DPAC Executive Nomination: Skye Richards

Skye Richards has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Magee PAC. Her nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In her own words:

Hello, my name is Skye Richards. I have been on the Magee PAC for the last two years, where I served as DPAC Rep and Vice-Chair, and this year as Co-Chair. I have a son in grade 8. I made significant contribution in reestablishing our PAC executive during the past two years and last year also joined the DPAC Executive. I hold a BSc. and BEd. form UBC and have worked at VCC teaching Science and Math since 1996. I hold education and its impact on social development with deep regard. I am convinced that our future success as a society will depends critically on our broad support of education. During my practicums I worked with at risk students which offered me personal experience that enriched my understanding of the issues facing those youth. I have worked and received training in programs such as Basic Education and Skills Training, ABE Youth Program, Health Sciences for Aboriginal Youth, and Workplace Skills Profiling. My volunteer work with Beyond Addiction Vancouver gave me tremendous insight about nature of addictive behaviours and the importance of establishing healthy practices. In addition to working with a broader demographic of youth and educators, I have also been an advocate for First Nations and aboriginal communities and witnessed the importance of seeking genuine ways of enhancing a deeper connection between elders and children through traditional teaching methods. I see those connections in relation to the larger community and know the importance of growing genuine respect and understanding. This experience has benefitted my understanding and capacity as an educator, for which I am truly grateful. I seek to enhance the development of a more balanced and encompassing view of “What is Education?” within our government and society. I know the strength of multigenerational teachings practices and that they are key in reintegrating our relationship with the planet. I believe that we have a responsibility to create the changes that will forge pathways in human potential based on integrity that holds important a farther future vision. I recognize that we are facing a time of great change and challenge, and while change can be unsettling it also offers the greatest opportunity to grow meaningfully. I believe that we must rethink the design of our educational system, from the ground up, which of course includes the very building facilities in which we entrust our most precious assets, our children. I will be a positive force toward that end. I look forward to learning and continuing to serve you on the Vancouver DPAC Executive and hope that your PAC will support me as one of your advocates.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Shaun Kalley

Shaun Kalley has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Charles Dickens PAC. His nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In his own words:

My name is Shaun Kalley and I have one daughter who is graduating from Charles Dickens Elementary this month and starting at Tupper in September. I was on the Dickens PAC executive for 3 years and have been a member of the DPAC executive for the last 3 years and 8 months. I am seeking to return to the DPAC executive for one more year to help complete several pieces of work.

I originally joined DPAC to help restore a semblance of functionality after it hit a rough patch in 2015. I was fortunate enough to be joined by other parents with a similar goal and together we were able to change the way that DPAC works, for the better.

My primary focus on DPAC has been to improve governance and operations and to make the organization more accessible to PACs and parents. This has involved leading two bylaw revisions which have restructured DPAC’s meeting schedule and elections processes and, if approved at our AGM, will create a position to support Indigenous parents to help build engagement and trust.

It is my belief that an organization such as DPAC needs to orient itself towards providing value and accountability to both the PACs and parents of the Vancouver School District and to the Vancouver School Board and I believe that we are currently satisfying both. I will not say that things have been perfect, but I think the successes currently outnumber the failures.

If re-elected, my goals and priorities for this coming year are:

  • Working with the VSB to complete an Administrative Procedure for consultations;

  • Advocating to the Board to follow DPAC’s suggestions for next steps in the LRFP process;

  • Working with PACs to improve their governance and advocacy;

  • Advocating for culture change at the VSB;

  • Improving DPAC’s information management and social media engagement;

  • Organizing a one-time (maybe becoming an annual) forum for all PACs to come together to discuss key issues in the school district; and

  • Connecting with and sharing information with other DPACs.

Thank you for considering my nomination.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Peter Couch

Peter Couch has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Simon Fraser PAC. His nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In his own words:

Greetings

I’m Peter Couch, I am currently in my second term as DPAC Representative at Simon Fraser Elementary.

I’m putting my name forward to continue as the DPAC Representative for Simon Fraser Elementary and seek another nomination also continuing as a member of the DPAC Executive.

I’ve enjoyed the district level meetings and the information I gather there and the sharing back to my PAC and parents at our school meetings.

Since joining the executive, I have had exposure to a broad slate of issues that has given me the opportunity to learn more about how our public education system works, VSB staff operations, the Trustees and issues around communication and transparency.

I still hold my firm belief that the DPAC is a stronger parent voice with a full roster of Executives that provides depth and credibility when the Executive team interacts with the Vancouver School Board and the Ministry of Education.

Future learning areas I’d like to focus my participation as a DPAC Executive are:

  • Seismic Mitigation

  • Long Range Facilities Planning

  • Finance

Personally, I have 3 kids. Currently, 2 are at Simon Fraser in grades 3 and 6 and 1 in grade 8 at Eric Hamber.

I work as Facility Operations Manager for a VFX Studio in Vancouver for the past 2 years and Facilities Manager for another studio (in Vancouver) for 5 years.

My role focus’ on space acquisition, project design and budgeting (CAPEX), construction and QC, procurement, and ongoing operations and audit (OPEX) across multiple studios nationally and internationally.

I’ve been involved at Simon Fraser at the support level for 7 years, volunteering wherever extra hands were needed for fundraising events, sporting events and school field trips as well as going to school level PAC meetings.

I volunteer coach elementary junior/senior volleyball and sit as a Founding Co-Chair of the newly formed Eric Hamber Music Society.

I hold a Bachelor of Commerce and working toward an Operations Management certification offered through BCIT and developed in conjunction with the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) BC Chapter.

I feel I can contribute to the Executive team’s depth and credibility when looking for consultation transparency. My goal is to build on my current abilities to assist the team to bridge information access and enable communication with all district stakeholders on issues that are current or in the future.

Thanks for your consideration

DPAC Executive Nomination: Karen Tsang

Karen Tsang has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Lord Byng PAC. Her nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In her own words:

I am Karen Tsang. I am a writer/editor and for the past 15 years have been actively working on issues surrounding Indigenous People / Canadian relationships with the goal of fostering a better understanding of the issues blocking reconciliation. I'm interested in serving on the executive of the DPAC as they strengthen the processes of advocating with and for families and PACs. I would like to offer my skills to DPAC, and at the same time learn from the existing DPAC executives who have been working toward this goal for the past several years. My eldest daughter is in grade 10 at Charles Tupper, my middle daughter is attending the theatre program within Byng Arts Mini, my son is in grade 6 at General Brock in the French Intensive program.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Gord Lau

Gord Lau has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Trafalgar PAC. His nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In his own words:

My name is Gordon Lau.  I have children at Trafalgar Elementary school in grade 3 and 6.  I was co-chair at my school's PAC for three years and have been a DPAC officer since last fall.  I am looking to continue on as a DPAC officer.

I became involved with the DPAC with 2017, when our school discovered that we were one of five French immersion schools to lose a kindergarten class.  Communications from the VSB regarding the changes were only provided as an afterthought in response to parental pressure and were not understood by parents.  I worked with the DPAC to better understand the root causes behind the changes and to ensure that the parent voice was heard at the VSB on behalf of all the schools impacted.

I joined the DPAC executive in the fall of 2018, with the intent to help engage with the VSB and represent the concerns of Vancouver parents and students.  Since then, I've learned a lot about public education in BC and at the VSB in particular. Parents, as represented by PACs and DPAC, share responsibility for our education system.  The DPAC should be a force for politely but firmly pointing the VSB towards increased transparency, meaningful consultation and better communication with school communities. Progress has been made but more needs to be done.  I have the knowledge, attitude and desire to continue moving the conversation forward.

Thank you for your consideration in electing me to continue on the DPAC executive.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Amanda Hillis

Amanda Hillis has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Van Tech PAC. Her nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In her own words:

My name is Amanda Hillis. I have two sons who are going into grades 9 and 11, both at Van Tech. I have been a DPAC executive for the past three and a half years, the last two as Secretary. I would like to continue being a part of DPAC and am ready to be considered for the position of Vice-Chair.

I am a strong advocate for equitable, high quality public education in safe, educationally appropriate schools. After 4 years of attending most DPAC and VSB Standing Committees plus other opportunities, I have a relatively comprehensive understanding of the current issues in VSB and provincially with regards to public education.

I realize most parents don't have the opportunity to attend as many meetings as I do but still want to be informed and able to engage in decisions that are important to them and their children. When I became DPAC Secretary I initiated a monthly DPAC newsletter. I have also organized DPAC's trustee candidate forums for the past two years (hopefully there won't be a need to organize another one soon). This year I arranged several general meetings and special meetings. DPAC officers, including myself, started meeting with VSB to create a consultation procedure which I hope to see this completed next year.

To be able to help individual parents navigate the public education system, I took on the task of reinstating the role of DPAC parent advocates. We have started training and hope to be ready to offer this service this coming school year. I would like to stay on DPAC to get this program established. I will continue to push for better Area Standards provincially and an equitable, student-focused Long Range Facility Plan in VSB.

Thank you for considering my nomination.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Alan Patola Moosmann

Alan Patola Moosmann has been nominated to the DPAC Executive by the Kitsilano PAC. His nomination will be voted on at our AGM on June 20, 2019. In his own words:

Hello, my name is Alan Patola Moosmann and I am asking your PAC to please consider supporting my nomination for the Vancouver DPAC executive.

I am a lifelong Vancouverite, living in the same small house in the West End that my parents bought in the 1950’s. I attended Sir William Dawson Elementary and, after that school was closed, Lord Roberts. My high school education was at St. George’s (a good experience personally, although I am not supportive of public funds going to independent schools). Our two children are students in the Vancouver public school system, our son about to graduate and our daughter in grade 8, both at Kitsilano Secondary, where I have been the DPAC rep for the last year. Previous to that, I was the DPAC rep for Henry Hudson Elementary for three years, serving on that PAC for a total of nine years in a variety of other positions, from class rep to Centennial committee chair to co-vice chair. During four years as a DPAC rep I have been privileged to bring issues to DPAC’s attention from my school that also have wider implications (such as a call to revise the provincial area standards – with DPAC’s assistance Henry Hudson brought a resolution to the 2018 BCCPAC AGM, where it was passed and forms part of BCCPAC’s current mandate for advocacy with the Ministry of Education). I have also had opportunities to bring advice back from DPAC to help my PAC deal effectively with challenging internal situations. I have learned much about our public education system during this time and have come to appreciate the value of DPAC both as the voice for parent concerns at the district level, and as a venue where individual PACs can connect with others grappling with similar issues and gain insight and practical suggestions from their experiences.

I am standing for the DPAC executive as it seems a natural next step to contribute to the work from that side of the table. I don’t come with a specific agenda and realize that much of the work will demand an ability to be responsive to whatever comes up over the next three years. I am however interested in working on advocacy re area standards, continuing to participate in DPAC’s current project of assembling a toolkit for PACs preparing to navigate the seismic mitigation process, exploring ways to address the shortage of before and after school childcare spaces, and in general contributing to DPAC’s efforts to increase the capacity of PACs to advocate effectively for quality public education. I am strongly in support of SOGI, and hope that DPAC’s steps towards creating an executive role for indigenous parent representation will bear good fruit.

I currently work as a licensed family childcare provider, for the past ten years operating a small daycare from our family home. Prior to that I worked for about a decade each as a mediator in restorative justice, primarily with teenagers in conflict with the law, and as a technician designing and installing domestic wastewater treatment systems. In all three contexts I have needed to find ways to engage collaboratively with civil servants as allies in delivering the best possible services to my clients, and hope to continue this approach when bringing parent perspectives and concerns to trustees and school district staff. Twelve years answering the phone as a volunteer at the Vancouver Crisis Centre has also helped me develop listening skills which are I think key to much of DPAC’s work.

Even with this experience, I anticipate that joining the DPAC executive will involve a steep learning curve, and challenge my abilities to manage personal time and energy. But I have family support for taking on this role, and am at a point in my life where other commitments have decreased. I look forward to an opportunity to serve!

June 2019

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-9pm – Parent Advocate Training: Introductory Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Vancouver DPAC is looking to reinitiate the role of appointed parent advocates in the district. Appointd parent advocates can help other parents in the district by: listening to their concerns; explaining how the school system works, including policies and procedures; suggesting resources and options; helping them develop a plan to address their concerns; and attending meetings with them for support. This session is open to all VSB parents/guardians, staff and administors interested in learning more. See event for more details.

  • Saturday, June 8, 9am-12:30pm – Parent Advocate Training: Level 1  Mount Pleasant Community Centre. Registration required.

  • Thursday, June 13, 7-9:30pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, June 20, 7-9:30pm – DPAC AGM Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Parents of VSB students interested in being part of DPAC's 2019/20 Executive, please get your nomination form signed by a PAC you're a member of and submitted by 7pm Wednesday, June 19.

