December 2017 Update

Great to see so many of you last month at our Executive and General meetings. If you were not able to make it, draft minutes are available on our website:  http://vancouverdpac.org/2017-2018-school-year/ and we hope you can join us soon.

Note: all DPAC meetings are open to parents and guardians of VSB students. Though only DPAC executives can vote at Executive meetings, and only official DPAC representatives (either PAC chair/co-chair or DPAC representative - PACs to self determine) can vote at General meetings, all parents and guardians of VSB students can participate.

Important Dates:

PAC to PAC notices:

Henry Hudson Elementary PAC's Seismic Upgrade Committee is supporting a petition started by a Hudson parent calling upon the new provincial government to follow up on its stated objective of accelerating seismic upgrades for the remaining high-risk schools throughout the province.  We would welcome participation from all other PACs in Vancouver - please help us increase the number of signatures by sharing the link throughout your communities! 
 https://www.change.org/p/the-honourable-rob-fleming-bc-minister-of-education-accelerate-seismic-upgrades-for-high-risk-bc-schools
 Together we can demonstrate to the government (while it is preparing the budget for the coming year) that this concern remains high among parents across the province.  If you have any questions or feedback please contact Laura MacDougall, committee chair, through hudsonpac@gmail.com.

DPAC News:

  • Seismic Motion: On November 23rd at our General Meeting, PACs voted and unanimously passed a seismic motion asking VSB, City of Vancouver, and the Ministry of Education to expedite the seismic mitigation program to get all VSB students in seismically safe buildings by 2025. Yesterday we emailed it to them (link to letter to VSB, CoV, and MoE)
  • REMINDER: An electronic ballot to ratify the nomination for a new DPAC executive was sent to every PAC's general email account (PAC chair's email for PACs with no general account). Please ensure your PAC responds by Wednesday, December 13th.
  • CALL OUT out for more executives. Currently we have four openings in our executive for Members-at-large. Members-at-large vote at executive meetings as well as being PAC liaisons and helping with events. If you are interested in joining our executive, please ask your PAC to nominate you and submit your application (link).

    Updates at VSB:

    • Trustees:
      • The new Trustees wrote a letter to parents and guardians.
      • Trustees have now been assigned to all the schools. Find out who yours is (link) and invite them to your next PAC meeting.
    • Senior Staff:
      • Jody Langlois will start Jan 1 as Associate Superintendent (taking over for Julie Pearce who is retiring).
      • Suzanne Hoffman will start Jan 8 as Superintendent (taking over for interim Superintendent John Lewis)
    • Capital/Facilities:

    Letter to VSB, City of Vancouver & Ministry of Education re: seismic motion

    Yesterday DPAC sent the following letter to Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, Janet Fraser, Chair, Vancouver Board of Education, and Gregor Robertson, Mayor, City of Vancouver. (download pdf version)

    Dear sirs and madam,

    On Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 during a General Meeting of the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), the following motion was passed unanimously by the 23 PACs with official representation present. We call on each of you to do your utmost to expedite the Seismic Mitigation Program (SMP) with a return to the 2025 deadline following the prioritization in the motion.

    Motion: Vancouver School Board District Parent Advisory Council requests that the Vancouver School Board and associated partners (Ministry of Education, City of Vancouver) expedite the Seismic Mitigation Program (SMP) with a return to a 2025 deadline instead of the amended 2030 deadline.  To assist in achieving this target, DPAC urges the following prioritization:

    1. Speed -> all parents, children, and staff need to know there is progress towards all schools meeting the minimum safe designations for a significant seismic event.  We urge all partners to allocate the required funding and expertise to deliberately and transparently work towards this deadline

    2. Resources -> DPAC recognizes that we have to work within a limited resource envelope so we urge fiscal prudence in allocating expenditures that meet SMP standards for the greatest number of schools within the shortest possible timeframe

    3. Function and form -> unless there is conflict with priorities 1. and 2., DPAC does support the preservation of heritage facilities and schools as neighborhood hubs where possible.  We urge each relevant parent group, through their local PAC, begin the process of establishing a consensus position now.

