From the BC Ministry of Education website:
Late French Immersion
The Late French Immersion program provides students with an education equivalent to that which is available in the English language program, while providing opportunities to acquire a high level of proficiency in French. Students normally enter Late Immersion in Grade 6. Upon graduation from the program in Grade 12, should be able to participate easily in French conversations, take post-secondary courses with French as the language of instruction, and accept employment with French as the language of work.
June 24/19 Board Meeting
A: Commencement of Meeting: Held on the Territory of the Lekwungen speaking peoples, specifically the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
A.1 Adoption of Agenda: Adopted
A.2 Approval of Minutes May 27 Regular Board meeting: Approved. (Minutes here.)
A.3 Business Arising From Minutes: None
A.4 Student Achievement: No presentation
A.5 District Presentations: Recognition of Audrey Smith, VCPAC / DPAC Chair
A.6 Community Presentations (5 minutes each): on video here
- Helene Poulin, GVTA, French Immersion
- Tonya Winton, GVTA, French Immersion
- Alex Grieg and Tayler Jernslet, GVTA, Bargaining
- Angela Carmichael, George jay School, Co-PAC Chair, Boundary Review: George Jay is in crisis; amplified by District closure of the Behaviour Support program. Strong Start has been moved off site. No toilets in portables. 540 students; field closed in winter.
- Kathryn Allan-Kwasnicka, Cloverdale School, Boundary Review
- Hilary Hagel, Cloverdale School, Boundary Review
- Jenn Sutton, South Park School, Boundary Review
- Kristil Hammer, South Park School PAC, Boundary REview
- Allison Bottomley, South Park School PAC, Boundary REview
B.1 Letter re bike path at Quadra Elementary (p 12 agenda)
B.2 Letter to Victoria Regional Transit Commission re Free Transit (p13-14 agenda)
C. Trustee Reports (7 Trustee reports; p 16-31 agenda)
June 2019 Trustee Report
Diane McNally, Trustee, SD61 Greater Victoria Board of Education.
Community Liaison Assignments:
- Town of View Royal: Thetis Lake Apartments 152 multi-family residential units in two six-storey rental buildings.
- Therapeutic Recovery Community (Our Place; Talcott Road) community group now meets every two months; no issues from community.
Ad Hoc Committees:
- Equity Ad Hoc Committee: Report provided for June 2019 Board meeting.
- Policy Advisory Committee: Met 12 times since January 2019. Report provided for June Board meeting. Final meeting for school year June 28.
Schools: May 6 Indigenous Gardens project at Esquimalt High. Campus View Facilities presentation May 22. SJ at Burnside opening ceremony May 27.
Aboriginal Nations Education Council: April 15: minutes to come from the ANEC Chair, Janice Simcoe. Laying groundwork for working together focus of the meeting, so discussion of proposed TOR postponed to the fall. May 13 meeting attended by Janice Simcoe, Shelly Niemi, Shawneen Pete, Diane McNally. Decolonization discussion.
SD61 Board & Related meetings:
- April 25, 26, 27 BCSTA AGM : SD61 Board’s two motions defeated; disposition of motions available on BCSTA website.
- April 29 Governance workshop with Megan Dykeman, Board initiative
- May 6/ June 3 Ed Policy and Directions; May 13 / June 10 Operations Policy and Planning; May 27 Board.
- May 16 met individually with Lee Southern, governance specialist working with the Board on Board’s initiative. June 17 full board governance workshop.
- My Place transitional home community meetings (across from Central Middle School – with Trustee Duncan) : monthly
- May 30: Indigenous students grad, Songhees Wellness Centre
- June 6: District Retirement event, UVic Club
- June 19. boundary Review meeting; June 24 Board meeting; June 25 Boundary vote meeting;
Trustee Professional Development / Community Attendance:
- South Island Community Overdose Responders Network (not representing the Board; am there as a community member concerned with youth welfare ): practical and policy discussions and actions on drug use and overdose crisis in the local community and more widely
- Planning Committee for International Overdose Awareness Day August 31 (not representing the Board)
- Continuing study of Karen Tracy’s book “Challenges of Ordinary Democracy” (2010; Professor Emeritus, Communication Studies, U Colorado): “Reasonable hostility, the communication ideal I advocate , honors several competing and legitimate aims that are alive in sites of ordinary democracy. Reasonable hostility, I will show, not only occurs regularly in education governance meetings but is an ideal that can be defended as desirable.”
