April 16/18: Operations Policy&Planning Committee: Dress Code, SD61 Greater Victoria Foundation for Learning, Funding Formula Review

Elected SD61 Trustees: Leonard (1996), Ferris (1999), Orcherton (1999), Loring-Kuhanga (2011), McNally (2011), Nohr (2011), Paynter (2014),  Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014)

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 here 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 – March 2018.  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

P. 1 Operations Policy and Planning Meeting
P. 2. DPAC Constitution (more interesting than it sounds – each school PAC has its own but they apparently aren’t posted)

October 17/16 That the Board amend Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees to remove the words “with voting rights” from Item #4 and Item #5. / Carried. Unanimous.  // Allows  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).

(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

Territory Acknowledgement900

Dialogue with the public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings.

From February / 18 OPPS: McNally (from Leonard): That the Board direct the Superintendent to cost the provisions for lunch supervision and bring to the Board as presented in the February report, and return to OPPs for further consideration. / Carried. Unanimous.

From February / 18 OPPS: McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to bring sites [in regard to Anomura Housing proposal] to discuss at the next appropriate Board meeting.  / Carried. For: McNally, Paynter, Watters Against: Leonard

Operations Policy&Planning Standing Committee 
: Watters

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

Agenda here.  110 pages.

1, 2, 3:  Agenda adopted; Minutes March 5/18 approved. Lined Paper record here. No Business Arising From Minutes.
4. Presentations to Committee:
A. Lambrick Park Field House: Tina Pierik, Principal ; Rocky Vitale, teacher

Teacher Rocky Vitale recalls starting the Baseball Academy at the school.  Produced 170 scholarship athletes; raised $millions in scholarship money. Proposed build 62,000 sq ft structure, including 300 seat theatre, 5,000 sq ft weight room, 4 classrooms, indoor major league sized turf field.  $7 million on hand. Looking for Board  endorsement to pursue the project, not looking for money. Formed group of interested people, construction, “people with money”. National group of athletes on Board as well. Lots of partnerships with feeder schools. Third time Lambrick has tried to get this underway.

Principal Pierik reports $25,000 annually to bus students to Oak Bay field October – May. [Academy is fee-based: $1500 per student annually.] Mt Doug has to go to Westhills in Langford.

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Description of the field as “mud pit” is accurate. Board / District need to not be saddled with operating costs for this. District would reach out to Saanich.
  • Leonard: First time heard of this. Not enough information. Moved : That the Secretary-Treasurer prepare a feasibility report. / Carried. Unanimous.


Lambrick 2

B. District Community Living Partnership: Cailegh Swann: CL has provided 30 years of employment services  for adults with developmental disabilities. Maintain good relationship with employers for s success. Collaborating with Facilities Director SD61 to include people with developmental disabilities in visible ways.

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Partnership proposal will be posted.Hopefully people from CL will be in schools by the end of the year.
  • McNally: If supernumerary, how financed?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Small surplus in Facilities.
  • Swann: Training wage supplement available, 50-100% of wage. Yearly contracts, negotiated in fall. Must be permanent position with the organization. Training wage will come to an end. Families dream that their kids can find work – shouldn’t be a dream.

C. Quadra Warehouse and Artemis Place Society: Rachel Calder & Deb Whitten, Associate  Superintendent

Artemis: 50 students SD61, 62, 63, travel by bus, free food, free program, provide annual buss pass, free clothing. About 10 are young parents. Wraparound support. Non profit. Singular program in BC. Grades 10-12. Trauma informed practice. Ministry of CFD involved, with some financial support. Ministry of Education involvement, drug and alcohol counsellor in the building, partnered with Justice Department.

  • McNally: What is there that is similar for young men? Statistics on drug overdose deaths show that men and young men die at a much higher rate then women.
  • Calder: Nothing available.
  • McNally: What are the  barriers to providing such a service?
  • Parent: Could be done; needs someone to spearhead and commit.

