June 2019

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-9pm – Parent Advocate Training: Introductory Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Vancouver DPAC is looking to reinitiate the role of appointed parent advocates in the district. Appointd parent advocates can help other parents in the district by: listening to their concerns; explaining how the school system works, including policies and procedures; suggesting resources and options; helping them develop a plan to address their concerns; and attending meetings with them for support. This session is open to all VSB parents/guardians, staff and administors interested in learning more. See event for more details.

  • Saturday, June 8, 9am-12:30pm – Parent Advocate Training: Level 1  Mount Pleasant Community Centre. Registration required.

  • Thursday, June 13, 7-9:30pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

  • Thursday, June 20, 7-9:30pm – DPAC AGM Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway. Parents of VSB students interested in being part of DPAC's 2019/20 Executive, please get your nomination form signed by a PAC you're a member of and submitted by 7pm Wednesday, June 19.

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Monday, June 3, 6:45pm – Calling for parents to join the Vancouver Learning Network Parent Advisory Council! Vancouver Learning Network (VLN) offers a valuable service for over 5000 Kindergarten to grade 12 students seeking to repeat a course, take a course not offered at their school or those taking a full program when they cannot or chose not to attend a brick and mortar school. We are putting a call out to all PAC Presidents to encourage parents to join the VLN PAC if they have a student enrolled in VLN.  As you know, parent input is incredibly valuable in ensuring that schools are meeting student needs and the VLN is no different. VLN PAC meetings only last 1 hour and often include a guest speaker with information pertinent for all BC students in addition to information specific to online learners. We encourage parents to attend our last meeting of the year on Monday June 3rd at 6:45pm at the VLN offices at the back of John Oliver Secondary at 41st and Fraser. In addition, we are seeking 2 new executive members for the fall. Please consider serving your child's school community in this rich and valuable role. There are no meeting or obligations outside the 4-5 yearly PAC meetings. As if you needed another incentive, there will be really delicious goodies at every meeting!

  • Tuesday, June 4, 7-8pm – Laurier PAC has invited Ms. Chas Desjarlais, District Vice Principal - Aboriginal Education for Vancouver School Board to present to parents on the Indigenous program in our schools and ways PACs and parents can get involved. Laurier School Library

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-8:30pm – Queen Mary PAC presents: "Understanding Child Anxiety with Dr. Bethany Michel." Learn where anxiety in children comes from, how to recognize it, and specific tools to help manage and prevent it. Register

  • Friday, June 7, 3-7pm – MacCorkindale 2019 Carnival

  • Wednesday, June 19, 3-7pm – "Say Goodbye to Bayview School” A Community Farewell Open House. Join us in saying goodbye to a building students have walked through for over a century. Enjoy a roaming “tour” of Bayview history as Kitsilano historical characters are brought to life by "Live History” Theatre. Walk through the school and reminisce. Display of Bayview memorabilia and historical artifacts in the gym. There will be refreshments for sale. Bayview Community School, 2251 Collingwood St.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • The Select Standing Committee for Children and Youth (part of the Legislative Assembly) is holding a public consultation on Children and Youth with Neuro-Diverse Special Needs: How can assessment and eligibility processes for children and youth with neuro-diverse (e.g.: ASD, FASD, Developmental Delay) special needs by improved?. Share your input and experiences in writing by Friday, June 7. (more information)

  • UBC's Supporting Progressive Inclusive Child-centred Education (SPICE) released the results on their study “Special Education: A Population-Based Investigation of the K-12 Educational Trajectories of Children across Multiple Categories of Needs

    • Background – provides information on a Research Priority Setting survey conducted with education leaders on special education priorities.

    • Methodology Fact Sheet – explains how the research was conducted.

    • Grade-to-Grade Transition – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

    • High School Completion – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

    • Time to Designation – results presented for each designation and for the overall special education student population.

  • Pilot project to use MedicAlert bracelets for BC youth with mental health conditions (article)

  • ADHD Information Night powerpoint presentation by VCH for VSB

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Monday, June 3 – Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC is launching a new exhibit to coincide with Congress of the Humanities at UBC. The exhibit, on display until August 31, highlights the origins of the building, and explores engagement and research initiatives at the Centre. Expanded hours for Congress for the week of June 3-7 are 10am-4pm.

  • Tuesday, June 4, 7-8pm – Laurier PAC has invited Ms. Chas Desjarlais, VSB's District Vice Principal - Aboriginal Education, to present to parents on the Indigenous program in our schools and ways PACs and parents can get involved. Laurier School Library

  • Thursday, June 6, 6-8pm – Genocide, Residential Schools and the Challenge of [Re]Conciliation: Dialogue and Panel Discussion. 
    Panel features Professor David MacDonald (Guelph University), Dr. Paulette Regan, and Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot (University of British Columbia). The event is free and open to the public but space is limited - RSVP.

  • Friday, June 21 - National Aboriginal Peoples Day
    Participate in a local events, such as:

    • Unveiling of VSB's reconciliation pole, 10am-12pm on the lawn (facing West 10th Avenue) of the Vancouver School Board, 1580 West Broadway. 

    • National Indigenous Day at Trout Lake

      • Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre,1607 East Hastings Street, 9-11am

      • Friendship Walk starts around 11am from Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre to Trout Lake.

      • Trout Lake, 12pm onwards

  • Read the e-book, A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in Canadian Military by P. Whitney Lackenbauer, John Moses, R. Scott Sheffield, and Maxime Gohier. 

