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

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8. New Business:
A
. Rugby Academy at Esquimalt High School:

[Defeated at Ed Policy February 3, 2014For: Horsman, McEvoy, Orcherton  Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr}

Recommended motion from Pat Duncan, Associate Superintendent:
That the Board approve the Rugby Academy at Esquimalt High School.  /Carried. For: Alpha, Ferris,Horsman, Leonard,McEvoy, Orcherton Nohr    Against: McNally

  • Colin Roberts, Principal of Esquimalt High School, presented a slightly changed  proposal for District Program Status for an Esquimalt High Rugby Academy, and referred to letters in the agenda packup from the township of Esquimalt and from Rugby Canada in support. (Rugby Canada players and coaches will form the coaching staff, who will be paid a per diem.) Academy staff will select students for the academy from applicants based on understanding of program goals, academic readiness, and motivation to commit to the program. [Needs 26 – 30 applications for the Grade 9-12 Academy to be viable in the first year, with another 30 added in the second year, and capped at that number.Students will pay $100 per month in fees / $1000 annually.]
    Nohr: There are two separate programs, standard rugby and the Academy, correct?
    Roberts: Would take this course a part of the Academy and then take the Field Academy.
    McNally: What are the changes in the rationale / proposal?
    Roberts: Added two appendices , the statement “We will make an exception al effort to include all athletes who want to be part of this program”, and the third paragraph n the “rationale” section.
    Orcherton: Referring to Nohr’s question [re motions appearing again] , this isn’t like a motion coming from a Trustee.

 It will be interesting to find out how senior administration’s motions are treated differently from Trustees’ and what would explain that. 

  • Horsman: Like the look of it. The Mayor of Esquimalt shows support. Like the part about not leaving anyone behind.
  • Leonard: Putting the motion on the floor.
  • Alpha: Rugby one of the sports that is building in Canada.
  • McEvoy: Don’t often have politics around the table [We don’t?] but want to point out that the public should watch and listen to debate. It’s important to watch what happens around the table. I’m proud to be on side with other colleagues with Academies. One of the reasons for our grad rates. 

[Couldn’t agree more. Voting records for January 2012-June 2013 can be accessed in a summer 2013  Lined Paper post, and voting records for all motions September 2013 to June 2014 will be posted in August 2014. It’s kind of important to watch how people vote, too.]

  • McNally: Can’t support programs of choice that set up competition amongst schools and result in students leaving a neighbourhood school and taking their per pupil funding of $6,900 with them, leaving the neighbourhood school scrambling to pay the bills. [Where is that research that conclusively correlates Academies with rising Grad rates? Because two things are linked in time does not mean there is a cause and effect connection. Maybe graduation rates are rising  because SD61 has a “credit recovery” course in which  a student can retake a failed course and get credit in a 4 week Fast Track program.]

About Diane McNally