Education Policy and Directions Oct 3/16
Members: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga (ex officio), Nohr, Orcherton (absent), Whiteaker
Absent: Leonard, Orcherton
1. Approval of Agenda: Approved.
- Nohr: All questions are to come through the Chair. [Standard RRO process for meetings.] Many times the meeting process is interrupted by Trustees making Points of Order. The Chair has the final ruling on Point of Order validity.
- McNally: Chair, could you remind us of what Point of Order applies to, how it works?
- Nohr: I don’t know. But the Chair has the final ruling.
Here’s how Point of Order works. The Chair has a duty to make sure the rules of the assembly are followed, not the “rules of the Chair” or “Board Traditions” (p 90, Robert’s Rules in Brief”). A “Point of Order” calls attention to the fact that a rule is being broken. Grounds for a Point of Order: If a member of the assembly (an elected individual, in this case a Trustee) notes a breach of a Bylaw, anyone’s defiance of normal standards of decorum in a meeting, the Chair allowing a motion that is out of order (need to have a good reason for that call) speak up and call “Point of Order” (p 251 Robert’s). The Chair then states “Point well taken” or Point not well taken”. If the Chair does not allow the Point of Order, the Chair must state the reason, based in RRO, SD61 Bylaw, or SD61 Policy. The Chair’s opinion (which was enough in the days of “Board Traditions”, and recently when RRO were referred to by 20-year trustee Leonard as “nit-picking”, or “bureaucratic bullshit”, in the words of former Chair Orcherton) is not enough. If the Chair is not able to explain a valid reason, RRO requires the Chair to consult with the meeting parliamentarian (p 254) or call a recess while the Chair reads RR) 11th Edition to find a reason.
2. Approval of Ed Policy & Directions Minutes Sept 12/16.Carried as amended. Lined Paper report here.
- Amendments to minutes: 1. P5, Whiteaker’s’s motion was re “leashing”, not leasing. 2. Objection to narrative on p3 below “B”; McNally motion :Strike paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8″. / Carried. McNally’s point that according to RRO minutes should contain very little apart from motions, and disposal of motions. 3. Watters proposed striking paragraph 2 re the amended motion , except “the plan would be referred to the Board at a later date”. / Carried. 4. P 4 motion to dissolve Tech Committee did not pass unanimously; Paynter voted against.
3 Business Arising From Minutes:
- Superintendent: Have developed a TOR for the Student Transfer Process ad hoc committee and will present it first to the Policy Subcommittee for review.
4. Presentations to the Committee: None
5. New Business
A. Superintendent introduced student representative for October: Eilidh Morrison, Reynolds Secondary
- Morrison:Last year a notable student energy piece was the bus pass issue; hoping for more information regarding student leaves from school becasue of mental health issues or concussions.
- Superintendent: Will be having another student town hall at Esquimalt High, and am looking at possibility of student rep on committee
B.Fast Track Update : In past years, a program called “Fast Track” was run at SJ Willis to allow students to attend one course they had failed, all day for 18 days and thus get credit for the course. If we really care about our students graduating with knowledge and not just credits, and care about our grad rate reflecting something meaningful, I have not been sure this was the way to do that. I have had concerns for a few years, I asked for a review by the current senior admin team. Associate Superintendent Whitten’s memo on p 7 agenda.
- McNally: What is meant exactly by “upstream support” in paragraph 2?
- Whitten: Early identification, considering a variety of needs in school and the community.SD61 and Local Action Team update referral numbers annually.
- Ilda Turcotte, GVTA: Are referral lists provided for teachers?
- Paynter: What is keeping SD61 from having a 100% graduation rate?
C. Code of Conduct and Dress Code : Info from Superintendent pp 8-26 agenda.
- Superintendent: At VISTA meeting (October 1) was impressed with Lakewood School‘s presentation (Sooke District 62); Code of Conduct developed from the ground up.The BCSTA site has District codes. [ Mandated responsibility: ” Student code of conduct: The board is required to have a student code of conduct that meets provincial standards and ensure that schools publicize the codes of conduct and annually review them, in accordance with the provincial standards.” Ambiguous reference on the BCSTA site to “District code” and “school codes”.] SD 61’s values are expressed in our strategic plan. Could develop possible dress code and code of conduct; what do trustees have to say?
- Ferris: Needs to be developed at the school level.
- Paynter: Tracking incidents is important. Specific requirements for how it is developed are needed. Need implementation plan.Definitions needed, and many are here in the attachment.
- Secretary-Treasurer: Difficulties with leaving dress codes and codes of conduct at each school. Need to gather them into a district one. A big picture review is needed that ties back school codes.
- Whiteaker: Oaklands has a “contract” . Very much in favour of the Lakewood process a four-page code of conduct is far too long and irrelevant to students. Tie into social responsibility goals. Codes of conduct need to be levelled, and should be guiding social responsibility goals of the school..
- McNally: Problematic that dress codes very from school to school. Oak Bay High refers to the school environment as a business environment ( “recognize that school is a place of business and that appropriate attire must be worn”) . Vic High does not have a dress code. There is a possibility that what is considered appropriate at one school will be deemed inappropriate at another. In one school district community this seems problematic.
- Watters: Need to review them. Don’t need a District Code but need to be more proactive in helping school communities develop them. Development of policy at the GS A was a good experience and provided opportunities to hear students use. Students sometimes can’t find a way in to policy development.
- Paynter: Why do we have dress codes? Let’s cut to the bare-bones. What is not acceptable in a positive learning community?
- Loring-Kuhanga: Some schools have not had updated codes of conduct. We need a general statement that we expect codes to embody our values, and how they do that is up to schools. Each school has its own culture.
- Paynter: Codes of conduct are focused on students.
- Nohr:Would like District Code of Conduct to guide school codes.
- Superintendent: We want School Codes to include respect, social justice and equity, and will get more results by talking about that at the school level than by presenting a prescriptive list.So what is needed is a broad policy statement from trustees, and direction for administration to review codes of conduct.
- McNally: Is it clear that we want dress codes at all?
- Superintendent: Came across a dress code in Australia. Basically dress for the weather. Parents for the first teachers of their children and who am I to say the parent didn’t make a good choice of clothes for the child?
- Whiteaker: With support a statement of overarching values from the District, but codes have to be non-punitive.
- Paynter: Need to consider the safety of children who are the targets of bullying are acting out.
- Superintendent: These are always very difficult situations that require a balance of rights and needs for students and parents. How do you build a society that is working toward a values based society?
- Nohr: Want a student dress code that is based on modesty and appropriate dress for the work they do. Is however a student comes to school appropriate or are thee some parameters? Young men are modestly dressed but young women are hypersexualized in media and dress.
- Randi Falls, Principal, Vic High: Main consideration is comfort of the student. Tend not to ask girls to cover up; hasn’t been an issue.It’s not about what is showing. It’s about “are you prepared to learn”.
- Morrison: In middle school I was told to cover up, but wearing the same thing in high school, was not told. I dress modestly for school. Some dress as if for a party. In PE, young men can wear tank tops but young women have to have full shirts. I wear a tank in my gym . Both genders need to think about this issue.
- Loring-Kuhanga: That the Board give direction to the Superintendent to develop Policy and Regulation based on the Board’s values as expressed in the SD61 Strategic Plan, and based on the Ministerial Order. / Carried. Unanimous.
D.Food Awareness (Memo p 27 agenda; was moved up on agenda after A as a courtesy to Carrie Rae, dietitian, formerly with Alberta Schools and more, who was invited to observe / speak.)
- Superintendent: Many aspects of this topic to discuss and think through. Can PACs have fundraisers with food? What kind of food? Can a six-year-old bring a birthday cake to class?
- Turcotte, GVTA: Quality of food for students needs to be discussed.
- Nohr: Oak Bay High has sushi and non-gluten options for student lunches. On the Esquimalt side, not so much. Data collection of what food initiatives are in the school is required.
- McNally: The Esquimalt High School cafeteria and food program is taught by a Red Seal chef. The offerings are varied, delicious and nutritionally excellent.
- Carrie Rae, former food Policy developer for Alberta schools: BC has a brand name approved food list, which is not available in every province. Schools offer the most healthful options.The home environment is out of our control.
- Watters: Community partnerships aligned with our strategic plan could come together to create a standard way of engaging with the community that works for CUPE. New policy and regulations will be required.
- Ferris: Several community gardens, Wark Street and the Quadra art school, among them, have not been supported by the community and are abandoned eyesores.
- McNally: Do we have a committee to deal with food policy and CUPE needs?
- Superintendent: Looking at Volunteers in Schools policy; on the list to do this year.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Concerned with vending machines and the amount of money spent on food in School District 61. Food security is a huge issue on Vancouver Island. We need that perspective as well.
- Rae: Worked with 544 schools, 12 school districts in Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic school districts. Many students can’t afford a $5 salad.
- Loring-Kuhanga: We have grants from Community Link and the Heart and Stroke Foundation; what grants are we applying for?
- Morrison: There is no place for students to eat at Reynolds. We sit on the floor. Many junk food places are close and students don’t eat packed lunches. Not all high schools have cafeterias.
- Rae: In Alberta new high schools are all built with their own cafeterias.
- Associate Superintendent Kitchen:We do have a list of food served at our schools and are partnered with Food Share Network , and the Victoria Foundation.
- Superintendent: Currently Policy and Regulation 6164.3 are in place. We will do a current scan and look at the policy and regulation and go from there.
- Deputy Superintendent Green: Clarity and information on what is happening currently and a review of current policy and regulation is required. We will have further conversations on each strand and then decide where to go.
- Rae: A helpful guideline exists: Steps To Creating A School Nutrition Policy.
- Superintendent: Need a timeline and a motion.
- Whiteaker:TTB direct the Superintendent to bring an interim report on food awareness initiative to the March 2017 Education Policy and Directions meeting./ Carried. Unanimous.
a) Watters:That the Board instruct the Chair to write a letter to the Minister of Education expressing the challenges of providing learning resources to fully support the new curriculum , and requesting that additional funds be provided for this purpose. / Withdrawn after discussion.
- Watters: Pocket of money tagged for curriculum implementation; government seems willing to fund initiatives.
- Ferris: Need to target actions not just ask for money.
- Superintendent: Minister Bernier has agreed to meet with the SD61 Board Will be talking about the block funding model and the importance for districts to have flexibility; not so much about inputs as about outcomes.
- Ferris: If we do get a meeting, we can talk about funding for the resources and what we could do with additional money at that time.
- Superintendent: Need to discuss amongst ourselves what is needed and what would make the system more effective. Would prefer to write memo re pressures on the system and some recommendations, to bring back to Ed Policy.
b) Whiteaker: That the Policy Sub-Committee review Regulation 3510.2 Stray Animals in Schools to consider leashing language for dogs during school hours n school property./ Carried.
F. Notices of Motion: None
7. General Announcements : None
8. Adjournment:9:25 pm