Who are DEC Members?
DEC members are community leaders. They work with their DEC colleagues, the Department, District office and community partners to ensure that all students in their district have equal opportunities to reach their full potential.
DEC members strive for continued excellence in education by:
- Promoting high standards of individual achievement;
- Cultivating a love of learning;
- Recognizing the value of diversity among learners and communities; and
- Exploring creative educational alternatives.
DEC members share the following qualities:
- Prepared to put students first – Successful DEC members put the needs of students first. They run for office because they are committed to making things better for students in New Brunswick.
- An effective communicator – One of the main roles of a DEC member is to ensure the wishes of the community are reflected in the management and operation of the community’s schools. DEC members must be willing to ask the community what it needs and wants from its schools. They must also strive to inform the community about DEC plans and decisions.
- A team player – A DEC member acting individually does not have the authority to make decisions. Only the whole DEC has the power to make decisions. While an interest in a particular school or issue may prompt you to seek office, as a DEC member, you are responsible for all schools in your district.
- Not necessarily an “education expert” – You don’t have to be an education expert to serve on a DEC. The ideal DEC includes people from all walks of life. A DEC member does not serve as a professional educator or as the spokesperson for a particular interest group or region. An effective DEC member considers the wishes of all parents, students and community members.
DEC members take on great responsibilities and challenges working on behalf of New Brunswick’s children, their families and their communities. They speak with pride about the programs and activities they have developed to guide and shape the next generation. DECs have demonstrated time and time again that they are making a difference for kids in our province.
What is the time commitment involved in being a DEC member?
Accepting a position on the DEC is a significant commitment. You are accepting responsibility for making decisions which will directly shape the education of our students and the operations of the school district. DECs generally hold public meetings one evening each month. DEC members may be expected to attend working sessions or committee meetings to prepare for the public meetings. DEC members have the opportunity to provide input on many aspects of the education system and some members, such as the Chair of the DEC, may be expected to attend numerous meeting and consultations.
DEC members are encouraged to attend PSSC meetings in their sub-district to promote communication and understanding of the DEC priorities and to keep up-to-date on issues at the school level. DEC members who attend are primarily observers. They are not able to vote but may respond to questions or provide clarification when asked to do so. Their role is not to act as a carrier or conduit for issues the PSSC may wish to refer to the District Office. These types of issues are to be dealt with through the Principal.
What types of meetings and consultations do DEC members attend?
District Education Councillors have the opportunity to become involved in the education system and are encouraged, to become members of provincial committees and consultations, to take part in professional development, and to represent the DEC at PSSC meetings and events within the community.
DEC members attend regularly scheduled public meetings and working sessions and take part in DEC sub-committees and special meetings for issues such as staffing issues, budgets, audits, student appeals, and training sessions. Members spend time addressing questions and concerns from parents and guardians in their sub-district and as part of parent forums for issues such as school closures or policy changes. Members are often invited to attend or take part in graduation ceremonies, awards ceremonies and other public events.
At the provincial level, DEC members are invited to provide feedback on policy development, to participate in committees such as the Provincial Curriculum Advisory Committee and the Minister’s Committee on Testing and Evaluation.
The DEC Chair position requires a greater time commitment. In addition to the meetings at the local level, the Chairs also meet regularly with the Superintendent, the DEC manager and the Council of DEC Chairs. The Chairs are often called upon by the Minister to represent the interests of the Districts in the provincial forums and in additional meetings as needed.
Do DEC members receive payment to be on the DEC?
DEC members are elected as volunteers to serve the interests of the children and youth in their community. There are many opportunities to get involved and the time commitment is significant. Attending meetings can often mean expenses for things like childcare. The total number of meetings that a DEC member may claim is limited to 20 meetings a year. The limit is extended to a total of 30 meetings for the Council Chairs website. A recent announcement by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development has indicated a change in the remuneration of DEC members. DEC members will receive $3000 a year and the elected Chair of each Council will receive $6000 a year.
Members who travel out-of-town for meetings may also claim the cost of travelling to the meeting including meals and hotel accommodations in accordance with the provincial travel policies.
New Brunswick District Education Councils (DEC)
are committed to guiding and moving forward the education of all students.
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