq Education.

(3) The Council shall

(a) promote the rights and interests of the Mi'kmaq by providing recommendations to the Minister on programs and services in public schools and on adult education; and

(b) perform such other duties as determined by the regulations.

(4) Pending the appointment of the members of the Council pursuant to subsection (5), the Council is composed of the members of the Task Force on Mi'kmaq Education.

(5) Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Minister for such terms and upon such conditions as determined by the regulations.

(6) The Council shall meet at least four times a year.

(7) Meetings of the Council shall be presided over by a member of the Council chosen by the Council.

(8) The members of the Council are entitled to such remuneration and shall be reimbursed for such reasonable expenses as are necessarily incurred in carrying out their duties, as the Governor in Council determines by regulation. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 137.

Duties of school boards

138 School boards shall

(a) provide and implement programs and policies promoting Mi'kmaq education; and

(b) include in learning materials information respecting the history, language, heritage, culture, traditions and the contribution to society of the Mi'kmaq. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 138.

AFRICAN-CANADIAN EDUCATION

Council on African-Canadian Education

139 (1) There is hereby established a Council on African-Canadian Education.

(2) The Minister shall establish the terms of reference for the Council on African-Canadian Education in consultation with the Black Learners Advisory Committee.

(3) The Council shall

(a) promote the rights and interests of African-Nova Scotians by providing recommendations to the Minister on programs and services in public schools and on adult education; and

(b) perform such other duties as determined by the regulations.

(4) Pending the appointment of the members of the Council pursuant to subsection (5), the Council is composed of the members of the Black Learners Advisory Committee.

(5) Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Minister for such terms and upon such conditions as determined by the regulations.

(6) The Council shall meet at least four times a year.

(7) Meetings of the Council shall be presided over by a member of the Council chosen by the Council.

(8) The members of the Council are entitled to such remuneration and shall be reimbursed for such reasonable expenses as are necessarily incurred in carrying out their duties, as the Governor in Council determines by regulation. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 139.

Duties of school boards

140 School boards shall

(a) provide and implement programs and policies promoting African-Canadian education; and

(b) include in learning materials information respecting the history, heritage, culture, traditions and the contribution to society of African people. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 140.

GENERAL

Powers of Minister

141 The Minister may

(a) subject to the regulations, direct the expenditure of all sums appropriated by the Legislature for educational purposes;

(b) prescribe the conditions of graduation from the Nova Scotia Teachers College;

(c) authorize and empower the Nova Scotia Teachers College to confer such degrees, honours, diplomas and certificates in education as the Minister may specify;

(d) determine the requirements and conditions with which a person must comply to receive a degree, honour, diploma or certificate in education from the Nova Scotia Teachers College;

(e) subject to the regulations, classify teachers and grant teachers' certificates and permits;

(f) after consultation with a school board, approve plans for school buildings;

(g) maintain and operate the Nova Scotia School Book Bureau for the purchase, sale and distribution of school books and other learning materials prescribed by the regulations for use in the public schools;

(h) establish a trust fund, to be known as the Maintenance Stabilization Trust Fund, for the purpose of lending money to school boards for capital purposes;

(i) make loans from the Maintenance Stabilization Trust Fund to school boards, on such terms and conditions as the Minister determines;

(j) require that reports and returns be made by teachers, school advisory councils, school boards and others engaged in the conduct or management of public schools;

(k) effect improvement generally in the conduct and administration of school boards, and, among other things, consult with, assist and advise school boards, develop proper methods of school board administration, financing, accounting and auditing, collaborate with public education organizations and other bodies and collect, compile and disseminate education statistics and information;

(l) do such other things as the Minister deems necessary to carry out effectively the Minister's duties under this Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 141 .

Regional education officers

142 (1) The Minister may appoint persons in the Civil Service as regional education officers for the purpose of this Act.

(2) A regional education officer shall

(a) act as an educational adviser to one or more school boards;

(b) visit schools and report to the Minister on the educational activities at the schools and the conditions of the schools, consult with and co-operate with other educational agencies and generally aid the Minister in keeping in touch with educational conditions throughout the Province;

(c) promote the advancement of education by holding public meetings; and

(d) perform such other duties as the Minister determines. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 142 .

Application of legislation to certain payments

143 (1) The payments made by the Minister or a school board for all or a portion of the cost of any policy of insurance or any other benefits plan provided to teachers including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance or medical and dental plans are financial assistance for the purpose of the Auditor General Act and subject to audit by the Auditor General.

