Jan 15/18: Operations Policy&Planning: Languages Review, Advocacy Committee, Budget Input

The SD61 Board bid to host the Vancouver Island School Trustees spring branch meeting and was succesful. Will be held at Esquimalt High School. Butch Dick of the Songhees Nation has been asked to give the territory welcome. Sessions will focus on  SOGI, inclusion, governance, and equity. My suggestion: ask a high school student to comment on equity and tech .

The Greater Victoria School District is preparing the operating budget for the 2018-2019 school year. Each year, the budget for the upcoming school year starts being prepared now. We are currently in the process of collecting input from members of our learning community to understand what priorities we should be focusing on.

P. 1 Operations Policy and Planning Meeting
P. 2. DPAC Constitution (more interesting than it sounds)

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. Motions may be shortened but retain essential info.

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.

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, as well as hearing vital information presentations. Some choose not to attend. The Chair of the Board is  ex officio member both Committees, with voting rights. Quorum is a majority of Trustee members on the committee.

(Board Chair Loring-Kuhanga member both, ex officio, has vote, not counted for quorum)
Operations Policy&Planning Chair Watters, McNally, Leonard, Paynter
Ed Policy&Development: Chair Nohr, Ferris, Orcherton, Whiteaker

Elected Trustees: Ferris (first elected 1999), Leonard (1996), Loring-Kuhanga (2011), McNally (2011), Nohr (2011),Orcherton (1999), Paynter (2014),  Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014)

Territory Acknowledgement900

Operations Policy&Planning Standing Committee 
: Watters
Members: McNally,  Leonard, Paynter, Watters Loring-Kuhanga  (ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)
Present: Ferris, Leonard,  McNally, Orcherton, Nohr, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker
Not present:Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Orcherton

Agenda here.  Dialogue with the public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings.

2. Approval of OPP minutes Dec 11/17:  Approved;  SD61 minutes here; Lined Paper record  here.
3. Business Arising from the minutes: None
4. Presentations to the Committee: Vic High Alumni Association / Keith McCallion, Roger Skillings: Vic High Stadium Update:  $500,000 on hand in fund; $250,000 raised triggered $250,000 matching grant from City of Victoria.Continuing fundraising. Union Club’s annual golf tournament targeted to this project. Total needed probably $7 million. Meeting with Ministry and MP Murray Rankin. Artificial turf field. Present track in yards. Is a memorial to students killed in WWI. Need metres now.Lighting for community use – lighting like Oak Bay High’s has no light spillage. Change rooms and field house for community use. 1950s seating concrete is crumbling. Could be used for District track meets (money saver for District), and  for provincial island meets. Room for parking on the old Fairey Tech lands.
5. Superintendent’s Report:
A.  Superintendent introduced Student Rep   Antonia Kowalewski, Reynolds Secondary
B. French Language Review Process (Pp 8-9 agenda):  Will consider
1. Entry points
2. Success rate data
3. Practice across Canada
4. Impacts on programming and transfers, ie where to situate programs –
and come back to April Ed Policy with draft information, May with recommendations, June final discussion. Will impact 2019-2020 registration.

For the 2007-08 school year in B.C. public schools, 4,281 Grade 6 students were part of the French immersion program, thanks to an influx of late immersion students. By the time that age group reached Grade 12 last year, approximately 2,230 remained. Meanwhile in New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, of the 1,469 anglophone students that entered early French immersion back in 1995, less than half (only 612) stayed with the program into Grade 12, according to a 2008 report.

French immersion programs have continued to increase in popularity in British
Columbia over the past ten years. The expected French language outcomes are the same for both Early French immersion (EFI) and Late French immersion (LFI) programs, yet it is commonly believed that an early start to language learning will lead to a greater level of second language proficiency. Research in the context of French immersion programs has not always supported this view. A variety of factors have the potential to influence second language learning and outcomes; however, foreign language aptitude and motivation have been found to be the most consistent predictors of second language success. This study investigated the relationship between the components of language aptitude and motivation, and second language outcomes of grade 11 students from EFI versus LFI programs in Western Canada. Results showed that overall the two groups had similar levels of language aptitude; however, the LFI students demonstrated stronger language analysis abilities. Similarly, the groups did not differ in their attitudes toward or motivation for learning French.

