May 19/15 Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: Support Gender Variant Students / DPAC Funding

P1: Disclaimer / Backgrounder
P2: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P3: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees / BC School Boards Letters Link
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P5: Addendum

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records January 2012 – March 2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are equally interesting. (They do appear in the minutes of meetings, along with the vote, but not until a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings
Mon June1/15 7 pm Education Policy
Mon June 8/15 7:30 pm Operations Policy
Mon June 15/15 7:30 Board Meeting
Thurs June 25: Last day of school for students
Tues Sept 8/15: School opening

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2015-16 budget of $206,361,204.  Out of that,  nine Trustees are paid approximately $1,400 a month, each. Each Trustee has access to an individual $2000 annual professional development fund, which at this point, rolls over if not used.

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, part of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings and official voting records are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Legally required reports from In Camera meetings are posted beside the relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on the Bylaws, Policies and Regs menu). “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC School Act which states “ A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.” [Kind of an antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”. Any report beyond the very basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. The SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “are limited to”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” [“Usually” leaves lots of room to move. “Never” might be better wording.]

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver) and move into in camera meetings by public motion of the Council. The public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act which states that Chairs can set in camera meetings before public meetings.

Trustees and student representatives are referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)” is referred to as “the Board”. No audio or video recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. [No record of how the audio recording decision was made, or any debate on proposed uses of and storage of the record appears to exist. However, the video recording was debated at length in 2014 OPPS meetings.] Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording. Seconders not noted.

Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of the two standing committees, Ed Policy and Operations Policy. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Chair, with input from senior administration.

  • OPPS: Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Whiteaker (Loring-Kuhanga)
  • Ed Policy: Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Watters (Loring-Kuhanga)

The External Trustee Liaison assignments have been made by the Chair to groups which have replied “yes” to a recent District query regarding their desire to have a Trustee liaison, so there fewer than there were for the 2012-2015  Board term, and for many years before that. [No one has been able to find a contact for the Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association for years, so my position as elected rep to that body may not last for as many years as the previous rep’s did.]

Assign & Family of Schools JAN.15Interestingly, given that SD61 now has an Attendance Manager to “encourage and support” return to work for employees, even though SD61 employees generally are below the provincial average in sick days use, and generally under the number of negotiated available days in Collective Agreements, and have union-contracted return to work provisions through their own providers,  Trustees can miss almost 3 months of meetings – just not show up – ie. miss 6 Standing Committees, and 2 Board meetings, with no reason given, no cut in pay, and no approval required from the Board:

School Act, BC: Trustee disqualification from holding office: 52 (2) If a trustee is continuously absent from board meetings for a period of 3 consecutive months, unless the absence is because of illness or with the leave of the board, the office of the member is deemed to be vacant and the person who held the office is disqualified from holding office as a trustee until the next general school election.

 

May 11/15: Operations Policy and Planning: SD61 Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement Now Signed By Greater Victoria Teachers Association

P1: Disclaimer / Backgrounder
P2: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P3: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees / Letters from BC School Boards
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts /  School Act re DPACs

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – March 2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are  equally interesting. (They do appear in the minutes of meetings, along with the vote, but not until a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings

Tues May 19/15 7:30 pm Board Meeting
Mon June1/15 7 pm Education  Policy
Mon June 8/15  7:30 pm Operations Policy
Mon June 15/15 7:30 Board Meeting
Thurs June 25: Last day of school for students

Rockheights Middle School Murals: Students and  Artist /Designer Collaboration
Rockheights Middle School Murals: Students and Artist /Designer Collaboration

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of  and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater  Victoria (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, part of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). Official approved minutes of Board and  Standing Committee meetings and official voting records are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Legally required reports from In Camera meetings are posted beside the relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on the Bylaws, Policies and Regs menu). “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC School Act which states “ A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.” [Kind of an antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”. Any report beyond the very basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. The SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “are limited to”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” [“Usually” leaves lots of room to move. “Never” might be better wording.]

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver) and move into in camera meetings by public motion of the Council, and the public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act which states that  Chairs can set in camera meetings before public meetings.

Trustees and student representatives are referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)” is referred to as “the Board”. No audio or video recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. [No record of how the audio recording decision was made, or any debate on proposed uses of and storage of the record appears to exist. However, the video recording was debated at length in 2014 OPPS meetings.] Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording. Seconders not noted.

Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of the two standing committees, Ed Policy and Operations Policy. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Chair, with input from senior administration.  OPPS: Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Whiteaker (Loring-Kuhanga)   Ed Policy: Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Watters (Loring-Kuhanga)

The External Trustee Liaison assignments have been made by the Chair to groups which have replied “yes” to a District query regarding their desire to have a Trustee liaison, so there fewer than there were for the last 3 year Board term, and for many years before that.  [No one has been able to find a contact for the Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association for years, so my position as elected rep to that body may not last for as many years as the previous rep’s did.]

Assign & Family of Schools JAN.15

May 4/15: Ed Policy: The Record Off The Record: Genderbread

 P1: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P2: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees / Letters from BC School Boards
P3: Disclaimer / SD61  Backgrounder
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts /  School Act re DPACs

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – March 2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are  equally interesting. (They do appear in the minutes of meetings, along with the vote, but not for a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings
Mon May 11/15  7:30 pm OPPS
Tues May 19/15 7:30 pm Board Meeting
Mon June1/15 7 pm Education  Policy
Mon June 8/15  7:30 pm Operations Policy
Mon June 15/15 7:30 Board Meeting
Thurs June 25: Last day of school for students

Garden snail on a boulevard daisy leaf
Garden snail on a boulevard daisy leaf

Education-Policy agenda 1Education-Policy agenda 2

 

Territory Acknowledgement900

 In Camera meeting before public meeting.

Education Policy Development Committee & Operations Policy and Planning Committee April 7, 2015

Full agenda with attachments here.

Chair: Nohr
Regrets: Loring-Kuhanga (left for latter part of meeting as had another meeting), Orcherton (left before vote for motion at F)  Absent:Leonard, Whiteaker (not assigned to Ed Policy)

1. Approval of Agenda: Adopted
2. Approval of the Minutes: April 7 2015: Approved. Lined Paper notes here.
3. Business Arising From Minutes: None.
4. Public Request to the Committee (was Correspondence Referred to the Committee previous agenda) : None
5. Correspondence Referred to the Committee (was Motions Referred to the Committee previous agenda) : None
6. Motions Referred to the Committee (was General Announcements previous agenda) : None
7. General Announcements (was New Business last agenda) : None

8. New Business (was Public Request to the Committee last agenda)

A.  Superintendent: Introduction of Student Representative:

  • Raven Natrall, SJ Willis Alternative

Student Representative: [September  2013 original motion for Student Trustee]

  • A different student from the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Group (newly developed by the Superintendent in 2014 and now self-identified a the Association of Students), a group of students recommended by their principals or otherwise selected at their school to work with the Superintendent as representatives of the student voice in SD61, attends Standing Committee and Board meetings each month. These nine students meet every 6 weeks with the Superintendent. [This is probably the best way to establish student engagement in governance and interest in a possible future elected Student Trustee, as student councils have long been politically inactive in SD61.]
  • In a past report the Superintendent reported that each school has a different way of selecting their student representative. The group is developing a consistent format and process. For example, one rep was nominated by a vice principal; one was drawn from scholarship group that answered a 5 question form for final selection.

