Featured

May DPAC Meeting – Elections, AGM and Extracurricular Activities

DON’T FORGET – Our monthly DPAC meeting is tonight Monday May 9th @6:30pm and it’s HYBRID!!! The theme is this month is Extracurricular Activities and Why Are They Important? That means if you need to get out of your house (even if it’s in your PJ’s, lounge clothes or your hubby’s comfiest jogging pants – we aren’t judging as we do it too) and want to connect in person we will be back in person at the Van Bien Training Center but we will also have a virtual option to join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link. Either way, we are just happy to have people join us and their voices heard, no matter what.

There are two great things happening this month – ELECTIONS for the executive positions on DPAC as well as discussion of our monthly theme Extracurricular Activities: Why Are They are Important? Lots of studies have been conducted on the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, and they all show that students who participate in them have higher self-confidence, better social intelligence, higher team building and collaboration skills, higher grades, more positive attitudes toward school and higher academic aspirations. There are a couple of great articles to read including:

 Top 8 Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School Students
BC Parent: After-School Activities Offer Worthwhile Benefits
The Benefits of Participating in Extracurricular Activities by Claudette Christison

May is also our AGM (annual general meeting = elections) month and all of the executive positions are open for election and/or re-election. There is more information on all the positions available and what their roles and responsibilities include at the bottom of this page.

DPAC play a critical role in representing parent voices at the district level in SD57. Did you know that School Act provides DPACs the power to advise the board of education respecting any matter relating to education within the district including educational policy? That’s a pretty awesome thing – to have the power of parent voices and input protected by law!

So what is the role of DPAC?? Well, basically in a nutshell:

▪ Comprised of elected parent representatives from PACs and serve as an umbrella organization for district PACs
▪ Assist parents in forming a PAC in every school
▪ Assist members in obtaining information and communicating with district
personnel
▪ Help parents navigate the school system locally
▪ Advocate for parental involvement in the education system
▪ Support & encourage PACs and parents in accessing the school system at all levels by providing regular forums for the exchange of ideas and information to ensure that public education serves the best interests of all students

Chair – 1 position:

  • speak on behalf of the council – essentially be the face and voice representing DPAC, PACs and parent voices from across SD57
  • represent DPAC at the school district and board level
  • ensure that the council is represented in school and district activities
  • ensure that council activities are aimed at achieving the purposes set out in the constitution

Vice-Chair – 1 position

  • support the role of the Chair, assisting the Chair in the performance of his or her duties including assuming the duties of the chair in the president’s absence or upon request

Secretary – 1 position

  • ensure that members are notified of meetings
  • record and file minutes of all meetings and who attended meetings
  • keep an accurate copy of the constitution and bylaws, and make copies available to members upon request
  • prepare and maintain other documentation as requested by the
  • membership or executive
  • issue and receive correspondence on behalf of the council
  • ensure safekeeping of all records of the council
  • DPAC—keep an accurate record of PAC representatives

Treasurer – 1 position

  • ensure all funds of the council are properly accounted for disburse funds as authorized by the membership or executive
  • ensure that proper financial records and books of account are maintained
  • report on all receipts and disbursements at general and executive
  • meetings
  • make financial records and books of account available to members upon request
  • have the financial records and books of account ready for inspection or audit annually
  • with the assistance of the executive, draft an annual budget
  • ensure that another signing officer has access to the financial records and books of account in the treasurer’s absence
  • submit an annual financial statement at the annual general meeting

Directors at Large – 5 positions

  • serve in a capacity to be determined by the council at the time of election, and at other times as the council requires
  • represent DPAC and parent voices at various district Working Groups and Ad-Hoc committees throughout the year
  • be strong advocates for meaningful parent involvement in the school and school planning

Featured

Parent Focus Group for SD57 Strategic Plan 2021-2026

Parents!! Do you have questions about numeracy, literacy, how your child’s academic level is assessed and measured, how the district is planning on improving education and education outcomes ? Are you curious on what your school and our school district is going to do to support your child’s education and development in the next few years and how they plan on doing that? Do you wonder where your child is at in terms of literacy and numeracy and how that is assessed? Curious about how the data from the Student Learning Surveys administered in Grades 4, 7, 10 and 12 is used and what is shows? psst… check out page 4 and onwards on the Implementation Plan for Year 1 and 2 document 🙂

Well now you can find out!!!! SD57 Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman is inviting any and all parents and families of children in our school district to attend a Virtual Parent Focus Group via Zoom in order to hear your questions, feedback, concerns and thought on SD57s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.

