March 6/17: Ed Policy&Directions / Operations: Inclusive Learning&Facilities Update


Education Policy and Planning / Operations Policy and Planning combo
(Ed Policy was cancelled due to snow)

Territory Acknowledgement900

1.Adoption of Agenda:
Approval of Minutes: OPP Feb 14/17 (attached to agenda): ✔ (Lined Paper report)
Business Arising From Minutes: None

4.Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee: Chair Whiteaker,  Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton ) Present for Ed Policy: Ferris, Nohr, Whiteaker (appointed members with vote); Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga (ex officio),  McNally, Paynter, Watters

Chair Whiteaker asked for introductions from the public seats (many attendees): CUPE 947 and  382, GVTA, VISArt, parents

A. Presentation to the committee: None
B. New Business:
1. Introduction of Student Rep: Rory O’Donnell, SJ Willis Education Centre 
2. Annual Report Aboriginal Education (presentation here.  ): Nella Nelson , Coordinator SD61  Aboriginal Nations Education / Louise Sheffer, Director of Learning, Learning Team   [ This is the new iteration of the former Learning Initiatives group – the link still says “Learning Initiatives” –  at one time a $1,088, 181 in-house  project of the District, with a District Principal and 3 teacher-seconded staff. Now consists of Louise Sheffer, Dave Shortreed, James Hansen, Tiffany Poirier, and Carey Nickerson, and has a Director of Learning, a District Principal of the Learning Team, and three vice principals of Learning.]

  • Coordinator Aboriginal Nations Education: Aboriginal perspectives and world view no longer an add-on but integral part of curriculum. 2016-17 workshop series  hosted Terri Mack of Strong Nations  Publishing (March 2).
  • Nohr: Funding for Aboriginal Education Action Research?
  • Director of Learning: From District funds, via Nella from Aboriginal funds, Modern Languages / ELL via Simon Burgers  (District Vice-Principal – Languages and Multiculturalism) – Submit an inquiry-based question. Each school can apply for $2000. Grant amount might vary according to how many apply.
  • Paynter: Hear about excellence of ANED resources. So much demand and will be more with Aboriginal Ways of Learning part of the curriculum. How will we meet growing demand?
  • Coordinator Aboriginal Nations Education: We do data tracking in ANED. We provide a Learning Series that helps teachers understand it is okay to take the risk, will be there to support. 750 resources taken out since September.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Remember when the new curriculum with introduced. We are not adapting but weaving, and now seeing this in action for all students. Not piecemeal.
  • Coordinator Aboriginal Nations Education: Supporting diversity. Everyone has a story and everyone has a voice.
  • CUPE 947 Aboriginal Education EA: Is the focus just on local Nations or on all Nations across Canada?
  • Coordinator Aboriginal Nations Education: Strong  Nations is addressing this. Need to acknowledge all indigenous peoples.
  • Parent 1: What about post secondary, UVic or Ministry of Education?
  • Coordinator Aboriginal Nations Education: UVic offers courses  summer institutes; Camosun is indigenizing.
  • Nohr: How many projects were initiated through the funding?
  • Director of Learning: About 64;  all the funding gets used up.

3. Inclusive Learning Conversation and 4. District Programs : Associate Superintendent Whitten  (extended conversation with members of the public in the public seats) district programs

Ministry of Education funding categories and amounts here.

