Highlights: Public Board Meeting – February 27, 2023
The Vancouver School Board held its monthly public Board meeting on the evening of Monday, February 27, 2023. The meeting’s agenda included several motions for consideration arising from meetings of the Policy and Governance and Finance committee held earlier in the month. The Board also considered one item under new business.
Watch the recording of the meeting.
Board chair, Victoria Jung, began the meeting with opening remarks, noting District wide celebrations during the month of February including Pink Shirt Day and World Kindness Week. Chair Jung also took a moment to acknowledge students and families who raised funds to support survivors of the recent tragedies that hit Ukraine and Turkey.
Superintendent Helen McGregor provided her regular update to the Board. She shared details about how students in the District recognized Pink Shirt Day, Black History Month and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. She then informed the Board that the seismic upgrade for Livingstone Elementary is now compete! A video tour featuring the school’s principal and students was shared at the meeting. Superintendent McGregor also highlighted what educators learned during the recent District wide Pro-D Day, including workshops on math and numeracy, word study and phonics, and a STEM workshop entitled “Build Your Own Portable Rocket Launcher.” Lastly, she reminded everyone about two ongoing public engagements: the 2023-2024 budget survey and the Queen Elizabeth Annex land surplus survey. Both surveys are open to the public, who are encouraged to participate.
Student trustee report
In absence of student trustee Mia Liu, Trustee Chan-Pedley presented the student trustee report this month. The report noted VDSC’s Sister School Switch, which is a four-day school exchange where students partner with a student from another school and they shadow each other. This year, 70 students registered to participate in the event. The report also noted VDSC’s work around gender neutral washrooms in schools as well as their consultation with VPD about the future SLO program.
The Board considered two motions forwarded by the Policy and Governance Committee. Rather than an original motion to combine Finance Committee and Personnel Committee into one standing committee, it was decided that staff should review Policy 8 – Board Committee (Section 4 Personnel Committee and Section 5 Finance Committee) and report to the Policy and Governance Committee with a suggested revision to better align these commitments with current committee practices. The Board then approved the motion to rename the Student Learning and Well-Being Committee to the Education Plan Committee. The duties and function of the renamed committee will reflect the going implementation of the Education Plan. Additionally, as a matter arising from the Finance Committee, the Board unanimously adopted the Annual Amended Budget Bylaw 2022-2023 in the amount of $669,676,609.
The Board then considered one notice of motion: to review the naming and renaming process. After thorough discussions, the motion was adopted by the Board, directing staff to establish the role of the Board in the naming and renaming process, and to provide guidance as to the number of naming and renaming processes that will be undertaken at any given time. Staff will report back about this information and recommendation to Policy and Governance Committee for input and feedback by October 2023.
At each regularly monthly meeting, the Board provides an opportunity to public to submit questions to the Board. The submission form is open from 12:00 p.m. the day of Board meeting and closes after the Board receives committee reports during its meeting. This month, one question was submitted, which asked if billeting of students for domestic travel will be reinstated. The chair clarified the decision was made by senior staff to no longer permit home billets for field studies in the interest of student safety and in alignment with supervision requirements as outlined in AP 260 Field Studies.
Keep up to date with the District’s committee and Board meetings; see the calendar for meeting dates, agendas and livestream links. All recordings of meetings are housed on the District’s YouTube channel. Minutes from committee and Board meetings are also posted online.