Highlights: Public Board Meeting – May 29
The Vancouver School Board held its regularly scheduled public meeting on Monday, May 29, 2023. With audience members in attendance, the Board considered matters arising from the Finance Committee as well as several other motions.
Watch the recording or view the agenda of the meeting.
Prior to attending to agenda items, Board chair Jung acknowledged the two-year anniversary of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announcement about the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School site, as well as discoveries of other unmarked graves at former residential school sites since then. While she noted the grief of such travesties, she also spoke of the hope and optimism of the Board as it looks forward to celebrating Indigenous History Month in June which includes a planned celebration at the Education Centre on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Chair Jung also noted several other commemorations during June, including Pride Month, Italian, Filipino and Portuguese Heritage month in addition to the end of school year and graduation celebrations upcoming.
Also ahead Indigenous History Month, Superintendent McGregor noted in her report to the Board several school based celebrations and activities that took place during May including the First Peoples’ Festival, Eric Hamber students’ visit to Brent Sparrow’s studio where a new Musqueam Welcome Pole is being carved in anticipation of the seismic replacement of the school, as well as student demonstration of textile dyeing and weaving with students enrolled in the Gifted Enrichment Centre (GEC) session focusing on the Indigenous STEAM. As part of McGregor’s update, students Anders and Morgan from Point Grey Secondary joined the Board virtually along with their teacher librarian, Holly Broadland, to share their experiences at a VPL-partnered event, Letters to My Teen Self. This event included a panel with authors of Asian heritage as a celebration of Asian heritage month and highlighted learning through literature. McGregor also shared details with the Board about an event held at Killarney Secondary with famed Stonewall gay rights activist Martin Boyce as well as other school-based learning activities and celebrations.
Student trustee report
Mia Liu, student trustee, also provided a regular report to the Board including student appreciation for the Board’s decision to allocate two $100,000 grants in next year’s budget. The grants will support student leadership as well as student-led sustainability projects. The VDSC is providing input into the operationalization of those grants. Liu also noted the preparations by the VDSC for their elections of officers for next school year, as well as end of year activities.
The Board received reports from May meetings of the education planning and finance committees. As the only matter arising from committee business in May, the Board approved the schedule of school fees for the upcoming school year.
Other decisions by the Board included approval of a motion to consider the closure of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary school, effective January 1, 2024, by referring the proposal to the facilities planning committee for review and a recommendation to the Board, and a motion directing staff to explore possibilities for the Board to open and operate child care programs.
At each regularly monthly meeting, the Board provides an opportunity to public to submit questions to the Board regarding Board business and agenda items. 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, three questions were submitted. In response to a submission inviting the Board and staff to an event, the chair noted the process to share invites. She also indicated the Board received information about the fulfilment of a Board motion directing staff to provide a comprehensive plan for the relocation of the Ideal Mini program, in response to a question about the plan. Chair Jung also explained that staff are working to obtain feedback by the three Host First Nations regarding the Land Asset Strategy, as directed by the Board, in response to a question requesting details about the status of the strategy.
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.