5. Superintendent’s Report: Deputy Superintendent Green 
A. Introduction Student Rep Antonia Kowalewski, Reynolds Secondary School
B. Policy and Regulation 5132 Student Dress Code (Pp 9-12 agenda)
Recommended motion [recommended by senior administration after months of discussion at this table and months of repeated consultations] : That the Board approve Policy 5132 Student Dress Code and accept Regulation 5132 Student Dress Code. / Carried. For: McNally, Paynter, Watters  Abstain: Leonard  [Debate below]

dress code


  • Paynter: Want to ensure gender-nonconforming uniform options supported.
  • McNally:  To strike 3.2 re Cloverdale uniform.  // Rationale: Cloverdale and its “traditional” operation is supported elsewhere by Board motion as a “program of choice”  and as part of that, the Board majority has already supported the uniform at that school.
  • Leonard: School could not keep the uniform if that comes out.
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: Programs of choice have their own  codes of conduct. [ Reference to uniform here.]
  • Amendment fails. For: McNally  Against: Leonard, Paynter, Watters
  • Leonard: 3.11 – how will ‘appropriate for the activity” be determined? What opportunities to advise and consult?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: Teachers will have requirements for shops etc.
  • Deputy Superintendent Green: Would include principals in discussion of administrative procedures and codes of conduct. Principals discuss every year with students and parents, different programs and activities; fashion changes yearly; discussions could change over time.
  • Leonard: 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 redundant.
  • Student rep: Agreed.
  • Watters: Similar concern – School Act says Codes of conduct are supposed to be reviewed annual and it happening. Let’s make sure it does happen.
  • Whiteaker: Leave them in – especially 2.1. Students need to be told that they do have the opportunity to advise and consult.
  • Parent in public seats: How will staff be trained?
  • Deputy Superintendent Green: Workshops around code of conduct annually.
  • Nohr: Motion to add  1.3, “Student relations are based on mutual respect”. Young adolescents don’t have the brain development to anticipate results of the choices they make. Dress can be a distraction. We do teach about private body parts – buttocks, genitals, nipples not to be exposed.
  • Parent: What about parents, teachers, support staff  – included in this code?
  • McNally: The Human Rights Code is about respect -that’s what this Policy is based on. This amendment is redundant. High school students I’ve met are well able think through what effect their dress will have, if any, and what their reactions will be, and can obviously think through much more complex situations from what I’ve seen.
  • Amendment fails. For: Leonard  Against: McNally, Watters Abstain: Paynter
  • Nohr: Amendment: Add to 3.1.1 “and to support learning”.  Provides context for administrators to have a conversation. [See the “nipples” link above, for an interesting “conversation” that made international  news.]
  • McNally: Won’t support. “Distraction” is a cultural construct. We could all learn naked if that’s what we agreed to . Obviously students and all of us go to school to learn.
  • Nohr: You’re ignoring hormones.Can’t be cognitively overriden. [So all adolescent behaviour is hormone driven response with no cognitive component? Um.]
  • Amendment fails. For: Leonard Against: McNally, Paynter, Watters
  • Nohr:: Amendment: Include in 5.0 “Safe, Caring Orderly Schools” .
  • Whiteaker: Some concerns with that; it’s a 2008 document with some outdated comments. Will bring this to the Board meeting.
  • Amendment fails. For: Leonard, Paynter  Against: McNally, Watters
  • Nohr: Re Regulation, want dress code taught throughout the  year  in various curricular areas. Suggest adding “staff encouraged to model the dress  code”.

C. Equity Committee Report (Pp 13-14 agenda)

  • McNally: Request an update on “sensory rooms”in which schools, what do they look like, what are they actually being used for.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Report on inclusive education in May – will be included there.

6. Personnel Items: None
7. Finance & Legal Affairs:
A. Budget 2018-2019 (Pp 15-29 agenda): Secretary-Treasurer

$7400 base rate per student. SD61 expense is $10,000 + per student, funded by local revenue. International numbers 995 long term programs only – mistaken statement at previous budget meeting. Updated out of school license rate  fee pages – providers wanted connection between number of children and fee. Will be upgrading facilities and all older portables. Will be CPI tied from here on for all rental increases. Inconsistent approach to setting rental rates in SD61 in the past. [In camera meetings deal with land, legal and personnel so rental fees might be considered “land”, and as such the public might never know the results of past discussions and decisions.] 20 years behind in field maintenance [because of inadequate and chaotic provincial funding in the past]. There were actually holes n the Arbutus gym floor. Municipal facilities are cheaper to rent because they have Parks and Rec funding. Some employees working full time on a capital  project can ultimately be paid from capital. Structural deficit now at $3.9 million.[Around $8.5 million in 2012; has been reduced via accounting practice changes and application of portions of annual surpluses.]

