March 29/16: Board Meeting: Gender Policy, and Budget Presentation #1


The Record Off The Record

P1: Meeting Schedule / Backgrounder / Board Meeting Summary
Standing Committees / Trustee  Appointments
P3: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of and  commentary on SD61 Board and  Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting.  Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – December 2015.

SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Next Meetings
Mon April 4  7:30 pm: Education Policy & Directions Standing Committee
Wed April 6 7:00 pm Special  Board Budget Meeting to receive public input: Round Table Budget Discussion / S.J. Willis Auditorium
Mon Apr 11 7:00: Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee and Special Budget Meeting to receive public input: (250) 475-4106 to pre-register for the speakers’ list
Mon Apr 18 7:30 pm: Board Meeting
Wed Apr 20 7 pm: Final debate and vote on 2016/17 Budget

Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting.

Lined Paper is moving to a more concise format, as Board meetings are now video recorded. Look under the Board of Education menu.

A Policy Subcommittee has been formed to review Policies,  some of which have not been reviewed for several decades.

Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees (Education Policy and Directions / Operations Policy and Planning).

Board Meeting March 29, 2016

Territory Acknowledgement900

Agenda approved with addition at D.2 C Oak Bay Turf Field and  from McNally at G.2 c Notices of Motion regarding Reading Recovery.

Board minutes of February 15 approved. No Business Arising from minutes. No Student Achievement  presentation.

A.5 District Presentations

Mr. Bill Valentine, Board member of DASH BC,  presented a 2015 Premier’s award to 3 District schools for participation in the After School Sport and Arts Initiative.  DASH BC has a several million dollar fund for partnerships that provide opportunities for students in grades K-8 who may not get an opportunity to do after school art or sports without extra support    “ The ASSAI is based on a set of program standards that guide schools to implement programs that are school-based, connected to the community, and accessible. The ASSAI currently supports children in kindergarten to grade eight in 31 BC communities in 17 school districts.The ASSAI is the recipient of the 2015 Premier’s Award for Innovation, recognizing its support for children facing barriers to participation, involvement of multiple community partners, community-driven programming, and strong learning network of ASSAI practitioners across the province.” Superintendent Piet Langstraat accepted the award on behalf of Tillicum, Shoreline, and James Bay schools.

A.6 Community Presentation

a) Mitchel du Plessis, Youth and Family counsellor in SD 61 schools
b) Jillian “Jay” Weddel from Out in Schools

Both spoke in support of the Gender Identity and Gender Expression motion to be debated and voted on later in the meeting at C 1B. Weddel referred to the “Every Class In Every School” EGALE Report from 2011, which discusses the results of a national survey of Canadian high school students undertaken in order to investigate what life at school is like for students with sexual or gender minority status.

B. Trustee Reports
B. 1 Chair’s Report :

a) Chair Loring-Kuhanga suggested 20 minutes for discussion of the British Columbia School Trustees Association survey, a review of the functioning of the Memorandum of Understanding between the BCSTA and the Ministry of Education (pp 12-20 agenda.

  • McNally: There is a lot to critique in this MOU. Just on page 1 – and there are 10 more pages – (p 12 agenda): “shared focus” isn’t working; in term so f “public service”, the Ministry continues to fund private schools with public tax dollars; Boards are responsible for “outcomes” but are subject to overarching control by the Ministry and surprise announcements with no consultation, so have responsibility but little real agency; a Ministry document extols “just in time funding” for public education, not the way to run a sustainable public good; surprise edicts, arbitrary and unpredictable funding announcements, and the characterization of school district administrators as “low hanging fruit” can’t be construed as “respect”.

b) Introduction of SD 61’s new Director of Facilities, David Loveridge.

B.2 Trustee Reports

a) Whiteaker reported that minutes from the recent BCSTA Provincial Council meeting are on the BCSTA website.
b) Orcherton written report from Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee (p 22)
c) Whitaker report from Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee (p 23). Committee pleased to have someone from education there. [Trustees have been assigned for many previous years but apparently never attended.] Would like to work with schools; has extensive archives.
d) McNally attended Partnership Policy update meetings, the Vancouver Island School Trustees Association branch meeting in Cowichan along with Loring-Kuhanga and Attendance at weekly neighbourhood meetings re transitional shelter “My Place” on Yates Street across from Central Middle School. Will attend neighbourhood meetings re transitional shelter at former Youth Custody Centre in View Royal (“Choices”).

 C. Board Committee Reports

C. 1 Joint Education Policy and Directions / Operations Policy and Planning Committees
Two motions came forward, previously extensively debated and approved in those committees.

i.That the Board accept the Policy and Regulation proposal [p 30-37 agenda] on Gender Identity and Gender Expression presented by the District Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and refer it to the Policy Subcommittee for further development and consultation with partner groups as per Bylaw 9210 (The Development of Policy) and Policy 1163 (Consultation). Carried (as amended below).  Unanimous.

