February 2019

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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