DPAC Chair Welcome 2017_2018

Dear Parents and Guardians of the Vancouver School District,

 

Welcome to another school year on behalf of the 2017/2018 DPAC Executive!  We hope that you have had a relaxing summer and that you and your children are ready to take on the challenges (and there will be several) of the coming year.

 

Please find the following information below:

  1. Our mandate

  2. Our goals

  3. Call for volunteers, how you can help

  4. Communication Channels

  5. Invitation to our September 28th General Meeting (PAC 101)

  6. PAC Liaisons

 

Our mandate

The Vancouver DPAC represents the parents/guardians in the Vancouver School District to the VSB.  The DPAC Executive consists of parent/guardian volunteers who have been nominated by the PACs at their children’s schools and elected by PAC representatives from throughout the district.   to contribute to the conversation around public education at the board and superintendent’s office levels.  It is intended to be a two-way communication body.  For more information, please click http://vancouverdpac.org/about-dpac/

Our 2017/2018 goals (to be ratified)

  1. Improve bi-directional communication between Vancouver parents and VSB through Vancouver DPAC, resulting in higher parent engagement and stronger education community.

  2. Advocate for resolution of systemic education impediments, including:

    1. Student safety, including seismic and building remediation.

    2. Sustainable, predictable funding enabling long-term education planning.

  3. Improve administrative governance and procedures of Vancouver DPAC.

    1. Complete revision and modernize DPAC By-Laws.

    2. Improve quality of DPAC meetings.

    3. Increase awareness of, and relevance to, DPAC to Vancouver PACs.

  4. DRAFT -> DPAC will explore and understand Indigenous ways of knowing, and will strive to create more opportunities for Indigenous families to be involved in all DPAC gatherings.

Call for volunteers

As the VSB DPAC starts up, we have lots of opportunities for parents to get involved.

  1. Currently we have three openings in our executive for Members at large. Members at large vote at executive meetings as well as being a PAC liaison and helping with events.  Ideally at least one of these positions would be filled by a parent/guardian with a child in the secondary system as we are currently under-represented by this group.

    If you are interested in joining our executive, please ask your PAC to nominate you and submit your application (link).
     
  2. VSB has a number of advisory committees which include a DPAC representatives. These committees typically meet 1-3 times a year and would require either reporting back by attending a DPAC executive meeting or submitting a written summary. Currently, the VSB is looking for DPAC representation at these meetings:
    1. Active Transportation Advisory Committee

    2. Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement Implementation and Monitoring Committee

    3. ICT Advisory Committee ( Information and Communications Technology)

    4. Diversity Committee (NEW)

    5. School Calendar Committee

    6. Special Education Advisory Committee

    7. Sustainability Advisory Committee

If you are interested in being the DPAC representative on a specific advisory committee, please let DPAC know.

DPAC also has internal committees parents can join. In previous years they included finance, by-laws and communications. Stay tuned for call outs.

Communication Channels

  1. Attend any meetings you can. We have two main types of meetings: executive and general.

    1. Executive meetings contain all our regular DPAC business: committee meeting updates, treasurer reports, etc. The current interim superintendent, John Lewis, has agreed to give a brief update of VSB and we hope this continues when a new superintendent is hired. All parents can attend and ask questions. Executive members votes on motions. Our next executive meeting is on Thursday, October 12th.

    2. General meetings are new this year and replace citywides. They are for more indepth discussion of a particular topic plus voting on any issues requiring PAC consensus (only one PAC representative can vote per PAC, typically their DPAC representative or chair). More details on our first general meeting, PAC 101, later in this letter.

      We have posted our meetings for the year here: http://vancouverdpac.org/upcoming-events/. If there is something your PAC thinks would make a great general meeting topic, please let us know.

  2. If you are unable to join us formally, we do hope that you will connect with us virtually by subscribing to our mailing list at:  http://vancouverdpac.org/
  3. Call for all school PAC contact information. Please keep our contact information up-to-date by sending us your school contact information, preferably both Chair and DPAC representative. If you have not already done so, we highly recommend establishing ‘generic emails’ for all PAC executive volunteers i.e. NR_PAC_chair@gmail.com.  If you are unsure how to do this, please come to the PAC 101 meeting and we will help!

