After a suggestion by Trustee Marty Gibbons, the Board approved a motion to establish a Committee of the Whole. Terms of reference will be developed for this committee, which will include all trustees and which will hold meetings in public.
The Board will be writing a number of letters to the Ministry of Education and the government in support of motions passed at the recent B.C. School Trustees’ Association meeting.
Brought forward by Tennile Lachmuth, the Board will be advocating for the government to fund increases for school district exempt staff, just as it has for the CUPE and teachers’ association contracts. They will also be writing a letter to provide feedback on the new K-12 funding model, which is the topic of the Board’s June education session.
The Board will also be urging the provincial and federal governments for tougher regulations on vaping and e-cigarettes, especially the ones targeted at minors such as flavoured nicotines.
Director of Operations Trevor Bettcher updated the Board on the results of a complete safety audit of all school industrial shops (auto, metal and wood) and the Operations bus garage.
This audit was was approved by Acting Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Hunt in September 2018. Audits and a shop safety manual were completed by Suncorp Valuations during September and October of 2018 with any emergent issues addressed by Operations staff immediately.
Bettcher commented since the completion of the audits, Operations staff have been reviewing the information contained in the audit reports to summarize and define which items would fall under either the responsibility of the Operations department or the school as well as determining which concerns would require an engineer’s assessment.
The complete audit reports will soon be sent out to the applicable schools. He said he will definitely go do a tour of the shop with the principal and shop teacher so everyone is clear about what is expected. He noted that some of the items in the report are just there to bring attention to important concerns. “It’s not necessarily a problem in that particular school but the auditor just wanted to make sure people are aware.”
Gibbons questioned whether there aren’t some best work safe practices that might not be introduced at the school and Bettcher noted this does happen and there are also procedures in the safety manuals.