Which school should you enroll your child in?

We’ve been getting some website searches recently from people wondering which school their child should attend (such as “prince george what school do we go to“).

Here’s where to start at the school district site:

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Schools/Pages/default.aspx

This is the school district catchment maps:

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Parents/StudentReg/Catchments/Pages/default.aspx

If you’re new to the school district, you may not know that we recently had some school closures. The catchment maps haven’t been fully updated as yet, so may refer to some older schools.

For elementary school students, there’s two major choices:

  • if you wish your child to attend a regular program then you’d register in your catchment school. You can then apply to transfer your child to a different regular school, should you wish.
  • if you wish your child to attend a choice school or program, then you’d register in that school directly – you don’t need to live in that neighborhood.

The choice schools and program include:

  • Aboriginal
  • French immersion, dual track (English and French)
  • French immersion, single track (French only)
  • Montessori
  • Traditional

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Parents/ChoicePrograms/Pages/default.aspx

Teachers file strike notice

http://www.bctf.ca/NewsReleases.aspx

Press release from BCTF:

As the new school year begins, BC teachers are disappointed that the employer has not returned to the bargaining table with a mandate to invest in public education through enhanced funding for services to students and a fair increase to wages and benefits for teachers.

Despite an April 2011 Supreme Court decision that ruled BC Liberal laws stripping class-size and composition clauses to be unconstitutional, the provincial government has done nothing to rectify the situation. By removing class-size limits and guarantees of services to students with special needs, the contract-stripping legislation enabled the government to cut vast sums each year from the education budget: an annual amount equivalent to $336 million in 2011 dollars.

“These funds have been illegally taken away from students, from teachers, and from the public education system,” said Susan Lambert, president of the BC Teachers’ Federation. “Teachers are determined in this round of bargaining to regain these lost services, jobs, and resources to meet students’ needs.”

Although negotiations began in March and the collective agreement expired in June, to date there has been absolutely no progress in bargaining. “Government continues to come empty-handed to the table, persisting with their sub-zero mandate. Government spending decisions are a question of priorities, and we believe children should be the number one priority.”

In order to increase pressure on the employer, the BCTF will file strike notice today to take effect at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2011. Phase 1 of job action means that teachers will not be performing administrative tasks such as filling out forms, collecting data, meeting with principals or other administrators, supervising on  playgrounds, or writing report cards. 

“Teachers’ attention will be totally focused on the students in their classrooms, and not on the many bureaucratic and administrative tasks that take away from the joy of teaching and learning,” Lambert said, adding that teachers will be in close communication with parents if the need arises.

Lambert called on Education Minister George Abbott and Premier Christy Clark to send their negotiators back to the bargaining table with a new mandate to achieve a negotiated settlement that will meet the needs of students and teachers alike.

She noted that BC teachers’ salaries have fallen far behind those of colleagues in other provinces, and benefits have not been improved in more than 15 years. Funding cuts also mean scarce classroom supplies, including basics such as photocopy paper and textbooks.

“If the Premier is serious about her ‘Families First’ agenda, she cannot say there is no money for public education. It’s the single most important service to the health and well-being of the province’s children,” Lambert said.

Education Minister Abbott rules out prolonged teachers’ strike

B.C. students returning to school next month will likely face a reduction of services but a prolonged teachers’ strike isn’t something the government will let stand for long, said Education Minister George Abbott.

Abbott told reporters Tuesday he’s not optimistic that a contract agreement between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association will be reached before start of the school year, resulting in limited job action by the teachers.

 

No recess confirmed

According to Tuesday’s Prince George Citizen:

Elementary school students will go without a formal recess if teachers proceed with their job action when classes begin next week, School District 57 superintendent Brian Pepper confirmed Monday.

Teachers have said they will refuse to do administrative work or attend meetings with management if an agreement is not reached and Pepper said supervision at recess is among those duties.
Principals and vice principals and other non-union or “exempt” staff will simply be too busy to take up the slack, said Pepper, who noted exempt staff numbers have declined in the past few years.

“We have really skilled teachers and our teachers will recognize that sometimes groups of students or individual students will need a more frequent break than is provided by recess and lunch even right now,” Pepper said.

“So, our teachers will provide opportunities for a stretch, a trip to the washroom, a trip to grab a snack. Our teachers do that anyway.”

Prince George and District Teachers Association president Matt Pearce confirmed that recess supervision is among the duties teachers will refuse to perform but questioned the school district’s decision to drop supervision by non-union staff.

