The Record Off the Record: SD61 Board Meeting Nov 19/12: Robert’s Rules In Effect (Except When They’re Not)

As always, The Record Off The Record is an unofficial record of the meeting. Official Minutes of SD61 Board meetings are published on the SD61 website a month following, after they are approved at the next Board meeting. This post includes a link to online summaries of the BCPSEA October 25 event, Insight and Opportunities: Human Resources in Education, promised as a separate post. The online references will cover that.
Fish sculpt VanConvCentre
An In Camera meeting preceded the public meeting:  6:45 to 7:30

The audio record of the Board meeting had to be split into four parts to upload.

A.1. Approval of the Agenda: approved, with addition of two reports from Trustees and two points under Business Arising.
A.2. Approval of the Minutes (October 15/12 Board meeting): approved
A.3. Business Arising From the Minutes:
1.Nohr: Will bring more questions arising from the International Program  presentation (November 29 post, this blog)  to  next Operations Policy and Planning meeting, January 7.
2. Loring-Kuhanga:  Motion from the floor arising from the Minutes. Denied: “Business arising doesn’t include motions”.  Was told that notice of motion is necessary.

  • Bylaw 9250.2 Notices of Motion: “Notice of motion should be submitted in sufficient time to be included in the regular pack-up distribution”. Of course this is a good idea, whenever possible. But the SD61 Bylaw states “should”, not “must”, and doesn’t prohibit motions from the floor, just says  it’s helpful for everybody to get them on the agenda ahead of time if possible.
  • “You’re a member, you’re at a meeting, and you have an idea for action. All you have to do now is make a motion for the group to decide if it accepts your idea and authorizes the action you propose.” (Robert’s Rules of Order for Dummies, p 72) Motions from the floor are not unusual at meetings (p 20, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief).

But, never mind all that!  Let’s move on!

A.4. Student Achievement: The Vic High Choir’s presentation  included a B.J. Cook song. The Vic High music studio is named after Cook.

A.5. Community Presentations: Three members of the community presented submissions regarding their concerns with WiFi in schools, particularly K-5 . One presenter, a nurse, spoke on the health issues related to WiFi, with a focus on possible health effects in K-5 schools on young students. The third community member read a letter from her daughter who has had to move her son to a school in SD61 without ubiquitous WiFi, because of her concerns with the proliferation of WiFi in her child’s home school district home district.

A.6. Trustees’ Reports
1. McNally
: Attended:

B. Chair’s Report  Included:

  • Meeting with Minster of Education Don Macrae  at Vic High’s Fairey Tech facility; has written a letter regarding trades funding.
  • Kim Munro is the newly hired SD61 Director of Human Resources (nostaff names on SD61 HR page).
  • Increase in teachers’ pension plans is yet another unfunded offload of costs to Districts (both individual teachers and employers will pay 1.3% more into the plan); would like a review of  teachers’ pension plan / would like Ministry to pay full amount offloaded to Districts.

The Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association  representative at the table commented that School District 61 middle school trades programs are directly related to the situation of exploratory teachers (google “exploratory sd61”; all middle schools feature “exploratory” courses that provide preparation time for classroom teachers and opportunities for students to try new activities) in middle schools of SD61. The GVTA rep noted that most woodworking exploratory teachers, for example are hired to a .375 position, no benefits, no preparation time, and for a beginning teacher,  approximately $1,666.58 per month (GVTA /Board Collective Agreement, Section B, p 27: $44,442 x.375 = ). A motion to review the ten year implementation of SD61 middle schools was defeated at the May 7, 2012 Education Policy Development Committee.

C. Board Committee Reports
      C.1. Education Policy Committee
a) Approval of Minutes
: October 1 / 12:  Approved
b) November 5 2012 minutes for information only (until approved at the next Education Policy Committee meeting, December 3)
c) Recommended Motion:
That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) approve Aboriginal Cultural Connections 12 as a Board Authority Authorized Course.
The Ministry of Education provides policy for BAA  courses.  The motion carried unanimously at the previous Education Policy meeting, after a presentation by Nella Nelson, Coordinator, Aboriginal Nations Education Division, SD61. Trustee Loring-Kuhanga spoke to the cultural responsibility of Aboriginal youth to contribute, noting that culturally, this is not thought of as “volunteering”, and that recognition of such activity is overdue.
Carried unanimously.

     C.2. Operations Policy and Planning Committee
a) Minutes
from November 13, 2012: information only
b) Recommended motion (previously discussed and debated at OPPS and carried by  majority vote):
That the Board [etc] remind the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association and School District staff regarding the current Board direction related to WiFi in elementary schools.
: Moved to amend:
That the Board [etc] request that the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association and School District staff align with the current Board position that apart from George Jay no WiFi be used in K-5 schools.
The amendment was not accepted as it was ruled to be a substantive change to the original motion. After discussion, this following  motion was carried:
That the Board [etc] direct the Superintendent to ensure that no new routers be placed in any school until such time as the board has changed its present direction.
Carried. For: Alpha, Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Nohr, Orcherton   Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally

This motion does not address the unauthorized routers / hotspots that have not been installed by the District but that have brought in individually at 11 sites by school district employees,and those voting against thought it to be not comprehensive enough..

