Board Meeting April 20, 2015
Student Representative: Kaitlynn Gantt-Mann, Gr 12, Esquimalt High School
- A different student from the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Group attends Standing Committee and Board meetings each month, from a group of students recommended by their principals or otherwise selected at their school to work with the Superintendent as representatives of the student voice in SD61. These nine students meet every 6 weeks with the Superintendent. [This is probably the best way to establish student engagement in governance and interest in a possible future elected Student Trustee, as student councils have been politically inactive in SD61 and have not run elections.]
- Selection Process for Student Representatives [origonal motion to establish the position linked here] : In a past report the Superintendent reported that each school has a different way of selecting their student representative. The group is developing a consistent format and process. For example, one rep was nominated by a vice principal; one was drawn from scholarship group that answered 5 question form for final selection.
A. Commencement of Meeting [full agenda packup here]
A 1. Approval of Agenda: Adopted, with amendment, Strategic Plan at B.1 b
A2. Approval of the Minutes:
a) Board Meeting March 23/15: Approved (Orcherton abstained as was not present) . Lined Paper report here.
b) Special Board Budget Meeting March 25/15: Approved (Orcherton abstained as was not present). Lined Paper report here.
A 3. Business Arising From Minutes: None
A 4. Student Achievement:Why Eagleview is Walking On Sunshine: Principal Brent DeNat, Vice-Principal Jennifer MacDonald, and students presented a bouncy, happy video about their school and their enthusiasm for learning at Eagleview; music “Walking on Sunshine” [Katrina and the Waves, 1983].
A.5 District Presentations: None
A.6 Community Presentations: None
B. Trustee Reports
B1. Chair’s Report ( on audio file)
a) Facilities Director: Chair Loring-Kuhanga introduced Tom Smith, taking over as Facilities Director after Seamus Howley’s retirement. Tom Smith comes to SD61 from Ontario where had had 18 years experience as a Facilities Director. Before that, he was responsible for Facilities at UVic, and previous directly related experience.
b) Strategic Plan : Consultant Malcolm Weinstein has been engaged to take the new SD61 strategic plan forward. He will be sending out a question to stakeholders; replies will go directly to him. [Question on p 17 agenda packup.] “Over the next three years, what to d you think the top 3 priorities should be for our School District, keeping in mind that our current is to is to provide quality education for all our students? If you have other comments that you think the Board would find useful as it develops its plan, please include them. “
- Superintendent: With the new website, this can go on the front page, with the opportunity to reply, directed to Malcolm.
- Leonard: This is the first time the Board has heard the question.This question was developed by him, not the Board. This should be a notice of motion. [Actually, it should just be a motion, under “new Business”, if one wanted it to be put to a vote after debate, at this meeting. A Notice of Motion would get it on an agenda of a future meeting. That’s the “Notice” part.]
- Loring-Kuhanga: Someone could move it down on the agenda for debate.
- Whiteaker: How long is needed for responses?
- Superintendent: The question was developed by Malcolm and me. Hoping the Board will accept it as a general question . If not accepted by the Board and all Trustees the strategic plan timeline will have to be moved ahead, and moving the question ahead in this school year will be problematic for parents with the busy school year end.
- Orcherton: Information will go to consultant, and he will bring it back for Board input then?
- Superintendent: Yes.
- Nohr: Unclear if the question is 1,2,3?
- Superintendent: Unlimited opportunity to comment “other”.
- Leoanrd: Some trustees have a timeline they want to see this finished by – not going to say “rammed through” but this is not correct process.
- McNally: Leonard’s process point is well taken. But this Board gives staff direction, not always by motion – though I much prefer motion as it is a better record and clearer process – and this is not a contentious item.
- Watters: This question was given to Trustees in previous material. Have had a chance to reflect on it. Slowing it down could cost the Board.
- Paynter: With Leonard on this. Deserves more consideration. Why would we ask for only 3 priorities? General questions are like essay questions – “could be anything”. Need to structure question so people can actually use it. A general question leaves more to the consultant to collate.
- Ferris: We should take more time.
- McNally: Open ended questions don’t guide or constrain thinking and that’s the point.
- Whiteaker: Motion to move discuss of the strategic plan to New Business. / Carried. Unanimous.
c) BCSTA plan for Boards to contact MLAs and submit rationale for increased funding
- Loring-Kuhanga: In support of this plan – have talked to Rob Fleming, NDP K-12 Education critic who is interested in meeting with us.His office will set up the meeting. Dave Byng (Deputy Minister of Education) has offered to met with us. Formal at the legislature, informal here ?
- Watters: Other MLAs?
- Loring-Kuhanga: Yes.
- Ferris: Leave it to the Chair to decide where to meet.
- Nohr: Meet at a school, have tour of school, meeting after.
- Leoanrd: School tour is wasting valuable time. These people go to schools. What is the agenda? What do we want to tell him what do we want them to find out? Generate this together.
- Paynter: Need for an agenda, to avoid conflicting perspectives.
- Watters: Do a press release.
