June 22/20: Board Meeting: Police in Schools, Budget, 5 Year Capital Plan

 

Present: Nicole Duncan (2018), Tom Ferris (elected 1999), Angie  Hentze (2018), Elaine Leonard (elected 1996),  Diane McNally (2011), Ryan Painter(2018), Rob Paynter (2014),  Jordan Watters (2014), Ann Whiteaker (2014)

A. Commencement of meeting: Audio and video recorded. On YouTube. After March 9/20, click on the calendar date here for agenda, minutes  and presentations: https://www.sd61.bc.ca/board-of-education/meetings-of-the-board/
A.1 Acknowledgment of Traditional Territories:

We acknowledge and thank the Lkwungen People, also known as the Songhees and  Esquimalt First Nations communities, for allowing us to live, work and play on their lands. We also give thanks to the ancestors, supernatural ones, hereditary leaders and matriarchs, creatures big and small for looking after the rich resources and cultural teachings of this beautiful land.

https://ipsociety.ca/about/territory-acknowledgement/

A.2 Adoption of Agenda

  • Add Trustee reports at C.2
  • Motion to remove D.2 b 1 Superintendent Evaluation and postpone: Leonard / Carried. Against: Duncan, Painter, Whiteaker  [To come back for discussion in the fall]

A.3 Approval of Minutes Board meeting May 25: Approved
A.4 Business Arising from minutes: None
A.5 Student Achievement / School Presentations: None
A.6 District Presentations: Recognition of retiring Associate Superintendent Greg Kitchen [Harold Caldwell will step into this position]
A.7 Community presentations: [See Youtube] Jennifer Chambers, SD61 Counsellor; Mia Golden , MYST; in favour of maintaining police liaison officers in schools
B. Correspondence: None
C. Chair and Trustee Reports: On Youtube and calendar June 22 link
a. Indigenous Peoples’ Day  b. Chair’s Year  End Report

c. Strategic Plan: Recommended by staff: That the Board accept the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan as presented. (P 24 agenda) / Carried. Against: Paynter  Abstain: McNally

  • McNally: I’ve attended several planning and working meetings, but was unable to attend the last one, a few weeks ago.The overarching goals look good. But it is the operationalization of these goals though staff generated operational plans that contain the details, and those plans are out of trustees’ hands. [I’ve been reprimanded more than once publicly and in private for asking “too many questions” about these plans, allegedly making some staff feel “fearful” about presenting. ] I voted in favour of “supporting inclusion” as a big picture item during the last strategic plan formation with a different superintendent  in place, and to my surprise and shock – and the shock of many dismayed parents [ https://lined-paper.com/2019/02/07/parent-perspective-no-changes-going-forward-to-district-programs/   – I found I had voted to close district programs. It was an operational decision and out of trustees’’ hands.

    There is much more detail to this plan. Stakeholders and partner groups should have the time to read those details, to see what the Board is supporting in more depth than these general statements. The complete plan should  be referenced prominently on the District website in line with the  plan’s “transparency” value. Students, parents, all staff, and the general public in SD61 will be able to see greater detail over the summer and early September. For these reasons I recommend postponement of the vote.

DM comments GVSD61 2020-2025 Strat Plan PowerPoint June 2020

 

Strat plan

D. Board Committee Reports: [Have to wonder why “questions of clarification were asked by trustees” is included an exasperating number of times in all minutes – that’s our job, right? Although my questions have been called “an inquisition” by the Board Chair….]

D.1Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee
a. Draft Minutes [to be approved at next Ed Policy meeting in September]
b. Recommended by the committee : McNally’s orignal June 1 motion (p 32/148)

That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) instruct the Superintendent to ensure that the Ad Hoc Committee Meeting Minutes pages includes current minutes and reports to the Board as required from all functioning Ad Hoc Committee, beginning immediately.

was amended by Painter (defeated) and Duncan (carried):


Duncan: That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) amend Bylaw 9140, Ad Hoc Committee of the Board, to include the following procedural requirements: standardized agenda setting, the taking of minutes at all Ad Hoc Committee meetings and regular reporting out to the Board of Education through the appropriate Standing Committee.The procedural requirements shall set out that the meeting materials such as agendas, minutes and up to date Terms of Reference for all Ad Hoc Committees will be posted to the District website. / Carried.

Motion to refer: Whiteaker/Painter: The Board refer the recommended motion as written in the agenda, to the Policy Sub-Committee to draft changes to Bylaw 9140 for the Board’s approval in September 2020. / Carried. Against:  McNally/Paynter

D.2 Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee [This was the Operations, Policy, and Planning Committee until a few years ago. Commas mean something, and in this case,  commas meant a lot. Not much of substance was left for Ed Policy , which was mainly school tours.I got a lot of eye rolls as I kept insisting this change, but finally got results.]

a. Draft Minutes June 8/20: P.42 – 45: “Moved by consensus” 7 times. Robert’s Rules don’t do “moved by consensus”. An individual has to move motions and amendments. So, who? Also, votes aren’t recorded with names. Needs correction.

