Nov 18/13 Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: Coastal Kindergarten / The K-5 WiFi Vote

“In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.” … “Exposing children to computer technology before they are ready (around 7th grade) can hamper their ability to fully develop strong bodies, healthy habits of discipline and self-control, fluency with creative and artistic expression and flexible and agile minds. ” ( Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Silicon Valley)

Anything in red is a clickable link.

Note: The Report of the SD61 Committee on Public Engagement  is posted on the SD61 website. It includes 14 potential strictures on asking a question at a Board meeting if you’re a member of the public. Its suggested changes will be debated and voted on at OPPS meetings until they’ve all been addressed.

Board meeting agenda Nov 18 2913 1

Board meeting agenda Nov 18 2013 2
Board meeting agenda Nov 18 2013 2
Board meeting agenda Nov 18 2013 3
Board meeting agenda Nov 18 2013 3

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 (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, http://www.sd61.bc.ca/ (Education Policy Development Committee is posted as “Education Meetings”; Operations Policy and Planning Committee is posted as “Operations Meetings”) generally one month after the meeting.

Reports from In Camera meetings are posted on the Board meeting page as “Section 72 Reports”. “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC the School Act which states “ A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.” Key word: “general”.

Reports in addition to the “general” report required from an In Camera meeting (posted on the SD61 website) to the public in attendance at a Board or Standing Committee meeting directly following the In Camera meeting are made if a motion to do so is made, and carried by majority vote in camera.

The public meeting schedule is posted on the District CalendarTrustees  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]”. Motions are shortened and “subjunctified” but retain the essential wording.

To Dec 2013: Trustee assignments
To Dec 2013: Trustee assignments

I am not on the GVTA Negotiations Advisory Committee, though that’s what this assignment (by the Chair) chart says.Still not clear if the GVTA Negotiations Advisory Committee above is the same thing as the two trustees who sit at the local issues bargaining table with the teacher employee group, or if that is called something else. Two trustees do sit at that table and neither of them is me, since as far as I know, they are Orcherton and Ferris, not Orcherton and me. The BC School Trustees Association states: “Trustees in some districts participate directly in union negotiations; in other districts the bargaining is left to staff and the board approves the negotiated agreements.” Trustees in SD61 do not have any part in developing bargaining objectives (as far as I know) , although we are responsible for them.

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. A small footnote  simply appeared on the agenda one evening.








In Camera meeting before the public meeting: 6:00 – 7:30. 

Board Meeting November 18, 2013

Bylaw 9368: Procedure of Board Meetings: ” In all meetings of the Board of Trustees, procedures shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, except where provisions of the bylaws of the Board or the School Act may conflict, in which case the latter shall prevail.”

Robert’s Rules 11th Edition includes the following, and much, much more: [From Robert’s Rules,  Robert’s Rules for for Dummies, and Nancy Sylvester, Professional Registered Parliamentarian ]

  • Robert’s Rules use the word “session” as another word for “meeting”.
  • Robert’s Rules provide that, when you get into a new session, you can revisit anything you’ve talked about before, whether you’ve made a decision or just talked about it and decided to decide later (if at all).
  • A small board is considered to have 12 or fewer members. The rules for small boards and committees now apply to all committees, irrelevant of size, both standing and special.
  • Small board members may seek recognition by raising a hand instead of rising.
  • The small board chairman, as well as any committee chairman, may make motions, speak in debate, and vote.
  • Motions to close or limit debate are in order in board meetings, but not in committee meetings.
  • Point of Information: In recognition of the frequent misuse of this motion, the 11th edition has changed the name of this motion to Request for Information. This motion is supposed to be used to allow a member to ask a factual question relevant to the issue being discussed. But, since Point of Information usually gets the member recognized by the chair before others who are waiting to debate the motion, it is all too often used to state information (or an opinion veiled as information) without waiting one’s turn to be called upon to debate the motion. Since the purpose of this motion is for the member to request information, not give information, the preferred name has been changed to Request for Information.
  • On notice of a breach of the rules, especially if that breach impinges on one’s rights or the rights of other members, one raises a hand and says, “Point of order, Chair!” Then state reasons for thinking rules aren’t being followed correctly. The Chair, hopefully, recognizes the validity of the  point.  The point is declared either “Well-taken,” or “Not well-taken,” and a short explanation of the ruling is given.

A. Commencement of Meeting: Chair: Orcherton( Loring-Kuhanga attending by speaker phone)

Recognition of Songhees and Esquimalt  Nations’ traditional territories.

A.1. Approval of the Agenda: Adopted, with addition of several reports from Trustees at A7, and addition of Janis Hoffman (WiFi) to speaker list at A6.
A.2. Approval of the Minutes
a) Minutes of October 21,  2013: Approved
A.3. Business Arising From the Minutes:
None

 A.4 Student Achievement
a) Glanford Middle School : Glanford Middle School continues with its innovative TV studio morning announcements; the studio and the video-related learning was used in a teamwork-highlighting student compilation of a video version of the Lulu and the Lampshades / Pitch Perfect song “You’re Going to Miss  Me When I’m Gone”, with cup and hand-clapping “choreography”. Fun!

A. 5. Public Apology: Trustee Nohr apologized to the Superintendent.

A.6. District Presentations:  Superintendent reported on  purchase of 955 Hillside Avenue (Playing Field at former Blanshard School): The school was closed by the Board that was in place in SD61 in 2003. Lots A and B of this property were leased out on a 99 year lease by a previous Board in January 2005.Lot B will return to the public domain. The announcement is made as required by the Ministry of Education.

A.7. Community Presentations:
a) Emily Federico, South Park PAC, Coastal Kindergarten: Speaking in favour (audio file).  Clarifying South Park Parent Advisory Council’s role in developing the Coastal Kindergarten proposal: did not originate at South Park but we embraced it. This is an opportunity to see if this program will will work and will spread beyond James Bay.
b) Tiffany Carlye, James Bay Community School PAC, Coastal Kindergarten: James Bay Community School is lucky to have been chosen to host the Coastal Kindergarten. It shows us a future model of kindergarten delivery in Victoria.
c) Bonnie Davison, parent, Coastal Kindergarten: Owner / operator of Victoria Nature School  pre-school. [Great poster on the site: “There’s No WiFi in the Forest But You’ll Find a Better Connection”.] Personally initiated the request for this program, and personally brought it to the District senior administration.