January 13th @ 6:30-8:pm

and/or

January 27th @ 6:30-8pm

via Zoom: https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66767919771

Attend one, attend both…your pick! Join from the comfort of your home. Better yet, bring a friend – bring that other parent who you know is curious about their child’s numeracy and literacy. This is a safe, virtual space to have your voice heard and make a difference so make sure to attend!

At the June 22, 2021 Regular Public Meeting, the Board of Education approved the Strategic Plan 2021-2026 and its implementation plan for year one and two.  The Board also approved the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning Report 2020-2021.

This is your opportunity as a parent to have your voice heard and be actively engaged and involved as our school district works on revising and implementing the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan. This work is extremely important – did you know that all of our district schools have their individual School Plans (look on your schools website), which tie into our districts Strategic Plan which then in turn ties into the The Ministry of Education’s Framework for Enhancing Student Learning that states:

“Boards of education will set, create and maintain a strategic plan, annually report on student outcomes and put systems in place to continuously improve the educational outcomes for all students and improve equity for Indigenous students, children and youth in care, and students with disabilities or diverse abilities. The policy is grounded in a shared commitment and common values including literacy, numeracy, graduation, belonging and career and life goals to support each and every learner and improve equity of outcomes.

Provincial, district and school educational outcomes, goals, objectives and measures should be specific, meaningful, measurable, and evidence informed. The focus of planning and reporting is to understand the evidence and develop and implement actions to improve student outcomes.

Provincial, district, and school educational outcomes should align with the School Act, the Goals of Education and the Educated Citizen in Parts B and C of the Statement of Education Policy Order (Mandate for the School System) … Educational outcomes should also align with policies, reports and other frameworks that focus on supporting educational outcomes of all students.

MoE, July 6th, 2020

Important – PACs and Parents please read!!! 2022 BCCPC Conference, AGM & Proxies

As many of you may have read or heard, the 2022 BCCPAC Parent Conference and AGM happening Friday April 29th & 30th has moved to online/virtual from in-person and today APRIL 21st is the last day to register for this amazing event.  The theme, and content focus, over the two-day event is “Making Connections, Moving Forward“. Please go the BCCPAC website to register either for the Conference on Friday, the AGM on Saturday, or both: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/registration

Today is also the last day for PACs to submit their Proxy forms to DPAC so that we can represent your voices at the AGM on Saturday April 30th – Please email us at info@sd57dpac.ca if you have any questions about how to fill out your proxy forms 🙂 For more information and a great FAQ/Q&A about Proxies see down below or go to: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/agm/proxy-faq

This is an amazing opportunity for PACs and parent’s to attend from the comfort and convenience of their homes.  Some key session highlights include:

  • Transforming Education Systems through Family-School Collaboration – Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, The Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution
  • Creating Belonging in Schools: Helping Children Thrive – Dr Jennifer Charlesworth, Representative for Children & Youth
  • Framework for Enhancing Student Learning:  Using Parent Voice to Support Student Success – Marnie Mayhew & Cynthia Drummond, Ministry of Education
  • Presentation by the Deputy Minister – Christina Zacharuk, Ministry of Education
  • Presentation by the Minister of Education – Honourable Jennifer Whiteside

Breakout sessions available to attend include:

  • #SchoolFoodMatters: Visioning a Healthy School Food Program for BC Students
  • Misinformation and Disinformation, Preventing an Infodemic – Cpl. Kerry Johnson
  • Indigenous Family Voices for Education – Mike Bowden (SD73 District Principal of Indigenous Education), Jacqueline Turvey and Roxane Letterlough
  • Foundry Virtual BC: Services for BC Youth ages 12-24 and their Caregivers

For more details on these sessions and others please see the BCCPAC website for Conference Schedule and Details: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/conf-schedule

PAC’s! It’s that time of year again – Proxy forms are due this Thursday April 14th!  What is a proxy form?? Well, it’s the it’s the form attached to your email (go check – we sent it out earlier today) but it is also more than that – it is the form that allows us as a DPAC speak and vote on your behalf at the annual BCCPAC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 30th this year.

