Confusion created by motion about scheduling
School District 69 senior staff may not have understood a motion put forward by the board recently, but the vote passed all the same.
Staff said they didn’t understand a motion to review scheduling practices in local schools, it passed at the last meeting.
“I don’t know what we’re reviewing,” said superintendent Jim Ansell when a motion to review scheduling practices at schools was presented. “We had some kids that didn’t get courses this year, we have kids that don’t get courses every year.”
Trustee Julie Austin brought forward the motion at the last District 69 Board of Education meeting asking the board to review and assess present scheduling practices. She said the decision to bring it forward came from an informal meeting where she and others learned there were some “ups and downs” in the secondary schools with students not getting desired courses and being put on wait lists.
Trustee Eve Flynn asked staff how they saw this unfolding in less than three months time. Ansell said he wasn’t sure what was intended by the motion and he wasn’t sure it gave staff any direction. After comments from trustee Austin and trustee Ross Milligan, Ansell said the motion was “getting clearer” and he wasn’t opposed to doing the work but needed more clarification.
Board Chair Lynette Kershaw said she supported the motion, and recognized the time commitment necessary.
“I think the number one thing trustees are here to do is to put student achievements first and foremost, and if there are improvements, no matter if it’s one child or 10 children, if there’s improvements we can do to make sure children are getting the optimum classes they selected, then it behooves us to look into that.”
Director of instruction Gillian Wilson agreed that she didn’t understand what was being asked, whether it had to do with timing or scheduling.
Trustee Kershaw said an informal meeting during the first few days back at school brought to light that some students didn’t have complete time tables and some had a repeat course put on their schedules by the computer, and then couldn’t get their desired courses.
Trustee Barry Kurland said he wasn’t supporting the motion because although the motion was well intended it didn’t ask for the right stuff. He said the counsellors and administration staff realize the issues because they deal with it every year and questioned what trustees would do with the review.