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Trustee Blog – British Columbia School Trustee Association

The British Columbia School Trustee Association (BCSTA) will be hosting their 2022 Annual General Meeting next month, and as a way to show the works of School Trustees throughout the Province, I thought I would share some of the motions coming to the table. I believe it is essential to show that districts throughout the province share many of the same values as we do

Submitted by Trustee Pammila Ruth

April 4, 2022

The British Columbia School Trustee Association (BCSTA) will be hosting their 2022 Annual General Meeting next month, and as a way to show the works of School Trustees throughout the Province, I thought I would share some of the motions coming to the table. I believe it is essential to show that districts throughout the province share many of the same values as we do.

As per our Strategic Plan, our Vision and Mission are reflected in our actions: “We are a community engaged in life-long learning and educational excellence: We support and inspire each student to experience joy and fulfillment in realizing their potential as a knowledgeable, confident, and contributing citizen in the global community.”  This is our guiding light on what our district should strive towards, what we as school trustees should nurture.  Our Values (with excerpts below) set the guidelines to help achieve these goals.

  • Ethics: “An environment of mutual trust and respect…”
  • Inclusion: “…welcoming and inclusive practices.”
  • Collaboration & Equity: “meaningful connections…”
  • Innovation: “… risk taking in personal and collective actions.”
  • Respect & Responsibility: “…mutual respect and shared responsibility…”
  • Celebration: …bring joy to our work together…”

I was quite pleased to see that these values were reflected in the motions presented at the AGM.  If the school districts throughout the Province share these values, there is great hope for the future of the public education system.

There are fifteen substantive motions, all of which cover at least one of these values; some carry ALL of these values: Territorial Acknowledgement placed in the School Act, Access of Education to All Students, Student Voice, Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action, Gender Inclusive Washrooms… These are just some of the initiatives represented in the motions School Boards are advocating for our Association to support, ultimately, all in the name of diversity and inclusion in public education.

Our district’s motion coming to the AGM is focused on the equity of School Boards. “That the BCSTA develop a framework to assist Boards of Education in determining an appropriate honorarium that will attract and retain a diverse group of trustees and ensure equity in participation:  Diversity at the board table is part of a healthy democracy and effective governance. There is a lack of data on how issues of gender, race, economic status, family status, and education impact an individual’s participation on boards of education.”

Making sure that there is room at the table for those diverse voices allows for mutual trust and respect.  It offers welcoming and inclusive practices as well as meaningful connections.  Setting an equal playing field presents truly collective actions and encourages mutual respect and responsibility.  Ultimately, it would bring joy of working together as we celebrate the values of not just our own districts, schools and of course, students… but the Public Education System throughout our Province.

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