Our member PACs and DPACs are made up of many individual parents/guardians. As per the School Act, every parent/guardian with a student enrolled in a school is a member of that school’s PAC. Each completed Proxy Form authorizes an individual to represent members of that PAC or DPAC at the BCCPAC AGM. Basically it allows us as DPAC to represent your voices on key issues that if passed, will dictate the work that BCCPAC undertakes in the coming year(s). DPAC will have representatives at the BCCPAC AGM this year (as always) and we collect the proxy forms from our SD57 PACs so that we can make sure your voices are represented and heard at the provincial level – it lets us know how to vote for you on the resolutions (action items) presented at the AGM.

So what does all of this mean?

  1. We need all PACs to fill out their Proxy forms and send them back to us by end of week. You can fill it out electronically and email it to us or you can fill it out old school with pen and send us a picture of it. Either way works – just please send us your completed form 🙂
  2. If you trust us to speak on your and our districts behalf – that’s it!  However, we love to hear your opinions and thoughts so if you have the time or chance have a look at the resolutions being brought forward this year and let us know how you would like us to vote on April 30th (or even if you just feel strongly about a couple), let us know:
    1. Click here to find and open the 2022 AGM Booklet (or open the PDF version via the link further down below) – the resolutions are listed on page 24 and the following pages go into more details on them:
    1. Fill out the “Proposed Resolution Voting Instructions” on page 35 for any (or all) resolutions you feel strongly about and email it back to us prior by April 29th.

Any PAC who is a member of BCCPAC has the right to “vote” (via your proxy form) at the BCCPAC AGM on the resolutions that are presented. These resolutions (which can be found and read here) are what drive the work that BCCPAC does and the advocacy work that BCCPAC. Check your PAC’s status on BCCPAC’s Membership List if you aren’t sure of your membership status. If your PAC’s membership registration form and payment were received by December 31, 2021, “ACTIVE” will appear in the “2021-2022 Member” column and “YES” will appear in the “Eligible to Vote at AGM” column; this means your PAC is eligible to vote via proxy form.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions at all. We will be sending out reminders a couple of times this week to get Proxy forms from everyone so bear with us 🙂

Thank you as always for your voices and trusting us to represent you and your school communities as the district and provincial level!

April Monthly DPAC Meeting – Mental Health, Our Kids, Our Families and Our Schools

Don’t forget our monthly DPAC meeting is tonight Monday April 4th @6:30pm and it’s HYBRID!!! The theme is this month is Mental Health, Our Kids, Our Families and Our Schools 🙂

That means if you need to get out of your house (even if it’s in your PJ’s, lounge clothes or your hubby’s comfiest jogging pants – we aren’t judging as we do it too) and want to connect in person we will be back in person at the Van Bien Training Center but we will also have a virtual option to join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link. Either way, we are just happy to have people join us and their voices heard, no matter what.

The theme for April is Mental Health during the Pandemic: Effects, fallouts, lessons learned and solutions for the future  and we want to hear from you, including:

  1. What were your experiences with your children(s)s and family mental health during the pandemic? 
  2. What mental health gaps and needs did you experience in our schools and education system in the last two years? 
  3. What is missing? What have we learned? 
  4. What are some potential solutions or opportunities you see for our district? What have you seen or heard from other districts that you think may be helpful for our district? 

Regular Meeting March 7 – Teams

Our Regular DPAC Meeting is Monday March 7 at 6:30 on Teams, our theme is budgets and financials but we are open to additional parent-generated topics.

Click HERE to join the Teams Meeting (Join on your computer or mobile app) 

February Minutes are available here.

March Agenda is available here.

Opportunities coming up for BCCPAC Conference and AGM travel reimbursement which will be reviewed and discussed. (April 29-May 1)

DPAC AGM is on May 2 – we are accepting nominations for multiple positions and have director positions available now.

We are fully hybrid for meetings enabling interested parents from across the district to participate. Please contact us for ways to get involved and support the work of advocacy for parents and students:

  • short term district committees (monthly for 3-6 months, variable)
  • regular district committees (monthly throughout the school year)
  • executive positions
  • special projects (event planning, coordination of special activities)
  • public calendar management
  • social media engagement and monitoring

All of these opportunities can be customized to a parent’s interest and availability.

