Welcome back from Vancouver DPAC Chair
- There's no more interesting time to be a parent volunteer in Vancouver public education than today: we have a school board election coming up in October (DPAC will be hosting a trustee candidate forum on October 4th); the deadline for teacher contract negotiations is coming up next June (wasn't the last strike fun?); the VSB is continuing its downtown and False Creek catchment review as well as its choice program review; and there are still reports of teacher shortages across the province.
Last year DPAC worked to improve our relationship with the VBS senior management team. This is important as we are a stakeholder within the VSB, but also because we want there to be enough trust for the VSB to share important information with us and with parents. We've been pleased to have Superintendant Suzanne Hoffman at many of our meetings to provide updates and answer questions and we hope to continue this custom. One of our core goals is to become an effective two-way information conduit between PACs and the VSB, providing information to PACs about the goings on in the district and providing feedback from PACs to the VSB. A good example of this was our May general meeting which brought parents and representatives from the VSB together to have real conversations about the catchment review and which ultimately helped the VSB rethink its process.
We will be continuing the changes we made last year to increase the number of topic-based DPAC meetings. These meeting last year were well attended and provided good feedback. Our first general meeting on September 27th will be PAC 101. We encourage new PAC execs to attend as there will be opportunities to both learn from more experienced PAC execs as well as to connect with parents at other schools. We would be happy to take input from parents and PACs on the topics which are important to you and your school communities which you would like to have covered during the year. - Shaun Kalley, Vancouver DPAC Chair 2018/19
Upcoming DPAC Events
- Monday, Sept 10 7-8:30pm - SACY (Supporting and Connecting Youth) facilitated workshop "Engaging Parents at the Secondary School Level" Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
Come to a relaxed and interactive session with SACY parent engagement facilitators to discuss innovative ways to engage folks with their schools. We’ll explore what’s working across the district to build parent-school engagement and how that contributes to social, emotional and academic success of students at secondary school. Register: www.SACY.eventbrite.ca.
- Thursday, Sept 13 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, Sept 27 7-9pm - DPAC General Meeting: PAC 101. Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Information and discussion of benefit to new and returning PAC executives as well as all parents. Agenda will be posted on the vancouverdpac.org website when finalized.
- Thursday, Oct 4 6:30-9pm - DPAC's VSB Trustee Candidate Forum Moderated by Tracey Sherlock. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary Cafeteria. Agenda will be posted on the vancouverdpac.org website when finalized.
- NOTE:All DPAC meetings are open to parents and guardians of VSB students. While only DPAC executives can vote at Executive meetings, and only official DPAC representatives (PACs to self-determine) can vote at General meetings, all parents and guardians of VSB students can participate.
Wondering How to Get More Involved?
- Join the DPAC Executive - We currently have 6 openings on our executive including the position of Treasurer. If you are interested, please ask your PAC to nominate you at the next PAC meeting (nomination form)
- Volunteer to represent the parents/guardians of VSB students on a VSB Advisory or ad-hoc committee (stay tuned for opportunities that come up throughout the year)
- Become the DPAC representative for your PAC
- Attend DPAC meetings. Join in the discussion, hear what's going on, talk to other parents, enjoy some light refreshments. Childcare provided onsite for General meetings when requested in advance.
- Tuesday, Sept 4 - First day of school
- Monday, Sept 10, 7-8:30pm - SACY facilitated workshop "Engaging Parents at the Secondary School Level"Hosted by DPAC. VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. All parents and caregivers welcome. RSVP (free). More details above.
- Tuesday, Sept 11, 6:30-8pm - Family Smart Parent Group monthly meeting topic "Building Relationships Between Home and School" featuring Langley district consultant and retired principal Lucy Lenko. South Vancouver Youth Centre, 4910 Fraser St @ 33rd Ave (parents only, no kids or childcare provided, unfortunately). Please register by RSVPing to firstname.lastname@example.org. More details in next section.
- Wednesday, Sept 12, 5pm – Committee I - Management Coordinating Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Wednesday, Sept 12, 6pm – Committee III - Education & Student Services Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Thursday, Sept 13, 7pm - DPAC Executive Meeting, Room 120, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Wednesday, Sept 19, 5pm – Committee II - Planning & Facilities Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Wednesday, Sept 19, 6pm – Committee IV - Personnel & Staff Services Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Wednesday, Sept 19, 7pm – Committee V - Finance & Legal Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Saturday, Sept 22, 9am-4pm - First Call's Public Education Forum with keynote presentation by Annie Kidder, Executive Director of People for Education (RSVP for free ticket)
- Monday, Sept 24, 7pm – VSB Board Meeting, VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway
- Thursday, Sept 27, 7pm - DPAC General Meeting: PAC 101. Room 180 VSB Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway.
