Jan 29/18: Board Meeting: Another BAA Course, Accessibility Audit, Motions for BCSTA AGM, More

District Strategic Plan here.

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

P 1 : Board Meeting

Territory Acknowledgement900

Board Meeting January 8 / 18
Present:  Ferris (first elected 1999), Leonard (1996), Loring-Kuhanga (2011), McNally (2011), Nohr (2011), Orcherton (1999), Paynter (2014), Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014)

Agenda adopted. [Video of all Board meetings here.] Minutes Dec 18/17 approved (here).  Lined Paper record here.  No Business Arising from minutes.

A.4 Student Achievement : Gord Mitchell, Colquitz Middle School with students: Colquitz Community Connections

Colquitz students are involved with Cops For Cancer, Team Jack, Terry Fox run, Fill A Cruiser, Change the World Club, Cookies For the Street, Survival Socks and more!

A.5 District Presentations : Presentation to Ed Ashmore, retired SD61 Teacher / Coach

Over the course of his history, Ashmore could have written a book. During the past 54 years, much of it at S.J. Willis, Ashmore coached Olympians, national champions, provincial champions and district champions. His time at S.J. Willis in the ‘60s and ‘70s remains the golden era of his career, which also included his role as assistant technical director for the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

A.6 Community Presentations 
a) Vic High Alumni Association and Aaron Parker, Principal Vic High: Vic High track revitalization project progress
b) Darren Companion, 1st VP, GVTA: Appeal to open closed schools
c) Ryan and Geri-Lyne Slogotski, parents SD61: Requesting  review of catchment boundaries in regard to “closest school” issues

B. Correspondence: Letter from District of Saanich (Pp 12-19 agenda): Saanich Council resolution to write to Trustees in SD61 and 62 re curriculum in regard to student awareness of local municipal government.

C. Trustee Reports :
a) Ferris: French Advisory Committee
McNally: Trustee Report: attached; added attendance at Aboriginal Nations Education Council which continues with the work of developing a TOR in a very complex environment.

January  2018 Trustee Report
Diane McNally, Trustee, SD61 Greater Victoria Board of Education

Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage  : No longer attending as no apparent relevance for SD61 Board or SD61 students. See agendas here:  http://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/committees-boards/arts-culture-heritage-advisory-committee.html

Choices / Yates St Transitional Shelters

  • Yates Street “My Place” transitional home has re-opened with a cohort of people from the First Met mats. Attended initial meeting January 9.
  • “Choices” residents remains stable numbers as new housing construction needs a longer than expected timeline. After residents leave, next step is BC Housing application for rezoning, to View Royal Council, to allow the Our Place Recovery Community plan to move forward.

BCSTA:  BCSTA Bylaw Review Committee teleconference January 12. (Committee a result of SD61 motion that carried at April 2017 BCSTA AGM). Report attached.


  • Attended Reynolds PAC Substance Use presentation for District parents (and others) – Island Health personnel

Public Engagement Committee / ad hoc committees

  • January 16 attended district Leadership Team meeting as a result of Public Engagement Ad Hoc Committee discussion re increasing trustee – staff contact

Aboriginal Nations Education Committee : Attended January 29 Blue Heron House second (final) ANEC strategic planning meeting

Trustee Professional Development: Naloxone training (community training with SOLID)

c) McNally: Report from BCSTA Bylaw Review Committee (draft Pp22-24)
d) Watters: verbal: BCSTA Professional Learning Committee will be discussing BCSTA AGM and Trustee Academy February 16. Elected as co-chair with Victoria City Councillor Jeremy Loveday, Family Court Youth Matters Committee.

D. Board Committee Reports

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.

D.1 Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee
Chair: Nohr  Members: Ferris, Orcherton , Whiteaker;  Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)

Recommended motion [carried at Ed Policy January 8]: That the Board approve the BAA course History Through Sport 12. / Carried. For: Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker Against: Leonard, McNally

  • 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. Hear reports that the Ministry is making changes to the BAA course concept; very much appreciated.  For equity of access reasons I won’t support the course. [Previous Lined Paper posts on BAAs; one here at 8.A., another here at B.4.]
  • Companion, GVTA: In these specialized courses, what if the teacher is away?
  • Superintendent: In this specific course, would be  a concern.
  • Leonard: Is there a minimum number of students for the course to go ahead?
  • Superintendent: No, that is set at the school.

D.2 Operations Policy and Planning
Chair: Watters Members:  McNally, Leonard, Paynter; Board Chair Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)

Recommended motions:(carried at January 15 OPP committee)
i) That the Board approve the Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee TOR as amended. / Carried. Unanimous.
ii. 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.
iii. That the Board direct the Public Engagement Ad Hoc Committee to review the Partner Group budget consultation process. / Carried. Unanimous.
iv. That the Board direct the Chair to write to the Minister of Education and copy BCSTA to request the funding formula review sent to Board Chairs be sent to all Trustees./ Carried as amended below. Unanimous.

  • McNally: My intent with this motion is not that we all submit individual surveys, but that Trustees in BC public schools have  a framework for dealing with this complex issue.
  • Paynter: Need a process for Board input and workable timeline.
  • Leonard: Could get report from senior administration and endorse that.  Amendment: “request future surveys be sent to entire Boards”. / Carried. Unanimous.

v. That the Board approve Policy 1240 School Volunteers  as reviewed without revisions and receive Regulation 1240 Volunteers in Schools as revised. / Carried. Unanimous.

E. District Leadership Team Reports:
1. Superintendent’s Report received. No Trustee questions.
2. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report received.

