Board meeting – May 24

Thanks to Killarney students Maggie Yip and Audrey Chow for telling us about the TEDxYouth@KSS they organized.  The theme of “Making Waves” tied in with Killarney’s goal of resiliency and the youth speakers inspired a ripple effect through their innovative ideas and energy.

The Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) final report came to the board for approval from Committee II – Planning and Facilities with three committee recommended changes:

  •  To insert the Board approved motion (February 29, 2016) regarding working toward the 95% capacity utilization target.
  • To include the motions regarding MacDonald Elementary School (October 26, 2015) in relation to closure moratorium and seismic funding priority.
  • To adjust Level Two factors for consideration of possible schools for closure to include a factor addressing needs of vulnerable students, families and communities.

A fourth amendment was proposed by Trustee Bacchus to be added to the Level Two factors for consideration of possible schools for closure: Education and social impacts of school closure on students and families, particularly in communities with high concentrations of vulnerable students and families.  This amendment was passed 8-0 with one abstention.

There was unanimous approval of the LRFP with the three changes and one amendment.
I am very pleased that we now have a framework that covers all aspects of our school buildings and lands to help in our decision making in getting all our students into seismically safe schools and managing our many facilities.  I very much appreciate that so many people took part in our consultation, including more than 1600 completed surveys, as we were able to capture the many views about our complex district.  I also thank our staff team whose commitment and thorough work produced this well thought out, well researched, data rich plan.

The Chair gave this statement about the Gordon Elementary Outbuilding (Little Yellow Schoolhouse):

  • On March 7, 2016, the Vancouver Board of Education directed staff to issue an Expression of Interest for proponents to submit proposals by April 20, 2016 to retain and restore the General Gordon Elementary Outbuilding, better known as the Little Yellow Schoolhouse, as long as it did not delay new school construction and entry of students and staff to the school this fall.
  • Following the closure of proposals, VSB created an evaluation committee to score the proposals received.
  • Tonight, the Board of Education has directed staff to negotiate with proponents who responded to the Expression of Interest in the order they are ranked by the VSB Evaluation committee.
  • We will report back once we have more information from staff on whether negotiations with a proponent are successful.

I am pleased that we continue to work towards a solution that will retain the Schoolhouse without jeopardizing the return of students to General Gordon this September or the operation of this new school.

New business included requests that:

  • Water testing for lead be reported on at Committee II – Planning and Facilities.
  • Guidelines on our district’s procedures during election campaigns be reviewed.
  • Adult education graduation numbers, including graduates from the youth program, be provided to trustees.
  • The number of in and out of catchment students enrolled at each school site be provided to trustees.

Notice of Motion was given by Trustee Robertson:

WHEREAS

  1. The City of Vancouver (CoV) and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) entered into a joint venture In 1975 to construct buildings adjacent to Britannia Secondary School to provide community services and programs;
  2. The Britannia Centre site includes an elementary and a secondary school, a library, an ice rink and pool, a community office and several other smaller facilities;
  3. The 17.04 acre Britannia Centre is managed by the Britannia Community Services Society (BCSS), which is governed by a board of management made up of representatives from the Vancouver Park Board, CoV, VSB and the community;
  4. All grounds and facilities at the Britannia Centre are maintained by the VSB;
  5. Building operations and maintenance costs at Britannia Centre are allocated based on an agreement between the COV and the VSB, whereby a percentage calculation based on building square footage is followed to allocate the total shared costs to individual buildings for cost sharing purposes;
  6. In 2011, VSB staff undertook a review of the cost sharing arrangement at Britannia Centre, including staffing, utilities, and maintenance costs, to determine if the arrangements are fair and equitable, and identified the following issues:
    The cost sharing formula does not recognize the different complexities for each facility (for example, it costs far more by area to operate a pool or ice rink than it does a classroom).
    The cost sharing formula is based on available hours to each of the parties to the agreement and does not consider the actual hours of operation used by the VSB.
    The existing budgets/funding do not address the major facilities component replacements or major new capital facilities.
    The Britannia Community Services Society receives all revenue from the rental of grounds and facilities, including VSB facilities.
    VSB expenditures for Britannia far exceed the expenditures for a similar secondary/elementary school (up to $850,000 more than the expenditures for similar district facilities).
  7. At the February 21, 2011, meeting of the Vancouver Board of Education, the Board directed VSB staff to meet with staff at the Britannia Community Services Society and the City of Vancouver to review the cost sharing arrangement at Britannia Centre to ensure that it is equitable to all parties;
  8. A cost sharing arrangement at Britannia Centre that is equitable to all parties has not yet been achieved;
  9. The VSB is facing unprecedented budget cuts this year and a significant budget deficit for the 2017/2018 budget year.  The budget cuts for the coming year include cuts to literacy teachers, resource teachers, multicultural support workers and other cuts that have a direct impact on student learning.  In these difficult budgetary times the VSB can no longer subsidize the operating costs of the Britannia Community Centre facilities which are properly the budgetary responsibility of the City of Vancouver;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT if Vancouver Board of Education (VSB) staff are not able to achieve a cost sharing arrangement with the City of Vancouver that is fair and equitable to all parties by June 30, 2016, the Board authorizes and directs VSB staff to give Notice of Termination of the Agreement to all parties as per the terms and conditions of the Britannia Centre agreement.