Invitation to first general meeting (PAC 101) on September 28th

  1. This 2 hour meeting is going to focus on the challenges (and solutions) to being a volunteer for a public education school.  We invite all PAC’s to send a representative, but in particular we hope to see:

    1. Parents who are new to the VSB and/or new to their PAC executive

    2. Schools that may find establishing and running a PAC to be not as smooth as it should be.

PAC liaisons

  1. DPAC executives are all PAC liaisons. http://vancouverdpac.org/liaisons/

  2. Liaisons are a great first contact if your PAC is looking for help 1) with creating an effective PAC; 2) with an issue involving your PAC and VSB; 3) finding out how to navigate VSB and also to share information between DPAC and your PAC.

  3. Liaisons do not get involved in: internal PAC issues; fundraising; or individual parent issues, but can recommend ‘best practices.’

This year is going to be interesting with lots going on at VSB including: a new board of trustees (attend our candidate forum on October 3rd in John Oliver Secondary’s auditorium starting at 6:30pm); a review of choice programs; a review of catchment boundaries; an update to the Long Range Facilities Plan; and the impact of implementing the previous class size and composition language; just to name a view.

Parent and PAC input is very important to us at DPAC as we strive to represent all students across the district.

Rob Peregoodoff

2017/2018 DPAC Chair

DPAC Executive Nominee Bios

The Vancouver DPAC is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been nominated by their PACs as Executive Members:

  • Stephen Filbey (Beaconsfield Elementary PAC) (bio)
  • Anne Montgomery (John Oliver Secondary PAC) (bio)
  • May Ke (General Wolfe)
  • Rob Peregoodoff (Norma Rose Point School PAC) (bio)
  • Crystal Smith (Aboriginal Focus School / Macdonald Elementary PAC) (bio)

Please join us at our AGM on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7 p.m. in room 120 at the VSB (1580 West Broadway).

DPAC Bylaws 2017

Vancouver PACs, DPAC is proposing revisions to our bylaws at our upcoming AGM on June 22, 2017, as passed unanimously at our last DPAC meeting on June 25, 2017. An email has been sent to every PAC that we have contact information for, but below are two documents for review.

  1. Revised, proposed bylaws: 2017 DPAC proposed bylaws
  2. Intro presentation about revision: 2017 DPAC bylaws overview
  3. Current 2007 Bylaws.

All-candidates education forum April 25, 2017

Vancouver DPAC is proud to present an all-candidates educational forum on April 25, 2017 at 6:30 at the VSB. We have invited the three main political parties to present their party's education platform with a special focus on Vancouver. The event will be moderated by Tracy Sherlock, and sample questions (derived from a survey of Vancouver PACs) have been provided in advance. All parents and guardians of Vancouver students are most welcome, but please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mla-candidate-education-forum-tickets-33368384737 in advance to we know the numbers of people attending.

-NW

 

 

 

DPAC Statement to Joint Plenary III-V Committee - April 10, 2017

Parents and guardians, this evening Vancouver DPAC presented some initial feedback regarding the proposed 2017/2018 VSB budget to the joint plenary III-V committee. The draft statement represents feedback received from parents and PACs so far, as well as from the Vancouver DPAC members.

The complete text is posted here (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56baeb4337013bc5ec5fd5d5/t/58ec55ed6a49630e8a518c5c/1491883502120/DPAC+Statement+to+Joint+Plenary+III-V+Committee+-+April+10%2C+2017.pdf).

 

-NW, -SK

 

DPAC letter regarding BC Hydro proposal

Vancouver DPAC has published a letter to VSB offering feedback on the recent BC Hydro proposal to build a substation under Lord Roberts Annex in return for funds to build two primary schools. The feedback is based on round tables and open houses DPAC members attended, feedback from directly from parents and PACs, a DPAC meeting devoted to the issue, and from a survey of all Vancouver PACs.

Many thanks to the parents who contributed to the process.

 

-NW

Tips for University Success

Please see below information shared with Vancouver DPAC about an upcoming event taking place at Killarney Secondary School. 

