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 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 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 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


  • 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,


    • 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.


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).



  • 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.