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September Monthly DPAC Meeting

September 13th Monthly DPAC @ 6:30pm virtual meeting link: Microsoft Teams meeting Join on your computer or mobile app: Click here to join the meeting

If you are attending virtually and are new to using MS Teams, we suggest downloading the app and creating a free Microsoft account. Alternately you can click on the meeting link and attend the meeting via the your browser of choice as a guest either on a computer or mobile device. When you join the DPAC meeting MS Teams will ask for your name – please fill in your full name and school or organization you are representing.

DPAC is excited to start meeting in person this coming Monday September 13th again.  As in the past, our DPAC meetings start at 6:30 for PACs and parents and our Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders will join us at 7:30 at the Van Bien Training Center. However, given that we are still in a pandemic and the availability of new technologies we are also moving to a hybrid meeting model this year so there will also be a MS Teams meeting link for anyone who prefers to attend virtually.

For those attending in person, the following communicable disease guidelines requirements must be adhered to:

  • Do a self-assessment Covid health check prior to attending: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en  or SD57 Daily Health Check for Staff & Visitors
  • Do not attend if you sick or have symptoms or any kind (even if it just a cold or sniffles)
  • You must be wearing a mask when attending any indoor in person events, including DPAC and PAC meetings
  • Social distancing is on personal preference – it is no longer mandated
  • You must sanitize or wash your hands upon arrival
  • You must sign in and provide your contact information upon arrival, should PH and SD57 need to follow up for case and contact tracing purposes.

This year we are trying something new – we have decided to focus on certain themes for each month of the school year and have lined them up with other events and district work happening throughout the year. We have asked that each of our Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders present to our PACs & parents related to or focused on the monthly themed topic for 5 minutes and then we have planned for 5 minutes of Q&A for each partner group as well. 

MonthTheme
SeptemberAdvocacy
OctoberSOGI; Inclusivity & Equality
NovemberSafety – Emotional, Psychological & Physical in our School  Communities
DecemberWhere’s Waldo? Where are things at? PACs to provide updates to Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders
JanuaryDistrict Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation

In addition to our monthly focused themes, DPAC has identified three key overarching priorities that we will be focusing our work on this 2021-2022 school year:

Community SafetySafety in and around our school community Emotionally & psychologically Physically – in the school, on the school grounds & around the school grounds Virtually
PAC & Parent Education & EmpowermentAdvocacy Education
Getting Excited About Education AgainCurriculum changes, core competencies, life skills Indigenous content integrated in curriculum How special education programs support learners. District Learner Support (DLS) Integrating physical activity and outdoor class times into learning

We look forward to seeing everyone again this year and continuing the work to improve education for the children and families in our district!

Featured

Welcome Back PACs & Parents!

DPAC is excited for the start of the 2021-2022 school year and classes starting up across SD57 and BC. Across the province and district Communicable Disease Plans local Safety Plans have been reviewed and updated, and protocols are in place to ensure a successful entry for all students this month. DPAC has been actively involved with SD57 in consultations and planning for the 2021-22 school year. If you have any questions or concerns about the safety protocols or plans in place at your school please reach out to your school administrator(s).

For more details about the updated Communicable Disease Safety Plan for SD57 please go the school district website: https://www.sd57.bc.ca/ 

For additional Recovery Plan Resources for the 2021-2022 school year please see the BCCPAC website which has key documents important for parents for the upcoming year

DPACs first meeting of the year will be a hybrid meeting on Monday September 13 @ 6:30pm in person at Van Bien Training Centre AND online.  This year our DPAC is trying something new – every month we will have a theme we will be exploring in more detail and will be the focus of the month. For September our theme is Advocacy. We will have representatives from the district, board, rights and stakeholders join us at 7:30pm for presentations around the theme of Advocacy. We anticipate a large attendance as these meetings offer insights and support to PACs and parents navigating the school system.

Remember September 30 is the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and it is also Orange Shirt Day to honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada. We encourage all PACs and parents to learn more about the history of those schools and will be sharing resources and ideas on how to do so. So please wear orange, explore what Truth & Reconciliation means and remember that every child matters!
DPAC is here for you! Please reach out to us at any time for information, support or to get involved via our email info@sd57dpac.ca.