“I would argue the point that they don’t have enough administrators to do it,” Pearce said.

“They have enough administrators to cover all of the schools before and after school and at lunch hour, they’re choosing not to cover the schools at recess.”

Pepper held out the hope teachers won’t launch job action next week, but Pearce said that’s unlikely given the slow progress on contract negotiations between the B.C. Teachers Federation and the provincial government’s bargaining agent, the B.C. Public School Employers Association.

“They began a series of bargaining sessions on the 23rd, it was going to be nine straight days, and word is nothing substantive happened in the first five days, so I would think it’s a virtual lock that there’ll be job action on the sixth,” Pearce said.

Next Meeting – September 12th

The September DPAC meeting will be held Monday, September 12th, at 7pm.

Usually, these meetings are the first Monday of the month and held at the Van Bien Training and Development Centre, 311 Wilson Crescent. 7:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

All DPAC General Meetings are open to the public and you are highly encouraged to attend if you would like to understand the relationship between your child, the school district and education. The elected DPAC representative from the local school PAC is allowed to vote on items.

Draft – BCCPAC Fall Conference Delegate Selection Policy

This is a draft policy, posted for discussion, and is based on the Kamloops/Thompson DPAC policy. 

  1. 1.      Background

 

The Fall Conference of BCCPAC is a training-oriented conference, where delegates attend multiple workshops to improve their skills in building effective PAC’s.  As well, the conference is a major networking opportunity for PAC executives to meet each other and build working relationships.  All BCCPAC member PAC’s in our district will be encouraged to attend.  In the event that DPAC has travel reimbursements available yet cannot send sufficient delegates to use the funds, the unused portion of travel subsidies will be offered to member PAC’s.

Continue reading “Draft – BCCPAC Fall Conference Delegate Selection Policy”

Draft – BCCPAC Spring Conference Delegate Selection Policy

This is a draft policy, posted for discussion, and is based on the Kamloops/Thompson DPAC policy.

 

  1. 1.      Background

 

The Spring Conference is the AGM of BCCPAC and is a policy-oriented conference, where resolutions are put forward and voted on by BCCPAC members.  It is a means of bringing the parent voice of the school district to the provincial table.  All BCCPAC member PAC’s will be encouraged to attend or pass their proxies to those delegates from our district who will be attending.  In the event that DPAC has travel reimbursements available yet cannot send sufficient delegates to use the funds, the unused portion of travel subsidies will be offered to member PAC’s.

Continue reading “Draft – BCCPAC Spring Conference Delegate Selection Policy”

Minutes – June 6, 2011

DPAC MEETING NOTES FOR JUNE 6, 2011

2011 June 6 DPAC minute in PDF format

Attendees:

DPAC Executive:              Don Sabo, Chris Finke, Gillian Burnett, Michelle Rolfes, Sarah Holland, Steve Shannon

Partner Groups:               Linda Naess, Brian Pepper, Lois Boone, Anne Smith

School Reps:                      Buckhorn Elementary(Connie Kragt), Beaverly Elementary(Colleen Smith), Ecole College Heights(Lara Beckett & Jacqueline Dockray), Hart Highlands(Kim Shannon), Quinson(Ryan Clarke), Ecole Lac des Bois(Shauna Connor), Spruceland(Dennis Fudge)

Meeting Start Time: 7:00pm

Continue reading “Minutes – June 6, 2011”

Recess update

According to the BC Public School Employers Association:

Each school district (SD) has a few options for how they can coordinate recess and outside supervision before and after school. These options include cancelling recess, restricting access to certain areas of playgrounds, or staggering recess times. Each SD will consider which option, or combination of options, will allow them to provide the most coverage with the staff available.

During the teacher strike, supervision will be provided by exempt staff (principals, vice-principals) and other SD employees who are not members of the teachers’ union.

Apparently, from what has been said, what will happen in the Prince George school district is that teachers will assist with supervision once all exempt staff (principals, vice principals, and school board office employees) are busy supervising students. School board employees will be traveling to schools in the area twice a day, before and after school to supervise, but adding in recess as well was more difficult to schedule. Many schools in the area already use CUPE members to supervise at lunch, so that would not be affected.

Additionally, the original announcement called for school to start 7 minutes later and end 8 minutes earlier. This may be changed to 10 minutes and 5 minutes, to make it easier to calculate.