- Summer reading from Indigenous Education Division: Kiss of the Fur Queen, Grey Eyes, Unsettling Canada
Policy Advisory Committee
Report : June 2019
Board: Rob Paynter, Diane McNally
Staff: Superintendent Shelley Green, Mark Walsh, Katrina Stride, legal students
The Policy Advisory committee met several times from December 2018 to June 2019.
December 10 , 2018
1. Policy and Regulation 8251 Trustees Code of Ethics – ongoing
2. Policy Review
1. Policy 6163.7 Classroom Pets
2. Policy 1421 Naming School Sites
3. Development of Governance Policies
4. Updating Bylaws with respect to meetings:Bylaw 9360 Decorum and Motions,
9130 Quorum and Speaking , Bylaw 9368 Voting
5. New Policy: Tobacco and Vaping
6. New Policy: Alcohol and Drugs
February 14, 2019
1..Governance Policies: Policy 8251 Trustees Code of Ethics
2. Bylaw 9110 Creation of Bylaw Role of Chair and Vice Chair
3. Updating: Bylaw 9360 Decorum and Motions
4. Bylaw 9130 Quorum and Speaking
5. Bylaw 9368 Voting
6. New Policy: Tobacco and Vaping
7. New Policy: Alcohol and Drugs
- Initial discussion of hiring 3d party to develop administrative procedures. Superintendent to contact other Superintendents re what other Boards have done.
- February 25, 2019 Board meeting: “ That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Policy Sub-Committee to bring forward a policy outlining the process, criteria and timelines for the Superintendent and Board evaluations.” Carried. Unanimous.
1.Discussion re hiring 3d party to develop an Administrative procedures manual, and review of samples.
2. Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board
3. Bylaw 8251 Trustees Code of Ethics and Sanctions
April 11, 2019
1. Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board
2. Bylaw 8251 Trustee Code of Ethics and Sanctions
3. Bylaw 9110 Organization and legal Authority
4. Creation of Policy Role of Chair and Vice Chair
April 15, 2019: Secretary Treasurer Mark Walsh reported to OPPS re Bylaw and Policy work of the Committee over the last two years. The Committee made some headway but as some policies have not been reviewed in decades [and previous iterations of the Board up to 2012 when this concept still contentions at the Board table – a majority of long term Trustees believed policy work was not the work of Trustees], and the SD61 Policy list has grown unmanageable over the years, the Secretary-Treasurer and the Committee recommended engaging a governance specialist to review Board Policies with the intent to streamline the Policy manual and to create an administrative procedure manual. ”Such a process would still allow Trustees to influence the direction of the District through review of administrative procedures.”
- That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to solicit expressions of interest including quotes for the services of a governance specialist to create a streamlined policy manual and administrative procedures manual and report to the Policy Sub-Committee who will provide a recommendation to the Board. Carried For: Trustees Hentze, Leonard, and Paynter Against: Trustee Whiteaker
- Board meeting April 23: That the motion “That the Board of Education of School District No.61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to solicit expressions of interest including quotes for the services of a governance specialist to create a streamlined policy manual and administrative procedures manual and report to the Policy Sub-Committee who will provide a recommendation to the Board” be tabled until after the work of the Strategic Plan Ad Hoc Committee process has been completed . Carried. For: Trustees Leonard, Duncan, Whiteaker, McNally, Ferris and Paynter Against: Trustees Painter, Watters and Hentze
May 27, 2019
1. Role of Superintendent (draft completed) and Superintendent Evaluation
1. Superintendent Evaluation Policy (under development)
Equity Ad Hoc Committee of the Board
June 2019 Year End Committee Report
Board: Ann Whiteaker, Diane McNally (reporter)
Staff: Louise Sheffer (Director of Learning; Chair), Deb Whitten( Deputy Superintendent), Greg Kitchen (Associate Superintendent)
Partner group representatives:
- ASA: Jeannette Alexander, President
- CUPE 947: Jane Massy, President
- PVPA: Brett Johnson, Tina Pierik, Nancy McAleer
- DPAC / VCPAC: Lisa Gunderson
- GVTA: Robin Toczak, Ilda Turcotte, Jacqueline Gillespie
December / 18 : Committee met to meld the goals and deliverables of the former One Learning Committee and the former Equity Committee as there was overlap and tasks were ongoing.
- Board direction Dec 17 / 18 : That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) task the One Learning Community Ad Hoc Committee to review relevant Board policy, regulations and procedures, recommend appropriate changes, if any, and create a procedure for the Administrative Procedures Manual that will provide guidance on promotional materials within schools.
