This is an unofficial summary of all motions brought to Standing Committees and Board Meetings of School District 61 Greater Victoria (City of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, and part of Saanich) since January 2012, when I started my first term as Trustee, and all Trustees took office, after the November 2011 civic elections.
This page is now a sticky post. Page links at bottom of page.
Page 1: Backgrounder (you are here) Page 2: Motions January 2012 – June 2012 Page 3: Motions September 2012 – December 2012 Page 4: Motions January 2013 – July 2013 Page 5: Motions September 2013 – December 2013 Page 6: Motions January 2014 – August 2014 Page 7: September 2014 – December 2014 Page 8: January 2015 – June 2015 Page 9: September 2015 – December 2015 Page 10: January 2016 – June 2016 Page 11: September, October, November, December 2016
Page 12: January 2017- June 2017
This post is an unofficial summary of all motions brought to Standing Committees and Board Meetings of School District 61 Greater Victoria (City of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, part of Saanich, and Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) since January 2012, when I started my first term as Trustee after the November 2011 civic elections. (Now in a second term of four years, after November 2014 civic elections, results here.)
Minutes are approved or corrected at the next meeting of the same committee / next meeting of the Board. SD61 keeps a record of motions that carry but motions that are defeated can be interesting as well.
In Camera meetings exclude the public. If there is a motion In Camera to report to the public and the majority approves via vote, specific motions decisions will be reported out in the public meeting. A more general, required report is on the District website for each In Camera meeting as “Section 72 Report” (see Section 72 of the BC School Act).
All motions here can be read in context with rationales and highlights of debate in the Lined Paper post for that meeting.
Most motions on a Board meeting agenda (except for the unusual circumstance of a motion from the floor) have been previously discussed at one of the Standing Committees (Education Policy Development, aka Ed Policy or Operations Policy and Planning, aka OPPS). If amendments are made this often takes place at the Standing Committee level where discussion and debate can be more lengthy, and include comments from the public.
Motions may be defeated at a Standing Committee, but the mover can still choose to bring that motion to the Board meeting. Motions that are carried by majority vote at a Standing Committee appear on the Board agenda as “recommended”. Sometimes senior administration presents a motion as “recommended”.
For Robert’s Rules of Order terms defined, see any number of sources online, including Nancy Sylvester’s informative site, and the Robert’s Rules for Dummies site. The current Robert’s Rules Newly Revised, 11th Edition is not available online.
Motions in this post appear in summarized form. Ready?
Lined Paper is my personal record of and commentary on SD61 Board and Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved minutes are on the SD61 website, one month after the meeting.
SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
October 17/16, Whiteaker: That the Board amend Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees to remove the words “with voting rights” from Item #4 and Item #5. / Carried. Unanimous. This had the effect of allowing only members of the Standing Committee to vote on motions, though other Trustees, if they attend, can participate in the debate. The Chair of the Board ex officio member both Committees, with voting rights. Quorum is a majority of Trustee members on the committee.
Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee September 11 /17 Chair: Whiteaker Members:Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton , Whiteaker; Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum) Present: McNally, Nohr,Orcherton, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker Absent: Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga
Dialogue with the Public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings
1. Approval [Adoption] of Agenda: Adopted. 2. Approval of Ed Policy & Directions Minutes: Lined Paper link here. Minutes of June 5 /17 approved with corrections: Page 5 motion “deferred” should be “Motion postponed to definite time” as per RRO 11th Ed, p 179. [ 100.00 In all meetings of the Board of Trustees, procedures shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, except where provisions of the bylaws of the Board or the Schools Act may conflict, in which case the latter shall prevail.] 3. Business Arising From the Minutes: None 4.Presentations to the Committee:None
The One Learning Community Committee created a sub-committee tasked with
preparing a recommendation regarding the district’s expectation and guiding principles for dress .The sub-committee believes the following
recommendation aligns with the District values identified in the Strategic Plan.
