Report from CAPE Meeting February 16th 2009

Our Trustee Eden

Our Trustee Eden

Hi out there in Cowichan:

We just got up from our February CAPE meeting – only four in attendance but it had a life of its own. We discussed the upcoming event we are sponsoring – Dr Manuel Rozental to talk on ‘Social Justice/Mother Earth’ – on April 13th. More info will be coming as soon as the press release etc is ready. We talked a bit about promoting it. We have adopted a spot on the agenda to allow each person in attendance to give us a report (brief of course) on anything within their realm that they would like to communicate. There is no need to prepare of course – we just would like to make it easier for us to share the experiences over the district regardless of where within it you find yourself

We moved on to discussing the prospect for needs budget work particularly with the new board sub committee that has been struck to develop strategies to seek more public funding. Shona has agreed to research the current strategies boards in this province are deploying around budget issues. We discussed the need to assemble some hard numbers related to fundraising and employee subsidy of class room resources. We are hoping that the BCTF may be able to help with that. We also discussed assembling info from various programs and district services (counselling, libraries, learning assistance, LAP, maintenance) to get a handle on the shortfalls in the system (one of the tasks that has been set for the subcommittee itself).

We had a broad discussion about the poor communications within the district – the lack of mature engagement between employees and senior staff. We also talked about health and safety matters and how these are impacting morale and the quality of our employees’ lives. Beverley has been encouraged to come to the board as a delegation to discuss these issues with trustees as there is a gap in the information and understanding trustees have around health and safety and morale matters. We discussed the backlog in maintenance and how this impacts our schools and our staff and kids (e.g. ABG)- this led to discussion about the need to resurrect the operations committee with a full set of partners to allow a more steady flow of information to the board hopefully leading to solutions to some of the frustrating situations and preventing others from developing.

We had a good dinner – homemade chilli (vegetarian), cornbread, organic apples and healthy cookies.

Our next CAPE meeting will be held on March 23rd 5- 7 pm. As you have guessed since our usual meeting time would fall during spring break we are moving it to the following week. We will send out a reminder a week before – as usual you may add agenda items right up to the end of any meeting.

Eden

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