Oct 13/15: Operations Policy and Planning: The Record Off The Record: Is This A Meeting?


10-13-15-OPPs-Reg-Packup 110-13-15-OPPs-Reg-Packup 210-13-15-OPPs-Reg-Packup 3

Territory Acknowledgement900
Chair: Leonard
Regrets: Loring-Kuhanga
Absent: Ferris (not assigned to OPPS)
Student Representative for October: Willow Mak, SJ Willis Alternative Ed

Full agenda with attachments here.

  • OPPS Standing Committee membership for quorum: Leonard, McNally, Paynter, Whitaker (Loring-Kuhanga a member ex officio; not counted for quorum).

This is what the OPPS agenda is supposed to look like according to Bylaw 9360.2. It hasn’t looked like this for a very long time, if ever, and varies with every meeting.  Apparently all  those Bylaws – and Robert’s Rules – just get in the way of “Board traditions”. [Ferris: What are we guided by? Robert’s Rules or Board rules and traditions of the School District? The way we’ve acted in the past has served us well.]

[ OPPS  June 8/15: McNally: That the Board adhere to the agenda format set out in the Board Bylaw 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees for both of the Standing Committees of the Board (Education Policy Development Committee and Operations Planning and Policy Committee). / Sent to District Leadership Team for review and action.]

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Meeting of (date)
Presenter Attachment
A. Business arising out of the minutes
B. Public Presentations to Committee
C. Correspondence referred to the committee
D. Unfinished business
E. New Business
F. Administration Reports to the Committee
A. Business Arising from Minutes
B. Public Presentations to Committee
C. Correspondence Referred to Committee
D. Unfinished Business
E. New Business
F. Administration Reports to the Committee
A. Business Arising from Minutes
B. Public Presentations to Committee
C. Correspondence Referred to Committee
D. Unfinished business
E. New Business
F. Administration Reports to the Committee

1. Approval of Agenda: Adopted, with addition of 3 Notices of Motion at 1. and Paynter, addition of Committees TOR at 9. D.
2. Approval of the Minutes:
a) OPPS  Sept 21  / 15 : Approved. Lined Paper report here.
3. Business Arising From Minutes: None.
4. Presentations: None.

5. Superintendent’s Report : [On June 2015 OPPS agenda  5. was Finance and Legal Affairs]
A. Introduction of Student Representative:
Willow Mak, SJ Willis Alternative Education 

B. Sno’uyutth Welcoming Pole- Oak Bay High

  • Superintendent: The Community Association of Oak Bay and the Songhees Nation are taking responsibility for the pole raising ceremony. Farmer Construction is donating the base and the grouting. A plaque will be installed beside the pole; what will be on it is under discussion. $1000 for the plaque is now the only remaining outstanding cost.
  • Nohr: The information plaque was referred to as “signage”  the architect’s letter.
  • Superintendent: It is envisioned as a large bronze plaque affixed to a large rock. It will explain the story of Sno’uyutth. There is a proposal to have names of people involved on as well. This will need Board approval.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Recommending the $1000 come from the Oak Bay High School capital fund.

C. Oak Bay Engraved Brick Paver Fundraiser Update

  • Superintendent: This fundraiser has been discontinued. The school needs to raise $170,000 to complete obligations. The Commonwealth Track on that site is SD61’s; an upgrade will cost $200,000. Would be helpful to have SD61 staff as liaison to  Oak Bay fundraising committee for ongoing clarification re fundraising.
  • Whiteaker:  Would this be for other large fundraising too? Like Vic High?
  • Superintendent : Yes, it’s good practice. Have not determined what “large” is defied as but certainly would include anything that involves hundreds of thousands of dollars.

6. Finance and Legal Affairs [On June 2015 OPPS agenda 6. was  Public Disclosure of In Camera Items.]

A. International Student Program: Jeff Davis, Program Director (Powerpoint slides developed by Jeff Davis)



This program began in 1992. Short-term students come from 2 weeks to 3 months during March and April. 150-200 students come for the summer program at Uplands Campus for 2 – 8 weeks. New countries sending students: Denmark, Nigeria, Aruba, Italy . Focussing on establishing support for emotional needs of students.

