- This week, we started to learn about a) seismic upgrades, b) committees, and c) policy manuals.
a) The Vancouver School Board welcomes community delegation to present to the Trustees, Senior Staff, and other key stakeholders through Committee meetings. We have six such committees with Facilities and Planning being one.
The Facilities and Planning Committee (FPC) focuses on facility matters such as capital planning, the Long Range Facilities Plan, student enrollment, and matters referred by the Board of Education.
This week we heard from over 30 parents and students from Edith Cavell Elementary - as they undergo the important work of seismic upgrading, the transitions have posed some challenges and opportunities for the district to be aware of. Some key takeaways:
- although many of us were not around for the decisions impacting today's seismic process, we must take responsibility for mis-steps and look for opportunities to improve our communication and consultations with students, educators, parents, and community members
- with so many seismic projects on the table, we learned that communication and consultation before, during, and after such projects is key
- one of the challenges of consultation and engagement in the process of these necessary and long-over due upgrades are a part of the MOU of 2017 between Provincial Appointed Trustee, Dianne Turner and the Province's Ministry of Education - it was raised at the Facilities and Planning Committee Meeting that community members (students, educators, parents) and Trustees are not mentioned as components of the process, read more HERE.
Check back on January 23rd at 5:00pm when we meet again and follow-up on:
- how Committees can influence district administrative procedures more formally
- how the MOU of 2014 and 2017 reflect input from stakeholders including Trustees, students, educators, parents, and community members
b) Five Committees at the Vancouver School Board play an important role between the governance, operations, and accountability to stakeholders including students, educators, parents, and community members. Delegations from the community can present topics or issues at Committee meetings for the Vancouver School Board's consideration - what would you bring forward? Find out how you can make a request!
c) With new roles comes new responsibilities, Trustee orientations have been thoughtful and informative:
- some guiding principles from the Auditor General including: Accountability, Leadership, Integrity, Stewardship, and Transparency - this ALIST will be a good place for self-evaluation as a Board in all of our interactions
- the BC School Trustees Association invited us to ask ourselves, "is the VSB a better place because I'm here" - a critical way to think about our intentions
- something I appreciated the most, is that even the most seasoned Trustees were taking notes - we have arrived!