October 2/17: Education Policy & Directions Standing Committee: Inclusive Learning, TRC

Territory Acknowledgement900

Lined Paper 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.

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.

District Strategic Plan here.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – June 2017.  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee October 2 /17
Chair: Whiteaker
Members: Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton , Whiteaker;  Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)

Present: Ferris (first elected 1999), McNally (2011), Nohr (2011), Orcherton (1999), Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014)
Not present: Leonard (1996), Loring-Kuhanga (2011), Paynter (2014)

The meeting agenda was approved; no additions. McNally suggested a change to the minutes September 11, 2017 and for future minutes: that when a motion is carried, the phrase (not seen before in minutes) ” Trustees agreed that the following motion needs to move forward to the Board of Education for consideration” not be included in future, as if the motion carries, obviously it will move forward to the Board meeting. No business arising from the minutes.

The Superintendent introduced this month’s student representative, Ben Rutkowski, from Vic High.

Associate Superintendent Whitten spoke to the memo “inclusive learning updates” pages 5, 6 of the agenda. Some specialized interventions will continue to be offered outside of the classroom setting, while as much is possible supports will be delivered in the classroom on” push in” vs “pull out” model. [Reading Recovery is one short term intervention for struggling readers in Grade One that remains a “pull out” intervention as its success depends on intensive daily one on one teaching specifically designed for each student’s needs.] McNally asked for an update on / creation of / accessible job descriptions for staff on the Learning Team, specifically the Inclusive Learning Team, as apparently hiring staff without a job description is concerning. Nohr asked about District Behaviour programs, specifically Braefoot and McKenzie. Associate Superintendent Whitten said staffing remains the same, but students are registered at the school, not registered in the Program. Students are supported by staff in the classroom as much as possible.

Deputy Superintendent Green spoke to her memo on page 7 of the agenda, regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s  “Calls to Action”. The Calls to Action will have space on every Education Policy meeting. Wab Kinew and others have stated that it will take multiple generations to repair the damage to communities and families that is a legacy of Residential Schools.

The “New Business” section moved on to motions.

4.D McNally: That the Board [direct staff to] change every instance of “School Family Groups” on the SD 61 website and and other communications, to “School Catchment Pathways”. / Motion to refer to Student Registration and Transfer Committee . / Motion to refer carried. Unanimous.

  • McNally: School groupings provide a pathway from elementary school through a middle school to a high school. This pathway is based on catchment areas and is clearly presented in the District’s Baragar software. The use of “family” in this context is confusing. The District has moved away from “school shopping” to a neighbourhood school catchment based model. In the”school shopping ” model “family” was relevant in terms of which school students attended as siblings helped keep space in the out of catchment area school for younger siblings.   In order for actual families to understand that these are school catchment area pathways, clearer terminology would be desirable.

4. E Watters: That the Board publish a letter on the District website and provide a media release as per the BCSTA message of support to Boards of Education, for SOGI policies and initiatives and fostering safer and more inclusive communities for all British Colombians.

  • Watters: The context for the motion and the BCSTA message of support is Langley.

Susan Hitchman, from Growing Healthy Families, who has had five kids in the Langley public school system, says ‘SOGI ideology’ harms children. “Supporting SOGI creates gender dysphoria,” Hitchman said. She said there have been many studies, and science backs up that gender identity issues are a sign of confusion in childhood and works its way out as they reach adulthood. She also believes LGBTQ is a choice.

Sue is also affiliated with “Culture Guard”.  Doesn’t that name give you major pause? And raise all kinds of red flags for you? And “new mandate of gender ideology”? Apparently for “Culture Guard”,  respecting  human rights is a shocking  “new mandate” .

Sue Hitchman is “Culture Guard”’s guest this week. Hosts Kari Graham and Ron Gray interview Sue regarding the presentation she gave to the Langley School Board regarding Langley’s new mandate of gender ideology in the classroom. The episode concludes with Sue’s entire presentation.

The “Culture Guard” website  suggests that Paul Dirks (pastor) has done SOGI research that might interest “Culture Guard”  fans. Some manifestations of Dirks’ “research”

Posters promoting Dirks’s Woman Means Something campaign, which opposes proposed legislation that would add gender expression and gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, popped up in Vancouver’s Davie Street neighbourhood last week.

I’d love to see a  statement of “culture” as defined by this lot. I’m thinking white, Christian and straight. Just guessing, of course.

Nope. Culture, a central concept in anthropology, encompasses the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

No Notice of Motions, or General Announcements. Adjournment 8:25 pm.








About Diane McNally