  • Nohr: District funding- is that the $2 million transferred back into SD61 revenue?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: It is $3 million now.
  • Paynter: Do all student pay the same?
  • Davis, Program Director: $13,000 base; prorated . Additional fees for application. Home stay fee is $200. High school monitoring is $500. BC Medical Insurance costs $850 for long term; private provider Guard.me inures for short term (6 month wait for BC Medical ); inures most International students in Canada. ISP administrator contact is the school Vice Principal. The ISP advisor is a non-enrolling teacher . 95% of the students are at a high school.
  • Nohr: If the Vice Principal believes issues are significant, would the student be referred to the high school counsellor?
  • Director: ISP advisors are school counsellors at Lambrick, Vic High and Mt Doug. At Spectrum, and English teacher; Oak Bay, a teacher who has lived in Japan; Reynolds, the ELL teacher; Esquimalt, the Vice Principal.
  • McNally: In a 2013 information update, Trustees were made aware that high school counsellors don’t  do counselling. So what would the high school counsellor do? What referrals can be made taking into account possible language issues?
  • Director: The Uplands Campus staff would become involved. A Health Seminar is offered to new students by a doctor who speaks Japanese, providing proactive information. Parents can attend a ELL program and networking opportunity at the Uplands Campus. This parents’ program has been in existence for 7 years, with no fee for parents. The Academic Transition Program has been operating for 8 years and is unique to SD61. This program gives students who self-refer (or who are recommended if low results on SLEP test) an initial 5 month adjustment period in which they can work at their own pace. In addition  to the Health Seminar, students have access to a retired psychiatrist who is also  a registered clinical counsellor and who speaks German, Japanese and English. Two other doctors are involved as well.
  • Paynter: As former homestay parent, would have liked more education on culture. Students need more structured opportunities to connect with local students.
  • Director: The are now 8 homestay orientations and all ha a cultural component.

B. Use of Email for Conducting Business: Mark Walsh, Manager Labor Relations and Legal Services reviewed the memo pp 11-12 attached to the agenda. The memo addresses three critical points which can determine if an email conversation constitutes  a “meeting”  and gives examples of email communications that clearly are not “meetings”. The  memo suggests the 2012 document “Open Meetings: Best Practices” from the Office of the BC Ombusdman as a useful resource.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural

Development provides useful information on this topic on its website. It states that some courts have determined “a council meeting is any gathering to which all members of council have been invited; and that is a material part of council’s decision-making process.”…. The composition of any gathering is one of the two key factors in determining whether the gathering is a meeting. The presence of a quorum or the full membership of a council or other body is more likely to constitute a meeting, while a gathering of smaller groups will be less likely to constitute a meeting.  ….. Any real progress in the decision-making process of a matter within the local government’s jurisdiction strongly indicates that a gathering is a meeting. …Generally speaking, if a gathering shares some of the common features of a regular meeting, this may indicate that the gathering is in fact a meeting. For example, gatherings that occur regularly are more likely to be seen as meetings, as are gatherings that are planned in advance. Procedural matters can also strongly indicate whether a gathering is a meeting. Gatherings that follow an order of proceeding, obey rules of order, have an agenda, or record minutes are more likely to be meetings, and the presence of a chair or corporate administrator is also indicative of a meeting….. A vote of any sort indicates that a gathering is in fact a meeting. (Pp 9-10 )

  • Watters: What counts as “blue skying”?
  • Walsh: Discussion  when there is no motion under consideration or on the table .

Recommended motion: That the Board direct the Secretary-Treasurer to review Board Bylaw 9360 and recommend changes that would address electronic communication. / Carried. Unanimous.