Recommended (P 6 agenda): School Codes of Conduct will include the following statement:1.Our school is committed to creating a learning community that values diversity and is free of all forms of discrimination. In line with the BC Human Rights Code which prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s: race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sex,sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and age,<insert school name> promotes a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal in dignity and rights. Actions through verbal or nonverbal communication(including clothing) must demonstrate support for the BC Human Rights Code. And 2.The School Code of Conduct will not include any other statements regarding expectations of dress.
Watters moved to amend; amendment and motion carried: For: Orcherton Whiteaker Against: Nohr
The Board of SD61 (Greater Victoria) accepts the following recommendation:
The School Code of Conduct will not include any other statements regarding expectations of dress, except for the following: Our school is committed to creating a learning community that values diversity and is free of all forms of discrimination. In line with the BC Human Rights Code which prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s: race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and age, <insert school name> promotes a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal in dignity and rights. Actions through verbal or nonverbal communication (including clothing) must demonstrate support for the BC Human Rights Code.
Nohr: Recently has been concern at UVic gym re gluteal folds showing with some women’s shorts. A health issue. Concerned with scanty dress in schools on the part of some students.
Whitten: Opportunity for a conversation with the individual in private, based on respect and dignity.
Watters: Each family has its own culture and hopefully decisions will be made in the home as a team. A learning curve for young people going out into the world to present themselves well.
Orcherton: Thanks to Nohr for her points. This are happening quickly in the diversity area. The will be instances where someone is not dressing appropriately. If the recommendation is all there is, it takes away authority. We are preparing students for life in the workplace and inappropriate dress will not be tolerated. Respect is something we teach. First impressions powerful. May be leaving it wide open; need some guidelines. Not just students, adults in schools need guidelines too. Can see problems, like the UVic concern with gluteal folds, otherwise known as the “butt crack”.
McNally: Gluteal folds are not a health issue. This is women’s body shaming disguised as a health issue. And allow me to demonstrate where a “butt crack” [“The intergluteal cleft, also known medically by various synonyms and colloquially as the “butt crack” … is the groove between the buttocks…” (Wikipedia)] is and where a gluteal fold is. [Does, fully clothed.] Dress codes are aimed at women, based on very old ideas (enshrined in some religions – thinking snakes, apples, women who want knowledge, fig leaves, clothing…) of women as virtuous, and the custodians of men’s behaviour which is fundamentally debased. Dress codes (“modesty”) bring those old ideas forward, putting women “in charge” and responsible for men’s behaviour (though not in charge of much that counts). Dress codes demean boys and men by characterizing them as incapable of focus on anything but a woman’s body and that they need to be protected by more or less shrouding that temptation. Men are socialized from an early age to be “manly” and to react – as one Facebook commentator put it – as “mindless horndogs”. It’s a great disrespect and demeaning to male / male identifying students to think they can’t stay with the physics text if a woman / person identifying as a woman walks by. Dress codes disrespect sexes and genders. In Victorian times the sight of a female ankle was thought to drive men mad with sexual desire. Now we laugh at that. Living for the day when the spaghetti strap type of issues and dress codes are laughable as well.
Paynter: Back to the Oregon code. Some parts have to be covered. And Human Rights doesn’t cover swearing expressions, references to drugs or alcohol. Yes has to be conversation between parents and kids.
Male appearing person in public seats: Confused about body shaming. School should be providing excellent learning opportunities. If ankles are distracting we need to talk about that. This proposed lack of dress code is not in the best interest of the safety of my daughters. Think about what these things will do to families.Talking about people showing up naked at school – using our children as pawns in some political agenda. SD61 schools may not be a safe place for my children.
June 5, 2017: McNally:That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria):1. No longer require the establishment of an annual French Advisory Standing Committee; 2. Establish a French Advisory Committee on an ad hoc basis when considerations arise.
Recommended: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) establish a French Advisory Ad Hoc Committee to meet at least annually, or as required. / Carried. For: Nohr, Orcherton, Whiteaker.
Superintendent: Not an Ad Hoc Committee – Ad Hocs have a defined TOR that ends when the issue has been dealt with and reported on.
Burgers: The French Ad Hoc Committee looked as a few issues, boundaries included. Because of French Federal funding, need a place for stakeholders to have input into how the money is spent, and goal setting.