B. Chromebooks Pilot: Leslie Lee, Principal, George Jay, Terri Smith, VP, Robin Lam and Sunny Jun, teachers,and students

  • George Jay was given a class set of Chromebooks as part of a Canada-wide  Outstanding Principal award given to Ms. Lee. Along with staff she developed a pilot project at the school using the Chromebooks. [ A Chromebook is designed to do most things online via WiFi, using Google’s “Chrome” browser. For an additional cost, a Chromebook can also be made to work on a mobile broadband network.]
  • Sophia (student) presented her science journal tracking her human body science fair project “How Does Smoking Affect the Human Body?”. Sophia along with 2 other students were able to simultaneously collaborate on the document over distance using the Chromebooks and Google Docs. Storage is in the cloud [a remote server, or in this case, the SD61 cloud service] so is always retrievable even in the event of a crash.   Sophia also gave a synopsis of a compare and contrast assignment she had produced using a Chromebook – compatible word processor.
  • Primary grade students used Comic Life to produce attractive booklets on science projects. [Booklets were passed around, and lucky me, I got the booklet about whales!]
  • Maya (student) explained that 2 classes were working on the same document at once and all could comment or ask questions in a sidebar. Google Docs could not handle that number of people so it crashed.  (Having that number of students on necessitated a “Chromebook citizenship” discussion amongst students and their teacher, with an agreement from students not to use the “chat” feature , and to be aware that you can’t the when another person is typing s that erases the other person’s work.)
  • Interesting comment re “boys have to have buy-in”  for an activity, after Finn (student) presented.
  • Students seemed a bit unfamiliar with the SmartBoard, and the Vice Principal explained that they don’t use the Smart Board, they  use the Chromebooks. [Smart Boards were being installed in  classrooms everywhere  over the last few years at about $7000 each  – demonstrative of the perils of trying to keep up with the leading edge  of ed tech, which drives the BYOD push in some places. Chromebooks are inexpensive, about $250 each.]
  • The teacher can send out a pop quiz and get answers back in a spreadsheet in 5 minutes. A feature can lock answers or allow the student to go back and make corrections based on feedback.
  • Sunny Jun referred to “digital literacy competencies” in the BC Ed Plan:
    Digital Literacy is the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to use digital technology and communication tools appropriately to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, and create and communicate with others”. Trustees wee given hard copy of a digital competencies outline, along with the student guide for beginning and completing a digital literacy project.
  • One teacher reported her photocopying had dropped down by half.
  • One student who avoided writing because of motor skills issues [dysgraphia] was much less reluctant to write using  the Chromebook. The word processor helps with grammar suggestions, spelling suggestions , and is helpful  for English Language Learners. [CoWriter is great for this purpose too.] Can send to anther student for proofreading.

Orcherton: Motor skills are still important.

  • It was reported that one child said her eyes hurt after a period of time using the Chromebook, “so we pay attention to screen time“.

C. Victoria Conservatory of Music Technology

  • “…VCM is helping schools with a pilot lab program  running now at George Jay Elementary School in Victoria, BC. It’s a weekly class that helps students learn about and create music using interactive music software.”
  • Breakfast With Beethoven” gives students  classical music exposure along with their  school breakfast program.The school has the use of 30 digital keyboards and software  for a limited time and is working to extend that time. Students also use “Composer in the Classroom”, and other software. The objective was to increase interest and enrolment in band, and interest in music outside school. The programs allow participation at individual levels.

D. Community Threat Assessment Protocol: Explained on pp 6-44 of full packup

  • McNally: Regarding the sharing of relevant information, are interventions or risk assessments recorded in the student’s file in MyEducationBC ?
  • Whitten: What is in student files is defined  by the Student Files Policy.
  • Whitten: Training is part of ERASE Level 2 [Lined Paper ERASE overview Ed Policy Nov 5/12 at 8 D ]
  • Paynter: Teachers aren’t mentioned. They need some familiarization with what is “worrisome behaviour”, or people could wind up reporting everyone or no one.
  • Whitten: Teachers bring students they re concerned about to School Based Team meetings that include the School Principal and counsellor assigned to that school [usually part time]. Everyone has a duty to report high risk behaviours.
  • Nohr: How many staff have been trained in the ERASE program?
  • Whitten: Level 1, about 100; Level 2, about 80-100. October 2015, a number of SD61 administrators, teachers, counsellors an community members will be able to access  training in Levels 1 and 2 combined.

“The individual charter rights of the student are lessened to protect the collective need for safety and security of the general student population. School officials hove greater flexibility to respond to ensure the safety of the general student population in an educational setting than law enforcement officials have in a public setting.Therefore,if an individual is in possession of information that may indicate that there is an imminent danger to the health and safety of any person or persons and the source of the information is reliable, the information con be shared without consent. lf information has been shared without consent, the individual shall be advised with whom the information was shared,where required by law.”

E. Concussion Committee Update

  • The Committee includes representatives from the GVTA,  VCPAC, Trustees Paynter and Orcherton, Associate Superintendent Pinkerton, and District Principal of  Student Services  Whitten. It has met 3 times and will provide a draft Policy to the Board soon.

