March 5/18: Combined Ed Policy and Operations: Annual Aboriginal Education Report; SD61 Forest 1st Ever Report

2018 03 01 Ltr to Minister of Education Re Employer Health Tax

P. 1 Backgrounder / Standing Committee Meetings 
P. 2. DPAC Constitution (more interesting than it sounds – each school PAC has its own but they apparently aren’t posted)

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 – December 2017.  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

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

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 ( ex officio not counted). This motio made sense because if all Trustees / full quorum present, it’s a Board meeting.

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

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

Territory Acknowledgement900


Agenda adopted. Minutes Ed Policy and Directions Feb 5/18 and Operations Policy and Planning Feb 13/18 approved [Whiteaker: Strike the catchment review paragraph – too much personal information].  Lined Paper record here and here. Business Arising From the Minutes: none.

Student rep Saskia Van Beers, Esquimalt High. Expects 90 students at Town Hall on Wednesday – topics dress code, mental wellness, school safety / lockdowns.

4. Education  Policy and Directions Standing Committee: Chair Nohr

Members Present: Ferris,  Nohr, Orcherton, Whiteaker
Also present: Leonard, McNally, Paynter, Watters
Not present: Loring-Kuhanga

4.B 2. Aboriginal Education Annual Review : Deputy Superintendent Shelley Green, Nella Nelson, Coordinator ANED, Craig Schellenberg, District Principal, Aboriginal Education: Presentation here . 

•Meetings with Esquimalt and Songhees Educational Dept.
•Collaboration and discussion with a common focus
•“How are on-reserve students really doing in literacy?”
•Determining what baseline data is needed and how to
begin to collect it
•Collecting baseline data to determine next steps
•Partnering with IT to create a basic framework to
input the data efficiently and effectively

  • McNally: Hearing the emphasis on “decoding” raises flags for me re a phonics emphasis. Phonics only takes a student so far. Literacy  teachers understand that there are multiple ways to get at a word – visual analysis, syntax, meaning – and a flexible approach to solving need to be taught and internalized.

4. B.3. Orcherton: That the Board direct the Superintendent to write a Policy on inclusion and return a draft Policy to the Education Policy and Directions Committee at a future meeting. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • McNally: SD61 has a Policy on Inclusion, from 1993. Can we assume that policy and the others that are related will be revised or eliminated in the writing of this new Policy? [SD61 also has a stand alone segregated school on its own grounds, Victor School, for about 18 students with “diverse learning needs”. At one time the school had its own website, but that has disappeared, and information about the school is difficult to find on the SD61 site now.]
  • Superintendent: Yes.

Policy-5147-Inclusion-of-Students-with-Special-Needs 1Policy-5147-Inclusion-of-Students-with-Special-Needs 2Policy-5123-Student-Placement-PolicyPolicy-5148-Alternatives-to-the-Integrated-Classroom

C. Notices of Motion: None.

5. Operations Policy and Planing Standing Committee

Members Present:  Leonard, McNally, Paynter, Watters
Also present: Nohr, Whiteaker  [Ferris, Orcherton leave]
Not present: Loring-Kuhanga

5.A Presentations:
Artemis Place Society: Regrets
2. Strawberry Vale Preschool: Kimberly Guiry, President : Asking for exemption from new SD61 rental rate increase
3. Bowker Creek Initiative: Jody Watson, CRD: Asking for endorsement of the Bowker Creek Blueprint

McNally: That the Board endorse the Bowker Creek Blueprint initiative./ Carried. For: McNally, Paynter, Watters Abstain: Leonard

  • Leonard: What are we committing to here? Provide the Blueprint document for the Board meeting.
  • Watson: Only exploring possibilities of being a partner at the table.

5.B Superintendent’s Report, 5C Personnel Items: None

5.D Finance and legal Affairs: Lunch Hour Supervision Costing

At present some schools have no immediate adult supervision for kindergarten and Grade One students while they eat lunch in classrooms. Trustees asked for costing to ensure adult supervision was available.

McNally: (OPPS Feb 13/18) When teaching, have seen one Education Assistant for an entire school . Yes in many cases no adult i the classroom.My Ed Policy motion re animals mistreated in the classroom is related – no supervision of students. Some students not acting well socially or compassionately and need supervision. Startling to see 5 schools that have no adult supervision in their kindergarten or Grade One classrooms over lunch. If I were the parent of a kindergarten child I’m not sure I’d support that.

  • McNally: The memo on page 19 states “Currently, most schools can provide adult supervision for kindergarten.” We need to make this “all schools do provide”, for K-1.
  • Deputy Superintendent: Kindergartens can be covered with current staffing. If the Board wants K-1, need to explore options.Could have 1 hour dedicated to lunch time, could change start times, could play first and eat later….
  • Carolyn Howe, 2nd VP, GVTA: GVTA may not be in favour of instructional time while children eat.
  • McNally: Don’t want this to get lost and not acted on. That the Deputy Superintendent bring back operationalized suggestions for Grades K-5 lunch hour supervision after consultation with stakeholders. / Carried. Unanimous.

5. E Facilities Planning
1. Fortis Right of Way Agreement:
At Oak Bay High School.

Recommended: That the Board approve granting a right of way to Fortis for the purpose of installing and maintaining a gas pipeline on the Oak Bay High School properties. / That the Bylaw be read all 3 times at this meeting. / All 3 readings. / Carried. Unanimous.

2. Francophone Games: [Initial approval December 6/16 by the Board]
Recommended: a) That the Board direct the Superintendent to work with the 2020 Francophone Games organizing committee to find suitable accommodations and event venue options that would help support the games./  Carried. Unanimous.

b) That the Board direct staff to return with a detailed facilities use proposal including financial analysis for Board review and approval prior to making a final commitment for the use of District facilities in support of the 2020 Francophone Games in Victoria ./ Carried. Unanimous.

5. E.3 Horticultural Update [Startling, first time ever tree count and information on the status of SD61 forest / trees] 

David Loveridge, Director of Facilities: About 5,700 trees on 55 sites. Tagging trees is about half done. Tagging and tree reviews to be done on 4 year rotation. Trees in 4 categories: 1 (removal: 67), 2 (582), 3 (982), 4 (good health 758).  31% need immediate repair and maintenance.  Frank Hobbs and Hillcrest forests specific concerns. Frank Hobbs 336 trees, most fair or poor rating. Hillcrest, 289 trees, most fair or poor rating.  Trees will need to be thinned. Removed trees will be replaced on site or on another  site. Tree fell at Central recently. 

  • Whiteaker: How many eagle / owl trees?
  • Director of Facilities: : Will get that information.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Local Nations might want the trees.
  • Watters: Need an in house arborist? A profession in short supply.
  • Director of Facilities: $30,000 annually on external contractors but impossible to hire arborist in house- in great demand. Need a crew of two but how to hire and fund.

5. F. New Business: 
1. Trustee Questions:

  • McNally: Have written to the Secretary-Treasurer and Deputy Superintendent about the lack of information on the Parent Education Fund page. Board has  had reports on the many interesting projects and have seen first hand what school PACs are doing with this fund – very beneficial collaborations. But on the parent Ed Fund page, all it says is “closed for this year, apply later”. Would like to see  a list of projects PACs have completed, and a more encouraging information page. 
  • Deputy Superintendent: Can do that.

G. Notices of Motion: None
H. General Announcements: None
I. Adjournment: 9:20 pm


About Diane McNally