While the Minister of Education establishes the general policy for schools, it is the locally elected school board that operate the schools. A school board is therefore responsible for:
- ensuring that the schools within its jurisdiction abide by the provisions of the Education Act and its regulations;
- drawing up an annual budget and requisitioning local taxes to cover expenditures in excess of the amount provided by the provincial grants;
- determining the number, size, and location of schools within its jurisdiction, and the attendance area for each school;
- building, equipping, and furnishing schools;
- employing teachers and other staff to operate the schools;
providing programs that are responsive to the needs of the community and to the needs of the students in the schools;
- providing special education programs;
- approving the choice of textbooks from the Ministry list and approving all other books used in the schools;
- enforcing the school attendance provisions of the Education Act.
School boards may also provide school supplies and learning materials for students, they may operate summer and evening classes, and they may provide transportation for students to and from school. They employ the staff required to manage and supervise the operation of school programs and their supporting services. The directors of education and other supervisory officers employed by the school boards must hold a Supervisory Officer's Certificate issued by the Ministry.
Supervisory officers, in addition to the duties assigned by a school board, are responsible for:
- helping teachers to improve their teaching practices;
- reporting to the board on the effectiveness of teachers;
- supervising the operation and organization of schools and their educational programs;
- supervising the administration and maintenance of buildings in the school system.