Connaught School Update

We’ve posted and done articles on the future of Connaught Community School in the Cathedral area before. Today on Facebook someone with ties to both the neighbourhood and the broader education and journalism community in Regina posted this update:

A call to the school board office confirms Connaught School’s future existence as a heritage school will be decided on Tuesday evening, without any public notice beyond posting the agenda on Friday afternoon. This rushed process should be challenged. The vote should at the very least be given proper notice of motion as per usual board policy. And if they were hoping no one would be in the room when they decide, folks should prove them wrong and show up.

A visit to the Regina Board of Education website reveals that the board meeting had originally been scheduled for Feb. 19, but had been rescheduled to Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the School Board office at 1600 4th Ave. I couldn’t find any information on the agenda today, but if you want to check on Friday the agenda will hopefully be posted here.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

12 thoughts on “Connaught School Update”

  1. Confirmed by the Director of Education that there will be a motion, but she won’t say what it is. Nice system!

  2. from Trish Elliott. FB Real Renewal

    So it’s official – recommendation is to replace Connaught School, likely in a different location. To be decided Tuesday 7 pm at the school board office. RealRenewal will be calling for a tabling of the recommendation so that there can be an actual public debate about it, as there should be.

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/34604056389/

  3. “The vote should at the very least be given proper notice of motion as per usual board policy.”

    Pardon?!? I sat on that board for three years and there was almost never a notice of motion. In fact it was only used typically for a trustee bringing up a specific issue not already on the board agenda. The report was filed in June 2012 so there has been lots of time to discuss and present concerns.

    Also I don’t understand Jeannie’s comment as the motion doesn’t state it will be moved, but rather it could be considered.

    The wording is “That, in order to satisfy Ministry of Education requirements for advancing to Stage 2/3 in the
    provincial capital planning process, and based upon the information and options outlined in the
    6
    Stage 1 Facility Study (dated May 31, 2012) and in consideration of the Ministry directive to
    provide “the most economically viable long term solution that is equitable and ensures the provision
    of sustainable educational programming and infrastructure in the neighborhood,” the Ministry of
    Education be advised of the Board’s preference to pursue the rebuild of École Connaught
    Community School (incorporating major heritage elements from the existing building) on either the
    current school site or, dependent upon current site limitations, on an alternate suitable site located in
    the École Connaught Community School attendance area.”

    So I read that to say they want to do a rebuild on the site, but keep some elements from the current school. Yet if that can’t work, they will look at another site.

    I would be more concerned where the kids are going to be sent during the rebuild because they can’t stay onsite for it. That would likely be a 2 or even 3 year period of time.

  4. Mr. Stobbs is correct re: notices of motion. If folks are going to question Board procedure, they should at least have a scraping acquaintance with it. He is also correct in re: the length of time for digesting and responding to the report filed last year.
    Ms. Mah is simply quoting Ms. Elliott, right from the RR Facebook posting, so it’s a bit unfair to ascribe that statement to her.

  5. @Barb,

    Now we are completely off topic…anyways, not too bad. A bit thick at spots, but no major issues yet. Yourself?

    Tim

  6. We hired a pro and got it removed, because there was ‘way too much of it.

    Just to get even slightly back on topic, I understand that rescheduling Board meetings is becoming more commonplace because it’s difficult to mesh the Trustees’ timetables. It seems to me that the priority, when one is elected to an office, is the business of that office. If you can’t make the time, resign.

  7. I understand your point Barb, but really I think the issue is the new meeting format. At this time missing one meeting is a big deal for a trustee (since they often only meet like once a month). Back when they did it every two weeks it wasn’t a big deal to miss the odd meeting (depending on the agenda).

    I’m not defending people, but rather pointing out the issue when a Board has infrequent meetings.

  8. And why the new meeting format? Was it not as much about accommodating Trustees’ schedules as about dealing with Board-appropriate business?

    Just to be a boring old coot: when I was first elected, there were Board meetings every week, one of them on a weekday afternoon, no less. We got rid of that one right away, as it did not allow for much public attendance. As the Board took more and more to policy governance, the number of regular Board meetings was reduced, as Trustees concerned themselves with policy issues rather than the day-to-day details that were properly the administration’s bailiwick. Regular Board meetings, however, tended to go on for hours, so we instituted a committee system, to try and streamline the workload and shorten the regular meetings. That of course meant more meetings of a different sort, but Trustees had the ability to give input and shape issues for presentation to the Board as a whole.

    Board voting is both democratic and legally necessary. As proxy voting is not allowed, Trustee attendance is a must. School Board, after all, is not the Senate.

  9. Barb,

    Well thanks for the history lesson, it is interesting to see how things change over the years.

    The current structure as I seem to recall was intended to provide more consistent board development. There is still another meeting monthly it just focuses on development. Also the change in format resulted in longer public meetings. The committee format still exists. Actually overall I would guess the total amount of meeting time is similar, just arranged differently.

    I’m aware there is no proxy voting, which is fine. During my time most trustees attended just about every meeting with the odd exception. I don’t pretend to know the new boards schedules so I can’t say anything about that, but I do know this new meeting format was approved by the previous board.

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