January 8/18: Education Policy and Directions: BAA Courses, BCSTA Honorary President

P1 Meeting record

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. Board meetings are video’d and audio recorded; Committee meetings are not.

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 (will be updated asap).  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

October 17/16, Whiteaker: That the Board amend Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees to remove the words “with voting rights” from Item #4 and Item #5. / Carried. Unanimous.  This had the effect of allowing only members of the Standing Committee to vote on motions, though other Trustees, if they attend,  can participate in  the debate. The Chair of the Board  ex officio member both Committees, with voting rights. Quorum is a majority of Trustee members on the committee.

Dialogue with the Public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings

Ed Policy  & Directions Standing Committee
January 8/18
Members: Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton , Whiteaker;  Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)
Chair: Nohr (elected 2011)
 Ferris (elected 1999),  McNally (elected 2011), Nohr, Orcherton (elected 1999), Paynter (elected 2014), Watters (elected 2014), Whiteaker (elected 2014) .
Not present: Leonard (elected 1996), Loring-Kuhanga (elected 2011)

Territory Acknowledgement900

Agenda adopted. McNally noted at “C. Notices of Motion” that “New Business” is incorrectly placed as New Business takes place at this meeting under “B”, while “Notices of Motion” means  a notice of a motion that will come to a later meeting. Minutes of Dec 4/17 Ed Policy approved [Lined Paper record here], Watters noting that committee members should be listed, not just Trustees present, otherwise people may not understand why some Trustees present don’t vote. Whiteaker noted that motions are not seconded in Committees so that needs to be removed. No Business Arising from minutes. Student Rep at the table Antonia Kowalewski (Reynolds Secondary). The Truth and Reconciliation report to the Board postponed to February as presenter Sarah Rhude is ill.

B.3 BAA Course: History of Sports 12:  Application to Board via Committee  for approval – not really history OF sports, but “History Through a Sports Lens”. Fascinating course. Pp 7-15 agenda. Developed by Kate Baker, teacher, Oak Bay High School.

Recommended (by senior staff): That the Board approve the BAA course History Through Sport 12. / Carried. Unanimous committee vote.

  • McNally: Fascinating course, so thoroughly researched and well presented. If I could, I would take it. But if this course is good for Oak Bay High, then it is good for all SD61 high schools. Could be an individual choice for directed studies, if not a stand alone course. Ministry of Education needs to attend to BAA course concept  which encourages the inter-school competition a legacy of the previous government in BC, drawing students away from their neighborhood schools in a competitive retail type model of a public good. Can’t vote in this committee, so giving notice that for equity of access reasons I won’t support the course in the Board vote on January 29. [Previous Lined Paper posts on BAAs; one here at 8.A., another here at B.4.]
  • Baker: Would like other students to benefit as well.
  • Shelley Green (Deputy Superintendent): Shift coming in Ministry re BAA courses. Blending in focus areas for Grade 12 interests – overriding ideas, multiple layers. Will be one more year of BAA courses.
  • Greg Kitchen, Associate Superintendent: Reviewing District BAA courses. [Review underway for a couple of years… see “C” here, April 2016.  In 2016,  155 BAA courses in SD61.]  Finding that BAA courses do move out to more schools.
  • Nohr: Going to “paperless classroom”… what will documentation look like?
  • Baker: Online, and have created a social media account specifically for teaching. Paper if students choose.

B. 4 Learning Supports Annual Report / Learning Support Plans:  Associate Superintendent Whitten with Learning Support (3 teachers) and Inclusive Learning Teams  input [some of the names on this linked page  are  no longer with the District, ie Kyla Cleator; others have not yet been added].  Presented by Harold Caldwell, Director of Learning, Learning Support Team.

Caldwell: Want to publicly acknowledge leadership of Deb Whitten. Growing our team: recent additions Monique Moore, Tanya Ross, John Hamlin.John introduced “different space” goggles [perhaps as an example of a calming technique to help students?]. Am  SOGI lead for the South Island. SOGI 123.   SOGI leads in all schools; not limited to teaching staff.  Chilliwack issues. PAC presentations coming up. Attended Syracuse presentations on inclusion last summer. Every learner can be successful in the classroom. [Note: Victor School remains a stand alone building on its own grounds, a segregated program, far from any other school, with about 18 students.]

  • McNally: Re 1.2, “professional learning opportunities for school teams” – has there been any discussion with District /Provincial teams about provincial certification for EAs? John Malcomson, CUPE BC researcher, part of production team for White paper on EA certification. EAs would be more expensive as we were told last time I asked this question , but would have a decent wage and that would help retention. Also how will data be collected on efficacy / results of new configurations of service delivery re behaviour referrals (p 24 agenda), and what current data exist on previous level of referrals? In “outcomes” (p22) does “expanded capacity” mean more EAs will be in schools? Because from what I understand, everybody is working at capacity already. Equitable counselling supports in all schools: is high school counselling model being restructured to provide actual counselling help, not just employment related / post secondary guidance? And pleased to see partnership with Ambit Gender Diversity Consulting. Attended their presentation at Vic High organized by Vic High PAC for parents of gender variant children and interested others. Excellent resource. Are EAs now included in IEP planning? (P 24 agenda) In the past was difficult for EQAs to participate as had responsibility for a student (s) or was after school thus  unpaid / had another job to go to. What constitutes a “classroom crisis” (P32 agenda)? How would that be described? Where is the data for this count over time, so this year’s cohort that may have more behaviour issues tha last year’s doesn’t skew perceptions? Where is Reading Recovery, proven successful short term intervention  in ” increasing academic achievement for our identified vulnerable learners” (P33 agenda)?
  • Whiteaker: How many schools are struggling for space? (P 23 Èflexible learning spaces”)
  • Ilda Turcotte, GVTA: At 1.2 re pro-d opportunities for teachers, will GVTA have input ? / Caldwell: Yes./ Turcotte: If EA attends an IEP meeting, that leaves a student(s) and teacher with no support. Can be problematic. Would like to see EAs replaced while in IEP meetings, and increase the IEP time – now 30 minutes,  not long enough. Re technology (P 34 agenda), IEPs often include access to technology, and we don’t have enough tech –  4 or 5 Chromebooks for 28 students…
  • Caldwell: All counsellors have inservice on anxiety, mental health supports in community.  Jennifer Chambers, District Counsellor Learning Support Team, is responsible for data. District had 1 behaviour support teacher for years, Dana Marchant; now have 3: Monique, Tanya and Dana. Reading Recovery is with Louise Sheffer and the Learning Team.
  • Whitten: “Capacity” is more how teams come together for best use of time.
  • President, ASA: Re IEPS, now held in the day, so more EAs can attend.
  • Nohr: Have point people for SOGI students – what about other students eg students with anxiety / socially challenged? Are like SOGI students. [?] / Caldwell: School Based Teams and counsellors are there for these students.