  • Parent: Child care provider fee tied to per child fee?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: With portables for exclusive use, each will have a contract with the District. Next year, licensed spaces about $2.70 per child.

B. Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board (Pp 30-36 agenda)

Recommended motions [recommended by Secretary-Treasurer Walsh]:
i. That the Board give all 3 readings at this meeting.
ii. The 3 readings, and that the Chair and Secretary-Treasurer be authorized to sign, seal and execute this Bylaw on behalf of the board./ Carried. Unanimous.

C. Greater Victoria Foundation For Learning (Pp 37-63 agenda – p 47 on are the old Bylaws.) Associate Superintendent Kitchen: Board passed motion to develop revised Bylaws in November. Old Bylaws and new attached. Focus is on projects not usually funded. Current Board Deputy Superintendent Green, Secretary-Treasurer Walsh, Trustees Ferris and  Leonard.
Recommended motion [recommended by Associate Superintendent Kitchen]: That the Board support the reinvigoration of the Greater Victoria Foundation [see D.2 i here] for learning and support in principle the Bylaws of the Foundation. / Carried. For: Leonard, Paynter, Watters Against: McNally

  • McNally: Against this motion. Public goods should be funded by public money through sufficient taxes to provide optimum operation. Both public education and public health – hospitals – are critical public goods, yet both are dependent on fundraising or the  personally favoured  cause of  wealthy philanthropists. Education and hospitals should not have to turn to bake sales and golf tournaments   for funding. SD61 already has Bylaw 9111 Charitable Trust Fund: “To provide a mechanism by which individuals and/or private corporations may contribute financially for purposes acceptable to the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria)”  and Policy 3451 Donations to Schools (which obviously supports inequality) . SD61 already has one course, Astronomy, at Vic High, paid for by private money. In a provincial picture, this  Foundation creases inequality at the provincial level. Not every District can engage big corporate and community donors. Some say we can as a Board support this Foundation, and at the same time advocate for increased funding. Supporting this motion means embracing the status quo that pushes public goods to become reliant on private money. As well, looking through the Bylaws, (1.1 e) “members” and “directors” are the same people. The members elect the Directors. This is a completely self-referential situation, a closed and unaccountable loop. And who can attend meetings? Can I? [Answer: No. The Directors / members.] And Parent Advisory councils at the school level are already fundraising for what should be publicly funded, like playground equipment and installation.
  • Whiteaker: Members and Directors issue needs work. Send back for clarification.And make sure Constitution can’t be changed by anyone but the Board of Education. 
  • Carolyn Howe, 2nd VP GVTA: Agree with McNally’s comments. Trustees should be advocating for additional funding instead of this route.
  • Leonard: Not an either-or situation.Yes continue advocacy. Some things will never be funded, like earthquake supplies, summer reading program.

D. Policy 1300 Acceptable use of Digital Technology, Regulation 1300.2 Employee Acceptable use of Digital Technology, Regulation 1300.3 Student Acceptable Use of Digital Technology: Director of Information Technology Pennell: Brought to Board initially in December, and back for review as requested. 

Recommended motion (recommended by Director of Information Technology: That the Board approve Policy 1300 Acceptable Use of Digital Technology as revised and receive the revised Regulation 1300.2 (renumbered from Regulation 4216.2) Employee Acceptable Use of Digital Technology, revised Regulation 1300.3 (renumbered from Regulation 5131.9) Student Acceptable Use of Digital Technology, and deleted Regulation 5131.9(a) Student Acceptable Use of Electronic Communications Systems in Schools Attachment as reviewed. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Parent: In 2.2 6, what about medical devices that transmit to cell phones?
  • Director of Info Tech: Excluded from the Policy. Cell phones not District technology.
  • Nohr: Amendment to add “attention to safe use of devices” under 4.3.8. 
  • McNally: Wifi committee years ago discussed device manuals; essential information in them and all staff should read and monitor students / provide reminders.
  • Director of Info Tech: This is covered in the Regulation.
  • Amendment failed, 2/2. (McNally supporting.)

