May 14/18: OPP Standing Committee: Vic High Seismic, Naming Sites, Equity Policy

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

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)

Motion below carried at BCSTA AGM in April 2018. Letter from BCSTA Executive to Minister  Fleming and the Panel here, copied to all Chairs of Boards of Education in BC. The Funding Review is about much, much more than simply a new way to redistribute money (and there won’t be any additional  money).



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.

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
May 14.18

: 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

An in camera meeting preceded the public meeting.

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

1.Agenda adopted.
2. Approval of Minutes: OPP April 16/18: Approved. Lined Paper report here. 
3. Business Arising From Minutes: None

4. Presentations To The Committee:
A. Andrew Poucher: Haegert Park garden [Has established a garden unknowingly on SD61 land. Springridge and Fernwood Allotment Gardens are also on SD61 land.]
B. Roger Skillings: Vic High Seismic: A Future For Vic High 
C. Ian McKinnon: Vic High Seismic: A Future For Vic High
D. Tony Sprackett: Vic High Seismic: Fernwood Community Association. Recognize the architectural jewels from the past. Community wants prime learning environment; values green space.

5. Superintendent’s Report
A. Recognition of Student Representative: Carmen Ho, Spectrum Community School
B. Crossing Guard Update: For the last several yeas, after SD61 DPAC and Kiwanis involvement in prior years, Beacon Community services have been providing crossing guards but have given notice that they will no longer provide the service as of the end of this school year. SD61 DPAC has concluded they are not in a position to take this on. DPAC Chair Audrey Smith, as an individual , has formed the Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association and will head that up. SD61 is working with the Association to ensure a smooth transition of service. Another group may take over in the future.

C. Vic High Consultation Update (Pp 12-13 agenda): Recommended motion [recommended by Superintendent]:

That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide a detailed report tot he June Operations Policy and Planning Committee for two options for Vic High that preserve the current building. First, a seismic upgrade with internal improvements (“Seismic Plan”). Second, a seismic upgrade with internal improvements, additional capacity and a Neighbourhood Learning Centre (“Seismic Plus With Capacity”). / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Superintendent: #1 direct funding through the provincial government. #2 secured funding contributions though other relationships to assist. Not suggesting Board make up the shortfall, as simply can’t. SD61 has limited capital and Ministry is responsible for all students in the province. Urge cooperation with other community partners.
  • Watters: Possibility of connections in community and beyond.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Inflationary costs impact if project doesn’t start soon.
  • Superintendent: Cost of delay is about 15% re constuction costs over a year  = $7.5 million for every 12 months delay.
  • McNally: Understanding is that a new build would not have had a theatre. Will these two options include preserving the theatre? / Yes.
  • Whiteaker: Final decision from Ministry? We as a community have to find $20 million?
  • Superintendent: Possible, but behooves us to look for other sources, specific organizations or individuals.
  • Leonard: Ministry could reject everything we prefer as new build is cheaper? Could be further decisions for Board re funding because could lead to $15 million deficit.
  • Superintendent: Yes. Working with Capital  Department and Secretary-Treasurer working with Deputy Minister, who has the entire binder of information. Ministry of Education and Treasury Board probably will fund one of the two options but that means $20 million not available for other provincial projects. Then think of Shoreline and Craigflower project – stall for a while? Forego? Will require working wit local, municipal, provincial levels and will require support, assistance, collaboration  with City of Victoria, Deputy Minister of Education, Federal MP.

“Planning for the Future of Victoria High School: Engagement Summary Report ” Pp 14-27 agenda. Total participation 1700 in various ways. Enrolment projections (p 27) imply the need for a catchment area boundary review.

C. View Royal / Eagleview Boundary Review: Includes Thetis Lake campground, which used to be mostly forest. P 29 agenda shows Baragar software screen capture of Thetis Vale. View Royal staff predict 900 new homes in the next few years, 200 at Christie Point, and at Thetis Vale. 3 bedroom rentals planned. Currently 111 students from out of catchment at Eagleview. Some from Sooke schools. School Districts and municipalities can get up to 5% each from school acquisition charge to support acquisition of school land, from developers. SD61 never asked for the levy to  occur before but will now, going forward.

6. Personnel Items: None.
7. Finance and Legal Affairs:  Recommended motions [recommended by senior staff]
A.  That the Board approve revised Policy 1421 Naming School sites and accept Regulation 1421 as reviewed./  Carried. For: Leonard, McNally, Watters  Against: Paynter

  • McNally: In favour. So far school have generally been named after white settlers, a lot of them white male settlers, and a lot of them well known now for the forces of destruction they employed against Indigenous peoples. The heroes of one day may well not be the heroes of the coming day.
  • Nohr: Could have more schools named after women, or after our First nations population; don’t have to be extraordinary. Not supporting.
  • Carolyn Howe, GVTA 1st VP: Really like this motion. Who we name things after is embedded in overall cultural bias. Could name after places as in place based learning.

B. That the Board approve new Policy 1422 Recognition of Significant Contribution to the District and accept new Regulation 1422 as reviewed./ Carried. For: McNally, Nohr, Watters  Against: Paynter

C. That the Board approve Policy 110 Equity and accept Regulation 110 Equity as presented./ Carried. Unanimous.

  • Nohr: “Fair and equal” – do we need both?
  • Whiteaker: 2.3: What does this really mean?
  • Superintendent: Financial. PACs are unequal in abilities to fundraise.