 

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

Annual Facilities Grant, Hudson, VPO, Long Range Facilities Plan & Consultation – May 18

Highlights from the Planning & Facilities Committee (II) meeting of May 18.

The expenditure plan for the 2016/17 Annual Facilities Grant (AFG) was presented.  Vancouver’s allocation is $10.3 million; $1.5 million for operating (repair-orientated projects e.g. leaking pipes) and $8.8 million for capital (replacement/renewal-orientated projects, e.g. replacing entire water systems).  The $10.3 million total is the same as in 2015/16.

The VSB has the oldest schools in the province with more than 110 sites with approximately $1.6 billion worth of physical plant and relies on AFG funding to maintain its building infrastructure.  The VSB has a backlog of over $700 million of deferred maintenance.  Current AFG rates are only enough to keep approximately 10% of VSB schools fully maintained over the next 5 years, hence the district is only able to address its highest priority building renewal requirements amongst 110 schools.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May18_op_commII_item1.pdf

To create a new classroom at Hudson Elementary the board approved converting an existing staffroom into a classroom and creating a new staffroom from ancillary gym space, with the $110,00 cost to be allocated from the 2015/16 AFG.  However the new classroom is not required for the 2016/17 year hence the work will be deferred for a year and the AFG funds will be reallocated.  (Verbal report)

Last August, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and VSB signed a memorandum of understanding to create a co-governed Vancouver Project Office (VPO) to oversee district seismic projects.  The VPO has established a Decision Forum to inform the VSB and MoE on the status of seismic mitigation projects, to obtain decisions necessary to advance projects and to provide direction and instruction to the VPO.  (Verbal report)

The report on the public consultation for the Long Range Facilities Plan was presented. The report itself is 25 pages but the 9 appendices with 150 pages give plenty of reading.
Thank you to everyone who gave us their input – there were more than 1,600 surveys completed and more than 2,500 touchpoints – and to our consultation team for their commitment and dedication.
The VSB is committed to land use planning that involves the public and stakeholders in meaningful ways.  Our team heard complex responses to our district’s complex facilities situation yet some core findings have been identified.

  • Innovative learning environments and seismically safe schools are top priorities.
  • There is more support for closures if they expedite the seismic plan.
  • There is greater acceptability of school closures if there is a clear benefit, such as gains in seismic upgrades, replacement schools or schools where they are needed.
  • Communication and support for communities through closure and seismic upgrades is paramount.
  • The sale of portions of appropriate school properties is supported if the money can augment capital or existing projects.  There is support for selling non-school properties, but retaining and realizing lease revenues is recognized as an opportunity.
  • Surplus school reuse for recreation, playing fields, childcare and increased green space is supported.  Leases to businesses and private schools have low support.
  • Support for mixed use is inconclusive, but creative strategies for co-location and partnerships were welcomed.
  • There were frequent reminders to accommodate or make decisions with a lens on equity and accessibility for all students and families.

The VSB will continue to engage communities, especially around closures, seismic planning and temporary accommodation, as implementation plans are developed.