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Monday, June 3, 6:45pm – Calling for parents to join the Vancouver Learning Network Parent Advisory Council! Vancouver Learning Network (VLN) offers a valuable service for over 5000 Kindergarten to grade 12 students seeking to repeat a course, take a course not offered at their school or those taking a full program when they cannot or chose not to attend a brick and mortar school. We are putting a call out to all PAC Presidents to encourage parents to join the VLN PAC if they have a student enrolled in VLN.  As you know, parent input is incredibly valuable in ensuring that schools are meeting student needs and the VLN is no different. VLN PAC meetings only last 1 hour and often include a guest speaker with information pertinent for all BC students in addition to information specific to online learners. We encourage parents to attend our last meeting of the year on Monday June 3rd at 6:45pm at the VLN offices at the back of John Oliver Secondary at 41st and Fraser. In addition, we are seeking 2 new executive members for the fall. Please consider serving your child's school community in this rich and valuable role. There are no meeting or obligations outside the 4-5 yearly PAC meetings. As if you needed another incentive, there will be really delicious goodies at every meeting!

  • Tuesday, June 4, 7-8pm – Laurier PAC has invited Ms. Chas Desjarlais, District Vice Principal - Aboriginal Education for Vancouver School Board to present to parents on the Indigenous program in our schools and ways PACs and parents can get involved. Laurier School Library

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-8:30pm – Queen Mary PAC presents: "Understanding Child Anxiety with Dr. Bethany Michel." Learn where anxiety in children comes from, how to recognize it, and specific tools to help manage and prevent it. Register

  • Friday, June 7, 3-7pm – MacCorkindale 2019 Carnival

  • Wednesday, June 19, 3-7pm – "Say Goodbye to Bayview School” A Community Farewell Open House. Join us in saying goodbye to a building students have walked through for over a century. Enjoy a roaming “tour” of Bayview history as Kitsilano historical characters are brought to life by "Live History” Theatre. Walk through the school and reminisce. Display of Bayview memorabilia and historical artifacts in the gym. There will be refreshments for sale. Bayview Community School, 2251 Collingwood St.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • The Select Standing Committee for Children and Youth (part of the Legislative Assembly) is holding a public consultation on Children and Youth with Neuro-Diverse Special Needs: How can assessment and eligibility processes for children and youth with neuro-diverse (e.g.: ASD, FASD, Developmental Delay) special needs by improved?. Share your input and experiences in writing by Friday, June 7. (more information)

  • UBC's Supporting Progressive Inclusive Child-centred Education (SPICE) released the results on their study “Special Education: A Population-Based Investigation of the K-12 Educational Trajectories of Children across Multiple Categories of Needs

    • Background – provides information on a Research Priority Setting survey conducted with education leaders on special education priorities.

    • Methodology Fact Sheet – explains how the research was conducted.

    • Grade-to-Grade Transition – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

    • High School Completion – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

    • Time to Designation – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

  • Pilot project to use MedicAlert bracelets for BC youth with mental health conditions (article)

  • ADHD Information Night powerpoint presentation by VCH for VSB

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Monday, June 3 – Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC is launching a new exhibit to coincide with Congress of the Humanities at UBC. The exhibit, on display until August 31, highlights the origins of the building, and explores engagement and research initiatives at the Centre. Expanded hours for Congress for the week of June 3-7 are 10am-4pm.

  • Tuesday, June 4, 7-8pm – Laurier PAC has invited Ms. Chas Desjarlais, VSB's District Vice Principal - Aboriginal Education, to present to parents on the Indigenous program in our schools and ways PACs and parents can get involved. Laurier School Library

  • Thursday, June 6, 6-8pm – Genocide, Residential Schools and the Challenge of [Re]Conciliation: Dialogue and Panel Discussion. 
    Panel features Professor David MacDonald (Guelph University), Dr. Paulette Regan, and Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot (University of British Columbia). The event is free and open to the public but space is limited - RSVP.

  • Friday, June 21 - National Aboriginal Peoples Day
    Participate in a local events, such as:

    • Unveiling of VSB's reconciliation pole, 10am-12pm on the lawn (facing West 10th Avenue) of the Vancouver School Board, 1580 West Broadway. 

    • National Indigenous Day at Trout Lake

      • Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre,1607 East Hastings Street, 9-11am

      • Friendship Walk starts around 11am from Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre to Trout Lake.

      • Trout Lake, 12pm onwards

  • Read the e-book, A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in Canadian Military by P. Whitney Lackenbauer, John Moses, R. Scott Sheffield, and Maxime Gohier. 

Family Fun

  • Monday, July 1 – Canada Day DrummingThree ways the public can participate in this nationwide drumming event:

    • Simultaneous national drumming at 11am – Canadians of all cultures and ethnicities come together to drum in unity. This is to celebrate the rich culture of the multicultural make-up of Canada and to create a Canadian record.

    • Guinness World Records™ Attempt at 11:15am – aims to set the record for “The Largest Group Drum Roll (multiple venues)” that lasts at least five minutes. The attempt is based on the number of drummers participating, the minimum is 1,683 people. If the attempt is successful, 300 registered drummers will receive an official Certificate of Participation on a lottery basis. Pre-registration deadline is midnight, June 17.

    • Take in the festivities from 10am to 4pm at Creekside Park, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver (beside Science World) to enjoy multicultural stage performances, children activities, multicultural food, sponsors’ booths, contests and more.

  • Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Summer Reading Club 2019: Imagine the Possibilities! Special weekly programs at the library include creating a model of a new city, stop-motion animation of your own drawings, exploring the stars, and seeking the elusive mythical Sasquatch! Pick up a brochure listing all the special summer programs or check our Events Calendar. Come into your library branch starting on June 21st get your reading record, stickers, and calendar. This year’s amazing artwork is by artist Jami Gigot.

  • Sierra Club parent and caregiver page has seasonal activities for children

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-8:30pm – Queen Mary PAC presents: "Understanding Child Anxiety with Dr. Bethany Michel." Learn where anxiety in children comes from, how to recognize it, and specific tools to help manage and prevent it. Register

  • Monday, June 24, 12-10pm – Centre for Mindfulness Launch; Chieng Family Atrium, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute. The new Centre hopes to connect, support, and grow the wisdom and talent of individuals and teams who are bringing mindfulness to children, caregivers, and health professionals at BC Children's Hospital. *The first 30 minutes is networking and light refreshments. All are welcome! RSVP Frances Tong at mindfulnes@cw.bc.ca

  • The Foundry – provides young people from ages 12 to 24 with easy access to primary care, mental health and substance use services, psychosocial rehab supports, peer support, supported employment and recreational activities all housed under one roof (1260 Granville St)

  • ERASE – resources and information specific to supporting student’s mental health

  • Youth & Vaping: What do we need to know? – SACY article

Guest Blog  

Advocating for your Child – Preparing for a Meeting

Parents are natural advocates for their child and when it’s time to address a concern with school staff in a meeting, being prepared is essential for a successful resolution. Work with the school staff to determine the purpose of the meeting. Will you be going over your child’s academic progress or discussing a disciplinary issue? Remember to keep the agenda to one or two issues. If more issues arise then plan another meeting so each issue can be adequately addressed.

Confirm who will be attending the meeting and let school staff know if you plan to bring a support person with you.
Here are a few more things to consider before the meeting:

  • Should my child attend?

  • What information do I need before the meeting?

  • What resolution do I want?

Taking notes can help parents reflect on the meeting after it’s over. Record action items that come from the meeting, including who is responsible and within what timeframe. If the meeting goes off track, review the purpose of the meeting including the agenda items. If at any point there’s something confusing or unclear speak up and ask for clarification. Summarize the meeting before everyone leaves to ensure a common understanding and share notes that have been taken.

It can be very helpful to have a support person attend a meeting. Appointed advocates, through the Vancouver DPAC, can be a source of information to help parents navigate the public education system through existing laws and school district policies and administrative procedures. Advocates can assist parents by taking notes and keeping the meeting on task.

Whether through brief discussions with your child’s teacher or in a more formal meeting setting, coming to an amicable resolution is in everyone’s best interest to ensure a success educational experience for your child.

Submitted by Susan Wilson. Susan has over 17 years experience helping parents advocate for their child and is currently providing parent advocacy training to district parent advisory councils across the province.

If you're interested in learning more about parent advocacy and helping other parents, please attend Parent Advocate Training: Introductory on June 6th

VSB 

Board Meeting May 27 & 29

  • Highlights 

  • Watch the meeting here (May 27May 29).

  • Lots of discussion on version 3 of the 2019/20 budget. Decision to increase a District position of Indigenous Knowledge Keeper to five days per week (up from three with the required funding from a budget proposal for an international education coordinator. 

  • Approved a land exchange with the Vancouver Park Board at Gordon Park/Thompson Secondary school, subject to a replacement school being the best value funded option. 

  • Lots of discussion, amendments, and amendments on amendments were suggested and voted on to with respect to the LRFP recommendations.

VSB Budget 2019/20 Timeline

Long Range Facilities Plan

Track and Field Facilities

Summer School - Registration began on April 29

VSB Summer Experience 2019 offers a wide range of courses for elementary, secondary and international students. The Ministry of Education funds most courses for BC resident students. Visit summer.vsb.bc.ca to learn more or pick up a catalogue at your school office.

BCCPAC

Updates

  • Reminder: Apply for Gaming Grants: DPACs & PACs - Gaming Grant Applications must be done online by June 30 to get $ in Fall 2019

"Empowerment through Knowledge and Sharing" Conference Presentations

Ministry of Education

In the News

  • British Columbians benefit from increased access to French resources in libraries (media release)

Opportunities for Input

Public School Employer Collective Bargaining

May 2019

unnamed.jpg

May 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • Thank you to parents who attended our session with VSB staff to hear about and discuss the VSB's 2019/20 operating budget, and to Shehzad Somji, William Hsu, and Pedro da Silva for making the presentation and answering questions.  I'd also like to acknowledge DPAC's trustee liaison Carmen Cho who has been very supportive in this role and who has made a great effort to engage with parents at our meetings and with our executive.

    Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced changes to Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) guidelines on April 12th which we believe has the potential for the District to refocus its LRFP.  DPAC has written a letter to the Board outlining some of our recommendations on this matter.  This letter was a much-transformed version of the post I had originally hoped to do earlier last month, but DPAC believes that the District now has an opportunity to set its own path in terms of educational vision and to transform the way schools are encompassed within that vision.  We hope the Board recognizes and seizes this opportunity to challenge the status quo and to be bold in their thinking.

    I'd like to use this opportunity to start some conversations about what PACs can do to create more parent engagement with the school district and vice versa.  I'd like to start by reminding PACs that the School Act gives you the right to advocate on behalf of your school communities.  This means that the Board and the admin and staff at your schools has to hear what you have to say, and you should avail yourself of this right when the need arises.

    The first suggestion I'd make to PACs is to make sure you elect a DPAC rep and to have that person attend some DPAC executive meetings throughout the year and report back to you.  We have been fortunate to have the support of Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman insofar as she has attended almost all of our executive meetings this year and has been willing to take questions on almost any district-related topic from parents in attendance.  Our meeting agendas usually touch on most district goings on, so being at our meetings is one way to find out and ask questions about what is happening in the district and find out how your school might be affected or become involved.

    My second suggestion, and last suggestion for now, is to invite the Superintendent and/or your school's trustee liaison to visit your school, or to invite the latter to attend one of your PAC meetings.  I believe that school and parent communities have an opportunity right now to educate the school board on what actually transpires in your schools on a daily basis and to have that captured in the larger educational vision I alluded to above.  Through committee delegations we have had some excellent examples of schools being redefined for district staff and trustees and I believe we need to have all schools accounted for in this higher narrative.

    Our AGM will be held on June 20th We will be taking nominations until June 19th for parents who are interested in becoming part of our executive for next school year.  Being part of the DPAC executive is not a trivial time commitment and it requires being able to put aside one's personal interests to serve the needs of the greater Vancouver public school community.  Please contact me or any other current executive member (http://vancouverdpac.org/executive) for more information.

    All DPAC meetings are open to any parent or guardian of a child or children attending Vancouver School Board schools.  Voting at executive meetings is limited to executive members only and voting at general meetings is limited to official PAC reps and/or PAC Chairs only, but anyone attending may participate in the discussions and have their views heard.  Delegations may be heard at executive meetings and must be requested from the Chair at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

    Thank you,
    Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair
    chair@vancouverdpac.org

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, May 9, 7-9:30pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 106, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, May 23, 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting - Redesigned Curriculum: Curriculum Implementation Framework Part 2 Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway This is a continuation of our November 22 meeting about the new curriculum's implementation and reporting out of student learning.

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-9pm – Parent Advocate Training: Introductory Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Vancouver DPAC is looking to reinitiate the role of appointed parent advocates in the district. We have hired Susan Wilson as our trainer. Susan has over 17 years experience helping parents advocate for their child and is currently providing parent advocacy training to district parent advisory councils across the province. This session is open to all VSB parents/guardians, staff and administors interested in learning more. See event for more details.

