SD61 Board Meeting, April 15/13: The Record Off The Record: Audio Record of Students at Public Meeting No; Names, Photos and Schools Yes

The Record Off The Record is my own record of and commentary on public meetings in School District 61 (Municipalities of Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal and a portion of Saanich and Highlands ). “Official” approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee  meetings  are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu,  generally one month after the meeting. The meeting schedule is posted on the District Calendar 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]”. No audio 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. Recording begins after student presentations as  “Concerns remained about “legal obligations” regarding students who voluntarily show up with parental permission at public Board meetings so the Chair announced that recording will not be done of any student presentations“. However, photos of students, first names and schools they attend are often identified on the Board Highlights page.)

The Chair has requested that  include this statement be made: The Chair states that she did not consult a parliamentarian re Nohr’s motion. [This is in reference to the Lined Paper post March 25, at F.5, which is Nohr’s motion requesting provision of a class size and composition report. My understanding is that the Board “parliamentarian”,  the Secretary-Treasurer – Secretary-Treasurers act as Robert’s Rules interpreters  for most School Boards in BC, apparently – may consult with a Registered Parliamentarian, and relay the information  to the Chair, as it is the chair’s function to rule on motions, not the Secretary-Treasurer’s.]

Audio record of the meeting split into 8 parts:

An In Camera Meeting preceded the public Board meeting.
Absent: McEvoy (regrets)
Board Chair: Trustee Orcherton

School District 61 Board Meeting, April 15, 2013
A. Commencement of Meeting:
Recognition of Songhees  and Esquimalt Nations’ traditional territories.

A.1. Approval of the Agenda: Approved
A.2. Approval of the Minutes
a) Minutes of March 25, 2013
: Approved
b) Minutes of March 27 Special Board Budget Meeting Minutes: Approved  [SD61 continues to carry an approximately $8.5 million “structural deficit”.]

A.3. Business Arising From the Minutes: Nohr referred to her motion regarding class size at F.5 in the March 25 minutes, and asked the Chair if a class size report [every class]  could and would be posted on the SD61 website. Such a class size report will not be posted.

A.4. Student Achievement:   Monterey Middle School United Way Spirit Award: Judy Harrison, Monterey Principal and Monterey Students

  • A decision was made via a previous majority vote of the Board  to discontinue recording of students who present at Board meetings. The was a belief on the part of a majority of trustees that this would somehow endanger students. Recording begins when student presentations have finished. However, photos of students identified by  first name and school appear on the District Board Highlights page, where there is more information about the Monterey Middle School United Way activities.
  • The United Way of Greater Victoria awarded Monterey School one of the two Spirit Awards given “…to an outstanding organization that demonstrated excellence in motivating and engaging volunteers and donors, resulting in increased awareness and understanding of United Way’s three impact areas: children, poverty and community”.

A.5. District Presentations: None
A.6. Community Presentations: None

A.7. Trustees’ Reports:

  • Horsman at Ecole Quadra School; choir commendable
  • Nohr attended one of the provincially organized International School Round Tables, this one  in Courtenay, with Assistant Deputy Minister of Education Claire Avison. The Vancouver Sun’s education blogger Janet Steffenhagen  reported on the Vancouver round table meeting: “The reception was cool Thursday when the B.C. Education Ministry held its first round-table on proposed changes to international student programs in K-12 schools, according to one of the participants. Patti Bacchus, chairwoman of the Vancouver board of education, said almost everyone attending the meeting in Vancouver was unhappy with the ministry’s plan to skim some profits to pay for a provincial infrastructure that would provide oversight, marketing and training. I heard similar concerns in December when I first wrote about the plan based on ministry documents that were leaked to me. Boards that have created successful international student programs – partly to offset a funding squeeze by government – aren’t keen to have the ministry suddenly take control.And they’re not at all enthusiastic about a proposed provincial surcharge of up to $250 per student to pay for that infrastructure.”

B.Chair’s Report: CFAX interview re the budget;  April 9 Stephen Andrews (CTV) re seismic upgrades;  April 10 Kyle Slavin (Saanich News) seismic upgrades; April 12 at Quadra School re seismic upgrade and Quadra School’s 100th Anniversary in 2014 (Students will be moving to the Richmond School campus (while the upgrade is underway.)

C. Board Committee Reports

C.1 Education Policy Development Committee
a) Minutes April 2, 2013: Information only (official minutes need approval at the next Education Policy meeting, May 6, before posting to the SD61 website)

C.2 Operations, [sic] Policy and Planning Committee Meeting [Operations Policy and Planning] [That comma provided for ongoing confusion for my first few months on the board – if Education Policy deals with “Education Policy”, then this committee must deal with “Policy”.  And “Operations”. And “Planning”. Eats shoots and leaves? Or eats, shoots, and leaves? ]
a) Minutes April 8, 2013: Information only ( official minutes need approval at the next Operations meeting, May 13, before posting to the SD61 website)
b) Recommended Motions:

i) Leonard: That the Board [etc] give all three readings of Capital Bylaw no. 126550, [p 21 of agenda ] being a bylaw for the maximum expenditure of $2,414,051 for capital portion of the Annual Facility Grant [1993 Policy] allocation.  Motion to be carried unanimously at the Board Meeting [Bylaw 9010, Bylaws of the Board, Article 5: “The board shall not give a bylaw more than 2 readings at any one meeting unless the members of the board who are present at the meeting unanimously agree to give the bylaw all 3 readings at that meeting.”] / Carried: unanimous

Leonard: That Capital Bylaw No. 126550, being a bylaw for the maximum expenditure of $2,414,051 for the capital portion of the Annual Facility Grant  allocation be: [read 3 times] and that the Secretary-Treasurer and the Board Chair be authorized to execute and seal this bylaw on behalf of the Board. / Carried: unanimous

ii) (Nohr, from April 8 OPPS, (8) New Business / Notice of Motion; motion to table to Board meeting by Leonard; unanimous )

That the Board [etc] write a letter to the Premier and the Minister of Education expressing concern about the unanticipated increase in the number of downloaded costs and the resulting adverse impact for the district. Examples of these costs include the teachers’ pension plan increase, MS SP rate increase, Hydro rate increase, the transition back to GST/PST and general inflation. / Carried: unanimous.

iii) (Nohr, also from April 8 OPPS) : That the Board [etc] write a letter to the Premier and the Minister of Education requesting that the government provide for the wage increase for any negotiated settlements with teachers, CUPE staff, Allied Specialists, principals / vice principals and exempt staff. / Carried: unanimous

D.District Leadership Team Reports: None
E.Reports From Trustee Representatives: None [Qualicum School District 69, among others, names the bodies trustees are assigned to as a standing item on Board meeting agendas, so it is apparent when reports are given or not given. SD61 does not do this. Reports are not even given annually for some of these SD61 Ad Hoc and Community representative assignments. Some Community Committees don’t have websites and apparently never meet.]

Trustee Assignments

Trustee Assignments

F.New Business / Notice of Motions: None

G. Communications:
G.1. April 9, 2013 Letter from Minister of Education (Agenda, p 23)

H. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: none

I. Adjournment: 8 pm

Next post:
Special Board Budget Meeting April 17, 2913
Next meeting:
7 pm Monday May 6, 2013: Education Policy Development Committee

About Diane McNally