  • Leonard: Spots may move and may expand the program?
  • Superintendent: Certainly nothing “in the air” about reducing program locations.

C. Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee Terms of Reference (Pp10-11 agenda)

Recommended motion (follow up from motion carried at November 2017 Board meeting):
That the Board approve the Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee TOR. / Carried as amended: unanimous.

Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee Terms of Reference

Purpose: The Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad hoc committee established by the Board of Education (Bylaw 9140 Ad Hoc Committee of the Board) to develop advocacy action plans in partnership with our stakeholders to support public education initiatives.

  • McNally: It’s not an “ad hoc” committee as it will not be addressing a single topic, and be dissolved when that research and presentation has been completed. Should be a subcommittee. 
  • Leonard: “Advisory” committee.
  • Superintendent: A Trustee committee. 
  • Whiteaker: “Develop advocacy plans with input from” our stakeholders. 

Deliverables: The Committee will create and monitor action plans to advocate for a variety of issues in public education. The Committee will address a variety of issues including appropriate funding, service provision, curriculum, governance, and other matters as directed by the Board of Education.

  • Leonard: Create, monitor, and recommend action plans to the Board through a Standing Committee … will address other issues and may consider other matters as directed by the Board.

Membership: The committee may [McNally: will] be comprised of the following voting [strike “voting] members:

  • Three Trustees appointed by the Board Chair
  • The Superintendent or designate and another member of senior administration
  • District Communications Staff (in support  roles)

Timeline: The Committee shall report actions plans as required. The Committee shall be reviewed at minimum on yearly basis at the Education Policy and Directions Committee.
Voting: Decisions will be made by consensus if possible. If no consensus is reached, a majority vote will take place. Only trustees shall be voting members of the Committee.

Procedural Notes:

  • All trustees may attend and contribute to the discussions without voting privileges
  • The Chair of the Committee shall be decided at the inaugural meeting of the Committee and yearly thereafter;
  • Generally, the Committee shall be open to members of the Committee and trustees;
  • Guests and or members of the public shall be invited to meetings at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee

Date Adopted: January 29, 2018

  • Superintendent: Might discuss Category H funding process, shops and upkeep …

D. Equity Committee Update: Superintendent

Recommended motion (by the Committee): That the Board direct the Superintendent to conduct an internal needs assessment of SD61 facilities accessibility infrastructure including ramps, lifts, automatic doors, elevators, wheelchair accessible washrooms, etc with the intent of developing an Accessibility Strategy for District Facilities. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Includes legislative obligations, building status, may require grants.

E. BCPSEA AGM: Superintendent / Secretary-Treasurer: Information (and Trustee discussion of proposed Bylaw changes) . The current Minister of Education has weighted BCPSEA 7-4 in favour of School Boards vs government appointments, once more. Some changes to voting structure. At the AGM SD61 Board rep Trustee Paynter will have a vote. Clarification of mandate. Bringing director numbers down to 12 from 17.

[BC Boards of Education and teacher union locals bargained individual from 1987 on when teachers own the right to bargain. In 1994, the BCPSEA was created by the NDP Provincial government with a mandate to negotiate for all of the province’s school boards from then on and centralize teacher bargaining. BCPSEA has been through a few confusing iterations since then.]

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26, 2018 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver.  The AGM Second Notice and information package was distributed on December 21 and, as we have previously advised, this AGM will address governance issues arising from the PSEC Secretariat Governance Consultation Process initiated by the Minister of Finance on September 5, 2017. Boards should pay particular note to the package of bylaw amendments distributed with the Second Notice. These bylaw amendments are presented as a package in their entirety and include amendments required to bring the bylaws into compliance with the new Societies Act, as well as amendments requested by the Minister of Finance resulting from the Governance Consultation Process . If carried by the members (weighted voting applies), the bylaw amendments will result in reinstatement of elected school trustees to the BCPSEA Board of Directors and elections will be held at this AGM. The AGM program will also include discussions in preparation for the 2019 rounds of collective bargaining.

