Nov 13/18: Combined Ed Policy&Operations: FSAs, Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee

P1: Education Policy and Directions  Standing Committee Meeting notes

Elected Trustees: Duncan (2018), Ferris (1999), Leonard (1996), Hentze (2018), McNally (2011),  Painter (2018), 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 posted 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.

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:  November 2018
Members: Duncan (Chair), Ferris, McNally, Painter; Watters ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)

1.Commencement of Meeting:   Agenda adopted.
2. Minutes Ed Policy Oct 1/18 approved. OPPS Oct 9/18 : Approved with McNally correction P7 letter of approval re Topaz Bike Skills move by McNally.  Official minutes here; Lined Paper report here and here.
3.Business Arising: None
4. Education  Policy and Directions: Chair Duncan
A. Presentation to the Committee: None
B. New Business:
Student Representative: Annika Weir, Oak Bay High School
2. Police Liaison Officers: Superintendent: information P9 agenda; Staff Sgt Matt Waterman, Vic PD and Victoria Police Union [ Any errors mine alone]

  • Waterman: Concerned with government delay; suggest reach out to Vic PD and the Chief of Police.
  • Painter: Any data on police involvements in lockdowns etc?
  • Superintendent: Will provide list of what liaison officers do, that was provided in the past.
  • Whiteaker: have knowledge of incident where Police Liaison Officer’s role was life saving because of positive supportive relationship with student. Notice of motion: Board write a letter of support for our PLOs. 
  • McNally: Would like a monthly trustee update to the Board re the monthly tri-district / police meetings referred to in the memo.
  • Caldwell: Central Saanich, Saanich, Oak Bay, Vic PD, Sooke RCMP.
  • Superintendent: Meeting 1: District safety committee – lockdown drills for example. Meeting 2: Particular schools; relationship building. Bike rodeos, Cops for Cancer, more.
  • Weir: Police essential in assisting  a suicidal student. Important to foster good relationships for the future, for assistance with drug use etc.
  • Leonard: What is happening with the funding issue? Any reviews at new councils?
  • Waterman: Province reviewing Vic PD request for two municipalities to support, over and above usual budget. Provincial police services office will review and come back to municipalities with “you need to fund these positions”, and what if they don’t ? Asking for 16 officers. Vic PD says 29 below quota.
  • Turcotte, GVTA: Approving of the letter that is coming; police liaison officers are vital in our schools.


3. Literacy Learning Series #2 of 3: Louise Sheffer , Carey Nickerson: Slides P10-17 agenda.

  • McNally: 1. Slide P 13- what is meant by “clarify what’s essential for each learner to learn”? 2. P14 slide: “Flexible classroom management”?
  • Sheffer: 1. This refers to assessment for and assessment as learning, both summative and formative assessment, discussed with students and parents as part of any reporting or interviews, phone calls home, etc. 2. Ebb and flow of movement as students move through tiers of support.
  • McNally: Questions on the 5 Key Elements of Differentiation P16-17: 1. P 16, reference to “learning profiles”: what are those? Replacing IEPS? 2. P 17, what does “identify places where growth mindset can replace fixed” mean? “Growth mindset” is a buzzword that is used a lot. 3. Reference to “curriculum design and decisions are informed by student input” – curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education , so not sure what this means.
  • Sheffer: 1. Learning profiles are informal. 2. “Growth mindset” is referring to open minded, “what do you / I  need to be able to learn this? ” 3. Carol Ann Tomlinson, who wrote this, is a US educator so the use of “curriculum” is different from how we use it.
  • Paynter: Differentiation really turns teaching into an art form. Whats being provided for teachers so they can get more skilled at this?
  • Sheffer: Utilizing teachers who are doing this well to facilitate workshops – building a series with Ilda (Turcotte) for professional development.
  • Turcotte: Is this presentation a plan or  a vision or a report? Is this happening in schools or  not happening and needs to ? What is the plan to bring this to teachers? Is there a plan for how to include more teachers? 
  • Sheffer:  Co-teaching, and mentoring new teachers -is happening in some places . We ask how can a teacher facilitator work with for example with grade 10 science teachers etc – continue to build capacity across the district.
  • Duncan: Have you  had any feedback from staff about this learning series? 
  • Sheffer: Series isn’t completed yet but will get that at the end of the series . [Will ask for this to be provided to Trustees. ]