DPAC Minutes – September 2021 – Advocacy Survey

Our theme this month is Advocacy. We had a great discussion with PACs at the beginning of the meeting about what issues parents are advocating for on behalf of their children and what PACs advocate for at their school. We presentations from various stakeholders and partners from the District on what Advocacy means to them and how they work to support students and families.

Please take a minute to give us feedback on this SurveyMonkey. It will help DPAC gather information to continue our work advocating for all parents in our District.

Advocacy Quiz Survey (surveymonkey.com)

Our first meeting of the year was on September 13, a successful “hybrid” meeting with attendees at Van Bien Training Centre and virtually on Microsoft Teams. Take a look at the minutes below.

Contact us anytime at info@sd57dpa.ca.

BCCPAC September Update

The latest update from BCCPAC emailed on September 1 can be viewed here. There are some important updates and useful information for all parents. Feel free to share!

You’ll see links to the full Return to School Recovery Plan and protocols from BC Centre for Disease Control.

A link to the Mental Health Strategy in Schools. You can read the full report.

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Online Learning programs are being developed and rolled out province wide. BCCPAC is involved in the consultation process and doing exciting work!

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The RCMP has an opportunity for youth to participate in an Advisory Committee.

There is a summary and link to the SD57 Special Advisors Report.

And an exhaustive list of parent resources.

If your PAC is not a member of BCCPAC yet, please register! There is considerable value for the $75 membership fee. And you can use your gaming funds! If your PAC has not applied for Gaming Grant, search for how-tos on the BCCPAC website or contact DPAC for support!

Contact us anytime at info@sd57dpac.ca.

BCCPAC EGM Cancelled

There were 5 delegates from SD57 on tonight’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Zoom. Unfortunately the number of delegates to reach quorum is 72, but we only had 70 registered, and 60 in attendance. Therefore, the meeting was open for 30 minutes to answer questions, and then adjourned.

The next opportunity for resolutions to be passed will be at the May 2022 AGM in person. There is a plan to review and revise the Constitution and Bylaws. If you are part of a member PAC/DPAC and wish to volunteer for this Committee or any other opportunities, contact us exec@sd57dpac.ca or info@bccpac.bc.ca.

SD57 Strategic Plan

The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan was approved on June 22 and is posted here. Take some time to review the 5 year Strategic Plan, Implementation Plan for the first 2 years, and the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning Report to the Ministry of Education. The reports are below.

Forward your comments/questions to info@sd57dpac.ca.

BCCPAC July Update

We have 3 SD57 PACs voting at the BCCPAC Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Wednesday July 7. Read through the booklet before the meeting.

The July update from BCCPAC is here: July Membership Newsletter (mailchi.mp)

It has great information and resources including links to the K-12 Education Recovery Plan, Online Learning Working Group report, and the Middle Years Development Instrument Data Highlights before/during the pandemic.

There are also information items including childcare initiative and free public transit for students 12 and under.

At the bottom there is an extensive section for parent/caregiver/guardian resources including mental health programs, links to sexual exploitation and bullying resources, post-secondary education planning tools, and several suggested apps and websites.

DPAC Presentation to the SD57 Board of Trustees for June 2021

Tonight at the SD57 Public Board Meeting the following presentation given by DPAC Chair Andrea Beckett:

“First off I would like to say Wow, we made it. If someone told me in June 2020 that we would be where we are today I honestly don’t know that I would have believed them.  In spite of a global pandemic and the amount of uncertainty facing us as parents, families, teachers, educators and school staff in September 2020 DPAC still managed to accomplish a lot of work while ensuring access to safe public education was upheld as a community priority.  

I would like to say thank you to the board, administrators, principals and vice-principals, school office staff, department leaders, teachers, EAs, counselors staff in all positions including maintenance, custodians and support staff at our district office, and thank you to anyone else that I have missed recognizing specifically for your commitment to a safe school year that was more productive than we could have expected.  Thank you for making the mission of Inspiring Learning Anywhere into a reality, especially on such short and sudden notice..  I would also like to thank our departing DPAC executive members, Kim Pryschlak and Amie Thibodeau, who were integral parts of our executive team this year.  