(2) Subsection 85(4) applies mutatis mutandis to an audit pursuant to this Section. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 143.

Power of Governor in Council respecting money

144 The Governor in Council may receive in trust, hold and spend sums of money donated, bequeathed or subscribed for the use of public schools. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 144 .

Regulations by Minister

145 (1) The Minister may make regulations

(a) after consultation with the Council on Mi'kmaq Education, respecting the Council on Mi'kmaq Education;

(b) after consultation with the Council on African-Canadian Education, respecting the Council on African-Canadian Education;

(c) prescribing the time in session, holidays and vacations of all public schools;

(d) prescribing the minimum number of hours of instruction to which students in the public schools are entitled;

(e) prescribing reporting systems and forms for the administration and effective carrying out of this Act;

(f) for the administration of the Nova Scotia School Book Bureau;

(g) prescribing courses of study and authorizing learning materials for use in the public schools;

(h) establishing a provincial policy respecting the discipline of students;

(i) establishing a provincial policy respecting special-education programming and services;

(j) respecting students who have been suspended;

(k) prescribing an appeal process for where there is a disagreement between a school board and a parent of a child with special needs respecting the individualized program plan for that child;

(ka) defining "senior staff" for the purpose of subsections 64(3A), (3B) and (3C);

(kb) respecting an administrative structure and a compensation framework for the purpose of subsections 64(3B) and (3C);

(l) prescribing the manner and form in which a school board is to report, as required by this Act, the payments, including salaries and expenses, made to and benefits conferred on members and employees of the school board;

(m) prescribing the manner in which a school board is to identify public schools to be considered for permanent closing;

(n) governing the permanent closing of a public school by a school board where the school board does not have a by-law governing such closing;

(o) defining "permanent closing" for the purpose of clauses (m) and (n);

(p) prescribing the public school program of education to be provided and administered by school boards;

(q) for the support, conduct, operation and management of public schools and services;

(r) respecting the Nova Scotia Teachers College;

(s) respecting school advisory councils;

(sa) establishing a Provincial conflict of interest policy for school board staff;

(t) approving a financial management system respecting estimates, bookkeeping and accounting to be adopted by school boards, and the form of and the manner in which all estimates, books of account, registers, records, vouchers, receipts and other books and documents relating to the assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures of school boards shall be kept, and the manner in which all funds and moneys thereof shall be accounted for.

(2) The exercise by the Minister of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 145; 2002, c. 5, s. 15.

Regulations by Governor in Council

146 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the expenditure, by way of grants, of moneys from time to time appropriated by the Legislature for grants for educational purposes and prescribing the terms and conditions upon which such grants shall be paid;

(b) respecting surplus operating funds of school boards;

(c) prescribing or prohibiting the investment of money of school boards and prescribing investments or classes of investments in which such money may be invested for the sound and efficient management of any money of school boards;

(ca) respecting the composition of an audit committee of a school board and the terms of reference of that committee;

(d) respecting the construction, location and control of public school buildings;

(e) respecting the classification of teachers and the granting, cancellation and suspension of teachers' certificates and permits, and requiring the collection and payment of fees respecting initial certificates, duplicate certificates and renewal certificates and higher classes of certificates and statements of professional standing;

(f) requiring teachers and any other class or classes of employees of school boards or of persons providing services for school boards to undergo medical examinations, prescribing the nature of those examinations and the conditions under which they shall be given, and subject to the Health Protection Act prescribing the conditions under which such teachers and employees may continue teaching or in employment in or in connection with public schools;

(g) prescribing terms and conditions relating to cancellation, suspension or modification of contracts between teachers and school boards as a result of medical examinations made pursuant to the regulations;

(h) prescribing the legal age limit for students and the conditions of satisfactory attendance for public schools;

(i) prescribing the method for determining those who are entitled to receive a French-first-language program in the Province;

(j) establishing procedures for determining the demand for French-first-language programs in the Province;

(k) providing for the manner in which students may be transferred between a school of the Conseil acadien and a school of another school board;

(l) providing for the sharing of enrolment information between the Conseil acadien and another school board;

(m) providing for the method of determining the location of French-first-language program educational facilities;

(n) providing for the conveyance of students, including the conveyance of students to facilities providing a French-first-language program;