F.Education-Policy-Packup-for-May-4-2015/ Carried. Unanimous [Ferris, McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Watters]

  • Watters: This motion is intended to initiate development of a Policy  and will go through a SD61 process. The District Gay-Straight Alliance Advisory Committee’s role is as stated: “The committee’s role is to assist in the implementation and further development of recommendations to support our sexual minority students and ensure sexual minority families feel included.” Gender discrimination is being examined at the Federal level. SD61 was in the forefront of Policy development in 2003 with Policy 4303 Discrimination and the accompanying Regulation and attached Recommendations (2003). At this time we need proactive Policy. Discrimination Polices generally put the onus on the student and family to call out discrimination. Not every student has an advocate  and not every family wants to advocate again and again every school year. Equality and “colour blindness” didn’t work; minorities want more visibility , not less, hence the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement in SD61. Egale reports that 79% of transgender  students feel unsafe in school.
  • Orcherton: Homosexuality is not new nor is same sex partners though people try to put this out there. We need a wider consultation. Saw what happened in Vancouver  and Ontario going through upheavals over sex ed. Student are colour blind and gender blind. Teacher may have some difficulties. Maybe include a doctor who specializes in this.
  • McNally: Transgender is not a medical condition. We do not need a doctor on this committee. This is a clear case of “nothing about us without us”. The District GSA Advisory Committee is the place for this policy draft to begin. Middle school and high s school can be difficult – difference can attract viciousness, whether young, middle aged or old demographic.
  • Paynter: There can be a pecking order and objectionable behaviour. There are all kinds of statistics that transgender kids feel bullied and harassed.
  • Cindy Graf, GVTA Pro-D Chair: We featured Ivan Coyote at the February tri–District professional development Tapestry Conference . Students expressed a desire to have gender neutral washrooms in every school.
  • Natrall: Need education in whole community. Transgender awareness is relatively new.
  • Katie (parent): What would the purpose be for a big open discussion – to hear all the dissent?
  • Ferris: Group would ask  questions.
  • McNally: If there is reaction like Vancouver’s I say bring it. The community will have time for input in public meetings and the final policy will have been  well examined. The right decision will prevail on  this.
  • Superintendent: This is a wonderful motion. The 2003 Regulation was ahead of its time, and now we have this.
  • Amy, District GSA member and teacher: The GSA Advisory Committee will be a safe place for GSA members to take this forward.
  • Watters: Policy development is not the way to do education. Once policy is developed, that is the time for education.

Ever since draft revisions were released in April [2014] , however, a firestorm has ensued, thwarting the board’s initial recommendation for approval at its May 20 meeting. Two public meetings have turned out to be so packed, and the debate so heated, that another is taking place on Thursday (May 29). ~ Georgia Straight May 27 2014

Part of students’ everyday school experience includes hearing expressions like, “that’s so gay” and words like “faggot”. Students report that teachers often look the other way when they hear homophobic and transphobic comments, and some teachers even make these kinds of comments themselves. LGBTQ students and students with LGBTQ parents do not feel safe at school and experience much higher levels of bullying, discrimination, harassment and other abuse than other students do. School is especially bad for trans (transgender and transsexual) students, who are a small but highly visible group of students. They are frequent targets of harassment and discrimination, even from LGBTQ youth. Trans youth are particularly vulnerable to bullying and in need of adult support at school. ~PrevNet Canada

9. Adjournment: 9:00 pm

Genderbread-2.1

 

April 22/15: Special Board Budget Meeting: Final Debate and Vote

P1: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P2: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees / Letters from BC School Boards
P3: Disclaimer / SD61  Backgrounder
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – March 2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are  equally interesting.

Next Meetings

Mon May 4 7 pm Ed Policy Richmond School (George Jay)
Mon May 11 7:30 pm OPPS
Tues May 19 7:30 pm Board meeting

 

2015 April 23  school sm

April-22-2015-Budget-Packup 1April-22-2015-Budget-Packup 2

Territory Acknowledgement900

Board Special Budget Meeting, April 22/15
Chair: Loring-Kuhanga
Regrets: Paynter

A. Commencement of Meeting 
A.1 Approval of Agenda: Adopted (after debate and vote below) . Opposed: Leonard, Whiteaker

Orcherton: Motion to remove C.1 b) i as it is out of order. And it is a contractual issue. / Defeated. / For: Ferris, Leonard. Orcherton, Whiteaker Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Watters

  • McNally: Objection: It is the role of the Chair, not individual trustees to make the judgment that a motion is out of order, or not. As that has not taken place, the meeting will decide on the merit of the motion when debate gets to that point on the agenda.

B. Public Presentations on the 2015-16 Budget ( 3 GVTA presenters were listed on the agenda but did not attend; Cindy Graf, GVTA Pro-d Chair read their statements on their behalf.)

