Policy and Procedure #221.0, Student Trustees

Executive Summary

The Student Trustees policy and procedure supports student voice and the contribution of student leaders in the learning process. This policy and procedure outlines the process of student trustee appointments, support structure, professional development and expense reimbursement guidelines for student trustees.

On this page:


What has changed?

Major changes to the document: Aligned with Policy and Procedure #220.0, Trustee Services.

Reason for review: Changes in legislation.

Who is affected by these changes and what is the impact on current practice? All stakeholder groups with responsibilities.

Implementation timelines: Immediate.

Lead Superintendent(s)/Subject Matter Expert(s): Director of Education and Superintendent, Leadership and Development.


Stakeholders with Responsibilities under this Policy

  • Board of Trustees
  • Student Trustees
  • Director of Education
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Administrative, Legal, and Trustee Services
  • Corporate Communications


Relationship to Board priorities

The Student Trustee policy and procedure supports student voice, success and well-being by developing positive collaborative relationships among students and engaging students in their public education.


What are the timelines and next steps?

This policy was scheduled for second review at the June 7, 2022 Policy and By-Law Standing Committee meeting.


Providing Feedback

Questions about this policy and/or procedure should be raised with your principal, manager or supervisor. If additional clarification is required, principals, managers and supervisors may contact the lead superintendent and/or subject matter expert through Trustee Services.

In accordance with Board Policy #285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Document, the Board welcomes all comments and suggestions on Board policy.

Input is an important component of the review process. If you feel a policy and/or procedure needs to be revised, feedback may be submitted through the school council or by submitting the on-line form. In your response please;

  • outline clearly the specific section(s) of the policy and/or procedure in which you are not comfortable,

  • suggest specific alternate wording to reflect your position, and

  • identify the reason(s) for your concern(s).

Specific recommendations or questions about the review process should be submitted using the online form or sent to the Policy Officer via email at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca, or via telephone at 905-727-0022 extension 2570 or in hard copy at The Education Centre – Aurora.


Legislative Context 

Education Act 


Related Policies


Student Leadership and Student Voice 

Trustee Services


It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board.


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Board Policy #221.0 Student Trustees


1. Policy Statement

The York Region District School Board elevates student voice in learning assessment and decision-making. The Board recognizes and values the contribution that all students make to the learning process. Therefore, the York Region District School Board is committed to the annual appointment of two student trustees, elected by elementary and secondary students with support from the York Region Presidents’ Council. Student trustees are elected for a one year term commencing August 1 in the year they are elected. Student trustees may consider running for re-election for another one year term for a maximum of two years.

A student trustee must be enrolled in the senior division of a school of the YRDSB on the first day of school after their term of office begins and be a full-time student of the YRDSB. A student trustee must resign from the position if they cease to be enrolled in the senior division of the YRDSB or cease to be a full-time student of YRDSB.

A YRDSB student is not qualified to be elected or to act as a student trustee if they are serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution.


2. Responsibilities


2.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. reviewing the Student Trustee policy in accordance with the approved policy review cycle;

  2. understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Student Trustee policy as required; and

  3. assigning the Vice-Chair of the Board to act as a mentor for the student trustees during their term of office.


2.2 Student Trustees are responsible for:

  1. promoting leadership in York Region elementary and secondary schools in accordance with the Student Leadership and Student Voice policy;

  2. representing the interests of all pupils at the York Region District School Board who are in the last two years of the intermediate division and in the senior division (s.55 of the Education Act);

  3. providing an information report to the Board of Trustees at monthly Board meetings relating to the role of York Region District School student trustees to represent the interests of all pupils at the York Region District School Board who are in the last two years of the intermediate division and senior division;

  4. fulfilling responsibilities as outlined in the Education Act;

  5. acting as a conduit for information and ideas among the student body, the York Region Presidents’ Council and the Board of Trustees;

  6. attending meetings, such as, but not limited to, Board, Advisory and other Board committee meetings;

  7. working with the Indigenous Student Trustee;

  8. working with the York Region Presidents’ Council, supported by staff, to organize the election of two new student trustees before the last day of February annually using a process that encourages equity of access for and direct election by all students in grades 5-12s across all Community Education Centres (CEC) in York Region District School Board;

  9. complying with the Board Trustee Code of Conduct

  10. complying with the Ministry of Education Student Trustee Attendance and Conflict of Interest Guidelines

  11. maintaining strictly confidential materials and related information discussed during Private Session of the Board or committee meetings; and

  12. adhering to Board policy, procedure and related guidelines regarding the appropriate use of technology.


2.3 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. implementing the Student Trustee policy; and

  2. overseeing all academic and other requirements for the York Region District School Board Secondary School Cooperative Education Credit Program for student trustees during their term of office in conjunction with the senior staff member assigned to support the student trustee.


