Feb 4/19: Education Policy & Directions Standing Committee: Multiple Layers of Ebbing & Flowing Shifts

Territory Acknowledgement900

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.

SD61 Board of Education: Duncan (2018), Leonard (1996), Ferris (1999),  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, and other topics. I no longer provide debate content or complete meeting records as in previous meeting related posts. Standing committee debate is where deep discussion takes place so it’s worthwhile to attend if you can. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting. Board meetings are video’d and audio recorded; Standing Committee meetings are not.

There are two Standing Committees of the Board. A motion that carries in a Committees goes forward to the Board agenda at the  of each month as a “recommended motion“, for debate and vote by all 9 trustees.  A motion  that is  defeated at a Standing Committee can still go forward if the mover wants to put the motion on the Board agenda.It’s just not “recommended” by the Committee. The committees allow for more open discussion of topics. Board meetings are formal, and there is no discussion from the public. At the Board meetings, Trustees and stakeholder groups at the table can only speak to a motion once, except the mover can open and close. Speakers on the speakers list have 5 minutes to present at Board meetings, with no further discussion.

Ed Policy & Directions Standing Committee Members: Duncan (Chair),  Ferris, McNally, Painter, Watters ex officio (vote but not counted for quorum)

Operations Policy & Planning Standing Committee Members: Hentze, Leonard, Paynter (Chair), Watters (ex officio)

A motion from the floor can arise from a speaker’s point but that’s unusual.

Have a look at the Bylaws here that address SD61 Board governance.

Ed Policy for February 4 agenda here.

Minutes will be approved or corrected at the next Ed Policy meeting and then posted. Present: Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker  .

Parent Marcus Pollard presented to the Committee, supported by Tracy Humphreys of BC Ed Access.

Six motions on the agenda in New Business with one added from the floor by McNally at C.9:  C.3 – C.9.

C.3: McNally: That the Board  direct the Superintendent to provide a report to the Board at the next Board meeting on February 25, 2019March 2019 Ed Policy Committee meeting that clarifies a) which  District programs have been closed b) which are still open c)  the 2019-2020 future of any District program still open d)  if a program has been described as “repurposed”  , the meaning of “repurposed”  for any district program that has been described as “repurposed” e)  the District response to parents from the Arbutus program or any other program who have requested, in public or otherwise, that it remain open f)  an update on shifts in high school special support blocks, for example, Spectrum has decreased from three out of four blocks to two out of four blocks g)  a statement on the future of Challenge programs. / Carried. For: Duncan, Ferris, McNally  Against: Painter, Watters

  • Motion amended re timing as the motion still has to  carry at the Board meeting on  Feb 25, approved by at least 5/9 Trustees.

C.4 : Duncan’s Privacy motion carried, with amendment to add “staff“, and an amendment from Watters to strike “Ad Hoc Committee” and replace with “hire an independent auditor”. Amendment carried, with Ferris, Painter and Watters for;  Duncan and McNally against. Motion as amended carried, unanimous.

C.5 McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to maintain the program at Arbutus Global Middle School that serves students with “low incidence” designations , with current staffing levels  and the current classroom space, and that it not be closed except by Board vote preceded by full stakeholder consultation. / Carried. For: Duncan, McNally, Painter  Against: Ferris, Watters

  • It’s clear though that this motion will have to be amended at the Board meeting to direct a return to District Program status with associated funding. If maintained as is (“No changes to the program going forward….”) it will fade away due to attrition.
  • On the OPPS agenda for Feb 11: Watters: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to develop an interim plan in consultation with Arbutus Global Middle School staff, parents and students to enable a cohort of 8-10 students, in or out of catchment, with a designation of low incidence to continue to access programming at Arbutus for the 2019-2020 school year.

C.6 Painter: Motion re District programs withdrawn by mover. Whiteaker commented that the motions makes it clear that SD61 needs a full and deep  discussion in the process and realities of inclusion .

C.7 Painter: That the Board direct the Superintendent to explore through consultation with parents, a workable solution to the issue of moving Late French Immersion from Central Middle School. / Carried. For: Duncan, McNally, Painter, Watters Against:  Ferris

C.8 Duncan: That the Board direct the Superintendent top establish and document a process for undertaking a review of late French Immersion programming that takes into account the current Ministry of Education Policy on French Immersion programs and that includes a consultation process which involves relevant stakeholders prior to implementing a change in the program , in line with Policy 1163 Consultation. / Carried. For: Duncan, McNally, Painter  Against: Ferris, Watters [check official minutes when they are approved to be certain  of this vote]

C.9 From the floor, added to the agenda: McNally: That the Board direct the Superintendent to retain the current spaces and current staffing ratios at Victor School for the use of the students currently enrolled in the Victor School education program, that the program be opened to new student intake,  and that the program remain in place and operational as an ongoing placement option as per Policy 5148 Alternatives to the Integrated Classroom[language needs an update, clearly] ,  and that any proposed change  and related planning in regard to program operation or the program physical situation be made only after adherence to Policy 1163 Consultation, and only with the informed approval of the Board. / Defeated. For: Duncan, McNally Against: Ferris, Painter  Abstain: (commenting “time waster) Watters

  • On the Operations Standing Committee agenda Feb 11, Painter: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to remove Victor School from consideration as part of the catchment boundary review.

Meeting adjourned around 10:30.

About Diane McNally