P 5 SCHOOL YEAR 2020-2021 CONTINUED
McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to direct the Information Technology Department to set up submenus under the “Our District” menu, between “Provincial SchoolAct” and “Trustee Elections”, and that the Superintendent develop a protocol by the end of November2020 with staff that will ensure all public reports are placed in theappropriate file, following approval / receipt by the Board, the day after the meeting that approves / receives the report. // McNally absent; stuck from agenda
- Rationale: Background: Trustees, parents, and other partners / stakeholders spend a frustrating amount of time searching through agendas and minutes, even when using the “search” function, to find specific information reports and updates from the District Team, Facilities , Senior Administration, and other staff who present reports to the Board. There is a “Reports” menu under “Our District” high level menu, but very few reports are filed there. A submenu repository for all reports made to the Board or Standing Committees would not create additional work for staff once the menus are set up by IT, while significantly simplifyingthe work of Trustees, as well as creating additional transparency and ease of access to critical information for partners and stakeholders. Student Representatives, who are already busy, will be able to find information that affects their learning, an aspect of student engagement particularly applicable at the secondary level. All reports from staff are critical information and should be easily and quickly available online. Alignment With Strategic Plan: 1. Aligns with Core Value “Transparency”: “Accountable for decisions we make and how we make them” 2. Aligns with Core Value “Engagement”: “We work to actively engage students in their education and make them feel more connected to their learning” 3. Aligns with Core Value “Partnerships” : “Open and respectful partnerships
- Referred to February 8: Be referred to the February 8, 2021 Operations Policy and Planning Committee meeting for Information Technology for Learning to wordsmith. / / Carried. Unanimous.
- Memo IT Department: Background:At the January 25th Board meeting Trustee McNally brought forward the following Recommended Motion:That the Board of Education SD61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to direct the Information Technology Department to set up submenus under the “Our District” menu, between “Provincial School Act” and “Trustee Elections”,And Further;That the Superintendent develop a protocol by the end of November 2020 with staff that will ensure all public reports are placed in the appropriate file, following approval / receipt by the Board, the day after the meeting that approves / receives the report.At the January 25th Board meeting, Trustee McNally’s motion was referred to the Feb 8th OPPS meeting but that the Director, IT for Learning, would bring a recommended motion forward that is better suited to what the Board is looking for.Action:Recommended Motion: That the Information Technology for Learning Departmentseek a solution to public and Trustee requests to access Board and Committee Meeting reports and attachments, with ease,via the public District website. Options will be proposed at the March 8, 2021,OperationsPolicy and Standards Committee meeting.
- Rationale: Background : Here on the Island, Thursday Jan. 23, 2021 was a record high day for COVID cases in the Island Health area. BC Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said in October 2020 : “I know that young people are adaptable and that many of them are wearing masks on a routine basis, whether they are ordered to or not, and I think that’s really important. And we need to continue that and continue the encouragement of that over the coming months.” Dr Henry stated “The mask mandate that we put in place very recently talks about those public indoor places. And yes, children are required to wear masks in public indoor spaces as well as in their schools.” Unless they’re in a classroom. Surrey Teachers’ Association letter to Dr Bonnie Henry in December 2020 asserts that masks should be mandated for everyone in schools–not only teachers and adults – and in every school space. Currently, students and staff must wear masks in common areas, like hallways. During the first coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing of 2021 on Monday, Jan. 4, Dr Henry told reporters that health officials are re evaluating safety measures and plans after the Surrey School District reported 50 COVID cases at Earl Marriott Secondary School. Ontario requires all students age 10 and up to wear masks everywhere in school, including classrooms. Dr Amy Tan, a palliative care and family physician in Victoria who co-founded Masks4Canada to encourage mask-wearing during the pandemic said children “are not the driver, i.e. the superspreader, but I think to say that there’s no transmission is also erroneous…I still think that mitigating the risks is important. Even if they’re not excessive spreaders, they are spreading to some degree. And I think, why not put in all measures? If every added layer is going to help with safety, why not add this?” Dr Tan would like to see masks mandated for students in kindergarten to Grade 12, with exemptions on an individual basis for students who can’t wear masks for various reasons. Dr. Tan referred to a University of Alberta study that showed one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 in the province were asymptomatic. Her 3-year-old niece in Boston wears as mask outside and at daycare, as Boston has mandated masks everywhere outside of one’s residence.