Regulation 110

  • Leonard: 1.1 “address systemic barriers” – how often? / Ongoing.
  • McNally: 1.1 “report student achievement data annually to the Board” like the old achievement contract? How granular?
  • Superintendent: Up to the Superintendent how that flows.
  • Leonard: 2.2 How was this done before?
  • Superintendent: Consultation with GVTA .
  • Leonard: Who gets Community Link funding?
  • Associate Superintendent Whitten: Formula based including using Vulnerability Index.
  • Leonard: Do we need this new method  then?
  • Superintendent: Equity Committee developed this method. Watters did the numbers. Draws on similar factors as currently used methods.

D. That the Board approve spending $875,700 of Local Capital to implement the Inclusion for Learning strategy./ Carried. Unanimous.

Inc Learning memo


  • McNally: We’ve heard appeals from George Jay to leave the spaces used for contact and support for immigrant and refugee families alone. What about music rooms?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: 3 issues here: 1. Schools that wanted to create such spaces but didn’t have the money  2. Some schools do not have space, like Eagleview, Willows 3. George jay expanded into unused spaces during declining enrolment. RE music rooms, don’t believe music rooms are big looked at for this.
  • McNally: Want a report on how well spaces are working. Will craft a motion for Education Policy.
  • Audrey Smith, DPAC Chair: Need a baseline do we can see if improvements occur. 
  • McNally: Hearing a common sudden dismissive tone from various speakers re the “medical model”, seemingly used as a pejorative term for the current Ministry Designation funding model. Will there be no more Ministry designations to guide funding allocations? Inadequate as that is currently it could  work if more funding were given by the Ministry for students with Intensive Behaviour designations, for example. It’s not so much the current model isn’t working, it’s that the staff in schools in inadequate numbers  to complete the required paperwork, and then the  funding per student is clearly inadequate and usually shared in a pot with other students who have no funding at all since  high incidence categories were defunded by the previous government. Using new terminology isn’t going to solve the inadequate funds issue (P 7 here).

“H” Designation explained: Intensive Behaviour Interventions or Serious Mental Illness:      Students most in need of intensive interventions. Expected to be less than one percent (1%) of the student population provincewide. [One local school reportedly has 13 “H” or potential “H” designations. ]  Should have access to co-ordinated school/community interventions, which are based on inter-service/agency assessment processes that are required to manage, educate, and maintain the students in school and in their community.  Eligible to be in this special education funding category if they exhibit:

  • antisocial, extremely disruptive behaviour in most environments (for example,
    classroom, school, family, and the community); and
  • behaviours that are consistent/persistent over time.

Students with Serious Mental Illness eligible to be reported in this special education
funding category are those with:

  • serious mental health conditions which have been diagnosed by a qualified
    mental health clinician (psychologist with appropriate training, psychiatrist, or physician); and
  • serious mental illnesses which manifest themselves in profound withdrawal or
    other negative internalizing behaviours; and
  •  often have histories of profound problems, and present as very
    vulnerable, fragile students who are seriously ‘at risk‘ in classroom and other
    environments without extensive support.

In addition to meeting one of the conditions above, to be eligible for special education
funding, these behaviour disorders and or illnesses must be:

  • serious enough to be known to school and school district personnel and other community agencies and to warrant intensive interventions by other community agencies/service providers beyond the school; and
  • serious risk to the student or others, and/or with behaviours or conditions that significantly interfere with the student’s academic progress and that of other students; and
  • beyond the normal capacity of the school to educate, provided “normal capacity”is seen to include the typical special education support/interventions such as school-based counselling, moderate behaviour supports, the use of alternate settings, and other means in the school environment.Reduction in class size or placement in an alternate program or learning environment is not by itself a sufficient service to meet the criteria.

If and when the student does get funding for Intensive Behaviour Support / Serious Mental Illness, that will be for 3 hours a day. Max. Everything will be fine in the afternoon.

And if the current designation categories  disappear, will a student with significant needs for support as above be just another “diverse learner”? 

E. That the Board send the “An Independent Audit of Executive Expenses at SD61” report to the Audit Committee for further review. / Carried. Unanimous.

8. Facilities Planning : Facilities Director David Loveridge
A. District Bus Transportation: See Pp 71-76 agenda.
B. Facility Accessibility Report: See Pp 77-7 87 agenda.
C. Playground Equipment Funding Process: See Pp 88-89 agenda. Ministry of Education has provided $5 million for playgrounds but with 60 school districts in BC, that means less than 1 playground per District.

  • Smith, DPAC: Message to school PCs fundraising – keep going, then?
  • Facilities Director: Yes.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Could be 3.7 playgrounds per District if government has full years mandate.
  • Smith: Ministry definition of an elementary school is still K-7.

9. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: None.
A. Trustee Questions: None
11. Notice of Motion: Whiteaker will be bringing a motion re BCSTA involvement in mental health for students.
12. General Announcements: None
13. Adjournment: 10 pm  ish





About Diane McNally