Board meeting – Jan 23

Highlights from the January 23 board meeting – there were no decisions but information was provided.

Don Fiddler, the District Principal of Aboriginal Education, presented “Shared Success” a review of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement 2016-21.

The superintendent’s update included:

  • The additional $4.4 million resulting from the Supreme Court case will fund 96 FTE positions.  Allocations of staff will be communicated to schools this Friday, part-time staff can apply, then any remaining positions will be posted by mid-February.
  • BC Hydro has proposed to build a new electricity substation under the VSB school site at Lord Roberts Annex downtown.  The VSB has not made any decisions on this proposal and will closely follow the BC Hydro consultation, a district staff person will attend each public event to observe and listen.  An independent sub-contractor will prepare a safety report.
  • Van Horne students learned about Coast Salish culture and traditions as they helped carve a post featuring two salmon swimming upstream.  The master carvers, Splash and Harry, taught how they reveal what’s inside the wood through carving.
  • The new downtown Crosstown Elementary has started registering students and priority will be given to in-catchment students.

Isabella Preite, the student trustee, reported on VDSC activities:

  • High school students will be surveyed about school start times.
  • The VDSC is exploring ways to get students (especially those who are 18  by the provincial election date) excited about voting.
  • An Arts Gala is being planned for the spring, tentatively on May 10 at Magee.
  • A march against discrimination is being planned for the spring, tentatively in March.

The three committee reports had no decision recommendations and the only update was that the VSB has met with the Kingsford-Smith Elementary PAC about their seismic upgrade timing. Work will start on the school’s exterior after spring break but students will stay on site until the end of the school year. In September 2017 the school will move to temporary accommodation at MacCorkindale and Champlain Heights for one year while the seismic work is completed.

Questions/answers included:

  • Advocacy for adult education funding:  Communication will continue as in the past.
  • Special Advisor’s report:  The VSB is communicating with the Ministry about their expectations for a response – this will come to a standing committee.
  • Budget:  The amended 2016/17 budget will be presented at the February Finance & Legal Committee V meeting. The 2017/18 budget will tie in to the strategic plan and look forward five years – this is a more complex process and the process (which will include opportunities for public input)/timeline may come to a special Committee V meeting.
  • Adequate funding for the SCC court case:  The VSB has given input through BCPSEA.
  • Two motions regarding VSB properties reported from private session:  No further information can be given.
  • 2014 VSB report on possible impacts of BCTF Supreme Court case:  This report was provided in camera and cannot be made public.
  • VSB investigation into unsafe workplace allegations:  The report is delayed and now expected in February due to the sudden death of the investigator’s husband.
  • Sustainability Action Plan:  A report will be presented at the March Committee I meeting.
  • Safety of BC Hydro proposal:  It is anticipated that the name of the independent sub-contractor can be put on the VSB website.
  • Advocacy:  There is ongoing communication between the official trustee and the Ministry, for example a meeting with the deputy ministers for capital and finance.
  • Renaming Macdonald Elementary:  This process was temporarily suspended but will restart.
  • General Gordon Yellow Schoolhouse:  The VSB has ongoing lease discussions but nothing is resolved including any additional costs for retaining the building.
  • Maquinna Annex:  The VSB is considering potential uses and is in discussion with potential lease candidates.
  • Long Range Facilities Plan: The “Appendix P: Possible Timeframe for Implementation” that covers competing seismic upgrades by 2030 is being revised.
  • Mitchell Island fire:  Quick and appropriate action was taken immediately – schools were advised and actions included closing ventilation systems and windows.