School District 85 trustees agreed to start “right away” on the groundwork for changes to the makeup of the board. The proposed changes would address inequities in the percentage of the population that each trustee represents.
At the Dec. 13 school board meeting the board voted 4-2 to table questions of the number of trustees and redrawing boundaries until May.
But at their regular meeting, Jan. 10, held at North Island Secondary School, Trustee Eric Hunter said that upon reflection and after hearing from the public and press, he wanted to find a way to move more quickly to redress the inequities.
Following some discussion, Trustee Ann Hory summed up the group’s progress saying that the original motion did not prevent the board from beginning to work on defining and investigating what needs to be done and how it should be done.
The District Parent Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting at Fort Rupert Elementary Jan 26 at 6:30.
Vancouver Island North Teacher’s Association president Fred Robertson conveyed concern over isolating the kindergarten students away from older students at Cheslakees Elementary.
The board voted earlier in the meeting to make the Port McNeill school an early learning centre where preschool, day care and kindergarten would be housed. Students in Grades 1 through 7 would attend Sunset Elementary.
Robertson cautioned that with Premier Gordon Campbell stepping down, the provincial Liberals’ plan to formalize the education of children aged 3 and 4 may not proceed quickly, if at all. He said that the plan was expensive and difficult to implement.
Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests for children in Grade 4 and 7 are being taken Jan. 17 to February 25 in B.C.
VINTA president Fred Robertson told the school board that in its current form, the FSA is not well regarded by teachers. He said that the FSA is an impersonal tool that does not accurately reflect what is going on in the classroom. It is his hope that the board will respect the wishes of parents who choose not to have their child take part in the test.
But in an open letter from Minister of Education Margaret MacDiarmid, parents are advised that the test is not optional and is a “snapshot” of student performance. For more information on FSA, see www.gov.bc.ca/bced/.