Victor School: Complex Series of Motions, and Then

As part of the ongoing boundary review in SD61, Victor School was being considered for treatment as a catchment school, meaning that students from the adjacent community would enter the school in regular classes, taking pressure off exiting schools, and that the Victor students would  move… someplace else. Lakehill was proposed.

Parents received a letter from the District with notice of a meeting to be held two days from when the letter was received. Several parents could not attend and Trustees were initially unaware of the meeting. Parents of students at Victor School were deeply concerned and began attending Standing Committee and Board meetings and presenting their views.

January 4/19: Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee

 

C9 (Emergent; motion from the floor –  added to agenda from the floor with permission of the meeting) 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   Abstain: Watters

 February 19/19 Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee

Painter (Moved by Whiteaker as Painter not on this Standing Committee, although this isn’t necessary: “3. A trustee who is not a member of the Standing Committee may place a Notice of Motion before the committee and may debate the motion.“): 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.

Leonard: Motion to refer to the Special Board meeting planned for early April 2019. / Defeated.  For: Leonard  Against:  Hentze, Paynter,Whiteaker  Abstain: Watters

Whiteaker: Motion to amend That the Board direct the Superintendent to include alternatives for the Victor School catchment in the revisions and phase three of the boundary review consultation including consultation with the Victor School community. / Carried. For: Hentze, Watters,  Whiteaker Against:  Leonard and Paynter

Back to main motion as amended above: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to include alternatives for the Victor School catchment in the revisions and phase three of the boundary review consultation including consultation with the Victor School community. / Carried. For:  Hentze, Leonard, Watters,Whiteaker  Against:  Paynter

Feb 25/19 Board Meeting

A. 1 Adoption of agenda: McNally:  amend the agenda to add the following motion :
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 proposal change and related planning in regard to the program operation or the program physical situation be made only after adherences to Policy 1163 – Consultation, and only with the informed approval of the Board. [From Ed Policy, Feb 4.]

Chair Watters ruled the motion out of order because  it contradicts a motion that is on the agenda that carried at a standing committee, D2. b) vi) [From OPPS: That the Board direct the Superintendent to create new alternatives for the Victor School catchment area within the revisions and phase three of the boundary review document and that Victor School be removed from consideration as a catchment school],  and this motion has previously been defeated at a committee meeting.

Trustee McNally challenged the Chair: Bylaw 9368 Procedure: “105.00 A trustee who has proposed a motion to a committee which motion has been rejected, may submit his motion to the Board in general session, in writing, for consideration immediately following the report of the committee scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Board in general session, provided the motion, in writing, is available to the Chair for circulation prior to the agenda. Provided that, in the event a motion contained within the report of the standing committee which has been adopted shall be in contradiction to the motion proposed hereby, then the Chair  shall rule such motion out of order. ” [D.2 b vi is in the report of a different Standing Committee, Operations.]

Watters: Call to sustain the Chair: That the Board  sustain the ruling of the Chair re out of order./ Carried.  For: Ferris, Hentze,  Leonard, Painter, Watters, Whiteaker Against: Duncan, McNally, Paynter (See Bylaw 9368 Procedure, 107.)

On to D. 2 b vi:  [Painter’s originally which was amended to this, by Whiteaker in OPPS]: That the Board  direct the Superintendent to include alternatives for the Victor School catchment in the revisions and phase three of the boundary review consultation including consultation with the Victor School community.

Painter: Motion to amend: strike the words “include” and replace with
“remove Victor School from consideration as a catchment school and
develop.”

McNally: Amendment to the amendment: “strike the words “in the revisions and phase three of the boundary review consultation including consultation with the
Victor School community’ and replace with “and inform the Victor School
Community in writing that Victor school is no longer being considered for
any changes as far as the catchment boundary review process, and that
changes to Victor School are no longer proposed or recommended for
September 2020.” / Defeated For:  McNally, Painter, Paynter
Against:  Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Leonard, Watters, Whiteaker

Whiteaker: Motion to amend the first amendment (can only go two amendments deep – Robert’s Rules) : Strike “include alternatives for the Victor School catchment in the revisions and phase three of the boundary review consultation including consultation with the Victor School community” and replace with “to create new alternatives for the Victor School catchment area within the revisions and phase three of the boundary review document following consultation which includes the Victor School community.”/ Carried. For: Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Leonard,  McNally, Watters, Whiteaker  Against:  Painter, Paynter

McNally: Amend the amendment:  add the words “and that Victor School be removed from consideration as a catchment school.” / Carried. For: Duncan,  Ferris, Hentze, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker  Abstain:  Leonard

Leonard: Motion to amend: Strike  “following consultation which includes the Victor School community.”/ Carried. Unanimous.

Back to main motion, as amended: That the Board  direct the Superintendent to create new alternatives for the Victor School catchment area within the revisions and phase three of the boundary review document and that Victor School be removed from consideration as a catchment school. / Carried. Unanimous.

Victor School parents were happy and relieved, as they had hoped for this outcome, and had met with Trustees and Administration on February 21 at Victor School in a long and very meaningful consultation driven by Victor parents and the Victor School PAC,  to request a reconsideration of the plan to include Victor in the catchment school consideration, and to keep Victor as is for current and future students.

I guess you had to be there. I was.

(The letter below is addressed to the Board Chair, but as there is no indication of “confidential” to an individual, it can be assumed that it is in effect addressed to the entire Board, as it refers to a Board decision. )

Letter - Victor School March 2019 1

 

Letter - Victor School March 2019 2

 

 

About Diane McNally