Back to School 2019/20


Message from the Executive

VSB Families,

We hope you've enjoyed the summer and that you and yours are rested and ready for another school year. (And ready or not, it’s here!)

Every year, there are major undertakings that impact education in Vancouver. Some of the undertakings this year are:

  • At the provincial level, a mediator is now involved in the collective agreement negotiations between the BCPSEA, which represents the employers, and BCTF, the teachers, whose contract expired on June 30th. Negotiations are on hold until later in September and at this time no job action is anticipated. DPAC hopes for a timely, fair agreement that puts the needs of children first, but will keep you advised if job action will impact our students.

  • At the Vancouver level, a draft plan was created last year to guide facility usage in Vancouver (Long Range Facilities Plan, LRFP). After feedback from DPAC, parents and other stakeholders, trustees voted on numerous staff and trustee recommendations, one of which was to conduct an additional year of consultation before creating LRFP 2020.

  • The VSB will also be updating the renaming schools administrative procedure. We will have a seat on the working group.

Stay tuned for opportunities to provide your input on local initiatives.

About DPAC

The Vancouver DPAC represents the parent voice at the district level. Our members are the Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) in the district (every parent is a member of the PAC of the school their child attends). We can advise the school board on any matter relating to education in the school district and are a recognized stakeholder within VSB with seats on all standing and administrative committees. We work to foster a strong community of school PACs by providing current information about processes, bylaws, and best practices to PACs. We also create opportunities for discussion of educational issues. All VSB parents are welcome to attend DPAC meetings. All 104 PACs have been assigned a DPAC liaison ( but you can contact any one of us.

If individual parents at your school need some help understanding the school system or becoming better advocates for their child, DPAC has started training DPAC parent advocates who can help figure out policies, procedures, etc. and support them at meetings. (

As the DPAC represents parents all over Vancouver, we strongly believe in the importance of diversity, both in our schools and on our executive. In our schools, students should feel safe and welcome, regardless of their colour, creed, religion, gender or sexual orientation. On our executive, in addition to representing all parents, we are looking to improve our geographic diversity as well as fill the newly created role of Indigenous representative. Our website has the application form.

Please keep on reading through this newsletter. We have included multiple resources and local events that we hope you may find useful including some on diverse learners, Indigenous knowledges, mental health, and a couple ways to volunteer in schools. There are also updates on the VSB, BCCPAC, and the Ministry of Education. If you are reading this newsletter from a social media post or our website and want to get future issues delivered straight to your email, sign up on our website.

Our first meetings this year are listed below. Our PAC 101 session on Thursday September 19th is especially encouraged for new PAC executives. If your PAC doesn't have a DPAC representative, ask them to add voting someone to that role at your next PAC meeting.

Best wishes for the new school year
Your Vancouver DPAC Executive

Upcoming DPAC Events

2019/20 DPAC Executive


DPAC Parent Advocates

  • Training began in June for DPAC Parent Advocates and we welcome the initial group of trainees.

  • If you are a parent of a VSB student and need some support advocating for your child or just want to know what your options are, please connect with us at

  • The website should be updated later this month to include more information.

  • If you are the a parent of a VSB student and are interested in becoming a DPAC parent advocate, please email parentadvocate@vancouverdpac.organd we'll let you know when we schedule the next training sessions.

Important Dates

September is: Big Brothers Big Sisters Month; Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; Literacy is Life Month

Useful Information & Resources

Active Transportation

  • Saturday, Sept 7Bike the Night. Join 5000 other people on bikes to form a luminous parade through Vancouver's city streets. At this family-friendly event, pedal on car-free roads, explore some of the city's most iconic roads, and take in the sights after dusk. Starts and ends at the one and only Sunset Beach. Youth under 16 ride for free, but need to register online to get a wristband and win prizes. To register and for more information, please visit

Diverse Learners

  • High School and ADHD: Facing the Academic & Social Challenges

  • Fri/Sat Oct 18/19 – BCEd Access Fall Advocacy Conference: Connecting to Strengthen Advocacy in Education. Registration is now open, Surrey.

  • Gifted Children's Association of BC (GCABC) have new and valuable tools on their website to help families with gifted children with finding the right support. GCABC AGM is November 2nd.

