April 2017 Board Meeting Breakdown

April 2017 Board Meeting Breakdown

Last Tuesday April 25th was the monthly public school board meeting. I know many of you have been awaiting a summary of the meeting, and have particular interest in the 622 Review Report. There will be a separate post on that matter on behalf of the group very soon. There have been some developments in the last few days in regards to the Board that warrant the report being addressed separately.

The board meeting opened with a couple of minor addendum to the agenda, which were approved. The minutes of the previous meeting were adopted, and Trustee Terry Riley was in attendance by phone. The chair quickly went over correspondence, and then recognized recent student and staff accomplishments.

  • A student was selected to attend “MLA for Day” in Edmonton
    • Special note was made of the fact the MLA Bob Wanner was somehow involved in this program.
  • A teacher had a children’s book published, “Chinook in Winter.”
  • A mention of the Wrestling Championships going on at Hat High.

After accomplishments, a report on the New York field trip was given. This report included several statements by 4 of the students that were a part of the trip. The students were asked what was the most memorable part of the field trip. They listed the UN, Ellis Island, and the Metropolitan Museum. One student mentioned the UN Universal Declaration of Humans Rights being the most translated document in the world. Just a minor nit pick, but the UN UDHR has been translated into 502 languages. The New Testament of the Bible has been translated into 1442 different languages. I was little surprised no one questioned or corrected that statement. I’m curious by what standard the UN considers a document a document.

I found it further curious that there was so much emphasis on the visit to the UN, and the UDHR, yet the current provincial government does not seem to be concerned with it contents. It is the UDHR, in article 26, paragraph 3 that we find “(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children,” and yet we have seen a concerted effort by the ATA, ASBA, and Alberta Education to violate that right, and remove school choice via shutting down of separate home school boards, and a demand that other options be defunded. Very curious indeed.

After the field trip report, a District focus update was given. This was quite lengthy, and a copy of the presentation was included in the agenda. I will not be going through this here, but suffice to say, it contained a lot of acronyms, and creative use of corporate education speak. The main acronym I was able to get from it was FAIRR – Formative, Alignment, Informing, Reflective, Reporting. The main points I picked up on were

  • It uses the Power Teacher Pro Platform
  • Outcome based
  • Something called Freshgrade and Seesaw
  • There is a new report card prototype
  • A shift to “Feelings” (ugh)
  • Current report cards are ‘antiquated’
  • Half the schools in the district are in the pilot.
  • It involves Pedagogy (Seems a bit redundant to say this)
  • Davidson said they were establishing shared terminology.
  • GLO’s will be in the language of the competencies.
  • Forbes wanted to know what has been done to revamp the arts program, and stated that BC and Ontario have a good program.

Next they approved a field trip to Chicago, and then reports from committees were given. Massini started with a report on the National School Board conference the He, Davidson, and Wilson-Fraser attended in the U.S. He spoke of the workshops he attended, including:

  • How to become a highly effective board
  • Communicating with community
    • He thinks the board can do considerably more in this area.
    • Wants to communicate with other groups.
    • Proposed to make a plan to communicate.
  • Board evaluations
    • Massini suggested the board talk about having more frequent evaluations
    • Riley thought there was no need to go into this, as the actions of the board need to be in operation for a while before they can be evaluated.
  • Meaning of sex on title 9 (Massini was unable to attend.)
    • Title 9 is an (rule) authority brought in by Obama that deals with sex and sexuality on campuses. (This is not a Canadian, or Albertan issue. Curious as to why it would have been necessary to attend.)
  • Editor of Huffington Post
    • This apparently started strong and then fizzled. (meh, not sure why the editor of a new organization was important to American school boards.)
  • Dealing with malcontents (Gee, I wonder why this was on the list?)

Davidson also mentioned attending:

  • Use of social media
  • Overcoming poverty (as a community)

The Coordinating committee minutes were adopted.

The public school board committee(?) report was mentioned.

Riley brought up the recent decision by the Saskatchewan court to prevent non-Catholic students from attending a Catholic school. Riley wants the board to discuss the effects it will have on the district. I posted about it here.

Freeman went to the District Learning Exchange, and the Council of Councils as well as the george Davidson council.

Wilson-Fraser went to council meetings, and noted how they are getting ready for year end.

Forbes went to the Learning Exchanges and the Creswood Council. Talked about the 20 or so parents at the meeting, and just how involved the parents of that school are.

Riley went to the Wilson learning center, and brought up 5 things to report

  1. Building Playgrounds
  2. Cost of outdoor Education
  3. A soggy section of the grounds that needs fixed
  4. 1st Year of grade 9 grads.
  5. They are on board with 622 (Who isn’t, after all, they HAVE to be on board with it.)

Massini attended the student presentations at Crescent Heights. One of which was on Renewable Energy. He also went to the South View Casino event and the Ken Saur School opening meeting.

The meeting concluded with Freeman giving her 622 Review Report.

This was a marathon meeting, and a lot of ground was covered. The CPoSD76 response to the 622 report will be next.

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