May 7/18: Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee: Implementation Plans For the Newly Proposed Funding Model, Inclusion,French Immersion

SD37 Delta’s Resolution carried at the BCSTA AGM April 28:

46 fuding formula SD37 Delta

Voting Day Local Elections October 20, 2018. New rules and info here Yes, I will run again for Trustee in SD61 Greater Victoria. SD61 is in the midst of many  changes and will need progressive vision and continued commitment and close attention to to clear, understandable and accountable process at the Board table.

My voting record and my motions and rationales here: Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 –March 2018.

And here we [will] go again in early fall with all those vinyl signs – it’s hard to believe we’re not past simple name recognition  as an election  strategy.  In the 2014 election  I had 3 Coroplast signs  and moved them around SD61’s considerable area. CRD recycling doesn’t  list vinyl election signs, when 1000s of them are going to be disposed of – somehow – at least every 4 years.

P1: Education Policy and Directions  Standing Committee Meeting notes

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.

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.  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.

Territory Acknowledgement900

Dialogue with the Public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings.
Only appointed members of the Committee can vote.

Ed Policy & Directions Standing Committee
May 7 /18
Members: Ferris, Nohr (Chair,), Orcherton, Whiteaker; Loring-Kuhanga ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)
Present: Ferris (1999) McNally ( 2011), Nohr (2011), Orcherton (1999), Paynter (2014), , Whiteaker (2014)
Not present: Leonard (elected 1996)  Loring-Kuhanga (2011)   Watters (2014)

A.Commencement of Meeting:  Agenda adopted.  Minutes of April 9/18 approved. Official minutes here; Lined Paper report here. No Business Arising.|
B. Presentations to the Committee:  SOGI Support:  Anna Malkin, Joyce Rankin: /

Gender Ally is a series of workshops based on some of the personal experience stories at The goal of the workshops is to build awareness and understanding of gender, sexuality and human rights issues to support trans, Two-Spirit, and gender non-conforming inclusion.

The workshops can be used on their own by community and interest groups or in a school setting, integrated with Grade 10-12 curriculum. We hope that the workshops are flexible enough to support the inexperienced and unfamiliar facilitators and simultaneously give the more experienced enough space to build their own session. There are a number of resources in the Preparing the Facilitator document to build confidence and familiarize those of all skill levels with the subject matter.
There are three introductory documents to get you started.


C. New Business
C.1 Student Rep : 
Carmen Ho, Spectrum Community School
C.2 French Language Review: Deputy Superintendent Green

FRIM May7 18 craigflower

  • Deputy Superintendent: A lot of room at Shoreline. Hoping for a new build to combine Shoreline, Craigflower, adding a Learning Hub, and the Health Ministry on site. Students would stay in current buildings while new building is being constructed. Could be an Early Childhood Education program at Craigflower.
  • McNally: Will we see a separate presentation for the Lekwungen language initiative and get it out of French Immersion presentations? (Yes.)  Little or no mention of late immersion entry Grade Six as a viable option. Would solve so many issues of staffing ad space. Outcomes are the same, perhaps a bit of an accent. what are loss numbers at transition from Grade 5 to Grade 6 and loss from Grade 6 entry cohort  to High School?
  • Deputy Superintendent: Have anecdotal comments on loss – can look into that more.

FRIM single track

  • McNally: Thought single track was a non started at previous presentation. Elitist – another district program that parents have to have the time and ability to drive kids to the school. Last presentation we heard that some students had left French Immersion because of “behaviour”. Students  don’t leave the English track because of “behaviour”; the classroom teacher has to find a way to include them. 
    Against single track.
  • Paynter: For single track. Easier to provide better supports for students .
  • Ferris: Stick with single track; we do that well.
  • Whiteaker: That the Board explore French Immersion at Shoreline and Craigflower. / Carried. Unanimous.
  • Paynter: Will bring single track option to the Board meeting. Uplands woudl be an excellent site but would displace International program there. As a District program would draw from schools in the area that have over-demand.
  • Nohr: Support Whiteaker’s motion. Would like report on dual track PE / field trips, efforts to unify the school culture. Don’t want isolated programs in one school.
  • Turcotte, GVTA: Concerns with equity of support – some schools have no learning support in French. None in middle schools and high schools. K-3, would help if principal, librarian, prep teacher all spoke French. Teaming isn’t possible without that. Would like information from the French Advisory Committee. GVTA reps on that committee report difficulty in getting their items on the agenda.