Report: https://vsbengagement.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/appendix-j-public-consultation-report-by-public-assembly.pdf

The VSB submitted an interim Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) to the Minister of Education in January 2016.  This plan to 2030 showed how the VSB could target 95% capacity utilization and complete the seismic mitigation program.
The updated LRFP presented includes revisions to the plan in response to public consultation feedback and address three further areas, heritage retention, facility condition, and alternative use and development of VSB property.  Highlights (see cover memo) include:

  • Revision of factors for school closure
  • School closure is required to use a whole school for temporary accommodation
  • Revisions to closure timeline – this will be provided after the list of possible school closures is released on June 20
  • Revisions to the zones for zone planning
  • Possible strategies to decrease deferred maintenance
  • An approach to addressing heritage retention issues and challenges
  • Possible operating and/or capital options for alternate use/development of school buildings/classrooms, portions of schools grounds and non-school properties

The updated LRFP comes before the board for approval at our next meeting – several changes were recommended by the committee.  Specifically:

  • Including the board approved motion about 95% capacity utilization
  • Including the board approved motions regarding MacDonald Elementary
  • Including a level two factor for school closure about addressing needs of vulnerable students, families and communities

Cover memo: https://vsbengagement.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/lrfp-cover-memo.pdf
Report: https://vsbengagement.wordpress.com/lrfp-updates-may-18-2016/

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

Early Mandarin Bilingual, Home Learners, Sanctuary Schools, User-Pay Band & Strings – May 11

Highlights from the Education & Student Services Committee (III) of May 11.

There were two parent presentations, one about the Early Mandarin Bilingual program and one about the Home Learners program.  Thank you to these parents for bringing their thoughts and ideas to this committee.

A sanctuary schools proposal was brought to our board last year.  Staff reported on background to this proposal, the broader political and legislative context, current VBE policies, practices and supports related to student enrollment, and plans moving forward.
The VSB  has a long history of supporting immigrants and refugees, including persons with immigration challenges, while maintaining balance and compliance with statutory requirements.
The VSB will continue to work in consultation with the City of Vancouver and other municipal boards in this regard, as requested. Further, in alignment with the City of Vancouver’s Access Without Fear policy for municipal services, the VSB will post a newly developed Q & A on the District Reception and Placement Centre’s webpage (see report Attachment #1).

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May11_op_commIII_agenda_item3_0.pdf

The motion The Board requests staff to gather information on the feasibility of a user-pay system to retain the Band and Strings program and report back to the Board was approved at the April 28 budget board meeting.
The report back concluded with seven issues that would have to be addressed to have a user-pay (approx $400-500) system in place for September 2016:

  • Parents would have to commit to and pay for the program before May 20, 2016.
  • A subsidy/bursary account ($200-500K) would have to be organized in advance of September 2016.
  • A system for fee payment would have to be arranged.  Further implementation of our pilot online payment system has been halted due to the proposed elimination of the Finance position in the budget.
  • The VSB would have to hire or recruit a sufficient number of Band and Strings teachers by the end of this school year.
  • Schedules would need to be created for the itinerant teachers.
  • To expand to program to all elementary schools (equity across the district) basic Band and Strings equipment (including instruments) would have to be ordered before the end of the school year.  Staff would have to find the $100-200K in this year’s budget.
  • Modifications to classrooms at a minimum of 7 schools would be required over the summer.

The committee (all trustees are members) did not support moving forward with a user-pay system due to issues such as the financial commitment, short timelines and equity of access.

I know that the Band and Strings program is highly valued in our district and many schools have had wonderful programs for many years.  Unfortunately we are not given additional funding by the province to support the extra teaching costs of an optional program, a user pay system is not practical, and so the program can only continue if a Principal, in discussion with staff and parents, uses class prep time for Band or Strings.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May11_op_commIII_item4_0.pdf

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see:http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

Board meeting – May 9

Student Trustee Timme Zhao will be the “hugger” at the June 4 Hug-a-Thon attempting to beat the current Guinness World Record of 2,436 for the most hugs given by an individual in an hour.  Good luck Timme!
Details: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/hug-a-thon-tickets-23952704183

The minutes from our April 28 budget meeting were approved and as a follow up our Superintendent explained his responsibility to implement the amended budget proposals, with the $24 million cuts.  Although the board did not approve budget our schools must be ready for students in September and our district must meet our financial and contractual obligations.

VSB news: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-news/vsb-chair-provides-statement-201617-operating-budget

We voted on the motion That the VSB write a letter of support for Corinne’s Quest and endorse the campaign by registering on the Corinne’s Quest website.
Corinne’s Quest seeks to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children in Canada and is supported by many established groups and well regarded individuals.
This motion was discussed at Committee I – in the staff report legal counsel advised that without due diligence it would be difficult to support a corporate endorsement.  My own research led me to support this motion.

Two new VBE policies were approved unanimously, GE: Exempt Staff and Revised GCQAB: Tutoring.  These new policies made ten others redundant and they were unanimously rescinded.

