Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee
June 12, 2017
Members of OPP (assigned by Chair) : Chair Watters; Leonard, McNally, Paynter (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Members Present: Watters (Committee Chair), McNally, Paynter / Non members (no vote): Nohr, Whiteaker
Not present : Ferris, Orcherton
2. OPP minutes May 8/17: SD61 minutes here; Lined Paper blog post here.
3. Business Arising from the minutes: None
4. Presentations to the Committee: [Your chance to present to the committee and engage in related dialogue with members of the Committee and other Trustees who choose to attend, as important information is presented at Standing Committees]
A. Alex Randall:
I am a parent of children at Torquay Elementary. Please allow me to present our shorter-term issue as I don’t believe it is addressed by any of the longer term portables plans. I represent a group of parents who are without OSC care for Sept 2017 onwards. 15 of our children were confirmed as accepted for Sept 2017 by the Torquay OSC provider. They were later denied due to space constraints at Torquay. The 2 rooms previously allocated to the OSC were reclaimed as classrooms for Sept 2017. The kids who made it in are now in the school gym for care. The remainder were wait listed and are now without prospects. Our group now numbers upwards of 32 kids without OSC. Portables and VIHA licensing are for Sept 2018 and reopening of schools are at least as far away. How can the school board help to accommodate the more immediate need for Torquay Elementary OSC for September 2017?
- Paynter: The current government directed schools to make daycare spaces available in order not to have to build more spaces.
[2007: “Additional cuts [by BC Liberals] for childcare operating funding will force operators to raise parent fees and a cap on capital funding for new spaces guarantees that families will languish on waitlists for existing spaces.”]
5. Superintendent’s Report:
A. Superintendent introduced Student Rep Gabrielle Rutman, Esquimalt High School (absent)
B. Equity Ad Hoc Committee Motion (P 6) : TTB Accept the recommendations of the Equity Ad Hoc committee. / Dealt with separately below:
i. Amend the Equity At Hoc Committee TOR to a) extend the timeline of the Committee through the 2017/2018 school year, and to b) add that the Committee will provide recommendations in advance of the 2018/2019 budget process. / Carried. Unanimous (voting members of OPPS)
Encourage Direct the Superintendent to revive and staff the Greater Victoria Foundation for Learning as a means of generating more funds to be used for creating more equity across the district. / Carried as amended below. For: Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Paynter, Watters Against: McNally
- Watters: Amendment: Direct the Superintendent. / Carried.
- Leonard: Amendment: Delete ‘and staff”. / Carried.
- McNally: Are we going to move to a model where we use GoFundMe to fund public education? School District 61 is already a charity and people can donate as they wish. Public goods like education and hospitals to be funded by taxes because citizens and the government valued those goods; they should not be left to the whim of responses to a charitable appeal. Parents are already fundraising for playgrounds; are we to move further in relieving government of responsibility to fund public education? are we going to wind up funding public education via grant writing?
- Whiteaker: What would the governing documents be?
- Superintendent: Would have to have Board for the Foundation and new Bylaws would be brought to the SD61 Board.
- Leonard: Had the Foundation before. Most documentation still should be available. What would the staffing be? Formerly was Superintendent, secretary-Treasurer, director of International Education.
- Watters: Costs have been downloaded to the School Districts. Would be good to level the PAC fundraising field. Do not want to create status quo charity situation.
- Superintendent : Based education should come through public dollars. Playgrounds for example are not considered essential education. Looking for the “not basic education” areas.
- Paynter: We parents want to do whatever we can to ensure our kids get the best they can. Fundraising in some areas is more successful because parents are generally affluent. Hope is to take over PAC grant writing and look centrally at what needs are and funds to be distributed equitably.
- Smith (DPAC President): You say you’re not competing with all PACs but you will have paid staff, and you want to take responsibility away from PACS. Leery of application of the process. Don’t want District deciding for parents. Would like to have robust conversation around equitable distribution and recognize parents who are working hard in their community.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Thinking on the same line with Mcnally. Public education should be funded by public taxes foundation lets government off the mark. Our job is Trustees when we know there is inequity, to lobby and to address the needs of students across the District.
- Parent 1: What kinds of things could be funded?
- Superintendent: Motion is directing me to set these things in a mandate that would address how not to compete with PACs.
- Nohr: Support the research and reporting back. Inequity issue has been apparent in the District for a long time.
- Leonard: The province should be paying for education. If the province paid 100% of what is needed in classrooms, that will be good but they would never fund playgrounds or some of the social aspects, in the past floated the idea of a golf tournament; was in favour
- Loring-Kuhanga:Amendment: Review Foundation mandate through the lens of equity and bring back to OPP for further discussion on creating more equity across the District./ Carried. For: Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Paynter, Watters. Against: McNally
C. Student Registration and Transfer Ad Hoc Committee Report (Trustee reps on committee Ferris and Nohr) (Pp 7-16 agenda: background and rationale for recommendations )
Superintendent: Presenters please limit to 15 minutes. Facilities plan that comes next is closely related to enrolment and transfer recommendations. Invite you to stay to hear about the challenges the District faces. Reopen schools? Re-examine boundaries? Review French Immersion, how, where, what looks like? Portables?
