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Highlights: Board meeting of September 26, 2022

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The Vancouver School Board held its first regular monthly meeting of the 2022-2023 school year on Monday, September 26, 2022. Donning orange shirts in recognition of Orange Shirt Day and National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Board members held their meeting in-person at the Education Center. The evening’s agenda included the student trustee swearing in ceremony, the chair’s year-end report and matters considered forwarded by the Finance, Student Learning and Well Being and Audit committees that met earlier this month.

Watch the recording of the meeting.

Chair Remarks 

Board chair, Janet Fraser, began the meeting with wishing well for the 2022-2023 school year. Chair Fraser also spoke of the Board’s commitment to reconciliation and noted this week’s commemoration days both honour first peoples and recognize the harsh reality and lasting effects of residential and day schools on Indigenous people. She also presented the chair’s year-end report, highlighting the accomplishments of the Board as it looks toward the end of its term with the upcoming municipal election in October.

Program Highlights

Student voice is important to the Board, and through the program highlights portion of each regular monthly Board meeting, the Board hears directly from students about a wide variety of topics that matter to them in their learning journeys. This month, Chad Carpenter of the Lheidli T’Enneh Nation and member of the District’s Indigenous Education team, presented Honouring the Truth, together with students of Lord Roberts Elementary, Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Carnarvon Elementary schools. Joining Carpenter were students Scotia, Kyla, Ella and Evan who poignantly shared with the Board their learnings. They acknowledged residential school survivors’ strength and the importance of honouring the truths about this legacy.

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Helen McGregor provided her first update of the school year with the Board. McGregor shared details about the resumption of school, noting the diligent work of staff to help students and educators settle into the new school year. She also discussed progress of the Board approved Education Plan and announced the upcoming launch of a District podcast, VSB: After the Bell.

Student Trustee Report

Each September, a student trustee takes a seat at the Board table. This young person has a special honour and role: representing student voice with the Board. This year, Mia Liu, a Grade 11 student at Byng Secondary, assumes the charge. Secretary-Treasurer David Green had the privilege of swearing-in student trustee Liu. Following, she provided the Board with an eloquent and witty report that impressed upon all the importance of the Board’s work on behalf of students.  

Decisions by the Board

Several items were considered by the Board for adoption, including a motion directing staff to explore opportunities and challenges of the creating a District foundation. The Board also approved the publication of the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning report and the 2021-2022 Audited Financial Statements for submission to the Ministry of Education and Child Care. The Board also passed a right-of-way bylaw required by BC Hydro to continue advancing the construction of a seismic replacement school at Eric Hamber Secondary.  Two notices of motions were made at the September meeting of the Board. The first notice indicates a motion will be presented at the October public Board meeting regarding the development of strategies to deal with the structural deficit in the Districts’ budget. The second notice of motion, which directs staff to implement a public trustee meeting attendance recording tool was discussed and adopted.

Question Period 

At each Board meeting, members of the public have an opportunity to ask questions of the Board about agenda matters, using an online submission form which is now open earlier to enable the public more time to submit questions. No questions were submitted to be addressed at this month’s Board meeting.

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 past meetings are housed on the District’s YouTube channel.  Minutes from committee and Board meetings are also posted online.

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