June 11/18: Operations Policy and Planning: Employee Attendance & Wellness Program, Greater Victoria Foundation for Learning,Classroom Pets, SJ Willis Upgrade, Board Attendance Record

I visited Oaklands Elementary School‘s garden last week. Just missed MLA Lana Popham’s visit. The students¬† called her¬† “The Boss of Farming” ūüôā¬†¬†Look at this! So pleased!

2018 06 06 no neonics Oaklands

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 ‚Äď each school PAC has its own but they apparently aren‚Äôt 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 distribute money to Boards (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 ‚Äď March 2018 (updated to end of June 2018 soon).¬† Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

October 17/16¬†That the Board amend¬†Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees¬†to remove the words ‚Äúwith voting rights‚ÄĚ 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

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
June 11/18

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

Dialogue with the public is welcome during Standing Committee Meetings.

1.Agenda adopted.
2. Approval of Minutes: OPP May 14: Approved. : Approved. Lined Paper report here. 
3. Business Arising From Minutes: None

4. Presentations To The Committee:
A.Luke Mari, Director of Development, Purdey Group, 2549 Quadra St (Warehouse School / VISA) Request for Easement:  A request for pathway access to a proposed mixed market and affordable housing potential build behind the current building, and 8 parking spots. Meeting soon with SD61 Secretary-Treasurer; will be discussed by Board in camera.  (reported by Secretary-Treasurer to question from Paynter.) Questions re city Bylaws, whether the development approval from the City was contingent getting the pathway and 8 parking spots from SD61. Developer says motivation is to keep arts in the City.

An email to Trustees from VISA:

We would like to stay in the current building for 2 years until our new home is completed several metres away. And, we hope that you will support our request for an easement (a neighbourhood walkway) to connect Fifth Street with Quadra. In addition, we (along with the developer) will consider allowing us to use several parking spots on your adjacent property. Luke Mari, development director for the Purdey Group, will be meeting with Mark Walsh to explore these possibilities.

VISA management has known of the impending requirement to move out of the building for nearly two years, and were recently offered space in another SD61 setting, which was rejected. The final date for VISA to  be out of the building is August 31, 2918, so SD61 crews can begin the needed remediations to the building before the Artemis program moves in.

B. Xane St Phillip (VISA instructor) : Civic and public support for project above. Hope to stay in building until project is done and we can move in.
C. Keith McCallion, Vic High Alumni Association:¬† Vic High Seismic Project : Favours “Seismic Plus” option.¬† We have spoken with Rick Crosby, project manager for several heritage buildings in Victoria. Hoping to preserve heritage and meet education needs. Understanding the stadium renewal is out of scope; however Vic High Alumni and City of Victoria have raised over $500,000 for that project. Lincoln High School in Washington State provides an excellent example of a heritage renewal in a high school.
D. Rick Crosby, Vic High Alumni Association

5. Superintendent’s Report
A. Recognition of Student Representative: Daniel Davenport, Lambrick Park 
6. Personnel Items: Attendance and Wellness Support Program: Director of  Human Resources (Pp 8-9 agenda0 [No input received by Trustees from GVTA or CUPE; no comment at table]

  • Ferris: Any data on people served by our Health and Wellness Advisor? Finding a path to recovery? Gives advice?
  • Director HR: Both teachers and administrators have been helped. Could bring some stories.
  • McNally: Will continue to point out that the term “absenteeism” is not the same as “absences”. “Absenteeism” sounds like a career choice, not a struggle.
  • Paynter: Notice an increase among exempt staff. Increased stress? Or what?
  • Direcotr HR: Small employee group so one long absence could impact data.

7. Finance and Legal Affairs:  Recommended motions [recommended by senior staff]
A.  Managed Print Services Strategy : Director of Information Technology : Installing new multifunction devices, and looking at print use and paper waste.

  • Whiteaker: What about student access to printing?
  • Aaron Maxwell, VP, Arbutus Middle School: 2 locations for printing. Can track how much printing, possibly put caps on number of pages.
  • Director of SD61 IT: Will log on individually so can track and what is needed to support staff.
  • Student Rep Davenport: Printing at Lambrick an ongoing issue. Students ow have t pay¬† 5 or 10 cents a page for printing in library; no one carries change. Not encouraging big print jobs, but current solution isn’t working.

B. Greater Victoria Foundation For Learning: Recommended motion (recommended by Secretary-Treasurer): 

That the Board direct the Board Chair to form a working group to draft the Greater Victoria Foundation For Learning Bylaws in a  manner that ensures that the Foundation is at arms-length from the Board and return the draft to the Oct 9/18 Operations Policy and Planning meeting. / Carried. For:   Leonard, Paynter, Watters Against: McNally

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Philosophy – hands off or within school district. Hands off, will require an audit. Hopefully will self-fund and can pay own auditor.We already have charitable status. Within school district means funds will stay on SD61 financial statements and Ministry could¬† ask the board to use that money instead of Ministry money.
  • McNally: Formalizing public education funding by a private Foundation may look attractive in the short term but is moving in the wrong direction¬† in the big picture. Public goods should be funded by public money. Realizing hospitals also have Foundations and bake sales an all those fundraisers, so we can have good medical care facilities. Don’t want to get mired in this model in education and excuse the Province for funding public education optimally. As was stated above, SD61 already has charitable status and donations can be made either to the District or the School. The latter¬† perpetuates inequity, and was last reviewed in 1985.¬†
  • Ferris: Supporting this. The District charitable status is different from a Foundation.Could direct money for a group of students we are not funded for [which students, I wonder, are they?] . Big difference between receiving money and actively fundraising.

C. Policy Subcommittee Report: Classroom Pets: Recommended motion (recommended by the Subcommittee): [New Policy and Reg pages 14-16 agenda]

That the Board approve in principle the new Policy 6163.7 Classroom Pets and send the draft Policy and Regulation to our stakeholders for comment, to be returned to the October 9/18 Operations Policy and Planning Committee meeting./ Carried as amended. For: Leonard, McNally, Paynter, Watters

  • McNally: Motion to amend: Add one point before sending to stakeholders, point 6 from the BCSPCA’s “Conditions” document [below]. Very much appreciate the work of the Policy Committee [Nohr and Whiteaker, April – June] on the new draft Policy and Regulation, and see that much of the BCSPCA’s recommended policy and requirements in their Appendix A [below] have been incorporated. However, one point isn’t in the policy, and that is the removal of the animal during emergency drills. If we are teaching compassion, that will not be the lesson children learn when they realize that¬† the classroom pet will be left behind. This will be very upsetting to at least some children./ Amendment carried.¬†
  • Whitaker: We considered that and didn’t want a teacher going back into the building to get the pet.
  • Leonard: Add specifically a point about students who are allergic.

Current Regulation [no Policy ever developed]: Regulation-6163.6-Animals-in-Schools

The Policy Committee incorporated most of the BCSPCA’s Policy Recommendation for School Animals, and incorporated the BCSPCA’s Appendix A, except for point 6, “the¬† animal is removed during emergency evacuation , drill or otherwise”:

SPCA Policy 4 appendix A

8. Facilities Planning :
A. Vic High Seismic Project: (Pp17-22)

  • Facilities staff Rupert Soules: John Di Castri [my least favourite architect around here, Modernist, award winning, d 2005¬†; his legacy does not need my approval… ] added the yellow area on the plats. Disjointed addition and will be filled in. The new blue cast concrete stairwells will be seismic anchors.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: New learning commons and cafeteria fits tightly and lowers costs. Current Vic High heavily officed so new interior will give more space to students. Last aspect of the plan is for SD61 to approach the City of Victoria and the Ministry of Education re a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Not normally funded under seismic but is a Ministry focus and a good time to do this.
  • Nohr: Will there be a full kitchen with the cafeteria?
  • Soules: Probably not as extensive as Esquimalt’s.
  • Ferris: Existing theatre continues as is? Where will NLC be?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Possible improvements; MLC probably on Belfry side; haven’t started discussions with partners yet. Numbers are not going to change.

B. SJ Willis Upgrade: Recommended motion [recommended by senior staff]: That the Board direct the Secretary-Treasurer to request access to $500,000 of Ministry of Education Restricted Capital for the initial planning of the SJ Willis upgrade. / Carried. Unanimous (4/4)

C. Premier’s Award: Promoting Innovation and Excellence [2017]: Secretary-Treasurer: Organizational award to the Ministry of Education for NextGen Network. Moving on to security. Six school districts shared the award, SD61 among them. One of the best for access in the world.

9. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: None.
10. New Business
A. McNally: That the Board eliminate specific municipal committee assignments and that Trustees inform the Board as to which committees related to their municipal assignments they will attend and report on as of September 2018. / Withdrawn. [See below.]

  • McNally: The prime example for why we need to do this is Saanich.¬† Trustees Leonard and Paynter¬† are assigned to Saanich Municipality as liaison, while legacy appointments to 3 Saanich Committees are¬† assigned to 3 different Trustees¬† – Orcherton, Whiteaker, McNally. At least two of these committees have little relevance for SD61, and 6 different Trustees working with Saanich is confusing for everyone. I am assigned t the CRD Board and the Board itelf has little relvance for SD61 as it is at the committee elvel that most of the possibly relevant owrk is done. If the Chair has different ideas about which committees are relevant the Chair¬†can always redirect the Trustee in regard to Committee attendance.¬†
  • Ferris: Clear as mud.¬†
  • Watters: The Chair should not be deciding this, the Board should.
  • Whiteaker: The Board should decide on official Trustee presence.
  • Leonard: Don’t like the wording.Alternate¬† motion if this one is withdrawn: That the Board review municipal assignments in the light¬† of the newly created liaison positions to municipalities, before new Trustee assignments are made./ Carried. Unanimous.

B. Whiteaker: That the Board offer bussing on a cost-recovery basis to those families with a Special Education student currently enrolled in an out of catchment school for the upcoming school year./ Withdrawn.

  • Whiteaker: Families no longer on the bus but families can appeal – are we following¬† the existing appeal process or setting up a special bussing specific one?
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Every student not in catchment is no longer on the bus.¬†¬†Associate Superintendent¬† Whitten and¬†¬†Director of Learning Support¬† Caldwell review Third Wave [Special education district program]¬† bussing for all except Victor School¬†[ as of c.¬†2014, no longer has its own website] which remains as is. [Victor School is a segregated school for students with special needs, in its own building on separate grounds away from any other school¬† SD61]. Essentially following the current appeal process.

C. BCSTA Survey to Chairs and Boards on the Memorandum of Understanding: Individual replies to the 7 questions to go to Chair. (Late information from BCSTA.)

D. Trustee Questions: Student rep questions on functioning of meetings, Roberts Rules related.
11. Notice of Motion: None
12. General Announcements: None
13. Adjournment: 9:20 pm

2018 05 16 SJD library

Library window Sir James Douglas Elementary

About Diane McNally