June 2/14: Ed Policy: The Record Off The Record: Culture and Community, French Immersion, Achievement Contract

Notice of Motions for Board meeting June 16: a) Alpha: That the board direct senior administration to consult with school communities to explore the possibility of an elementary school site that could be designated wifi free so the rents requesting accommodation for tier children will have a public school option that meets their needs. b) Alpha: That the Board provide a written rationale of the Board’s decision regarding designating an elementary school site as wifi free to the parents requesting accommodation for their children after the board has made that decision.

  • Page 1: Backgrounder, Related Bylaws, Robert’s Rules, Public Engagement
  • Page 2: Meeting agenda; Spectrum Social Justice Project; SD61 Culture and Community Committee [with excerpts from VCPAC Constitution / Bylaws]
  • Page 3:Proposed changes to French Immersion enrolment
  • Page 4: Community Literacy Plan [In 2007, Boards of School Trustees became Boards of Education with an expanded mandate.  For the first time, Boards were responsible for learning before and after the K-12 school years.]
  • Page 5: Achievement Contract 2013-14 [attached in full  agenda packup] / Reading Recovery
  • Page 6: Superintendent’s updates:  Suicide Prevention, Cyberbullying, Student Trustee,  Notice of Motion: WiFi / EMF Accommodation                                                         

Links for more info /sources in red.
Home page: Widgets and sticky post: Motions and Vote Records to June 2013
(will be updated to end of June 2014 over the summer).

Next Meetings:
Monday June 9, 7:30
pm Operations Policy & Planning Committee: Tolmie Board Room
Monday June 16, 7:30 pm: Board Meeting, Tolmie Board Room

Civic elections November 15, 2014

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal,and parts 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 (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. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Required 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 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”.  Any report beyond the basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “are limited to”.] Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter and go into in camera meetings by public motion. School Boards set in camera meetings before public meetings. That’s why the doors are often closed when you arrive.

The public 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”. 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. Motions may be shortened but retain the essential wording. Seconders not noted.

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a budget of $195.330, 769.00 of your tax dollars for the coming school year. You pay nine Trustees approximately $1,200.00 a month, each, with a raise to come in December when a committee decides how it should be implemented [vote at C.2.b.v May 20/14].

With the Minister of Education as the Honourary President of the British Columbia School Trustees’ Association, just how much real “advocacy” can Trustees do, when their Hon. Pres. seems dedicated to dismantling public education?

The Report of the SD61 Committee on Public Engagement

is posted on the SD61 website.  Check out  the potential restrictions on asking a question at a Board meeting if you’re a member of the public, and the potential restrictions on public recording of public meetings. These proposed policy revisions are being debated every OPPS meeting, generally the second Monday of each month, and will continue to be be debated at this meeting. [This is a good thing as Trustees were expressly forbidden to be part of the Committee that developed these recommendations, which I find strange.A desire for actual participation is often called “micromanagement” at the table. I sat in as an observer for some of the meetings ]

The final draft of new Public Engagement policies will come to OPPs for debate, discussion and vote – OPPS as a Standing Committee has opportunities for questions from the public during the meeting – in the fall of 2014 and then will go to the Board for a final debate and vote, in a September / October meeting of the Board. The policy will define how you as a member of the public in SD61 can participate.

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 recording and loss of control to all those wild radicals who typically attend School Board meetings. “Control” is heard frequently in these discussions.

2013 - 2014 Trustee Assignments

Ferris has replaced Nohr on the Culture and Community Committee. Some of these assignments have not resulted in a report to the public, or to trustees in camera, since January 1 2012 when this Board took office [or before that]. I have stopped attending Healthy Saanich Committee meetings, and explained why here.

Bylaw 9130: Standing Committees of the Board (OPPS and Ed Policy): 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. [Alpha, Horsman, Loring-Kuhanga, McEvoy for Ed Policy]
  • “Ex officio” is a Latin term meaning “by virtue of office or position.” Ex-officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are members because of some other office or position that they hold. Ex-officio members of boards and committees have exactly the same rights and privileges as do all other members, including the right to vote.
  • There are, however, two instances in which ex-officio members are not counted in determining the number required for a quorum or in determining whether or not a quorum is present. These two instances are: In the case of the President / Chair, whenever the bylaws provide that the president / chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and 2. When the ex-officio member of the board or committee is neither an ex-officio officer of the board or committee nor a member, employee, or elected or appointed officer of the society (for example, when the governor of a state is made ex officio a member of a private college board).

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.”

Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of one of the two standing committees. Senior administration (the Principal of Learning Initiatives, for Ed Policy)  set the agendas for Board meetings and Standing Committee meetings, with input from the Chairs.

Robert’s Rules Side Trip: RROR, 11th Edition, confirms the right of any member of a Board / Standing Committee to make a motion from the floor by simply gaining the recognition of the Chair, making the motion and having it seconded. It is then on the agenda for debate and vote. Of course it is a good idea to give Notice of Motion, but that’s different thing than making a motion from the floor. Notice of Motion allows members of the Board to know that the issue is coming up, but including it on the agenda that is sent out to members, and / or by stating the intent to place the motion on the agenda of an upcoming meeting. A Notice of Motion obviously can’t be made for a motion in the meeting that is underway, thus a motion from the floor.

Making a motion again after it has been defeated at a previous meeting is called renewal of the motion. All you need to do for this motion is to make the same motion again at your next monthly meeting. You can do this regardless of how you voted on the original motion.