4. Watters: That the Board direct the Chair to write a letter to the Minister of Education articulating our opposition to the current approach to the  administration, release and use of the Foundation skills assessment (FSA) and advocating: 1) that the administration of the FSA be done via random sampling in order to eliminate the unfair and damaging ranking of schools, and 2)  that the Ministry undertake an evaluation of the FSA in order to determine its utility within the context of the innovative new BC curriculum. 

  • Watters: FSA continues to be controversial. Students in Grades 4 and 7 unless opted out.  Doesn’t direct resources to schools. Not related to curriculum. Rob Fleming, Minister of Education,  was a strong opponent of the FSAs while in opposition. Parents are opting out in great numbers.
  • McNally: FSA results  strong correlation with  economic status and ultimately are a postal code identifier.
  • Ferris: Don’t like how  this motion is worded. Don’t like the word “opposition”. Need to consult with parents.
  • Jody Whiteman, DPAC: How would ramdom sampling play out? By school? By class? Random students? What kind of random sampling?
  • Watters: Not intended to be that prescriptive, just some way to get the snapshot the Ministry needs. Could strike “via random sampling “.
  • Whiteaker: Issue with random sample. From perspective of parent advocate I support the FSA use. Without student writing the FSA, nothing you can use as parent advocate to say “See, they’re not doing well. And need help.” Wrote BCCPAC article. Need  change in legislation to disallow Fraser institute to access the information. It’s information on minors so there is a problem. Results should be released by Districts.
  • Turcotte: Random sampling is a problem. FSAs not helpful to anyone, in over 30 years of teaching.  Takes 4 to 6 hours, no support forthcoming if  the school is not doing well. Collection of data needs to be purposeful and useful, and FSAs are neither.
  • Vote on amendment “remove random sampling”: Carried. Unanimous.
  • Main motion as amended: Carried. Unanimous.

5. Paynter: That the Board direct the Superintendent to form a working group to develop District level Code Of Conduct direction for review at a subsequent Education Policy and Directions committee meeting. / Withdrawn in favour of Leonard’s wording below.

  • Paynter: School codes of conduct all easily accessible on school websites. Some schools’ codes are more specific about application than others, and terms like “bullying” aren’t defined. Not intended to remove schools’ ability to develop codes at the school level. We have a bullying and harassment policy  for staff but none for students.
  • Superintendent: School Act is specific about school level codes of conduct.Learning Team reminds schools to review annually.

Richmond School District 38 has a District Code of Conduct that applies at all schools. “The District Code of Conduct shall apply at all schools, school and district functions regardless of location. In its application, there will be a clear understanding that everyone has a responsibility to ensure that the Code of Conduct is lived daily through being respectful, caring and courteous. There is also a recognition that each member of the district’s community has a duty to report violations.”

Langley SD35 District Code here. 

Provincial Standards for Codes of Conduct Order BC Ministry of Education
Governance and Legislation Branch E-64 September 30, 2018  : 2. Boards must, in accordance with this order, establish one or more codes of conduct for the 
schools within their school district and ensure that the schools within their school district implement the codes.
3. When establishing codes of conduct, boards must consider the results of the consultations undertaken by schools within its school district at the school level with individuals or groups the schools consider are representative of
(a) employees of the board,
(b) parents, and
(c) students
4. Boards must ensure that schools within their school district
(a) make codes of conduct available to the public;
(b) distribute the codes of conduct at the beginning of the school year to
(i) employees of the board at the school,
parents of students attending the school, and
(ii) students attending the school
(c) provide codes of conduct to employees of the board who are assigned to a school
during the school year when they are so assigned;
(d) provide the codes of conduct to students who start attending a school during the
school year and their parents when the students start attending the school;
(e) display the codes of conduct in a prominent area in the school.
5 Boards must ensure that schools within their school district review the codes of conduct
annually with individuals or groups the schools consider are representatives of
(a) employees of the board,
(b) parents, and
(c) students
to assess the effectiveness of the codes of conduct in addressing current school safety issues.
6 Boards must ensure that the following elements are included in their codes of conduct:
(a) a reference to
(i) each of the prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in section 7
Discriminatory publication) and section 8 (Discrimination in
accommodation, service and facility
) of the Human Rights Code, RSBC
1996, c. 210, and