C. 2016-17 Budget Planning Cycle: Secretary-Treasurer Debra Laser and Associate Secretary-Treasurer Katrina Ball

Budget process

  • Secretary-Treasurer:  March 31 should be March 30. The question that will be posed to Education partner groups is “What are your thoughts on supporting learner success?” [paraphrased] framed with the $9 million deficit situation in mind. [The structural deficit have been  offset for years with what is termed “one time only funding”, some of which is more or less predictable but not guaranteed, for example International student fee revenue, and “one time only savings” which includes  cuts to internal budgets or positions.]
  • Leonard: Will the first intake of information be the time for a needs budget?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Last year used Learning Improvement Fund to set up the needs budget scenario. Needs at the schools that could not be funded by the LIF were incorporated in a Needs Budget document. [At D. on the April 22/15 agenda]
  • Paynter: Not enough background information goes out to the community to get input based on meaningful information. Maybe need a different way of engagement.
  • Leonard: You could bring  back some suggestions.
  • Paynter: Will do that.
  • Leonard: Will put that on the agenda for November or December OPPS.
  • Nohr: Will there be an update on the LIF funding at the November Board meeting? Has there been an evaluation?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Information was collected and will come to the Needs Budget Committee.

D. Enrolment Update (p 14 agenda documents)

A decline of 154.3 was projected. Actual numbers = 256.2 students up over last year. Gains were notable at Oak Bay High School, Monterey Middle School and View Royal K-5.

E. Parent Education Fund

Trustee Whiteaker provided hard copy handouts and explained them, and gave  a Notice of Motion from the floor for the next meeting. [ Notes on the handouts are mine.]

Whiteaker 1Whiteaker 2Whiteaker 3Whiteaker 4

  • Paynter: What are the selection criteria?
  • Whiteaker: See #5.
  • Paynter: What are the metrics?
  • Whiteaker: Will be determined by the selection team.
  • Leonard Who will be on this?
  • Whiteaker: Deputy Superintendent, senior staff and a Trustee.
  • Orcherton: What if a PAC application is denied? Is there an appeal process?
  • Whiteaker: Will have to look at that at the time. Don’t see it as an issue.
  • Smith: Have not had time to talk to parents. Not in favour of this process. Just give PACs the money and let them decide.
  • Whiteaker: The 3 criteria were discussed. We have moved beyond the debate on how to do this.

7. Personnel [June 2015 agenda 7. was New Business; Sept 2015 agenda 7. was Public Disclosure Of In Camera Items]

A. Meeting With Employee Groups

  • McNally: We have just had information about what constitutes “a meeting”. I have replied to the GVTA President that I will attend but have expressed my concerns with having an agenda  in the context of the Open Meetings  document.
  • Orcherton: Employee groups are a the table. Not sure of the purpose for this meeting. Because of the contract and School Act can’t do a lot of these things [that might be on the agenda]. What would we talk about?  How did this come to be? What communication has gone back and forth to the GVTA? [Possibly  some nefarious plot is underway …  but, no, wait – the GVTA President emailed all Trustees with the invitation. That’s how it came to be.] Board business has to be done in public and the GVTA office isn’t public. There is no interest in doing this from other employee groups. There are lots of opportunities to meet here at this table.
  • McNally: I  welcome  the opportunity to meet with any employee group.  Please invite me! Other Boards around the province meet with employee groups. I put the question out online to a few Boards and here are the replies: 1.  Yes this Board does. We try to meet with the executive of each of our stakeholder groups at least once per school year. We just met with our CUPE unions.  2. We have liaison committees with the employee groups. We meet (or try to) once a month with ours. Both have it written into their local agreements. There are some times of the year where it isn’t possible or appropriate, but we try to maintain the monthly meetings whenever possible. 3. Our education committee meets once a month with all partner groups ( CUPE, teachers union, principals/vice principals association  and DPAC ) We had  CUPE and teachers’ local come individually and make a presentation to us during budget. We are a small town and we have great communication with all our partner groups. 4.  I have met with our teacher’s association president and vice president about 3/year for coffee. In our last term our teachers association would host trustees for dinner. 5. Our stakeholders also have a seat at the table at our education and business committee meetings which happen once a month. But informally, we meet through the liaison committees and for coffee etc as needed. 6.  Our board has employee group reps on each of our five standing committees, but a group (not full board) of us also meet informally with some employee groups on a monthly basis. 5. It is  frowned upon in my district. But I meet with whomever whenever I choose, especially  parents and community groups, eg. NGOs.
  • Orcherton: I wont attend. Ethically it is not the right thing to do.
  • Whiteaker: Disappointed we are having this conversation. It’s a good thing to meet with the Executive of all partner groups.Don’t agree with having an  agenda and items submitted  for it, but it’s sad that this has gone negative. It’s positive that the GVTA has reached out. No solutions, but still sad.
  • Leoanrd: Uncomfortable having an agenda. Will bring notice of motion re not havng an agenda the Board meeting. [Actually is bringing Notice of Motion now, and the motion will be “New Business”, not a Notice of Motion on the Board agenda. A Notice of Motion means telling the meeting what the motion will be , as a heads up for a future agenda.]
  • Watters: This is positive but having an agenda is a whole different thing. If GVTA has items to discuss would be appropriate to set up a public meeting to deal with those.
  • Nohr: Last time the GVTA invited Trustees it was a social. This one is breaking new ground , a request to meet with Trustees with an agenda. Could have a special Board meeting… agree with Watters.
  • GVTA 2nd VP David Futter: Have not seen this email. The intent was to improve working relationship and to discuss a number if issue we could be working together on, not labour management of Human Resources issues, but eg funding, and what we can offer students. A clarifying message from the Chair to the President would be helpful.