3. Department

Director’s Office


4. History

Approved: 1996

Revised: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2015

Working Document: December 2014, January 2020

Revised: June 2022


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Board Procedure #221.0 Student Trustees


1. Procedure Statement

This procedure outlines the process for providing services to assist student trustees in their capacity as representatives of the student body working with the publicly elected Board of Trustees. It also defines the reimbursement of miscellaneous, professional development and communication expenses incurred by the student trustees in the fulfillment of their duties under the Education Act. This procedure also outlines provisions to facilitate student trustee’s communications with the student body, Board staff, the Board of Trustees, other student trustees and student trustee associations.


2. Application

Student trustees must be in Grade 11 or 12 and hold all qualifications for the position as outlined in Ontario Regulation 7/07 Student Trustees for the duration of their term.

The term of office shall be limited to a single year term commencing August 1 in the year in which they are elected to July 31 the following year. Once a Student Trustee has served their single term, they are eligible to run for a second term for a maximum of two terms.

Vacancies shall be filled by a by-election in a manner determined by the Board in consultation with the student trustees and York Region Presidents’ Council.


2.1 Student Trustee Election Procedures

All interested and eligible candidates in each Community Education Centre (CEC) should be aware of the roles, responsibilities, and time commitments of the position prior to the election. Candidates are voted on by all Grade 5 to 12 students in the CEC, resulting in the final four nominees from each CEC. Then all Board students from Grade 5 to 12 will vote for the Student Trustees from the final four.


2.2 Communication Expenses

Legitimate costs for equipment and related services used by student trustees are supported to ensure they are accessible to students, parents, staff, and members of the community for the purpose of conducting Board and student trustee business. They include but are not limited to:

  1. residential high-speed internet; and

  2. either a personal dedicated cellular phone and service plan, or a Board-provisioned cellular phone and service plan.

Student trustees may be reimbursed to a maximum of $100 one time during their one-year term to cover the cost of purchasing a cellular phone or other telecommunication devices dedicated to trustee business.

Additional communication expenses incurred while performing student trustee duties such as, but not limited to, initial set-up fees for home phone and/or internet and long distance charges on a personal home phone or cellular phone may be eligible for reimbursement. Student trustees will be required to submit documentation (including original receipts) regarding additional communication expenses, including related rationale for consideration and reimbursement where applicable, using a monthly expense form.

Student trustees will not be reimbursed for the cost of conducting personal business (including long distance charges) on any cellular phone or residential telephone lines.


2.3 Miscellaneous Expenses

May include, but are not limited to, mileage, public transportation, and other reasonable and legitimate expenses incurred while attending educational community and school events, public forums, and other functions that are related to the role of a student trustee and furthering the business of the Board in their capacity as a student trustee.

Student trustees are encouraged to make arrangements to use public transportation or personal vehicles to attend Board and Committee Meetings and community events.

In exceptional circumstances, where time and safety concerns are a factor, student trustees may also use a pre-approved Board- provisioned taxi service or ride share services up to a maximum of $150.00 per month to attend meetings or events in their capacity as a student trustee.


2.4 Professional Development Expenses 

These expenses are allowed to a maximum of $2,123.00 per term and may include, but are not limited to, registration fees, food, and accommodation, parking and travel expenses incurred while attending Board-related professional development activities in their capacity as a student trustee.

Each student trustee will be reimbursed a maximum of $2,123.00 for professional development expenses over the term.


2.5 Board-supported Ontario Student Trustees’ Association Conferences Participation Guidelines

Recognizing the important role of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA) plays in public education in Ontario, a student trustee’s out-of-pocket expenses reasonably incurred to participate in conferences as described below will be reimbursed by the YRDSB in accordance with Policy and Procedure #220.0, Trustee Services:

  1. any student trustee elected as a member of OSTA Executive Council shall attend meetings of the General Assembly to represent the Board;

  2. each student trustee elect may attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) once prior to commencing their term of office;

  3. each student trustee may attend the Fall General Meeting (FGM) or the Annual General Meeting one time during their office;

  4. any student trustee elected to a working group and/or Board Council of OSTA may attend the FGM and AGM the year in which they are a student trustee;

  5. the costs associated with student trustee participation in OSTA conferences outlined above will be covered by the Board and not charged against their personal professional learning allocation;

  6. additional funds may be available for student trustees to attend OSTA conferences. All requests will be considered by the Finance and Property Standing Committee in order to ensure equitable allocation of funds among all trustees; and

  7. student trustees who choose to attend other OSTA sponsored conferences that do not fall into the provisions outlined above, are responsible for the costs using their professional learning allocation or personal resources.


