Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair
First, I'd like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in our PAC 101 meeting this past week. About 65 parents from 45 different schools attended and engaged in excellent discussions ranging from the big-picture view of public education in BC, to the three levels of parent representation in the system (BCCPAC, DPACs, PACs), to discussions of the rights and responsibilities of PACs and examples of PAC best practices. I'm pleased that two significant themes to emerge from these discussion were community and advocacy. Some PAC leaders spoke very eloquently about changing the culture in their schools by making community building a cornerstone of their practice. Others spoke very passionately about the need to advocate to simultaneously make the system better and to reduce inequities between school communities.
Second, election season is upon us. DPAC is committed to political neutrality and will not endorse any candidates. We are, however, in keeping with our mandate, hosting a school board trustee candidates forum on October 4th (details below) as a way of bringing information about the candidates to parents. The format of this forum will allow parents to directly ask candidates questions, so please take advantage of this opportunity and come participate. We very much look forward to working with the new board after the election.
Third, we are looking to increase the capacity of the DPAC executive. We currently have 6 open positions which we would like to see filled as soon as possible. A nomination has already been received from the Trafalgar PAC to elect Gord Lau to the DPAC executive and an electronic ballot has been sent to PACs as part of our election process. Please contact us if your PAC did not receive this ballot.
Finally, I'd like to invite all interested parents and guardians to attend our October general meeting on SOGI 123 with presenters Matt Carruthers (former SOGI District Lead) and Renee Hock (VSB Diversity Mentor). In particular, I would like to invite parents who have concerns with SOGI education in schools to attend to begin a dialogue. We will have translation services available for parents who require them.
Shaun Kalley, DPAC chair
Upcoming DPAC Events
Thursday, Oct 4 6:30-9pm – DPAC's VSB Trustee Candidate ForumModerated by Tracey Sherlock. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary Cafeteria. We have invited 31 candidates (if anyone has contact info for Gordon T. Kennedy or Mrs. Doubtfire, please let us know) and sent them a questionnaire to complete (responses will be posted on our website). A portion of the evening will be spent with candidates answering your questions, so please bring them.
Thursday, Oct 11 7-9pm – DPAC Executive Meeting, Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Agenda will be posted on the vancouverdpac.org website when finalized.
Thursday, Oct 25 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting: SOGI 123. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Presenters include Matt Carruthers (former SOGI District Lead) and Renee Hock (VSB Diversity Mentor). We will have translation services available for parents who require them. Agenda will be posted on the vancouverdpac.org website when finalized.
Thursday, Nov 15 7-9pm – Provincial ADHD Clinic facilitated ADHD workshop for parents and caregivers. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. More details will be provided when they are finalized.
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
Wednesday, Oct 24 6:30 – Southlands PAC presents: Fostering Gratitude & Kindness in Children. A parent education presentation by Dr Carla Fry and Dr LIsa Ferrari, directors of the Vancouver Psychology Centre at Southlands Elementary (5351 Camosun St.). Presentation is free. RSVP to Southlands.email@example.com.
Monday, Oct 1 - Friday, Oct 5 – Kids ride free on Translink buses
Tuesday, Oct 2 – Navigating the Mental Health System. First in a series of FREE Child and Youth Wellbeing 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.
Wednesday, Oct 3, 6:30pm-8:30pm – Dialogue on Cannabis. Sunset Community Centre, Multipurpose room (6810 Main St, Vancouver). The Vancouver School Board, together with its partners Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver Parks Board, City of Vancouver Social Planning Department and Vancouver Police Department are organizing these dialogues in order to listen to the community’s perspectives. Exploratory conversation among adults 19+ about cannabis legalization. Join us to share your thoughts and to listen to others.(Please note, this is not a workshop or an evening of hearing from “experts.”) There is limited seating at this event to better allow for dialogue and listening. To ensure you get a seat please register as soon as possible. Use this link with the password: dialogue
Wednesday, Oct 3, 5pm – Policy and Governance Standing Committee (formerly Committee I), VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
Wednesday, Oct 3, 6pm – Facilities Planning Standing Committee(formerly Committee II), VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
Thursday, Oct 4 6:30-9pm – DPAC's VSB Trustee Candidate Forum Moderated by Tracey Sherlock. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary Cafeteria. More details above.
Saturday, Oct 6, 8:30am-5pm – BCEDAccess's Advocacy Conference which includes a full day of workshops for parents/guardians/allies of students with special needs. (Tickets)
Saturday, Oct 20 - Municipal Election Day, If you are at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen, have lived in BC for at least the past 6 months and in Vancouver (or owned property in your name) for at least the past 30 days, you are probably eligible to vote. Please do. Follow the link if you have any questions. This vote will determine Vancouver's mayor, city council, parks board and school board.
Thursday, Oct 25 7-9pm - DPAC General Meeting: SOGI 123 Information Session. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Information and discussion on SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identiy) and SOGI 123 which are the provincial resources.
