Nov 26/18: Board Meeting: Inclusive Learning, Trustee Assignments,FSAs, Code of Conduct,Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Cttee TOR, BCSTA Hon Pres #3

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – June 2018. Motions may be shortened but retain essential information. Separate post lists my motions.

SD61 Board of Education: Duncan (2018), Leonard (1996), Ferris (1999),  Hentze (2018), McNally (2011), Painter (2018), Paynter (2014),  Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014)

Facebook: Diane McNally SD61 Greater Victoria School Trustee   Twitter: @McNallySD61BC Instagram: diane.mcn

My question from Trustee Questions October Board meeting:

  • Q: Could the Board have a reporting chart of administrative positions including Superintendent, Associates, Superintendents of anything and Directors of anything? (Got one of most senior admin by roles but that’s about 6 people.) A: (Superintendent): I’ll try.

Board Meeting  Nov 26 /18
Chair: Watters
Present: Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Leonard, McNally, Painter,  Paynter,  Watters, Whiteaker

Territory Acknowledgement900

Meeting video here.

Agenda adopted with additions of Trustee reports from McNally, Painter, Whiteaker.Minutes Oct 22, Nov 5 approved. Business arising:

  • McNally: Page 10, “Superintendent report on status of Whole School Service Delivery model, and status of profile funding for students with Severe Behavior Designation (H), along with number of students currently in that category, at a future OPPS meeting.” Just “some OPPS meeting”? / Yes.

A.4 Student Achievement: Presentation from Vic West elementary. Video here.   Favourite things about school: recess, gym and art.

A.5. Five community / stakeholder presenters – 3 teachers, 1 EA, 1 parent – on Inclusive Education Model. Early in the video linked above; worth watching all the presenters.

a) Shawna Wood, GVTA: Primary teacher, inner city school. Classroom has 4 students with autism, 1 with developmental delay, 12 ESL, 3 probably designations to come. Students not experiencing inclusion in a meaningful way. Three students with low incidence designations are supervised at lunch by a Grade 5 student! We need more time and more people, not just well meaning suggestions from the District Learning Team. Now there are no alternatives to having every child in the same classroom. We need appropriate student centred funding – Provincial government must support a successful inclusion model.
b) Winona Waldron, GVTA: Information from GVTA members overwhelming response re concerns with students designated IBI, with no support. Some children diagnosed with autism bolt  and have disruptive behaviours. Someone from the District Learning Team comes and makes recommendations but there is no funding to  hire additional support needed; Learning Team doesn’t work with the students , only write a report and move on, don’t check back in. Have noted that classrooms are losing support since teaching in a District Low Incidence class.One less assistant this year. Describing a middle school scenario. Many specific issues.
c) Carolyn Howe, GVTA: Closing District programs occurred with no provision of additional support for a full inclusion model. Being sent home is part of some students’ education plan.Calling for bold increase to funding.
d) Jackie Dogue, CUPE 947: One education assistant is serving multiple classrooms in a “pod system”. Consistency for students and for support for teachers is lacking. Positions are turning into babysitting and fire watch. I did not pursue an MA in counselling to deliver  that kind of service. Board must challenge the Ministry to provide adequate funding.
e) Tracy Humphreys, Founder, BC Ed Access: Parent of three children with needs for extra support; founded BC Ed Access 5 years ago, now 1600 parents. BC Ed Access exclusion tracker is now active. We are getting numbers, reports from parents. Exclusion is the #1 issue from parents. Systemic issue. SD61 should examine its own data and compare with the data from BC Ed Access. In the past, there was better specialist support and better support in classrooms. North Vancouver has followed  up on the SD61 exclusion tracking motion.

