August 6/17: Brookes Westshore Private Academy Breaks Ground in Colwood

Tony Sprackett forest fire smoke red sunset
Fernwood photographer Tony Sprackett: Smoke from BC forest fires, Victoria Harbour

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/brookes-westshore-private-academy-breaks-ground-in-colwood-1.21473991      (Article on P2 below if link doesn’t get you there.)

It’s so frustrating to read yet again that tired straw-man trope that does a deep disservice to BC’s excellent system of public education, “regurgitation of facts”.  It’s been a very long time since fact give-back  (let’s avoid the “regurgitation” imagery) was central to public education in BC. (That said, I don’t recommend fact-free education.)  

If Brookes Education group director David Rose had spent any time in BC public schools  – especially here in the South Islands in School Districts 61 Greater Victoria , 62 Sooke and 63 Saanich, since his new private school will be located in Colwood – he would see innovative teaching from committed  teachers, and enthusiastic students involved in critical thinking and project based learning, about as far from fact give-back as you can get.

With the November 2016 BCST win at the Supreme Court of Canada, language from teacher contracts that was illegally stripped by the BC Liberals was reinstated, giving students a better chance in smaller classes with more teacher support for the complex learning based on the new ( revisions began in  2015) BC curriculum that moves clearly into emphasis on  interrelationship of concepts, big ideas, critical thinking  and personalized learning (every child learns differently), and which includes foundational skills in literacy and numeracy, coding and associated logic, personal responsibility, and self-assessment.  Learning is  based in inquiry, project and problem-based learning, using research skills and scientific methods.  Flexible learning environments  are encouraged, including involvement with the community. Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing are infused throughout  the curriculum at all levels. Explicit values  of public education in BC include  valuing diversity, inclusion of all students in the most enabling environment, inclusion of International students from a variety of cultures in our schools, and support for diverse learners. Is this a curriculum and instructional approach you’d pay $15,000 to $43,000 annually to have your child avoid?

Statistics Canada research says differences between public and private schools  in achievement on standardized tests are due to differences in family socio-economic status, parental education levels and lack of peer diversity: education as a gated community. 

Public tax dollars subsidize a good part of the tuition for private schools in BC.  Public money is diverted from the public education system to support K-12 exclusionary private education.  Although the recent change in provincial government in BC brings hope for a much more stable and truly supportive funding model for K-12 education, so far  not one  political party in BC has committed to ending or even reducing the diversion of public taxes to support private schools.

BC public schools are internationally known for excellence. How is “something different” from excellence something to get excited about?

Diane McNally, former CUPE education assistant and  public school teacher,  was elected to the Board of Education of SD61 Greater Victoria in November 2011. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of the school board.

April 19/17: SD61 Greater Victoria Special Board Budget Meeting

2017-2018-budget-plan

Present: Tom Ferris (Vice Chair, in Chair), Elaine Leonard, Edith Loring-Kuhanga (chair, by phone), Diane McNally, Deborah Nohr, Peg Orcherton, Rob Paynter, Jordan Watters Ann Whiteaker

A. Commencement of Meeting
A.1 Adoption of Agenda: additions:

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Presentation at A.2

A.2 Budget Presentation (Pp 5-16 agenda; rentals Pp 167-21)

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Still have structural deficit; spending more than brought in  – expenses exceed revenues. Local revenue = provincial grants, International student fees, lease revenue. Operating revenue “surplus” kept back to help defray structural deficit. Classroom Enhancement Funds not in the totals on slide 8 “Funding Level Per FTE”.
  • Superintendent: Because the entire amount goes to teaching positions and does not change the operating budget. CEF is a special purpose fund. Will be a rise in non enrolling ratios because of local language – SD61 different from other districts.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Slide “School District Operating Spending  Including Classroom Enhancement Fund” – when SCC money comes in, SD61 will have one of the highest instructional $ %age in BC.
  • Watters: How long has SD61 had  a structural deficit? [Was $8.5 million when I was elected in 2011.]
  • Secretary-Treasurer: 15 years? Started with declining enrolment .   Slide “2017/2018 Operating Budget Considerations” : normally recommend rollover of surplus into structural deficit but there are significant needs in several areas next year. Class size and composition language restored drives space needs for coming year. Collective agreement language with GVTA is per capital higher than some other districts. SD61’s need will be above $15 million but have followed all requirement so hoping the gap will be funded.Province is fully funding the settlement with the BCTF. Staffing report will come on April 28.
  • Superintendent: Ministry will support Strong Starts but not child care or OSC.