- Nohr: Would still like the meeting at a school. How about submit topics / questions by email, for Ed Policy discussion?
- [One of mine: Why are we funding private schools with public tax dollars?
- Loring-Kuhanga: The Superintendent and Chair will collate the questions.
- McNally: Chair please supply all questions verbatim to the Board. Conflicting points of view can be productive.
- Paynter: Not wanting to debate each other in the meeting with MLA and waste time.
a) McNally: Visited Macaulay PAC; always impressed by the energy and innovative approaches to problem solving that PACs exhibit. Macaulay parents are working hard to get increased fine arts opportunities in the school, get landscaping finished, put up a mural on the school, and much more. The main problem to be solved, in my assessment, is systematic underfunding of public education by the current government since 2001-02.
b) Watters: Submitting report out from attendances at District GSA . The SD61 District Leadership Team has suggested language that will update the current Field Trip Regulations in order to expand from exclusively gender-binary language. Lambrick High School is hosting a GSA-sponsored conference Monday April 27, “Love Is Love”. The opening will feature Project Respect speakers, Alyx MacAdams, Draco and Chaw-Win-Is, and is open to all. The rest of the day will be for students only.
To: Board of Education, School District 61
From: Jordan Watters, Trustee Date: April 20, 2015
Re: TRUSTEE REPORT FROM THE GAY STRAIGHT ALLIANCE COMMITTEE
At the Feb 24, 2015 GSA meeting teachers brought forward concerns around the regulations addressing overnight field trips (regulation 3545.2 and 3545.2a – field trip attachment 12). The teachers were concerned that the language was old and needed revisions and that the supervision requirements for students needed to be reviewed and revised to include our transgender and gender variant students.
RECOMMENDATIONS: As a result of discussion at the GSA Committee meeting, I brought forward the following recommendations to the Superintendent:
1. Regulation 3545.2a (field trip attachment 12), item 10 states, “There will be no members of the opposite sex in sleeping quarters at any time.” The recommendation is for this to be updated to, “Students will not go into sleeping quarters to which they are not assigned.” This would eliminate the problematic binary terminology of “opposite sex” and create more flexibility to meet the needs of transgender and gender variant students.
2. Regulation 3545.2 section IV (d) states, “Where male students are involved there must be at least one adult male supervisor, and where female students are involved, there must be at least one adult female supervisor.” The recommended change is to add, “unless parental permission is given.” This would provide an option for gender variant or transgender students to be supervised more appropriately.
The Superintendent brought these recommendations to the District Leadership Team who have reviewed them and determined that more consideration and consultation is needed. Deb Whitten will include the field trip regulation at the next GSA meeting for continued discussion, and she will consult further with principals. There is general agreement that the regulations should be updated, the hope is to ensure that the changes are appropriate.
- Orcherton: Point of Order: Not everyoe may know the meaning of GSA., and other acronyms.
- Watters: GSA is an old fashioned title for this group and needs some changes.
c) Nohr: The Oak Bay Community Association has organized 3 fundraising events to fund the totem pole at Oak Bay High School. The 1st two raised about $6,000. The final event will be in May, a socio-cultural presentation and film. MOre details to come; all Trustees invited.
C. Board Committee Reports
C.1 Education Policy Development
a) Minutes from April 7/ 15: Information only (will be ratified at next Standing Committee meeting) Lined paper report here.
C.2 Operations Policy and Planning
a) Minutes from April 13/15: Information only (will be ratified at next Standing Committee meeting). Lined Paper report here.
b) Recommended motions [Motions that carried after debate and vote in the previous OPPS meeting]
i) That the Board delete Policy and Regulation 2123.047 Personnel Assistant. / Carried. Unanimous.
ii) That the Board establish an Ad Hoc Committee as per Bylaw 9140, “Technology Stewardship”, for the purposes of developing guidelines for the use of technology for or students and staff. (Nohr) / Carried. For: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Waters, Whiteaker Against: Leonard, Orcherton
- Leonard: If passed, pertinent information will be brought to May OPPS.
D. District Leadership Team Reports
D1. Superintendent’s Report: None
D.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
a) Bylaw Change: 3d Reading (Bylaw changes come through the Secretary-Treasurer’s report) : That the revised Bylaw 9140 Ad Hoc Committees of the Board be read a 3d time, passed and adopted the 20th day of April, 2015. (McNally; pp 29- 30 full agenda packup) [My motion re this Bylaw change to remove an unclear sentence – “Committees may function as consultative committees, working committees, steering committees, or special committees” – did not get unanimous approval for 3 readings in previous meeting.] / Carried. For: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters, Against: Leonard, Whiteaker
- Nohr: In support of the motion. No purpose to this sentence.
b) Recommended by Secretary-Treasurer: That the Board agree to give all 3 readings of Capital Bylaw No. 126863, being a Bylaw for the maximum expenditure of $3,306,904 for the capital portion of the Annual Facilities Grant Allocation. / Carried. Unanimous.