September 24/18: D.1 b ii: McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide a monthly report to Trustees on students with special needs that specifies the number of incidents, as per each point: 1. Being asked to stay home 2. Being sent home 3. Being dropped off late and / or picked up early by busing services 4. Being excluded from field trips 5. Being sent out of the regular classroom  to the resource room, sensory / isolation room, or other space, if no breakout room is available./ Carried. Unanimous C.6 Whiteaker :  That the Board direct the Superintendent to ensure all absences be recorded appropriately for all students with special needs, including absences due to being asked to stay home, excluded from field trips, or sent home due to lack of appropriate care. / Carried as amended; unanimous. / Amendment: Whiteaker: Understood that this will be an in camera report to Trustees  to avoid identifying students /  Amended to “in camera report“. [The information  would be useful for public discussion of needs for support, but stigma in regard to students who need extra support apparently remains high. Parents could change that by asking for this information to be made public but that needs work on process and content.]

Sept 24 / 18: D.1 b iii:Whiteaker:  Board direct the Superintendent to ensure all absences recorded properly for all students with special needs including absences due to being asked to stay home , excluded from class field trips, or sent home due to lack of appropriate care. / Carried as amended below. For: Ferris, McNally, Nohr, Orcherton, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker   Against: Leonard, Loring-Kuhanga / Amendment: Watters: Steps to broader accountability. Add: “withdrawals and absences“. / Amendment carried. For:  Ferris, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker     Against: Leonard, Orcherton

  • Watters: We have a lot of work to do. Please come back, especially to a standing committee. any time.

SD61 Modified day Sept 10 2018.jpg

SD61 Modified day 2 Sept 10 2018

inclusion Moore 2015

Voluntary. Moore, 2015.


B: Correspondence: From Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Services [ I can’t wait to see “Solar” on that title] : Letter re turning thermostats down because of natural gas pipeline rupture near Prince George.

C. Chair’s Report, Trustee Reports, Trustee Assignments: on video. Assignments P 15-17 agenda; one change, Watters removed from Vic High group; Chair to have no school group assignment.

November 2018  Trustee Report
Diane McNally, Trustee, SD61 Greater Victoria Board of Education

Community Liaison Assignments: To be assigned at this meeting for this year by Board Chair; approval by vote at this meeting (process change from the past).
Ad Hoc Committees : To be assigned by Board Chair, for this year / duration of term of Committee (see Pp 15-17 agenda).
Aboriginal Nations Education Committee: The Committee met November 19. Several new members, many returning members. ANEC has developed its own TOR, a long term project,  but  because of other issues to be discussed, including the SD61 Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee TOR, did not have time to address the ANEC TOR.
Trustee Professional Development / Related Community:

  • Yates Street “My Place” 2.0 version transitional home by Central Middle School continues.
  • Therapeutic Recovery Community, View Royal: Attended ribbon cutting for official opening, October 26. Community advisory committee will continue monthly for one year after this opening. Will continue to attend as previously approved by the Board .
  • Professional development: Attended 2 of 6 Trustee Orientation sessions developed by SD1 senior administration, very informative updates. Registered for the BCSTA Trustee Academy November 29-December 1, Vancouver.

Schools:  Vic High November 9: Attended Vic High’s Remembrance Day ceremony.

D. Board Committee Reports: combined Ed Policy and Directions and OPPS Nov 13/18.
D.1: Ed Policy: Recommended motions (carried at Ed Policy so recommended by the committee to the Board):
i. 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 FSA and advocating 1. administration be done to eliminate damaging and unfair ranking of schools 2. Ministry undertake evaluation of FSA to determine its utility in the context of the innovative new BC curriculum./ Carried. Unanimous.

ii. Board direct Superintendent to review codes of conduct with a view to tighten language and content and report back to a subsequent Ed Policy and Directions meeting. / Carried. Unanimous.

School Act Ministerial Order (Provincial Standards for Codes of Conduct): 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.

Richmond School District 38, for example, has a District  Code of Conduct.