January 14 / 19: Continuing development of new TOR for a new committee that encompasses unfinished work of the Equity Committee and One Learning Community Committee
February 11 / 19: Meeting cancelled due to snow
- Review minutes from Equity Ad Hoc Committee and One Learning Community Ad Hoc committee to determine accomplishments and where they wanted to go.
- This committee seek direction from the Board re unfinished business of those two committees and seek approval of new TOR.
TOR deliverables for the two past Ad Hoc committees:
- Equity Committee (Paynter, Watters, January 2018-2019)
- Distribution of financial resources
- Human Resources allocations
- One Learning Community (Paynter, Whiteaker, January 2018-2019)
- Recommendations regarding the appropriate expectations , actions, and behaviors required to ensure support and inclusion for all students and staff
- Examine and recommend re inclusive learning opportunities in the physical, social and academic community
March 6 / 19
- Summary of work done by One Learning Community Committee (Deputy Superintendent Whitten)
- Summary of work done by Equity Committee October 2016 to May 2018 (Louise Sheffer), based on minutes and documents gathered from past chairs of the committee.
- Committee concluded that One Learning Community Committee had completed its work. Committee decided that instead of this committee being a blended version of the two previous committees, this committee would draft a revised TOR for the Equity Committee. Reviewed TOR from the Equity Committee, added wording and phrasing from our current draft TOR. Revised draft TOR sent out for current committee members’ review.
- Draft TOR will be presented by Louise Sheffer at the Ed Policy meeting April 8th along with a recommendation to formally dissolve the One Learning Community Committee.
April 29 /19: Committee brought the following motions to the Board April 23 /19, presented by Committee Chair Louise Sheffer :
- That the Board of Education of School District No.61 (Greater Victoria) accept the Terms of Reference under the title of the Equity Ad Hoc Committee as amended. Carried.
- That the Board of Education of School District No.61 (Greater Victoria) dissolve the One Learning Community Committee. Carried.
- Review of changes made by Board to the finalize the TOR for this committee
- Discussion: 5 questions brought forward for consideration were reviewed by the committee.
Louise Sheffer will connect with Deputy Superintendent Whitten to determine information that can be brought back to the committee, to start in fall 2019.
- McCreary Report : Tabled to next meeting. Chair Sheffer will clarify which parts of the McCreary report can be shared with the committee as the information was collected in confidence.
June 10 / 19
- McCreary report and SD61 data: Chair Sheffer will summarize SD61 data on specific items
- Programming: Reading Recovery data re school FTE. Cara McPherson, Teacher Leader SD62 Sooke; Shari Worsfold, Teacher Leader SD61 Greater Victoria, SD63 Saanich. Equity aspect of Reading Recovery. 14/27 SD61 elementary schools have RR. District funding capped at 14 schools.
- Learning support: Part of a formula. French Immersion learning support: Associate Superintendent Kitchen noted that not everything in French Immersion is in French. Trustee Whiteaker: attention to refugee students and international students’ needs for support.
- Next meeting September 2019. October 7 2019 meeting: Shelly Niemi and Craig Schellenberg, District Principals of Indigenous Education: federal funding for Indigenous Education; identification of students; more on SD61 Reading Recovery District data; school data with no RR, school data with RR.
My motions this school year :
- Sept 10/18 : 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 bussing services; 4. Being excluded from field trips; 5. Being sent out of the regular classroom to the Resource Room, or Sensory /Isolation Room, or other space, if no breakout room is available. / Carried unanimously.
- Oct 9/18 OPPS and Oct 22/198 Board: Board direct Board Chair to write a letter to the City of Victoria of support for the Topaz Park Bike Skills Park. / Carried unanimously.
- Oct 22/18 Board: That the Board direct the Superintendent to provide the Board with a report on the current status of items 1 and 2 from the November 27, 2017 Education Policy and Directions Committee meeting recommended motion (at D on that agenda) 1. The Whole School Service Delivery Model and a list of the schools that are participating 2. The status of and explanation of profile funding for students with Severe Behaviour and Mental Health diagnosis (category H), along with provision of the District wide number for students in that category as a baseline for the 2018-19 school year./ Referred (Leonard) by majority vote to future OPPS meeting.
- Nov 26/18 Board: Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) accept the Chair’s recommendations for 2018-2019 Trustee Committee and Liaison Assignments as amended. / Carried unanimously.
- Nov 26/18 Board ( in camera motion) : That the Board report out at the November 26, 2018 public meeting, under C1. Chair’s Report, that the 2018-2019 Trustee Committee and Liaison assignments were amended. / Carried unanimously.
