April 7/14: Education Policy: The Record Off The Record: Question Everything, Even Learning Initiatives

Links (if you want more info) in red.
Square brackets contain my comments.
Home page – with widgets! http://lined-paper.com/
Pagination (at bottom of each page):
1. Question Period at Board Meetings progress / Ed Policy purpose / Next meetings
2. Meeting Agenda /  A.1 Meeting Opening to 7.General Announcements
3. 8: New Business: A. Rugby Academy Esquimalt High School motion (again)
4.   8 B. The Canoe Project: Sharing BCSTA Presentation on Structuring Schools to Improve Wellness and Engagement: Kim Strom, Principal and Jeff Duyndam, Vice-Principal, Shoreline Middle School
5.  8C. McNally: That … the department “Learning Initiatives” be closed.
6.  8D.McNally: That SD61 halt implementation of wifi router installation … for the 2014-15 school year, and apply the …savings to the 2014-15 budget plan…/ 8E. Sundance Discussion / 9. Adjournment
7. Disclaimer / Related Bylaws
8.  Robert’s Rules: a few to consider / Photo therapy 

Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with an annual budget of $195.672, 515.00 of your tax dollars (at June 2013).  You pay nine Trustees approximately $1,200.00 a month, each. 

The Report of the SD61 Committee on Public Engagement is posted on the SD61 website. It’s under the Board of Education category, in “subcommittees” in the drop-down menu. Have a look at the potential restrictions on asking a question at a Board meeting if you’re a member of the public. This proposed policy revision is being debated in detail at every OPPS meeting, generally the second Monday of each month, and the restrictions have changed somewhat. Operations Planning and Policy Standing Committee minutes have a record of the changes as does Lined Paper. The final draft will come to OPPs for debate, discussion and vote – OPPS as a Standing Committee has opportunities for questions from the public during the meeting – and then will go to the Board for a final debate and vote.

VCPAC requested in 2006 that the School Act be changed to ensure a question period at Board meetings in BC school districts. The letter is on the VCPAC website, along with a short (but incomplete) history of SD61 Board question period activity. Trustee Loring-Kuhanga brought a motion to the May 14, 2012  Operations Policy and Planning meeting asking for two public question periods at every Board meeting. This motion was defeated.  (For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr. (Absent: McEvoy) Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard and Orcherton.)

It’s taken two years to get close to having a [highly controlled] question period on the Board agenda. Recently, Qualicum School District 69 managed to answer 39 questions, with questions and answers provided in the minutes, in one meeting. The current SD61 culture seems  fearful of questions and loss of control to all those wild radicals who typically attend School Board meetings.

Bylaw 9130.1 Education Policy Development Committee  Article 4: “The Education Policy Development Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 9360.2 (Meetings of the Standing Committees) for the purpose of providing direction to administration on the development of new educational policies and to review Board motions which require translation to educational policy. In addition, the Committee shall, from time to time as it sees fit, make recommendations to the Board in respect of educational policy for the District.”

Bylaw 9130: Standing Committees of the Board: “The purpose of each standing committee shall be firstly to clarify issues that need to be referred to the Board for review and decision making and, secondly, to present policy recommendations for Board consideration.”  ….“3. The Chairperson of the Board shall be an ex officio member of both Committees, with voting rights.4.All members of the Education Policy Development Committee shall be ex officio members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee with voting rights. 5. All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be  ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights. 6. A quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee.”

Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of the two standing committee, Ed Policy and Operations Policy. Current members of Ed Policy are Alpha, Horsman, Loring-Kuhanga, and McEvoy.Senior administration (the Principal of Learning Initiatives, for Ed Policy) set the agendas for Board meetings and Standing Committee meetings cooperatively with the Chairs.

Next Meetings:
April 14, 2014 Monday 7:00 pm, Board Room: Operations Policy and Planning
April 22, 2014 Tuesday 7:30 pm, Board Room: Board Meeting [McNally: Motion to postpone final budget vote to May 20; McNally: Motion to rescind decision to close Sundance School / move to Lakehill]
April 23, 2014 Monday 7:00 pm, Board Room: Final Budget vote
April 28: Panel interviews for Associate Superintended position (non-public; includes parent and Trustee representation)
May 5, 2014  Monday: Education Policy (if no In Camera meeting preceding will be held in a school TBA)

About Diane McNally