8. Public Disclosure  Of In Camera Items [June 15 OPPS was Notice of Motions; Sept 15 OPPS was New Business] : None (no in camera meeting)

9.  New Business [Sept OPPS 9. was General Announcements ]

A. Orcherton: That the Board receive a report at the May 2016 OPPS Committee meting showing the disbursements to date from the Parent Education Fund. / Carried as amended (September OPPS): For: McNally, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters,  Whiteaker       Against: Leonard

  • Watters: Motion to amend: September 2016 instead of May 2016. Would make sense to have a report on a full year.  / Amendment carried. For: McNally, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters,  Whiteaker       Against: Leonard

B. Nohr: That the Board formally dissolve the Culture and Community Ad Hoc Committee by no later than December 31, 2015. / Carried. For:   McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Watters Against: Leonard, Orcherton   Abstained: Whiteaker

  • Nohr: Not constituted as an Ad Hoc Committee according to Board Bylaw; has no goals; Trustee selection was not done by the Board as per Bylaw; participant selection was not made  public; Chair of the Board as ex offcio member not explicitly followed; no definitive discussion  on the definition of “culture”; students were not included on an ongoing basis; largest partner group, the GVTA, withdrew because of the above issues.
  • Leonard: Is there any information we need to have? Was senior staff on this committee?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: Chaired it last year. Committee was put on hold for development of strategic plan to be completed.
  • McNally: This is the perfect time to disband it, give the strategic plan is underway and will soon be finalized. This committee was not constituted according to Bylaw as was pointed out and was really a discussion group which anyone could reconstitute to continue the informal discussion. There were no deliverables, and no timeline. In favour.
  • Paynter: Was attending for a while. Was hard to know  where it was going without any focus.
  • VCPAC President Audrey Smith: 2 students did attend regularly.  Turned data we had gathered into the Superintendent [at the time]. If the Board doesn’t understand the effectiveness of this committee then it can’t continue.
  • Whiteaker: What was the original purpose of the committee?
  • Leonard: Was developed in February 2012 intending to discuss building school culture with a set of guiding principles, and then to develop a Policy.
  • Smith: Did not intend to develop a “code of conduct” but instead “guiding principles”.
  • Watters: Hard to understand  the value when there are no Terms of Reference and no specified reporting out.
  • Whiteaker: Is there a draft report or anything we can see?
  • Smith: Yes.
  • Leonard: [Showed the meeting the logo developed as a result of three years of meetings.] Is this the most up to date product?
  • Whitten: Revised the logo. It is on the District website.

C. Watters: That the Board a) establish an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a restoration budget for the fiscal year 2015-16, and b) accept the attached Terms of Reference for the Ad Hoc Budget Committee as per Bylaw 9140 Ad Hoc Committee of the Board. / Withdrawn.

Watters TOR

  • Watters: Seeking permission of the meeting to withdraw. Will redraft the TOR wit a different frame of reference. / Approved. Unanimous.
  • Leonard: Call it a Needs Budget instead.

