Local Government Week

Posted On Tuesday October 20, 2020

The Thames Valley District School Board, along with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), is working to raise civic awareness among our students by observing Local Government Week, October 19-23.

School board trustees are the oldest form of elected representation in Ontario. Since 1807, generations of community-minded citizens have made decisions on behalf of local, publicly funded schools, building the foundation of today’s public education system. 

Thames Valley Trustees establish the board’s vision, develop policies and set goals that lay the foundation for system programs and operations. Collectively, Trustees create the board’s multi-year strategic plan for student achievement and well-being, and Trustees also monitor the performance of the Director of Education to ensure progress toward meeting the board’s goals.

School board trustees are locally elected representatives of the public, and they are the community’s advocates for public education. The election of school board trustees is governed by the Education Act and the Municipal Elections Act1996

In Ontario, the Kindergarten-Grade 12 education sector is the second-largest recipient of provincial funding, after health care. The provincial government invests more than $24.6 billion each year in education. Thames Valley Trustees oversee an annual budget that is more than $1.1 billion. 

One of the key goals of Ontario’s public education system is to prepare students to become productive and contributing citizens – one of the cornerstones of a civil society.

Ontario’s English public district school boards provide universally accessible education for all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds, social or economic status, gender, individual exceptionality, or religious preference.

The English public system is founded on the principle of equity of educational opportunity: every student deserves an opportunity to achieve to his or her fullest potential.

Public school boards provide high standards in their programs and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students reach those standards. Public school boards also focus on character education to ensure that students develop as caring and responsible members of their community and of Canadian society as a whole.

Local Government Week events across Thames Valley may include students observing the school board in session virtually or holding mock municipal elections. 

A social media hashtag for Local Government Week is #LocalGovWeek. For more information on Local Government Week may be found on the OPSBA website.