VSB joins Park Board, City of Vancouver in live streaming public meetings

Originally posted on News 1130 – Story By Marcella Bernardo

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s school board is making it easier for parents, students and staff to virtually monitor public meetings.

NPA trustee Lisa Dominato says starting in November, those meetings will be live streamed.

“The City of Vancouver has had live streaming and broadcasting of meetings for a number of years now. The Park Board adopted live streaming in 2015. I think it’s time. I heard from parents and other educators that they want the opportunity to be engaged, so I think it increases transparency and accountability.”

She adds this provides many parents who wish they could attend meetings in person much more flexibility.

“Especially when we’re talking about low-engagement, in terms of voter turnout for elections. I think this is another way of supporting our democratic process with engaging the public in our decision-making.”

Dominato, who is seeking a seat on Vancouver city council in the October 20th civic election, says a recording of each meeting will also be available for up to 180 days after the live broadcast.

She says there are no additional or ongoing costs for software, but some money has been spent on video and audio equipment needed to make the board and committee rooms ready for live streaming.

Minister of Education and Vancouver School Board trustees want the city to speed up its building permit approval process

“The Ministry of Education says it takes longer to get a school built in Vancouver than it does in other districts, and some members of the Vancouver School Board are hoping city hall will streamline that process by speeding up its approval of school development and building permits.

According to the Ministry of Education it takes about five years to get a school built in Vancouver. Of the five years, VSB staff and trustees report that it takes 12 months to approve a development permit for a new school and eight months to approve a building permit for a seismically safe replacement school.”

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Province needs to develop mental health strategy for kids

“This week a 20-something fellow named Aaron Leung announced he was seeking a nomination to run for the Vancouver School Board. If elected, he said he would seek to “improve student access to mental health services.” His bid for school board dropped into my email box the same day 250 students and 40 educators from 18 Vancouver schools attended a “summit” at Sir Charles Tupper secondary school under the banner “Balancing our Minds.” (Last year, more than 2,000 high school aged kids attended five such meetings across the province.)

A week earlier, at the annual meeting in Richmond of the B.C. School Trustees Association, Vancouver NPA school trustee Lisa Dominato moved a motion calling on the province to develop a “mental health strategy for B.C. schools.” The motion passed unanimously. It had also passed unanimously when it was initially raised at the school board.”

Mental Health support encouraged for BC students

“Less than a week before National Child and Youth Mental Health Day on May 7th, a Vancouver trustee hopes she can convince the provincial government to develop an early intervention strategy for all BC schools.

Lisa Dominato says more than 80,000 children between four and 17 years old have mental health issues.

“In many cases, they will turn to their peers for help or to some of the teaching staff within the schools, so I think it’s time to be looking at things a little bit more holistically. We have pockets of excellence and great things happening, but what I want to see is a strategy that really ensures there’s consistencies.”

Dominato, who chairs Vancouver’s non-profit Kettle Society which supports adults living with mental illness, also has unanimous support from the BC School Trustee Association to lobby Victoria for support.”

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Seismic upgrade of Lord Strathcona elementary a Canadian first

“Keane Joya is pretty stoked on Ireland.

The plucky Grade 7 Lord Strathcona elementary student told the Courier as much while he and his classmates showed off research projects delving into different countries and cultures.

“My uncle is from Ireland and he always tells me cool stories and legends and facts from Ireland and he’s been there many times,” Joya said. “It’s cool to learn about facts and the things that happen in different countries.”

Long before discussing the Emerald Isle, Joya led Vancouver School District staff, trustees, planners and architects on a tour of his revamped digs on East Pender Street.”

VSB trustee seeks more spots for students to train as health care aides

“A Vancouver School Board (VSB) trustee has tabled a motion to increase the number of spaces for health care assistants in the district’s dual credit program.

The program has been organized in partnership with Vancouver Community College, and NPA trustee Lisa Dominato said it allows students to gain credits in high school and toward their post-secondary diploma.”

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2017 saw much instability and a few bright spots for Vancouver school district

“2017 wasn’t a great year for the Vancouver School Boardgiven the instability among senior leaders, the inability of the district to hire enough teachers to fulfil the reinstated contract and the inanity of the reports finding bullying by trustees of board staff.

But there were bright spots — the election of an NDP government brought with it promises of more funding, the byelection restored democratic accountability and the money provided by the teachers’ contract eliminated an expected $12-million shortfall.”

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B.C.’s high-school curriculum and education: Need. More. Mental. Health.

“Teens stand in a line, poised and ready to run. Their partners sit cross-legged on the grass nearby with pencils and marking sheets in hand, ready to jot down the runners’ times the next six times they pass them.

This is the third time this school year the students will be participating in this activity—a timed six laps around the running track—as part of their fitness and physical-health evaluation.”

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