 

B. Public Presentations on the 2017/18 Budget (5 minutes each): 12 speakers on Out of School Care, pre-schools, Little Red Schoolhouse .

  • McNally: Feel deep chagrin at not calling for more consultation with stakeholders before this.
  • Orcherton: Postpone any decision about Strawberry Vale Preschool  until further information on obligations and prior agreements on the part of both parties./ Moot (agreed to motion below)

i) Watters: add before Orcherton’s: : Postpone decision on rental increase for OSCs until further discussion and consultation with our stakeholders. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Watters: Need to slow down and consult.
  • Orcherton: Child care not within the mandate of the K-12 system. Not enough information to decide tonight.
  • Superintendent: Funding from SCC is for K-12 education l only. Will have ramifications for OSCs and classrooms.
  • Paynter: Consider coming out to other meetings. Will bring notice of motion re consultation.
  • Whiteaker: History of out of school cares in SD61. Many started by parents.Often used kindergarten room after school.Schools acknowledged it was a good thing. Provides school connectedness community. Increase at this time doesn’t allow a real response. Will take  (via Vancouver Island Trustees Association)  Early Education motion to the BCSTA AGM for approval. Funding will be there in time. Invitation to ROSCO to get on board (Regional Out of School Care Operators group on Southern Vancouver Island ).
  • Loring-Kuhanga: SD61 / public schools not responsible for Out of School Care and daycares but they are of great benefit to students. Concerned with proposed huge increases and time frames for information.Board has demonstrated support for OSCs and daycares, but we have to find the space and we have to raise revenue in addition to Ministry funding which is still inadequate.
  • Nohr: Clear that we need to step back and reassess. Facilities Department has worked very hard re capital costs that have not been addressed over many years. Want to work through our values in strategic plan and address fiduciary responsibility as well.

Early Childhood Ed 1

Early Childhood Ed 2Early Childhood Ed 3Early Childhood Ed 4

[Background document here.]

C. 2017/18 Annual Budget
C.1 Annual Budget Debate
a)
Recommended from (carried at) Operations Policy &Planning April 10/17
i) That the Board approve the proposed District facilities rental rates effective July 1/17 to support reinvestment in facilities and child care opportunities. /Defeated unanimously as amended. (see debate below.)

  • McNally: Amendment: Apart from OSC and daycare fees. / Amendment carried.
  • Paynter: Motion to table [postpone or refer!] until review of all rates for all community members. / Carried. People aren’t aware even if increases are posted. Need to make all aware.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Budget was posted on Twitter, on the website, and in various meetings  we have held on the budget.
  • Leonard: Need an ad hoc committee to study this. Nothing should happen re rental increases until January 2018, not July 1.
  • Ferris: Could give direction to the Superintendent  to bring back…
  • McNally: Question abut process – what are we discussing, Ferris’ suggestion here or Paynter motion on the floor? Are we debating “refer” or “table”? What?
  • Superintendent: July 1 rental reviews are not doable.Will come back with a reasonable timeline.Take to Public Engagement Committee? New implementation date and new process.

 


b)
New Business: McNally: (Allocation of 2017/18 One Time Operating Budget Surplus (Pp 3,4 agenda) [“surplus” in this context means this year’s in and out balances but as if you still have a big credit card bill sitting in the background to deal with] ): That the Board approve allotting the 2017/18 one time operating budget surplus of $1.4 million as follows: Support for Student Technology $400K, Inclusive Learner Spaces [McNally objection to this term for student breakout rooms for students having difficulty in classrooms] $400K, Environmental Upgrades $200K, Shop Upgrades $400K.