    We look forward to a time when all students in Vancouver, and across British Columbia,  are in seismically safe schools.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Peregoodoff

    Chair, Vancouver DPAC

    November 2017 Update

    Great to see so many of you last month at our Executive and General meetings. If you were not able to make it, draft minutes are available on our website:  http://vancouverdpac.org/2017-2018-school-year/ and we hope you can join us soon.

    Note: all DPAC meetings are open to parents and guardians of VSB students. Though only DPAC executives can vote at Executive meetings, and only official DPAC representatives (either PAC chair/co-chair or DPAC representative - PACs to self determine) can vote at General meetings, all parents and guardians of VSB students can participate.

    Important Dates:

    • Wednesday, Nov 1 - VSB Kindergarten registration opens.
    • Wednesday, Nov 8, 6pm – VSB Committee III – Education and Student Services Meeting, Room 180, VSB Board Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
    • Thursday, Nov 8 Aboriginal Veterans Day (info about)
    • Thursday, Nov 9, 7pm – DPAC Executive MeetingRoom 180, VSB Board Office.
    • Friday, Nov 10 - Curriculum Day - No school for students
    • Friday, Nov 10, 6pm - Free theatre performance of “Saving Mother” at UBC Longhouse. DPAC had anticipated hosting this performance earlier this year but was unable to due to unforeseen circumstances. It was written by our Treasurer, Crystal Smith.
    • Saturday, Nov 11 - Remembrance Day
    • Monday, Nov 13 - Remembrance Day Stat - No school
    • Wednesday, Nov 15, 5pm – VSB Committee II – Planning and Facilities Meeting, in Room 180, VSB Board Education Centre
    • Thursday, Nov 23, 7pm – DPAC General Meeting, Room 180, VSB Board Office. We are working out the details of the workshop, but it will include Communicating Student Learning. We will send more details when they’re available. Contact Shaun Kalley by Nov 21 if you require childcare (Vicechair@vancouverdpac.org)
    • Thursday, Nov 23, 6pm - Beyond the Blues: The Hidden Depression in Children & Youth presentation by Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre at BC Children's & Women's Hospital 950 West 28 Avenue. Free but registration required.
    • Monday, November 27, 7pm – VSB Board Meeting at the VSB Board Education Centre

    PAC to PAC notices:

    Does your Elementary school have a scholarship or bursary for alumni when they graduate from high school? General Gordon Elementary is looking into starting one and would appreciate learning about your eligibility and guidelines. Please contact parent-volunteer sheilakirkby@gmail.com. Thanks.

    Updates at VSB:

    • New faces:
      • Congratulations to our new School Board Trustees who were sworn in Monday evening. Janet Fraser (chair), Joy Alexander, Fraser Ballantyne, Carrie Bercic, Ken Clement, Lisa Dominato, Estrellita Gonzalez, Allan Wong, and Judy Zaichkowsky
    VSB Board of Education (left to right in image): Dianne Turner (special advisor), Carrie Bercic, Ballantyne, Ken Clement, Allan Wong, Janet Fraser (chair), Joy Alexander, Judy Zaichkowsky, Estrellita Gonzalez, Lisa Dominato, and Eugene Jeoung (student trustee).

    VSB Board of Education (left to right in image): Dianne Turner (special advisor), Carrie Bercic, Ballantyne, Ken Clement, Allan Wong, Janet Fraser (chair), Joy Alexander, Judy Zaichkowsky, Estrellita Gonzalez, Lisa Dominato, and Eugene Jeoung (student trustee).

    • Two new members of senior staff starting soon
      • Chris Hudson will start Dec 1 as Executive Director of Employee Services (position was previously filled by Associate Superintendent Murray Doucette).
      • Jody Langlois will start Jan 1 as Associate Superintendent (taking over for Julie Pearce who is retiring).
    • New school name:
      • Xpey’ Elementary is the new name of Sir William Macdonald Elementary, VSB’s District Aboriginal Focus School.
    • Seismic announcements:
      • On October 11th, the government announced that Sir Matthew Begbie Elementaryand Bayview Community Elementary (both on year 1 of VSB’s 2017 Capital Plan) will be replaced with new builds by September 2021. CBC article. This leaves 56 high seismic risk schools on the Capital Plan without guaranteed funding.

    Updates at the Ministry of Education:

    • On October 24th, the Ministry announced that the new Grade 11-12 curriculum implementation is being delayed a year. This means next year, Grade 10 will start using the new curriculum and the following year Grade 11 and 12 will start. More information on the transition to 2018 Graduation Program on the Ministry website.

    • The Ministry is reviewing playground funding (CBC article, Oct 25). As this was part of the NDP platform, we hope to see something in the February 2018 budget. BCCPAC will be asking for DPACs to provide a list of schools in their district that need immediate playground replacement, replacement in 5 years, in 10+ years, and playgrounds that have just been replaced.

    October 2017 Update

    Thank you to all the parents who came to our first General Meeting of the year: PAC 101. We had a full house of engaged parents with so many wonderful questions that we didn’t get to everyone. If you still have questions, please feel free to ask your PAC liaison.
     
    On Tuesday, DPAC is hosting a VSB Trustee Candidate forum at John Oliver Secondary from 6:30-9pm. We hope to see lots of parents there, but if you are unable to attend in person, a few of the mini school program students will be recording it via Facebook Live to our Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/VSBDPAC/). Thank you to all the PACs who sent in questions. We hope the candidates give you the answers you need to pick which 9 of the 19 you want to have as trustees. More details in the “important dates” section.

    Important Dates

    • Monday, October 2nd – Institute for Public Education is hosting VSB Election All Candidate Forum from 7:30-9:30pm at Trout Lake Community Centre. Open to the public.

    • Tuesday, October 3rd – DPAC is hosting the VSB Trustee Candidate Forum from 6:30 – 9pm at John Oliver Secondary Auditorium (530 E. 41st at Fraser)Doors open at 6pm. Open to the public. Questions from PACs. Moderated by Tracy Sherlock.

    • Saturday, October 7th – BCEDAccess presents Advocacy in Action: Workshop for Special Ed Parents. Keynote speaker in Rick Moore. Ticket required

    • Wednesday, October 11th – VSB Committee III & IV meetings

    • Thursday, October 12th – DPAC Executive meeting from 7-9pm inRoom 120 at VSB Board Office (1580 West Broadway)All parents/guardians welcome to attend. DPAC executives vote. Typically includes a report from the Superintendent, chair & treasurer reports, VSB standing & advisory committee reports. If you require child-minding, please contact our vice-chair, Shaun Kalley, at least 48 hours in advance (vicechair@vancouverdpac.org).

    • Saturday, October 14th – By-election voting day for a Vancouver councilor and nine Vancouver School Board trustees.

    • Wednesday, October 18th – VSB Committee II & V meetings

    • Thursday, October 19th – The Great British Columbia Shake Out at 10:19am. FYI: currently there are 58 schools in Vancouver that are still in the planning (unfunded) stage of the seismic mitigation program.

    • Friday, October 20th – District Professional Development Day (no school)

    • Thursday, October 26th – DPAC General meeting  from 7-9pm inRoom 180 at VSB Board Office (1580 West Broadway). Main focus will be an Indigenous workshop presented by Jolene Andrews. All parents/guardians welcome to attend. Official PAC representative (DPAC rep or chair) votes. If you require child-minding, please contact our vice-chair, Shaun Kalley, at least 48 hours in advance (vicechair@vancouverdpac.org).

    • Monday, October 30th – VSB Board meeting at 7pm. Will including swearing in ceremony of new trustees.

    Call for DPAC executives

    There is currently room on our executive for 3 more parents. If you know of a parent who is interested, please nominate them at your next PAC meeting and submit the completed nomination form to our chair, Rob Peregoodoff (chair@vancouverdpac.org).

    Call for DPAC representatives to VSB Advisory Committees

    At our October 12th executive meeting we will be selecting DPAC representatives to the following VSB advisory committees. If you know of a parent who is interested in being on one of these committees, please have them email our chair, Rob Peregoodoff (chair@vancouverdpac.org). Typically, advisory meetings meet 1-4 times during the year in the afternoon. After the meeting, the representative would be asked to provide DPAC a report – either orally at the following executive meeting, or in writing. Any parent/guardian can be a DPAC representative on an advisory committee.

    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

    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