- Secretary-Treasurer: Facilities grant has 3 parts: maintenance and repairs, capital portion, and special purpose fund grant.
That Capital Bylaw No. 126863, being a Bylaw for the maximum expenditure of $3,306,904 for the capital portion of the Annual Facilities Grant allocation be : Read a 1st, 2nd, 3d time the 20th day of April, and passed and adopted, and the Secretary-Treasurer and Board Chair be authorized to execute and seal this Bylaw on behalf of the Board. / Carried. Unanimous.
- Paynter: What is the project allocation process once the Bylaw is passed?
- Secretary-Treasurer: Facilities Department develops an Annual Plan.Roofing in great part; boiler upgrades, etc.
- Paynter: Will the plan come back to the Board for information?
- Secretary-Treasurer: That can be provided.
E. Question Period: One question sent in [apparently anonymously], read by Chair: [paraphrased] “What is the rationale behind Trustee Nohr’s motion? Will the committee attempt to overrule the democratic decision of parents and staff that they do want wifi in their schools? ”
- Superintendent: Don’t know who this is; will tell that person this will be looked at in the May OPPS meeting.
- Orcherton: Very good question. My assumption is will look at best practice, not going to regurgitate [sic] the previous motion but will be looking at best practices, and that’s what I will support.
- Whiteaker: Expect discussion and focus on safe use.
F. Public Disclosure Of In Camera Items: The Board has extended the lease with the Burnside-Gorge Community Association.
G. New Business / Notice of Motions [Once more: Notice of Motion is not the same thing as making a motion from the floor. Notice of motioin = goes on a future agenda. Motion from the floor = now before the assembly for debate. ]
G. 1 New Business
a) McNally: That the Board end the practice of courier delivery of agendas to Trustees as soon as possible, continue to post agendas on the SD61 meetings page, and email both in camera and regular meeting agendas as documents to Trustees. / Defeated. For: McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Watters Against: Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Orcherton Abstain: Whiteaker
- McNally: Obvious that the need for hand delivery by vehicle of these documents is long over. With scanners in use everywhere, there is no real protection of information established by hand delivery of hard copy. Delivery of paper copy seems a holdover from pre-email times. This will save approximately $550 annually, only a small amount but any mitigation of cuts is desirable.
- Leonard: Should refer this to OPPS. Common courtesy dictates that motions go through standing committee first.
- McNally: Objection : I maintain courtesy in these meetings. This is not an issue of personal courtesy. These meetings are run on Robert’s Rules of Order, and I object to “common courtesy” being raised time and time again regarding process, implying discourtesy on the part of others. [Trustees had several days’ notice to read this motion. The agenda was hand delivered to Trustees’ homes. It is not necessary to take a motion to a standing committee before placing it on a Board agenda, though for a possibly contentious motion, it makes sense to do that.] This is a straightforward motion and doesn’t require extensive debate and investigation.
b) Paynter: That commencing the end of Fiscal Year 2015-16 the Trustee Professional Development Fund allocations be returned to general revenue for allocation in the next fiscal year. / Referred to OPPS.
- Leonard: This motion should go to OPPS. Motion to refer to OPPS. / Carried [after debate below]
- Paynter: Robert’s Rules say a motion to refer is debatable. Not all Trustees attend both committee meetings. We are not pressed for time in this meeting. Discussin could take place now.
- Ferris: How many Board members attend standing committees is not the question. The public can come to standing committees and participate. You will get caught with your pants down on this and be sorry we did it. We should bring motions to OPPS.
- Orcherton: Bylaw says “should” but discussion should come to Committee. Some Trustees use more than the $2000.
- Paynter: No objection to referral.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Do try to bring motions to committees for full debate.
c) McNally: That the Board accept the [strategic plan] question as presented by consultant Dr. Weinstein, and place it on the District website and communicate it by other means to stakeholders. / Carried. For: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker Abstain: Leonard
- Watters: There will possibly be cost associated with delaying the question until September.
- Superintendent: Likely no additional cost but want feedback before the end of the year. Would have to see what the ramifications would be.
- Whiteaker: After May 29 you will not get feedback from parents. They will be involved with year end sports, grads, vacation planning.
- Paynter: Would like the 3 limit off and example topics specified.
- Orcherton: Need to keep it down. Putting out ideas would make it too easy to prioritize just using that list.
- Watters: Expanding the question will not be helpful. Have designed many surveys; question needs to be open ended. Trustees have had 2 months to consider this. This question is to help us get going on the plan as a Board, with some information. Dr. Weinstein is an expert at this. Extending the timeline would be detrimental to the process.
- Paynter: The vision statement should be the SD61 mission statement.
- Leonard: Not a fan of having it so open ended. The top 3 priorities need to be within what he can do.
- Superintendent: Consultant said he wanted a very generic question in order to pull in as much as possible, whether we can afford it or not. Consultant not sure about going forward if this initial part is problematic. Need the informati to start workshop #1.
G.2 Notices of Motion: None
H. Adjournment: 9:15 pm