- Nov 26/18 Board: Board submit the extraordinary resolution “Removal of Honourary President” as presented, to the BCSTA AGM: That 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; 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 unanimously.(Defeated at BCSTA AGM April 2019.)
- Nov 26/18 Board: Board direct the Chair to request that BCSTA membership direct the President to consult with appropriate committees and individuals and modify BCSTA internal legislation as needed, in order to discontinue the practice 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. / Whiteaker amended: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Chair to request that the BCSTA membership direct the President to consult with appropriate committees and individuals and modify BCSTA internal legislation as needed, in order to discontinue the practice 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. / Carried. Against: McNally (Defeated at BCSTA AGM April.)
- Dec 3/18 Ed Policy: Board direct the Superintendent to provide the Board with a report on the current status of items 1 and 2 from the November 27th, 2018 Education Policy and Directions Committee meeting recommended motion (shown as D on that Agenda); 1. The Whole School Service Delivery Model and a list of the schools that are participating 2. The status and explanation of profile funding for students with Severe Behaviour and Mental Health diagnosis (category H), along with provision of district-wide number for students in that category, as a baseline for the 2018-19 school year. / Withdrawn – addressed by the Learning Support Team in their presentation.
- Jan 28/19 Board: Board task the Policy Advisory Committee with development of Governance Policies for the Board, beginning with the role of the Chair, role of Trustees, and role of the Board. / Whiteaker amended: Board task the Policy Advisory Committee with development of Governance Policies for the Board, beginning with the role of the Chair, Vice-Chair, role of Trustees, and role of the Board. / Carried unanimously
- Jan 28/19 Board: Board direct the Superintendent to provide a report to the Education Policy and Directions Committee on February 4, 2019, 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, g) a statement on the future of Challenge programs. / Painter: refer to Feb 4/19 Ed Policy. / Carried. Against: McNally
- Feb 4/19 Ed Policy: Board direct the Superintendent to provide a report to the Board at the next Board meeting on February 25th, 2019, 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; g) a statement on the future of Challenge programs. / Amended to report Ed Policy March 4. / Carried. Against: Painter, Watters.
- Feb 25/19 Board : 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 adherence to Policy 1163 – Consultation, and only with the informed approval of the Board.” / Chair Watters ruled the motion out of order and stated that “it contradicts a motion that has already come through a committee meeting and is on the agenda, D2. b) vi) and this motion has previously been defeated at a committee meeting”. McNally challenged Chair’s ruling. Chair sustained: For: Trustees Leonard, Ferris, Watters, Whiteaker, Hentze and Painter Against: Trustee McNally, Paynter and Duncan
- Feb 25 Board: Board direct the Superintendent to provide a report to Ed Policy and Directions Committee at the next meeting on March 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 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 3/4 blocks to 2/4 blocks; g) a statement on the future of Challenge programs. / Amended (Painter): June 3, 2019. For: Trustees Painter, Leonard, Ferris, Watters, Whiteaker and Hentze Against: Trustees, McNally, Duncan and Paynter / Carried as amended: For: Trustees McNally, Paynter, Duncan, Hentze and Painter Against: Trustees Leonard, Ferris, Watters and Whiteaker
- Feb 25: That the motion “That the Board of Education of School District No.61 (Greater Victoria) 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” be amended to strike the words “and that it not be closed except by Board vote preceded by full stakeholder consultation”, replaced with the “with ongoing district funding to support a district program of up to 10 students.” Amendment defeated. For: Trustees McNally and Paynter and Duncan Against: Trustees Ferris, Leonard, Painter, Watters, Whiteaker and Hentze / Main motion: That the Board of Education of School District No.61 (Greater Victoria) 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. Defeated. For: Trustees McNally, Paynter and Duncan Against: Trustees Ferris, Leonard, Painter, Watters, Hentze and Whiteaker
- Feb 25: 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 [McNally amendment] and that Victor School be removed from consideration as a catchment school. Carried unanimously.
- Feb 25: That the motion (Watters) “Board 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” be amended [McNally amendment] to add the words “and that the transfer opportunity be publicized to parents.” Amendment and main motion carried unanimously.
- April 15 OPPS: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to develop a budget that includes provision for no charge for SD61 schools that do not have a theatre to use school theatres in SD61 for school drama and music programs. / Tabled to fall.
- April 15 OPPS: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) direct the Superintendent to develop a budget that includes provision for full salary payment from the District budget for Reading Recovery teachers./ Tabled to fall.[Staff considering District funding for RR to address learning needs of 2% of students. RR is intended to serve the struggling “lowest achieving 20% of students in grade one.)
- April 23 Board: That the Board direct the Chair to write a letter to appropriate contacts at the City of Victoria, the province, and the federal government, supporting the creation of the Canadian Maritime Museum located in Victoria’s Old Town./ Carried unanimously.
D. Board Committee Reports
D.1 Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee
D.1 a) Minutes June 3 for info only pp32-35 agenda; will be approved (or not) at September Ed Policy
D2. Recommended motions (recommended because carried by majority vote of members of this Standing Committee; Board Chair ex officio member with a vote)
i. Board approve a sibling priority in Reg 5118.2 for families which have siblings impacted by change to their current school boundary in the 2020-21 school year before establishing current boundary proposals.
- Painter: Table to September OPPS in order to get more data. / Defeated. For: Hentze, Painter, Paynter
- Back to main motion. Carries. Paynter against.
ii. (McNally) Board direct Superintendent to provide a report directly from the Superintendent to the Board in February 2020 [I thought that provided enough time] that provides 1. the history of gifted ed and related funding in SD61, and provincially to the present [to provide context for new Trustees and parents] 2. complete information in funding changes provincially and in SD61 over the last ten years [I should have specified since 2001] that have impacted gifted ed in SD61 and the province 3. information regarding provision of targeted gifted education in SD61 over the last 10 years [I should have specified since 2001] 4. in depth information explaining any proposed service delivery model / models of service under consideration for the 2019-20 school year and forward for students designated “gifted” in SD61, in order that the Board may consider how best to allocate resources to serve the vulnerable gifted student population , before a service model that differs from the current practice is put in place.
- McNally: Amendment: replace the word “ten” with “eighteen” in both #2 and #3. / Defeated. For: Duncan, McNally, Painter,Paynter Against: Ferris, Leonard, Hentze, Watters, Whiteaker
- Duncan: Amendment: remove the word “directly” and strike #1 and #2, replace the word ‘ten’ with ‘two’ in the new #1 and amend the new #2 to read “Information explaining the current and any proposed service delivery model/models……” / Carried. For: Duncan, Hentze, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker Against: Ferris, Leonard
- Leonard: What’s the work load?
- Superintendent: Could repeat presentations we’ve already done…
- Leonard: Refer to September 9 2019 Ed Policy and Directions Committee meeting. / Carried. For: Ferris, Leonard, Hentze, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker Against: Trustee Duncan
iii. Board direct Chair to write relevant funders to advocate for the maintenance of school crossing guard funding. / Carried. Unanimous.
D.2 Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee
D.2 a) Minutes June 10: pp 40-44 (to be approved in September OPPS)
D.2 b) Recommended motions (recommended because carried at June OPPS meeting)
i. Board recognize that breakdown of stable climate and sea level under which human life has developed constitutes an emergency and that in declaring a climate emergency the Board a) direct the Superintendent to develop a Climate Action Plan that establishes targets and strategies commensurate with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ‘s call to limit warming to 1.5 degrees; b) direct the Superintendent to report back on specific actions and resources that could be included in future correspondence to the provincial or federal government, and c) demonstrate leadership by directing the Board Chair to write letters to other school boards, local MLAs, and Provincial government encouraging them to declare climate emergencies and develop targets and strategies to combat climate change. / Carried. Unanimous.
- McNally: Supporting the climate action plan. Suggest the Superintendent broaden the focus of the plan to consider the impact animal agriculture has on climate change, not just the usual suspects. Requesting that the District make every effort to include more plant based food and fewer animal products in catering, food programs / chef training. I’m vegan; not asking anyone else to make that change, just consider more use of plant based foods.
Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock – it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.
The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study
“Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems,” he said. “Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.”
The analysis also revealed a huge variability between different ways of producing the same food. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land.
The large variability in environmental impact from different farms does present an opportunity for reducing the harm, Poore said, without needing the global population to become vegan. If the most harmful half of meat and dairy production was replaced by plant-based food, this still delivers about two-thirds of the benefits of getting rid of all meat and dairy production.
Cutting the environmental impact of farming is not easy, Poore warned: “There are over 570m farms all of which need slightly different ways to reduce their impact. It is an [environmental] challenge like no other sector of the economy.” But he said at least $500bn is spent every year on agricultural subsidies, and probably much more: “There is a lot of money there to do something really good with.”