  • The Confident Parents: Thriving Kids – Anxiety program launched April 29, 2019. The program is available at no cost to BC families, with children 3 to 12 years of age, who experience mild to moderate anxiety. The program is web-based and supported by 4-8 telephone coaching sessions. More information at

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • On August 15, 2019, the Government of Canada removed the 1951 cut-off from the Indian Act. This was the last remaining provision of Bill S-3 to come into force. As a result, all known sex-based inequities in the Indian Act have been eliminated. Removal of the 1951 Cut-off

  • From @sfu_library: Are you citing Indigenous Elders & Knowledge Keepers in your assignments & research? Formal citation styles don't include them, so @NorQuestLibrary has developed examples for APA & MLA in the spirit of wahkôhtowin & reconciliation. Information here

  • Saturday, Sept 21, 11am-5pmDTES Culture Saves Lives Pow Wow! at Crab Park

Mental Health

  • A Pathway to Hope: A roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia was announced in June. 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

  • 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

  • First Nations Educator creates suicide prevent curriculum - news article - available for download

  • Calling all youth! CMHA is recruiting for its national youth advisory council. Mental health problems are on the rise for youth, with adolescents and young adults at higher risk of mental illnesses than any other age group - link

  • Facing the Academic and Social Challenges in High School for Teens with A
    Certain ADHD symptoms may improve as your child grows into a teenager, but they will need your help during these formative years. Read more on how to help your teen.



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

  • VSB's Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program presents a Cross-Cultural Parenting series – My Tween & Me (家长教育讲座) 如何在加国培养下一代 - 子女教育家长研讨会 on Fridays from 9:30-11am at Kerrisdale Community Center. For inquiry & registration: please contact Elisabeth Chan, VSB SWIS 查询或登记: 伊丽莎白陈 778-227-5452 或 (Chinese/English/French-中/英/法语-anglais/chinois/français) (poster)

    • October 11, 2019 – Life at School 学校生活

    • November 15, 2019 – Healthy Development 健康成长

    • January 10, 2020 – Family Relationships 家庭关系

    • February 21, 2020 – Peer Relationships 朋辈关系

    • April 17, 2020 – Today’s World 今天孩子所处的资讯世界

    • May 22, 2020 – Building Community 善用家庭所属的社区

Substance Abuse



  • Share the joy of reading in your community by becoming a ONE TO ONE volunteer tutor. ONE TO ONE matches emerging readers with volunteer tutors across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Volunteers are provided with training and ongoing support to read with children for two to three hours once a week during school hours. You will develop a connection with the students that will help them bloom into successful readers. It’s easy to get started on your volunteer journey – fill out an application form online, complete a free criminal record check and then have a chat with ONE TO ONE on the phone to make sure you’re a good fit. Initial training sessions for new volunteers will be held in September and October 2019. Find out more and apply now at

  • VSB volunteer interpreters - If you are a parent or someone who is fluent [who can speak, read, and write] in another language and as well as in English and, who wish to be one of our volunteer interpreters or helpers for any of VSB needs throughout the year, please contact Chansokhy Anhaouy at 604-713-5836 or [] for further information.



  • Gaming Grants Information Gaming has new presentation re the basics, complex questions, & features an expanded list of eligible/ineligible use of funds.

  • Funding Model Progress Report Funding Model Review Progress Report released with information on Working Group discussions & next steps.




Ministry of Education

In the News

Public School Employer Collective Bargaining

  • Please note that collective bargaining is between the BC Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA), which represents the provincial government and school boards, and unions. DPAC does not have a position but hopes for timely, fair agreements that put the needs of children first.

  • Teacher and support staff agreements expired on June 30, 2019

  • Teacher recent updates:

    • BCPSEA applied to the Labour Relations Board to appoint a  mediator and the BCTF agreed to participate in mediation. The two parties met in July and in late August. 
      On August 30, the mediator instructed the two sides to recess until the fourth week of September. Mediation will continue then.

  • Support Staff:

    • Individual boards of education or groups of boards negotiate collective agreements with support staff unions which then must be ratified by the BCPSEA Board of Directors.