On every SD61 Board meeting agenda there are two places for trustees to report: one at “A.7”, “Trustees’ Reports”, and another at “E”, “Reports From Trustee Representatives”. both are combined here.
I was assigned by the Chair as Board representative to BCPSEA, the Bargaining Team for GVTA local issues, the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee, and Success by Six. I was initially assigned as well to the Victoria Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Advisory, but the committee has not been in existence for four years as of my January inquiry to the City. I was informed by city officials at that time that it has not been replaced by an equivalent committee. This is regrettable on a few levels. It would have been an interesting liaison.
- Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee April 19: the agenda included the Healthy Families BC consultation process, presented by Steve Meikle (who is also co-chair of Success By Six); presentations on the Saanich Strawberry Festival, and Open Government and Open Data, and the Saanich Food Festival. The was a lot of interet n this event and discussion included zoning issues and variety of foods, including vegan food education and options. Updates came in from from from the Saanich Community Association Network and from the Chair, Councillor Dean Murdock on grants; no one attended from the Saanich Youth Council. An update from the Director of Parks and Recreation, Doug Henderson, will be circulated later. Cycling and the Cedar ill Art gallery and studio space were mentioned.
- BCPSEA Representative Council, April 25: Pete Williams, BCPSEA Director and Gulf Islands trustee, is the SD61 BCPSEA liaison. At the Representative Council in Vancouver, one motion was submitted from SD39 Vancouver : That in order to support the success of mediation, that BCPSEA… set aside issues and proposals relating to teacher qualifications / suitability, control of professional development, and evaluation of teachers. The motion was defeated with 3 votes in favour.
- Success By Six has not met recently. It is an umbrella organization I understand and funds many initiatives such as the 1000×5 Book Recycling Project, Accessible Options: Supporting Pregnant Teens, Books for Breakfast, Galiano Preschool Music Program, Local Early Years Networks, Moms and Mentors Program, Municipality of Saanich Early Childhood Development Strategy, Parent Mother Goose – Neighbourhood Houses, Parent-Child Play Group for Young Parent Families, Pender Island Child Care Hub , Saanich Peninsula On-Line Directory, Sooke Prenatal Program , UVIC Family Place, Victoria Conservatory Music Outreach Program , Victoria Good Food Box Program , and the Westshore Family Literacy Workshop Series .
- The last GVTA-Board bargaining session was held when I could not attend. I look forward to continuing on that team
School visits and events:
- Craigflower Friday parent socials, and school visit
- Shoreline Middle School Just Desserts music evening and silent auction: My bid on the Fender acoustic guitar was topped so I did not come away with this awesome guitar. Thank you to Shoreline organizers for the vegan dessert! Students presented a largely self-managed program of musical contributions to the evening. .
- Attended an event with Saanich News April 19 at Reynolds Secondary. A Saanich News reporter and photographer came to the school to interview Annelise, a student who in Paul Jung’s art class, who created a surreal and poetic pencil crayon work that I bought. I saw it when I came out from an Education Policy meeting at Reynolds. Sometimes art just calls to you and this creation called to me because of my long interest in cetaceans, and because of the extraordinary composition. It was Annelise’s first sale.
- James Bay Community School Art Gala, May 3
- View Royal School for informal visit and to learn more about Smart Boards, May 10
- Esquimalt PAC May 9. A busy PAC with many initiatives!
- McKenzie School Centennial Open House May 11.
- BCSTA AGM: The pre-conference workshop with BCSTA Parliamentarian John Noonan was valuable. It seems there is always more to learn about Robert’s Rules. The Aboriginal “Honouring Traditional learning” theme was notably successful and engaging. The opening Grand Entry was affecting, featuring students and several speakers, including a memorable address by His Honour Steven Point, Lieutenant-Governor. The Plenary speech by Dr. Evan Adams had everyone engaged, and was another unforgettable feature of the is exceptional AGM. Informative workshops, presentations, BCSTA elections and the business of the meeting followed over the next two days. Congratulations to Michael McEvoy, re-elected as President. The disposition of motions is available from me and will be on the BCSTA website soon
Other initiatives / Community:
- Attended the Cowichan School District 79 Board Meetings April 18, May 2 and May 16. It’s always instructive to attend other Board meetings, and Cowichan’s meetings are always interesting and informative. The May 16 major agenda item (meeting held at Mt Prevost Middle School) was the third reading of and vote (successful) on their Restoration Budget motion that has since received much media attention.
- Reading all BC School District websites. Now at District 38, Richmond. Districts and Board provide varying information. Some Boards have a page for press releases, and advocacy work. Some have public question periods on their agendas, for example Qualicum and Cowichan.
- Reading archived minutes of SD61 Board meetings. Now at 2006, going back in time.
- Informal liaison with members of Victoria City Council with a focus on transparency and accountability to citizens.
- Jane’s Walk in Vic West May 6 (I have been assigned to the Esquimalt Group of Schools)
- Vic West Fest May 12
Thank you to the citizens of School District 61 electoral area for these opportunities!