B.5 Early Learning / Child Care: 2017 Discussion  paper written by Piet Langstraat (Superintendent SD61): Hard copy handout. For discussion.

  • Differences between child care and early learning / preschool.
  • 3 child care models: 1. School District Operated 2. Child Care Providers With District Oversight 3. Child Care Providers With Ministry Oversight
  • Existing programs in SD61: Strong Start, and
  • Ready, Set, LearnPreschool programming should be offered as part of the elementary school programs, under the Ministry of Education.
  • Child care programs is a community service not part of typical school district programming.GVSD as a partner, but possibly program under Ministry of Children and Family Development.  
  • “As discussions continue at the provincial government level it will be incumbent on the /board of Education of the GVSD to have a voice in the determination of child care models in the province of British Columbia and the District.”


  • Orcherton: School District control implies a huge responsibility and more unionized staff. Being managers of child care is not our mandate. Early learning is, but not child care.
  • Superintendent: Have had meeting with Deputy Minister but needs longer conversation.
  • McNally: What can this Board do to help move the conversation forward? Thoughts on that?
  • Superintendent: Could be an emergent resolution at the BCSTA AGM. And we have access to politicians because of our location in the capital region – both local and provincial.
  • Whiteaker: Intention to revisit last year’s motion “Bring Early Learning under Ministry of Education”. School is the new church, ie community hub. Homeless housing uses vs Early Learning will be vying for use of SD public land.[ Whiteaker’s motionThat the BCSTA urge government to bring Early Childhood Development and the appropriate for funding under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education was submitted late as an emergent motion, but was not accepted for the AGM agenda by the BCSTA Legislative Committee. Also April 24  2017: Whiteaker: TTB reaffirm their endorsement of the $10 a Day Child Care Plan. / Whiteaker amended: Including early learning and child care to be brought under Ministry of Education, and a letter be written to Ministry of Education, Ministry of Children and Families, urging this change and the necessary capital investment to create childcare spaces on school district property, with the announced $7.5 billion federal funding./ Carried. Unanimous.]
  • Superintendent: School Districts are the largest landowners in the province.

B.6 Removal of Honourary President BCSTA

History of the “Honorary President” bylaw here. Research done by Trustee Ann Whiteaker. Motion presented by McNally at the BCSTA AGM as motion originated with McNally. Carried unanimously by the SD61 Board in 2017, but defeated at the 2017 BCSTA AGM. Bringing it to the table again.

January 23 2017 Board meeting: H1. New Business a) Trustee Whiteaker – Honourary President Resolution  It was moved by Trustee Whiteaker and seconded: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) submit the extra-ordinary resolution “Removal of Honourary President” as presented, to the BCSTA AGM.
Motion Carried Unanimously

McNally: That the Board submit the extraordinary resolution [ extraordinary because deals with Bylaws] “removal of Honourary President” as presented, to the BCSTA AGM 2018: That the BCSTA amend Bylaw 2a as follows: Strike from 2. Officers (a) i “The Minister of Education who shall be the Honourary President of the Association “, and the following reference to the Honorary President. / Defeated. For: Whiteaker  Against: Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton


  • McNally: This motion is intended to reassert BCSTA’s status as an independent advocate for public education, regardless of the ideology of the Provincial government in power. A co-governance memorandum exists which spells out the close relationship between BCSTA and the Ministry of Education. Establishment of the Minister of Education in 1987 was done with no  rationale – no one can find one in the records. This motion is not about the current Minister of Education this year or any year.
  • Orcherton: Supported this last year. But not this year. See this as part of co-governance. Ministry of Education meets regularly with BCSTA. this part of the Bylaw is innocuous.
  • Ferris: Won’t support this. What’s out top priority? Brings the Minister into our  tent. Don’t want to send the message “we don’t want you in our tent”.
  • Nohr: Intending to support this, but poor timing. This Minister is supportive, the past Minister not.
  • Watters: More important now than with the previous government. Have spoken personally with the current Minister and he agrees this provision for “Honourary President” is silly.This isn’t a rebuke to the Minister. It’s setting the houses back in order. The BCSTA and the Ministry of Education have an established co governance relationship.
  • Whiteaker: A housekeeping issue that has not been addressed over the years. BCSTA works with many Ministries eg Health, MCFD, not just the Minister of Education. The Minister of Education is not the be all and end all for education.

C. Notice of Motion: Watters: For February Ed Policy: That the Board direct the Superintendent to review Regulation 1103 Consultation. Reviewed in 2005, and before that, 1990.

No General Announcements. Adjourned 9:05 pm.

About Diane McNally