DESCRIPTION

Learn about skills that lead to a successful and balanced academic life in post-secondary school. Renee McCallum and Poh Tan, experts from Simon Fraser University, will present tips to help you transition successfully to post-secondary studies. You will take away tips that lead to a successful and balanced academic life; Renee and Poh will speak about learning strategies, time management, reading and writing.

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Everyone is welcome to our talk. High school and elementary students, parents, and educators are all welcome.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
Parking is available in our inner courtyard staff parking lot accessed from 49th Avenue. There is also street parking available.

The 49th Avenue bus stops in front of our school.

What can I bring into the event?
Admission is by donation at the door.

For more information please email:  Lynn Leong at lleong@uniserve.com

Winter break 2017/2018 possible date change

The VSB is proposing a change of dates for winter break 2017, revised from the current schedule to Dec 25, 2016 – Jan 5, 2017, to better align with other neighbouring school districts. While this won't be finalized until the next board meeting on January 23, 2017, it is reasonable to assume that it will be approved.

If parents are making plans or reservations at this point for next winter, I urge all to postpone (if possible) making irrevocable arrangements until after the decision.


-NW

Malfeasance in our midst

This evening a fellow parent sent me pictures of some troubling graffiti at one of our secondary schools. The two defacements, the first one demeaning women (starting with the unfortunate phrase "Grab her by..."), and second one displaying hatred for trans or other gender expressions, were appalling to view. The simple explanation, that of some person or persons simply seeking attention, may be superficially true. But the symbolism, that of intolerance, meanness, and division at one of our local Vancouver schools, cannot be ignored. 

As Vancouver parents, we must denounce this regressive view. As citizens, we must stand strong for equality of all people, and must combat the negativity too often expressed by those afraid.  And as humans, we must strive to treat each other with compassion and dignity.

-NW

Strategic goals for 2016/17

The Vancouver DPAC, after input from local PACs and some work by the DPAC executives last weekend, has created draft strategic goals for the 2016/17 school year. We welcome feedback, either from the PACs through the still open survey sent to PAC chairs, via email from parents to vicechair@vancouverdpac.org, or please come to our next DPAC meeting next Thursday evening (Dec 8) at 7pm.

-NW

DRAFT

  1. Improve bi-directional communication between Vancouver parents and VSB through Vancouver DPAC, resulting in higher parent engagement and stronger education community.
    1. Facilitate awareness of curriculum and report card changes that impact students in the classroom.
    2. Request or organize VSB public meetings on schools closures, budget, or other major concerns.
    3. Initiate newsletter or other regular communication via blog, email, and/or social media.
  2. Advocate for resolution of systemic education impediments, including:
    1. Student safety, including seismic and building remediation.
    2. Sustainable, predictable funding enabling long-term education planning.
  3. Improve administrative governance and procedures of Vancouver DPAC.
    1. Revise and modernize DPAC By-Laws.
    2. Improve quality of DPAC meetings, leading to greater cohesion within the group.
    3. Increase relevance of DPAC to Vancouver PACs.

 

New resources page for PACs

DPAC is pleased to announce that we have a new resources page for PACs, currently containing the presentation materials from our last city-wide event on October 13, 2016. The three topics are:

  • Affecting the Policy Change You Desire, presented by Morgane Oger
  • Organizing at the Grassroots Level, presented by Erin Arnold
  • PAC 101 / Treasury 101, presented by Nathan Wilkes + Sandra McPeake

We look forward to posting more as the year unfolds!

-NW

2016/17 Strategic goals for DPAC

On Saturday, November 26, 2016, the DPAC executive spent the afternoon discussing possible strategic goals for the 2016/17 school year. It was the first event that I, Nathan, coordinated in my new role as acting chair, and I thank all of my colleagues for their hard work, honesty, and tremendous commitment to education. We have made a good start on our strategic goals, and I look forward to further discussion at our next DPAC meeting on December 8, 2016, at 7pm.

As part of our preparation, we sent a survey to all Vancouver PACs last week for their input. I thank all of those who responded, and to those who have not yet done so, we still welcome and cherish input and feedback. If any PAC did not receive an email invitation to the survey, please contact me directly at vicechair@vancouverdpac.org.

Finally, I welcome the opportunity to address any PAC in the city on the topic of your choice.

Nathan Wilkes, acting chair