March 23/15: Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: Some Districts Did, SD61 Didn’t; Class Size&Compostion; Much More

P1: Next Meetings, Backgrounder
P2: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees
P3: Board Meeting
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts
(scroll to bottom for page links)

Links for more info /sources in red.

Wed March 25 7 pm: Public Budget Meeting: Tolmie Building
Wed April 1 7 pm: Public Input Round Table Budget Meeting: S.J. Willis Auditorium
Tuesday April 7/15 7 pm: Ed Policy TBA
Wed April 8 7 pm Public Input Budget Meeting: Tolmie Bldg (Register to guarantee place on speakers list (250) 475 4106
Mon April 13 7 pm: OPPS  Special Budget Meeting For Public Input : Tolmie Building (Register to guarantee place on speakers list (250) 475 4106
Mon April 20/15 7:30 pm: Board Meeting: Tolmie Building ¬¬¬
Wed April 22 7 pm Special Board Budget Meeting : Final debate and final vote on approving 2015-16 Budget

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, a big part of Saanich and Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings and official voting records are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.
New feature on SD61 website: record of motions carried in a Board meeting (not those that were defeated, though, and one month behind as minutes need approval at next Board meering).

Required Section 72 reports from In Camera meetings posted beside the relevant meeting.  “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.” [Kind of an antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”. Any report beyond the basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. The 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”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” “Usually” leaves lots of room to move. “Never” might be better wording.

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver) and move into in camera meetings by public motion of the Council, and the public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and then come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act and Chairs set in camera meetings before public meetings.

The public meeting schedule is posted on the District Calendar (under News and Events menu). 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 or video 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. However, the video recording was debated at length in 2014 OPPS meetings.] Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording. Seconders not noted.

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2014-15 budget of $195,330,769   You pay nine Trustees approximately $1,400 a month, each.

About Diane McNally