Mission school board questioned

Current board should be focusing on maintaining student success

Editor, The Record:

The past two school board meeting have been consumed by contentious policy changes.

Vice-chair Jim Taylor has been the mover and speaker to most, if not all, of the policy changes. Hence, my comments at last Tuesday’s meeting directed at him were not of a personal nature, despite the defensive reaction my comments received.

As I chose not to run in the past election due to major health issues, my reactions come as a mom of boys enrolled at Mission Secondary School. I will give this board the benefit of time to see what direction it truly takes.

The lack of focus Mission’s current board — excluding trustees Carol Hamilton and Randy Cairns — is giving to educational objectives is also a concern. Cairns settled my concerns about board focus with his “end of meeting” comments that they were working hard to be a cohesive board.

I am not the only parent in Mission to be concerned about the state of morale. Numerous others have written letters, or straight out requested the board find ways to maintain the once open door relationship it shared with senior staff.

I do have some questions:

1. Why the rush on policy changes despite serious concerns from stakeholder groups?

2. Why are policies regarding board and senior staff being discussed? There are 23 policies and numerous bylaws.

3. Why are the vice-chair and chair roles seemingly swapped? Things seem to be nicely orchestrated.

4. Why did Taylor insist on making a motion to remove the signing of the trustee code of ethics? And why did chair Edie Heinrichs support such a motion? Why would trustees holding a public office, not be willing to sign a code of ethics letter?

An odd opening position for Mission’s new school board chair and vice chair to take. While the motion was defeated by trustees Hamilton, Shelley Carter and Cairns, the question still needs to be asked.

I truly hope the board moves past the occupation with policies aimed at controlling the superintendent’s role within the district and starts to work again on maintaining the student success for which the district is currently noted.

Karen Petty

Mission

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