Two urgent motions relating to the budget discussions with the Minister of Education were defeated.  The Minister had suggested that EY, last year’s Special Advisor, be contracted by the Ministry and the VSB to identify alternative budget proposals (to those from VSB senior management) to address the $24 million shortfall.
Trustee Robertson proposed That the Chair advise the Minister that if he wishes to appoint a Special Advisor to review the VSB’s 2016/2017 Budget that the Minister accept the full cost of that appointment.  Defeated 5 – 4.
Trustee Bacchus proposed That the Board inform the Minister of Education that it declines his offer of a Special Advisor to review the staff 2016/17 preliminary operating budget proposals and that it requests that he provide additional funding to address the VSB funding shortfall.  Defeated 4 – 3 with 2 abstentions.
I voted against both motions as I considered them redundant.  Our Chair had already responded to the Minister that this suggestion did not meet the board’s desire to reduce the magnitude of the budget cuts and would also increase our costs.

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see:http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

Employee services policy reviews – May 4

Highlights from the Personnel and Staff Services Committee (IV) meeting of May 4.

Staff analysed VSB policies for to exempt staff considering social relevance, legislative changes, regulatory changes and current best practices.
It is recommended that a new section in the Employee Services’ Policy Manual be created called “Section GE”: Exempt Staff”, that the new policy be approved, and that nine policies be rescinded as they are outdated or covered by the new policy.
The committee supported the recommendations.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commIV_item1.pdf

The polices GCQAB “Tutoring for Pay” and IHHA-R “Individual Help” were also reviewed.  Considerations included compliance with the Collective Agreement (particularly implications of contracting out) and current best practices.  These polices allow for private tutoring in schools during the school day and teachers tutoring their own students for pay.  It is recommended that the policy “Individual Help” be rescinded and the policy “Tutoring for Pay” policy be revised.
The committee supported the recommendations, with the suggestion that a more general policy name than “Tutoring for Pay” be considered.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commIV_item2.pdf

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see:
http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

School fees, code of conduct, enrolment report, Corinne’s Quest, strategic plan – May 4

Highlights from the Committee I meeting of May 4.

The fee schedules for all elementary and secondary schools were presented.
Typical elementary fees are $25 for supplies and up to $10 for an agenda, giving a range of $25-35.  Many school have additional fees, for example for performances or Grade 7 camp. There are no fees for elementary district choice programs, including Fine Arts, International Baccalaureate, Intensive French, Mandarin Bilingual and MACC.
Typical secondary fees are $18-30 for an agenda and student activities/leadership.  There are many optional fees for district or school programs, some courses and Grade 12 graduation.
All fee schedules include the financial hardship clause: The Board of Education Trustees are committed to ensuring that no school-age student will be denied an opportunity to participate in a course, class or program because of an inability to pay fees.  Parents and guardians unable to pay some or all of school a fee or deposit are invited to speak to their child’s teacher, grade counsellor, and/or an administrator.

The committee supported the recommendation to publish the 2016/17 school fees.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commI_item1_School%20Fees.pdf

A draft Code of Conduct Policy was presented.  This is a significant policy revision (most recent revisions were in 1999) that reflects safe and caring schools legislation and updated district policies.  It is proposed that 12 outdated policies be deleted once this new policy is approved.
The proposed revisions to the student suspension process are significant and:

  • Affirm restorative practices as options for school administrators
  • Formal suspensions at the primary and intermediate grades are for exceptional circumstances only, and in consultation with the Director of Instruction
  • Require consultation with the Director of Instruction before formal suspension of a student with special needs
  • Outline three levels of suspension, 5 days or fewer, over 5 days, and indeterminate
  • Require school initiated transfers for disciplinary reasons (administrative transfers) to follow this policy

Feedback was requested so that a revised draft can be presented at the next Committee I meeting.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commI_item%202_Draft%20Policy.pdf

VSB enrolment has been falling as Grade 12 cohorts of 4400-4700 students were being replaced by Kindergarten cohorts of 3400-3700.  As of April 13 there were 3750 Kindergarten students pre-registered for September, slightly above the projected number.  The anticipated decline in K-12 enrolment next year is 220.  By 2017/18 it is projected that K-12 enrolment will stabilize at about 49,000 students (not including International Education or Distributed Learning).

Sixteen elementary schools/annexes are on the “full schools” list due to the number of in-catchment students or because they need to accommodate students from full schools.  Thirteen of these schools/annexes held Kindergarten draws and placed some in-catchment students on wait lists.  Wait lists reduced as Kindergarten choice programs offered spaces, cross boundary applications were processed and families relocated.  As of May 4 six of these schools have wait lists (6 – 35 students), although all these students have been accommodated at a VSB school for September.