  • Graf: Because of inability  to bargain this other than provincially, was hoping to have a local line item created.
  • Teresa Stokes, GVTA: I work at Eagleview; we do lots of Pro-d there.School based pro-d is amazing.There is pro-d from Learning Initiatives [a $440,00 department focused on teacher pro-d], School-based pro-d, and the Enhancing Learning Fund [a $120,000 fund dispensed to applicants from from the Superintendent’s office]. Recently I took an Aboriginal pro-d day, 1 BCTF  day which was granted on request, and 1 social justice pro-d day, also granted after request, to attend the demolition of St Michael’s School in Alert Bay.  Will follow up with a Project of Heart with Nella Nelson, Coordinator of Aboriginal Nations Education .  [Chair asks Stokes to wrap up – exceeded 5 minutes.]

C. 2015/16 Annual Budget
C.1 2015/16 Annual Budget Debate

a) Recommended Motions:
i) That the Board approve carrying forward the $8,300,000 to the 2015-16 school year to be applied against the deficit. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Operations budget  contains main expenditures of SD61. Special purpose funds: CommunityLINK, Learning Improvement Fund, Provincial Resource program funds, Annual Facilities Grant. Capital fund holds the capital assets of SD61 (Land, buildings, equipment, vehicles). Carry forward funds from 1 time only savings each year. the only way to finally address this $8.3 million structural deficit would be to lay off people.
  • Nohr: Supporting this does not mean supporting the budget, right?
  • Ferris: Has been a difficult process, especially for the Secretary-Treasurer over years of deficit. Thanks to Secretary-Treasurer for help and guidance through the process.
  • Orcherton: Acknowledge work of Secretary-Treasurer.Cuts not easy to make; imply reduced services. Kids will be affected. $66,000 deficit  – it’s more than that and will mean more shared work.Some services will be slower, or not there.
  • Leonard: Acknowledge work of Secretary-Treasurer and Department. Have delayed hiring; have been working on this since last July.

ii) That the Board approve the list of proposed budget options including eliminating the English Language Learners  Administrative Assistant and reducing the administrative supplies budget for a total of $66,501 for the 2015-16 school year. / Carried. Unanimous.

b) New Business

Nohr: That the Board create a line item in the 2015-16 budget bringing teachers’ professional development funding to $150 per full time FTE; costs to be covered from current professional development funds for teachers. / Defeated. For: Nohr, Watters  Against: Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Orcherton, Whiteaker

  • Nohr: Hoping to create a teachers’ professional development line item, but am reviewing information from the Secretary-Treasurer and from the GVTA. Motion to refer to May Operations meeting.  / Defeated.  For: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Watters   Against: Ferris, Leonard, Orcherton, Whiteaker
  • Nohr: Appreciate the information shared by the GVTA – spent so much time putting the package together; thanks to Secretary-Treasurer and Superintendent for information as well. Strongly support an increase in pro-d funding for teachers.
  • Ferris: Thanks to the GVTA for the many letters about pro-d from teachers to Trustees. No one would argue that pro-d is not important. But it is a contractual issue.
  • Orcherton: All said about pro-d is true, but using the wrong reasons and this is the wrong place. Dealing with pro-d at this table is wrong and inappropriate, and sets a dangerous precedent. Not going to create  line  item – that would add to the structural deficit. Wording of the motion was taken directly from the GVTA newsletter.
  • McNally: Point of order: Confine debate to the merits of the motion, not guesses about the motivation of the person who crafted the motion or where the wording came from.
  • Orcherton: I don’t believe the GVTA’s numbers are correct but I’m not going to go there.  The GVTA wants to have all pro-d money funnelled through them, rather than the employer having some control.
  • Watters: Speak to the motion.
  • Orcherton: I am! I don’t support the motion. For numerous reasons, not supporting.
  • McNally: This proposal is not a matter of looking at a contractual anomaly and interpretation as the 8th day pay agreement was. It is important to adhere to contractual language. Ignoring the contractual language to benefit an employee group at one time a could be used as a precedent to ignore the language to that employee group’s detriment at another time. Possibly the GVTA does not have a great hope of success opening a table for negotiations. As a former teacher I understand the value of self-directed pro-d and have “saved up” so I could go to a conference every 3 years since the funding is so low.
  • Superintendent: $368,000 from the BC Education Plan was directed to pro-d. Have worked with the GVTA on these funds.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Not in support of the motion. The Superintendent has worked with the GVTA to develop pro-d.
  • Nohr: Many teachers hoped some of the money would be directed back to the Joint Fund. Teachers are telling us what they need; we are here to respond to their needs.
  • John Bird, VCPAC President: VCPAC has had discussions about staff support. Have prepared a motion asking for funding to come from the Ministry for inservice and professional development so the system can move forward. Most Ministry initiatives aren’t funded so no wonder they don’t succeed.

