Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Public Board Meeting October 25, 2011

This is the 2nd public board meeting that I'm blogging at. These are my interpretation of what was said at the meeting and approved minutes will reflect the accuracy of the meeting.
Report & recommendation of the Career Education Development Advisory Committee submitted to the board. Steve Garland, Principal Carson Graham; Marcia Garries Administrator Learning Services & Monty Bell Director of Instruction Learning Services answered questions about the report. Trustee Bouman asked what would be the outcome and different from what is already being done. Career programs to be here for the long terms...increase in the number of students participating in careers program. Trustee Back wanted to know who is going to sit on the committee and what the vision is. Chair Stratton asked about the IB Careers and how this would work. Trustee Forward made a couple of comments on communication as did Trustee Skinner. Trustee Tasi wanted to know what the plan is for the school ie what career program might be where....Trustee Buchanan asked about the early grades. Careers in North Van, sounds exciting. Report received and approved.
Review of Trustee Remuneration - Trustee Buchanan was surprised that this is on the agenda; poor timing when two partner groups are in bargaining. Trustee Forward clarified that he felt that because Policy 101 is being reviewed it was appropriate timing. Trustee Skinner feels that it is good to highlight and feels it should be looked at. Trustee Bouman wants to know the process to increase or decrease the stipend. Chair Stratton agrees wouldn't be supporting a motion on this....this is an information purpose. Trustee Skinner - review it annually. Trustee Forward made comments about the big time commitment of the Chairs role. Trustee Back feels that it is bad timing and feels that the trustees are paid appropriately for the work done.
To be looked at the in the future.
Three Year Operating Plan - Supporting the 10 Year Strategic Plan - will be posted to the website. This is a three year plan. Board will highlight priorities.
Goals & Measures -
Improve 6 year completion rate from 87% to 90%
Improve 6 year completion rate from 52% to 70 for students of aboriginal ancestry
Increase completion rate for students enrolled in alternative programs from 30% to 50%
Increase course completion rates for distributed learning students from 65% to 85%
Increase student engagement by 10% (no baseline)
Expand the number & location of district programs by 3 within 3 years
Increase NV Distributed learning course offerings by 10%
Increase the Board Authority course offerings by 10%
Increase participation in programs based at the Outdoor School
Reduce energy consumption by 13%; electrical consumption by 16%; reduce carbon emissions by 10%
Reduce photocopying expenditures
Increase the number of centres providing Early Learning Foundation programs
Develop specific joint use agreements to facilitate community use of schools on weekends
Secure 5 additional partnerships with external organizations
Establish a community based volunteer program
Secure $3 million through the Environmental Learning Centre Capital campaign
Generate an additional $1 million per year for the each of the next three years through local initiatives to enhance the operating budget....
Full report will be on the website...
Community Learning Program & North Vancouver Learning Centre Update
Reviewing student files and looking what the needs are
Curriculum needs for students
Referral process
Communication - giving information as it comes available
Support Services from the community
Where will the site be: potential three sites are: lucas centre/lmcc; balmoral; plymouth
Sounds really exciting; wondering how the parents and students are feeling about this.
Student driven - sounds great
That's it for tonight...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Earthquake Preparedness

2 weeks of food, 4 litres of water * 5 days / person. I'm not as prepared as I thought.

Our October North Van PAC meeting featured a presentation by on emergency preparedness, both family emergency preparedness and school preparations. I considered our family relatively prepared for emergencies but this presentation tells me I have work left to do. In particular it helped me think more about what we should do in the event of an earthquake rather than what I might need to have.

Some key things I learned:

  • Once a quake has passed, stay where you are. Don't rush to the school to get your kids. The schools will look after the children and will only release students once they are told the area is safe. A parents first responsibility is to ensure the home they would return to is safe. Then listed to the radio to find out if the route is safe to walk to the school to get the kid. Power lines could be down on the roads, fires raging etc and the kids will only be released if it is safe. 
  • The schools are looking after the kids, the neighbours are not welcome and will be locked out. Schools are not emergency shelters
  • Don't flush your toilets as the sewers may be broken.
  • The bridges could be closed for many days. Have enough cash to pay the entrepreneurs.
  • The emergency response routes are for emergency vehicles only. Stay off the roads!
  • The schools should conduct emergency release drills every two years to get everyone familiar with the system. If the PAC has provided emergency equipment or supplies then those should be included in the drill so the staff know what is there and how to use it. 
  • The North Shore has a very comprehensive emergency plan and every school has a plan. The North Shore Emergency Management Office have lots of resources and offer free workshops. 

More Info
North Shore Emergency Management Offices 
North Vancouver School District Emergency Preparedness 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

School Trustee Candidates

With a total of 12 candidates, 7 for 3 positions in the City and 5 for 4 positions in the District, North Van voters have a full slate of school trustee candidates to choose from in the upcoming Municipal elections.

City of North Vancouver candidates (3 positions). 
  • Lisa Bayne
  • Chris Dorais
  • John Harvey
  • Christie Sacré
  • Susan Skinner
  • Mary Tasi
  • Ian T. Young

District of North Vancouver candidates (4 positions)
  • Norm Binion
  • Barry Forward
  • Cyndi Gerlach
  • Mike McGraw
  • Franci Stratton
It should be an interesting election. Please join us for an all-candidates meeting on Nov. 9th. and stay tuned to the blog for further election info. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Public Board Meeting - October 11, 2011

This is my first attempt to do a live blog from the public board meeting. The comments below are my understanding what was discussed. Feel free to ask for clarification about what was discussed if I'm not clear.
Meeting started & 7:00 pm
Superintendent Lewis reported on the Organization of Classes.
Consultations re Bill 33 have concluded at the elementary schools. Consultations at the high school level take place all year long.
Impacts of Ministry Funding levels - limited flexibility due to legislative requirements. Add back budget has provide limited relief to the impact of Budget Directions.
Superintendent Lewis went through the high schools and showed the schools that were over 30 and the rational. These will be posted on the MoE website once approved by the BoD.
Argyle 77 classes over 30 (last year 92)
Carson Graham 113 classes over 30 (last year 110)
Handsworth 54 classes over 30 (last year 70)
Seycove 30 classes over 30 (last year 64)
Sutherland 9 classes over 30 (last year 50)
Windsor 52 classes over 30 (last year 51)
Trustee Bouman asked question regarding a math teacher having 6 classes over 30 students...How does this teacher reach every student.
Trustee Buchanan asked about advocacy to the ministry about more flexibility with class size
Trustee Stratton asked about how many teachers would it take to bring class size down....about 5 to the elementary schools and 15 teachers to the secondary schools if budget premitted.
Organization of Classes Report - The report is in compliance with the School Act Requirements.
Class Organization Fund - The district should receive about 3%. About $900,000 in the first year to offset Bill 27/28. This is outside of the negotiations.
Report approved.
Recap on the Towards the Future for Schools Standing Committee from October 4.
Recap on Education and Programs Standing Committee from this afternoon at 4.
- Career Education & Development Advisory Committee Report presented - 4 goals.
- Discussion on School Calendar for 2012/2013. The Executive will let us know by Friday if the district will move forward with the 30 day public consultation.
Oct 25 - Public Board Meeting - Board Office
Nov 1 - Finance & Facilities Standing Committee 7:00 pm - LMCC
Nov 15 - Public Board Meeting 7:00 - Board Office
Nov 22 - Education & Programs Standing Committee 7:00 pm - LMCC
Dec 6 - Public Board Meeting (Inaugural) - 7:00 pm - LMCC
Meeting adjourned - 8:30 pm

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kindergarten Information Meeting Oct 19, 7pm

This years Kindergarten Information Meeting for Parents for the 2012/2013 School Year will be held Oct. 19th, 7pm

The meeting helps inform parents of their options for the coming school year. More information can be found at:

School Trustee All-Candidates Meeting. Nov 9th at 7p.m.

North Van PAC will host a public meeting with all-candidates for the city and district school trustees position.

November 9th
7 p.m.
Sutherland Secondary School

Trustees have an active and important role in setting direction for our schools. Over this last term Trustees have dealt with $10 million in district budget cuts, closed schools, renovated schools, re-organized special programs and set in place a new strategic plan for the School District.

This is your chance to meet and ask questions of the candidates that could be deciding the direction of the school district for the next three years.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Education & Programs Committee

At the September 27, 2011 meeting of the North Vancouver Board of Education, the Board declared its intent to consider a variation of the standard school calendar for the 2012/13 school year.

An opportunity for discussion of the 2012/13 school calendar is now scheduled for the October 11th public meeting of the Education and Programs Standing Committee at LMCC.

Towards the Future of Schools - Oct 4

Meeting on Tuesday October 4. Todd & I attended the Towards the Future of Schools Standing Committee. Brief overview of the Strategic Plan. Discussion regarding TFS accepting ideas for programs for the school district. Closing date for submissions is October 28.