Kindergarten choice program applications remain strong with 1254 first choice applicants for 660 spaces in Early French Immersion, Montessori, Early Mandarin Bilingual, Fine Arts, and International Baccalaureate programs.  As of May 4 there are 502 students wait listed.

There are 19 (corrected from 18 in the report, Magee Sparts was missed) secondary mini school programs.  1320 students submitted applications for Grade 8 entrance and as of May 4 523 students (about 39% of applicants) have accepted places.  The offer/acceptance process is still underway.

Regular secondary cross boundary applications were analysed from September 2016.  1163 applications were submitted, of which 784 were from Grade 7 students (about 22% of Grade 7s).  The number of applications for September 2017 is comparable and processing is underway.

In 2015 approximately 84% of school-aged children living in Vancouver attended VSB schools, and this percentage has ranged from 81-84% over the last 10 years.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commI_item%203_Enrolment.pdf

The motion “That the VSB write a letter of support for Corinne’s Quest and endorse the campaign by registering on the Corinne’s Quest website” is before the board.  Staff were advised that without due diligence about the Corinne’s Quest organization it would be difficult to support a corporate endorsement.  This committee supported the motion.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commI_item%204_Corinnes%20Quest.pdf

Phase 2 of the Strategic Plan, including a survey, workshop, guided discussions and interviews/key partner meetings, is underway.  A draft framework should be available in early June (revised from late May (apparently we have been busy with the budget)).

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16May04_op_commI_item%205_Strategic%20Plan.pdf

 

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see:
http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balanced budget implementation

In considering how to vote on the 2016/17 budget proposals I came to the conclusion that the proposed $24 million in budget cuts would happen either way; with board approval we would implement them, and an official trustee would implement them if the board voted against.
I did not foresee that our Superintendent would have to implement the balanced budget to ensure that our schools are ready for students in September and to keep our district financially viable.  I thought that the board could direct the Superintendent to implement the budget but was advised that this would be the same as approving the budget, which our board has not done.
Secondary school principals need to know their teacher allocation so they can set their timetables and decide which courses to run next year.  Our Collective Agreement requires staff be declared surplus by June 1 and that teacher job postings be created by that date to fit the post and fill process.  To work through timetable planning and the administrative surplus and fill procedures the Superintendent will need to implement a balanced budget this week.

This blog expands on the statement provided by the VSB Chair Mike Lombardi on May 6.

VSB Chair Provides Statement on 2016/17 Operating Budget

Vancouver – (May 6, 2016) – Amid questions about operating stability of the Vancouver School District since the board’s decision not to approve the 2016/17 preliminary operating budget proposals VSB Chair, Mike Lombardi, has issued a statement to staff, the District Parent Advisory Council and other partner groups.

The decision means there is not a board-approved budget in place for next year. Without an approved budget, the Chair acknowledges it is the responsibility of the Superintendent to carry out operations in a way that ensures the district can continue to meet its financial and contractual obligations.

“In this case, that means the Superintendent must proceed with implementation of the proposed preliminary budget, including all staffing, program and spending reductions it contains, until he is directed to do otherwise by the board,” said Mr. Lombardi.  “He is doing so with the board’s understanding and full confidence.”

In the meantime, the board is continuing to work with the Minister of Education to secure additional funding for the operating budget. “We remain hopeful that the proposed cuts can be reduced or eliminated. If additional funding becomes available in the coming weeks or months my expectation is that the budget proposals would be adjusted accordingly,” said the Chair.

VSB Budget Vote – Apr 28 Decision

Note: This blog was written on April 29, the day after our budget vote (with apologies for the late posting).
Chair Mike Lombardi and I, as Vice-Chair, met with the Minister of Education Mike Bernier on May 3 to discuss the VSB budget.  It was a positive meeting and we look forward to further discussions: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-news/vbe-chair-and-minister-education-meet-about-budget

Yesterday I voted against approving the proposed VSB balanced budget that required $24 million in cuts.  I did this not because I thought I could stop the cuts but because I hope a “no” vote will lead to better provincial funding for public education and so a better future for our Vancouver students.

I anticipate that in rejecting a balanced budget the Minister of Education will dismiss our board and appoint an official trustee who will pass a balanced budget with $24 million in cuts.  I also realise that the official trustee could be in place for up to two and a half years until the next municipal election, with the power to set policy, close schools and sell land.  As a locally elected trustee it was very difficult to contemplate relinquishing my responsibility to make decisions about our students’ education.

