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Highlights: Public Board meeting of December 14, 2020

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The regular monthly Board meeting focused on important agenda items discussed at committee meetings earlier in the month as well as new business on trustee appointments, bylaws, and notices of motions.

Watch the recording of the meeting.

Matters arising from the minutes of November’s Board meeting included a postponed motion on the budget development process and timeline and a motion to rescind one of the recommendations from the 2019 Draft Long Range Facilities Plan.

After a thorough discussion between trustees, and amendments to the original motion, the budget process motion passed that the 2021-2022 budget timeline for March and April 2021 as presented, be approved – with the Finance Committee moved to April 21, 2021 and the following line item also be added: ‘April 16-April 22, 2021 staff prepare recommendations based on delegation and stakeholder feedback for trustees to consider at its April 26, 2021 Board meeting’.

The motion to rescind recommendation 17 of the 2019 Draft Long Range Facilities Plan also passed. The recommendation was that the Board of Education requests a report outlining the financial costs and the risk to human lives in the event of a seismic event as a result of operating the District with current surplus capacity. Trustee Wong added that staff had investigated this report, which would require a specialized engineering expert and the hiring of consultants to carry out the work.

Chair of the Policy and Governance Committee, trustee Chan-Pedley, also gave an update to the request for proposal relating to public engagement of the School Liaison Officer review. Chan-Pedley informed trustees the contract has been awarded to ACI Argyle. Superintendent Hoffman also noted pre-engagement had begun and that the engagement itself is to take place in January 2021.

Superintendent update

The focus of literacy continued for the Superintendent’s update to the Board; this month with a highlight of how the District supports English Language Learners across our schools. The update included an interview between Superintendent Hoffman and District Principal of the Newcomer Welcome Centre, Bruce Garnett. Garnett also shared details of how Settlement Workers in Schools and Multicultural Liaison Workers across the District help English Language Learners and their families adapt to the school system as well as support them accessing community services.

Based on a motion passed at last month’s Board meeting, Hoffman also gave a COVID-19 update to trustees including details of communication processes, the District’s Health and Safety committee and collaborative work with Vancouver Coastal Health and school communities.

Student trustee update

The Board greatly appreciates the role of the student voice in its undertakings and ensures that it is part of each Board meeting. Magee Secondary student, Ricky Huang, updated the Board on the Canley Cup donation drive. The annual campaign primarily supports the Greater Vancouver food bank; and student trustee Huang announced $24,000 has been raised so far.

Committee reports

The Board approved motions from September’s Facilities Planning Committee meeting regarding the 2019 Draft Long Range Facilities Plan update process and timeline, standards pertaining to building accessibility and offer to lease the 3rd floor of Hudson Elementary school’s new building for a childcare facility.

The Board approved four motions from December’s Policy and Governance Committee meeting. The first was that the 2016-2021 District Strategic Plan include anti-racism as a guiding principle and that the goals explicitly state ensuring school communities are safe from racism and discrimination. The second motion was that Policy 21 be amended to read ‘Anti-Racism and Non-Discrimination’ as its title. A motion on an amendment to the terms of reference of the Audit Committee and a further motion that the Board adopt revisions to Policy 21 also passed.

New business

Trustees approved trustee appointments for Standing Committees, Audit Committee, School Liaisons, Internal Committees and External Committees, Organizations and Agencies.

The Board also passed two bylaws on Nootka Elementary school drainage right-of-way and 1st Floor 1580 West Broadway lease.

Notices of motion

Trustees passed a notice of motion that the Vancouver Board of Education write to the Ministry of Education and request the reinstatement of the Chief Educator Role at the Ministry. Finally, a notice of motion on no sale of public land moved to the Facilities Planning Committee for discussion.

Question period

To conclude the meeting, Chair Cho answered public questions on the BC Budget, COVI19 update and the School Liaison Officer review.

Read the committee meetings’ summary reports

Policy and Governance and Personnel – December 2, 2020

 

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