New and returning school board members will have a clearer understanding of their roles, that will help them focus on student achievement, with new amendments to the Education Act. Education Minister Ramona Jennex introduced legislation today, Nov. 15, that clarifies the duties of elected school board members. “School board members want to make a difference and serve the best interests of students, but they haven’t had a clear, legislated definition of their roles,” said Ms. Jennex. “By changing that, we are making it easier for elected board members to focus on the big picture and put student learning first.” Last November, a Deloitte audit of the South Shore Regional School Board recommended that the province help school board members understand their roles and responsibilities, as distinct from the board’s operational staff, so they can govern effectively. The proposed amendments define that: school board members should maintain a focus on helping all of the region’s students succeed members are meant to act in the best interests of the school board and all its students superintendents are responsible for day-to-day management of school boards and implementing the decisions that elected boards make. “I think these changes will help promote good governance in school boards,” said Gin Yee, chair of the Halifax Regional School Board. “By making sure school board members know clearly what their roles are, this will help all of us focus on helping our students.” The province held information sessions with prospective school board candidates in the spring and is holding orientation sessions with newly elected boards this month to explain the type of decisions they will face, such as school reviews or approving a budget.