  • Waters: This is life and death and safety for many students. Thanks to GSA students who are here to night. Over 50 people involved in development. Special thanks to Harold Caldwell,   Associate Superintendent Deb Whitten, and Superintendent Piet Langstraat.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Caution against use of “ensure” in the document.
  • Leonard: Amendment: It’s being referred and may not go forward, so not “accept”. Replace accept with refer, and strike “and refer it”. / Amendment carried. For: Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Paynter, Whiteaker Against: McNally, Watters
  • McNally: It’s a motion to refer it, so this amendment is not needed.
  • Paynter: Does “accept” mean “adopt”?
  • Waters: No need for the amendment but doesn’t change the substance of the motion.

ii That the Board approve up to $1,900,000 spending for fixed projection devices as identified in the Technology for Learning strategy (p 38 agenda) from the local capital reserve. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Leonard: Board agreed that each school would get $10,000 and principals and educators would consult. Would like a report back from schools from the Superintendent as to how this was used.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Funding plan will be in the budget presentation.

D. District Leadership Team Reports

D.1 Superintendent
a) Revised calendar with dates for Spring Break that align with dates in SD 62 and SD 63 presented. / Motion to accept. Carried. Unanimous.

  • Superintendent: VCPAC likes the original non-revised calendar, and believed getting it eff work would be easier if dates were different in each school district.
  • McNally: Clearly, getting time off for working parents is easier if all 3 districts’ dates align
  • Paynter: Number of hrs of instruction should be osted for each grade along wt the calendar.
  • Kitchen (Associate Superintendent): Posted under FAQ on website. We are compliant with the School Act.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Intention is to post a 3 year calendar, in future years.

 b) Strategic Plan media launch (p 40 agenda). Excellent summary brochures were handed out.
c) Foundation Skills Assessment :

  • Superintendent reported further legal opinion from the BCSTA sought as McNally requested after previous report from Secretary-Treasurer which indicated that the SC 61 motion instructing principals not to contact parents who withdrew children from the FSA assessments “could be”  illegal and in contravention of the School Act. The opinion of legal counsel at the BCSTA does not go further but reiterates “may”.
  • McNally pointed out that Nanaimo has a similar process in place and has had no legal issues.
  • Paynter: If this comes up again would like specifics of the possible illegality.
  • Leonard: Appreciate Superintendent looking into this. This must means that it just hasn’t happened yet. What would be ramifications?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Ministry would inform us and direct us to correct it.
  • Leonard: Don’t want the Board dissolved because of a “may”.
  • McNally: Not determined to be in a position of contravention. As the motion carried in the past and has not been rescinded, it expresses the will of the Board.
  • All agreed that the point is almost moot as FSAs will be discontinued with the revised curriculum.

d) Superintendent recommended process for feedback for the Superintendent. Chair to work with the Superintendent on this as has extensive experience in Administrator evaluation.
e) Superintendent drew attention to a letter from the Ministry of Education re funding for curriculum redesign implementation (p 41 agenda).

D.2  Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
a) Annual Budget Preview:
Documents presented in SD61 website under Our District / Departments and Services / Secretary-Treasurer’s Department / District Presentations.

b) School Enhancement Program: [The Ministry has decided to call “Routine Capital Funding ” by a new name, “School Enhancement Program”. Bayview Middle School in SD63 will be happy they get a roof that does not leak. Is that an “enhancement, though?]

  • Secretary-Treasurer: This is a $40 million envelope. SD61 has 5% of the population in the Province so really should have had more. Have made a large request for Shoreline for next year, and have made a case with the Province for Health and Safety upgrades to be part of seismic upgrade process.

 c) Turf Field Agreement Oak Bay High : That the Board authorize the Secretary-Treasurer to negotiate an addendum to the current Agreement with Bays United that incorporates a payment schedule to the Board for the increased costs associated with the Bays United Football Club’s proportional contribution to the Oak Bay Artificial Turf Field. [Due to change from crumb rubber to less toxic TPE.] / Carried. For: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, Leonard, McNally, Nohr, Watters, Whiteaker      Against: Paynter

E. Question Period: No questions.
F. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items : None. D.2 c moved from In Camera agenda to public.

G. New Business / Notice of Motion
G.1 New Business

a) Ferris: That the Board direct the Secretary-Treasurer to investigate the process by which the Board, in conjunction with the Victoria High School Alumni Association, might apply for federal infrastructure money for the development of the new field at Victoria High School. / Carried. Unanimous.

G.2 Notices of Motion (For Education Policy and Directions on April 4)

a) McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to a) report on district support in place, if any, for students who no longer have youth bus passes as a result of government action and who use public transportation to get to any Academy or BAA course, including the new Aviation course at Mount Douglas High School, b) report the number of students who need the support to access District courses and c) effects if any on attendance at programs, particularly the SJ Willis Alternative program.

 b) McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to report to the Board on the number of mental health initiatives and providers in schools in SD 61, including
a) a list of all single program(one off) presentations to students in SD 61 schools by school and by presenter for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

b) a list of ongoing provision of mental health service to students contracted by SD 61 entirety or as a partnership including social workers consulting to schools (if any), number of counsellors at schools and numbers of that group who do mental health counselling for students, psychiatric nurses visiting schools(if any)
c) background information on funding for all the above
d) stated objectives of any program or service above
e) how efficacy of change in students from mental illness to mental health is measured
f) the district’s accepted definition of mental illness
g) the district’s accepted definition of mental health

 c) McNally: That the Board request that the Superintendent call for a report to the /board on a) Reading Recovery enrolment n SD61 and the South Island Consortium, and b) achievement in SD61 as well as any pertinent data from the South Island Consortium Reading Recovery Teacher Leader.

H. Adjournment : 10:50 pm

About Diane McNally