Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 13 board meeting

Last night was a quick board meeting. The first one, I believe, that we've finished before 9 PM.

Of note:
Increases in bus pass fees. Due to the fact that our grants do not cover the full transportation costs, we will be obliged to pass on some mild increases in bus passes to parents. However, it should be noted that we are assigning $1 million to mitigate these increases. The discussion from trustees included questions about ride times for special needs students, the higher level of service we provide than is mandated and measures to help families who find the fees prohibitive.

PASSED- Trustee Esslinger's motion to establish a multi-cultural task force. This will mirror the Aboriginal task force of last year, which consulted with Aboriginal elders and community members to better understand their perspective and concerns. Out of that task force, a series of recommendations arose, which ultimately informed EPSB's new Aboriginal educational policy. With our growing population of multi-cultural students, the Board feels it is essential to understand the particular issues of these students and their families, in order to better support their success in school.

DEFEATED- My motion to establish a Student Advisory Council. Some concerns raised: Do the students want this? How will we ensure participation when students are already so over-committed? There was an additional motion to defer until a report on best practices to engage stakeholders was received by the Board, but the motion to defer was defeated.

I gave the following notice of motion:
That students currently enrolled in Woodcroft/Ritchie and living in the attendance area of those schools be provided free transportation to their designated schools for the duration of their elementary (Woodcroft)/junior high (Ritchie) years.

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