Summer 2019

Message from the Chair

Happy Canada Day ... and summer break.

At our AGM on June 20, PAC representatives ratified a bylaw revision previously approved by the DPAC Executive. This bylaw revision addresses most of the outstanding issues not addressed in our previous bylaw revision two years ago. It also creates a new role specifically for engagement with Indigenous parents for which we are looking for candidates to fill the role in the fall.

At our AGM, PAC representatives also voted to elect all nominees to the DPAC Executive. Sandra Bell is continuing into the second year of her first three-year term; Amanda Hillis and I were elected for our second three-year term; Gord Lau, Peter Couch, and Skye Richards were elected for their first three-year term having being elected between AGMs this past year; and we are very pleased to welcome Alan Patola Moosmann, Karen Tsang, and Paula Temrick who were elected for their first three-year term. We have two open positions we are hoping to fill in the fall. Nominations for these positions and the Indigenous Parent Representative position will be accepted in September.

Thank you very much to Allison Tredwell, Anne Montgomery, and May Ke who will not be continuing on the DPAC Executive this year. Your contributions and service will be missed, and we wish you the best going forward. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of the parents of the school district.

A few things to think about over the next couple of months:
* A new LRFP process will be starting in the fall, and school closures will not the focus of this process. DPAC is hoping that the new process will begin with a visioning process for education in Vancouver and a new formulation of how the use of space in schools should be calculated.
* Two significant notices of motion were presented at the final Board meeting last week, one providing a path for the VSB to subscribe to the City of Vancouver's Six Big Moves in its climate emergency response report, and the other to begin a discussion on food programs in schools. DPAC will be looking for input for these in the fall.
* We are looking for parents to represent DPAC on VSB advisory committees for this coming year. If you are interested, please contact

I'd also like to thank L'École Bilingue PAC for coming forward and requesting that the Cecil Rhodes School installation on their school's playground be removed or else altered to remove the name "Cecil Rhodes". Advocacy is a core requirement that every PAC carries on behalf its school community. The School Act grants each PAC the right to "advise the board and the principal and staff of the school . . . respecting any matter relating to the school" and all PACs should remember this and use this right judiciously. More on this at our PAC 101 in September.

Have a great summer!
-Shaun Kalley, 2019/20 DPAC Chair

DPAC AGM Highlights


Election Results

2019/20 Officers

Members at Large

Upcoming DPAC Events

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Active Transportation

  • City of Vancouver partnered with award-winning children’s entertainers Will Stroet and Charlotte Diamond to inspire safe, courteous, and mindful road behaviour – especially for our most vulnerable and at-risk groups. (video)

Diverse Learners

  • Gifted Children's Association of BC (BCABC) have new and valuable tools on their website to help families with gifted children with finding the right support

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

Family Fun

  • 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.

Mental Health

  • A Pathway to Hope: A roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia was announced last week. This lays out the government’s 10-year vision for mental health and addictions care -news release &plan by Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

  • Bounce Back: Promoting Resiliency in Children & Youth - Kelty Mental Health podcast with Lynne Godfrey and Dr. Linda Uyeda

  • Wednesday, Aug 21, 10am-1pm - Caring for You Workshop by Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Tickets $69

  • Friday, Oct 25, 8:30am-4:30pm - Heart-Mind 2019: The Art and Science of Calm by Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in partnership with VSB. Magee Secondary School. Tickets $199 until July 31, then $239

  • 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


  • BC Council for Families has lots of parenting courses being offered over the summer, some include a small fee, many online. Check out their website. It also includes lots of resources.

  • Back to School Anxiety: Pinwheel Education Series Recording. BC Children's Hospital audio recording






Board Meeting June 24

  • Highlights; video recording

  • Superintendent's report - update on the Strategic Plan (meeting agenda pages 32-47)

  • Decisions included:

    • New Anti-Racism policy (meeting agenda page 49)

    • IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT the Board of Education, in consultation with stakeholders and staff, include in Vancouver School Board Policy the Board’s commitment to non-discrimination and racism.

    • Remove Cecil Rhodes sign from the primary playground area of L'Ecole Bilingue

    • 5 Year Capital Plan submission (meeting agenda page 90)

    • Addition of indigenous name for Crosstown Elementary: šxʷwəq̓ʷəθət, which references a mode of transportation used by Musqueam people whereby they caught the tide as a shortcut from False Creek to Burrard Inlet. The meaning of this name is generally translated as 'the place from which one can catch the tide.'

    • VSB Budget 2019/20 - no amendments to 2019-2020 Preliminary Draft Budget (Version 3)

    • Feasibility study exploring possibility of having Windsor House type of program in VSB.

  • Notices of Motion raised and referred to standing committees

    • Supporting City of Vancouver's Climate Emergency Response (meeting agenda pages138-139)
      That VBE staff, specifically the Sustainability Advisory Committee, review the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency 6 Big Moves and 53 Action Steps to determine where VSB can align, and incorporate those action steps that do align, into the VSB Sustainability Plan.

    • Holistic food framework (meeting agenda pages140-141)
      That the VBE request staff to form a Food Working Group with external representatives in order to create a holistic Food Framework for the District.