6. Personnel Items : None

7. Finance and Legal Affairs:
A. 2017-18 Funding Update:L Mark Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer (Pp 13 -15 agenda) :

Classroom Enhancement Fund a special purpose fund so not included. Based on Sept 30/17 enrolment and educator salary data. [ My understanding is any person working in the non-facilities admin side as well as those personnel in  teaching is an “educator’.]  The money coming in from the “more students than forecast”  used to bring down the structural deficit. “Teacher Salary Differential” means SD61 average vs the provincial average teacher salary. “ Targeted funding” is targeted for an area, not targeted to a specific child. 
B. Dec 31/17 Quarterly Financial Report  : Mark Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer

  • McNally question / Secretary Treasurer: “Capital Asset purchases” has wide spread as 1st time spending for tech devices.

C. 2018-18 Partner Group Budget Input (Pp 19-25 agenda)

  • Leonard: Need to develop a better set of questions. useless activity as it stands.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Could send this to Public Engagement or Advocacy Committees.
  • Leonard: That the Operations Policy and Planning Committee task the Public Engagement Ad Hoc Committee with reviewing  the Partner Group budget consultation process. / Carried. Unanimous

D. Funding Formula Discussion: Letter from Ministry of Education to President of BCSTA Gordon Swan seeking input on funding formula review (letter Pp 26-27 agenda).

BCSTA provincial council February 16,17. Chair and Superintendent received  surveys.Letter says “no standard format or template to follow”. One one hand that’s great; on the other, it’s a complicated issue and some guidance woudl a be appreciated, at least from me.

  • McNally: Who sent the survey? / Superintendent: Malatest for the Ministry of Education. Superintendent’s version took about 2 hours.
  • McNally: That the Chair request that the Minister of education forward the Chair’s survey to all Trustees as soon as possible. / Carried. Unanimous. Copy BCSTA.

E. Policy Sub-Committee Report: Recommended motions

i.That the Board approve Policy 1240 Volunteers in Schools and receive Regulation 1240 Volunteers in Schools as revised. / Unanimous.

[Although I have voted against this Policy / Regulation in the past, because ideally staff should be at the level at which we do  not need volunteers, schools are a community hub and the 1999 arbitral conclusion referred to in this debate (Arbitrator Jackson, SD36 / CUPE Local 728)  is that  SD61 practice is within correct boundaries and does not “displace” staff.   P 21 agenda, Partner Group Budget Input: Our school struggles with literacy and actively seeks out volunteers in parents and church groups to do one-on-one reading with the children who struggle. This is a basic  need in education, and it would be lovely to see it met with programs and staff properly versed in literacy initiatives.” Because the additional staff are not in place, I imagine they can’t be seen as being “displaced”. And the arbitration concluded that performing work of the bargaining unit does not in itself constitute “displacement”. The BC School Act (26.1)  contains language that makes it impossible for the union to disallow volunteers. ]

  • Ferris: Some things the government will probably never fund, so a volunteer is a benefit for our students.
  • Paynter: Insurance issue? / Covered.
  • Leonard: Add that to the Regulation.

ii. That the  Board approve Policy 2211 Selection, Appointment, Assignment, Evaluation, Transfer, and Duties of Principals and Policy 2213 Selection, Appointment, Assignment, Evaluation, Transfer and Duties of Vice-Principals as reviewed without revisions and receive  Regulation 2211 Selection, Appointment, Assignment, Evaluation, Transfer, and Duties of Principals and Regulation  2213 Selection, Appointment, Assignment and Professional Learning , Evaluation, Transfer and Duties of Vice-Principals as revised.

8. Facilities Planning: Seismic Update Richmond and Uplands: David Loveridge, Director of Facilities: Seismic standards for BC have changed, putting another 10 schools probably in high risk category (SRG3).
9. New Business: (was Public Disclosure of  Camera Items last time): None
10. Notices of Motion (was New Business last time): None
ATrustee Questions [for the Superintendent]: left off the agenda. But, none.
11. General Announcements: None
12. Adjournment: 9:40 pm

About Diane McNally