District Programs SD61: “Programs of Necessity, not Programs of Choice”

Some recent motion history, if you’re getting confused. I am:

Jan28/19 Board Meeting  (Trustees Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Leonard, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker  (Leonard absent; regrets)

H.1 b McNally [emergent, so right to the Board agenda; no previous committee motion or discussion at a Committtee]:

That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide a report to the Education  Policy & Directions Committee Feb 4/19 , that clarifies a) which District programs have been closed,  b) which are still open,  c) the 20190202 future of any district program still open,  d) if a program has been “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 decreased from 3 / 4 blocks to 2 / 4 blocks), g) a statement on the future of Challenge programs.

  • Rationale: McNally: Have had many presentations to the Board over the last year from parents, EAs, teachers about the unsatisfactory reality for their children who no longer have or who are facing lack of access to a District program,  and the unsatisfactory consultation process from the District – non existent actually – regarding  closing these programs. If District Challenge programs for gifted students  remain open and accepting new students, to deliver targeted and differentiated instruction to those students that meets their learning needs and to provide a community of peers, why not the District programs for students with “low incidence” designations? Why is this good for one “special” population and not the other? Recall Shelley Moore’s seldom-referred to slide from 2015 that says “inclusion is voluntary”. We need straightforward public information on the unfolding process.
  • Painter: Motion to refer to Ed Policy on Feb 4. / Carried.
  • Jason Gammon, President GVTA: GVTA shocked that a motion is needed to get this information.

H2. Notice of Motion : McNally: For next Ed Policy or Operations, whichever is appropriate:

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 in the current space, for the foreseeable future.

Feb 4/19 Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee : Voting members Duncan (Chair), Hentze, McNally, Painter, ex officio Watters (Board Chair)

C.3 McNally:

That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide a report to the Ed Policy&Directions Committee Feb 4/19 , 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 “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 decreased from 3 / 4 blocks to 2 / 4 blocks), g) a statement on the future of Challenge programs. / Carried.

For: Duncan, Hentze, McNally  Against: Painter, Watters

  • Ferris: Is there a low incidence program at Arbutus?

 

Capture

 

C5 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 in 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

C9 (emergent; added to agenda from the floor) 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 open 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” , 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   Abstained: Watters [“motion is a time waster”]

  • McNally: Rationale:  Trustees did not get the letter announcing a meeting with Victor parents to discuss possible changes to Victor. I shared it with Trustee colleagues after seeing it on a parent’s social media page. I had a conflicting Policy Committee meeting so could not attend on such short notice. Only 1 of 9 trustees could be there. I apologize to Victor parents here tonight for not being able to attend that meeting.

Related motions coming up at Operations Policy and Planning, Tuesday Feb 19.

Here are  the tasks  for the  Operations Standing Committee The Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees for the purpose of developing for Board consideration major impact areas related to:
a) all personnel matters;
b) all financial and legal matters;
c) all matters related to the facilities required to provide educational programs;
d) information technology and planning matters.

Here are the tasks for the Ed Policy Standing Committee (which will meet next on March 4, after the next Board meeting, which will have the motions above from McNally on it, February 25):   The Education Policy and Directions Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees for the purpose of:
a) Providing direction to administration on the development of new educational policies and to review Board motions which require translation to educational policy.
b) Considering matters affecting the educational programs of the school district and making recommendations where appropriate.
c) Receiving and considering reports and recommendations from district staff, partner groups and community groups on educational matters referred by the Board.
d) Considering such other matters as may be referred by the Board and making recommendations thereon as required.

Motions coming to Operations Tuesday Feb 19:

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.

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.

Motions going forward from McNally to the full Board agenda Monday  Feb 25:

From Feb 4 Ed Policy, carried and recommended:

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 in the current classroom space, and that it not be closed except by Board vote preceded by full stakeholder consultation.  [ Given that “maintain” now clearly means “let it die by attrition”, since funding and transportation have been “shifted”, this will need amendment at the meeting.  I’m prepared.]

  • [ On Feb 4: For: Duncan, McNally, Painter   Against: Ferris, Watters ]

Defeated at Feb 4 Ed Policy but coming forward on McNally’s initiative regardless:

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 open 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” , 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.

  • [On Feb 4: For: Duncan, McNally,     Against: Ferris, Painter   Abstained: Watters (“motion is a time waster”) ]

Meeting with Victor parents Thursday, Feb 21, 9 am.

14 Feb 2019 Letter to Victor Parents

 

I’ll be there.

About Diane McNally