    • Comprehensive Colonial Audit to support reconciliation and anti-racism (meeting agenda page144)
      That the VBE directs staff to undertake a comprehensive Colonial Audit in order to identify both short term and long term opportunities and specific ways to improve VBE policies and practices with regard to Reconciliation and Anti-Racism, for an interim report back to the to the Board in May 2020 and a final report to the Board in May 2021.

Long Range Facilities Plan

  • Document (updated May 29) and Appendices

  • Changes to LRFP Guidelines

  • DPAC's feedback to trustees

  • Recommendations approved by the Board at the meeting on May 29, 2019, pertaining to the implementation of the 2019 LRFP.

    1. That the District establish guidelines on preferred student population size with the goal of determining appropriate ranges of school size to inform planning decisions. (Section 1)

    2. That the District should continue the investigation of options to co-locate Alternate Programs in facilities which support comprehensive educational program delivery (gym space, applied design and technology labs, science labs, etc.) and the centralization of key services, resources and supports. (Section 2)

    3. That the District should continue to explore options that enable it to implement the Board approved recommendations of the French Program Review. That in exploring options to enable the Board to implement the approved recommendations of the French Program Review, consideration be given to including a geographical equity lens in how the District delivers French Immersion, identifying a minimum number of Kindergarten spaces to be maintained and possible ways to expand the program. (Section 2)

    4. That the District build on the initial work done on a Capital Asset Management Plan to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to guide the District in effectively managing the asset inventory in the future. (Section 3)

    5. That the District updates the addition and expansion project requests in the 2020-2021 Five-Year Capital Plan for Board of Education approval, including determining the need for elementary schools at Olympic Village, East Fraser Lands and Wesbrook at UBC, secondary school space at King George Secondary and the need for additional capacity in the North Hamber study area. (Section 3)

    6. That the District continue to maximize opportunities for the provision of child care space within VBE facilities, while recognizing that its primary obligation is to provide K-12, including Adult Education, educational programs. (Section 3)

    7. That the District undertake an Enrolment Data Validation process for all facility and education planning purposes. This process would consist of a validation study of short, medium, and long-range enrolment projections as well as updating student yield metrics for areas of the District with significant development and redevelopment proposed or underway. (Section 4)

    8. That the District continue to collaborate with the City of Vancouver, University Endowment Lands and local First Nations on development and community plans, for example and including specifically the City-Wide Plan, Broadway Corridor, the Squamish Nation’s housing development and the Oakridge and Wesbrook developments. (Section 4)

    9. That the District continues to work with the City of Vancouver to construct Coal Harbour Elementary and develop a catchment and enrolment plan for the school. (Section 7)

    10. That the District should develop an Administrative Procedure setting out guiding principles and detailed procedures for governance and stakeholder consultation for SMP projects, including engagement with Indigenous communities as a key part of the District’s commitment to reconciliation. (Section 9)

    11. That the District should conduct a detailed analysis on the impact of reducing school capacity through the SMP (‘right sizing’) in relation to the goals and priorities of the Long Range Facilities Plan. (Section 9)

    12. That the District decide, in conjunction with the advancement and development of the Carleton Seismic Project Definition Report, if a seismically upgraded Sir Guy Carleton Elementary should be used as temporary accommodation for the SMP or as an enrolling school. (Section 9)

    13. That the District investigate the implications of the new LRFP guidelines, arrange for community information sessions, and report to Committee and Board.

    14. That the District will undertake a year-long envisioning/consultation process with communities and neighbourhoods to envision and identify opportunities for enhanced and renewed teaching and learning environments to inform the 2020 Long Range Facilities Plan, and that as an early part of this process request a meeting with the Education Minister.

    15. That a working group comprised of stakeholders, community education partners and the VSB be formed to develop and action plan, and that the ultimate goal be Ministry capital plan funding guidelines that include:

      1. Community and neighbourhood needs .

      2. Student safety

      3. Special spaces in schools such as auditorium and gyms

      4. Innovative programs/learning spaces

      5. Predictions of school population growth And the Minister of Education be invited to take part in periodic discussions with the working group.

    16. That the Board direct staff to develop a way to assess capacity utilization of VBE school facilities, with the intent to inform the 2020 LFRP that includes consideration of special needs, indigenous and vulnerable students and reflects the value we place on holistic education including physical education, music and arts programs. The intent of the work is to inform the 2020 Long Range Facilities Plan.

    17. That the Board of Education requests a report outlining the financial costs and the risk to human lives in the event of a seismic event as a result of operating the District with current surplus capacity.

Ministry of Education

In the News

  • B.C. launches ‘A Pathway to Hope’ for better mental health and addictions care (news release; plan by Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions). The focus is on supporting the wellness of children, youth and young adults, supporting Indigenous-led solutions and improving access and quality of care.

  • New teaching standard strengthens Truth and Reconciliation in the classroom (news release)

  • Students, teachers, staff benefit from more classroom support (news release)

  • Immunization status reporting next step in ongoing effort to protect against outbreaks (news release by Ministry of Health).

  • Don’t let your child miss out on a $1,200 grant (information bulletin) includes deadlines to sign up for the BC Training and Education Savings Grant.

  • New teaching standard strengthens Truth and Reconciliation in the classroom (news release)

  • Local partnership agreements support First Nations in education decision-making (news release)

Public School Employer Collective Bargaining