Feb 1/16: Ed Policy & Directions: Technology For Learning


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 and official voting records posted on the SD61 website under “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas  posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

P1: Disclaimer / Backgrounder
P2: Ed Policy Standing Committee Report
P3: SD61 Some Applicable Bylaws / Standing Committees / BC School Boards Letters Link
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records January 2012 –December  2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are equally interesting. (They do appear in the minutes of meetings, along with the vote, but not until a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings
Tues Feb 9/16 7 pm: Operations  Standing Committee
Mon Feb 15/16 7:30 pm: Board Meeting
Mon Mar 1/16 7 pm: Ed Policy & Directions / Operations combined
Mon Mar 29/16 7:30 pm: Board Meeting

SD61 Greater Victoria School District:

  • approx 20,000 students
  • 27 Elementary Schools
  • 10 Middle Schools
  • 7 Secondary Schools
  • 13 Programs of Choice, 155 BAA courses
  • School District for Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, part of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations
  • Approximately 650 adult learners register with the SD61 Continuing Education / Distributed Learning Program
  • 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District
  • 2015-16 budget of $206,361,204. (Out of that, nine Trustees are each paid approximately $1,400 a month, and are expected to attend two meetings a month. Each Trustee has access to an individual $2000 annual professional development fund, which at this point, rolls over if not used. BCSTA AGM, etc. )

Legally required reports (Section 72 Reports) from In Camera meetings are posted beside the relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on the Bylaws, Policies and Regulations  menu).  “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 out beyond the very 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.  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.”

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver, which adheres to the Vancouver Charter) and move into in camera meetings by a  motion made by a Councillor in a public meeting and carried by majority vote of the Council.  The public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act which allows  Chairs to set in camera meetings any time, often before public meetings.

No audio or video recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording.Seconders not noted (or needed in Committees).

About Diane McNally