The Record Off The Record is my own “you had to be there” record of public meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria (5 municipalities). “Official” approved minutes of Board meetings are posted on the SD61 website generally one month after the meeting.Trustees 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 [etc]”.
In Camera non-public meeting started at 6:30 and ended at 7:29..
The public meeting started at 7:30.
Board Meeting Opening Dec 10/12 Audio #1 / 1.1
Board Meeting Dec 10/12 Audio #2 / 1.2
Chair Against Public/ Trustees on Public Engagement Committee Audio #3 / 2.1
Alpha for Trustees and Public on Public Engagement Committee Audio File #4 / 2.2
How to Add Members of Public to Public Engagement Committee? Audio #5 / 3.1How To Add Members of the Public on Public Engagement Committee Discussion Audio #6 / 3.2
Ministry Expects Board “Savings Plan” : CUPE Raise Audio #7 / 4.1
Board Meeting Dec 10 2012 4 2 Audio #8 / 4.2
A. Commencement of Meeting : Recognition of Songhees and Esquimalt Nations’ traditional territories.
A.1. Approval of the Agenda : Approved, with addition of Trustee reports from Horsman, McNally, Nohr
A.2. Approval of the Minutes: November 19, 2012 minutes: Approved
A.3. Business Arising From the Minutes: Nohr, inquired re progress of letters to Minister regarding funding.
a) Chair: (2012: Orcherton) Nominated: Horsman, Orcherton. Horsman declined. Orcherton acclaimed.
b) Vice-Chair (2012: Horsman) Nominated: Horsman, Nohr. Elected: Horsman.
c) British Columbia Public Schools Employers’ Association Representative: (2012: McNally) Nominated: McNally, Ferris. Elected: Ferris.
d) BC School Trustees Association Provincial Councillor (2012: Horsman) Nominated: Horsman, Nohr. Elected: Horsman.
e) Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association Representative (no website): (2012 Ferris) Nominated Ferris, Nohr. elected: Ferris.
f) Appointment of Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee Members [appointed by Board Chair]; Election of Chair by Committee members: Members same as 2012: Leonard, Ferris, McNally, Nohr. Chair: Leonard acclaimed as Chair.
g) Appointment of Education Policy Development Committee members [by Board Chair] , Election of Chair: Members same as 2012: Alpha, Horsman, Loring-Kuhanga, McEvoy. Chair: Alpha acclaimed.
Assignments of Trustee Liaisons to School Groups (aka “School Families”): same as 2012: Spectrum Community, Alpha / Loring-Kuhanga; Mount Douglas Secondary, Nohr; Lambrick Park Secondary, Orcherton; Victoria High, Ferris; Oak Bay High, McEvoy;Reynolds Secondary, Horsman; Esquimalt High, McNally/Leonard.
Assignments to other “Ad Hoc Committees” : most of these committees are not Ad Hoc Committees, Board-Municipality Liaisons, or “Community Advisory Committees” but Community Liaison Positions. There appears to be no related Policy. The “Victoria Parks, Recreation and Community Services Advisory, to which I was appointed at the beginning of my term last year, and which had not existed for five years, has been eliminated from the list. (One might wonder about how often the previous appointee attended a non-existent committee.) The Swan Lake / Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is still on the list, though the management indicated in discussion that they have no need for a School Board liaison.
A.5 Community Presentations
Rachel Franklin : Public Engagement : Ms. Franklin is a manager at IBM, and a parent of a child in SD61. Ms. Franklin presented her analysis of shortcomings of the current public engagement processes in SD61: an examination of public engagement with the Board apparently will not include Trustees or any members of the public; possibly fear motivating the establishment of a large committee to examine public engagement and a question period; no need to have a private meeting to discuss public involvement.
A.6. Trustee Reports:
- November 29 District sharing session at Lake Hill School on Stuart Shanker’s “Self-Regulation”. [Shanker’s ideas hold promise, but if teachers and education assistants are going to be expected to substitute these techniques for written IEPs or shore up very limited IEPs with these techniques, that is more than worrisome. Musings about “building capacity” in classroom teachers leads to questions about how much “capacity” to deal with the emotional social, physical and cognitive needs of an entire classroom of students at one time can one person be expected to develop?
- Glanford Middle School Concert – impressive musicianship!
- Tour of Central Middle School with principal Christopher Macintosh, and Trustee colleague Nohr.A $14 million complete seismic upgrade that began in July 2010 was completed on time for the first day of the 2011/12 school year.
- Rockheights Roots of Empathy baby visit #2. Always a delight.
- Craigflower School PAC and December concert.
- View Royal December Concert.
- Rockheights December concert.
B. Chair’s Report : Newly created Culture and Community Committee [that, in reading minutes back to 2004, appears to have been under consideration for some time. There is apparently nothing posted yet on the SD61 website about this Committee, but the general parameters are on Trustee Nohr’s site.] Concerns regarding costs of improvements to teacher pension plan offloaded by Ministry of Education to Boards; cost to this Board will be approximately $1.2 million.
C. Board Committee Reports
C.1 Combined Operations, [sic] Policy and Planning / Education Policy Development Committee
a) Minutes from December 3, 2012 meeting : information only [not yet approved]
b) Recommended Motions [These are motions that carried with a majority of votes at a Standing Committee. Debate and discussion has taken place at the Standing Committee, so on occasion it may appear that the Board does not put in a lot of debate on motions. But not this occasion.]