The reality is that the vast majority of students across Canada who enrol in French immersion drop out by high school, and are then thrown back into the English stream, often with both language and subject matter gaps in their learning. most situations French Immersion isn’t very effective at creating bilingual citizens. While data is scarce, research shows that fewer than 20 per cent of French Immersion students graduate high school with proficiency in French. Partly because the vast majority of students who enter French Immersion programs leave the program long before that.

BC Ministry data (sparse):

C.3 Environmental Plan Update: Deputy Superintendent Green
C.4 Inclusion for Learning Strategy: (slides Pp 17-27 agenda) Sean McCartney, District Principal, Inclusive Learning : Recommended motion : (Motions carried at a Standing Committee must go to the full Board meeting to be ratified by vote of the 9 member Board)

That the Board support the Inclusion For Learning Strategy./ Carried. Unanimous.

Inclusion May 7 18 1

  • District Principal, Inclusive Learning: This graphic is from Shelley Moore’s book “One Without The Other“. The medical model has been in place for a long time . Now a shift from “disability” to “diversability”.
  • McNally: It’s interesting that SD61 still maintains a separate program for students with special needs in a separate building on a separate parcel of land. Victor School used to have it’s own website , which has disappeared. But the reality that the segregated school exists has not disappeared, even though the website did. And recently much disparaging reference in many jurisdictions to the “medical model”. How will needs for support  be identified outside this model? Is medical assessment of factors that likely affect learning no longer to be taken into account? Or recommended? 

Excerpts from 79 very interesting pages on the “medical model” and more below: Brown, R. S. & Parekh, G. (2013). The intersection of disability, achievement, and equity: A system review of special education in the TDSB (Research Report No. 12-13-12). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto District School Board.  P 54 summarizes some interesting studies of classroom teacher attitudes to inclusion. 

Historically, Special Education has largely been responsible for addressing the needs of students identified with medically defined impairments (intellectual, physical, etc.). This report provides a historical analysis of Special Education and discusses the evolution of thinking around identification, rehabilitation, and intervention. As our understanding of disability evolves, so has the scope and reach of Special Education. Current scholars in disability studies call for a distinction to be made between the terms ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’ as part of positioning disability as a social construction (Shakespeare, 2006). Within the social model of disability, ‘impairment’ denotes the loss of function relating to the physical, intellectual, or emotional self, whereas ‘disability’ describes the barriers that people face as they negotiate the various spheres of society (e.g., accessibility issues, discrimination, etc.). In accordance to the Ontario Ministry of Education, the reach of Special Education is not limited to only serving students who have a formal identification of impairment (Memorandum, Barry Finlay to Directors of Ontario, “Categories of Exceptionalities”, December 19, 2011). In fact, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has already made a commitment to moving towards a social model of disability that promotes greater inclusion of students identified with Special Education Needs within mainstream education programs and the school community (TDSB’s Futures Conference, Director’s Keynote, May 2012)…..

Interestingly, the medical model and scientific assessment suggests a certain rigorous and measurable approach to ability. However, there are exceptionality designations that are largely based upon teacher perception. These classifications have been dubbed high incidence “judgment” categories (Artiles et al., 2010) and are most often associated with negative social connotations. Behaviour disorders, mild intellectual disability, and language impairments are exceptionalities in which teacher perception can greatly influence identification. They are also categories in which minority students and students living in poverty are often over-represented (Brown & Parekh, 2010; De Valenzuela et al., 2006; Reid & Knight, 2006; Skiba et al., 2006). In contrast, exceptionality categories that are associated with more socially valued characteristics, such as brilliance, as represented within the Gifted and Autism spectrum disorders, are often over-represented by White, male, and upper-middle class students (Brown & Parekh, 2010; De Valenzuela et al., 2006)….