However in voting “no” I wanted to highlight the underfunding of public education faced by Vancouver as well as every school district in BC.  The provincial government decides how much money to spend on education and sets many rules about how it must be spent.  Although the amount of education money may be increasing each year it does not keep up with the money required to even provide the same services as in the last year due to inflation, increased Hydro costs, downloaded salary and benefits increases and other costs.  My hope is that public education becomes the top priority in the coming provincial election as people across BC recognise that educating our students well is the best investment we can make for our province.

While it is the provincial government’s responsibility to provide adequate, stable and predictable funding to public education, every school district must also manage their finances well.  This year the VSB faced $24 million in cuts; $3 million due to provincially downloaded costs, $3 million due to declining enrollment and $18 million due to the consequences of short-term decisions made by previous Vision majority boards.   By refusing to close any schools despite declining enrollment we have many school buildings but our programs and services are cut beyond the bone.  The current board is developing a long range facilities plan, to be finalised by June, to achieve the goal of safe and sustainable schools.

As with all my decisions as a trustee, this budget vote was not a vote with Vision or a vote against the NPA.   I respect that every trustee voted for what they believed to be best for our students.  I made this difficult decision, the most difficult I have made as a trustee, based on what I thought was best for our Vancouver students. My vote is a statement that our public education system needs more provincial funding.

One-time capital, LRFP consultation, Henderson & Laurier Annexes, capital projects – Apr 20

Highlights from the Planning & Facilities Committee (II) meeting of April 20.

On March 14 the Ministry of Education announced one-time capital funding of $40 million to help districts repair, upgrade and improve their facilities.
Discussion with Ministry staff guided our $3 million submission to the top five priorities related to current seismic projects:

  • South Hill swing space, to extend facility life to allow multiple uses
  • Queen Elizabeth swing space, safety upgrade to enclose walkways between portables
  • Queen Mary Elementary Elementary, 100 year old window upgrade
  • Lord Strathcona Elementary, 100 year old window upgrade
  • Lord Strathcona Elementary, roof renewal

Carrying out improvements while seismic work is underway saves costs, e.g. about 15% for the window upgrades, and in addition classes are not disrupted.
Feedback on the success of our application is expected in the coming weeks.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16Apr20_op_commII_item1.pdf

The Long Range Facilities Plan consultation is underway and 1400 surveys have been completed.  For full details of where we are in the process see: https://vsbengagement.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/vsb-lrfp-newsletter-apr.pdf

Enrolment at both Henderson and Laurier Annexes has been declining for a number of years and as the Annex populations became smaller more families moved to the main schools (the main school and annex share the same catchment).  After the spring registration for September 2017 both Annexes had no enrolled students.
VSB Human Resources staff will work closely with the unions to ensure that staff at these Annexes can follow the processes in their Collective Agreement or employee contracts to find a new worksite for next year.
The StrongStart Centre at Henderson Annex will move to the main school.
Learning resources at the Annexes will be moved to the main schools and any year end budget balances will be transferred to the main schools.
A communication plan is being implemented for parents and orientation visits will be arranged for students and parents.
No decisions have been made about the future use of the Laurier and Henderson Annex buildings.  As the Long Range Facilities Plan is finalized staff will consider strategies for possible uses.  At Henderson the main school should be able to accommodate all the in catchment students for the foreseeable future.  However at Laurier the main school should be able to accommodate all in catchment students in the short term but with local residential development more space will likely be required in several years.

Report (including enrolment data): http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16Apr20_op_commII_item3.pdf

A timeline for the closure of these two Annexes was presented (report should be available when the minutes are posted).  Consideration for closure notification was given on April 18 and a final decision could be made at the board meeting on October 17, 2016.

The Capital Projects update shows 6 schools in construction, 5 in the seismic program and one new school, with estimated completion dates:

  • Gordon Elementary – seismic – fall 2016
  • Queen Mary Elementary – seismic – winter 2016
  • L’Ecole Bilingue – seismic – winter 2016
  • Kitsilano Secondary – seismic – summer 2017
  • Elementary school at International Village – new – spring 2017
  • Strathcona Elementary – seismic – fall 2017

All the remaining capital projects are for the seismic program.  Three schools are in drawings/permits/tender, one in design, and 15 are in the project definition stage.

Report: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/16Apr20_op_commII_item4.pdf

For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see:
http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees