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Association Policies

Framework Policies

1.1 Belief Statement

The Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) believes that it is vital to assist learners whose first language is other than English by providing them with the necessary language training and skills to achieve their goals in an English speaking society. Furthermore, we believe that ESL practitioners act in a manner that maintains the honor and dignity of the profession.

1.2 Vision

Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language will be regarded as essential and credible professionals duly respected and supported by the society at large.

1.3 Mission Statement

As the professional organization Teachers of English as a Second Language in Alberta, ATESL’s mission is to promote the highest standards of teaching and provision of English Language programs for learners in Alberta whose first language is other than English. We do this by:

1.4 Target

The organization is designed to serve:

1.5 Aim Statements

Work with government, and community stakeholders to recognize English proficiency as an essential requirement for both basic academic achievement and meaningful social, cultural, political and economic integration of ESL learners into Canadian society.

Promote Best Practice Guidelines for teachers and program development throughout Alberta.

ATESL EDI Safer Space Policy


ATESL is dedicated to promoting and maintaining an environment that respects and values the diversity of all its members. We believe that embracing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is crucial to achieving our mission of supporting English teachers and learners throughout Alberta. Our commitment is to provide an inclusive and welcoming community that recognizes and celebrates the differences within our membership.


This policy applies to all ATESL members, including the executive committee, board members, staff, volunteers, and general members.

EDI Principles

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are vital for creating an environment where all members feel valued, respected, and supported. We adhere to the following principles and provide actionable items to reinforce our commitment:

Equity: We acknowledge the existence of systemic barriers and inequalities and are dedicated to addressing and eliminating them. Actionable items include but are not limited to:

- Ensuring accessibility to events and resources

- Advocating for fair representation in leadership roles.

Diversity: We value and celebrate the diversity of our members, encompassing aspects such as age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, ability, and socio-economic status. Actionable items include but are not limited to:

- Organizing events that showcase diverse perspectives

- Creating platforms for members from various backgrounds to share their experiences

- Actively seeking input from underrepresented groups.

Inclusion: We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that cultivates a sense of belonging for all members. Our goal is to provide opportunities for every member to contribute, participate, and engage with the organization. Actionable items include but are not limited to:

- Implementing mentorship programs

- Offering various channels for communication and feedback.

- Actively encouraging members to take part in organizational decision-making processes.

Commitment to EDI

We are devoted to taking the following actions:


ATESL is dedicated to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within our organization and the broader community we serve. We understand that this work is ongoing and requires the active participation and commitment of all our members. We pledge to continually learn, grow, and improve to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization.

From the best practices document: “Black, Indigenous, and Racialized learners and staff are safe, welcomed, included, protected, and supported. The program and instruction actively value and promote equity, diversity, and justice. Instruction welcomes multiple perspectives, challenges dominant assumptions, and aims to dismantle systemic racism” as a tenet of our Best Practices. The Board has committed to creating a Diversity and Inclusion policy in 2023.

Policy Created and Adopted: August 2023

ATESL Board Code of Conduct

The ATESL Board Code of Conduct outlines the expected behaviors, responsibilities, and ethical standards for ATESL Board members.

Commitment to the Mission:

Board members should be committed to the organization's mission of promoting professional development, advocating on behalf of EAL learners, and working to establish best-practice guidelines and standards for EAL practitioners across Alberta.

Ethical Behavior:

Board members should adhere to high ethical standards, including honesty, integrity, and transparency in all their dealings on behalf of the organization.

Conflict of Interest:

Board members must avoid conflict of interest or perception of conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility. Board members should disclose any conflicts of interest.

● All employees, officers and directors must disclose actual or apparent conflicts of interest that arise during their tenure, as soon as they arise.

● When the Board is to decide upon an issue about which a member has an unavoidable conflict of interest, that member shall withdraw without comment not only from the vote, but also from the deliberation.

● There must be no self-dealing or business by a member with the organization.

● Board members will not use their positions to obtain employment in the organization for themselves, family members or close associates. A Board member who applies for employment must first resign from the Board.

● Board members who have obtained short term contracts with the organization must recuse themselves from discussion and voting of any issues that relate to the contract.


Board members should respect the confidentiality of sensitive information discussed during Board meetings and refrain from disclosing confidential information without proper authorization.

Respect and Collegiality:

Board members should treat each other, the organization's staff, and stakeholders with respect, dignity, and professionalism, fostering a collegial and supportive environment. Board members will be properly prepared for Board deliberation.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Board members should value diversity, equity, and inclusion and strive to create an inclusive environment that respects and celebrates the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Board members should be familiar with and adhere to ATESL’s EDI policy.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations:

Board members should ensure that the organization complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical guidelines governing nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

Stewardship of Resources:

Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to oversee the organization's financial affairs and ensure that resources are used effectively, responsibly, and in accordance with the organization's mission and goals.

Decision-Making and Accountability:

Professional Development:

Board members should seek opportunities for professional development to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities as effective leaders and stewards of the organization.

Communication and Transparency:

● Board members should maintain open and transparent communication with stakeholders, provide regular updates on the organization's activities and performance, and solicit feedback to inform decision-making and improve governance practices.

● Board members' interaction with public, press or other entities will be done only through the presidential chain.

● Board members, unless contacting an individual or organization for the purpose of professional development opportunities, should not make unauthorized representations to outside bodies in the name of ATESL or its locals.

● Board members cannot use their position within the organization to further any personal political, ideological, or religious agenda.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct:

● Board members should acknowledge and abide by the organization's code of conduct

● All Board members who become aware of violation of this policy are to notify the Chair of the Board.

● Once aware, the Chair must follow the procedures outlined in the organization’s foundational documents.

Removal of Board Members - Item 10: Five percent (5%) of the members, but in no case less than two members, can require Board members to call a Special Meeting of the Association for the purpose of removing any member of the Board of Directors and/or substituting a new member in that position. A majority of those present at the Special Meeting is required for removal of a Board Member.

Approved April 2024