Considerations

  • Paynter: Add: Allocate up to $500,000 to YFCs and school counsellors to elementary schools not currently served with .5 FTE [half time at the school].
  • Orcherton: Need to divide the motion into , now 7, and consider all the options from OPP meeting separately.
  • Paynter: Can’t do this individually, have to look at it  globally.
  • Superintendent: Can take 5 minutes to present the options [for those who did not attend the Operations meeting where they were discussed].  #1: Expand student devices. Had consultation with DPAC. 2000-2300 devices. $ for pro-d, support classrooms, additions to team, as part of a front end load of support for 1 year. 1 individual doing that work woudl not work out. $950,000 cost of devices from Ministry fund. Evergreen fund $200,000 annually collected from schools; intend to use this to upgrade devices. #2: Heard from parents – need flexible teaching and learning. Won’t be able to deliver these spaces in one fell swoop but are starting. Working toward one in every school and then up. #3: This one will save us money.Remote control of heating- investment that will pay back. 20 schools need updating, 10 priority, 10 year payback.// Secretary-Treasurer: Can use operating funds for capital projects. District capital funds cover large projects. // #4: Structural deficit paydown. #5: Expand tech beyond what is currently available – for new spaces. #6: Continuing up the grades.  #7 added: Counselling in district, currently 12 individuals = 9 FTE. Decision was made to focus on high schools. Redistribute? Or cut teaching? One time funding; can only support people for 1 year. Need larger consultation with Board about wraparound services.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: That the Board postpone allocation of discretionary items  for 2018 Until the June or September Board meeting. / Defeated
  • Whiteaker: Refer [postpone!] to June Board meeting, senior administration to bring back suggested option. / Carried unanimously.

a) Recommended (by senior administration):
i.That the Board give all 3 readings of the 2017/18 budget Bylaw at this meeting. [Has to be carried unanimously.] / Carried. Unanimous.
ii.That the Board 2017/18 Annual Budget Bylaw $229,849,054 be read a 1st, 2nd, and 3d time, adopted April 19, and that the Secretary-Treasurer and Board Chair be authorized to sign, seal and execute this Bylaw on behalf of the Board.

D. Needs Budget Update

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Met at the end of January. SCC ramifications and impacts so wait until more comprehensive budget statement. Another meeting very soon.

E. Notice of Motions
i. Whiteaker: That the SD61 Board host the next VISTA (Vancouver Island School Trustees Association) meeting. In Spring 2018. / Carried. Unanimous. [Was a motion from the floor, not a Notice of Motion for a following meeting.]

ii) Paynter: Will bring motion re consultation process to future meeting.

F. Adjournment: 10:25 pm

 

Save

Save

Jan 23/17: Board Meeting: BCTF Supreme Court of Canada Win Brings Back 34 Teachers To SD61

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of and  commentary on SD61 Board and  Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting.

SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Related organizations: BC School Trustees Association,BC Principals and Vice Principals Association, BC Association of School Business Officials, Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC).

Sticky Post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 –  June 2016.  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

P1: Backgrounders/ Meeting ScheduleTrustee  Appointments
P2: Board or Standing Committee Meeting

P3: District 61 DPAC (aka VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P4: BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) info
P5: Students with Intensive Behaviour Support Needs / Severe Mental Illness

Meeting schedule here.   Next meeting Jan 23/17: Board meeting.Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings  audio and video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Under the Board of Education menu.)

Trustees  are assigned by the Chair as members of one of the two standing committees, Education  Policy and Directions, and Operations Policy and Planning. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Committee Chair, with input from senior administration.

