DPAC Chair Welcome 2017_2018

Dear Parents and Guardians of the Vancouver School District,

 

Welcome to another school year on behalf of the 2017/2018 DPAC Executive!  We hope that you have had a relaxing summer and that you and your children are ready to take on the challenges (and there will be several) of the coming year.

 

Please find the following information below:

  1. Our mandate

  2. Our goals

  3. Call for volunteers, how you can help

  4. Communication Channels

  5. Invitation to our September 28th General Meeting (PAC 101)

  6. PAC Liaisons

 

Our mandate

The Vancouver DPAC represents the parents/guardians in the Vancouver School District to the VSB.  The DPAC Executive consists of parent/guardian volunteers who have been nominated by the PACs at their children’s schools and elected by PAC representatives from throughout the district.   to contribute to the conversation around public education at the board and superintendent’s office levels.  It is intended to be a two-way communication body.  For more information, please click http://vancouverdpac.org/about-dpac/

Our 2017/2018 goals (to be ratified)

  1. Improve bi-directional communication between Vancouver parents and VSB through Vancouver DPAC, resulting in higher parent engagement and stronger education community.

  2. Advocate for resolution of systemic education impediments, including:

    1. Student safety, including seismic and building remediation.

    2. Sustainable, predictable funding enabling long-term education planning.

  3. Improve administrative governance and procedures of Vancouver DPAC.

    1. Complete revision and modernize DPAC By-Laws.

    2. Improve quality of DPAC meetings.

    3. Increase awareness of, and relevance to, DPAC to Vancouver PACs.

  4. DRAFT -> DPAC will explore and understand Indigenous ways of knowing, and will strive to create more opportunities for Indigenous families to be involved in all DPAC gatherings.

Call for volunteers

As the VSB DPAC starts up, we have lots of opportunities for parents to get involved.

  1. Currently we have three openings in our executive for Members at large. Members at large vote at executive meetings as well as being a PAC liaison and helping with events.  Ideally at least one of these positions would be filled by a parent/guardian with a child in the secondary system as we are currently under-represented by this group.

    If you are interested in joining our executive, please ask your PAC to nominate you and submit your application (link).
     
  2. VSB has a number of advisory committees which include a DPAC representatives. These committees typically meet 1-3 times a year and would require either reporting back by attending a DPAC executive meeting or submitting a written summary. Currently, the VSB is looking for DPAC representation at these meetings:
    1. Active Transportation Advisory Committee

    2. Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement Implementation and Monitoring Committee

    3. ICT Advisory Committee ( Information and Communications Technology)

    4. Diversity Committee (NEW)

    5. School Calendar Committee

    6. Special Education Advisory Committee

    7. Sustainability Advisory Committee

If you are interested in being the DPAC representative on a specific advisory committee, please let DPAC know.

DPAC also has internal committees parents can join. In previous years they included finance, by-laws and communications. Stay tuned for call outs.

Communication Channels

  1. Attend any meetings you can. We have two main types of meetings: executive and general.

    1. Executive meetings contain all our regular DPAC business: committee meeting updates, treasurer reports, etc. The current interim superintendent, John Lewis, has agreed to give a brief update of VSB and we hope this continues when a new superintendent is hired. All parents can attend and ask questions. Executive members votes on motions. Our next executive meeting is on Thursday, October 12th.

    2. General meetings are new this year and replace citywides. They are for more indepth discussion of a particular topic plus voting on any issues requiring PAC consensus (only one PAC representative can vote per PAC, typically their DPAC representative or chair). More details on our first general meeting, PAC 101, later in this letter.

      We have posted our meetings for the year here: http://vancouverdpac.org/upcoming-events/. If there is something your PAC thinks would make a great general meeting topic, please let us know.

  2. If you are unable to join us formally, we do hope that you will connect with us virtually by subscribing to our mailing list at:  http://vancouverdpac.org/
  3. Call for all school PAC contact information. Please keep our contact information up-to-date by sending us your school contact information, preferably both Chair and DPAC representative. If you have not already done so, we highly recommend establishing ‘generic emails’ for all PAC executive volunteers i.e. NR_PAC_chair@gmail.com.  If you are unsure how to do this, please come to the PAC 101 meeting and we will help!

Invitation to first general meeting (PAC 101) on September 28th

  1. This 2 hour meeting is going to focus on the challenges (and solutions) to being a volunteer for a public education school.  We invite all PAC’s to send a representative, but in particular we hope to see:

    1. Parents who are new to the VSB and/or new to their PAC executive

    2. Schools that may find establishing and running a PAC to be not as smooth as it should be.

PAC liaisons

  1. DPAC executives are all PAC liaisons. http://vancouverdpac.org/liaisons/

  2. Liaisons are a great first contact if your PAC is looking for help 1) with creating an effective PAC; 2) with an issue involving your PAC and VSB; 3) finding out how to navigate VSB and also to share information between DPAC and your PAC.

  3. Liaisons do not get involved in: internal PAC issues; fundraising; or individual parent issues, but can recommend ‘best practices.’

This year is going to be interesting with lots going on at VSB including: a new board of trustees (attend our candidate forum on October 3rd in John Oliver Secondary’s auditorium starting at 6:30pm); a review of choice programs; a review of catchment boundaries; an update to the Long Range Facilities Plan; and the impact of implementing the previous class size and composition language; just to name a view.

Parent and PAC input is very important to us at DPAC as we strive to represent all students across the district.

Rob Peregoodoff

2017/2018 DPAC Chair