With school community and stakeholder group members in attendance, the Vancouver School Board held its regular meeting on the evening of March 4, 2019. Committee and Board meetings are streamed live and available for viewing following adjournment.
Watch the meeting here.
Board Meeting Summary
Agenda items before the Board included matters arising from standing committee meetings held throughout February. Prior to the matters arising and motions for consideration, two high school students, Stephani Quan from Hamber Secondary and Samantha Lin from Prince of Wales Secondary, presented about preparations for the Student Sustainability Conference which will be held in April. The conference is student-led, student-created, student-organized and student-delivered – on sustainability subjects and topics of interests to students. The Board and members of the public are invited to attend the conference as adult participants. For more details, see the conference website.
Superintendent Hoffman's update is a continuous discussion about "Student Success" and what it means for the Vancouver School District. Hoffman noted that initial conversations have begun with staff, and discussions with stakeholder representatives will be based on inquiry format to answer the question: "How do we define student success?". Hoffman then shared one metric commonly used to gage student outcomes – high school completion rates, which show a continuous upward trend over the last several years. Differences for male and female students as well as among Indigenous students lead to consideration of other action steps to further improve student outcomes. Throughout the remainder of the school year, the District will host collaborative sessions delving deeper into student success and formulate a process for continual improvements.
Student Trustee Update
Keeping a focus on the student experience, each Board meeting includes a report by the student trustee. This provides another avenue to ensure the student voice is thorough as the Board carries out its mandate. Student trustee, Hazel Pangilinan, continued the student success theme in her report to the Board, detailing the recent Vancouver School District Student Forum. Pangilinan shared details about the event, which was held in February and attended by 200 students.
Matters Arising and Motions
The Board then turned to matters arising from committee meetings and discussed and passed several motions. Matters included:
- Approval of a revised 2019-20 Budget Process Timeline
- Adoption of the update to the Board Work Plan
- Approval of the Accumulated Surplus Policy
- Adoption of audit and finance committee responsibilities
- Seeking additional funds to provide for more gym space, an auditorium and additional arts space at the Hamber Secondary School Seismic Replacement Project and provincial government commitment to fully fund the project's verified costs
- Approval of the Fleming Elementary utility right-of-way bylaw
- Adoption of a motion re-affirming the Board's commitment to the elimination of racism and additional staffing to support work in this area
- Endorsement of a motion in support of All On Board
- Authorization of Board Authority Courses
- Approval of a three-year school calendar
- Approval of a Terms of Reference for the Needs Budget working group
Board Chair Janet Fraser then reported about private sessions, following which, trustee Chan-Pedley reported on the special education advisory committee and Vice Chair Wong shared an update report from the diversity committee.
Trustee Gonzalez issued two notices of motion – both referred to committee. The first regards a renewal strategy for emissions-free landscaping and the second Vulnerable Youth Social Housing.
The Vancouver School Board welcomes questions from the public and works to ensure those who wish to ask questions can do so. Written questions are submitted and addressed by the Board. Several questions were submitted and addressed at the meeting including questions about the Hamber Seismic Project and the draft Long Range Facilities Plan.
Keep up-to-date with all of the Vancouver School Board's committee and Board meetings; see our calendar for meeting dates, agendas and livestream links.