In Toronto, testing of students at Thorncliffe Park elementary school found 18 asymptomatic students had the virus. The Toronto District School board has issued this directive: “Unless an exemption applies that would allow a student, staff or visitor to attend in person without a mask, the wearing of appropriate masks is mandatory at TDSB schools or buildings. This Procedure provides direction to superintendents, principals, managers, staff, visitors, parents and students on the TDSB’s mask requirements and exemption requests.” Edmonton Public Schools’ directive states: “Physical distancing in many of our classrooms will be challenging. Given this, masks are mandatory as an additional means of protection for staff and students”, while affirming that students who are “physically, psychologically or developmentally” unable to wear a mask will be exempted. Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab made public his guidelines in November 2020, which state that masks are required for all students age 3 and older (who are able to wear a mask) , and all employee and visitors in schools, with the exception of while they are consuming food or beverages. The US Centers for Disease Control site states that “In general, children 2 years and older should wear a mask …” with exceptions for “children with certain disabilities, including cognitive, intellectual, developmental, sensory and behavioral disorders.” The Board of Education meets over Zoom, yet we send our students and staff into social groups.
Clearly, other jurisdictions have taken more precautionary measures than BC’s to protect students, front line educators, and other staff. Alignment With Strategic Plan: Mission: “We nurture each student’s learning and well-being in a safe, responsive andinclusive learning community.” Goal 3, Strategy 4: “…support all learners’ physical and mental well-being.”“….maximize physical health and mental well-being.”
February 1 2021: Ed Policy and Directions Standing Committee: No quorum
February 8 2021: Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee
McNally: That the Board direct the Board Chair to write a letter to Dr.Henry expressing support for a broadened mask mandate forschools that includes mask wearing by students K-12, staff, andany adults in school buildings in all school spaces, withexceptions on a case by case basis to be made by principals,with a documented reason for an exemption./ Defeated.
- Background A motion directing wearing ofmasks by students and all adults in school in SD61 was narrowly defeated at the January 25th Board meeting. There was some interest in the second part of the motionwhichdirected the Board Chair to write to Provincial Health Officer Dr Henry on behalf of the Board, asking for a broadened mask mandate in schools, with exceptions on an individual basis.Recent COVID exposures have occurred at a public school in Duncan, Royal Bay in SD62, two schools inParksville,two private schools on the South Island, and Macaulay and View Royal here in SD61.Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry stated“The mask mandate that we put in place veryrecently talks about those public indoor places. And yes, children are required to wear masks in public indoor spaces as well as in their schools.” Unless they’re in a classroom. During the first coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing of 2021 on January 4, Dr Henry told reporters that health officials are reevaluating safety measures and plans after the Surrey School District reported 50 COVID cases at Earl Marriott Secondary School. Surrey Teachers’ Association letter to Dr Bonnie Henry in December 2020 asserts that masks should be mandated for everyone in schools–not only teachers and adults–and in every school space.Dr Amy Tan, a Victoria physician would like to see masks mandated for students in kindergarten to Grade12, with exemptions on anindividual basis for students who can’t wear masks forvarious reasons. Ontario requires all students age 10 and up to wear masks everywhere in school, including classrooms.The Toronto District School board issued a directive mandating the wearing of appropriate masks in TDSB schools o rbuildings,with exemptions on an individual basis.Edmonton Public Schools have directed mask wearing as mandatory as an additional means of protection for staff and students,with exemptions on an individual basis. Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical HealthOfficer Dr. Saqib Shahab’s order is that masks are required for all students age 3 and older (who are able to wear a mask),and all employees andvisitors inschools, with the exception of while they are consuming food or beverages. The US Centers for Disease Control site states that “In general, children 2 years and older should wear a mask…” with exceptions for“children with certain disabilities…”. Clearly, other jurisdictions have taken more extensive precautionary measures than BC has to protect students, frontline educators, and other staff. Alignment With Strategic Plan: Mission:“We nurture each student’s learning and well-being in a safe, responsive and inclusive learning community.”Goal 3, Strategy 4: “…maximize physical health and mental well-being.”
March 1 2021 Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee: 2745 views. (Check the views for previous meetings.)
This was a Standing Committee Meeting which allows dialogue with stakeholders. I provided the Zoom link to the Nations as watching something this importnat (the motion Iplanned to bring) and commenting by email didn’t seem to me to be in the spirit of true engagement.
Bylaw 9130: Standing Committees here.
Bylaw 9130.1 Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee here.
Bylaw 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees here.
Robert’s Rules re “Out of order”:
It is a little-known fact that ultimately it is the board that is in charge of your meeting, not the chair. According to the principles of parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order, the chair runs the meeting while subject to the will of the body as a whole….Any member who disagrees with a ruling, decision or order by the chair may appeal the ruling.If another member seconds the appeal, the group will decide by majority vote whether the ruling, decision or order is legitimate. The chair obeys the group’s decision. https://jurassicparliament.com/in-charge/
What I had hoped to bring as a motion to debate, with considerable input from the members of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations:
McNally: a)That the Superintendent abandon the present 4 choice plan for Craigflower and Shoreline and restart the planning process under the active and direct guidance from the Lkwungen community in order to create a school that honours the culture, history, and wisdom of Lkwungen People in its design, vision, goals, & curriculum and b) That the Board of Education respectfully request direct updates from the Chiefs or delegates of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, reporting times and methods of reporting to be determined by Chiefs and Councils.
- The current School District process, whatever it is behind the scenes, must stop altogether while collectively we push the “reset” button on discussion and planning for Shoreline and Craigflower. The Lkwungen people are here and able to lead us on this project. As Brenda and Jennifer, two educators in SD61 have stated in ther presenttion to the Board, which can be read starting on P6 of the agenda , both buildings – Craigflower and Shoreline – are old and need major renovations and upgrades By pushing for a new build we can create a culturally responsive learning environment that meets the needs of all learners.
- In the January 21 public Zoom consultation forum, I was taken aback when Songhees Chief Ron Sam’s comment about the Nations’ desire to build a new school dropped into dead air. It was as if he never spoke. We are also all aware now that Chief Sam has indicated in that same meeting that the process has been rushed, and that the Nation believed discussion was not nearly concluded, when suddenly 4 choices appeared.
- For far too long indigenous people have been subjected to token consultation. I hear Indigenous friends say they were thanked with some fanfare for participation in meetings when in reality they were not allowed space at all.
- It is past time to be present in an open and genuine way in the spirit of reconciliation, to demonstrate true dedication to embodying the expectations of us a settlers by the Lkwungen people, more broadly by the 94 calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which the government of BC has adopted, numbers 6-12 of the calls being education specific, and by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (which Canada, to our shame, voted against).
- UNDRIP contains 3 education specific statements, one being “States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.”
- We as settlers and descendants of colonizers have an opportunity today to do better. This motion deserves support.
The motion was instantly and wrongly ruled out of order by the Chair of this meeting. [In the next meeting,March 8 OPPS, the Superintendent brought a more or less identical motion, which was well accepted by Board members. You know what they say: Go figure.]
The meeting lasted about 10 minutes, 10 minutes of chaos.
Superintendent, as part of Superintendent’s report early in the agenda at C: That the Board suspend the Craigflower School Closure public consultation plan timelineand direct the Superintendent to meet with the Songhees and EsquimaltNations to discuss how they would like to proceed. / Carried unaimously.
McNally: That the Board )direct the Superintendent to staff early child care / child care before andafter school programs with first consideration to CUPE 947 members who apply for the positions, and that CUPE 947 EAs immediately / as soon as possible be offered the positions at their current hourly wage before wide advertisement or SD61staff contracting with other community provider(s)./ Tabled to September OPPS after information from Superintendent, until further information recieved regarding Ministry of Education decisions on bringing ECE under the mandate of the Ministry of Education and hopefully, attached funding.
- Background: The Board enthusiastically embraced the proposal by the former SD61 Secretary-Treasurer to staff before and after school child care with CUPE 947 staff when presented with a pilot program at Tillicum Elementary which would allow CUPE947 members to increase hours. The pilot fell through because of building timelines. However, the personnel concept and commitment should not be affected. A 2017 discussion paper written by former SD61 Superintendent Piet Langstraat summarizes the issues for SD61. This motion addresses issues 3, 4, and 5. “ While child care is distinctly different, the District has a fundamental role in determining how this type of programming is delivered in GVSD buildings on District land. There are guiding
principles that ensure that the GVSD has control over both lands and buildings.
There are a number of elements of child care and early learning which the District must consider.
These include: 1.Use of land and buildings 2.Governance structures 3.Quality of programming including existing programming 4.Staffing levels and staff qualifications 5.Funding structures As discussions continue at the provincial government level it will be incumbent on the Board of Education of the GVSD to have a voice in the determination of child care models in the province of British Columbia and the District.”
- Rationale: A social justice lens demands that workers, often women, in the early childhood care / childhood care fields – and indeed any child care position – be well paid if we truly value this work and value our children. An inclusive lens reminds us that continuity of care in personnel is important for many children who find change stressful. A seamless transition between before school care, school, and after school care is ideal, and we strive for the ideal.
- Alignment With Strategic Plan: 1. Mission: “We nurture each student’s learning and well-being in a safe, responsive and inclusive learning community.” Nurture is key, and care by staff who know the child well, and can provide continuity of care, supports this mission statement for children in care and for all children. 2. Goal 3 Strategy 2: “Work in collaboration with Ministry of Children & Family Development to provide joint educational planning and support for children and youth in care that helps develop the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to the fullest for current and future success.” The Board and District value joint planning and support for our children. Staffing child care with staff who already know the children well simplifies this process in this context. 3. Goal 3 Strategy 4: “Address the inequity of opportunity for all learners to maximize physical health and mental well-being.” Planning for children’s well-being must take into account as an initial critical element, the provision of optimal care and support for children with needs for additional support in every environment. Some children do not handle transitions well, and the fewer transitions in a day and the smoother they are, the better the well-being of the child.
4. Core Value: “We create open and respectful partnerships with each member of our learning community.” Providing an opportunity for CUPE Local 947 Education Assistants to increase hours, a topic discussed in the context of the Tillicum pilot project and often brought to the Board’s attention by CUPE 947 executive and members, would support an open and respectful partnership with members of CUPE Local 947, who are essential members of our learning community.
McNally: That the Board direct the Board Chair to write a letter to Dr. Henry expressing support for a broadened mask mandate for schools thatincludes mask wearing by students K-12, staff, and any adults in school buildings in all school spaces, with exceptions on a case by case basis to be made by principals, with a documented reason for an exemption. / Defeated. For: Paynter [Superintendent: “There is a table that meets about this.”]
- Rationale: In previous meeting above.
McNally: [Last motion at H.5 on agenda]: That the Board direct that the Superintendent abandon the present 4 choice plan forCraigflower and Shoreline and restart the planning process under theactive and direct guidance from the Lkwungen community in order tocreate a school that honours the culture, history, and wisdom ofLkwungen People in its design, vision, goals, & curriculum and b) That the Board of Education respectfully request direct updates from the Chiefs or delegates of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, reporting times and methods of reporting to be determined by Chiefs and Councils. / Withdrawn by McNally with Committee’s permission as the Superintendent’s motion achieves more or less the same ends, and …. wasn’t ruled out of order.