BC Ministry of Education
Governance and Legislation Branch E-64 September 30, 2018
(ii) without limiting subsection (i), sexual orientation, gender identity or
(b) a statement of purpose that provides a rationale for the code of conduct, with a
focus on safe, caring and orderly school environments;
(c) one or more statements about what is
(i) acceptable behaviour, and
(ii) unacceptable behaviour, including bullying, cyberbullying, harassment,
intimidation, threatening or violent behaviours
while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where
engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school environment;
(d) one or more statements about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour, which
must take account of the student’s age, maturity and special needs, if any;
(e) an explanation that the board will take all reasonable steps to prevent retaliation
by a person against a student who has made a complaint of a breach of a code of
[am M208/14, effective June 23/14; am M341/16, effective Sept 7/16]
7 Further to section 6(c), boards must do the following in the statements about consequences
of unacceptable behaviour:
(a) whenever possible and appropriate, focus on consequences that are restorative in
nature rather than punitive, and
(b) include an explanation that special considerations may apply to students with
special needs if these students are unable to comply with a code of conduct due to
having a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural

  • Ferris: Not particularly happy about this motion. Not helpful. [In what way, not helpful? ]
  • McNally: What is meant by “direction”? An overview?
  • Watters: “Working groups”  no longer used in SD61. Ad Hoc Committees with clear TORs. What would a District level code do that school codes don’t? What would the group be tasked with?
  • Paynter: Intent not to develop District level Code of Conduct. Intent was to address variations and gaps ie where a standard applies, definitions of the language, and ensuring they are thoroughly reviewed annually.
  • Whiteman (DPAC): Parents concerned with language inconsistency across schools so in favour of more clarity.
  • Leonard: Amendment: That the Board  direct the Superintendent to review codes of conduct with a view to tighten language and content and report back at a subsequent Education Policy and Directions Committee meeting. / Carried.Unanimous.
  • McNally: SD61 does need a bullying and harassment policy for students.
  • Duncan: Please attach Section 85 and codes of conduct checklist to agenda for Board meeting.

McNally argued that this is not an amendment but a substantive change and should be a motion on its own and Paynter should withdraw the original motion. The Secretary-Treasurer  pointed out that the amendment was germane so acceptable, according to Robert’s Rules (Pp 130-162 on Amendments). So not necessary for Paynter to have withdrawn motion.

6. Painter: That the Board [may: Ferris amendment] hold Ed Policy & Directions meetings  for the year ending Nov 2019 which are not joint meetings, at a school of interest in SD61 and that as part of these meetings the Board open them to presentations from students on local education policy issues of interest at the school where the meeting is held. / Defeated. For: Painter Against:  Duncan, Ferris, McNally and Watters

  • McNally: When I brought my original motion to establish a position  of student trustee on the Board (September 2013) I modeled it on the Vancouver Student Trustee policy.Amendments changed the motion significantly (here at 8.b) but I was agreeable to that as I realized students in SD61 did not have the student led student council infrastructure that VSB students have – the Vancouver District Students Council – which establishes students as stakeholders in their own right.  Support the essential idea in this motion . Having Ed Policy move from school to school, which was the practice for many years was confusing for everyone, and no students ever appeared on their own own. This Board is always open to student presentations and student voice. Support increased student involvement
  • Whiteaker: School based meetings unsuccessful.Burden on administration and staff when they have to travel and burden on school administration.
  • Waters: Two pieces here, moving the meeting and student involvement. Certainly support student involvement. Ask student council for ideas.