(o) generally providing for the provision and administration of French-first-language programs in the Province;

(p) respecting such other matters as the Governor in Council deems necessary or advisable for French-first-language programs;

(q) respecting home education programs including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the appointment of independent assessors;

(r) respecting private schools;

(s) respecting any matter that the Governor in Council may deem necessary or advisable to give effect to the designation of a school region or for the effective establishment and operation of all regional school boards or a particular regional school board;

(t) determining the remuneration of and respecting the reimbursement for expenses of members of the Council on Mi'kmaq Education;

(u) determining the remuneration of and respecting the reimbursement for expenses of members of the Council on African-Canadian Education;

(v) prescribing the fees to be paid to the Minister and to the school board by foreign students;

(w) prescribing the fees to be paid to the Minister for services rendered by the Department of Education and Culture;

(x) setting the maximum percentage of the school board budget or the maximum amount that may be spent for non-instructional purposes;

(xa) respecting students with special needs attending approved special education private schools, including

    (i) defining special needs,

    (ii) determining eligibility requirements of students,

    (iii) approving special education private schools,

    (iv) the monitoring of approved special education private schools,

    (v) the funding with respect to students with special needs attending approved special education private schools, including grants or funding based on income,

    (vi) fees,

    (vii) the appointment and remuneration of a person to approve applications for funding referred to in subclause (v),

    (viii) appeals,

    (ix) authorizing the Minister to perform the functions referred to in subclauses (i) to (viii);

(xb) determining or designating anything required to be determined or designated under Sections 10A to 10F;

(xc) for the purpose of subsection 64(5);

(y) respecting confidentiality of information held by a school board or a school with respect to students and the release of such information;

(ya) respecting any matter, including the modification, restriction or enlargement of words, expressions or provisions, that the Governor in Council may deem necessary or advisable to give effect to the establishment and operation of district school boards or a particular district school board;

(yb) prescribing additional duties of a director of education of a district school board;

(yc) prescribing additional duties of the Chief Executive Officer of the Southwest Regional School Board;

(yd) designating a school region and a regional school board or the Conseil acadien for the purpose of Section 10J and determining the extent and terms and conditions upon which Sections 10A to 10I apply in each case;

(ye) determining which provisions of this Act apply to the Southwest Regional School Board, and any school board designated pursuant to clause (yd), and which provisions apply to the district school boards, or to both;

(z) defining any word or expression used in this Act and not defined herein;

(aa) respecting any other matter the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 146; 2000, c. 11, s. 9; 2002, c. 5, s. 16; 2004, c. 3, s. 19; 2004, c. 4, s. 110.

Executive Council Act amended

147 amendment

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act amended

148 and 149 amendments

Municipal Elections Act amended

150 amendment

Public Service Act amended

151 amendment

Substituted reference

152 A reference in any Act of the Legislature or in any rule, order, regulation, by-law, ordinance or proceeding or in any document whatsoever to the Department of Education or the Minister or Deputy Minister of that Department, whether the reference is by official name or otherwise, shall as regards any subsequent transaction, matter or thing be held and construed to be a reference to the Department of Education and Culture or to the Minister or Deputy Minister of that Department, respectively, where the reference relates to an affair, matter or function that, by or pursuant to the Public Service Act or this Act, is assigned to the Department of Education and Culture or to the Minister or Deputy Minister of that Department. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 152.

School Boards Act repealed

153 Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards Act, is repealed. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 153.

Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act amended

154 amendments

Former Act repealed

155 (1) The former Act is repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the council of a municipality may levy an area rate pursuant to the former Act where a school board requested the area rate before this Act came into force. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 155 .

Abolition of boards of trustees

156 Effective August 1, 1996,

(a) all boards of trustees under this Act are dissolved; and

(b) the heading immediately preceding Section 94 and Sections 94 to 110 are repealed. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 156.

Existing regulations continued

157 For greater certainty, any regulation made pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards Act, or the former Act remain in force, in so far as they are not inconsistent with this Act until others are made in their stead. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 157 .

Proclamation

158 This Act comes into force on and not before such day as the Governor in Council declares by proclamation. 1995-96, c. 1, s. 158.

Proclaimed - January 16, 1996
In force - January 16, 1996

This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2006 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created March 23, 2006. Send comments to legc.office@gov.ns.ca.