GVSD 61 TRUSTEE REPRESENTATIVES AND TRUSTEE ASSIGNMENTS 2017
Board Chair:
Loring-Kuhanga  Vice-Chair: Ferris

BOARD-ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TO EXTERNAL MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS 2017

British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) Paynter
British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) Whiteaker

BOARD STANDING COMMITTEES 2017 (Loring-Kuhanga member of both, ex officio)
Operations P&P: Chair Watters, McNally, Leonard, Paynter
Ed Policy&Dev: Chair Whiteaker, Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton
Policy SubCommittee: Dec/16-Feb/17: McNally&Paynter // Mar/17–May/17 Ferris&Orcherton

Standing committees are the best opportunity for stakeholders, public, and partner groups to make their views known to Trustees.  Standing  Committee structure operates on less formal   Rules of Order than does the Board, ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee  can speak as many times as the Chair allows; members of the public and presenters can ask questions of each other and engage in dialogue.The question can’t be called in a standing committee, meaning debate can extend for some time. Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees.   

Robert’s Rules state that at a Board meeting consists of  debate and vote by members of the assembly, and defines members of the assembly as the elected officials.

Recent Change to Standing Committee vote:  October 17/16, Whiteaker: That the Board amend Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees to remove the words “with voting rights” from Item #4 and Item #5. / Carried. Unanimous.  This had the effect of allowing only members of the Standing Committee to vote on motions [and the effect of fewer Trustees attending the standing committee they are not assigned to, thus possibly  missing important information] , though other Trustees can put motions on the agenda, and if they attend,  can participate in  the debate. The Chair of the Board is  an ex officio member of both Committees, with voting rights. A quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee.

Ad Hoc Committees of the Board and their terms of reference are listed on the SD61 website.

My motions instituting reports from Committee members (never required in the past; several committees Trustees were assigned to in the 2012 term never met or didn’t even exist)  carried in June 2015:

1. That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) approve that all Trustees appointed by the Chair to an external body be required to submit a written report to the Board via the Chair once per school year, as part of the Trustee Report agenda item, reports to be included as part of the Board agenda pack-up,beginning December 2015. /  Carried   For: Trustees Whiteaker, Watters, McNally, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Paynter  Against: Ferris, Leonard  Abstain:Orcherton    
2. That the Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) approve that each Trustee (one Trustee agreed upon by a consensus in multi-Trustee committees) appointed to [internal] the Needs Budget Advisory Committee  , District Culture and Community (disbanded), District Gay/Straight Alliance (now Gender and Sexuality Alliance) , ANED [And ANEC] and French Immersion Advisory Committee, be required to submit a written report to the Board via the Chair in December and June of each school year, as part of the Trustee Report agenda item, reports to be included as part of the Board agenda pack-up,beginning December 2015.Carried. For: Trustees Whiteaker, Watters, McNally, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Paynter Against:   Ferris, Leonard, Orcherton

INTERNAL COMMITTEES 2017

Aboriginal Nations Education Council McNally
District Facilities Planning Committee Ferris
Gender Sexuality Alliance Watters
Equity Ad Hoc Committee Paynter & Watters
French Immersion Advisory Ferris
Needs Budget Advisory Committee Orcherton, Leonard, Nohr
Public Engagement Ad Hoc Committee McNally & Orcherton
Student Registration & Transfer Committee Ferris & Nohr
Middle School Review Committee Whiteaker & Leonard

Trustee Ferris’ December French Immersion Committee  report, included with this agenda:

january-23-2017-regular-packup

Trustee Watters’ December ANEC Report, included with this agenda:

anec-report

EXTERNAL TRUSTEE LIAISONS – COMMUNITY 2017

Saanich Arts, Culture & Heritage McNally
Saanich Parks, Trails & Rec Whiteaker
Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee Orcherton
Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee Watters

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS 2017

Allied Specialists Association Orcherton
CUPE 382 Watters
CUPE 947 Paynter
Exempt Staff Ferris (Alternate –Whiteaker)
GVTA Nohr (Alternate –Leonard)
Principals & VP Loring-Kuhanga (Alternate –McNally)

SECONDARY SCHOOL CATCHMENT AREA GROUPS LIAISON 2017

Spectrum Ferris& Leonard
Mount Doug Paynter
Oak Bay Loring-Kuhanga
Reynolds Nohr&Orcherton
Vic High McNally
Lambrick Whiteaker
Esquimalt Watters

Jan 16/17: Operations Policy and Planning: The Record Off The Record: Long Term Facilities Planning is Exciting!

snowdrops

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of and  commentary on SD61 Board and  Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting.

SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Related organizations: BC School Trustees Association,BC Principals and Vice Principals Association, BC Association of School Business Officials, Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC).

Sticky Post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 –  June 2016.  Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

P1: Backgrounders/ Meeting ScheduleTrustee  Appointments
P2: Board or Standing Committee Meeting

P3: District 61 DPAC (aka VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P4: BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) info
P5: Students with Intensive Behaviour Support Needs / Severe Mental Illness

Meeting schedule here.   Next meeting Jan 23/17: Board meeting.Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings  audio and video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Under the Board of Education menu.)

Trustees  are assigned by the Chair as members of one of the two standing committees, Education  Policy and Directions, and Operations Policy and Planning. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Committee Chair, with input from senior administration.

GVSD 61 TRUSTEE REPRESENTATIVES AND TRUSTEE ASSIGNMENTS 2017
Board Chair:
Loring-Kuhanga  Vice-Chair: Ferris

BOARD-ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TO EXTERNAL MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS 2017

British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) Paynter
British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) Whiteaker

BOARD STANDING COMMITTEES 2017 (Loring-Kuhanga member of both, ex officio)
Operations P&P: Chair Watters, McNally, Leonard, Paynter
Ed Policy&Dev: Chair Whiteaker, Ferris, Nohr, Orcherton
Policy SubCommittee: Dec/16-Feb/17: McNally&Paynter // Mar/17–May/17 Ferris&Orcherton

Standing committees are the best opportunity for stakeholders, public, and partner groups to make their views known to Trustees.  Standing  Committee structure operates on less formal   Rules of Order than does the Board, ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee  can speak as many times as the Chair allows; members of the public and presenters can ask questions of each other and engage in dialogue.The question can’t be called in a standing committee, meaning debate can extend for some time. Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees.   

Robert’s Rules state that at a Board meeting consists of  debate and vote by members of the assembly, and defines members of the assembly as the elected officials.

Recent Change to Standing Committee vote:  October 17/16, Whiteaker: That the Board amend Bylaw 9130 Standing Committees to remove the words “with voting rights” from Item #4 and Item #5. / Carried. Unanimous.  This had the effect of allowing only members of the Standing Committee to vote on motions [and the effect of fewer Trustees attending the standing committee they are not assigned to, thus possibly  missing important information] , though other Trustees can put motions on the agenda, and if they attend,  can participate in  the debate. The Chair of the Board is  an ex officio member of both Committees, with voting rights. A quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee.

Ad Hoc Committees of the Board and their terms of reference are listed on the SD61 website.

INTERNAL COMMITTEES 2017

Aboriginal Nations Education Council McNally
District Facilities Planning Committee Ferris
Gender Sexuality Alliance Watters
Equity Ad Hoc Committee Paynter & Watters
French Immersion Advisory Ferris
Needs Budget Advisory Committee Orcherton, Leonard, Nohr
Public Engagement Ad Hoc Committee McNally & Orcherton
Student Registration & Transfer Committee Ferris & Nohr
Middle School Review Committee Whiteaker & Leonard

SECONDARY SCHOOL CATCHMENT AREA GROUPS LIAISON 2017

Spectrum Ferris& Leonard
Mount Doug Paynter
Oak Bay Loring-Kuhanga
Reynolds Nohr&Orcherton
Vic High McNally
Lambrick Whiteaker
Esquimalt Watters

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS 2017

Allied Specialists Association Orcherton
CUPE 382 Watters
CUPE 947 Paynter
Exempt Staff Ferris (Alternate –Whiteaker)
GVTA Nohr (Alternate –Leonard)
Principals & VP Loring-Kuhanga (Alternate –McNally)

EXTERNAL TRUSTEE LIAISONS – COMMUNITY 2017

Saanich Arts, Culture & Heritage McNally
Saanich Parks, Trails & Rec Whiteaker
Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee Orcherton
Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee Watters