D. District Leadership Team Reports: none
E. Reports From Trustee Representatives

F. New Business / Notice of Motions
F.1. Nohr: New Targeted Funding
That the Board [etc] provide the new Minister of Education with an advocacy letter requesting new targeted funding for students in grades K-3 who present with significant learning or behavioural challenges, before they become a priority for psycho-educational assessment and Individual Education Plan support. Additionally, this letter be sent to the Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Dix, and to the Education critic, Robin Austin.
Carried. For: Alpha, Horsman, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr  Against: Ferris, Leonard, Orcherton

F.2 Nohr: Educational Assistance Funding
That the Board [etc] provide the new Minister of Education with an advocacy letter requesting additional funding to be added to existing funding for students with designations on the autism spectrum (ASD) or with intensive behaviour. Additionally, this letter be sent to the Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Dix, and to the Education critic, Robin Austin.
Carried. Unanimous.

F.3. Nohr: $10/Day Child Care Plan
That the Board [etc] endorse the Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning, otherwise known as the $10 Day Child Care Plan.
Referred with unanimous agreement to Education Policy Committee, January 7, 2013.

F.4.Nohr: Encourage Awareness of the Plan
That the Board [etc] encourage awareness of the $10 / Day Child Care Plan to out partner groups and request that they endorse the program as well.
Referred with unanimous agreement to Education Policy Committee, January 7, 2013.

F.5. Nohr: Reinstatement of Targeted Funding
That the Board [etc] provide the new Minister of Education with an advocacy letter requesting the reinstatement of full targeted funding for students with learning disabilities designations in addition to current funding. Additionally, this letter be sent to the Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Dix, and to the Education critic, Robin Austin.
Defeated. For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr     Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Orcherton

Discussion and debate included consideration of Justice Rosalie Abella’s ruling on the Jeffrey Moore case, in court for 15 years: “Adequate special education is not a dispensable luxury,” Judge Abella said for a 9-0 majority. “For those with severe learning disabilities, it is the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to all children in British Columbia.”

This case would not have happened if targeted funding worked“, was one comment heard at the table. No one at the table who has taught students with learning disabilities  in K-12 public schools in British Columbia would make that statement. The problem was a shortfall of funds in the North Vancouver School District after the provincial government took away the ability of School Boards to tax locally,  and instituted block funding which led to the decision to close the  Diagnostic Teaching Centre, and was not a problem with targeted funding.

School District 61 does support Reading Recovery, a proven intervention for Grade One students with significant struggles with early literacy (individually designed 1:1 instruction can continue into Grade Two).

F.6. Nohr: Stewardship (Progress) Report
That the Board [etc] develop and implement a stewardship report for all Board meetings to include the action taken, person responsible, and progress report (which may include timeline and/or date of progress report).
Referred to the Operations Planning and Policy meeting, December 3.

F.7.Nohr: Adding Stewardship Report to Bylaw 9360
That the Board [etc] add Stewardship Report to part 12 of Bylaw 9360, “General Meeting of the Board”, to read: The Order of Business on the SD61 Board of Education Board meeting Agenda shall be:
1. Approval of the Agenda
2. Approval of the Minutes
3. Business Arising From the Minutes
4. Unfinished Business
5. Student Achievement
6. District Presentations
7. Public Disclosure of In-Camera Items
8. Community/Public Presentations
9. Trustees’ Reports / Reports From Trustee Representatives
9.1 Chair’s Report
10.Board Committee Reports
10.1 Education Policy Development Committee
a. Minutes
b. Recommended motions
10.2 Operations Policy and Planning Committee
a. Minutes
b. Recommended motions
11. District Senior Administration Reports
11.1 Superintendent’s Report
11.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
12. New Business/Notice of Motions / Stewardship Report
13. Adjournment

This motion reflects changes to the agenda proposed (McNally) and defeated on September 10, 2012 (combined OPPS /Education Policy, #7 page 4, and adds the Stewardship Report . This is different from the agenda as it stands  in the current Board Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board. Thus, there were too many changes in one motion.
Referred to the Operations Planning and Policy meeting, December 3.

G. Communications: none
H. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items : none
I. Adjournment : 10:15

Next meeting:
December 3, Tolmie Building
Education Policy / Inspirations Planning and Policy
(combined meeting for December)

Next posts:

  • The Record, Off the Record:  Ed Policy / OPPS, December 3, 2012
  • The Record, Off the Record: Board Meeting December 10, 2012
  • What Do Trustees Do? Roots of Empathy (and other SD61 Healthy Safe and Caring Schools Initiatives and Programs)

About Diane McNally