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Professional Development

As leaders in school board governance, trustees are committed to initiating the important conversations that improve life chances for students and to engaging in vital professional and personal learning that hones leadership skills. OPSBA's professional development services support trustees in their role of ensuring Ontario's education system continues to consistently produce excellent results in student achievement and well-being.

Trustee Professional Development – Building Leadership Capacity

OPSBA believes that trustees make a significant and direct contribution to the achievement of all students through their leadership in setting priorities, shaping policy and directing the resources of the local school board to build a culture of continuous improvement. One of OPSBA's leading priorities is trustee professional development that enhances skills, builds capacity and provides the kind of information and analysis that supports informed decision-making. This is accomplished through symposia and conferences, single-day events, regional meetings, and other learning opportunities such as the comprehensive suite of online Trustee Professional Development Modules.

Our multi-year priority on building trustee leadership capacity includes development of the resource Good Governance: A Guide for Trustees, School Boards, Directors of Education and Communities. This is both an orientation for new trustees and a refresher for experienced trustees. It incorporates the most up-to-date legislative and policy changes affecting the education environment and the current version was released to coincide with the new term of office for school board trustees following the 2014 Municipal and School Board Elections.

The 18 professional learning modules for trustees and school boards are inspired by the thoughtfulness and commitment that trustees bring to their governance work. The modules are:

  • Effective Governance Through Ethical Leadership
  • Raising the Bar: Governance and Student Achievement
  • Roles and Responsibilities (board, director, chair and individual trustees)
  • Relationships
  • Performance Review (director of education and board)
  • Multi-year Strategic Planning
  • School Board's Role as Policymaker
  • Conflict Management
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Advocacy Role
  • Conflict of Interest, quasi-judicial hearings – some legal aspects of governance
  • Running Effective Meetings
  • Finance
  • Human Resources (school board as employer) 
  • What Makes a Great Board Chair?
  • First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education for school board trustees
  • Code of Conduct for Trustees
  • Social Media

These modules can be accessed free-of-charge at