  • Dave C., parent: Low Incidence program and room at Esquimalt High serves my son’s needs with specialized resources, specialized environment. Many students benefited. Son has autism and District may not be able to modify classroom so student can succeed. Will act out, melt down and get ejected from the classroom. Earlier grades so he was in a tiny room by elevator. Can you keep both models working? Strip money from specialized programs? What will happen with my son? Will he wind up in a closet? Will he wind up wandering the halls? Education needs to be meaningful to him. Inclusion in the classroom won’t serve a purposeful outcome for him.
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: No part of this plan is to give up any of the supports currently in place for your son and other students. We will not allow the closet / isolation situation.
  • Leonard: What is the timeline for the restructure? Money allocation? Hasn’t come forward.
  • Associate Superintendent  Whitten: Starting in September. Moving from “program registration” to school registration.
  • Superintendent: Not a big budget item coming. Support staff reallocation for support.
  • Cindy G., GVTA: What has motivated this change?
  • Associate  Superintendent Whitten: District struggled with segregated classes. Highlights are in the memo. Will need a lot of capacity building in teachers. Will be a process. Co-teaching is possible and a promising practice. Self-regulation and mindfulness implementation is underway. At Braefoot, two Behaviour programs – students are already going into classes some of the time out of the program. Flexibility is not so much there in low incidence classes. Supports and structures for students will remain.
  • McNally: What about Victor School, a stand-alone building with segregated students in segregated programs?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: will remain. Next year will be the same. But there will be more conversations.
  • Katy, teacher: Challenging behaviour – minor actions like not listening etc.- are manageable. Concerned with severe behaviour with great impact / mental health, aggression, serious verbal abuse. Might be impossible to maintain a safe environment in the classroom. Taught at Saanich Children’s Development Centre. 10 kids, intensive support, highly staffed.  Challenging behaviour can be common actions or severe. Inclusion has limitations – safety, safety of other staff and students, and emotional well-being of other students. Deeply concerned.
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: Not suggesting all day, every day. Looking to have “safe spaces”  in all schools.
  • Katy, teacher: A student in school was in the medical room for months because could not be in the classroom. Is that acceptable? Some of this is not just mindfulness. Some strategies won’t even touch the needs  these children have.
  • Debra S, GVTA: Inclusion started when we had full-time resource teachers funded, but then those positions were cut to .5, and then was very stretched. What is the funding? Alarming space crunches; learning support teachers, music teachers are concerned
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: No specifics re finances. Moving along a continuum. More expensive than segregation.
  • Dr. Lisa Gunderson: Have been a Tribal school counsellor, have done a variety of teaching. Will you follow this discussion with a  survey? Teachers  and education assistants need to be trained for severe behaviour, and need to deal with a broad array of issues. What is the training? Inclusion can be exclusion. What you in the majority see as  segregation can mean community. A segregated space can be inclusive. Hearing that the child has to be in a classroom some of the time. For example with the child with vision impairment, where is the teacher training going to come from? Need to speak with parents, teachers, education assistants. Training for teachers and education assistants is not adequate in some areas. Where’s the training coming from for specific disorders? Haven’t seen it. And how will you monitor that it is true inclusion?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: POPARD, SET-BC, program teachers are resources ; we are paying attention to how not to give up community for inclusion. We will work with School Based Teams and Learning Support teachers to make sure they have the skills to support classroom teachers.
  • Gunderson: Will those  support teachers be in the classroom with the teacher?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: 80 students in district programs. Will not be that much change going forward. Time in the classroom will be based on the student’s interests in being in the classroom going forward.
  • Superintendent: We need to consider what is the most enabling environment student. Fluidity, not one or the other. Yes we have to talk about support for teachers and education assistants.
  • Ilda Turcotte, GVTA: Students who will be designated IBI next year  –  what is there for them? Will Braefoot and McKenzie take new students? [IBI designation explained here, page 5.]
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten:Those two programs will continue. Now having conversations about how best support the students.
  • Deb G, Sir James Douglas K-5: Have had a very challenged child in class. Ongoing unsafe environment. I am relating this as a parent myself of a child with special needs. Staff do not believe they can maintain safety. The class has had to evacuate due to wild and dangerous behaviour, and parents were not told about this. Clearly this situation is not living up to the district mission statement. Parents have had to go to WCB to get an assessment. Not clearly articulated when “we cannot do this”, and that doesn’t seem to be an option. What are the thresholds? When can school say “we don’t have the capacity”? Don’t see where the information is to base a thoughtful discussion on.
  • Nohr: Has there been a discussion that there will be students registered in a classroom but the education will be in a separate program?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: In secondary, may have 7/8 blocks in life skills class. Working 1:1 regarding student programs. Will evolve with the student.
  • Watters: Share concerns but have confidence in the District.80 students – reflect back, hope for individual strong communication with teacher and supports. Constantly assess each student and look forward to hearing back. With 80 students should be able to keep tabs.
  • Paynter: Is funding support adequate this situation? Want hard numbers.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Want to know that supports for each student will stay in place. Nephew thrived in life skills program. Important to move slowly with each student.
  • McNally: Taught students with autism,  rare syndromes and disorders, supervised 18 of up to five education assistants, sometimes a nurse in the classroom, and was liaison to and a participant in multidisciplinary teams for case management for each student. Dedication to increasing my ability to teach to the complex communication and life skills needs of my eight students was all-consuming for 10 years.  You cannot “get trained” in a weekend  workshop to do effective teaching for the complex needs of students with autism and or severe behaviour. Have worked as Learning Support teacher for 10 years as well. I believe teachers are pretty much at capacity, and if I hear a referral to “building capacity” in teachers, I want to know exactly what that means. On its own, it’s an empty term. And the reality is, Education Assistants wind up responsible for the delivery of complex IEP instructional requirements because of the variety of needs in any given classroom that the teacher is facing every day. One student may have two EAs, each with a very different approach to behaviour management and instruction. There is no standard provincial certification for Education Assistants.
  • Katy, teacher: Many kids would like to get into the 80. Having specialized opportunities is not bad. Teachers are at max now. English programs are heavily loaded with challenging behaviour as French Immersion sends students with challenging behaviour to the English track.
  • Carol A., teacher: SJ Willis Programs serve a variety of special needs including autism, fetal alcohol effect, and others.
  • May, inclusive  education teacher, Lansdowne: Scared about what will happen to kids, and teachers are scared. It’s all on us to “build capacity” . A few courses won’t do it, but that would be a start. Shelley Moore is coming to speak – go see her.
  • Dave C., parent: Would like to see a continuum of service and maintenance of District programs. It’s all needed.
  • Whiteaker: Safety, social, emotional training in pre-and in-service is needed, on all issues. Look forward to funding conversations.