Feb 12/12: McNally: Record votes on all motions. / Carried unanimously, after 5-4 defeat (Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard, McEvoy, Orcherton; For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, McNally) at previous OPPS meeting February 13, 2012, at which meeting a letter from Parliamentarian Eli Mina was produced by Ferris, Horsman, Leoanrd, McEvoy, and Orcherton  supporting the position that recording votes is a bad idea. Thanks Lindsay Kines and the Times-Colonist for publicizing the issue.

b. Recommended motions from the Committee (carried in the committee):

1. That the Board approve Policy 2100.1 Superintendent Evaluation, as amended./ Leonard: Postpone to fall. / Carried.

  • McNally: [if the motion had not been removed at the beginning of the meeting, I had a motion to postpone ready, with this rationale]:Trustee Rob Paynter and I spent countless hours over the months of last summer and fall researching and writing a suggested policy as a basis for discussion in Policy Committee meetings with the Superintendent and Secretary Treasurer. Development of this policy was considered a priority task by the Board.  Trustee Paynter and I considered the robust and comprehensive draft policy we presented as thorough and worth deep discussion before taking it from the Equity Committee though Ed Policy and then to the Board. However, the Superintendent refused to discuss it with us. The Policy development was put on the back burner until Trustee Paynter and McNally’s terms were up, at which point the Chair could appoint two new Trustee members. Those appointees were Trustee Leonard and the Chair herself. This Policy has been developed in a less than transparent way. I’m already barred from in camera meetings  for making public the Goldner report that resulted  from 17 principals’ and vice principals’ complaints. So if there are questions about the characterization of the process as “less than transparent”, I can clarify.  This Policy is inadequate and should go back to Ed Policy for further discussion and amendment, and comments from the public,  in September.

2.Painter: That the Board direct staff to make application for federal or provincial grant funding to undertake Safe Design Council certification for a new, replacement or retrofit capital project, at no cost to the Board;  and further, that staff secure letter of support from the Ministries of Education and Public Safety & Solicitor General, to support relevant grant applications. / Carried. Abstain: McNally

  • McNally: When considering “safe design”, “The SAFE Design Council is the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing, administering, and managing the SAFE Design Standard® – the first international crime reduction through design point-based certification program aimed at achieving enhanced site and building security through functional planning, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, interior design, and space programming.

    For crime reduction through design to be a central consideration when planning, designing, and constructing buildings, sites, and related built environments.” I’d like to hear a report from Facilities about any actual crimes or safety issues on sd61 property that have been due to building design  before I can support this motion. See local blog “Needs More Spikes” for some thoughts on “defensive architecture”.

3. Duncan: That the Board direct the Audit Committee to review the SJ Burnside upgrade project from the fiscal year 2018/19 and 2019/20 and provide the Board of Education a report that identifies the following:  1. the budget allocated to the SJ Burnside upgrade project in all relevant fiscal years; 2. the expenses and the resulting surplus or deficit for each fiscal year; 3. the work that is outstanding to date; 4. the budget and cost management processes in place during the SJ Burnside upgrade project; 5. reporting and monitoring measures in place during the SJ Burnside upgrade project; 6. external reporting standards in place during the SJ Burnside upgrade project; 7. all steps taken to enforce financial controls and to mitigate financial risks to the School District during the SJ Burnside upgrade project; and 8. the Audit Committee’s recommendations regarding possible areas of improvement to District risk assessment, risk management and internal financial controls. / Carried. Unanimous

4.  Paynter: That the Board  direct the Equity Committee to undertake discussions with  members of the school community, including, but not limited to, racialized, Indigenous and LGBTQ staff, parents and students to: 1. Determine what, if any, concerns there may be regarding the District’s School Police Liaison Officer program; and 2. Develop recommendations, as required, on what changes should be made to the program to improve its value to the school community. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • McNally: Motion to amend: Add 3: And that the PLO program be suspended immediately, at least  until the report from the Committee is received by the Board. /  Defeated: For: McNally, Painter, Paynter / Back to original motion.

Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Color blog post on this motion and vote here.

SD61 BOARD DENIES MOTION TO SUSPEND SCHOOL POLICING: The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Color led a weekend letter-writing campaign for concerned SD61 parents who want to suspend the School  Liaison Officer program until further review. After receiving a flood of letters, the Board of Trustees denied the motion. 

Victoria, British Columbia. June 24, 2020: The events of the past few weeks have shed light on incidents of police brutality around the world and in Canada. As parents, we want schools to feel welcome and safe for all children. This is not the case for many Black, Indigenous, and racialized students who do not feel safe at schools with a police presence. 