D.2 Operations Policy and Planning Committee: Recommended motions:
i. Board approve TOR for Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee as recommended by the Superintendent. / Carried. Unanimous, with Duncan’s amendment : Clarify voting members. Unclear at present.

ii. Board create Student Education Fund from within Superintendent’s budget to support student-led educational events in SD61, and that an ad hoc committee student representative council establish the process, criteria and distribution of the funds, and report back to the board for final approval. / Carried as amended.For: Duncan, Hentze, McNally, Painter,  Paynter,  Whiteaker Against: Ferris, Leonard

  • Ferris: Didn’t attend last OPPS [where this was discussed in depth by trustees who were present]. What are some examples of student events that occur now and who organizes those and how are they paid for?
  • Superintendent: Students are planning student forums and the student school-based town halls had student involvement in planning.
  • Watters: “Love Is Love” conference planned by students.
  • Student rep: Student leadership on schools have to do a lot of fundraising now.
  • McNally: Love is Love and the two student town halls were brilliant; support this motion.
  • Whiteaker: Students often have to ask PACs for money. Trustees and Superintendent discussed $1200 from Superintendent’s fund.
  • Leonard: Students have put on events so far with the money they had; part of leadership is fundraising. More willing to support if matching fundraising. Can’t support creation of a bureaucracy to support this.
  • Amendment: Student leadership committee establish process etc./ Carried. For: Duncan,Hentze, McNally, Painter,  Paynter,  Whiteaker Against: Ferris, Leonard

D.3 Audit Committee:  Recommended motions:
i. Board direct Chair to write a letter to Minister of Education requesting further information re  financial  impact of the Employer Health Tax on SD61./ Carried. Unanimous.
ii.Board accept September 2018 Quarterly Financial Report as presented to the Audit Committee. (Pp 29-34) / Carried. Unanimous.

E. District Leadership Team Reports
E.1 Superintendent’s Report: (P 35):
a) Board receive Superintendent’s Report as presented. / Carried. Unanimous.
b) Trustee Questions: None
E.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report (P 37): Board receive as presented. / Carried. Unanimous.

F. Question Period: No questions from the public.
G. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items [Any disclosure needs a motion supported by a majority vote] : Chair not assigned a school group.  (See P 16, Vic High group).
H. New Business / Notices of Motion
H.1 New Business
a. Whiteaker: That the Board write a letter to Victoria and Esquimalt City Councils and Police Services of BC outlining the value police liaison officers play in our school communities and express our disappointment and concern in the loss of these officers and services in our Victoria and Esquimalt Schools as of September 2018. / Carried.

  • Leonard: End at “communities./ Carried.
  • Ferris: Need careful wording here.
  • Jason Gammon (GVTA President): They are needed; downloading onto schools without them.

b) McNally: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater
Victoria) submit the extraordinary resolution “Removal of Honourary President” as presented, to the BCSTA AGM:  BCSTA amend Bylaw 2(a) as follows: 2. Officers a. The officers of the Association are: i. the Minister of Education who shall be the honorary President of the Association; ii. the President; iii. the Vice-President; iv. the immediate past President, but only for a term of one year following the election of a new President v. the Directors, who shall be four (4) in number for those years the immediate past President is an officer of the Association, and five (5) in number otherwise; vi. the Chief Executive Officer, who shall be the secretary treasurer. Each officer, other than the honourary President, the Chief Executive Officer and the immediate past President, shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, shall take office at the conclusion of that Annual General Meeting, and shall hold office until his/her successor takes office at the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting thereafter, or until he/she ceases to be a trustee serving on a member Board, whichever occurs earlier. In the event that the immediate past President becomes unable to serve on the Board of Directors, or ceases to be a trustee of a member Board, the position shall be deemed vacant. / Carried.Unanimous.

April 2018: Resolution E.4 below [above] failed again [second time] , but it was encouraging to see 66.5% support this year. This is an “Extraordinary Motion” and as such requires 3/4 support in a vote. Trustee Whiteaker did the background research to support the motion which was originally brought to the SD61 Board table by McNally. Trustee Whiteaker presented the resolution at the 2017 AGM; it failed with significant opposition and remarks about “the wring time” and “hurting the relationship with the Minister”. (This is not personal; it’s political process. SD61 Board colleagues have spoken to the Minister in face to face discussion.) The Pan-Canadian Study of School District Governance (Canadian School Boards Association, 2013) states “… it is essential that school boards maintain their relative autonomy from government in their decision-making (p15)”. Trustee McNally presented at the 2018 AGM. Robert’s Rules states that a motion can come back to the table at future sessions, so I plan to take this to the 2019 AGM, hoping for 75% support.

