Board of Education Announcement
The Board of Education is committed to positive, transparent, and accurate information sharing with the public. It has come to the attention of the Board of Education that Trustee Allan Gribbin is providing misleading information that does not reflect the values or goals of the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) (SD8).
The following statements are intended to clarify any derogatory and misleading information provided by Trustee Allan Gribbin about SD8 and the Board of Education.
SD8 serves a diverse number of communities including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel, Yahk and the surrounding rural areas. The district covers a large geographic area with two time zones. It has a student population of approximately 4700 students in 23 schools. Creston is a valued community in the school district that is supported to ensure that each student is able to thrive.
Amalgamation was a decision made by the Government of British Columbia over 25 years ago, at a time when many school districts in B.C. were amalgamated. School district boundaries are determined by the Province of B.C.
School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) is a vibrant and diverse school district that is represented within each electoral area. Inclusion and equity form the basis of the Board of Education’s strategic plan and each school is equitably supported in the district, taking into account the unique features of every community.
The Board of Education and all senior administration equally support and advocate for each community served in the school district.
To support all trustees and the public, board meetings are held virtually with the option to attend in person at the SD8 school board office. This is to provide equal access to all board members and to members of the public who wish to attend.
The Board of Education follows a Trustee Conduct and Code of Ethics and welcomes different opinions and respectful debate. Trustee Gribbin has been sanctioned several times by the Board of Education for breaching the Respectful Workplace and Code of Conduct policies. In spite of this, Trustee Gribbin has always been involved in Board of Education proceedings and never prevented from participating.
Trustee Gribbin has made a number of misleading and inaccurate statements which are not reflective of reality or the values of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake). Accurate information about SD8 policies, procedures and practices follows below:
- The district follows Policy 642: Procurement and Purchasing and AP 642.1: Administrative Procedure: Procurement and Purchasing. AP 642 states that SD8 will purchase locally, whenever and wherever possible; however, the district's first consideration must be value for money spent. For this reason, local suppliers and contractors will be given preference only as other factors are equally comparable.
- Trustee Gribbin has made comments about personnel issues. The Board of Education must comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which does not permit public discussions regarding personnel matters. Any statements that speak to personnel concerns or are derogatory towards staff are not supported by the Board of Education, and undermine its reputation as an employer. These statements are very unfair to staff, who are not able to respond and protect their reputations.
- Trustee Gribbin has published misleading information about the hiring of staff. All principals are hired with required qualifications including education and experience. Prior to hiring a principal at a school, the school is consulted for suitable candidate qualifications ensuring that staff reflect each unique community in keeping with Policy 560: Appointment of Principals and Vice-Principals and AP 560.1 Appointment of Principals and Vice-Principals. The Board of Education does not support the comments made by Trustee Gribbin. The district is proud of the work and commitment of our employees.
- Trustee Gribbin has made comments about SD8 properties. The Board of Education, in consultation with the public, develops a Long-Range Facilities Plan and through this planning, capital adjustments are determined. The Board of Education use criteria to determine whether or not facilites support the function of the school district. The Board of Education must seek approval from the Ministry of Education to sell school district properties. Several properties throughout the district were no longer supporting communities and the sale of properties enabled further capital investment in the school district.
- Trustee Gribbin has misled the public related to the function and planning of board meetings. All trustees have the ability to add items to the board meeting agenda. This is outlined in Policy 120 Board Meeting Procedures.
- Trustee Gribbin has made comments about Indigenous relationships. The Board of Education is supportive of rights-holders and values its relationship with the Lower Kootenay Band. The Board of Education does not have a mandate to involve themselves in land claim issues, nor does it do so.
About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):
The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 4,700 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.