Secondary students could be a baby step closer to representing themselves at school board meetings as student trustees.
Legal advisers told the board at a management and coordinating committee meeting last week that the provincial government would have to change School Act legislation before the board could move forward with welcoming student trustees as is does in Ontario.
The committee vowed to formulate a resolution before the end of December to take to the annual general meeting of the B.C. School Trustees Association in March in the hope of garnering support from school boards across the province.
Mike Lombardi, the Vancouver School Board trustee who chairs this committee, said the board will continue to work with student councils and the Vancouver District Students' Council in the meantime to talk about ways of boosting student involvement. The board briefed members of the district student council Sept. 18 on how they can get "better impact" on working with board committees. Representatives of the Vancouver District Students' Council sit on the board's management coordinating, planning and facilities, education and student services and finance and legal committees. The board plans to convene a meeting with the district student council. A second forum of student leaders is slated for October.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education told the Vancouver Sun's education reporter earlier this month that no legislative changes are contemplated at this time. Matt Silver told the Sun B.C. law allows students to have a voice in decisions as members of school planning council.
But Lombardi remains undeterred.
"It's an election year this year, I think the students will be working hard and we'll be working hard to make sure it's on the agenda of any political party who's running for office," he said.
Pushing for the province to allow student trustees to help set policy directions is important because it's an idea that originated with students, Lombardi said.
"In Ontario, every board must have anywhere from one to three [student] trustees and the impact they've had in that province has been very, very positive," he said. "_Students' issues are brought to every board meeting on a regular basis."
Dedicated recycling means Champlain Heights elementary school has more than $6,000 extra to spend on student activities and equipment. Students and teachers at the school took first place in Encorp's B.C. School Recycling Program by collecting 79,278 beverage containers. They earned $5,055.19 in deposit refunds in 2011/12, taking first place in their enrolment category of 151 to 300 students and won $1,000 in prize money.
David Livingstone elementary on 23rd Avenue, just east of Main Street, placed first in the schools with 301 to 450 students category, collecting 39,005 containers, earning $2,761 in deposit returns and $1,000 in prize money.
Encorp Pacific (Canada) helps schools with recycling through the free B.C. School Recycling Program. Since the program's inception in 2000, more than 40 million containers have been recycled and schools have been refunded more than $2.4 million, according to a press release from Encorp, a federally incorporated non-profit stewardship corporation.
Sixteen Vancouver schools registered in the program. These schools collected a total of 201,832 containers in 2011/12 and earned $12,655.24 in deposit refunds.