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Highlights: Board meeting of April 26, 2021

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Vancouver Board of Education’s April 2021 included motions from matters arising at committee meetings as well as Board notices of motions.

Board Chair Cho began the meeting by acknowledging May’s upcoming Asian Heritage Month, recognizing the month highlights learnings integrated throughout the school year.

Watch the recording of the meeting.

Superintendent update

Student voice was the focus of this month’s regular superintendent update to the Board. Superintendent Hoffman shared video interviews held with secondary students over the school year. Students shared feedback on this year’s secondary model including thoughts on challenges, what is working and suggestions for adapting the model.

As requested from the Board, Hoffman also gave a COVID-19 update that included COVID-19 data at schools, details of a gargle test kit research study and information on Vancouver Coastal Health’s vaccination rollout for District staff.

Student trustee update

In his regular update to trustees, student trustee Ricky Huang shared the success of the Vancouver School District Council’s recent talent show, ‘VDSC’s Got Talent’. The winners will receive a portion of a scholarship prize pool. Huang also updated trustees on students’ feedback on the secondary school model.

Committee reports

There were two matters arising from March’s Facilities Planning Committee meeting. The first motion was to approve preferred school size guidelines for planning purposes and the second was regarding South Hill Education Centre BC Hydro Right-of-Way Bylaw. Trustees passed both motions.

Matters arising from Student Learning and Well-Being Committee meeting included a motion related to a music review. The Board passed the motion to approve District staff to develop – and submit to the committee for consideration - a stakeholder engagement proposal that could be followed in order to implement the first recommendation of the Music Review, which is: ‘that the District establish a shared mission, vision and strategic direction for the Visual and Performing Arts.’. Trustees also passed a motion approving publication of all school fee schedules for the 2021 – 2022 school year.

Notices of motion

The first notice of motion of the evening to write to the Minister of Education to advocate for funding for heat pumps at Weir Elementary and Bayview Elementary to be installed during their seismic projects passed unanimously.

After detailed discussion of a motion on the School Liaison Officer program, trustees passed a motion

“THAT the VSB discontinue the SLO programme, effective end of June 2021; and
THAT the VSB continue to work with the VPD and RCMP to:
a) Establish communication protocols and points of contact in the event of school emergencies, lockdowns, critical incidents and VTRA (Violent Threat Risk Assessments);
b) Determine a process to establish protocols and training for emergency procedures in schools;
c) Determine a process to request VPD/RCMP information sessions for students (“Stranger Danger”, internet safety, gang prevention, the legal system, restorative justice, etc.);
d) Determine a referral process to the Gang Intervention Unit and establish communication protocols; and
THAT the VSB reach out to the City of Vancouver and community groups that may provide assistance to fill the “gaps” identified by supporters of the SLO programme; and
THAT staff provide an estimate of the required budget for filling such gaps at the May 12 Finance Committee meeting for consideration of the Board prior to finalizing the 2021-22 budget; and
THAT the VSB contact the Ministries of Education and Children and Family Development to seek funding to hire counsellors to respond to mental wellness needs; and
THAT the VSB support the concept of community policing and urge the VPD/RCMP to develop more services at the community level, and to continue to support officers who are trained to work with children and youth with trauma-informed approaches; and
THAT the VSB engage with the VPD/RCMP, in collaboration with stakeholders and community representatives, centering the BIPoC community to develop trauma-informed approaches to working with children and youth with the aim of developing a new relationship; and
THAT the VBE sends a letter of appreciation to the VPD for supporting the VSB and its students for over 50 years.
THAT the Vancouver Board of Education requests that the Vancouver Police Department continue to support programs offered to VSB students including, but not limited to:
- Indigenous Cadet Program
- ARC Program
- VPD Cadets
- GET REAL Program
- Total Respect for Ourselves (TROO) Program
- Here4Peers
- VPD Musqueam Basketball Camp.”

Learn more on the motion.

Finally, trustees referred two other notices of motions on an Indigenous language program and an English Language Learners’ District Consultant to the next Finance Committee meeting.

Question period

Each Board meeting includes a question period that allows members of the public to submit questions to be addressed by the Board. Board Chair Cho answered questions on topics including a possible disposition (disposal through long term lease, sale or transfer) of the south portion of the Fleming Elementary school site, the Vancouver Project Office Memorandum of Understanding and ventilation in schools.

Watch the full proceedings.

Keep up-to-date with all of the District’s committee and Board meetings - see our calendar for meeting dates, agendas and livestream links.

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