Rationale:  This motion strengthens the status of the BCSTA as an organization independent of the Minister of Education regardless of provincial government governing party, and aligns BCSTA’s bylaws with the intent and content of the Co-Governance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).   The MOU states “This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is intended to define the working relationship between the Ministry of Education and the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) as the representative voice of its member Boards of Education”, and   “The parties commit to clear division of responsibilities so that the Province and local Boards of Education can effectively perform their roles “.    Clearly, two separate parties with differing responsibilities are identified.

The Ministry of Education through the School Act sets out its governance role in regard to Boards of education. The Ministry of Education does not directly govern BCSTA.

The title “Honorary” as indicated in Bylaw 1c “Honorary Life Membership” gives the BCSTA membership the opportunity to honor an individual for distinguished service. This is not attached to any Office, internal or external. Striking “Honorary President” from Bylaw 2 will return to the membership the possibility of a democratically decided  decision to bestow the title “Honorary” for distinguished service. The “honor” will cease to be simply a reflection of a provincial government appointed cabinet position.

As well, the title is to be conferred for “distinguished service within the organization”:

“1c Honorary Life Membership : The Association may honor any person for distinguished service within the Association by conferring on such person honorary life membership in the Association by extraordinary resolution in accordance with the provisions of Article 21.”

The history of this Bylaw has seen the Honorary President Officer position evolve from non-existent, to status as a membership-elected position in 1909, and finally,  to an automatic title given to Ministers of Education in 1981. BCSTA   cannot locate records of the rationale for the motion which led to latter change.

In 1905 the BCSTA held its 1st  Annual Convention. There was no Officer position held  for an Honorary President:  “…officers to be elected annually and to consist of a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer”. By 1909, at the 6th Annual BCSTA Convention, Vice President and Honorary President were added to the list of Officers, but the Honorary President was elected by the membership. As it happened, the first Honorary President elected was the Minister of Education at that time, H. E. Young.  (

At a general meting prior to 1981 the Honorary President title became an automatically conferred “honor” on the Minster of Education: “Bylaw 2: The officers of the Association shall be: honorary president who shall be the Minister of Education, president, vice-president, two directors, the immediate past president, and the executive director, who shall be secretary and treasurer of the Association, all of whom except the honorary president, the executive director, and the immediate past president shall be elected annually at the general meeting…”.  No rationale for the bylaw amendment motion can be found for this change.

c) McNally: That the board request the BCSTA membership to  That the Board  submit the resolution to the BCSTA AGM which directs the BCSTA President to consult with appropriate committees and individuals and modify internal BCSTA legislation as needed, in order to discontinue the practice of of the BCSTA President appointing the members of the BCSTA Indigenous Education Committee, and that BCSTA internal legislation be written to establish a process whereby BCSTA Branches (8) each elect a member to represent that Branch on the Indigenous Education Committee, members to be of self-identified Indigenous background. / Carried.

  • McNally: This possibly looks like another good idea for Indigenous people from a settler. However, I’m bringing this forward partially on behalf of and with the support of our past Chair, Edith Loring Kuhanga. It will come to the Vancouver Island School Trustees Association table for further discussion if supported at this Table. And Indigenous Trustees will certainly have thoughts about this at the BCSTA AGM.
  • Whiteaker: BCSTA is supposed to be membership driven so should be supported at VISTA. Amendment: stop at “Education Committee”. And should be worded “Resolution to BCSTA AGM which directs the President to conduct…” / Amendment carried.  For: Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Leonard, Painter,  Paynter,  Whiteaker Against: McNally

H.2 Notices of Motion [for future meeting] : None
I. Adjournment : 10:30 pm  ish

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