5. Superintendent’s Report
- 1st meeting February 18/13
- Carrying on from last OPPS with discussion of changes proposed by the Committee to Bylaw 9360, General Meeting of the Board: #5, 7th and 8th bullet points (Question period 15 minutes; total public time 45 minutes).
- McNally: Moved:
Trustees may ask questions of clarification of a presenter./ Defeated. For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Orcherton.
- Horsman: Need to preserve decorum and dignity; not in favour.
- Orcherton: The is a difference between “clarification” and “probing”. Probing leads to debate. Can do to and fro in Standing Committees.
- Alpha: Amendment:
Add “Trustees, through the Chair, may ask…”. / Carried. For: Alpha, Horsman, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr Against: Ferris, Leonard, Orcherton
- Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils President: “Clarification” requires basically a yes or no answer. Questions abut process, and probing need to take place in Standing Committees. [In British Columbia, the 1989 School Act established the right of parents to create a Parent Advisory Council.]
- Leonard: “Clarification” can be seen differently by different people. Also with 6 presenters, if every one of 9 Trustees had a question, there would be 54 questions. Leave the process as it is in order to have a level playing field for this formal meeting
Back to main motion (defeated).
- Paynter, public: Would like question period moved up before decisions are made.
- Nohr: Moved:
That question period be split in two parts, 10 minutes each, first part after Student Achievement section. / Defeated. For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, Orcherton.
- Loring-Kuhanga: My original question period motion’s intention [December 2012] was questions directed to the Chair, not individual Trustees, and at the time of the original motion, wanted the question period earlier on the agenda.
- Horsman: In favour of one question period. Not constructive to close off questions twice in a meeting; not sending the right message. It’s inappropriate to have questions after student achievement and is not constructive. The public might get impression that we open gate and close it. “E” is best place for it.
- Orcherton: The Board meeting is the Board’ business meeting; Standing Committees are the place for discussion.
[Some BC School Districts do have two Question periods on the Board meeting agenda, for example, Sunshine Coast SD46.]
- VCPAC President: This issue was discussed in depth in Ad Hoc Committee. Is the question posed to get an answer? No, the Board meeting is the place a question can be asked on the record. Questions would have very little to do with influencing debate.
- Alpha: Saanich School District [May 15/13 agenda] has had two question periods and it wasn’t a stop and go process. The “stop and go” aspect is not a weighty argument against two question periods.
- Orcherton: Another thing we do is have stakeholders at the Board table. People in the public seats may have an affiliation with someone at the table and can get questions asked that way. And the Question and Answer period may be extended at the discretion of the Chair.
- GVTA 1st Vice President: In favour of two question periods; different questions may come forward at different times on the agenda, ad two periods do add more time for public engagement.
- Nohr: Discussions with members of public reveal overwhelming support for more time for questions.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Moved:
Switch “E” [questions] and “F” [disclosure if in camera items] on the agenda, moving Question period up on the agenda. / Defeated. / For: Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr. Against: Alpha, Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, McNally, Orcherton
- Rob Paynter (public) : Why aren’t answers going to be recorded?
- Deputy Superintendent: Follow up to questions might be a phone call from senior administration, and often answers are not black and white. There is not enough staff time to include answers.
- VCPAC President: Administrative issue re provision of answer. To get answer in the public record, individual could present the answer at the next Board meeting via the speaker list.
- Leonard: Work on pages 5, 6 and 7 of he agenda has been completed. Will move forward on agenda as all agreed at this point and take up discussion from there in next OPPS meeting.