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


  • 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/


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.



Ministry of Education / Government of BC

News Releases


  • 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.