E. Submission to the Expert Panel on the Funding Formula: Secretary-Treasurer Recommended motion:  That the Board direct the Chair to submit the Board’s response to the Expert Panel on Funding Formula as presented. / Defeated. For: Paynter, Watters Against: Leonard  Abstain: McNally  [McNally:  Motion to move this letter and discussion forward to the Board meeting. / Carried. For: McNally, Paynter, Watters   Against: Leonard

Minister of Education- appointed expert panel: 

  • Chris Trumpy, a former Deputy Finance Minister of B.C., Panel Chair
  • Philip Steenkamp, Vice-President, External Relations, UBC
  • Kelly Pollack, Partner, Human Capital Strategies and former CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC
  • Lynda Minnabarriet, Secretary Treasurer, Gold Trail, SD74
  • Flavia Coughlan, Secretary Treasurer, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, SD42
  • Piet Langstraat, Superintendent, Greater Victoria, SD61
  • Angus Wilson, Superintendent, Mission, SD75


  • McNally:  No one has written an IEP with “weakness” terminology for a very long time, I suspect – students have needs for support, not “weaknesses”.
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten:  “Needs” would be fine.
  • McNally: The letter also states that we can prove what we are doing, but not how we are doing in our service to students. I see that quite differently. “How we are doing” is what all the IEP meetings, school based team meetings and phone calls with parents are about.The letter states in this section that “other jurisdiction have successfully adopted the profile funding model”. Asking again, which other jurisdictions?
  • Howe, GVTA: Suggest taking the whole 3d from the bottom paragraph out. The entire piece needs review. Disagree with the “what, not how” statement.
  • Paynter: Current government special education document is based on “weaknesses”.

F. Election Costs (P 106): Secretary-Treasurer: Costs predicted to increase this year for SD61 by at least $100,000. $300,000 anticipated expenses for SD61 election.

  • Paynter: Explore posting SD61 Trustee candidates on municipal websites.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Yes, can  make that request.

8. Facilities Planning
A. Childcare Partnership Opportunities  

Recommended motion (by Secretary-Treasurer): That the Board direct the Superintendent to negotiate partnerships with Childcare providers to apply for funding from the Ministry of Children and Families to build purpose built space n our sites with a space guarantee for 10 years less a day. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Leonard: Project based hires, capital based?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Would probably be layoffs of new staff, when done but work for probably 4 years. the 10 years less a day is a School Act related requirement.

B. Quadra Warehouse and Artemis Place Society (Pp 108-109 agenda)

Artemis provides cross-ministry, integrated programming, including educational services to young women in our community, many of whom have young children. They also serve youth who identify other than cis-male and many of their students are First Nations, and/or face special challenges. This program was previously offered directly by the District in conjunction with Artemis. Currently, Artemis operates the program, along with associated childcare services. Artemis’ desire is to stay at their current location. The District has indicated that the logistics of expanding Lansdowne are not realistic at this time due to both timelines and the economics of a new build….

Administration envisions two potential options to proceed:
1. That the District utilize its local capital funds to upgrade the facility [Quadra Warehouse] and then charge Artemis sufficient license rates, similar to their current lease costs, to recover the funds over a 10-30 year period as appropriate;
2. That the District sign a license agreement with Artemis over a 10-30 year period
structured to allow Artemis to borrow sufficient funds to cover the capital in exchange for the license period; however, the ability of a not-for-profit to finance these improvements on the security of the tenure we can grant is uncertain.

C. Seismic (SRG3) Update (P 110)

New provincial seismic regulations. Ministry has provided $21,850 to complete assessments by October 2018.

9. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: None

11 Notices of Motion: None
12. General Announcements: None
13. Adjournment: 10:25  pm

About Diane McNally