McNally: Suggestion s for changes to TOR: specify the Trustee member will be appointed by Board Chair, and change “Membership shall be renewed annually” to “Representative groups shall appoint a rep annually”.
Paynter: Why havng a conversation about French programs only? Not a good use of scarce resources of the District.
Whiteaker: Won’t be limited to funding.
Paynter: Make funding part of the mandate.
Turcotte, GVTA [and French Immersion teacher]: Funding comes from Ministry of Heritage in Ottawa to the School District.The Funding Guide recommends establishment of an Advisory Committee. What if the Committee members want to meet more frequently? And some years up to now, hasn’t met at all.
Superintendent: TOR specifies at least twice a year. [It does; the motion doesn’t.] Like Aboriginal targeted funding, concern on the part of the funder that funds used for targeted purpose. Yes, have same question re why Advisory Committees on some parts of the district’s programs and not others.
Burgers: So various stakeholder groups to provide feedback and look at models of service.
D. Elementary Counselling Services
Nohr: That the Board request that the Superintendent provide a report on the elementary counselling services within our district for the November 2017 Education Policy and Directions meeting.
Revised motion: Superintendent provide report n and recommendations on counsellor support for elementary students and their families, by November Education Policy meeting. / Carried. For: Nohr, Orcherton, Whiteaker.
Superintendent: Very general motion. Please be more specific.
Nohr: 1:1000 students ratio. Students in need neglected and untenable working conditions for teachers. Learning compromised when emotional need not met. Equity issue – some families have benefits and others cannot afford counsellors.Would like grid with student numbers per school and counsellor FTE, as well as some successful outcomes and some gaps identified.
Watters: Want to now what the plan is to address this – agree there is a gap.
Orcherton: How to address the gap that exists.
David [public seats]: Would like action plan.
Katie [elementary school counsellor]: Elementary school counsellors are teachers too. An extra day at a school makes so much difference in being able to support teachers with what may be difficult for a classroom teacher ie discussions of sexual abuse prevention curriculum, other issues.Elementary school counsellors are often parents’ first contact with mental health and family support.
McNally: Taught for 22 years in SD61, and appreciated counsellors; saw the need for more service. Motion seems to be working toward putting more funding into counselling, and its needed, but money has to come from one area, so where will it be taken from to increase counsellors? Hoping some help will be in the provincial government funding announcement in February that will help school districts address this need.
Superintendent: Need to re-examine what we ask elementary counsellor to do, and the amount of paperwork, but a conversation for another time. [Possibly linked to a variety of discussions about changing the funding formula for student with designations? For example: “Inclusive Education funding is allocated to school authorities through a formula that aims to ensure an equitable distribution of funding. Funding is not determined through coding. School authorities distribute the funding they receive based on the needs of students within their school communities.“ This model would cut down on paperwork and case management.] We also have YFCs and partners in health – need to enhance participation there – child’s troubles in school often due to family breakdown, so need broader systems approach,comprehensive model.
David [public seats] : Has District considered working with Social Workers seconded to schools to address family breakdown?
Superintendent: Yes, but MCF struggles for resources and has been chronically underfunded.
Nohr: Would like school population and FTE of counsellors and YFCs. Just a spreadsheet.
Watters: SD61 Board has invited VISTA to gather here for March meeting. As member of VISTA Executive, part of planning for event. VISTA plans Friday might; SD61 Board does the rest. Minister of Education Fleming will be featured on Friday night.Some ideas for workshops / sessions.
Superintendent: Approaching First Nations for territory and welcome. Student introduction of Minister. Student band, student art walk. Hotel booking research underway.
Orcherton: Counsellors are an issue across Districts. How to send in ideas for topics? [To Watters who will collate.]
Whiteaker: Invite parent group rep.
McNally: what opportunities for real student participation , not just food service and entertainment?
Scott: Yes wondered also about that.
Superintendent: That is built in, will be opportunities throughout. Student Rep please take back to students.