 C.2  2015/16 Annual Budget Bylaw

a) Recommended  Motions
i) That the Board agree to give all 3 readings of the 2015-16 Annual Budget Bylaw at the meeting of April 22/15. / Motion to be carried unanimously. [See SD61 Bylaws Bylaw.] / Carried. Unanimous.

ii) That the Board 2015/16 Annual Budget Bylaw in the amount of $206,361,204 be read 1st, 2nd, 3d time , passed and adopted 22nd day of p April 22/15, and that the Chair and Secretary-Treasurer be authorized to sign, seal and execute this Bylaw on behalf of the Board. / Carried.  For:  Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Orcherton, Watters, Whiteaker   Against: Nohr

D. Needs Budget Letter

April-22 letter 1April-22 letter 2

  • Watters : Using this letter as a letter to the community. Is limited in  terms of the limited data used to generate it but funding challenges are still evident.
  • Ferris: Motion to approve the letter. / Carried. Unanimous.
  • Nohr: CCs are good for sending the letter to the Minister, but would  be good to have signatures of all partner groups for the community presentation. Principals and Vice Principals fall under “Administration”. Will there be a blanket media release?
  • Chair: Assumed it would go in  the newspaper.
  • Nohr: Needs to be at least 1/8 page.
  • Bird: Have issue with the letter. Trying to create a collaborative process and VCPAC was not involved in writing it at all. Will take it to next meeting and discuss whether to sign or not.VCPAC has sent out 2 letters about underfunding already.Will be coming back to classroom resourcing. Will require additional funding for what we are asking for. But need the vote of the membership to sign this.
  • Gilles LaRose, President CUPE382: 382 will support. Initial concern with narrow focus but now that is broader.
  • Benula Larsen, President, GVTA: GVTA will sign, though recognizing the reality of underfunding  is not addressed.
  • CUPE 947 representative: CUPE 947 will endorse. Need more CUPE staff and underfunding prevents that.
  • Melanie Houston, President, Allied Specialists: We were not part of developing this letter, and don’t see anything about ASA, but thanks for writing the letter. ASA can support it. However, need to add “adequate specialist support such as an increase to Speech-Language Pathologist support”. Used to be 12 SLPs with a 75 student case load each,  now cut to 8 SLPs with 150 or more for each case load. 40 of these students are designated “low incidence”. Only 10% of or practice is articulation. Twenty years of cuts have left devastation. No Learning Improvement Fund money was allocated for Education Assistants for SLPs. Students get 10 hours of service in all.  The case loads are such that the SLP can’t actually deliver the service but must demonstrate and have a CUPE  Education Assistant deliver the actual speech therapy.The expertise in schools is amazing but should not turn an EA loose without support from SLP close oversight. The degree of support for “low incidence” designated students is heartbreaking. Thee are redig challnges tht depend on the abityt to decode sounds. Every kindergarten child is screened but SLPs don’t have time to serve all who need support.By November we can tell which children will be designated Learning Disabled, and we don’t have time to refer them. [General gratitude re hearing from ASA on this.]
  • Leonard: We look forward to Mr. Bird’s support. Could sign now, make small changes.
  • Watters: Need to start needs budget earlier so no one has to search for themselves in this letter. Do we have to wait for VCPAC?
  • Leonard: Change the date to May 1 in case of VCPAC signature. Could take VCPAC off.
  • Watters: Or leave on, and unsigned.

E. Notice of Motion

E.1 Whiteaker: That the Board create a Parent Education Fund as part of the 2015-16 budget item “parent Advisory Council Grant” in the amount of $7,000, and further, that the Board create guidelines and a process to access this parent Education Fund. / This motion will appear on the agenda of the May OPPS meeting.

F. Adjournment: 8:35 pm

Blue Phoenix on wall old Oak Bay High School soon to be demolished
Blue Phoenix on wall old Oak Bay High School soon to be demolished