Jan 5/14: Ed Policy: The Record Off The Record: SD61Aboriginal Nations Education / BCSTA: Randomized FSAs

“That the Board request that the Superintendent review with Principals the need to honour all parent requests to withdraw students from the Foundation Skills Assessment testing, and refrain from contacting parents with regards to their decision.” / Defeated.

Page 1: Background info
Page 2: Meeting agenda, debate synopsis, votes

Next meetings
Tues Jan 12/15 7:30pm Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee:
Tolmie Board Room
Mon Jan 19/15 7:30pm Board Meeting, Tolmie Board Room
Mon Feb 2/15 7 pm Education Policy Standing Committee location TBA

SD61 provides K-12 public education for students in 6 municipalities and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria. Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu, generally one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted to the website the Thursday before the meeting.

Minimal required reports – Section 72 Reports –  from In Camera meetings with occasional additional items included as a result of a majority vote to report the item seem to have been lost in the transition to the new website.  [IT is working on that; expecting Section 72 Reports to show up soon.] “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.” The BC School Act states in 69 (2): “If, in the opinion of the board, the public interest so requires, persons other than trustees may be excluded from a meeting.”

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”. At this time, no audio recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. Video record of Board meetings will be underway and posted on the SD61 website soon as a result of a recent vote. Motions may be shortened but retain the essential wording. Seconders are not noted.

• Coloured links for more info /sources.
• Square brackets = my comments.
• Conventional brackets = common explanation.
Home page: Widgets for email signup / Facebook / Twitter. Sticky post: Motions and Vote Records to June 2014.

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 this school year. You pay nine Trustees approximately $1,400 a month, each.

Robert’s Rules side trip:We Never Get Tired of Talking About Notice of Motion

  • • Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition:P4, pp 121-124: ”…there may be an additional requirement of previous notice, which means that the notice of the proposal to be brought up – at least briefly describing its substance – must be announced at the preceding meeting or must be included in the call of the meeting at which it is to be considered….the call of a meeting is generally sent to all members a reasonable time in advance…” Notice of Motion is not the same thing as making a motion from the floor.Notice of motion means letting people know you will be bringing a motion to another meeting in the future, with some indication of what the motion is about.
    Making a motion [from the floor, ie making a motion that is not on the agenda, and making it during the meeting] : Paraphrasing Robert’s Rules of Order 11th Edition, p 33 – 42: Obtain the recognition of the Chair during the appropriate section of the agenda for your motion. Do not discuss or explain the rationale for your motion before it is on the floor – ie recognized by the Chair and seconded. Make the motion, and obtain a second. State the rationale. Debate occurs. A vote occurs. The motion is disposed of.
  • Bylaw 9250.2 Notices of Motion says “should”, not “must” submit motions ahead of time. Everyone would agree that it is a good idea to submit motions ahead of the meeting but on occasion emergent issues precludes that happening.
    • See Chapter Six American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, and Robert’s Rules for Dummies, p 80.
    • As well, SD61 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 Schools Act may conflict, in which case the latter shall prevail.” (No instance of the School Act being in conflict with Robert’s Rules has ever been brought to my attention. )
  • A motion can be renewed, ie the same motion that was defeated can be brought back, at a subsequent meeting: “A motion is considered renewed if it was made and disposed of without being adopted and then made again …an assembly should not have to deal with the same motion or substantially the same motion more than one time in a single session.” A session is defined as “ a regular weekly, monthly, or quarterly meeting for an established order of business in a single afternoon or evening…”.
  • 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.

Committee Assignments

Assign & Family of Schools JAN.15
The External Trustee Liaison assignments have been made by the Chair to groups which have replied “yes” to a District query regarding their desire to have a Trustee liaison, so there fewer than there were for the last 3 year Board term. Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of the two standing committee, Ed Policy and Operations Policy. [No one seems able to find a contact for the Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association, and I tried during the last term with no results,  so my position as elected rep to that body may not last long.]

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.”

So what’s “ex officio”?

  • The Official Robert’s Rules of Order Website FAQ : ” Question 2: Can ex-officio members vote, and are they counted in determining whether a quorum is present? Answer: “Ex officio” is a Latin term meaning “by virtue of office or position.” Ex-officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position that they hold. For example, if the bylaws of an organization provide for a Committee on Finance consisting of the treasurer and three other members appointed by the president, the treasurer is said to be an ex-officio member of the finance committee, since he or she is automatically a member of that committee by virtue of the fact that he or she holds the office of treasurer. Without exception, ex-officio members of boards and committees have exactly the same rights and privileges as do all other members, including, of course, 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: 1. In the case of the president [Chair], whenever the bylaws provide that the president shall be an ex-officio member of all committees (or of all committees with certain stated exceptions); 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).”
  • “Again, however, it should be emphasized that in these instances the ex-officio member still has all of the rights and privileges of membership, including the right to vote. [RONR (11th ed.), pp. 483-84; p. 497, ll. 20-29.] …. Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can and should make a Point of Order to that effect whenever another person is not speaking. It is dangerous to allow the transaction of substantive business to continue in the absence of a quorum. Although a Point of Order relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect prior action, if there is clear and convincing proof no quorum was present when business was transacted, the presiding officer can rule that business invalid (subject to appeal).”  [RONR (11th ed.), pp. 348-49; see also pp. 12-13 of RONRIB.]

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.”

Committee Chairs in cooperation with senior administration (the Principal of Learning Initiatives, for Ed Policy) set the agendas for Board meetings and Standing Committee meetings.