F. BCSTA Provincial Council re- Early Childhood Education: Whiteaker
McNally: What are pros and cons of taking motion forward to Provincial Council vs spring AGM? [Discussion]
Watters: Will put this on next VISTA agenda [Sept 30.
6. Notice of Motions: None
7. General Announcements: Paynter: Send in thoughts on 3 BCPSEA questions re collective bargaining sent out to you. Have heard from McNally.
Standing Committees operate on less formal Rules of Order than does the Board, ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee can speak as many times as the Chair thinks is reasonable; members of the public and presenters can ask questions of each other and engage in dialogue.The question can’t be called in a standing committee, meaning debate can extend for some time.
After a motion to restrict voting in Standing Committees to only assigned members of the committee (sensible, as if all Trustees are present and vote, it’s an improperly constituted Board meeting), some Trustees have quite consistently chosen to not attend the standing Committee if they don’t have a vote.. Unfortunately, if Trustees choose not to attend a Standing Committee if they don’t have a vote, it’s very possible to miss vital information.
Trustee salaries (aka “stipend): $20,486/year effective Dec 1/14. Chair and vice-chair receive an extra $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.
It’s so frustrating to read yet again that tired straw-man trope that does a deep disservice to BC’s excellent system of public education, “regurgitation of facts”. It’s been a very long time since fact give-back (let’s avoid the “regurgitation” imagery) was central to public education in BC. (That said, I don’t recommend fact-free education.)
If Brookes Education group director David Rose had spent any time in BC public schools – especially here in the South Islands in School Districts 61 Greater Victoria , 62 Sooke and 63 Saanich, since his new private school will be located in Colwood – he would see innovative teaching from committed teachers, and enthusiastic students involved in critical thinking and project based learning, about as far from fact give-back as you can get.
With the November 2016 BCST win at the Supreme Court of Canada, language from teacher contracts that was illegally stripped by the BC Liberals was reinstated, giving students a better chance in smaller classes with more teacher support for the complex learning based on the new ( revisions began in 2015) BC curriculum that moves clearly into emphasis on interrelationship of concepts, big ideas, critical thinking and personalized learning (every child learns differently), and which includes foundational skills in literacy and numeracy, coding and associated logic, personal responsibility, and self-assessment. Learning is based in inquiry, project and problem-based learning, using research skills and scientific methods. Flexible learning environments are encouraged, including involvement with the community. Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing are infused throughout the curriculum at all levels. Explicit values of public education in BC include valuing diversity, inclusion of all students in the most enabling environment, inclusion of International students from a variety of cultures in our schools, and support for diverse learners. Is this a curriculum and instructional approach you’d pay $15,000 to $43,000 annually to have your child avoid?
Statistics Canada research says differences between public and private schools in achievement on standardized tests are due to differences in family socio-economic status, parental education levels and lack of peer diversity: education as a gated community.
Public tax dollars subsidize a good part of the tuition for private schools in BC. Public money is diverted from the public education system to support K-12 exclusionary private education. Although the recent change in provincial government in BC brings hope for a much more stable and truly supportive funding model for K-12 education, so far not one political party in BC has committed to ending or even reducing the diversion of public taxes to support private schools.
BC public schools are internationally known for excellence. How is “something different” from excellence something to get excited about?
— Diane McNally, former CUPE education assistant and public school teacher, was elected to the Board of Education of SD61 Greater Victoria in November 2011. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of the school board.
Lined Paper (The Record Off The Record) is my personal record of and commentary on SD61 Board and Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved minutes are on the SD61 website, one month after the meeting.
Standing Committees operate on less formal Rules of Order than does the Board, ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee can speak as many times as the Chair thinks is reasonable; members of the public and presenters can ask questions of each other and engage in dialogue.The question can’t be called in a standing committee, meaning debate can extend for some time. After a motion to restrict voting in Standing Committees to only assigned members of the committee (sensible, as if all Trustees are present and vote, it’s an improperly constituted Board meeting). If Trustees choose not to attend the committee for which they don’t have a vote, it’s very possible to miss vital information.
Trustee salaries (aka “stipend): $20,486/year effective Dec 1/14. Chair and vice-chair receive an extra $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.