The ways in which public and social policy addresses impairment is largely dependent upon which paradigm of disability is employed. The three paradigms explored in this review are the medical model, the social model, and the human rights model of disability. The evolution between models will also be reviewed. In terms of special education, Mitchell (2010) noted that the medical model is currently the most globally accepted paradigm. Despite its prevalence, many scholars suggest that there are alternative paradigms to consider. Historically seen as an individual deficit, disability is now being conceived as a result of social and environmental factors. One of the more important changes is the differentiation between impairment and disability. Impairment refers to the biological condition affecting function, while disability denotes the structural barriers that ‘disable’ full social, economic, and political participation (Shakespeare, 2006). This shift in perspective carries dramatic consequences in how impairment and disability are addressed within governing institutions. A shift to a social model of disability would require greater attention be paid in assessing and addressing barriers embedded in social policy, practice, and attitudinal perspectives as opposed to individual deficits.

The social model works to shift the focus away from the body and onto the social structures and policies that ‘disable’ people perceived as impaired. For example, instead of focusing on a person’s inability to walk, the focal point of change should be the inaccessible stairs. If a child is not achieving in school, attention should be paid to the pedagogical approach and the accessibility of the classroom environment and curriculum, as opposed to the child’s intellectual functioning. The social model aims to address and identify “the extent of social exclusion and disadvantages facing disabled people, and across different social contexts, as well as the impact of shifts in disability policy towards social barriers” (Barnes & Mercer, 2010, p. 33)….

The human rights model of disability could be interpreted as a progression of the social model emphasizing the importance of considering the ‘social determinants of disability’ (Rioux & Valentine, 2006). The human rights approach to disability addressed the marginalization of people with disabilities through “the reformulation of social and political policy…recognizing the condition of disability as inherent to society” (Rioux & Valentine, 2006, p. 116). Within this construct, barriers to inclusion and equal economic, political, and social outcomes were addressed through the establishment and enactment of laws and policies (Rioux & Valentine, 2006). Formalized obligations to provide supports and accommodations were what made the human rights model distinct from the social model of disability.

Flexible use spaces May 7 18

  • McNally: Necessary to take into account that on occasion some students want to not be “included” and want to get away from everyone and everything that is overwhelming, and can’t be expected to share a “calm space” with anyone else at those times. What space has been built in for Reading Recovery? Teachers are sometimes expected to teach with everything needed  a movable cart which is not possible, or teach in a coat room or other odd space. My understanding is Saanich SD63 is moving toward full implementation, and if SD61 did want that at some point, space will be  needed for at least half a day in most elementary schools.
  • District Principal, Inclusive Learning: The “medical model” discussion is a big discussion for another time [paraphrased]. Reading Recovery is usually taught by the Learning Support teacher and that space can be used for the half day.

Not all school have the needed spaces. Construction  is underway.

spaces 1

spaces 2

spaces 3

  • McNally: Victor School is not on the chart. Why is that? 
  • Jeannette Alexander ASA President: Thank you for taking into account the needs for SLPs and other ASA members.
  • Whiteaker: Lots of high schools in “red”  – high school timetabling complicates things.
  • Nohr: Looking at Oak Bay High, it’s shocking that the Ministry developed a plan that doesn’t include space needs.
  • District Principal, Inclusive Learning: Victor School should have been listed, but it’s not. SJ Willis not listed; students moving to Burnside. Vic High not on the list as changes are being discussed by the Board.

C.5 Trustee Elections October 2018: McNally: Reference to BCSTA suggestion that Boards enter local dates as applicable in  A Guide for School Trustee Candidates 2018 (with customizable schedule)(PDF). The meeting was unanimous in believing this action doesn’t need to go forward and that there is enough information for potential candidates on the SD61 website, the BCSTA website , and  the Elections BC site. McNally agreed.

C.6 Orcherton: That the Board prepare and conduct an exit interview with our current retiring Superintendent and further, that the Board, with the assistance of the Deputy Superintendent, develop a policy on exit interviews for future Superintendents.  senior administrator staff. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Whiteaker: Amendment: Strike “for future Superintendents”, add “senior administration staff”.
  • McNally: The Superintendent is the Board’s only employee so the Board will not be doing exit interviews for anyone else. Against the amendment.
  • Superintendent: Will be doing exit interview with Facilities Director but won’t be the Board doing that.
  • Amendment carried. Unanimous.