Family Fun

  • Monday, July 1 – Canada Day DrummingThree ways the public can participate in this nationwide drumming event:

    • Simultaneous national drumming at 11am – Canadians of all cultures and ethnicities come together to drum in unity. This is to celebrate the rich culture of the multicultural make-up of Canada and to create a Canadian record.

    • Guinness World Records™ Attempt at 11:15am – aims to set the record for “The Largest Group Drum Roll (multiple venues)” that lasts at least five minutes. The attempt is based on the number of drummers participating, the minimum is 1,683 people. If the attempt is successful, 300 registered drummers will receive an official Certificate of Participation on a lottery basis. Pre-registration deadline is midnight, June 17.

    • Take in the festivities from 10am to 4pm at Creekside Park, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver (beside Science World) to enjoy multicultural stage performances, children activities, multicultural food, sponsors’ booths, contests and more.

  • Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Summer Reading Club 2019: Imagine the Possibilities! Special weekly programs at the library include creating a model of a new city, stop-motion animation of your own drawings, exploring the stars, and seeking the elusive mythical Sasquatch! Pick up a brochure listing all the special summer programs or check our Events Calendar. Come into your library branch starting on June 21st get your reading record, stickers, and calendar. This year’s amazing artwork is by artist Jami Gigot.

  • Sierra Club parent and caregiver page has seasonal activities for children

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

  • Thursday, June 6, 6:30-8:30pm – Queen Mary PAC presents: "Understanding Child Anxiety with Dr. Bethany Michel." Learn where anxiety in children comes from, how to recognize it, and specific tools to help manage and prevent it. Register

  • Monday, June 24, 12-10pm – Centre for Mindfulness Launch; Chieng Family Atrium, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute. The new Centre hopes to connect, support, and grow the wisdom and talent of individuals and teams who are bringing mindfulness to children, caregivers, and health professionals at BC Children's Hospital. *The first 30 minutes is networking and light refreshments. All are welcome! RSVP Frances Tong at mindfulnes@cw.bc.ca

  • The Foundry – provides young people from ages 12 to 24 with easy access to primary care, mental health and substance use services, psychosocial rehab supports, peer support, supported employment and recreational activities all housed under one roof (1260 Granville St)

  • ERASE – resources and information specific to supporting student’s mental health

  • Youth & Vaping: What do we need to know? – SACY article

Guest Blog  

Advocating for your Child – Preparing for a Meeting

Parents are natural advocates for their child and when it’s time to address a concern with school staff in a meeting, being prepared is essential for a successful resolution. Work with the school staff to determine the purpose of the meeting. Will you be going over your child’s academic progress or discussing a disciplinary issue? Remember to keep the agenda to one or two issues. If more issues arise then plan another meeting so each issue can be adequately addressed.

Confirm who will be attending the meeting and let school staff know if you plan to bring a support person with you.
Here are a few more things to consider before the meeting:

  • Should my child attend?

  • What information do I need before the meeting?

  • What resolution do I want?

Taking notes can help parents reflect on the meeting after it’s over. Record action items that come from the meeting, including who is responsible and within what timeframe. If the meeting goes off track, review the purpose of the meeting including the agenda items. If at any point there’s something confusing or unclear speak up and ask for clarification. Summarize the meeting before everyone leaves to ensure a common understanding and share notes that have been taken.

It can be very helpful to have a support person attend a meeting. Appointed advocates, through the Vancouver DPAC, can be a source of information to help parents navigate the public education system through existing laws and school district policies and administrative procedures. Advocates can assist parents by taking notes and keeping the meeting on task.

Whether through brief discussions with your child’s teacher or in a more formal meeting setting, coming to an amicable resolution is in everyone’s best interest to ensure a success educational experience for your child.

Submitted by Susan Wilson. Susan has over 17 years experience helping parents advocate for their child and is currently providing parent advocacy training to district parent advisory councils across the province.

If you're interested in learning more about parent advocacy and helping other parents, please attend Parent Advocate Training: Introductory on June 6th

VSB 

Board Meeting May 27 & 29

  • Highlights 

  • Watch the meeting here (May 27May 29).

  • Lots of discussion on version 3 of the 2019/20 budget. Decision to increase a District position of Indigenous Knowledge Keeper to five days per week (up from three with the required funding from a budget proposal for an international education coordinator. 

  • Approved a land exchange with the Vancouver Park Board at Gordon Park/Thompson Secondary school, subject to a replacement school being the best value funded option. 

  • Lots of discussion, amendments, and amendments on amendments were suggested and voted on to with respect to the LRFP recommendations.

VSB Budget 2019/20 Timeline

Long Range Facilities Plan

Track and Field Facilities

Summer School - Registration began on April 29

VSB Summer Experience 2019 offers a wide range of courses for elementary, secondary and international students. The Ministry of Education funds most courses for BC resident students. Visit summer.vsb.bc.ca to learn more or pick up a catalogue at your school office.

BCCPAC

Updates

  • Reminder: Apply for Gaming Grants: DPACs & PACs - Gaming Grant Applications must be done online by June 30 to get $ in Fall 2019

"Empowerment through Knowledge and Sharing" Conference Presentations

Ministry of Education

In the News

  • British Columbians benefit from increased access to French resources in libraries (media release)

Opportunities for Input

Public School Employer Collective Bargaining