Recommended motion (recommended by the Committee): TTB accept the recommendations of the Student Registration and Transfer Ad Hoc Committee.
Proposed: 1. re-enrolling student 2. catchment sibling 3. new catchment child 4. non catchment sibling 5. non catchment child 6. non school district child
[Presented by District Vice-Principal – Languages and Multiculturalism Burgers. ] Ad Hoc Committee had a two part TOR with broad membership from stakeholder groups. The committee focused on access to neighbourhood schools plus providing choice. Had a number of denied transfer requests for the first time in a very long time last year and for this coming September. Have in past years been able to accommodate all requests for transfers.[The District was in a declining enrolment situation.] 97% of siblings are catchment for French immersion programs/ Powerpoint here.
[Communications Officer Hamilton presented survey conclusions pp 14-15.]
- Parent 2: [Presenting his wife’s statistics]; The survey was deeply flawed and can’t be used to effect public policy. Fewer than 20% is not representative and it wasn’t random. Number of people did not understand the survey as it was intended. Changing schools can lead to psychosis according to some research. Creates difficulties for individual students. Should look at research to change public policy, not by a survey. Reopen schools would solve problem.
- Watters: Trustees received many emails regarding the survey and have not been using that as the only source of information.
- Paynter: Still have questions. Page 9 addresses international students; still problematic. Page 10 – would like to know how many students are waitlisted and how many were denied.Three survey questions the separation by tracks and by English and French immersion parents. Global response seems inadequate.
- Superintendent: Page 11 can provide those numbers. International student information is on page 16.
- Leonard: Have to do something, but concerned with not honouring siblings, and family cohort. Have to grandfather the family unit.Would be a five or six your bubble to get the grandfathered families through. Grade 6 and grade 9 are where students are thinking of dropping out. Motion to grandfather existing families.
- Superintendent: Would be longer than 5 or 6 years.
- Parent 3: Why isn’t #7 International students? P 51 Braefoot graph is helpful to see. Would like that for every school. Might help alleviate anxiety.
- Superintendent: Part of Facilities Plan is to create graphs for every school. Will be on the website.
- Watters: Back to motion on the floor.Difficult choices.
- Parent 4: Yes to trustee Leonard for protecting our families. If a child is in that school, they are part of that community.
- Parent 5: Helped work to establish University 101 at Uvic. Changing schools causes great the could be moments of real rupture, putting children at risk.
- Parent 6: My child attends school out of catchment. It’s a neighbourhood thing, all the kids in the neighbourhood went out of catchment.
- Parent 7: We live one block out of catchment. Out of school care is an issue. Don’t want to tell kids they can’t be in the same school as siblings. Kids can go back to catchment at transition to middle and high school.
- Parent 8: Yes to grandfathering. Brand-new families into catchment should start with catchment.
- Parent 9: Some of us are not in the system yet. Mental health effects will be on kids not in the system yet too. Can support separating kids. The tiered thing is wrong. Housing stability is an issue.
- Parent 10: And a teacher in the district. Concerned with housing situation and instability.
- McNally: Agree with the 2nd to last last paragraph in the VCPAC letter sent to Trustees. [Lest anyone think this is all is base my vote on, I have written multiple posts on competition for customers amongst public schools in the retail-model winners and losers setup of school shopping promoted by the BC Liberal government when they opened catchment areas. Students each take their $7000 per pupil funding with them to the school of “choice”, leaving the neighbourhood school down that amount. “Choice and Fragmentation” post here, October 7, 2013 at 8.A].
- Loring-Kuhanga: Motion to postpone further discussion until after 8.A / Carried. For: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Watters. Against: Leoanrd, Paynter
- Smith: Many parents want to keep families together. You to plan for reopening schools with new catchment areas and the policy in order to fill that school.
6. Personnel Items:
A. Job Descriptions in Policy and Regulations [not the right place for them; many have been put there over past iterations of the Board.]
- Secretary-Treasurer:HR in active discussions with GVTA, ASA, LSA about what job descriptions will look like.
- McNally: Where are the job descriptions? Realize this is operational but would be great to be able to see them. Have been told they appear in make a future when the District is hiring but those postings disappear.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Will move to Administrative Procedures for now while discussion continues.
Recommended (by Secretary-Treasurer) motion: TTB delete Policy 2127.060 Psychologist, 2127.062 Speech and Language Specialist, Policy 2127.063 District Counsellors. / Carried. . Unanimous.