We hope to see you there.

YAY! February DPAC Meeting – Catchment & Capacity – Feb 7th

Don’t forget that our monthly DPAC meeting is tonight Monday February 7th @ 6:30pm so join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link.

For obvious safety reasons and the current state of the Covid pandemic there will be no in person meeting this month, instead our January meeting will be held virtually only. Our theme this month is Catchment & Capacity and we are discussing:

  • what are the capacity questions, concerns and experiences you have had as a parent at the school(s) your family attends?
    • what questions do you have around how catchment is determined in SD57?
    • what do you see as the short term as well long term challenges with capacity facing our district?
    • what are some potential solutions or opportunities you see for our district? What have you seen or heard from other districts that you think may be helpful for our district?
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.

Oh! Did you know our City of PG website has maps?? Lots and lots of cool maps, including the ability to see the catchment details for all elementary and secondary schools?? (psst… click on the link above, scroll down to PGMap and check out the screenshots below on how to see and do this):

So come, bring a friend, a cup of something warm and yummy to drink (we won’t check what you put in it – honest) and join us for a round table discussion on what the challenges and opportunities for providing education are in our growing city and community. As usual, all our partner groups will be attending including our new Superintendent Cindy Heitman (yay!), Joanne Hapke representing PG Teachers Association, representative for the PG Principals and Vice-Principals Association, CUPE representation, a member of our Board of Trustees and others.

Parents – Important Dates and Events!!! Focus Group, Kindergarten Registration and more fun stuff…

Parent don’t forget about the virtual Parent Focus group with SD57 Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman tonight January 27th @ 6:30pm – this is an awesome opportunity to get your parent voice heard and bring forward questions, concerns and ideas on what our district needs to consider moving forward over the next 5 years!!! It’s happening over Zoom tonight so no need to get out of your joggers or lounge pants – just click on the link below to to join

January 27, 2022 6:30 pm to 8 pm:  Zoom Link for Parent Focus Group

Also don’t forget that Online Kindergarten Registration for September 2022 opens February 1, 2022. Children whose fifth birthday falls on or before December 31, 2022 are eligible to enter Kindergarten in September 2022.Registration applications must be made to your catchment school if not applying to a choice school. If you are applying to a choice school, it is not necessary to also apply to your catchment school. To find your catchment school please use SD57s interactive map at School Locator. For more information visit SD57 website here.

ERASE (erase = expect respect & a safe education) is hosting a virtual on-line Student Session on Social Media Awareness about Establishing Safe, Caring and Respectful Digital Communities on February 3rd at 6:30pm PT for 60 minutes.  This is an opportunity for you as a parent or family member to learn alongside your high school or middle school children. This session is for students in Grade 8-12 covers all things digital, from how to be a good digital citizen to the criminal consequences of cyberbullying. Some of the most prominent concerns currently surrounding students’ use of social media platforms and smartphones will be discussed.

January 2022 Monthly DPAC Meeting

Happy January everyone!!! Our first DPAC meeting for 2022 is this coming Monday January 10th @ 6:30pm so join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link.

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.

For obvious safety reasons and the current state of the Covid pandemic there will be no in person meeting this month, instead our January meeting will be held virtually only. Our theme this month is District Innovation and Strategic Plan and we are discussing:

  1. Two virtual SD57 hosted Parent Focus Groups to hear from parents on their feedback, thoughts, and input on the 2021-20216 SD57 Strategic Plan on January 13th and 27th from 6:30-8pm via Zoom 
  1. What do you as a parent need clarity or information on with the district’s current Strategic Plan? 
  1. Have you read your current school plan? Do you know where to find it? 
  1. What questions, feedback or concerns do you have about your school plan? 
  1. Do you understand how the individual school plans and district plan fit into the larger provincial education picture and plan? 
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
January 2022District Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation

Welcome Back – Important Information for January 2022

Friday December 31st, DPAC attended a meeting of SD57 Stakeholders on the January 4-7 Re-entry period.  Information is limited at this time, open for constructive feedback and subject to change.  We all wish for nothing more than for school to function as normally as possible in a safe and predictable manner but the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is going to make this very difficult to achieve in the coming weeks.  
Please understand that School Staff, District Staff and the Board of Trustees are working diligently to implement these changes appropriately.  Our parent community will be understandably frustrated and we ask for your patience and respect towards our partners in public education during this period of uncertainty. Commentary on how and why this is being done should be reserved at this time and respectfully expressed to elected representatives and relevant provincial Ministries.   