C. Notice of Motion: None  / Ed Policy adjourned 8:50 pm

-Ferris, Nohr leave –

5. Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee

Present for OPP:  Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga (ex officio) McNally, Paynter, Watters (appointed members with vote), Whiteaker
A. Presentations to the Committee
Colette Baty, President, Vancouver Island School of Art : Appreciate the deferred eviction date from building, to June 30 1 2018.Will discuss rent increase. Hoping for long term lease.
2. David Futter,  GVTA 2nd VP / Health and Safety: National Day of Mourning
April 28. WorkSafe, BC Fed, BCTF,  BCPVPA, CUPE support. In BC , 12 years old and up can enter labour force. Young workers biggest pool of injured.

  • McNally: That the Board support the April 28 Day of Mourning. / Carried. Unanimous.

B. Superintendent’s Report: None
C. Personnel Items:
D. Finance and Legal Affairs:
E. Facilities and Planning :
1. District Facilities Plan Update
(P 9 agenda): Secretary -Treasurer Walsh

  • Secretary-Treasurer:: The District Student Registration and Transfer Committee is meeting regularly.BCTF, BCPSEA and government are meeting regularly. Final data will be impacted.
  • Leonard: Would appreciate more of a report than this on committee work. We need more information on the big items out there. Might deserve a “retreat” meeting.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Will bring initial recommendations from the committee . Currently planning for more information provision.

2. Deferred Maintenance Projects (P 10 agenda): David Loveridge, Director, Facilities Services

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Annual Facilities Grant / capital review committee is holding informal meetings.
  • Director, Facilities Services: Principals and custodial staff have identified almost $5 million in work needed. Taking into account 1. health and safety issues 2. Legislated and regulation related 3. Maintaining the life of the asset 4. Business case 5. Service level enhancement.
  • Superintendent: Clearly needed, can’t budget for all of it.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Looking at the committed deferred maintenance projects and unfunded deferred maintenance projects on page 11-12, how much will the Annual Facilities Grant cover?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: All our roofs. Not reflected here. All the unfunded deferred maintenance projects are costs in addition to the Annual Facilities Grant.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Plan to address some of this internally rather than contracting out? Might be lower costs?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Currently doing the last of external field restoration. Now brought in house. Looking at the business case for bringing roofing in house. So, yes.
  • Paynter: Could explore partnerships with municipalities to pay for playgrounds.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Could we see a list prioritizing levels 1, 2, possibly to 3.

3. School Space Utilization Review (P 13 agenda) : Cloverdale Traditional School is not a catchment area school. Nor is South Park.

  • Superintendent: Looking at what we want to offer in School and what space is needed. Long-term facilities plan coming in May or June to the Board. Quality education for all students, so need to analyse space and requirements.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: District hasn’t taken back space is needed as “safe space” in schools. Facilities Committee examining itinerant space – more and more acceptable needed. No active spaces being sought out that would  take away student access.

-Whiteaker left the meeting-

4. Shop Funding [Finally, able to do this. Shop teachers have been bringing  concerns forward for at least 10 years.]

  • Futter, GVTA Health and Safety: Participation in Distict Health and safety taken away. Supposed to be monthly inspection of shops. Were design flaws built in in some shops.

F. Public  Disclosure of In Camera Items: None
G. New Business (OPP): None
H. Notice of Motion (OPP): None
I. General Announcements:
J. Adjournment:
10 pm  ish



About Diane McNally