Recommended motion (see note P 78): That the board approve expenditure of up to $350,000 on construction of a permanent classroom space at Northridge Elementary. / Carried. Unanimous.

Associated Capital Bylaws / Carried unanimously.

F. Question Period: no questions from public .
G: Public Disclosure Of In Camera Items: No disclosure.

H. New Business and Notices of Motion 
H.1 New Business
a) Ferris: That the Board direct the Chair to write a letter to the Minister of Education requesting a Classroom Enhancement Fund Capital application process for the 2018-19 school year. / Carried.  Unanimous.
b) McNally: That the Board request that the BCSTA call on the Provincial Ministry of Education to develop standards of practice for education  assistants in BC, in consultation with the BCTF and CUPE BC. / Carried as amended below. Unanimous.

  • McNally: Looking forward to standardized provincial baseline of education for those who work with our most  vulnerable students as front line support. They deserve the same provincially accredited status as  teachers.
  • Leonard: Where’s the problem?
    Ferris: CUPE should bring this forward.
  • McNally: CUPE BC has in collaboration with others published a White Paper on this topic calling for provincial accreditation status in 2012.
  • Companion: The BCTF should not be involved in this.
  • McNally: Thought could be appropriate because of the close working relationship that teachers and education assistants have, but someone may amend.
  • Orcherton: Amendment: Strike “BCTF”. / Carried. Unanimous.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: In favour. Developed “Native Indian Assistants Program” years ago and that became the education standard  for Family Support Workers.

c) McNally: That the Board direct the Chair to write a letter to the Minister of Education urging development of a strategy for ending public funding of all private schools by September 2021. /

  • McNally: Public funding of private schools is a major transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector. As guardians of a public good, that should concern school trustees. Diverting public tax dollars to fund advantage (smaller class sizes for one) for a select group is obviously counter to the principle of equity and undermines  the value of public education which is our society’s most visibly equity-based institution.  Should schools that take public money have the right to screen out students based on academic performance or ability to pay? BC now has a two tier education system built on exclusion. During the 1950s and 1960s, Socred premier W.A.C. Bennett refused to fund private schools with public money, but his son Bill changed that when he became premier, and instituted provincial funding for private schools in 1977. A recent Alberta poll indicated 61% of Albertans don’t want public money supporting private schools. It would be interesting to see what the BC results would be. The Edmonton Public School Board sent a letter urging the Alberta NDP to phase out the public subsidy for private schools and return that money to public school boards. Edmonton Public Schools Trustee Michael Janz said “If a parent wants to choose a different program or educational journey, or even a boarding school, that is their right to choose and pay for themselves.”Private schools are grouped into four categories in BC. Group 1, gets  50 % of the local district’s per-student grant amount.  If the independent school’s per student operating costs exceeds the district’s per student grant amount, then the school is designated Group 2, mostly elite prep schools, which get  35 % of the local district’s per-student grant amount. In  2012/13 and 2013/14, Group 1 Independent Distance Learning  Schools received 63 %of the Distance Learning  Public School flat rate.  BC School Trustees did not unanimously vote in favour of a motion to end public subsidies of private schools in BC, at a recent BCSTA AGM. So some public school trustees are in favour of public subsidies to private schools. Isn’t that some sort of conflict of interest from elected people whose mandate in BCSTA Bylaw is to” represent the public interest in public school education”?  Children have a right to an accessible, quality education that does not depend on family socioeconomic status but  the  continuing transfer of critical public resources to the private sector continues.   I urge support of this motion and support of the principle of equity.
  • Watters: Motion to refer to Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee./ Carried. Unanimous. Abstain: Leonard (See #6)

d) McNally: That the Board submit the extraordinary resolution “Removal of  Honourary President”  as presented, to the BCSTA AGM: 1. That the BCSTA amend Bylaw 2 (a) 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 Honourary President. / Carried. For: Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, McNally, Paynter, Watters  Against: Ferris, Orcherton, Whiteaker

  • 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. 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.  It’s a housekeeping motion . The current Minister of Education knows how appreciative we are, but this motion is not about the current Minister of Education this year or any year. Ministers operate at a higher Policy level than “he might think we don’t like him”.


e) Watters: That the Board direct the Chair and the Superintendent to develop an evaluation process to assess Board and Trustee performance with the objective of driving improvement , and that this evaluation will take place as soon as possible./ Carried as amended below. Unanimous.

  • Leonard: Timing an issue. Should be at  end of  Board’s first year, mandated.
  • Nohr: Concur with Leonard. Want Board to develop this process.
  • McNally: There is a lot of wisdom on this Board and that collective wisdom needs to be brought forward, regardless of the outcome of the October 20 civic election. Trying to do an internal review is fraught with problems; recommend an external review instrument.
  • Ferris: Amendment: Strike ‘as soon as possible”. / Watters: What is realistic? / Superintendent: Progress toward strategic plan goals? Look at past minutes. Financial alignment re decisions of the Board. Determine Scope. Yes absolutely doable. / Amendment carried. For:  Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Orcherton, Whiteaker Against: McNally, Paynter, Watters
  • Orcherton: Strike “Trustees”. Do not want to be evaluated by other Trustees. / Watters: BCSTA Learning Guide [not currently publicly available,  surprisingly]. includes “Trustees” in evaluation of Board performance. / Amendment defeated. For: Leonard, Orcherton   Against: Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker
  • Leonard: (After motion carried as amended) Bring progress report from the Chair and Superintendent to a committee meeting in a month. / Affirmative from Chair and Superintendent.

H.2 Notices of Motion: None
I. Adjournment: 10:15 pm

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