On Monday, June 22, members of the Greater Victoria School Board were presented with a motion to suspend the School Liaison Officer (SLO) program pending review. The motion failed. Voting summary, below:

IN FAVOUR (of SLO suspension): Diane McNally,  Ryan Painter,  Rob Paynter

OPPOSED: Jordan Watters,  Nicole Duncan, Tom Ferris,  Angie Hentze, Elaine Leonard, Ann Whiteaker

Police departments in the region disproportionately target Black, Indigenous, and poor people. Data on this issue has been collected locally and is widely available. Students are not exempt from these experiences of racial discrimination. 

Despite this fact, Trustee Whiteaker said that she had not seen any “real data” to back up our claims. Her response is disheartening because we expect all school trustees to do their due diligence after receiving 30-40 letters from concerned parents. Whiteaker dismisses the letters as “form letters”. Trustee Hentze’s comments indicating only “positive experiences” of the program is misguided. Considering an important motion was on the table, school trustees did not connect with racialized students or parents to gain their input on the issue. 

Whiteaker and Hentze called the suggestion to suspend the program “incredibly offensive” which is dismissive of the experiences of students and parents, who have advocated for them. Hentze refers to the efforts of parents as a “mob email.” 

Universally, email campaigns are used to convey the importance of an issue to elected officials. Equating this important communication from parents to that of a “mob” is shameful and leads us to question Hentze’s decision-making process as a Trustee. 

Trustees claim to have no data on the success of the program, but heard from many concerned parents. Why would they allow the program to continue? Asking students to prove their trauma, with “real data”, after many parents have contacted the board in this regard, is callous and unnecessarily harmful. It is not the safe and welcoming school environment that parents wish to foster for their children. 

The disparaging comments from Trustees, Hentze and Whittaker, prove that their priority is not inclusion and well-being for all children, but rather the means of communication, “form letters”, that their parents used to convey their discomfort with the SLO program.

The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Color call for the Board to revisit this motion in their next meeting. We call for the Board to listen to the concerns of the students and parents of their schools. We call for the Board to do their due diligence and acquire “the data” before denying a motion that has negative consequences for its racialized population.

FURTHER RESOURCES BELOW:

https://twitter.com/step_harrison/status/1237163561744396288

https://linedpaper1.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/70f51-michaelregisreport.pdf

https://twitter.com/step_harrison/status/1247311920190775296

https://www.needsmorespikes.com/blog/bc-street-checks

And from Tracy Humphreys, BC Ed Access:

Dear trustees,
 
I was shocked when watching the Board meeting tonight to hear two trustees refer to a last minute grassroots effort by a newly mobilizing community as ‘just a bunch of form letters’, and ‘mob emails’, and even characterizing the motion respecting their requests as ‘offensive’.
 
I’m wondering if you’ll take the time to reflect as a Board as to how that sounded to a community that is really impacted by and invested in the decisions you will make around SLO’s. This letter writing initiative was pulled together by local Black parents with little time to react and I think the number of responses should not have been dismissed out of hand, but even if they were not in your estimation worthy of consideration, the way it was referred to by these two trustees felt harmful enough that I thought it was important to send this email.
 
I look forward to the results of the investigation into this program.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tracy Humphreys
Tracy Humphreys, she/her
CEO 
Salon Label Inc., dba SLI Beauty

I acknowledge that I live and work on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples.

 

C.3 Audit Committee report: Recommended by the Committee:

1. That the Board approve the Audit Planning Report for 2019-2020 [P 55-76 agenda]  as presented by KPMG to the Audit Committee./ Carried. Unanimous

2. That the Board approve the option to extend the service agreement with KPMG to provide audit services for the 2020-2021 fiscal year with fees of $27,500 plus applicable taxes. / Carried. Unanimous

3. That the Board accept the March 2020 Quarterly Financial Report [P77-81 agenda] as presented to the Audit Committee. / Carried. Unanimous

D.4 Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee – Student Assessment and Reporting
  • My motion (May 25)  “That the Board of Education SD61 Greater Victoria support the call from the Greater Victoria Teachers Association regarding assessments during this period of pandemic  to the end of this school year at the end of June 2020, for teachers’  assessments of students  to be limited to  pass/fail or Standing Granted” was referred to the Advocacy Committee by Painter and Whiteaker (carried:For: Watters, Whiteaker,  Duncan, Ferris, Hentze, Painter, and Paynter/ Abstain: Leonard, McNally ) , which made it in effective in its intent to simplify reporting during a challenging period for all staff, particularly teachers and school administrators responsible for reporting and reviewing the reports. The Advocacy Committee extended the request to a 4 point long term inquiry, not the intent of the motion. [P 82 agenda}
 

E. DISTRICT LEADERSHIP TEAM REPORTS

E.1 Superintendent’s Report: Recommended Motion:

That the Board  receive the Superintendent’s report as presented. / Carried.Unanimous.