The collaboration between our DPAC and SD57 Senior Admin combined with solution-oriented problem solving allowed the parents to feel included and to make our mission of parent advocacy and parent education a reality in the 2020-2021 school year, despite the many challenges.  Together we accomplished so much by providing parent access to decision-making meetings and parent perspective to our schools and district in many areas, including:  

  • Covid Restart Townhall with NHA experts
  • Covid Safe Schools Re-Start 2020
  • Enhancing Communication Plans to Parents around Covid and changes within school.
  • Parent Education opportunities throughout the year: 
    • Facilitate access to White Hatter seminars 
    • Food Safe funding
    • BCCPAC Parent Education Conference
    • One on One communication with PACs and parents
  • Facilitating the work of PACs: 
    • Hosted our first Virtual PAC Cafe
    • Facilitated Zoom Meetings across the region
    • Rural PAC engagement
    • Problem-solving with PACs directly on school level questions
    • Support and Engagement with Centre for Learning Alternatives and Central Interior Distance Education PAC around changes to District Learner Supports and access for students
  • Representing SD57 schools, parents and families at the provincial level via BCCPAC events
  • Valentine’s Day Social Media Campaign
  • Strategic Plan Review and Development
  • Participating in the Special Advisor’s Review
  • Expanded Committee of the Whole budget consultations and feedback
  • PAC/Principal & Vice Principal working group resource development
  • Traffic Townhall and safety resource development

This year PAC and DPAC feedback really mattered and we watched the implementation of our parent perspectives be integrated in real time.  The collaboration between our volunteer parent organization and our school district is truly second to none in the province and is something in which we take a great deal of pride. As Martin Luther King said,

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” 

Next year’s priorities are already taking shape as we carry forward initiatives started this year and finally bring conclusion to other projects including the Policy and Governance Review work this board started almost 3 years ago. On the note of Policy & Governance, I do need to state that currently this board is stalling progress in our school district by refusing to move forward with the Policy & Governance work that was started July 3rd 2019. Policies are the guiding principles of our district and the Procedures are the guiding processes of our district – these two pieces are how we function.  We know that we don’t function well as a district – that’s why this policy & governance work was undertaken. That’s why the Ministry of Education Special Advisors were sent to our district. Because we needed to improve and do better. 

However, we as a district can’t get better if we do nothing. We talk about living documents because they are under constant progress. Just like education – constant change – it is a journey towards improvement and that journey can only continue if we keep moving. It’s never going to be perfect because we live in a changing world. But doing nothing and constantly waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect opportunity, the policy to be perfect – is simply wrong. It makes us stagnant, unable to respond, grow or move forward at all. Where we are going is better than where we are – and yes, we still have further to go and work to improve upon but that is why the work will never be finished. And that’s okay –  in fact that’s good. What is not okay is not doing anything, waiting.

We have done work, massive, good collaborative work- in fact downright amazing work – just look at the proposed Draft AP 170 on Anti-Discrimination – it is a phenomenal piece of work. But if we don’t adopt it, or others,  we can’t implement them – we can’t take action on it, we can’t use it and thus we can’t do better. 

DPAC is excited to be an active part of the next phase of work in School District 57 to deliver high quality education that nurtures and empowers all students in all places at all times to be proud, confident and engaged lifelong learners. We look forward to working with this board to facilitate meaningful and positive change next year for our school, student and parent communities. Despite the challenges we have all faced, I know we can move forward and do better. I know what we as a DPAC have done and achieved this year to meet our mandate – so in closing I ask this board the same question, “What have you as a board achieved this year to move us forward?”

To watch the Board meeting either live in real time or after the fact: https://youtu.be/SuLPp7HHRjA

For more information and the Board Agenda book, reports and meeting details please go to the SD57 Website here.

BCCPAC EGM

Attention BCCPAC Members!

You have been receiving emails regarding the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Wednesday July 7 at 6-10pm on Zoom. There is no cost for this event. We encourage you to register and attend. There is one form (below) to complete and email to info@bccpac.bc.ca

If you are not able to attend, contact us at info@sd57dpac.ca and we will assign a Delegate to vote on behalf of your PAC.

The EGM Booklet outlining the resolutions is here.

DPAC Minutes – June 2021

We had great attendance at our June DPAC Meeting with a total of 45 people participating the the SD57 Traffic Town Hall. See minutes below.

Parrish Child, Principal at Heather Park Elementary, shared a resource that was created by Admin and PAC at that school to help educate parents and students on traffic safety around their school zone. Feel free to use this in the safety discussions at your school.