Information about the Board of Education at School District No. 85 (Vancouver Island North)

Education in BC is a shared responsibility between the Province and local School Districts.  Publicly elected school trustees ensure that the local community has a strong voice in the education of its children.

The Board's major responsibilities are:

  • Approving an annual accountability contract with the Ministry of Education outlining student achievement improvement goals.
  • Preparing and approving an $21 million annual budget.
  • Employing in 2016/2017; approximately 94 fte teachers and 100 fte support staff to educate approximately 1,362 students in 10 schools.
  • Listening to local communities and giving voice to local public values and priorities.
  • Advocating with the public and the Provincial Government for the interests of our students.
  • Establishing policies for the efficient and effective operation of the School District.
  • Approving board authority authorized courses and resource materials for use in our schools.
  • Preparing and approving the district's capital plan, which includes the purchase of new school sites and the construction of new buildings.

The Board of Education, in accordance with the School Act, is a policy-making body whose primary function is to establish procedures and guidelines for the operation of the public schools. Local school boards are responsible for producing a budget and administering expenditures. School trustee elections are held every four years to coincide with Municipal elections. Seven trustees are elected for a four-year term beginning December 1 following the election. The next school trustee election will be held in November of 2018.

Board Standing Committees

Trustees meet in standing committees to discuss school district matters. These committees consist of appointed trustees and district administrative staff. Some also have parents, students and community representatives. Committees make formal recommendations to the Board at regular Board meetings.

Board standing committees include:

  1. Budget
  2. Personnel
  3. Policy 
  4. Administrator Hiring
  5. Long Term Planning
  6. Committee of the Whole - discussions only, no decision making (open meetings)
  7. Scholarship 
  8. Student Suspensions

Board Joint Committees

Trustees and staff also meet with representatives of other groups in joint committees to discuss issues of mutual concern.

Joint committees include:

  1. First Nations Education Council
  2. VINTA Professional Development
  3. CUPE Labour Management Committee
  4. VINTA and CUPE Grievance Committees
  5. VINTA and CUPE Bargaining Committees

Memberships in Other Associations

The Board also belongs to several Provincial or Regional Bodies including:

B.C. Public School Employers' Association

B.C. School Trustees Association

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Public Board Meetings

Public meetings of the Vancouver Island North Board of Education usually take place on the second Monday of every month. Members of the North Island communities are welcome to attend all public meetings. Meetings are mainly held at the School District Administration Office located at 6975 Rupert Street in Port Hardy with approximately four meetings during the year are held in Port McNeill at North Island Secondary School, both locations commencing at 6:00 p.m.  The current year schedule contains details regarding meeting dates and times. In January, July and August, meetings are held at the call of the Chair. 

In-Camera Board Meetings

In camera (closed to the public) meetings are held monthly to deal with personnel, legal and other confidential matters, as permitted by the School Act. Minutes from the in camera meetings are made available to the public, with revisions to ensure that as much information as possible can be disclosed without breaching confidentiality.   

Presentations to the Board

Individuals or groups wishing to make a presentation to the Board must submit a written request to the school district's Secretary-Treasurer by 9:00 a.m. two Friday's prior to the upcoming board meeting at which you wish to speak. The request should be in writing and include the topic as well as the presenter's name and address. Presentations should not exceed 10 minutes. Lengthier briefings will be accepted in writing for the Board's consideration. If you have questions regarding the above, please contact the Executive Assistant at (250) 949-6618 Ext. 2235.

Writing to the Board 

Letters addressed to the Board will be included on the public agenda of the upcoming Board meeting. The deadline for submissions is 9:00 a.m. two Friday's prior to the meeting date.

Asking Questions at a Board Meeting

The Board welcomes questions regarding its decisions, practices or agenda items. There is a designated question period at the end of each public meeting. The Chair will announce the question period and members of the audience may indicate they have a question by raising their hand. Audience members should identify themselves before asking their question. Questions or comments about personnel issues, individuals or property acquisitions are not appropriate for regular meetings of the Board. Please contact the Secretary-Treasurer or Superintendent of Schools for alternative times for questions in those areas. You must be willing to place your question in those areas in written form to have them reviewed.

Communication Opportunities

An opportunity to speak with trustees and school board staff is normally available after the close of each public meeting.

How to Contact Trustees
Trustees can be contacted directly (See Trustee Listing) or through the School District Administration Office at (250) 949-6618 Ext. 2235.

School Trustee Elections - 2014

General voting day for School Trustee Elections will be November 15, 2014. Information on Election Procedures can be found here:  http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/2014elections/index.htm

Information on Local Election Campaign Financing can be found here:  www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/local-elections-campaign-financing/

The BCSTA Guide for School Trustee Candidates is available at:  http://www.bcsta.org/content/trustee-elections-2014

Electoral Areas

In School District No. 85 (Vancouver Island North), trustee elections in the three trustee electoral areas are the responsibility of the following authorities:  Trustee electoral areas:
Area 1:
District of Port Hardy, Area B, and the north part of Area C, including Coal Harbour, Quatsino, and the Reserves of the Quatsino, Kwakiutl and Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw First Nations.*
No. of Trustees - 3          Authorities - Port Hardy Council

Area 2:
Village of Alert Bay, the Village of Port Alice, and Area A, including the Reserves of the Namgis First Nation and Whe-La-La-U Area Council.
No. of Trustees - 2          Authorities - RDMW

Area 3:
Town of Port McNeill, Area D and the south part of Area C, including Hyde Creek and Nimpkish Heights.*
No. of Trustees - 2          Authorities - Port McNeill Council

* A legal description of the Area C division line is available at the school district office.

Please contact the School Board Administration Office at (250) 949-6618 Ext. 2235 if you have any questions about the upcoming elections.

The School District and Regional District of Mount Waddington share the cost of a Returning Officer.