- Voted to support motion to record trustee votes by name at the table (eventually passed)
- Voted to support a Question and Answer at the formal board meeting (did NOT passed, eventually referred to an Ad Hoc committee for consideration)
- Voted against the provincial budget that does not provide sufficient funding for the teachers, speech and language therapists, counsellors etc for our students (motion passed-5/4 split)
- Voted to support the $350,000 surplus for psychologists, speech&language therapists and teachers’ of the hearing impaired
- Voted against the Achievement Contract, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. The contract is a government requirement and the reporting is very selective and does NOT reflect some of the critical detail of our students’ lack of success due to underfunding
- Voted to support writing a letter to the Premier and M. of Ed expressing outrage at the ‘clawback’ of funding during this school year, 2012-2013
- Voted to support writing a letter to the M. of Ed expressing concern that there is NOT enough funding to support students, K to 3 that have significant behaviour or learning challenges before they are able to have a psychological assessment
- Voted to support writing a letter to the M. of Ed expressing concern that there is NOT enough funding to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (full-time EA support when needed)
- Voted to support endorsement of the proposal for universal early care and learning initiative and write a letter to the Premier, M.of Ed and official opposition requesting consideration of this important program. Voted to inform all partner groups about the early care and learning initiative and encourage them to provide endorsement
- Met with many parents at PAC meetings and on school playgrounds
Trustee Nohr…Report #16 SD 61
Equality for All in Public Education
Fully Funded Public Education Justice, Not Charity
April, 2013 What’s Going On At the Board?
First, at our Education Policy Meeting April 2, 2013
We were provided with a full review of the counselling services provided to the district. The presenters included: Debra Mackie-Principal of Special Education, Deb Courville-Associate Superintendent, Nella Nelson-Coordinator of Aboriginal Nations Education, Dick Brown- District Counsellor
School counsellors are responsible for providing many services to their assigned schools. These services include: school-based team collaboration, student support for social-emotional issues, coordinating community services (including longterm counselling), student transfers and career counselling for high school students.
Youth and Family counsellors (YFCs) work with students and their families.
There are 6 counsellors in our district who provide specific support for Aboriginal students. They have assigned schools and additional schools for whom they are responsible.
Our staff work above and beyond the call of duty and I’d like to thank all of them for their efforts.
What I do know is that we DO NOT have anywhere near enough counselling support for the complex needs of some students, a proactive/nip it in the bud approach for other students, the intensive support necessary for serious depression, suicidal thoughts, abandonment issues and bullying. I strongly encourage parents to advocate for this very necessary component of a successful school experience.
The final revision of Regulation 6140.1 Child Abuse and Regulation 5140.2 Child Abuse and School district Employees
This revision was presented by District Principal, Janine Roy. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to ask follow up questions. I will make a request to senior administration that they provide a review of these regulations so we may be clear and confident that all aspects of student safety are effectively in place.
Second, at our Operations, Planning and Policy Meeting April 8, 2013
District Wide School Websites Updates are occurring as I write. Ted Pennell, Director of Information Technology and Andy Canty, Manager of Information Technology explained that we have hired a local web development company, the same one that was used by Oak Bay Municipality, to create a district wide software program to support current and ever changing information to all school websites. The stated cost is $27,000. I strongly support hiring local small entrepreneurs. We have four pilot schools: Campus View, Monterey, Vic High and The Link. This is great news! Hopefully, parents and the community will now find all critical information in a timely manner. Also, there will be a language translator and since we are a global community this is essential so we can engage more effectively with all parents and citizens.
$3,810,599 for the total Annual Facilities Grant- motion passed unanimously
Public Engagement Committee …great discussion by attendees.
Letter to Minster of Education re: Downloading of additional costs referred to Debra Laser, secretary treasurer for specific costs. This motion will be brought forward to the Board meeting.
Fair wage for all employee groups to keep up with inflation, the funding must come from the negotiated wage settlement- motion passed unanimously
Make public, all classroom organization data 2012-2013, which is public information, place it on SD 61 website and bring it forward for discussion at the board meeting- motion defeated
I am very disappointed and concerned that publicly elected trustees would think withholding public information is a good idea. As I say, informed parents and citizens make great advocates!
The Provincial Overview of Class Size and Composition 2012-2013 has been so reduced in detail as to be of almost no use. Don’t fund and hide the results/evidence! http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reports/pdfs/class_size/2012/public.pc
For- Trustees Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally , Nohr
Against- Trustees Orcherton, Ferris, Horsman, McNally, Leonard Absent-McEvoy
Now, at the Board Meeting
Monterey students shared their experiences collecting donations for the United Way. Clearly, there was an enlarging of their awareness of families’ struggles when living at or below the poverty level or with chronic health issues.
1) The Capital Bylaw $2,414,051- passed unanimously
Letter to the Minister of Education expressing serious concern about the downloading of additional and unanticipated costs to the district -passed unanimously.
Here are the costs to date: teachers’ pension increase-$1.2M (1.3%), employee benefit increase-$775,000, Hydro rate increase (1.44%), transition to PST/GST-$330,000, general inflation(2%) $350,000 , if Cooperative Gains stays in place- $1.5M for every 1% for employee groups…….TOTAL $3.5M loss…..this is equivalent to losing ( approx.) 35 teachers or educational aides or CUPE employees or exempt staff! Our school district cannot afford this loss. Your children or someone in your community will have children that will not get the instruction and support they need. What is your vision of a just society?
3) Moved- Nohr
Letter to the Minister of Education expressing a clear expectation that the government provide for the wage increase for any negotiated settlements with all our employee groups. I support all employee groups receiving a fair wage increase when considering that inflation is approx. 2% this year.-passed unanimously
Just an update on VCPAC. I attended their VCPAC/AGM at Hillcrest School this past week and it was stated that VCPAC did not have quorum at any of their meetings this year. John Bird was re-elected as president.
Deborah Nohr ( 250-380-0888 or 250-896-0808-c ) deborahnohr.ca
* Please take a look at Trustee McNally’s blog, Lined Paper:)
Remember……the new budget has no additional funding for public education! That means we take 2% or $350,000 from our budget BEFORE we even start.
Attend candidate forums and ask questions about fully funding Public Education….it is like the air we breathe…necessary for life… enlivening a child’s heart and mind, bringing equality in the learning experience for every child and creating social justice in our society:)