That the Board [etc] form an Ad Hoc Committee to review Bylaw 9360 to make recommendations for enhancements for public engagement including a structure for a possible Question and Answer period. The Ad Hoc Committee will include one representative from ASA, CUPE 382, CUPE 947, Exempt, GVTA, VPVA, and the Superintendent of Schools. The committee will report to the Operations, [sic] Policy and Planning Committee and will be at no cost to the Board.
[All acronyms are linked in a previous post that covers the Standing Committee debate on this motion.]
- Notable points: no trustees / no public / no timeline
- Loring-Kuhanga has tried to get a Question and Answer period motion passed in various forms since February 2012
- The mover (Horsman) added in Standing Committee discussion that this committee will examine whether or not to continue to allow public video and audio recording of public meetings, and the Chair previously indicated it would do more. It’s beginning to look like an Omnibus Committee.
- Debate on the motion can be heard in the posted audio files.
McNally: motion to amend: Add “any interested trustees as observers, and two members of the public”.
Defeated (for lack of majority): Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Orcherton For : Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr Abstained: McEvoy
Amendment #2: Add “two members of the public”.
Carried. Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr (no trustees on the committee) For: Alpha, Ferris, Leonard, McEvoy, Orcherton Abstained: Horsman
Vote on the main motion, as amended: Carried. For: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, McEvoy, Orcherton Against: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr [If you want to be on this committee,you might write / email the Chair and copy Trustees if you want to. The process for selection obviously isn’t clear at this time.]
C.2: Brought by senior administration as a Policy Review:
That the Board [etc] adopt the revised Policy 5140.1 Child Abuse.
The motion was referred without a formal motion, by Ferris, to the next Operations Policy and Planning meeting [January 14] for discussion of the revision of the Regulation. (Each Policy is closely tied to the accompanying Regulation.) The revision of the Regulation was previously found to be problematic at the December 3 combined Ed Policy / OPPS meeting (previous post), was discussed at length there, and was not accepted.
D. District Leadership Team Reports
D.1 Secretary-Treasure’s Report: Secretary Treasurer absent; Superintendent acting.. No report.
a)Trustee Remuneration: The last raise for Trustees in SD61 was in 2008.
Motion to table: Ferris / Horsman : [A motion to table is not debatable.]
Carried. For: Alpha, Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, McEvoy, Orcherton. Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr
E. Reports From Trustee Representatives (Ad Hoc Committees, Community Liaison, etc): None
F. New Business / Notice of Motions
McNally: Challenge the Ruling of the Chair
That the Board [etc] amend Bylaw 9368 “Procedure” to read : “any trustee may challenge the ruing of the Chair, according to Robert’s Rules of Order. The Trustee making the challenge (with a seconder) will be asked by the Chair to state the challenge; debate will occur according to Robert’s Rules of Order; a vote to sustain the Chair [or not] will follow debate.
Rationale: The rationale is the same as the rationale used in the Combined Ed Policy / OPPS meeting of December 3.The Bylaw currently moves directly from a “I challenge the chair” to a vote.
Horsman: Moved to amend: Remove the part about debate.
Amendment carried. For: Alpha, Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, McEvoy, Nohr, Orcherton. Against: McNally [The debate, based on reference to Policy/Bylaws and/or Robert’s Rules, not personal opinion, clarifies for the rest of the participants and the public whether the challenge has merit or not. ]
Back to main motion as amended.
That the Board [etc] amend Bylaw 9368 “Procedure” to read : “any trustee may challenge the ruing of the Chair, according to Robert’s Rules of Order. The Trustee making the challenge (with a seconder) will be asked by the Chair to state the challenge; a vote to sustain the Chair [or not] will follow.
Carried. For: Alpha, Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, McEvoy, Nohr, Orcherton. Against: McNally
As required by Bylaw 9010, a the 3 readings needed for a Bylaw change took place.
The SD61 Board letter in reply to Minister of Education McRae’s request for a “savings plan” will be sent. [Trustees were asked by the Chair in email for reactions / suggestions, and the letter was sent on December 17. ] There was no consultation with BCSTA or BCPSEA before the Minister sent out this “expectation”. The Minster apparently expects SD61 to find $2.7 million in “savings” while carrying a structural deficit of $8.5 million. A majority of the 60 school districts in BC have sent letters, copied to all BC School Trustees, stating their inability to comply with this expectation. Remember the Cowichan Board, who were fired for their courageous refusal to comply with any more Ministry “expectations”.
H. Public Disclosure if In Camera Items:
- Mark Walsh [former SD61 Trustee not re-elected in 2008] has been hired as SD61’s new Human Resources manager.
- Cloverdale School has been moved from a medium to a high (H1) seismic risk. Remediation will be part of the 2012-2013 Capital Plan. [That is seemingly not on SD61 website.The member of the public who wanted the SD61 website accessibility reviewed as part of the “public engagement review” has a point.] Seismic upgrades were attached to the October 15, 2012 Board meeting agenda. The Ministry of Education requires Capital Budgets to be submitted in a specific format.
I. Adjournment: Moved: Horsman. Carried unanimously.
- January 7 Education Policy Development Committee
- Roots of Empathy:Has been linked in several posts, so this is coming off the “to do” list.
- What Do Trustees Do?: Blog, apparently! See the BCSTA website for that version of what trustees do. I’m not quite as enamoured of the “cockpit mentality” as some there are. This topic is off the “to do” list as well.