D. Paynter: Committee on Committees Terms of Reference for approval. This was taken off the agenda, but have replaced it as it deserves attention from the meeting.

BCRC Proposed TOR Oct 2015 Paynter 1BCRC Proposed TOR Oct 2015 Paynter 2BCRC Proposed TOR Oct 2015 Paynter 3

  • Leonard: Staff have always drafted Terms of Reference for Ad Hoc Committees.
  • McNally: “Always”?  When did that last happen? The Ad Hoc Committee Bylaw 9140 has not been followed in recent memory , if ever. Have not  seen a TOR for an Ad Hoc Committee until this spring , brought by Watters.
  • Paynter: Previous templates recently used by Trustees have missed some elements  I thought were critical. Want this posted online so the public sees the work of the Board and the Board would not have to deal with how to construct a TOR again. Troubled by suspending the immediate work of this committee. [Much more; paraphrased.]
  • Superintendent: The Board creates the vision and administration operationalizes it. Over  many years of experience as Superintendent  have been used to the Board setting up the Committee, and directing staff to develop the TOR for approval of the Board.
  • Leonard: Could make a motion to refer this to staff.
  • Paynter: Want to show this to trustees [Paynter  emailed TOR to the meeting secretary but not put up on the meeting screen so far] so they know what I am trying to do.
  • Superintendent: Senior administration could do a draft and call Trustee Paynter if there is any confusion.
  • Whiteaker: Agree with Superintendent. Are we a governing Board or a working Board? We are a governing Board. This motion is trying to act as if this is a working Board. Terms of Reference want a committee to have some flexibility and not be minutely directed. Want deliverables but not specified how they get there.
  • Paynter: Motion to refer to staff to develop TOR for October 19./ Carried. Unanimous.
  • Waters: In support of referring. Brought original TOR recently because  none were coming forward. Saw a need to “start a trend” – TORs need to be done; in the Bylaw.

10.  Notices of Motion [Sept OPPS 10. was Adjournment]

A. Nohr: Motion re the Tech Committee will come to the Board.
B. McNally:
A draft rewrite of Bylaw 9140 Ad Hoc Committee of the Board will come forward to next OPPS. There are unnecessary reports required in the Bylaw as it stands and the process is too convoluted.

Notice of Motion for OPPS November 9
McNally: That, as per Bylaw 9010, Bylaws of the Board, the following be accepted as a replacement for the current Board Bylaw 9140 Ad Hoc Committee of the Board:
1. The Board may establish Ad Hoc Committees of the Board.
2. An Ad Hoc Committee shall be an advisory committee established for a temporary purpose to deal with a specific issue. The Ad Hoc Committee shall report to the appropriate Standing Committee, within the time prescribed and within its terms of reference, with recommendation for action which may include recommendation for Policy change.
3. All committees established by the Board of Trustees including Standing Committees of the Board, are considered advisory committees to the Board. The terms of reference for each established committee will be specifically defined by the Board as per Article 11.
4. Trustee members of any Ad Hoc Committee shall be as selected by the Board, using a process to be determined by the Board..
5. The membership of the Committee shall select a Chair at the first
meeting of the Committee or may choose to rotate the Chair position amongst Committee members.
6. The Chairperson of the Board shall be an ex officio member of all Ad Hoc Committees, without voting rights.
7. The Superintendent shall be a member of all Ad Hoc Committees, without voting rights, and may appoint a member of Administration or others to assist an Ad Hoc Committee.
9. The Ad Hoc Committee shall be dissolved when its term of appointment is at an end, which shall be defined as a motion to dissolve the Committee which carries at a Board meeting.
10. Any Ad Hoc Committee of the Board requires a TOR document, which will be drafted for Board approval by SD61 senior administration, and presented to the appropriate Standing Committee and Board as soon as possible after creation of the Committee.

C.Whiteaker: Parent Education Fund motions

11. General Announcements [September OPPS agenda was no 11]: None

12. Adjournment [September OPPS agenda was no 12] : 10 pm

About Diane McNally