Labels that reveal the impact of products would be a good start, so consumers could choose the least damaging options, he said, but subsidies for sustainable and healthy foods and taxes on meat and dairy will probably also be necessary.
One surprise from the work was the large impact of freshwater fish farming, which provides two-thirds of such fish in Asia and 96% in Europe, and was thought to be relatively environmentally friendly. “You get all these fish depositing excreta and unconsumed feed down to the bottom of the pond, where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane production,” a potent greenhouse gas, Poore said.
The research also found grass-fed beef, thought to be relatively low impact, was still responsible for much higher impacts than plant-based food. “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions,” Poore said.
The new research has received strong praise from other food experts. Prof Gidon Eshel, at Bard College, US, said: “I was awestruck. It is really important, sound, ambitious, revealing and beautifully done.”
He said previous work on quantifying farming’s impacts, including his own, had taken a top-down approach using national level data, but the new work used a bottom-up approach, with farm-by-farm data. “It is very reassuring to see they yield essentially the same results. But the new work has very many important details that are profoundly revealing.”
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, UK, said: “This is an immensely useful study. It brings together a huge amount of data and that makes its conclusions much more robust. The way we produce food, consume and waste food is unsustainable from a planetary perspective. Given the global obesity crisis, changing diets – eating less livestock produce and more vegetables and fruit – has the potential to make both us and the planet healthier.”
Dr Peter Alexander, at the University of Edinburgh, UK, was also impressed but noted: “There may be environmental benefits, eg for biodiversity, from sustainably managed grazing and increasing animal product consumption may improve nutrition for some of the poorest globally. My personal opinion is we should interpret these results not as the need to become vegan overnight, but rather to moderate our [meat] consumption.”
Poore said: “The reason I started this project was to understand if there were sustainable animal producers out there. But I have stopped consuming animal products over the last four years of this project. These impacts are not necessary to sustain our current way of life. The question is how much can we reduce them and the answer is a lot.”
ii. That the Board direct the Superintendent to prepare a report on or before the November OPPS meeting, that provides an analysis of the costs of the Greater Victoria School District becoming a living wage employer. / Referred as amended below to Audit Committee.
- Painter: Amendment: add “living hours”. EAs do not have enough hours . / Amendment carried. Against: Duncan, Ferris, Leonard
- Leonard: Will have an impact on contractors and may be layoffs.
- Associate Secretary-Treasurer: The status of “Living Wage Employer” is a certification through an organization.
- Ferris: This is relevant to EAs. We have tried to improve things for EAs. This is not relevant for a School Board.
- Whiteaker: Motion to refer to Audit Committee. / Carried. Against: Ferris
iii. Board direct Superintendent to instruct staff to participate in development of formal business plan for the Spectrum Turf and Rink project (STAR). To be developed with STAR Committee, SD61, community partners. / Carried. Against: Duncan, Ferris, Leonard
D.3 Audit Committee Quarterly Report (pp 45-48 agenda)
- Accepted. Unanimous.
E. District Leadership Team Reports
E.1 a) Superintendent’s Report: p49 agenda
- Accepted. Unanimous.
b)Trustee Questions: 1. Painter: Vaping 2. Whiteaker: Solar panels on new builds?
E.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report:
a) Related party Transactions
b) Policy Subcommittee Report (pp53-56) :
Recommended motion: Board approve revised Policy 1200 Superintendent. / Carried. Unanimous.
- Leonard: Refer to Ed Policy September. / Defeated.
- Superintendent: Some of this may go to Regulations [the Board can’t touch Regulations except with difficulty] on a future amendment.
c) That the Board approve the 2020-21 Capital Plan./ Carried. Unanimous.
F. Question Period (on video): Boundary Review related questions
G. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items
G.1 Annual Student Withdrawal Report and PRC / Diversion
G.2 Annual Student Unusual Exclusion Report (P58)
H. New Business / Notices of Motion
H.1 Painter: Chair write letter to Minister of Education stating the District’s preference for class size and composition language / small class language. / Defeated. For: McNally, Painter, Paynter Against: Ferris, Hentze, Leonard, Watters, Whiteaker Abstain: Duncan
- Paynter: SD61 will lose staff and funding if we go with BCPSEA’s proposal.
- Whiteaker: Want decisions based on evidence; no evidence . Support this just becasue I feel that way? Refer to another meeting.
- Duncan: Appreciate Whiteaker’s comments.
- Watters: This is not the time, and this is not the method – there are approriate channels and approriate process.
- Hentze: Thanks to Chair for clarifying.
H.2 Notice of Motion: None