The Campbell River School Board wants to host a Vancouver Island School Trustees’ Association (VISTA) conference.
Board Chair Richard Franklin put forward a motion in early November for the district to host an upcoming VISTA conference – potentially as early as fall 2020.
“Considering the fact that we’ve just finished our strategic plan and a year from now we’ll be well into it, and when I consider all the wonderful things we do in terms of our locally developed courses, for example, I think that our district has a lot to share,” he said.
VISTA conferences happen twice a year with the host district highlighting some of the initiatives it has been working on as well as thoughts on how it has been going.
Trustees questioned if the district would be ready to host in a year and debated if senior staff had the capacity to add the planning of the event to their workload.
Trustee Susan Wilson wondered why they were targeting a fall conference over a spring one. Nanaimo is hosting in spring 2020 and Franklin believes a year to be plenty of time to organize the day-long event.
Trustee Joyce McMann added that the last time the district hosted in 2014, they chose a spring conference as it worked the best for booking a venue.
She also asked if there was a budget requirement.
Franklin said that they’re able to access some member dues from VISTA and that there’s an additional cost for trustees to attend the conference.
“It should be neutral in terms of cost (for the district),” he said.
Wilson said the last time SD72 hosted, they had a clear theme for the conference. She was reluctant to vote before knowing the theme and if it would be a better fit for the fall or spring.
“I would prefer to know what the theme would be and then decide if it was more appropriate in the fall or the spring just in case there was any kind of seasonal influence around it,” she said.
Trustees were reluctant to pass the motion initially. Franklin explained that they weren’t hashing out the details right away – that could be saved for a committee – but rather reserving their spot with VISTA.
“I know the last time was fabulous and I think this one will be too. We’ll have to establish a committee to make sure that we have a wonderful and meaningful day with our fellow trustees,” he said. “All those other details are things that we’ll work out as we move forward. We’ve got lots to talk about. What I’m asking for is simply that we offer to host … I think the committee will address most of your concerns.”
The motion was passed.
The location isn’t final however. The district has just put its name forward and it will be up to VISTA to decide the location of the conference.