Jan 27/20: SD61Board Meeting: No Org Chart. Nope. Non. George Jay Renaming; Reading Recovery; New BAA Courses


Board Meeting agenda here.

Present: Duncan (2018), Hentze (2018), Leonard (first elected 1996),  McNally (2011), Paynter (2014), Painter(2018), Watters (2014), Whiteaker (2014),
Not present: Ferris (first elected 1999)

D. Board Committed Reports
D.1 b Reading Recovery (Painter): That the Board instruct the Equity Committee to make recommendations for making reading recovery available to all elementary schools in the district. [Currently capped at 14 schools.] / Carried. For: Duncan, Hentze, Leonard, McNally, Painter, Paynter, Watters Against: Whiteaker

  • Jody Whiteman, VCPAC Chair: Hoping for a “math recovery” type of intervention.
  • Superintendent: Have called together  committee with GVTA and experts have provided professional development.
  • McNally: Amendment: add “with the RR teacher FTE salary fully funded by the District”. As it stands, the school tht wants Reading Recovery has to come up with half the teacher’s salary from the school budget. This can be a significant barrier to schools that otherwise could implement this effective intervention.
  • Winona Waldron, President GVTA: GVTA in favour of the amendment.
  • Whiteaker: Very broad amendment.
  • Painter: Equity Committee very aware of broad needs for equity.
  • Vote on amendment: Defeated. For: Hentze, McNally Against:  Duncan, Leonard, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker

E.1 b: Trustee Questions:

  • Whiteaker: Could we get the results from the inclusion day with community partners? And what about the second survey?
  • Deputy Superintendent: Draft survey has gone to VCPAC Inclusion Committee. Another forum will be held April 1.

E.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report (see P 49 -51 agenda)

McNally: That the Board advance the name change for George  Jay School, and strike a committee to that effect./ Carried. For: Duncan, Hentze, McNally, Painter, Watters  Against:  Leonard, Paynter, Whiteaker

  • Waldron, GVTA:  As per Regulation 1421, a GVTA member must be on the committee.
  • Duncan: If carried, will money for new signage etc come from the District? / Superintendent: Yes.
  • Whiteaker: Against. This will take money that should be in the classroom. [Whiteaker’s frequent  response to  motions by McNally. Almost predictable.]  This is our history and we need to  account for it.
  • McNally: This is a start. Because we can’t change every name that glorifies racism and oppression, should we change none? We often have to make amends of various kinds and do actions of reconciliation in small steps. This is one.

H.1 New Business

Happy to see that with the new meeting record and agenda generating software that my motion is “recommended” for a change. But as this one was defeated at the Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee on January 20, I’m not sure who is recommending it – except me.

b. That the Board task the Superintendent with provision of one comprehensive District organization / reporting lines chart that includes personnel in all departments , to (but not including) the clerical support level, to be provided to the Board and posted in the “About Us” sub menu under the “Our District” menu before February 24, 2020./ Carried as amended, defeating the purpose: (Amendment Paynter) Each department provide either an org chart or a list of contacts on their department page. / For: Duncan, Hentze, Leonard, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker  Abstain: McNally

Rationale for original motion:

School districts are multimillion dollar enterprises funded by public money. Accessible complete district organization / reporting line charts seem to have disappeared on all BC school district websites. Here in SD61 on the website, various departments may or may not have an org chart. Those that do  are not connected overall.

This was what was provided earlier this school year.


The SD61 Facilities Department chart looks impressive and complete though some names are out of date.


Educational Services

The Educational Services Department has no names attached to positions, and could go deeper to include the number of persons on teams.

Superintendent’s Department

The SD61 Superintendent’s Department organizational chart is missing some names, and reporting lines for the Learning Team head, Learning Support Team head, and Inclusive Learning Team head (no name) are unclear.  Members of the teams are not shown, so for complete information for stakeholders, it would be desirable to show that level.


Secretary-Treasurer’s Department  / Information Technology Department /Human Resources Department

There appears to be  no SD61  organization chart for the Secretary  Treasurer’s  Department, the Information Technology Department, or Human Resources Department.

Why is an organization chart with reporting lines desirable for SD61? We all know that an org chart is a  detailed representation of the organization’s structures and hierarchies that gives employees, parents, and other stakeholders a clear  picture of reporting and supervision relationships, divisions of work, and levels of management.

An organization  can lean toward centralized, where final decisions are made by just one or two individuals ; or decentralized, where final decisions are made within the team or department in charge of carrying out that decision. A complete org chart would make decision making end points  clear for all stakeholders.

The apparent and interesting growth in cross-functional teams in SD61 increases the usefulness of an org chart for keeping track of working relationships and lines of supervision and accountability.

There are various ways to present an org chart, including linear, and circular. Currently, org charts are spread over various pages on the SD61 website; several do not go deep enough for stakeholder complete information,  and not all departments have one. The structure of the multimillion dollar enterprise and major regional employer that is SD61 could be less opaque and much clearer for parent information / taxpayer purposes and for annual budget considerations and discussions.

Stakeholder input and debate:

  • Winona Waldron, GVTA President: Last org chart partner groups were given was in 2016. Now what there is is a  4 page phone list. Would be helpful to see a complete reporting line / org chart for the District.
  • Jody Whiteman, VCPAC: From the parents’ perspective, knowing who to go to and who is in the chain of authority and responsibility is desirable.
  • Duncan: Could use the Facilities org chart as a model. Seems quite complete. SD61 may be a “fluid organization” but updating such a chart is not onerous. Updates could be done by HR or by the relevant department.
  • Paynter: Amendment: Each department provide either an org chart or a list of contacts.
  • On amendment: Whiteaker: In favour of amendment
  • On amendment: McNally: Stakeholders don’t even know how many /departments there are. Have  to hunt around pages to find them. Creating a comprehensive organization chart does not preclude noting / starring / indicating in some way who the initial contact person is for each department. This amendment allows for a list, and defeats the original  purpose of the motion, which is to provide reporting lines and lines of authority and responsibility – that is, to show the organization of the District, not just who to call.
  • Vote on amendment: Carried. For: Hentze, Leonard, Painter, Paynter, Watters, Whiteaker    Against: Duncan, McNally





About Diane McNally