What we currently know: 

  • Essential workers are defined as parents who are Essential Health Care Workers or SD57 Staff.
  • No changes to district calendar.
  • School Trustee By-Election will proceed as scheduled
  • No funding or support from MOE other than this ‘prep’ period (no PPE, no money, limited guidance yet)
  • They are planning for Functional Closures due to staff illness (Functional Closure: not enough staff to safely supervise students)
  • Classroom layout will adapt to be similar to 2020/2021 (more space and no face-to-face configurations by removing non-essential furniture, no ‘carpet time’ spaces)
  • There will be no ‘instruction’ during the week of Jan 4-7 although electronic/self-serve supports and resources will be available and distributed to families in a general way. 
  • There are multiple competing priorities from government to balance on behalf of the people of BC and all are valid: health, healthcare, continuity of learning for students, predictability for families.  

There are almost no new ‘enhanced’ measures from the Ministry of Education plan (more detail available here: Addendum to the K-12 Communicable Disease Safety Plan)

  • No spectators for sports; only 2 teams allowed for games (no tournament play of 3 or more teams at one place/time)
  • Essential visitors in schools only (not sure if PAC hot lunch would be essential – requested that clarification)
  • Virtual gatherings for student assemblies and staff meetings
  • Reinforce the importance of previous mitigation efforts (hand washing, health check, stay home when sick, masking effectively and importance thereof – exemptions will continue to be respected but may be reviewed individually)
  • Reviewing traffic movement within the schools, staggering breaks but no cohorts.

What we will see from School District 57 in the coming days: 

  • Letter released December 31 to all parents/families.
  • Bussing will run normally on Tuesday for student safety and revised for the remainder of the week.
  • Planning will be underway to have a process ready to support Functional closures on a school-by-school basis as needed basis (more information coming on what this would look like)
  • Outreach to specific families/students from a school contact
  • Outreach to school-level PAC and parents on implementation of Enhanced Measures
  • Communication on Ventilation in schools
  • Changes to Covid Exposure notification in conjunction with Northern Health Authority and the Ministry of Health/BC CDC as contact tracing will not be able to function on a case-by-case basis as it was September to December 2021

Parent Concerns: 
There have been a wide-range of responses to this news.  All responses and view point are valid, and we understand that this is extremely disruptive now with 5 days’ notice let alone what it will be like if families are facing Functional Closures with less than one day notice which is entirely probable. Thus we want and need to hear from you, our parent voice, to make sure we are advocating for what you need for your families and children.

Please send all your thoughts, feedback and concerns to us at: info@sd57dpac.ca

Thank you for your attention, thank you for your patience, thank you for supporting our school communities. 

SD57 DPAC Executive

If you or a family member are experiencing concerns with your mental and emotional well-being support is available.  Please review this list from the Province of BC for specific supports: 
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-mental-health-supports#students

Additional free support options are available through this Government of Canada portal: https://wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA

December Monthly DPAC Meeting

Happy December everyone!!! Our last DPAC Meeting for 2021 is this coming Monday December 6th @ 6:30pm. Come and meet us in person at the Van Bien Training Centre (see Covid protocols below) or join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link.

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.

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.

November Minutes: click here.

Chair Report

As all are aware, we have our monthly themes that are being focused on throughout this school year (see below) and for December we are switching it up a bit – there will be no presentations from our Partner Groups (though they will be there) and instead we want to hear from you – PACs and parents. This month it is your turn to update us on how things are going, with your PAC and your school and family. What has gone well so far? What have been both your successes and your struggles? What do you want or need us to know?

We are really excited to hear from you, our parents and PACs and school communities this month and we know the partner groups are 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
What has the first half of the school year been like for your family and school? 
What are some of your PAC’s successes thus far this year? 
What has your PAC struggled with so far this year? 
What questions do you have as parents or PACs? 
JanuaryDistrict Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation