April 18/16: Board Meeting: Annual Facilities Grant / Pride Parade

There are 200+ BCCPAC Resolutions – ongoing, achieved or pending. Worth a look. Here’s an interesting one from 1994 still on the books: “That students have the opportunity to be taught the most commonly held theories on the origins of our universe and life on our planet, or at least be given a list of resources to explore these on their own; And that students be encouraged to discuss the pros and cons of these theories without being criticized for their opinions, in order to promote critical thinking skills;And that students be taught evolution as theory, not fact. ” Status: Active.

The Record Off The Record

P1: Meeting Schedule / Backgrounder / Standing Committees Backgrounder  / Trustee  Appointments
P2:
Board Meeting
P3: District 61 PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P4: BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils)

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.  Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – December 2015. Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

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.

Next Meetings
Wed Apr 20 7 pm: Final debate and vote on 2016/17 Budget
Mon May 2 7 pm Education Policy and Directions Standing Committee (location TBA)
Mon May 9 7 pm Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee (Board Room)
Mon May 16 7:30 pm Board Meeting (Board Room)

Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings are now video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Look under the Board of Education menu.)

A Policy Subcommittee has been formed to review Policies,  some of which have not been reviewed for several decades and some of which are redundant.

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.

Trustees don’t “have to”  attend Standing Committee if not assigned. 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. The question can’t be called in a standing committee.Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees  Standing Committees also provide for dialogue between  presenters and the Board.

Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee
Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Watters  (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Education  Policy and Directions
Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Whiteaker (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Policy Review Subcommittee (advises both Standing Committees)
March-June Leonard/Watters   Sept-Dec Nohr/Whiteaker
Jan17-March/ April McNally-Paynter

For OPPs and Ed Policy,  “quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee”.  However, the relevant Bylaw also says “All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights”. So assigned Trustees are the ones who count for quorum = 3.

External Trustee Liaison assignments are made by  the Board Chair.

April4/16: EdPolicy&Directions: Bus Passes, Mental Health, Reading Recovery

“Mental health” is too important an issue to have one-off presentations at various schools. There is a province-wide bandwagon effect regarding student mental health initiatives, and the providers need more scrutiny from the District.

2016 April 2 fern new growth 2.jpg
Fern new growth April 2016

The Record Off The Record

P1: Meeting Schedule / Backgrounder / Standing Committee Meeting Summary
P2:
Standing Committees Backgrounder  / Trustee  Appointments
P3: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs

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.  Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – December 2015.

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.

Next Meetings
Wed April 6 7:00 pm Special  Board Budget Meeting to receive public input: Round Table Budget Discussion / S.J. Willis Auditorium
Mon Apr 11 7:00: Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee and Special Budget Meeting to receive public input: (250) 475-4106 to pre-register for the speakers’ list
Mon Apr 18 7:30 pm: Board Meeting
Wed Apr 20 7 pm: Final debate and vote on 2016/17 Budget

Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings are now video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Look under the Board of Education menu.) Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees (Education Policy and Directions / Operations Policy and Planning). Standing Committees also provide for dialogue between  presenters and the Board.

A Policy Subcommittee has been formed to review Policies,  some of which have not been reviewed for several decades and some of which are redundant.

June 8/15: OPPS: The Record, Off the Record: Please Tell Us What You’re Doing: Committee Reports

June is SPCA Cat Awareness Month! Pic of Brodie in Tolmie Bldg main office :-) Get your cute cat ears headband at  local SPCA Branch!
June is SPCA Cat Awareness Month! Pic of Brodie in Tolmie Bldg main office 🙂 Get your cute cat ears headband at local SPCA Branch!

P1: Disclaimer / Backgrounder
P2: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P3: SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Letters from BC School Boards
P4: District PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts /  School Act re DPACs

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – March 2015. The District now posts a record of motions carried, but the motions that fail are  equally interesting. (They do appear in the minutes of meetings, along with the vote, but not officially until a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings
Mon June 15/15 7:30 Board Meeting
Thurs June 25: Last day of school for students
Tues Sept 8/15: School opening
Mon Sept 14/15 7 pm: Education Policy Development Committee

SD61 Greater Victoria School District  provides education for approximately 20,000 students in 27 Elementary Schools, 10 Middle Schools, and 7 Secondary Schools  (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, part of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations).  Approximately  650 adult learners register with the SD61  Continuing Education / Distributed Learning Program.

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2015-16 budget of $206,361,204.  Out of that,  nine Trustees are paid approximately $1,400 a month, each. Each Trustee has access to an individual $2000 annual professional development fund, which at this point, rolls over if not used.

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria.  Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings and official voting records are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Legally required reports from In Camera meetings are posted beside the relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on the Bylaws, Policies and Regs menu). “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC School Act which states “ 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.” [Kind of an antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”. Any report beyond the very basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. The SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “are limited to”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” [“Usually” leaves lots of room to move. “Never” might be better wording.]

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver) and move into in camera meetings by public motion of the Council. The public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act which states that Chairs can set in camera meetings before public meetings.

Trustees and student representatives are referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)” is referred to as “the Board”. No audio or video recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. [No record of how the audio recording decision was made, or any debate on proposed uses of and storage of the record appears to exist. However, the video recording was debated at length in 2014 OPPS meetings.] Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording. Seconders not noted.

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

OPPS: Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Whiteaker (Loring-Kuhanga)
Ed Policy: Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Watters (Loring-Kuhanga)

The External Trustee Liaison assignments have been made by the Chair to groups which have replied “yes” to a recent District query regarding their desire to have a Trustee liaison, so there fewer than there were for the 2012-2015  Board term, and for many years before that. [No one has been able to find a contact for the Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association for years, so my position as elected rep to that body may not last for as many years as the previous rep’s did.]

Assign & Family of Schools JAN.15

Interestingly, given that SD61 now has an Attendance Manager to “encourage and support” return to work for employees (even though SD61 employees generally are below the provincial average in sick days use, and generally under the number of negotiated available days in Collective Agreements, and have union-contracted return to work provisions through their own providers),  Trustees can miss almost 3 months of meetings – just not show up – ie. miss 6 Standing Committees, and 2 Board meetings, with no reason given, no cut in pay, and no approval required from the Board:

School Act, BC: Trustee disqualification from holding office: 52 (2) If a trustee is continuously absent from board meetings for a period of 3 consecutive months, unless the absence is because of illness or with the leave of the board, the office of the member is deemed to be vacant and the person who held the office is disqualified from holding office as a trustee until the next general school election.

City of Victoria annual topiary - mother orca and baby: "Surfacing"
City of Victoria annual topiary – mother orca and baby: “Surfacing”

Jan 19/15: Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record:Concussion Policy, FSA Opt Out, More

We need to believe that parents know what they are doing when they send in the FSA opt out form, and that if they want more information they will call the school. To believe and to act otherwise is condescending.

Page 1: Meeting times, audio files, general background info
Page 2: Bylaws/ Policies / Regulations / Robert’s Rules essentials
Page 3: Agenda and meeting















Official voting record is in recorded minutes, which will be approved at next Board meeting, Feb 16/15 and then posted to the SD61 website.

Links for more info /sources in red.
Home page: Sticky post: Motions and Voting Records to January 2011 – June 2014: Voting records September –December 2014 to be added.

Next meetings
Mon Feb 2/15 7pm Education Policy Standing Committee, Glanford Middle School
Tues Feb 10 /15 7:30pm Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee:
Tolmie Board Room
Mon Feb 16 /15 7:30pm Board Meeting Tolmie Board Room

The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, a big part of Saanich and Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Required reports from In Camera meetings are posted beside the relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on the Bylaws, Policies and Regs menu). “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC School Act which states “ 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.” [Kind of an antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”. Any report beyond the basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” “Usually” leaves lots of room to move. “Never” might be better wording.

The BC School Act states in 69 (2): “If, in the opinion of the board, the public interest so requires, persons other than trustees may be excluded from a meeting.” That is very broad discretion given to a majority of the Board to determine via “opinion” what is kept secret from the public.

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter (except for the City of Vancouver) and move into in camera meetings by public motion of the Council, and the public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act and Chairs along with District senior administration set in camera meetings before public meetings.

The public meeting schedule is posted on the District Calendar (under News and Events menu). Trustees are referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)” is referred to as “the Board”. No audio or video recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. [No record of how the audio recording decision was made, or any debate on proposed uses of and storage of the record appears to exist. However, the video recording was debated at length in 2014 OPPS meetings.] Motions may be shortened but retain the essential wording. Seconders not noted.

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2014-15 budget of $195.330, 769.00 of your tax dollars, serving the educational needs of approximately 19,500 students.