C. Notice of Motion: None

5. Operations Policy and Planning Committee

Operations Policy & Planning Standing Committee:  Nov 2018
Hentze, Leonard, Paynter (Chair), Watters (ex officio)
Present: Duncan,  Hentze, Leonard, McNally,  Painter, Paynter, Whiteaker, Watters

A. Presentations: None
B. Superintendent’s Report: Boundary Review Update: Colin Roberts, Associate Superintendent

  • Associate Superintendent: Using district operating capacity. We include portables, the Ministry doesn’t. Do we want to continue using portables? That question will come forward in the survey. Will go live Monday afternoon and have developed a FAQ to  go with it. Survey mostly demographic information, travel information, easy access to school or easy access to program ie how important to access French Immersion vs access to neighbourhood school.  Was tested on District Leadership Team, then Facilities Advisory Committee (3 parents on that committee), then school administrators.  Baragar software data  can provide predictions 10-15 years out.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Our high school numbers are quite close to Ministry’s; our middle school capacity numbers are quite different from the Ministry’s; couldn’t do this  elementary schools.
  • Parent: Will FAQ be shared with public? May be disconnect between survey answers and Distrit’s interpenetration.Last survey not handled well.
  • Watters: I want to recognize Lisa MacPhail‘s work on the communication piece. We are not looking for a statistical reliability in regard to this  survey.
  • Associate Superintendent: Will be a second phase of consultation.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: FAQ will be public and updated.
  • Superintendent: Understanding that this is a anxiety-creating process for parents.
  • Painter: Response rate expected? Tracking that? How many sent and how many returned? What rate to make this valid?
  • Associate Superintendent: Multiple avenues of publicity for this.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Will have the ultimate  response rate.
  • Duncan: Communications plan? Shared with Trustees? / Superintendent: Yes.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: will bring data back to Facilities Committee and OPPS as this is a standing item on  OPPS agendas. Next issue,  Facilities plan. Boundary review and Facilities Ad Hoc Committee sharing information.
  • Leonard: How are principals  communicating with parents?
  • Audrey Smith, DPAC: There are detailed ways to contact parents at schools and will contact broader groups as well.
  • Weir: Are there posters in school so students can participate as well? / Yes.

C. Personnel Items: Employee Hiring and Recruitment (P19 agenda): Read Jorgensen, District Principal, Human Resource Service

  • Jorgensen: High level view report. P 20, 343 largest call out this year for for teachers; only day short – by  3-4 teachers.
  • Whiteaker: What are we doing for retention?
  • Jorgensen: Looking at professional development for EAs.
  • Painter: Do you have a span of time for the number of employees?
  • Jorgensen: Yes for the last couple of years.
  • Smith, DPAC: What is in place for students who need support if the EA isn’t  there or  a substitute is not there?
  • Jorgensen: Schools have to adjust as they can and  consider safety first for kids.
  • Smith: Example ?
  • Jorgensen: An EA from one class could move to a different class.
  • Duncan: Lots of parents and EA’s say students are not getting the hours they need. What about the full and  part time hours?
  • Jorgensen: Goal would be about 28 hours for full time.
  • McNally: CUPE 947 assignments are quite different. EAs are the group most affected by retention issues, and students are most affected by their absence. Break out 947 please. [Chart of employee groups P19 agenda. Chart with breakout provided after the meeting; below.]
  • Turcotte: EAs not being replaced is a huge concern in schools – challenges created with  redeployment of EA’s when one is absent. Internal school communication about these issues is lacking.

EA breakout

D. Finance and Legal Affairs:
1. 2019-20 Budget Plan: Long agenda so postpone discussion to next meeting. Pp21-23 agenda.

2. Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee: Associate Superintendent Roberts: Recommended motion [recommended by senior administration] : That the Board approve the Terms of Reference for the Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee as recommended by the Superintendent. [P25 agenda] [Superintendent will clarify voting members.] / Carried. Unanimous.

  • McNally: Who will chair? Not addressed in TOR.
  • Superintendent: The Committee will decide; may rotate.

E. Facilities Planning :
Sean McCartney, District Principal, Learning Support Team [report to update Trustees – breakout / retreat spaces [aka “inclusive learning spaces”]    availability / unavailability chart from May 2018 here at C.4

  • McNally: Community information is that at least one school is using a hallway as a breakout / calming space because of lack or dedicated space. [ Now understand why “spaces” and not “rooms” used.]
  • McCartney: Team supporting me, dong site based consultation.
  • McNally: Who’s on that team?
  • McCartney: Terri Wickes [former principal, Sir James Douglas School] on contract to do this.
  • Painter: Do specialists have professional spaces for themselves? / Yes, for collaboration and single use.
  • Watters: Equity issue – Macaulay in need and not getting what they need.
  • Duncan: Is this report adequate for informed Trustee decision?
  • Superintendent: Thought the process woudl be more linear. Hasn’t been. Consultation added time. Can provide a more comprehensive report in a month or two.
  • McNally: (P29) “Providing more targeted and specialized interventions” is going to take more staff. Hearing from parents , teachers and EAs that this isn’t happening  effectively.

2. Archives Update (Pp30-31): Secretary-Treasurer / Whiteaker: Postpone discussion until next agenda. / Unanimous agreement.

F. New Business

1.Whiteaker: That the Board create a Student Education Fund similar to the Parent Education Fund to support student led educational events in our District. Further that an  Ad Hoc Committee be created to establish the process, criteria and distribution of the fund and report back to the Board for final approval. / Carried as amended. For:  Hentze, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker  Against: Leonard

  • Leonard: Where’s the money coming from? Do we have to take money out of the budget?
  • Superintendent: Talked with students. Could be taken from Superintendent’s Fund.Students want to do forums across schools.
  • Leoanrd: Amendment: add “from the Superintendent’s fund“. / Carried. Unanimous.

2. Whiteaker:That the Board include questions regarding middle school grade configuration on its boundary review survey. / Defeated. For: Whiteaker
Hentze, Leonard, Paynter, Watters

  • Whiteaker: Middle school model adopted during declining enrolment. I know cheaper to build high schools than elementary schools; space issue. Need to ask what parents feel about current configuration.Going to 10,11,12 high schools would free up space. Currently at end of Grade 5 students face a big change to Middle School. Decreasing enrolment should put the question on the table.
  • Leonard: Was on the Board when the decision was made to move to Middle School model. [Several senior administrators at the time visited Boulder, Colorado to examine the Middle School model there, and were known as “the Boulder Group”.] Was not a space issue and not made because of declining enrolment, but student welfare and engagement reasons.Not a Facilities based reason. Grade 9 was moved to high school to avoid drop out rate at transition from Grade 9 to high school.
  • McNally: Boundary review would have to stop if we do a grade configuration review. And that puts a hold on opening schools over the next couple of years.
  • Superintendent: Would take a deeper educational review if going to a grade configuration review.

3. Painter: That the Board request the Superintendent to direct staff to post a draft agenda on the SD 61 website prior to each Operations Policy and Planning committee meeting, Education Policy and Directions committee meeting, and full meeting of the Board, and to direct that staff moved the deadline for submitting presentations to the Thursday evening at 4:00 PM prior to the scheduled meeting./ Defeated. Unanimous.

Agendas already posted on the SD61 website , and general agreement that staff would not have time to prepare and post agendas if deadlines are extended to Thursday at 4 pm.

4. Trustee Questions: None [nearing 11 pm]

G. Notice of Motion: None
H. General Announcements: None
I. Adjournment: 11 pm

About Diane McNally