C.7 McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide information for the SD61 Board on the specifics of the planned implementation of the new proposed funding model, including provision of all implications of  the model for specific practice in the classroom and schools, and provide pro and con analyses fr stakeholder groups in Alberta (specifically the ATA Blue Ribbon Panel Report) and other applicable jurisdictions in Canada , for an early June 2018 Board meeting./ Withdrawn and replaced with a motion from the floor, below.

  • McNally: Permission of the meeting to withdraw [given] and replace with a motion Trustee Orcherton suggested in discussion as being simpler: That the Board direct the Chair to write the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education , copy the Expert Panel on the Funding Model, urging that any change to the Education Funding Model be considered no earlier than March 2020. / Permission given from the meeting so this is the motion  on the floor. [Based on Resolution #47 from SD57 Prince George, carried at the BCSTA AGM. Delta’s Resolution 46 requesting  additional consultation also carried.] Motion also withdrawn after debate below. Will come back with  different wording.

Rationale: [McNally handed out hard copy of 3 motions re the funding formula, that carried at the BCSTA AGM, #s L45, 46 and 47.) The following resolution (L46, Delta)carried at the BCSTA AGM April 28, 2018: “That BCSTA request that the Education Minister require the Independent Panel of the Funding Model Review hold additional consultation for boards of education, parents, and students, and that education partners be given an opportunity to consider the impact of the proposed new funding model and provide further feedback before the model goes into effect. “

As the B.C. Education Funding Model Review Regional meetings continue (at which only one Trustee form each Board was “allowed” to attend), it has become evident that there have been no specifics on the proposed new formula provided to Boards of Education or sector stakeholders prior to looming approval by the Minister of Education. Districts and Trustees were only asked what they liked about the current funding formula and what they would like to see changed. No other details were provided about what the Ministry was considering. Big picture statements about “equity” and “diversity” are not enough in a context that has numerous unanswered questions. Stakeholders should not have to know which questions to ask to elicit information in a situation of this complexity. Stakeholders should be provided with a deep level of detail so no one will have cause to say “I didn’t realize that’s what was meant”. Stakeholders most directly impacted – students, staff and parents – will have no meaningful opportunity to ensure they understand these proposed changes and to give input before the Minister approves the new formula. It has become evident at Board tables and in informal discussions of education issues that understanding of the implications for practice attached to the proposed new funding model are not well understood by most stakeholders.

One important stakeholder, the BCTF, has stated its opposition to statistical projection based funding.The ATA Blue Ribbon Panel, and the Wolf Creek School Division Superintendent  (Jay Lovell) have raised important questions and issues that need to be  discussed in depth.

As the rationale for the resolution at the BCSTA AGM stated: “Boards of education must be the advocates for a clear and transparent process of adequate depth and scope that takes into account all stakeholders to whom we are accountable. In order for the proposed new Funding Formula to contribute towards student success across the Province, we must be able to understand and give input on what is being contemplated while there is still time to make amendments prior to implementation. “

April SD61 Board meeting vote on sending the letter approving the model: Decision to be made: Board send letter to Expert Panel in support of the funding formula. / Carried as amended below. For: Ferris, Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga, Orcherton, Watters, Whiteaker   Against: McNally, Nohr, Paynter

  • Ferris: This motion is out of order. The Board has already sent a letter of support for the model. [ I voted against sending the letter, and that is on the public record. Motion re letter here  (at D.2 b viii) ; letter attached to the April Board meeting agenda, on the SD61 website.]
  • Nohr: Discussion of the motion will continue.
  • Ferris: Is Trustee Orcherton suggesting that the Panel make recommendations and send them back again to Boards?
  •  Orcherton: Yes. We don’t change provincial funding formulas all that often so want to be sure we get this right.Short time frame and this motion is supported by the BCSTA AGM vote. Should not get pushed into this. Understanding there is no additional money.
  • Whiteaker: Don’t understand the motion or the rationale.  Nothing is proposed yet.   Hoping for a re-write and bring back to Board.
  • Superintendent (an appointed  member of the panel): Panel will bring recommendations to the Minister on July 22. Then Ministry staff will begin to develop a funding model.
  • McNally: With permission of the meeting , will withdraw motion, rewrite and bring to the Board. (permission from the meeting given.)

D. Notices of Motion: None
E. General Announcements: None
F. Adjournment: 9:10 pm

About Diane McNally