  • District response to racist incidents in Mt  Doug online yearbook (P 84 agenda)
  • Workplace Safety Report (P85-88 agenda): VCPAC representative Kristil Hammer [Lawyer, Corporate and Commercial]: Workplace safety reports are about staff. How to protect other students from violence from a student? How does the District train students in crisis response?
  • Student Health and Safety Report (P 105 -107 agenda): Harold Caldwell, Associate Superintendent: No official framework for student health and safety. [Major oversight on the part of the Ministry of Education and BCSTA.]
  • District COVID Response and Plan
 
E.2 Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
 
 a.Monthly Report (p 110 agenda): Recommended Motion:

That the Board receive the Secretary- Treasurer’s report as presented./ Carried. Unanimous.

b. 3rd Reading – 2020-2021 Annual Budget Bylaw : Recommended Motion:

That the Board  2020-2021 Annual Budget Bylaw in the amount of $253,606,307 be: Read a third time, passed and adopted the 22nd day of June, 2020;And that the Secretary-Treasurer and the Board Chair be authorized to sign, seal and execute this bylaw on behalf of the Board. / Carried. Against: McNally, Paynter

  • McNally: No provision for Reading Recovery, a proven literacy intervention for the struggling 20% of children who enter grade one. SD62 Sooke and SD63 Saanich are able to implement this intervention in all schools and pay the entire salary of the specialist teacher. SD61 provides this  short term effective intervention in 14 elementary schools and requires the school to pay half the teacher’s salary from the school based budget which discourages wider  implementation.  Literacy is vital for our students, to state the obvious. I can’t support a budget that does not provide for full implementation of Reading Recovery as in our neighbouring Districts.
c. 2021/2022 Five Year Capital Plan [Facilities Staff]:  Recommended Motion:

That the Board approve for submission to the Ministry of Education, the 2021/2022 Greater Victoria School District No. 61 Five Year Capital Plan. / Carried. Unanimous.

Category 1: additions: The Lansdowne 300 seat addition will be at Richmond campus. Bank St: $1 million just to remove hazardous waste. May be a demolition. Heritage issues associated. A report on site acquisition for a downtown Victoria Elementary School at September Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee. Seismic projects: Cedar Hill Middle School replacement; 11 other projects on list.

  • Paynter: Requesting to not have this plan presented at the last meeting of the year. Too much information for a short time period for consideration.
d. Statutory (Right-of-Way) for BC Hydro – Bylaw No. 20-02: Recommended Motion:

That the Board approve the granting of a Statutory Right-of-Way to British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority for the purpose of installing expanded services at Campus View Elementary School, legally described as Lot A, Section 41, Victoria District, Plan 11955, PID 004-927-818. / Carried. Unanimous.  //  That the Board  agree to give all three readings of Disposal (Right-of-Way) of Real Property Bylaw No. 20-02 at the June 22, 2020 Board meeting. / Carried. Unanimous. //  That the Board Disposal (Right-of-Way) of Real Property Bylaw No. 20-02, being a bylaw to grant a Statutory Right-of-Way to British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority on the property legally described as Lot A, Section 41, Victoria District, Plan 11955, PID 004-927-818 for the purpose of installing expanded services at Campus View Elementary School be read 3 times and adopted, and that the Chairperson and the Secretary-Treasurer be authorized to sign, seal and execute this Bylaw on behalf of the Board. / Carried. Unanimous.

F.QUESTION PERIOD : 1 Shoreline and Craigflower 2. Police in schools 3. Police in schools – why continue pending review?  4. Consultation re PLOS? 5. Police in schools
 
F.1April 27, 2020 Board of Education Meeting – Q&A Answers6 questions with answers (Pp 147-148)
 
G. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF IN-CAMERA ITEMS [No way of knowing if there was an in camera meeting before this public meeting, as the “cover page” function of the E scribe software still doesn’t have the “cover page” functionality – a loss of transparency.] 
 
School Act Section 72(3):  A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.
 
1. Student Withdrawal and PRC Diversion 2.  Student Unusual Exclusion Report  3. May 25 In Camera report: Personnel, property and legal [Not all that informative, as those are the topics in camera meetings are generally limited to considering, though that gets stretched to other topics, and you’ll never know unless a majority vote moves the discussion topic to a public report] 4. June 15: Personnel, Privacy
 
I have been barred from In Camera meetings for at least a year, since March 2020, via a majority, or unanimous vote  – who knows? I don’t – to censure me for revealing the confidential Goldner report on Trustee conduct.
 
 
H. NEW BUSINESS/NOTICE OF MOTIONS: None
I. ADJOURNMENT:  11 pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

About Diane McNally