7. Finance and Legal Affairs: None
8. Facilities Planning:
A. District Facilities Plan Draft Recommendations : Report starts on page 37. Projections on page 50. Baragar software report for Oak Bay. Page 43 long-term plan. Once Student Registration Committee finalizes recommendations by a vote, Facilities can plan.
- Watters: Now return to motion to postpone the grandfathering motion.
- Leonard: If the motion as it stands go through would trigger a lot of things – opening schools increases the structural deficit – closed some to help reduce it – proposal is not a perfect solution – but have to address kids in the system right now. Ministry won’t fund additions to full schools if there is space at another school.
- Paynter: Could we have a table that breaks out functional and operational numbers?
- Superintendent: Does The Board want this? Is it difficult to provide information that only individual trustees request. / [No. Board indicated does not.]
- Parent 11: How do all these recommendations get put into action?
- Watters: This is a plan for a plan – will be an update from Committee.
- Leonard: TTB acccept draft Facilities recommendation as presented.[Pp 43-45 agenda; specific recommendations: 1. District Facilities Ad Hoc Committee continue to monitor and provide ongoing feedback of the activities pursuant to this Plan. 2. District ensures when planning major retrofits, upgrades, rebuilds or general Annual Facilities Grant planning that appropriate space for itinerant teachers and other professionals be a priority. 3. Superintendent recommends changes to Policy 5117 – School Attendance Areas to include 4 provisions (see p 44 agenda) 4. District ready to the Ministry of Education highlighting difference between Ministries capacity and District determination of functional capacity. 5. District insurer that enrolment priorities as a result of the Student Registration and Transfer Committee be applied and that schools above 90% functional capacity be reviewed following the completion of the setting of priorities. 6. District retain Richmond, Lampson, and Sundance/Bank Street with the possibility of future use. 7. All Facilities planning, including major retrofits, upgrades, new builds and Annual Facility Grant planning incorporate principles of equity, sustainability and environmental responsibility. 8. Superintendent and Board review, revise and then apply Policy and Regulation 3110 – Presentation of New Educational Programs when considering any new program. 9. District review its current shop programs to ensure that the level of shop programming available in our schools is supportable for the long-term. 10. Students be canvassed on their preference on school amenities, facilities and programming. 11. Ensure that the District has a plan to address our capital maintenance deficit. [Need $150 million to remedy this.] 12. Ensure that the District recovers full costs(capital and operating) from its rentals and leases. 13. District ensure that sufficient revenue gain from rentals and leases is invested in capital maintenance of facilities associated with rental or lease. District should ensure competitive market rates for rentals and leases for outside uses wherever possible. 14. District support childcare providers on our sites. [Supported applications from 10 to expand footprint on SD61 sites.] 15. Board identify parcels of land that are not anticipated to be needed for educational purposes for potential medium-term lease to a community partner. 16. Policy 7110.1 Leasing of Closed Schools be updated to prohibit long-term lease of a District property for less than market value.] / Carried. Unanimous.
- Parent 12: High school is over capacity. Do we not adjust International seats to accommodate pathway students?
- Watters: International Program is a money maker.
- Superintendent: Revenue generator plus value for our own students. We have capacity for all students including International students if everyone went to catchment school.
Back to Leonard’s motion: 1. Re-enrolling and sibling cohort 2. Catchment sibling 3. New catchment student 4. Non catchment sibling 5. Non-catchment student 6. Non-district student . All 2017 – 2018 enrolments will have children grandfathered until no more siblings enter school, for pathways K – 12.
- Paynter: Don’t support any of this. Need to follow up re French Immersion provision.
- Loring-Kuhanga: Facilities Committee met the last 10 months about Facilities issues and transfer issues. Now senior administration has some recommendations. I have some concerns as this motion would be a temporary fix and not a long-term solution. Someone is going to be impacted by policy change no matter when. Speaking against the motion.
- Superintendent: capital if this means they had, catchment families will be impacted and will have to move to a school out of catchment.There will be 15 – 20 years of the facts. Families need to be able to look some years out. Possibly consider grandfathering but with a time limit for example 5 years – that gets people time to make a plan.
- Leonard: Amendment: 5 years limit to the 22 – 23 school year.
- Watters: Five years more comfortable than carte blanche for 15 – 20 years. Don’t want current or future families to pay the price. Recommendations from senior administration are the right thing. Grandfathering is going to mean moving programs.
Amendment fails: For: Paynter, Watters Against: Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally
Back to main motion unlimited grandfathering: Defeated. For: Leonard Against: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Watters Abstain: Paynter
- Loring-Kuhanga: Motion to accept enrolment priorities. / Carried. For: Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Watters Against: Leonard, Paynter
- Watters: The recommendation will move forward to the Board meeting.
9. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: None
10. New Business: None
A. Trustee Questions: None
11. Notices of Motion: None
12. General Announcements: None
13. Adjournment: 10.20 pm