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Friday, May 3, 2:30-6pm – Tyee’s Plant Sale and Carnival. It is a great event where we celebrate our community with food, entertainment and fun for all ages. This year there will be 13 different fun activities including a bouncy castle, a cotton candy machine, a photo booth, and a few new games like a candy count jar and tombola raffle. Some really cool prizes are included this year thanks to the generous donations of local shops including Dilly Dally, The Granville Island Toy company, and London Drugs. Those loving traditional over nouveau can still take on the fabulous toilet roll toss, the tricky and mysterious treasure chest game and the best-ever-cake-walk-in-the-world!!! Please join us -everyone is welcome!! 3525 Dumfries Street. (poster)

  • Wednesday, May 22 – Champlain Heights PAC will be hosting a free presentation by Dr Vanessa Lapointe. Link for registration coming soon.

  • Thursday, May 23, 4-7:30pm – Laura Secord Elementary School's Family Festival. 2500 Lakewood Drive. Open to the community. FUN, Music, Food, Games, FUN, Community Building Activities, Cardboard Arcade, Old School Games FUN!

  • Friday, May 24, 3-6pm – Sir Begbie PAC's Spring Cleaning Loonie Sale. 1420 Lillooet St (poster)

  • Friday, May 24, 4-8pm – David Oppenheimer's 8th annual Spring Fair. We'll have carnival games, bouncy castle and inflatable obstacle course, pony rides, lots of food for sale as well as a silent auction. 2421 Scarboro Ave. (near Nanaimo & 61st Ave.)

  • Monday, June 3, 6:45pm – Calling for parents to join the Vancouver Learning Network Parent Advisory Council! Vancouver Learning Network (VLN) offers a valuable service for over 5000 Kindergarten to grade 12 students seeking to repeat a course, take a course not offered at their school or those taking a full program when they cannot or chose not to attend a brick and mortar school. We are putting a call out to all PAC Presidents to encourage parents to join the VLN PAC if they have a student enrolled in VLN.  As you know, parent input is incredibly valuable in ensuring that schools are meeting student needs and the VLN is no different. VLN PAC meetings only last 1 hour and often include a guest speaker with information pertinent for all BC students in addition to information specific to online learners. We encourage parents to attend our last meeting of the year on Monday June 3rd at 6:45pm at the VLN offices at the back of John Oliver Secondary at 41st and Fraser. In addition, we are seeking 2 new executive members for the fall. Please consider serving your child's school community in this rich and valuable role. There are no meeting or obligations outside the 4-5 yearly PAC meetings. As if you needed another incentive, there will be really delicious goodies at every meeting!

  • Wednesday, June 19, 3-7pm – "Say Goodbye to Bayview School” A Community Farewell Open House. Join us in saying goodbye to a building students have walked through for over a century. Enjoy a roaming “tour” of Bayview history as Kitsilano historical characters are brought to life by "Live History” Theatre. Walk through the school and reminisce. Display of Bayview memorabilia and historical artifacts in the gym. There will be refreshments for sale. Bayview Community School, 2251 Collingwood St.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • The Select Standing Committee for Children and Youth (part of the Legislative Assembly) is holding a public consultation on Children and Youth with Neuro-Diverse Special Needs: How can assessment and eligibility processes for children and youth with neuro-diverse (e.g.: ASD, FASD, Developmental Delay) special needs by improved?. Share your input and experiences at a public hearing (closest to Vancouver is in Surrey on June 4) or in writing by Friday, June 7. (more information)

  • School seeing success after opening sensory room for students with special needs (article)

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • This library Takes an Indigenous Approach to Categorizing Books. article

Family Fun

  • May 1-7 – BC Youth Week. Website of events in Vancouver and Sea to Sky.

  • Saturday, May 11, 10-3pm – City of Vancouver's Family Fun Fair A free family event. including games, pony rides, a hay ride, face painting and a performance by Bobs & Lolo. Manitoba Works Yard, 250 W. 70th Ave.

  • May 27-31 – Bike to School Week. Parents, teachers, and administrators can register their elementary with HUB Cycling. Secondary schools are encouraged to participate in Spring Bike to Work Week as an entire school or individual riders. Secondary students and staff can log their trips to school and work, track their results and are eligible to win Bike to Work Week awards and prizes. Find out if your school is registered - check out the map of 2019 registered schools.  

Healthy Eating

  • Wednesday, May 22, 6pm – Encouraging Healthy Eating in Children. VSB Education Centre, 1580 W. Broadway. The goal of this workshop is to help caregivers to promote healthy eating habits in their child(ren), recognize the early signs of disordered eating, and to learn about school and community-based supports and services.

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

  • More parents, kids to get help from free mental health service. Announcement by Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Serving parents and caregivers of children aged three to 12 years, the Anxiety Program is a new, free intervention program that includes access to educational videos and weekly telephone coaching sessions and will be available starting April 29, 2019.

  • Monday, May 6 - Jun 24, 5:30-7:30pm  – Responsive Parenting Workshop Parents will learn strategies to improve communication with their youth (aged 12-24) who may have a combination of mental health and substance use challenges. (May 6, 13, 27, June 3, 10, 17 and 24) Robert Lily Lee - 1669 E Broadway

  • Tuesday, May 7 – National Child & Youth Mental Health Day. May 7th is about having caring conversations and making connections between children, youth and caring adults in their lives. Caring Connections enhance the mental health of children and youth and it is part of their overall health. View Be That Caring Adult video.

  • Wednesday, May 8, 7-8:30pm – Adverse Childhood Events (ACES) ~ Insights into Childhood Trauma Richmond Hospital Ralph Fisher Auditorium, Richmond

Multiculturalism / Anti-Racism

  • Unlearn Racisim - Designed for youth 12-16, the Unlearn Racism resource is about challenging the status quo, questioning the one-sided narrative that’s presented to us every day of our lives and putting aside the practice of discrimination that’s fuelled by historical events and past perceptions.

  • Anti-racism FAQs (Government of BC)

Parenting

  • Advocating for your Child – Addressing Concerns
    Is something bothering you about your child’s education? Are you unsure of what to do or who to contact? Parents are natural advocates for their child and it’s important to identify problems quickly and calmly to ensure a resolution is reached. Learning how your child’s school and the school district deals with concerns and complaints is essential. Schools have a code of conduct and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) has policies, supported by administrative procedures, regarding conduct of students, staff and trustees along with foundational statements providing guidance and direction for all activities within the school district.
    It’s best to address your concern with the person directly involved. For example if your child comes home upset over something that happened in class, set up a time to talk with the teacher to respectfully go over your concerns. If the concern isn’t addressed or resolved at that point, contacting the school’s principal or vice-principal with your concern is the next step. Often times a more formal meeting, with a set agenda and perhaps other staff members present, is needed to come to a resolution.
    Being prepared for a meeting with your child’s teacher and administrative staff is essential for a successful resolution. The next submission in the June Newsletter will go through a few tips to help parents be prepared for a meeting.

  • Submitted by Susan Wilson. Susan has over 17 years experience helping parents advocate for their child and is currently providing parent advocacy training to district parent advisory councils across the province. If you're interested in learning more about parent advocacy and helping other parents, come to Parent Advocate Training: Introductory on June 6th.

Post Secondary

  • Sunday, May 5, 1:30pm - Vancouver International Universities Fair Information Session. Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building) (poster)

VSB 

News

  • Highlights: Public Board meeting of April 29, 2019 

    • Watch the meeting here.

    • Presentation students, school staff and the director of the AIRS program. Through the program, students have the opportunity to develop skills, confidence and self-expression in and through the visual arts by working regularly and consistently with local professional artists in a studio space in the school. 

    • Superintendent's April update focused on the Early Development Instrument – a province-wide survey detailing patterns and trends in children's developmental health over time and across geographies.

    • Major Decisions 

      • Approved moving forward several recommendations of the draft Long Range Facilities Plan, including a decision to remove the recommendation directing staff to compile a list of schools for the Board in September for consideration of potential closure. 

      • The following motion was passed by a vote of seven in favour and two opposed:
        “That the District cease enrolling French Immersion kindergarten classes at Henry Hudson Elementary School in September 2020 and begin phasing out the French Immersion program over the next eight years. And further, the District commits to adequately funding and supporting the program for the eight years; however, should any enrolling class be projected to have under 15 students (in an intermediate class) or 12 students (in a primary class), a review of options for students will take place. And further that the Board commits to providing sibling priority registration, along with siblings of in-catchment English program students, to siblings of French Immersion students currently enrolled in the Henry Hudson French Immersion Program."

  • A Safer school for Maquinna students Minister Shane Simpson and Minister Rob Fleming, announced that the BC Government has approved the funding to seismically upgrade Chief Maquinna Elementary. 

  • Creating more French Immersion opportunities Vancouver School District signed an agreement with the Academies of Aix Marseille and Nice (Marseille and Nice school jurisdictions in France) to further strengthen and expand opportunities in French and English language education for students, teachers and administrators.

VSB Budget 2019/20 Timeline

Long Range Facilities Plan Input Opportunities

Summer School - Registration begins on April 29

Interested in STEM, cooking, dance, band, academic upgrading and much more? VSB Summer Experience 2019 offers a wide range of courses for elementary, secondary and international students. If you are a BC Student, most courses are funded by the Ministry of Education. Please see course list for more details.

Elementary Programs are held at:

  • KERRISDALE, 5555 Carnarvon St.

  • ERIC HAMBER, 5025 Willow St.

  • LAURA SECORD, 2500 Lakewood Dr.

  • MOUNT PLEASANT, 2300 Guelph St.

  • NOOTKA, 3375 Nootka St.

  • TECUMSEH, 1850 E. 41st Ave.

  • WAVERLEY, 6111 Elliott St.

Secondary Program are held at:

  • CHURCHILL, 7055 Heather St.

  • DAVID THOMPSON, 1755 E. 55th Ave.

  • ERIC HAMBER, 5025 Willow St.

  • JOHN OLIVER, 530 E. 41st Ave.

  • PRINCE OF WALES, 2250 Eddington Dr.

  • POINT GREY, 5350 E. Boulevard

  • VANCOUVER TECH., 2600 E. Broadway

Visit summer.vsb.bc.ca to learn more or go to your school office to pick up a catalogue.

BCCPAC

Updates

  • Friday, May 3 - Parent Members Conference Education & networking, rich topics & discussions, hear directly & engage with Minister of Education

  • Saturday, May 4-Sunday, May 5 - Annual General Meeting Board elections, discussion of proposed Resolutions, review of our budget and financials, Committee of the Whole.

  • AGM Booklet & Resolutions AGM Booklet updated with more Resolutions & posted online. Review before voting & completing Proxy Forms

  • Ministry Update re LRFP Long Range Facilities Plans (LRFP) revisions & update from Ministry of Ed.

Ministry of Education

In the News

  • See VSB section re: updated Long Range Facility Plan Guidelines update

  • Rob Fleming: Celebrating Children During Education Week Op Ed

  • BC Schools to provide free menstrual products to students (Article)

Other Ministry News

April 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

Welcome back from spring break!

First, I'd like to thank everyone -- parents, District staff, and trustees -- who attended our session on the VSB's Long Range Facilities Report (LRFP).  Feedback from that session will hopefully make it into the revision of that report which is expected in the next week or so.

Second, I need to ask parents to come forward who are interested in being part of DPAC next year as many of our current executive members will not be continuing past June.  It's my belief that DPAC, while not perfect, has become a respected voice within the VSB.  We have attempted to build strong relationships with PACs, VSB staff, trustees, and other education partners, and those relationships need to be maintained and nurtured.  Being part of the DPAC executive is not a trivial time commitment and it requires being able to put aside one's personal interests and to try to serve the needs of the greater Vancouver public school community.  Please contact any current executive member (http://vancouverdpac.org/executive) for more information.

Last, I'd like to focus everyone on the work that needs to be done between now and the end of the school year:

  • The VSB's 2019/20 budget will be presented soon and will require feedback from parents as to whether or not it reflects the correct set of priorities for the school district.  Interested parents should register to speak at the meeting at Mount Pleasant Elementary on April 23rd.  We will share details on how to register as they are known.

  • The LRFP will undergo some public consultation in the coming weeks, on April 11th at Kitsilano Secondary and on April 16th at Van Tech.  Indications are that the school district will use the LRFP as the basis for closing a lot of schools in Vancouver over the next 10 years, and strong parent and community resistance is needed to ensure that the notion of neighbourhood and community schools is preserved.  As many of the restrictions and requirements inherent in the LRFP come from the Ministry, pressure on the Ministry and provincial education partners will also be needed.  Please look to our website for a post that I will make about this before April 11th.

  • The proposal to merge the Henry Hudson and Strathcona French Immersion (FI) programs at Strathcona is an interesting test case that should be observed very closely, first because it is posited on previous recommendations for FI which may be concerning for other schools with such programs, and second because it will be a test of the Vancouver School District's commitment to equity and Reconciliation as has been excellently documented by parents, especially at Strathcona.

  • Once the Hudson/Strathcona proposal has been decided, we may also see the catchment review that was started last school year resume.  A lot of parent feedback was received regarding the catchment review last year and pressure to get it right will again have to come from parents if it resumes.

All DPAC meetings are open to any parent or guardian of a child or children attending Vancouver School Board schools.  Voting at executive meetings is limited to executive members only and voting at general meetings is limited to official PAC reps and/or PAC Chairs only, but anyone attending may participate in the discussions and have their views heard.  Delegations may be heard at executive meetings and must be requested from the Chair at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Thank you,

Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair
chair@vancouverdpac.org

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Apr 11, 7:30-9:30pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway (Note later start time to accomodate LRFP consultation at Kits Secondary)

  • Thursday, Apr 25, 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Thursday, Apr 4, 7-8:30pm – Partners for Inclusive Education  (P.I.E.) at General Gordon is having district staff from Student Support Services in to talk about student support services available for diverse learners in our district. RSVP if possible but last minute drop-ins are welcome. Childminding available with Grade 7 student volunteers. (poster)

  • Tuesday, Apr 9, 7-8:30pm – Laurier Elementary PAC is hosting the parent workshop "Understanding How Technology Affects Your Brain" 7350 Laurel Street, in the gym. Facilitator: Gary Anaka (www.braincoach.caRSVP (poster)

  • Wednesday, Apr 24, 3-6pm – Laurier Elementary PAC is hosting their 2019  Spring Craft & Bake Sale in the school gym (7350 Laurel Street).  Come support their creative and entrepreneurial students and find an early Mother's Day gift.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • Thursday, Apr 4, 7-8:30pm – Partners for Inclusive Education  (P.I.E.) at General Gordon is having district staff from Student Support Services in to talk about student support services available for diverse learners in our district. RSVP if possible but last minute drop-ins are welcome. Childminding available with Grade 7 student volunteers. (poster)

  • Tuesday, Apr 16, 6pm – Supporting Your Child with ADHD. VSB Education Centre, 1580 W. Broadway

  • 100 Resources for Gifted Kids website

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Bill C-369, to make Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday, passed through the House of Commons on March 20 and will now move to the Senate before becoming law. (news article)

  • Reconciliation Back Pocket Plan - Make Reconciliation part of your daily life. Check out this "back pocket action plan". Shareable. Portable. 

  • Learn more about Jordan's Principle. Jordan's Principle makes sure all First Nations children can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. It can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs.

  • Indigenous Awareness – A FREE self-paced course offered by BCIT. Three self-paced modules in this course were created to promote and increase understanding about Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present. Together, the modules will provide you with a foundational knowledge of Indigenous people in the hopes that when the true history and contemporary reality of Indigenous people is known, Reconciliation can begin. It should take about 2 hours in total to complete the entire course and you will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end. To get access to the Indigenous Awareness course, send and e-mail to techhelp@bcit.ca asking for an account and access to the Indigenous Awareness online course. Please provide your first and last names.

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

Multiculturalism / Anti-Racism

  • Unlearn Racisim - Designed for youth 12-16, the Unlearn Racism resource is about challenging the status quo, questioning the one-sided narrative that’s presented to us every day of our lives and putting aside the practice of discrimination that’s fuelled by historical events and past perceptions.

  • Anti-racism FAQs (Government of BC)

  • Joint statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Premier John Horgan and Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, released a statement marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Parenting / Childcare

  • Westcoast Family Centres provides parenting education and couselling services in the Lower Mainland. They are currently looking for parent feedback (Parent Education Survey) on how they can better serve parents.

  • Summer Camps - blog by Kelty Mental Health.

  • Child care planning goes local. Announcement by Ministry of Children and Family Development. Local child care needs from now through 2029 are the focus of $3 million in municipal planning grant. Local governments will use their grants to create an inventory of existing child care spaces, identify how many child care spaces are needed now and how many will be needed over the coming years, as well as the type of child care that is needed. They will then draft an action plan to create these spaces and work with their school districts, local health authorities, Indigenous partners and other key child care stakeholders to build these plans. In addition to the Community Child Care Planning Program, the Province launched the $13.7-million Community Child Care Space Creation Program in September 2018 in partnership with UBCM to provide local governments with up to $1 million and support the creation of new licensed child care spaces, with a focus on infant and toddler care. Successful applicants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Physical Health

  • Province to launch catch-up immunization program to protect against measles Announcement by the Ministry of Health. The Province is launching a measles immunization catch-up program to help B.C. families ensure their children are protected from measles. The program will run from April through June 2019. The program will be made available in schools to children (from kindergarten to Grade 12), public-health units, community health centres and mobile community clinics in select regions.

  • Governments of Canada and British Columbia Collaborate to Help Make Sport More Accessible Announcement by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Together, the governments are investing nearly $1.2 million in 2018–19 to support projects that strengthen physical literacy and the participation of children and youth in sport. This new funding will also improve sport opportunities for Indigenous, under-represented and marginalized populations.

VSB 

News

  • Seismically safer schools for students of Selkirk, Weir and Byng - In February 2019, the Ministry of Education announced funding for not one but three schools in the Vancouver School District for the necessary seismic work to make them safer in the event of an earthquake.

  • District receives Ministry funding for capital projects 

    • $315 thousand to build accessible playgrounds at John Norquay Elementary, University Hill Elementary and Waverly Elementary schools.

    • $1,772,500 for:

      • Fire system and accessibility upgrades at General Wolfe Elementary and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary

      • Replacement heat plants at Lord Roberts Elementary and Hastings Elementary

  • Sharing music across the District

  • Student VOICE: Voice Our Ideas and Change Education

  • Statement: Code of Conduct breach at Eric Hamber Secondary School

  • Highlights: Public Board meeting of March 4, 2019 (video recording) - Matters Arising and Motions

    • Approval of a revised 2019-20 Budget Process Timeline

    • Adoption of the update to the Board Work Plan

    • Approval of the Accumulated Surplus Policy

    • Adoption of audit and finance committee responsibilities

    • Seeking additional funds to provide for more gym space, an auditorium and additional arts space at the Hamber Secondary School Seismic Replacement Project and provincial government commitment to fully fund the project's verified costs

    • Approval of the Fleming Elementary utility right-of-way bylaw

    • Adoption of a motion re-affirming the Board's commitment to the elimination of racism and additional staffing to support work in this area

    • Endorsement of a motion in support of All On Board

    • Authorization of Board Authority Courses

    • Approval of a three-year school calendar

    • Approval of a Terms of Reference for the Needs Budget working group

    • Trustee Gonzalez issued two notices of motion – both referred to committee. The first regards a renewal strategy for emissions-free landscaping and the second Vulnerable Youth Social Housing.

VSB Budget 2019/20 Timeline

Seismic Project Input Opportunities

  • Tuesday, Apr 2, 3:30-6:30pm – Lord Selkirk: Seismic Upgrade. (gymnasium, 1750 E 22nd Ave)

  • Wednesday, Apr 3, 3:30-6:30pm – Dr. George M. Weir Elementary: Seismic Partial Replacement. (gymnasium, 2900 E 44th Ave)

  • Thursday, Apr 4, 3:30-6:30pm – Lord Byng Secondary: Seismic Upgrade. (Byng Gallery, 3939 W 16th Ave)

Long Range Facilities Plan Input Opportunities

  • Feedback about the draft report can be sent via email to: LRFP@vsb.bc.ca.

  • Public Information Sessions:

    • Thursday, Apr 11, 6-8pm – Kitsilano Secondary School 

    • Tuesday, Apr 16, 6-8pm – Van Tech Secondary School

  • Document and Appendices

BCCPAC

Updates

Ministry of Education

Updates

March 2019

March2019.jpg

March 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • Thank you to those of you who attended our general meeting on Supporting Caregivers of Children with Diverse Learning needs in February, as well as our executive meeting.  We're very pleased to take suggestions on other topics to organize presentations on.

    The LRFP is the most important issue facing our district right now.  The first draft of this plan was released in February -- in addition to identifying a priority list for seismic upgrades, it lays out the groundwork for school closures.  The LRFP will potentially shape our district for many years -- not just for your children but for their children. It could impact schools across the district, not just those identified in the closure feasibility study.

    DPAC has advocated in favour of more opportunities for consultation on this plan -- both for parents as a stakeholder group and the public.  We are pleased to have board staff attend our special meeting this coming Thursday, March 7th at 6:30PM regarding the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) to do a Q&A.

    We urge you to read the report (https://www.vsb.bc.ca/District/Planning_and_Facilities/Long_Range_Facilities_Plan/Pages/Default.aspx), email your feedback to LRFP@vsb.bc.ca and to come to our meeting with staff and trustees next Thursday.  Help us plan by registering your attendance here - https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/long-range-facilities-plan-qa-tickets-56364456607

    We have received nominations to the DPAC executive for Peter Couch (nominated by Simon Fraser Elementary) and Skye Richards (nominated by Magee Secondary).  All PACs should have already received links for voting. Their nominations will be ratified at our next executive meeting on March 14th.  There are still more open positions for parents who wish to serve in a district role for the remainder of this school year. Nominations need to be received at least 24 hours prior to an executive meeting; please contact any DPAC executive for more information.

    Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair
    chair@vancouverdpac.org

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Mar 7, 6:30pm – DPAC Special Meeting: Long Range Facilities Plan Q&A Rm 180, 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Mar 14, 7-9pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • NOTE: DPAC meetings are open to all parents and guardians of children in VSB schools. Voting is limited to DPAC executives at executive meetings and PAC representatives at general meetings, but all attendees may otherwise participate in the meetings.

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Tuesday, Mar 5, 7pm – David Thompson PAC is hosting - Vaping Products - Let's Clear the Air 1755 East 55th Avenue

  • Thursday, Mar 7 at 6:30pm, join PIE (Partners for Inclusive Education) at General Gordon for Looking into the Future: Building Resilience Against Anxiety with Dr. Bethany Michel (poster) Tickets are available at Eventbrite. The cost per ticket is $7.00 (plus minimal Eventbrite fee) per adult and includes ‘pizza & presentation’ for adults and childminding with ‘pizza & movie night’ for kids. (Childminding will be provided by Grade 7 volunteers and supervised by an adult skilled in working with diverse learners.) Follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/looking-into-the-future-building-resilience-against-anxiety-tickets-56852800256 

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Wednesday, Feb 20 - Saturday, Mar 10 - The Cultch presents Children of God at the York Theatre. A musical about the impact of residential schools that celebrates resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.  tickets.thecultch.com 

  • Cultural Teachings: Welcome to Territory & Land Acknowledgments by Reconciliation Canada

  • Indigenous Awareness – A FREE self-paced course offered by BCIT. Three self-paced modules in this course were created to promote and increase understanding about Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present. Together, the modules will provide you with a foundational knowledge of Indigenous people in the hopes that when the true history and contemporary reality of Indigenous people is known, Reconciliation can begin. It should take about 2 hours in total to complete the entire course and you will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end. To get access to the Indigenous Awareness course, send and e-mail to techhelp@bcit.ca asking for an account and access to the Indigenous Awareness online course. Please provide your first and last names.

  • Indigenous Arts & Stories Contest is open to Canadians of Indigenous ancestry (self-identified Status, Non-Status, Inuit and Métis) between the ages of 6 and 29. Deadline is March 31. For more details: http://www.our-story.ca/guidelines/

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

SOGI (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity)

VSB 

News

  • Highlights: Special Board meeting of February 25, 2019 (Watch the meeting)

    • The 2018-2019 Amended Annual Budget was presented to the Finance Committee on February 20, 2019 where a proposal was put forth that the District establish a $1.5 million special fund that will distribute some of the vacancy savings for Special Education Assistants (SEAs) back to support students who experienced a loss of services. The Amended Annual Budget was presented for approval to establish this special fund with the adjustments. See the Board report for full details

    • 2019/2020 Budget Timeline – should be here when published

  • Accepting applications until Mar 8 for next (2nd) Education Assistant (EA) program. Find out more: http://ow.ly/bzjk50mgoCW

Seismic Project Input Opportunities

  • VSB is looking at a potential land exchange between David Thompson Secondary School and Gordon Park (submit feedback)

  • Thursday, Mar 14, 2-6pm – David Lloyd George public information session in the gymnasium. (display boards)

Long Range Facilities Plan

French Immersion Program Review: Henry Hudson Focus

  • The District is proposing that the Early French Immersion (FI) program currently located at Hudson Elementary be relocated to Strathcona Elementary for the 2020-21 school year and that current Hudson students will have a choice to apply to other programs.

  • A report (Item 2.2) was presented to the Facilities Planning Committee on January 23, 2019.

  • The Board of Education approved a motion to support the goal of meeting the demand and to endeavour to have more than one Kindergarten FI division in each school offering the EFI program.

  • Give your feedback before a decision is made by the Board of Education in April

    • Tuesday, Mar 5, 3:30-7pm – Hudson Elementary School (Library), 1551 Cypress Street, Vancouver

    • Thursday, Mar 7, 3:30-7pm – Strathcona Elementary School (Auditorium), 592 East Pender Street, Vancouver

    • An online survey will also be available from March 5 to March 20, 2019.

BCCPAC

Updates

  • Conference & AGM Details Speakers & Schedule announced. Online Registration Open.

  • Inclusive Ed Myths There are lots of myths about Inclusive education. Have you heard any of these? How do you respond?  

  • ERASE erase website has info/resources for bullying, violence prevention, online safety, mental well-being, substance use,...

  • Parent's Guide to Curriculum Review the recently released Parent’s Guide to revised curriculum.

  • Ordinary Resolutions - March 15 Deadline (extended) Resolutions passed at the AGM form the basis for the operations and advocacy work of BCCPAC on behalf of its members. Details and forms.

Ministry of Education

Updates

  • Feb 27 - ERASE expands to protect students from bullying. Government leaders joined together with students and education advocates to introduce new online safety sessions to help support and protect students against cyberbullying.

  • Feb 19 - Budget 2019 creates opportunities, makes life better for people. Budget 2019 is creating opportunities for all British Columbians by delivering a new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit for kids up to the age of 18, removing interest from B.C. student loans, reducing taxes for businesses and investing in clean energy and climate solutions.

  • Feb 11 - Safer schools coming to better protect Vancouver students. Hundreds of families, students and staff in Vancouver can look forward to safer schools as funding for seismic upgrades has been approved for Lord Byng Secondary, Lord Selkirk Elementary and Dr. George M. Weir Elementary schools.

Upcoming

DPAC Executive Nomination: Skye Richards

Skye Richards has been nominated to the DPAC executive by the Magee PAC. Her nomination was accepted at our executive meeting on February 7, 2019. In her own words:

Hello, my name is Skye Richards.

I have served on the Magee PAC for the last two years and was instrumental in reestablishing a our PAC executive in 2017. At the time I also served as DryGrad Chair. I hold a BSc. and BEd. form UBC and have worked at VCC teaching Science and Math since 1996. I have always held education and its impact on social development with deep regard. I am convinced that our future success as a society will depends critically on our broad support of education. I have worked with at risk students during my practicums and have sought personal experience to enrich my understanding of the issues facing youth. I have worked and received training in programs such Basic Education and Skills Training, ABE Youth Program, Health Sciences for Aboriginal Youth, and Workplace Skills Profiling. My volunteer work with Beyond Addiction Vancouver gave me tremendous insight into understanding addictive behaviours and how to create healthy practices in their place. In addition to working with a broader demographic of youth and educators, I have also been an advocate for First Nations and aboriginal communities and recognize the importance of seeking genuine ways of enhancing the connection between elders and children in traditional teaching methods. I have received benefits that has enhance my understanding and capacity as an educator, for which I am truly grateful. I think conversations will continue to grow in recognizing the importance of developing a more balanced view of “What is Education?”. Knowledge imparted through multigenerational teachings will serve to reintegrate our relationship with the planet and reharmonizes humans with natural laws. I believe that we can create the changes we want to see, and forge pathways in human potential based on integrity and respect that looks farther into the future in its vision.

We are facing a time of great change and that creates challenge, but it is through challenges that we are given the opportunity to grow thoughtfully. I believe that I can contribute positively to the restructuring process. I believe that we must rethink the design of our educational system, from the ground up, which includes the very building facilities in which we entrust our most precious assets, our children. I look forward to learning and serving on the Vancouver DPAC Executive member and hope that your PAC will support my nomination in being your advocate

An electronic ballot was sent to PACs following this meeting with voting to close on Mar 13, 2019 at 7pm. If you are the DPAC Rep or Chair of a PAC and you have not received the ballot please contact us.

DPAC Executive Nomination: Peter Couch

Peter Couch has been nominated to the DPAC executive by the Simon Fraser PAC. His nomination was accepted at our executive meeting on Feb 7, 2019. In his own words:

I’m Peter Couch, this is my second year as DPAC Representative at Simon Fraser Elementary.

I’m putting my name forward to join the DPAC Executive, in part, to answer the DPAC Chair’s call for more executives and my firm belief that the DPAC is a stronger parent voice with a full roster that provides depth and credibility when the Executive team interacts with the Vancouver School Board and the Ministry of Education.

I have 3 kids: 2 at Simon Fraser in grades 3 and 6 and 1 in grade 8 at Eric Hamber.

I work as Facility Operations Manager for a VFX Studio in Vancouver for the past 2 years and Facilities Manager for another studio (in Vancouver) for 5 years.

My role focus’ on space acquisition, project design and budgeting (CAPEX), construction and QC, procurement, and ongoing operations and audit (OPEX) across multiple studios nationally and internationally.

I’ve been involved at Simon Fraser at the support level for 7 years, volunteering wherever extra hands were needed for fundraising events, sporting events and school field trips as well as going to school level PAC meetings.

I volunteer coach elementary junior/senior volleyball and sit as a Co-Chair of the newly formed Eric Hamber Music Society.

I hold a Bachelor of Commerce and working toward an Operations Management certification offered through BCIT and developed in conjunction with the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) BC Chapter.

I feel I can contribute to the Executive team’s depth and credibility when looking for consultation transparency. My goal (in the remaining school year) is to assist the team to bridge information access and enable communication with all district stakeholders on issues that are current or in the future.

Thanks for your consideration

Peter Couch

An electronic ballot was sent to PACs following this meeting with voting to close on Mar 13, 2019 at 7pm. If you are the DPAC Rep or Chair of a PAC and you have not received the ballot please contact us.

February 2019

feb2019banner.jpg

January 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • Thank you to those of you who attended our general meeting on Cannabis Legalization & Schools and our special presentation on Anxiety in Children & Youth in January, as well as our executive meeting.  We're very pleased to take suggestions on other topics to organize presentations on.  Our general meeting on February 28th will have a presentation on Supporting Caregivers of Students with Diverse Learning Needs.

    DPAC is very focused right now on expanding our capacity to respond to facilities-related issues.  The DPAC facilities sub-committee, which was struck in December, had its first meeting this past week.  One of the committee's initial goals will be to prepare material to help guide PACs as their schools enter the seismic mitigation process as well as to organize a presentation on the steps that a school goes through in that process.  A second goal will be to directly help the DPAC executive when major facilities initiative are undertaken by the VSB.

    The first opportunity for the committee to exercise the second goal will be this month when the VSB releases a draft of a major revision to its Long Range Facilities Plan.  This report is critical to parents as it helps ensure that capital projects in the district are correctly identified and prioritized, but at the same time it also defines criteria which will be used to prepare a school closure list.  Public consultations have thus far been excluded from the process presented to stakeholders, and I would strongly encourage parents to contact the trustees to make sure proper consultations are held.

    I would also like to please ask for input on the following two topics:
    1. Measurable effects of not having a distinct anti-racism mentor in the district; and
    2. Problems in PAC/admin relationships.
    Your input will help inform ongoing discussions with VSB senior management.  Input on any other topic is always welcome, too.

    I'm very pleased that at least one nomination to the DPAC executive, and possibly also a second, will be received in time for our executive meeting on February 7th. There are still more open positions for parents who wish to serve in a district role for the remainder of this school year.  Nominations need to be received at least 24 hours prior to an executive meeting; please contact any DPAC executive for more information.

    Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair
    chair@vancouverdpac.org

Upcoming DPAC Events

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Thursday, Feb 7, 7pm, join PIE (Partners for Inclusive Education) in General Gordon's library for #SayDyslexia "One in five people live with dyslexia and accompanying ADHD or ADD, and, a person can be identified (diagnosed) with dyslexia as early as 5.5-years-old. Yet dyslexia and accompanying ADHD/ADD is not discussed on par with routine vision and hearing screenings for kindergarten students. In addition, most folks think dyslexia is as simple as reversing letters. Join Gordon parent, Kathryn Self Ransdell, as she shares her story and learnings about dyslexia and how businesses like Microsoft, global charities including #MadeByDyslexia, and a host of inventors, entrepreneurs and actors are working so that dyslexia is seen as an advantage and kids are given the tools to know their brilliance." (poster)

  • Wednesday, Feb 27, 7pm, Tyee Elementary PAC is proud to host Roger Haskett speaking on the Power Of Play. He focuses on The Power of Play to motivate you through many facets of being a parent, an individual, and a member of your community. We are very lucky to have Roger at Tyee. He spoke to us last year and wanted to open up the evening to more schools so more parents could benefit from his brilliant take on Play! He is a fun and dynamic speaker - we promise this will be an evening to remember! Tickets are $4 and are available at https://powerofplayattyee.eventbrite.com (poster)

PAC and Parent Petitions

  • Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education (PAN) has started #BuildSchoolsRight, an online email campaign that calls on the Ministry of Education to address the issues caused by its school-design policy. The policy determines how much space, and therefore budget, will be allowed when constructing a new school. The policy leads to new schools being built on average 30% smaller than the schools they are replacing, and without crucial learning spaces such as art rooms and music rooms.

  • Help us ensure Eric Hamber Secondary is built to accommodate current & future programs.The Eric Hamber Alumni Organization and the Eric Hamber PAC, as well as past, present, and future students, staff and parents need your help. Eric Hamber has been slated to be rebuilt but current Area Standards mean the new school won't include a lot of the important spaces the current has, including an auditorium, sport and track fields and sufficient gym space.

  • Restore The Vancouver School Board Elementary Band and Strings program. Ask that the Vancouver School Board Trustees restore Elementary Band and Strings to its pre 2016 cut level.  In addition, the VSB should put in a five-year plan to provide equitable access to Band, Strings and a Choral program across all Vancouver elementary schools.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • On Thursday, Feb 7 at 7pm, join PIE (Partners for Inclusive Education) in General Gordon's library for #SayDyslexia (poster)

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Attend Hoobiyee 2019 on Feb 1-2 at the PNE Forum (see image for details)

  • Indigenous Awareness – A FREE self-paced course offered by BCIT. Three self-paced modules in this course were created to promote and increase understanding about Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present. Together, the modules will provide you with a foundational knowledge of Indigenous people in the hopes that when the true history and contemporary reality of Indigenous people is known, Reconciliation can begin. It should take about 2 hours in total to complete the entire course and you will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end. To get access to the Indigenous Awareness course, send and e-mail to techhelp@bcit.ca asking for an account and access to the Indigenous Awareness online course. Please provide your first and last names.

  • Indigenous Arts & Stories Contest is open to Canadians of Indigenous ancestry (self-identified Status, Non-Status, Inuit and Métis) between the ages of 6 and 29. Deadline is March 31. For more details: http://www.our-story.ca/guidelines/

  • Giant Indigenous Peoples Atlas floor map will change the way you see Canada

Expectation of Respect & Safety

  • Wednesday, Feb 27 – Pink Shirt Day / Day of Pink. Wear pink to remember that positive actions make a difference, and each one of us can make positive change to end bullying

  • erase (expect respect & a safe education) – updated government website about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students.

Mental Health

Mentoring/Tutoring/Career Planning

  • 2018 WorkBC Parents’ Guide.- easy-to-use guide will provide you with information, guidelines and resources to support youth on their career journey.

  • Big Sisters Study Program is essentially a free tutoring program with mentoring component front and center of the program. They provide a caring volunteer to girls 7 to 17 years old, helping them with school and academic work. Volunteers are carefully screened and have gone through training. They are to provide academic guidance and support. The volunteer will meet with their mentee once a week for at least 6 months. (On average, matches last 2.5 years). The matches meet outside of school to work on homework or whatever the Little Sister identify her academic needs are. Website: https://www.bigsisters.bc.ca/get-involved/refer-a-little/

  • Have a G12 student who would like to be a mentor to an elementary student? Have them look into Learning Buddies or check out YouthVancouver for other volunteer opportunities, events and announcements for youth.

Parenting

  • Tuesday, Feb 12 6pm – Responding to Challenging Behaviour. Part of the free Child and Youth Well-being Workshops that VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Services in collaboration with the VSB are co-presenting this school year. Open this PDF, then click on the register link to enroll.

  • Thursday, Feb 14 10-11:30am – Strengthening Relationships: A Group for Parents, Grandparents, & Caregivers. Bi-weekly meeting hosted by CYMH-Northeast Office (3rd floor, 2750 E. Hastings St.). Free to the community, no registration required. For more information contact CYMH—Northeast Team at 604-675-3896. (poster)

  • Wednesday, Feb 20/27, 6-8pm – Kids Have Stress Too! FREE Parenting Workshop for parents of children ages 2-8 who are exhibiting signs and symptoms of stress and/or anxiety. Partnership between the YMCA and Westcoast Family Centres, curriculum from the Psychology Foundation of Canada. Robert Lee YMCA (955 Burrard St) Limited child minding spaces. Register by contacting the Robert Lee YMCA Family Development Program - 604-673-6180

  • Wednesday, Feb 27, 7pm – Tyee Elementary PAC is proud to host Roger Haskett speaking on the Power Of Play. Tickets are $4 and are available at https://powerofplayattyee.eventbrite.com (poster)

Physical Health

VSB 

News

  • Highlights: Public Board meeting of January 29 (view recording)
    Included passing the following motions:

    • That the Board of Education appreciates the continuing efforts of the Cavell community to advocate for their children in the seismic upgrade discussion and hope that they will continue to lobby the Ministry of Education for the replacement school option and the expansion project as recommended in the VBE Five Year Capital Plan

    • That the Vancouver School Board sends letters to Robert Oliphant, PM and Chair and The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, MP and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Committee with a copy to MPs and MLAs noting the importance of making ineligible clients (students and their families) are made eligible for settlement services and programs that are delivered from within our schools and that funds are increased accordingly.

  • District staff updated the kindergarten enrolment priorities. The new policy says, in the event existing catchment boundaries change, kindergarten siblings will be grandfathered to have enrollment priorities in the same catchment. Find out more info here: http://ow.ly/PDc130nqERK

  • Vancouver school food program for vulnerable kids faces 50 per cent funding cut At the Finance committee on January 23, staff mentioned this funding will get them through to June. They are working on options for September onward.

  • Vancouver School District mulls free tampon dispensers Vancouver parent Selina Tribe has worked in concert with her school's PAC and principal to install a coin-free dispenser at Sir John Franklin Elementary. She'd like to see them in all 18 Vancouver secondary schools.

  • A large cedar log for VSB's Legacy Carving project, in honour of Reconciliation in Education, has been delivered to the grounds beside the VSB office.We look forward to seeing its transformation.

BCCPAC

Updates

Nominations & Resolutions

  • Ordinary Resolutions - February 28 Deadline

    • Resolutions passed at the AGM form the basis for the operations and advocacy work of BCCPAC on behalf of its members. Details and forms.

  • Nominations to the Board of Directors – February 28 Deadline

    • We encourage members to put forward nominations for the open positions on the Board. Details and forms

    • Board positions available for election at the 2019 AGM:

 Position Term President 2019-2020 1st Vice President 2019-2021 2nd Vice President 2019-2020 Treasurer 2019-2021 Director (two positions available) 2019-2021 Director (one position available) 2019-2020

  • Parent Awards - February 28 Deadline

    • Award applications from members to recognize parents/guardians giving back to their communities. Details & forms

  •  Student Educational Award - February 28 Deadline

    • Our Educational Award honours a well-rounded Grade 12 student attending a BCCPAC member school who plans to pursue post-secondary studies. The recipient will receive an award in the amount $1,000.

Ministry of Education / Government of BC

January 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you and your families have enjoyed time together over the holidays!

    I'd like to begin by acknowledging the DPAC executive's unanimous vote at our last meeting affirming support for the SOGI statement from the Minister of Education and other K-12 education partners.  We strongly believe in inclusive and safe education spaces for all children and we continue to advocate for them.

    I also wish to affirm my support to those parents who brought their concerns regarding the incident at Lord Byng several weeks ago to us.  I was asked to be present at the last board meeting as the issue of racism was brought before the Board and VSB staff and I've pledged support and resources to helping where we can.  I sincerely hope we can have honest conversations about this issue with everyone concerned and enact just ways to remedy it.

    DPAC struck two committees at our last meeting and we invite input from all parents into these committees.  The first committee will be focused on gathering and disseminating information related to VSB facilities work such as seismic projects, catchment reviews, and the Long Range Facilities Report and will be chaired by Allison Tredwell.  Anyone interested should contact her at allison.tredwell@vancouverdpac.org.  The second committee will be focused on gathering and disseminating information related to childcare spaces in Vancouver schools and will be chaired by Laura Secord parent Adrienne Denham.  Anyone interested may contact her through me at chair@vancouverdpac.org.

    We are still seeking additional executive members to serve through June of this year.  Please contact me at chair@vancouverdpac.org with interest and for information.

    Our next executive meeting is on January 10th, our general meeting on January 24th will be on the topic of Cannabis Legalization & Schools, and we are hosting a special presentation from Vancouver Coastal Health Child and Youth Mental Health Service on Anxiety in Children and Youth on January 31st.  Attendance at our meetings is limited only to VSB parents and guardians and those permitted under the School Act.

    Thank you and have a good start to this year.
    -Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Jan 10, 7-9pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 24, 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting: Cannabis Legalization & Schools Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 31, 7-9pm – DPAC hosting 2nd presentation of VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Service's workshop - Anxiety in Children and Youth. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway.  

  • NOTE: DPAC meetings are open to all parents and guardians of children in VSB schools. Voting is limited to DPAC executives at executive meetings and PAC reps at general meetings, but all attendees may otherwise participate in the meetings.

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Maple Grove's Exceptional Group runs Tuesdays 6-7:30pm from Jan 15-Feb 19. This 6-part weekly group for adults supporting neurodiverse learners. Free parent-led conversation, advocacy, resources sharing, relationship building, and more. RSVP: Inclusionandadvocacy@gmail.com (poster attached).

  • Is your teen developing social skills beyond the screen? Social media is always on, but climbing rates of anxiety disorders and social isolation suggest that our teens aren’t building the kinds of connections - or learning the skills to make the connections - that are critical for their future health, wealth and happiness. On Wednesday, Jan 16 7-9pm Killarney Secondary PAC is hosting a Social Fluency Workshop to share ideas and practical methods for helping our teens develop and foster healthy social connections. The workshop is open to all and is Free with RSVP

  • Education and the Brain Speakers Series by Laura Secord Elementary School & Quebec Exchange Fundraising GroupThird and final talk Tuesday, Jan 22 6:30-7:30pm – Social and Emotional Learning in Children presented by Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, PhD. Doors open at 6:00, talk will begin at 6:30. This talk is geared to parents, young people and teachers who are interested in learning how education changes the brain. It will provide information how social and emotional learning impacts education and achievement. Vancouver Technical Secondary's auditorium (2600 E. Broadway) Tickets $10.

Important Dates

  • Thursday, Jan 10 7pm – DPAC Executive Meeting  Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 10 6pm – Depression in Children and Youth. Part of the free Child and Youth Well-being Workshops that VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Services in collaboration with the VSB are co-presenting this school year. Open this PDF, then click on the register link to enrol. (Note, currently sold out)

  • Friday, Jan 11 4-7pm – Eric Hamber Secondary: Seismic Replacement Public Information Session. 5025 Willow Street (in the Gymnasium)

  • Wednesday, Jan 16 5-6:30pm – VSB Personnel Committee. 1580 West Broadway

  • Wednesday, Jan 16 6:30-8pm – VSB Finance Committee. 1580 West Broadway

  • Wednesday, Jan 16 7-9pm – Killarney Secondary PAC is hosting a Social Fluency Workshop to share ideas and practical methods for helping our teens develop and foster healthy social connections. The workshop is open to all and is Free with RSVP

  • Tuesday, Jan 22 6:30-7:30pm – Education and the Brain Speakers Series by Laura Secord Elementary School & Quebec Exchange Fundraising Group presents Social and Emotional Learning in Children. Doors open at 6:00. Vancouver Technical Secondary auditorium (2600 E. Broadway) Tickets $10.

  • Wednesday, Jan 23 5-7pm – VSB Facilities Planning Committee 1580 West Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 24 7pm – DPAC General Meeting: Cannabis Legalization & Schools Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Friday, Jan 25 - PRO D Day (Flexible so check with your child's school)

  • Monday, Jan 28 7-9pm – VSB Board Meeting. 1580 West Broadway

  • Wednesday, Jan 30 6-8pm – PAN (Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education) open meeting at The Tipper Restaurant & Review Room (2066 Kingsway, Vancouver). Focus will be on Area Standards for school design in BC, what they mean to seismic projects, and how they compare to more recently developed standards elsewhere. RSVP to parentadvocacynetwork@gmail.com

  • Thursday, Jan 31 7pm – Anxiety in Children and Youth. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. 

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • Rolling with ADHD – Practical Strategies for Parenting ADHD – free learning series from BC Children's Hospital.

  • Maple Grove School's "Exceptional Group" runs Tuesdays 6-7:30pm from Jan 15-Feb 19. This is a free 6-part weekly group for adults supporting neurodiverse learners. RSVP: Inclusionandadvocacy@gmail.com for more information (poster).

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

Expectation of Respect & Safety

  • erase (expect respect & a safe education) – updated government website about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students.

  • Teaching young kids about consent. Video  

Mental Health / Substance Issues

  • Tuesday, Jan 8 6:30-8pm – FamilySmart® "In the Know" Parent Group. For parents who have children experiencing challenges with mental health and/or substance use. At the South Vancouver Youth Centre (4910 Fraser St. at 33rd). Please RSVP to jared.hazzard@familysmart.ca.

  • Thursday, Jan 10 6-8pm – Depression in Children and Youth. The goal of this workshop is to help caregivers recognize early signs of depression in their child or youth, and to learn strategies to support them. The facilitator will provide information about school and community resources, and where/how to access supports and services. A portion of the workshop will be dedicated to Q + A. By VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Services and the Vancouver School Board. (sold out)

  • Thursday, Jan 31 10-11:30am – Strengthening Relationships: A Group for Parents, Grandparents, & Caregivers. First bi-weekly meeting hosted by CYMH-Northeast Office (3rd floor, 2750 E. Hastings St.). Free to the community, no registration required. For more information contact CYMH—Northeast Team at 604-675-3896. (poster)

  • Tuesday, Feb 5 6:30-9pm – Raising Resilient Teens in the Digital Age: Supporting Healthy Body Image in the Face of Media Manipulation. An exclusive free screening of The Illusionists, a documentary exposing how multi-billion dollar international industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, fueling insecurity and body hatred. The Illusionists turns the mirror on media, exposing the absurd, sometimes humorous, and shocking images that seek to enslave women, men, and children. The film will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with leading experts including The Illusionists' filmmaker Elena Rossini! The discussion will focus on how to raise resilient teens, create thoughtful media consumers, and support a healthy body image in the face of media manipulation. Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver

Mentoring/Tutoring

  • Big Sisters Study Program is essentially a free tutoring program with mentoring component front and center of the program. They provide a caring volunteer to girls 7 to 17 years old, helping them with school and academic work. Volunteers are carefully screened and have gone through training. They are to provide academic guidance and support. The volunteer will meet with their mentee once a week for at least 6 months. (On average, matches last 2.5 years). The matches meet outside of school to work on homework or whatever the Little Sister identify her academic needs are. Website: https://www.bigsisters.bc.ca/get-involved/refer-a-little/

VSB 

December 17 Board Meeting 

  • view recording

  • Follow up from November 26 Board meeting re: Edith Cavell Seismic Upgrade

    • Chair Janet Fraser had a conversation with Minister Fleming regarding the seismic upgrade of Edith Cavell. The minister reiterated that the upgrade was the lowest cost option, was the option that would be supported by the Ministry and the minister reiterated that the expansion project which has been put forward in the VSB capital plan would be considered with all the new capital projects in their review and the response letter would come in the spring. So no change in direction from the Ministry.

    • Trustee Barb Parrott gave a notice of motion that the VSB support the Cavell parents in their efforts to have their school rebuilt and expanded.

  • Minister has responded to VSB's advocacy letter on Area Standards (motion to send passed at Oct 10 Special Board meeting).

  • The following motions were discussed, amended and passed:

    • That the Board commits to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for all Vancouver School District students, and that staff provide the Board with a report of initiatives currently being implemented to support reconciliation, as well as those planned for the future. 

    • That in light of the recent anti-black racist incident hate crime at one of our secondary schools, the Vancouver Board of Education publicly acknowledge the incident that occurred and affirm our ongoing commitment to anti-racism in the District - in particular, to the maintenance and continued development of safe and inclusive spaces for all students that are free from all types of bullying and discrimination.

    • That the Board of Education authorizes the Board Chair to send the English Language Learners (ELL) Consortium Letter (as attached) to Vancouver's Members of the Legislative Assembly and Members of Parliament inviting them to the next ELL Consortium meeting to learn about how the eligibility criteria for federal Student Support Programs create challenges for school districts trying to support all of the students who are newcomers to Canada.

    • That the VSB staff complete a comprehensive review of current supervision and security protocols at all elementary schools with a preliminary report to the board by no later than March 4, 2019. This would include: number of supervision aides, fencing and gates, identifying areas of vulnerability and considering the effectiveness of cameras. The goal is to determine what additional steps can be taken in the short term and what, if any, long term changes need to be made.

BCCPAC

Updates

Ministry of Education / Government of BC

News Releases

Upcoming

  • As mentioned in the above news release, a new education funding model will not be in effect for the 2019/20 school year, instead working groups will be formed in January to engage further on the key areas and themes identified in the report: inclusive education, distributed learning, adult education, financial management, accountability. The working groups will include representation by all education partners including teachers, parents, school administrators, support staff, trustees, superintendents, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and inclusive education groups. The groups will report back in the fall of 2019.


December 2018 Newsletter

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • Thank you to those who attended our sessions in November on ADHD and the redesigned curriculum.  As with our earlier sessions, levels of engagement at both events were high and feedback on the information presented was positive.  Our next general meeting is on January 24th on cannabis and we are hosting a session on Anxiety in Children & Youth on January 31st.  All parents and guardians of children in the Vancouver school district are welcome to attend any of our meetings.

    Allison Tredwell (Edith Cavell) was ratified as a member of our executive at our meeting on November 1st, but we are still seeking to increase our capacity.  In particular we are seeking a Treasurer.  The Treasurer role goes beyond just keeping books as all DPAC officers spend a lot of time interfacing with PAC execs and the VSB, and the Treasurer would also be our representative on the VSB Finance and Legal and Audit committees.  Please contact chair@vancouverdpac.org if you are interested in serving in this position or in any other capacity on our executive.

    Our last executive meeting of this calendar year will be on December 13th.  Interest was expressed at our last general meeting for DPAC to consider striking committees on out of school care and seismic planning.  Please attend and volunteer if you are interested in contributing to either of these.

    Finally, we are seeking specific feedback from PACs to inform discussions with the VSB on two points.  The first is regarding consultations.  While we have already heard a lot about consultations that have gone wrong, we are also interested in hearing about ones that have gone well and why they have gone well.  Please contact chair@vancouverdpac.org to provide input.  Second, we are looking for feedback on the VSB's administrative procedure governing PACs (Administrative Procedure 110 which replaced ABA-R-1). It's only 2-3 pages and comments and suggestions can be sent to vicechair@vancouverdpac.org.
    -Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Dec 13, 7-9pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 10, 7-9pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 24, 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting: Cannabis Legalization & Schools Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 31, 7-9pm – DPAC hosting 2nd presentation of VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Service's workshop - Anxiety in Children and Youth. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. 
    In response to multiple requests by parents unable to attend the session put on as part of the Child and Youth Well-Being Workshops, VCH has agreed to put on a second session.  

  • NOTE: DPAC meetings are open to all parents and guardians of children in VSB schools. Voting is limited to DPAC executives at executive meetings and PAC reps at general meetings, but all attendees may otherwise participate in the meetings.

Upcoming PAC Events that the wider community is invited to join

  • Education and the Brain Speakers Series by Laura Secord Elementary School & Quebec Exchange Fundraising GroupSecond talk Tuesday Dec 4 6:30-7:30pm – Bilingualism and Brain Health in Children presented by Dr. Rachel Weber, PhD. Doors open at 6:00, talk will begin at 6:30. This talk is geared to parents, young people and teachers who are interested in learning how education changes the brain. It will provide information regarding how bilingualism affects cognitive function. Vancouver Technical Secondary's auditorium (2600 E. Broadway) Tickets $10.

  • Maple Grove School's "Exceptional Group" runs Tuesdays 6-7:30pm from Jan 15-Feb 19. This 6-part weekly group for adults supporting neurodiverse learners. Free parent-led conversation, advocacy, resources sharing, relationship building, and more. RSVP: Inclusionandadvocacy@gmail.com for more information (poster attached).

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, Dec 4 5:30pm – ADHD Information Night at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (6470 Victoria Drive) (see flyer attached). For further inquiries please call 604 267-3973

  • Wednesday, Dec 5 4pm – Policy and Governance Standing Committee (previously Committee I)  Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Wednesday, Dec 5 5:30pm – Student Learning and Well-being Standing Committee (previously Committee III) Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Tuesday, Dec 11 6-8pm – FamilySmart® monthly parent group in December is a free dinner and resource sharing event. This is an opportunity for parents to share with each other the resources they have researched and accessed in the community while supporting their children with mental health or substance use issues (see flyer attached). To reserve a spot and get details on how to participate, parents can email jared.hazzard@familysmart.ca

  • Wednesday, Dec 12 6:30pm – SACY Adult Toolkit. Increase your health literacy around youth development and substances (“weed," alcohol or others.) Gain facts, bust myths, and get comfortable having conversations with youth at this friendly, non-judgmental evening for adults. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. Limited seating! Please register at: www.sacy.eventbrite.com

  • Thursday, Dec 13 7pm – DPAC Executive Meeting  Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Monday, Dec 17 7pm – VSB Board Meeting. Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Saturday, Dec 22-Sunday, Jan 6 – Winter Break, no school

Looking ahead

  • Thursday, Jan 10 7pm - DPAC Executive Meeting  Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 10 6pm - Depression in Children and Youth. Part of the free Child and Youth Well-being Workshops that VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Services in collaboration with the VSB are co-presenting this school year. Open this PDF, then click on the register link to enrol. (Note, if you tried registering in November but it was full, more seats have been added)

  • Thursday, Jan 24 7pm - DPAC General Meeting: Cannabis Legalization & Schools Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Jan 31 7pm - Anxiety in Children and Youth. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. 

Useful Information & Resources

  • Check out our resource page for presentation slide decks including last month's Redesigned Curriculum presentation.

Diverse Learners

  • Rolling with ADHD – Practical Strategies for Parenting ADHD – free learning series from BC Children's Hospital.

  • Tuesday, Dec 4 5:30pm – ADHD Information Night at South VancouverNeighbourhood House (6470 Victoria Drive) (see flyer attached). For further inquiries please call 604 267-3973

  • Maple Grove School's "Exceptional Group" runs Tuesdays 6-7:30pm from Jan 15-Feb 19. This is a free 6-part weekly group for adults supporting neurodiverse learners. RSVP: Inclusionandadvocacy@gmail.com for more information (poster attached).

Equity

  • First Call's 2018 BC Child Poverty Report Card - one in five (172,550) BC children are poor. Learn more about who and why as well as First Call's recommendations. 

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Ottawa to hand over child welfare services to Indigenous governments (CBC article

  • Listen to SEMA'TSE Jordan's new podcast series which tackles the topic of how the legacy of residential schools affects youth today from the perspective of an Indigenous youth in care.

  • Teaching Math Through Cedar Weaving (CBC article)

  • UBC Faculty of Education nurtures cultural identity of Indigenous students seeking to become teachers (Georgia Straight article)

  • Vancouver Park Board announces first artist in Indigenous cultural residency (Vancouver Courier article)

  • Elementary school students use virtual reality to learn about Indigenous culture (CBC article)

Expectation of Respect & Safety

  • erase (expect respect & a safe education) – updated government website about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students.

  • Peer Conflict, Mean Behaviour and Bullying. What’s the difference? - VSB brochure

  • Student Threat-Risk Assessment - VSB protocol

Mental Health / Substance Issues

  • Tuesday, Dec 11 6-8pm – FamilySmart® monthly parent group in December is a free dinner and resource sharing event. This is an opportunity for parents to share with each other the resources they have researched and accessed in the community while supporting their children with mental health or substance use issues (see flyer attached). To reserve a spot and get details on how to participate, parents can email jared.hazzard@familysmart.ca

  • Wednesday, Dec 12 6:30pm – SACY Adult Toolkit. Increase your health literacy around youth development and substances (“weed," alcohol or others.) Gain facts, bust myths, and get comfortable having conversations with youth at this friendly, non-judgmental evening for adults. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. Limited seating! Please register at: www.sacy.eventbrite.com

  • Kelty's Recommended Resources: Anxiety (for parents/caregivers)

VSB 

November Board Meetings

  • On Monday, Nov 5 the trustees were sworn in at their Inaugural Meeting. Janet Fraser was elected chair and Allan Wong was elected vice-chair (VSB article).

  • On Monday, Nov 26: (view recording)

    • Trustee Jennifer Reddy was sworn in as she was unable to attend on Nov 5.

    • The Board finalized the trustee appointments to the standing and administrative committees plus with other organizations (page 117-120 of the agenda).

    • The Board passed the following urgent motion:
      That the Board request the chairperson reaches out to Minister Fleming acknowledging the potential long term savings of the replacement option for Cavell Elementary school, if advanced; and furthermore, that the Board request the Minister to review the expansion option proposed in the Capital Plan.

    • Staff also included written responses to questions asked in the Edith Cavell Seismic Delegation at the Facilities Planning Standing meeting on Nov 14

      • Question 1: What is the rationale for the upgrade project versus a full replacement school?
        The seismic upgrade project was the lowest cost option. Being efficient with capital funding allows the Ministry and District to achieve the goal of creating safe seats for all students as soon as possible.

      • Question 2: If the capital expansion project were to be approved, could it be completed in the same timeline as the seismic upgrade project?
        The District’s approval of funding from the Ministry for this project states that if there is a change to the scope, schedule or budget, the District will need to seek additional approval from the Treasury Board. This would not likely allow the project to be completed in the same timeline. Any expansion request would have to be evaluated against all expansion priorities in the province; there is a risk it may not be approved.

      • Question 3: Can the deferred maintenance needs, within the existing school, be addressed if the seismic upgrade project (as approved in September) remains unchanged?
        Areas affected by the Seismic upgrade work will have the deferred maintenance work completed simultaneously. The areas will be determined once the consultants have completed the engineering design.
        Through the Annual Facilities Grant funding, the following deferred maintenance work will be completed within the similar period as the seismic upgrade work:

        • Replacement of deteriorated plumbing lines

        • Upgrade of lighting to energy efficient LED’s

        • Replacement of heating plant

    • Janet Fraser gave a Notice of Motion
      That the Board commits to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for K-12 public education, and that staff provide the Board with a report of initiatives currently being implemented to support reconciliation, as well as those planned for the future. This will be discussed at a standing committee before coming back to the board to be voted on.

Input & Other Opportunities

  • The Vancouver Park Board is working with the Vancouver School Board to develop a Track & Field Strategy - a plan for the future of track and field sports and facilities in Vancouver. Vancouver track facilities need upgrading to improve the experience for users, including competitive and casual users of all ages and abilities. We're in Phase 2 of consultation, and want to understand your priorities for track and field facilities, and your thoughts on strategies to support more participation in track and field activities. This survey will take about 5 minutes to complete. Click here to start (If you are unable to click the link, please copy and paste the full URL below into your browser: https://www.talkvancouver.com/c/al/5x1HH10B0Kt6gu5lIBrCIL/6YzX04wNLZ9EvS5873qNrk)

  • Are you looking for a rewarding career in the field of education? Consider becoming an education assistant & help create inclusive learning experiences. For more info visit http://ow.ly/E0Ol30mO6G0 & attend VSB's FREE info session on Dec 6 at 7pm at VSB's Education Centre.

News

  • Jamieson (VSB article) and Kingsford Smith school communities moved back into their seismically safe schools in November. (Seismic program update: Fleming, Nelson, and Tennyson are under construction. Bayview, Begbie, Cavell, David Lloyd George, Hamber, Maple Grove, and Wolfe are proceeding to construction. (More information on the seismic mitigation program here.))

  • The Vancouver School District with the City of Vancouver today announce in collaboration with BroadbandTV (BBTV) the launch of FuturePLAY - a sustainable and scalable educational program aimed at fostering digital and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design, and Mathematics) literacy in grades four to seven students.Launch of an educational program aimed at fostering digital literacy (VSB articleVancouver Courier article)

BCCPAC

Updates

Ministry of Education / Government of BC

News Releases

  • Take advantage of education savings opportunities designed to save money Almost 80% of job openings in B.C. over the next decade will require some form of post-secondary education. Receive $1,200 toward a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for children between six and nine years old.

  • The Select Standing Committee for Finance and Government Services released their Report on the Budget 2019 Consultation. It contains the following recommendations for K-12 Education in the 2019 Budget:

    • Capital Funding

      • 61. Increase capital funding to school districts to build new schools, maintain and upgrade existing facilities, conduct seismic upgrades, and add classroom space and playgrounds.

    • Indigenous Students

      • 62. Provide funding to develop and implement programs to support Indigenous students that target and address the unique needs of Indigenous learners based on best practice from school districts with good completion rates.

      • 63. Implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 63.2 by providing the necessary funding to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.

    • Operational Funding and Funding Formula

      • 64. Provide sustainable, predictable funding based on a child-centered model that allows school districts to cover the costs of delivering education.

      • 65. Fund compensation increases for exempt staff, principals and vice-principals, and provide flexibility at the local level for principals and vice-principals to take on teaching roles, particularly in rural and remote areas facing challenges with recruitment and retention.

      • 66. Fund the provision of an age-appropriate sexual health curriculum for all grades that includes matters of consent and online safety, with the assistance of qualified sexual health educators.

      • 67. Encourage partnerships with, and provide stable, long-term funding to, independent organizations that provide supportive, community-based programming for children and youth, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Roots of Empathy, Right to Play’s Aboriginal Youth Program, the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, and FIRST Robotics; and support alternative curricular programs, such as Take a Hike. 

    • Recruitment and Retention

      • 68. Offer incentives, such as forgivable student loans or supplemental housing compensation, to assist in the recruitment and retention of teachers in rural and remote areas, particularly specialized teachers.

    • Students with Special Needs

      • 69. Increase funding for students with special needs, including funding for early identification, the provision of appropriate support programs, and the training and recruitment of specialized teachers.

      • 70. Establish clear standards and fully fund appropriate supports for students with special needs in the public and independent school systems.

Input Request

Upcoming

  • K-12 Public Education Funding Model is currently being reviewedwith a report to be released before the end of the year. This will determine how BC's Education Budget is dispersed to districts starting 2019/20. It may also have a large impact on contract negotiations which will be underway soon as contracts with BCTF, CUPE, and other unions involved in BC public education expire in June. (Globe and Mail articleGlobal News article)

November 2018 Newsletter

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

  • I hope everyone had a fun Hallowe'en!

    Thank you to those who attended our trustee forum at the beginning of the month and our general meeting on SOGI 123 last week. There were high levels of engagement at both events and we hope that those who attended came away with new information.  I was particularly pleased to be approached by a group of parents following the SOGI 123 discussion who said that they were unsure about SOGI 123 prior to the meeting and were leaving feeling reassured. While it is important to continue having conversation on topics like SOGI 123 where there is misconception and lack of agreement, we all have to be aware that the content is a reflection of human rights law and Ministry of Education directive. The Vancouver School Board recently reaffirmed its support for SOGI 123 and DPAC will be doing the same.

    Now that the election has passed we would again like to extend our congratulations to the newly-elected trustees.  With a 4-year mandate the board will hopefully be able to work with district staff on longer-term projects to the benefit of all our children.  We need clarity on policies around catchment reviews and seismic projects and DPAC will be working to ensure that there is strong and effective consultation so that parents' voices are heard.

    We need to increase the capacity of the DPAC executive, meaning that we need more parents to come forward to be executives. Gord Lau (Trafalgar) was ratified at our executive meeting on October 11th and Allison Tredwell (Cavell) will be ratified at our meeting tonight (November 1st), but we have only received one additional nomination for our remaining five positions. Ideally we would like representation from all parts of the district on our executive and to have a balance between parents with kids in elementary and secondary. Please contact chair@vancouverdpac.org if you are interested in serving parents at the district level.

    We would like to invite all interested parents and guardians to attend a special presentation ADHD in Schools:What Parents Need to Know on November 15th and to our next general meeting on November 22nd where we will be engaging speakers on the new curriculum. In the past we have been allowing interested community members to attend our meetings but, due to extenuating circumstances, we are currently forced to limit attendance to only VSB parents and guardians and those permitted under the School Act. We're sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused people we asked to leave our SOGI 123 presentation last week, and we will send notifications if and when we can relax this restriction.
    -Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Nov 1, 7-9pm - DPAC Executive Meeting (Note: this meeting is on the 1st Thursday as National Aboriginal Veterans Day is on Nov 8) Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday Nov 15, 7-9pm - DPAC's ADHD in Schools: What Parents Need to Know workshop presented by Provincial ADHD Clinic. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, Nov 22, 7-9pm - DPAC General Meeting: Curriculum Focus Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • NOTE: DPAC meeting are open to all parents and guardians of children in VSB schools. Voting is limited to DPAC executives at executive meetings and PAC reps at general meetings, but all attendees may otherwise participate in the meetings.

Upcoming PAC Events that the wider community is invited to join

  • Laurier Elementary PAC will be hosting their 2018 Winter/Christmas Craft & Bake Sale on Wednesday Nov 28 3-6 pm in the school gym.  Come support their creative and entrepreneurial students and get into the holiday spirit. 7350 Laurel Street 

  • Laura Secord Elementary School & Quebec Exchange Fundraising Group present: Education and the Brain Speakers Series. First talk Wednesday Nov 21 6:30-7:30 pm - After this talk your brain will not be the same: Adventures in Neuroplasticity. This talk is geared to parents and teachers who are interested in learning how education changes the brain. It will provide information on what behaviours improve brain health and promote learning. Vancouver Technical Secondary's auditorium (2600 E. Broadway) Tickets $10.

Important Dates

  • Thursday, Nov 1 7pm - DPAC Executive Meeting (Note: this meeting is on the 1st Thursday as National Aboriginal Veterans Day is on the 8th)  Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Monday, Nov 5 7pm - Inaugural VSB Board Meeting. Trustees will be sworn in, elect a chair, and appoint a vice-chair

  • Thursday, Nov 8 - National Aboriginal Veterans Day

  • Friday, Nov 9 - Professional Day, no school

  • Sunday, Nov 11 - Remembrance Day

  • Monday, Nov 12 - Stat holiday for Remembrance Day, no school

  • Tuesday, Nov 13 - Anxiety in Children and Youth. Part of the free Child and Youth Well-being Workshops that VCH Child and Youth Mental Health Services in collaboration with the VSB are co-presenting this school year. Open this PDF, then click on the register link to enrol.

  • Tuesday, Nov 13 6:30-8pm - FamilySmart® monthly parent group November meeting features Richard Wong, a clinical counsellor focusing on the Problematic Use of Screen Technologies (PUST), otherwise known as Screen Addiction. He talks about why these technologies, including social media and gaming, are so addicting, and how we can begin to address these problems with our kids. Parents who want to register can email jared.hazzard@familysmart.ca. Meeting occur at the South Vancouver Youth Centre (4910 Fraser St @ 33rd Ave).

  • Wednesday, Nov 14 5pm - Facilities Planning Committee  Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday Nov 15 7-9pm - DPAC's ADHD in Schools: What Parents Need to Know workshop presented by Provincial ADHD Clinic facilitated ADHD workshop for parents and caregivers. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Wednesday, Nov 21 6:15pm - WE Family Day Vancouver - Hear from inspirational speakers and performers who will bring to life the theme of “Get Doing." Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to experience the magic of WE Day alongside the  children in your life at our first Vancouver event! You’ll leave the event with tangible ideas to take action as a family and make a difference in your local and global community. Line up includes: Sarah McLachlan, Peter Mansbridge, Esera Tuaolo, and Jessi Cruickshank. To learn more about WE Day Family Vancouver, visit WE.org/WECareVancouver. Some free tickets available, see "Useful Information & Resources" section.

  • Thursday, Nov 22 7pm - DPAC General Meeting: Curriculum Focus Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Monday, Nov 26 7pm - VSB Board Meeting

Useful Information & Resources

SOGI Resources

Bike Walk & Roll: School Active Travel Planning

Cannabis

  • VSB's Cannabis Corner - links to a range of relevant and easy-to-use cannabis resources, guides and tools for youth, parents, caregivers and teachers

Earthquake Preparation

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

WE Family Day Vancouver Tickets

  • VSB families only ... to get free tickets,

    • open this pdf,

    • click on "CLICK HERE REGISTER FOR WE DAY FAMILY - VANCOUVER" 

    • select SD J and enter SDJ.

    • Chose the number of tickets you need (max 8)

    • Click on General Admission Seating or Accessible Seating on the right side, a green Get Tickets button will appear.

    • Choose this and  you will be taken to a screen to enter delivery info and contact info. IMPORTANT: please enter #SD39 in UNIT NUMBER between Address and City.

  • Tickets are first come, first serve. General admission - no assigned seats. Please be considerate.

VSB 

October Motions

  • On Oct 14 in a Special Board Meeting, the Board passed the following three motions:

    • Lead in drinking water: Board of Education approved submitting the following BCSTA Provincial Council motion on Reduction of Lead in Water to the BCSTA for consideration at the Provincial Council meeting on November 30, 2018.
      That BCSTA request the Province immediately provide additional Ministry capital funding through School Enhancement Program to all Districts to ensure all schools have access to drinking water with measurable lead levels that does not exceed 5 parts per billion (ppb) by 2020
      Note: during the first two weeks of October, letters were send out by each school administration advising parents and guardians of their students the levels of lead found in drinking fountains in that school.

    • Area standards: That the Board of Education directs staff to prepare a letter to the Minister of Education outlining the educational impacts that current area standards for newly built schools could have on visual arts, music, shop class, curriculum implementation and social interaction (i.e. limited time and space for eating lunch) as well as the impact that current area standards have on the functioning of the school, because of the lack of storage for teachers, students and building engineers.

    • Funding: That the Board of Education authorizes staff to submit the attached report to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to inform the Province’s public consultation process for the development of the 2019-2020 Provincial Budget.

  • They also reaffirmed VSB's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policy (Policy 17)

New Board of Trustees

  • On Saturday, Oct 20 Vancouver citizens voted in a new board of education

    • Fraser Ballantyne, NPA (incumbent)

    • Lois Chan-Pedley, Green

    • Carmen Cho, NPA

    • Janet Fraser, Green (incumbent)

    • Estrellita Gonzalez, Green (incumbent)

    • Oliver Hanson, NPA

    • Barb Parrott, COPE

    • Jennifer Reddy, OneCity

    • Allan Wong, Vision Vancouver (incumbent)

  • The new Board is undergoing an orientation process structured around Board Policy 3 - Role of the Trustee

  • On Monday, Nov 5 the trustees will be sworn in at their Inaugural Meeting. Their first duties will include electing a chair and appointing a vice-chair.(Policy 7)

  • The Board will appoint standing committee chairs and committee members based on the recommendation of the Chair after they have consulted with the other trustees (Policy 8). Standing Committees start on Wednesday, Nov 14. (Note: Standing Committees have been renamed in the new policy manual, but cover the same general subjects. DPAC continues to have a representative on each standing committee).

BCCPAC

Updates:

  • Presentation to Standing Committee - On Oct 11, Andrea Sinclair, president, presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services for Budget 2019.

  • Cannabis Education - The cannabis legalization date was Oct 17. Resources are avail to help educate yourself & youth.

  • Raising Digitally Responsible Youth - The Ministry of Education and Safer Schools Together have updated the Raising Digitally Responsible Youth parent guide.

Ministry of Education/Government of BC 

News Releases

  • 1,000 children to benefit from more inclusive child care - three-year, $30-million investment as part of the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada. This funding reduces waitlists for inclusive child care and improves access to programs across the province for children with extra support needs.

School Board Election Results

The Vancouver School District Parent Advisory Council (Vancouver DPAC)  would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the nine newly-elected school board trustees.  We admire your dedication to public service and look forward to working with you on the board as it continues its work on behalf of the students and families of the school district.

We would also like to recognize the other candidates who contributed to the conversation around public education in Vancouver throughout the election cycle, especially those who attended our forum earlier this month.  We hope you continue your advocacy, and perhaps we will see some of you in the next election.

All trustees are able and welcome to attend DPAC meetings and we invite each of you to use this opportunity to meet and interact with many of the engaged parents and guardians in the school district once you are sworn in.


Download

DPAC Executive Nomination: Allison Tredwell

Allison Tredwell has been nominated to the DPAC executive by the Edith Cavell PAC. Her nomination was accepted at our executive meeting on October 11, 2018. In her own words:

Hello, my name is Allison Tredwell. I am currently the DPAC Rep for Edith Cavell Elementary, where I have a daughter in Grade 1, and a son who will start kindergarten in 2019. I began attending DPAC meetings around May 2018, during the Boundary Catchment Review. It was at this time that I realized that all these potential changes had been in the works for months, and that parents have the opportunity to have a voice with the VSB through DPAC.

I am interested in facilities and planning (such as seismic mitigation, boundary catchment review and the potential policy changes that may be involved), sustainability and environmental impact, emergency preparedness and response (including reunification processes, and fire/earthquake/lockdown procedures/drills). I am also interested in increasing inclusiveness in schools, and I fully support SOGI education.

I currently work as a TTOC (teacher, teaching on call) for the Richmond School District. I TOC at the secondary level, for almost all subjects, but my background is in physical geography and biology.

I think of myself as a logical, organized person, who appreciates honest and direct constructive criticism. I hope that these traits, as well as my perspective as a TTOC and parent, will be an asset to DPAC. I’m committed to regularly attending both general and executive meetings, as well as volunteering for other committees/events as needed. Thank you for considering me for DPAC Exec.

An electronic ballot was sent to PACs following this meeting with voting to close on October 31, 2018 at 7pm. If you are the DPAC Rep or Chair of a PAC and you have not received the ballot please contact us.