3. Responsibilities


3.1 Student Trustees shall:

  1. be an executive member of the York Region Presidents’ Council;

  2. model the norms, expectations and standards of student behaviour as described in Policy and Procedure# 668.0 Caring and Safe Schools and Procedure# 668.7 Student Code of Conduct;

  3. adhere to prescribed limits regarding the requests for reimbursement of miscellaneous, transportation, professional development and communication expenses in accordance with all applicable Board policies, procedures, guidelines and legislation;

  4. complete the Dedicated Trustee Home Phone and Internet Expenses Reimbursement Request Form and Trustee Cellular Phone Expenses Reimbursement Form to certify the maximum amount of communication expenses that are incurred for Board-related business;

  5. adhere to Canada Revenue Agency requirements with regard to reimbursement for communication expense reimbursement;

  6. ensure that they continue to be qualified for the duration of their term of office;

  7. run for re-election should they want to complete a second term for a maximum of two terms;

  8. if desired, apply for and meet all academic and other requirements associated with the York Region District School Board Secondary School Cooperative Education Credit Program for Student Trustees;

  9. have the opportunity to attend professional opportunities to support their role;

  10. endeavor to keep all miscellaneous, professional development and communication expenses to a minimum but in no event to exceed the amounts permitted by Board policy;

  11. submit, on a monthly basis, all claims for miscellaneous and communications expenses including original itemized receipts in accordance with Policy and Procedure #221.0 Student Trustees, and all other applicable policies, procedures, guidelines and legislation;

  12. submit separate claims for reimbursement for professional development expenses including original itemized receipts in accordance with Board policy and procedure;

  13. understand that professional development expenses will be reimbursed to a maximum of

    $2,123.00 per term;

  14. complete and submit on a monthly basis a Student Trustee Monthly Taxi or Ride Share Report with itemized receipts, when required;

  15. understand that claims for use of Board-provisioned taxi services or ride share services will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $150, per month;

  16. adhere to all requirements with regard to communication tools and professional development allocations, as outlined in the Student Trustee policy and procedure;

  17. provide Administrative, Legal and Trustee Services with their contact information;

  18. maintain the student trustee website, in conjunction with Corporate Communications and Administrative, Legal and Trustee Services;

  19. ensure that official student trustee letterhead is used solely for communication of student trustee business;

  20. if applicable, complete the requirement of the York Region District School Board Secondary Cooperative Education Credit Program for Student Trustees;

  21. attend monthly Board meetings and a student trustee must resign from their position as student trustees if they fail to attend three (3) consecutive regular Board meetings without being authorized by a resolution of the Board (in the same manner as Board members) and recorded in the minutes of the meeting. A student trustee is considered present at a Board meeting if they participate by electronic means authorized by the Board;

  22. provide a Student Trustee Report in accordance with the Student Trustee Policy at the monthly Board meeting;

  23. attend meetings with the Director of Education when requested to do so;

  24. host the Board’s Annual Celebrating Student Success evening; and

  25. speak at and host Board-sanctioned special events.


3.2 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support the student trustee procedure;

  2. review and approve all student trustee expenses;

  3. assign appropriate senior staff to support the work of the student trustee for the duration of their term; and

  4. provide the Ministry of Education with the names of the student trustees elected, not later than 30 days after the date of the election or by-election.


3.3 The Chief Financial Officer shall:

  1. ensure the student trustee receive their honorarium as outlined in provincial regulation;

  2. allocate funds to support the student trustees’ technology, travel, meals, accommodations, communication and professional development needs associated with performing their duties during their term of office after approval by the Director of Education; and

  3. provide an annual report to the Board regarding student trustee expenses for professional development activities.


3.4 Corporate Communications shall:

  1. provide support to Administrative, Legal and Trustee Services and the student trustees in maintaining the student trustee website; and

  2. provide guidance to student trustees about use of social media in their role.


3.5 The senior staff member(s) who support student trustees shall:

  1. oversee all academic and other requirements for the York Region District School Board Secondary School Cooperative Education Credit Program for student trustees during their term of office when required.


3.6 Administrative, Legal and Trustee Services shall:

  1. provide an orientation program, administrative support and ongoing guidance to student trustees in their role as elected representatives of the student body;

  2. facilitate the student trustee election process ensuring a process of direct election by students and equity of access for all;

  3. ensure the election process has oversight by a scrutineer from the Human Rights Commissioner's Office;

  4. provide the student trustee with necessary resources to support their role;

  5. in conjunction with Corporate Communications, support the review and development of content for the student trustee website as required;

  6. arrange for and support the student trustees’ use of Board-owned information technology equipment during their term of office;

  7. facilitate the sharing of the Student Trustees monthly report to the Board with the broader community;

  8. facilitate the participation in professional development related to their role as the student trustees;

  9. schedule the annual report to the Board regarding the student trustees’ expenses for professional development activities;

  10. schedule regular meetings with student trustees, Vice-Chair of the Board and appropriate senior staff members;

  11. manage requests for student trustees for specific information or assistance outside the regular Board Committee framework in conjunction with the Director of Education and Board Chair;

  12. ensure that the student trustees’ access to information is governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and other relevant legislation; and

  13. provide Student Trustees with a letter of participation upon completion of their term.


5. Contact

Director’s Office

Administrative, Legal, and Trustee Services


6. History

Approved 2005

Revised: 2007, 2011, 2015, June 2022


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