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AP 155: Public Events Protocols


The Superintendent has been given the responsibility to ensure positive external and internal communications are developed and maintained by Northern Lights Public Schools. Therefore, proper protocol is to be followed for public events organized by schools. Principals are required to ensure that staff members charged with organizing these events be briefed on proper protocols and that any public communications of such events be approved by the principal. The success of a Division or school event depends largely on good planning, as well as having a defined agenda and purpose for the event. 


  1. Invitations
    1. It is appropriate to invite members of the Board of Trustees and the Office of the Superintendent to public events organized by the schools. Invitations should be sent to the Board Chair and the Superintendent of Schools allowing for a reasonable amount of time to respond and schedule. Typically this is at least 30 days prior to the event. Schools will be notified of the Trustee(s) or Division Office Executive(s) that will attend. The role and expectation should be defined in the invitation and address such matters as to whether the representative will be expected to speak, be invited to follow-up events and whether or not the representative may bring a guest such as a spouse.
    2. Invitations to dignitaries shall be issued in an appropriate time frame to allow for response from the various individuals and/or organizations.
  2. Logistics
    1. The event shall include a land acknowledgement statement at the onset of the program.
    2. The Canadian flag shall be displayed at the event.
    3. O Canada shall be played, sung or performed at the outset of the program.
    4. Provisions for parking should be made for dignitaries and Trustees.
    5. Seating should be arranged so that the most senior dignitary is closest to the podium at all times.
    6. Provision should be made for Trustees and other important guests to be greeted by staff or students at the entry and escorted to reserve seating.
    7. As audience members, dignitaries should also be provided with reserved seating in the front row.
    8. When no trustee or the Superintendent/representative are able to attend, the MC will be advised to express regrets on their behalf.
  3. Introductions
    1. In the planning for an event, the order of introductions must be given special attention. Introduce the most senior dignitaries first, ensuring the use of appropriate titles, ranks, and organizations represented:
      1. Members of the Senate representing Alberta
      2. MPs (cabinet members first)
      3. Ranking Members of Canada’s Armed Forces/RCMP
      4. MLAs (cabinet members first)
      5. FNMI Representatives
      6. Municipal Leaders (Mayors or Reeves)
      7. NLSD Board Chair
      8. Other civic councilors and trustees
      9. Senior bureaucrats and heads of other organizations (including NLPS executive staff, municipal CAO’s, military officials etc.)
      10. Prominent community members
    2. When organizing an event within the schools of NLPS the introductions will take place in the following order:
      1. Board Chair 
      2. Vice Chair 
      3. Trustees in attendance 
      4. FNMI Representatives 
      5. Superintendent, Associate Superintendent(s) 
      6. Principal and Assistant Principal(s)
    3. Trustees should be introduced at all times whether they are speaking or not.
  4. Speaking Protocols
    1. When organizing the order of speakers, protocols dictate that the most senior dignitary speaks last. (Note that it is in the reverse order of introductions.)
  5. Royal and Other Special Visits
    1. While extremely rare, school boards or schools occasionally may be included in royal visits (including those of Canada’s Governor-General and/or Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor); visits by the Prime Minister or Premier, senior cabinet ministers, ambassadors; or other prominent dignitaries. In such circumstances, the formal protocol of either the Government of Canada or Province of Alberta takes precedence. Information on proper protocol in these special circumstances can be obtained from the Government of Alberta. The Superintendent of Schools must be contacted in these instances. In these circumstances, it is expected local event organizers will ensure Trustees are properly recognized and included in the event whenever possible.