Thursday Nov 15 7-9pm - Provincial ADHD Clinic facilitated ADHD workshop for parents and caregivers. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
Useful Information & Resources
PAC 101 Resources
Municipal Election - Oct 20
City of Vancouver resources, including how to register, where to vote, and who is running.
Special Kids Vote Program - On Saturday, Oct 13 and Sunday, Oct 14, children under 18 can go to any advance voting location and vote on three questions printed on special pink Kids Vote ballots.
Who to vote for - as DPAC is non-partisan, we won't tell you, but please attend candidate forums, read candidate material, ask questions ... and attend our school trustee candidate forum on Oct 4 (more information above).
Diverse Learners / Mental Wellness
October is ADHD Awareness Month.
BCEDAccess's 3rd annual Advocacy Conference is on Saturday, Oct 6 8:30–5pm. Tickets include a full day of workshops, lunch, snacks and annual membership.
FamilySmart® monthly parent group for those parenting children, youth or young adults with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Next meeting is Tuesday, Oct 9 6:30-8pm at the South Vancouver Youth Centre (4910 Fraser St @ 33rd Ave. It features Occupational Therapist Megan Eastwood discussing how to support kids who struggle with Sensory Processing. Note: parents only, no kids or childcare provided. Parents with questions or wanting to attend, please email Jared Hazzard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Autism Community Training (ACT) Conference: Positive Behavior Support in School, Home and Community on Oct 19-20 from 8am–3pmat SFU Downtown Campus or via web-streaming. It is for educators, families, and communities to “set the stage for success” by using Positive Behavior Support techniques for students with ASD and other special needs. Tickets
Save the date, DPAC is hosting a Provincial ADHD Clinic facilitated ADHD workshop for parents and caregivers on Thursday, Nov 15 7-9pm in Room 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has created a graphic novel, Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet and You, to help young Canadians to better understand and navigate privacy issues in the online world.
Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges
Seven Ways to Make a Difference by First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
List of books by Indigenous writers about the residential school system and its traumatic impact on survivors and their families
Read "Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education" edited by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (link supposed to be active until Oct 21)
Vancouver Board of Education revises its governance model - at the Board meeting on September 24 the board voted to adopt a new board policy handbook and received an Administrative Procedures Manual (previously the two manuals were combined).
Seismic project announcements for General Wolfe and Edith Cavell elementary schools - on September 28, Minister of Education Rob Flemming announced that the government of BC is providing $35.8 million combined for the seismic upgrading of Cavell and Wolfe elementary schools. Construction on both schools is expected to begin in spring 2020 and be ready for students in fall 2021 leaving the heritage structures of both facilities intact.
Vancouver School Board and BC Hydro conclude agreement for underground electrical substation at Lord Roberts Annex site - the District and BC Hydro have concluded all necessary agreements related to the sale of an underground portion of the Lord Roberts Annex site. Under the terms of the agreement, the District will receive from BC Hydro a minimum of $73 million (up to $75 million):
$48.3 million for the subsurface parcel (received in September 2018);
$16.7 million for various statutory rights-of-way and covenants (received in September 2018);
$8.0 million for a five-year construction lease (payable in 2023 when construction of the substation is planned to begin); and,
Up to $2.0 million for the construction of a play field at the Lord Roberts Annex site following completion of the substation construction, anticipated in 2028.
New Board of Trustees ... Timeline
Saturday, Oct 20 – General school election [School Act, s. 35 (2)]
Wednesday, Oct 24 – Official election results must be declared by 4 p.m. [Local Government Act, s. 146 (1)]
Tuesday, Oct 30 – First day to take the oath of office if elected by voting [Local Government Act, s. 147 (1)]
Monday, Nov 5 – Elected school trustees take office, provided they have taken their oath [School Act, s. 49 (a) and 50 (3)]
Membership Renewal - Its time to renew! Membership year is Sept 1-Aug 31.
Parent's Guide to New Curriculum - Review the recently released Parent’s Guide to BC’s new curriculum.
Scholarships for Students - Scholarships for high-school grads to recognize achievement & encourage post-secondary education. Learn More!
Personal Acts of Reconciliation - 10 simple actions you can do to learn and do more about Reconciliation. Find out!
SOGI 123 Parent Resources - Updated parent resources explain SOGI-inclusive education in schools: Brochure, PPT, Video
Ministry of Education/Government of BC
Province celebrates new French teacher education students and expands training efforts - 37 additional French teacher training spaces filled this year and an investment in new spaces.
“All of B.C.’s provincial education partners for K-12 schools are committed to ensuring every school — both public and independent — is a place where students feel safe, accepted, respected and welcome regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background. In 2016, the B.C. Human Rights Code was amended to ensure that gender identity and expression are protected under the code. There is no room for any type of discrimination in our schools.
“As provincial education partners, we stand unified in this commitment. All of our province’s 60 school districts have now updated their codes of conduct and all independent schools have updated their harassment and bullying prevention policies that safeguard students from being bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Students have the complete support of teachers, administrators, support staff, trustees and parents as we create learning environments where all students are free of discrimination so they can thrive and live authentic lives.”