- Sunday, Sept 30 - Orange Shirt Day
- Thursday, Oct 4, 6:30pm - DPAC's VSB Trustee Candidate Forum Moderated by Tracey Sherlock. Sir Charles Tupper Secondary Cafeteria.
- 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, earlybird deadline Sept 4)
Useful Information & Resources
Preparing for Back-to-School
- VSB News "Back-to-School Tips: How to help your child get a terrific start"
- BCEDAccess Blog "Back to School - 8 things you can do to prepare your child with special needs"
- Back to School resources compiled by the Ministry of Education:
- FamilySmart® has started a monthly parent group for those parenting children, youth or young adults with mental health and/or substance use challenges which will meet on the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:00 pm at the South Vancouver Youth Centre (4910 Fraser St @ 33rd Ave). Note: parents only, no kids or childcare provided. Parents with questions or wanting to attend, please email Jared Hazzard at email@example.com
- Kelty Mental Health Blog - Fostering Resilience in Children and Young People
- UBC News - Sense of belonging in school key to children's positive mental health
- CBC News - Expert says parents should be on lookout for back-to-school anxiety
Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges
- Tune into CBC News Sept 4-7 for their special series "Beyond Beads and Bannock" which will be taking an in-depth look at Indigenous curriculum in BC schools.
- Sept 30 has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters. (http://www.orangeshirtday.org/phyllis-story.html)
- Phyllis Webstad will be in Langley sharing her new book "The Orange Shirt Story" on Saturday, Sept 22 at 6:30pm. Tickets $10
- Until Oct 21 you can follow this link to read "Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education" edited by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang.
- Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. News article: New atlas of Indigenous Peoples reveals country 'before the lines were drawn' Scheduled to be released for sale at the end of summer.
- New dictionary published for Indigenous Vancouver Island language. It contains more than 12,000 words in SENĆOŦEN, the language of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula.
Website Resources for Parents
- Calendar - a year-at-a-glance 2018-19 School District calendar which includes Statutory holidays and non-instructional days such as Professional Development Days (Pro-D's) (Note, a couple Pro-D's are flexible, so check with your child's school to confirm their dates). There also is a 2018-19 Secondary School District calendar which includes the Day 1/Day 2 schedule, If you are interested in attending VSB Committee and/or Board meetings, see the Board Calendar of Events.
- How to Solve a Concern at School - download the brochure "VSB Conflict Resolution Process for School-Based Concerns."
- Fluent in another language and have time to volunteer? VSB has a Volunteer Program.
- School Directory - a quick way to find out some basic information for each VSB school, including: address, website, principal, trustee, director of instruction, education coordinator, and programs.
Catchment Boundary Review
- At the May 27 Board meeting, Suzanne Hoffman, Superintendent, announced that Catchment review is being extended by one year to accommodate the following:
- BC Hydro proposal
- French Immersion Program Review
- Grandfathering, including review of district policy
- Pursuit of school at Olympic Village
- We will update you when we know more about what the planning and consultation for 2018/19 will look like.
Staffing & Classrooms
- VSB's updated website includes their mission statement and recent statistics on enrollment, diversity and schools.
- Mission: To enable students to reach their intellectual, social, aesthetic and physical potential in challenging and stimulating settings which reflect the worth of each individual and promote mutual respect, cooperation and social responsibility.
- Current job postings for VSB on Make-a-Future. As of Sept. 1, 12 teaching positions and 19 support positions were posted. Some positions have more than one opening.
- Current graphic on staffing and student numbers for 2018/19.
- Membership Renewal - Its time to renew! Membership year is Sept 1-Aug 31.
- Gaming Grants Reporting - PACs/DPACs must submit a Gaming Account Summary Report annually within 90 days of their fiscal year end.
- 2018 AGM Minutes - Minutes, including full details on Resolutions, from their AGM
- Bylaws Updated - Most recent changes from the May AGM approved and submitted to the Societies Act Registrar.
Ministry of Education/Government of BC
Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services
- Have thoughts on how the government of BC should prepare its budget? Think about presenting or submitting to the Select Standing Committee on Finance & Gov't Services on their Budget 2019 Consultation. Online registration for public hearings opens Friday, Sept 7 at 9:00am for their Vancouver consultation on Sept 24.
Employer Health Tax (EHT)
- On July 4, the Ministry of Finance released an announcement regarding implementation of the new Employer Health Tax (EHT) which included: "The transition to the EHT includes funding that ensures public services will not be impacted and that the cost pressure of the EHT has been fully funded in the government’s Budget 2018 fiscal plan … for sectors including school districts.”
- As the VSB 2018/19 budget was passed with funds to cover the EHT starting in January 2019, DPAC looks forward to seeing how these funds will be reassigned to benefit our students.