October DPAC Meeting to be held October 3, 2011

The second DPAC meeting of this school year is scheduled for this Monday, October 3, 2011. The meeting will take place at the Van Bien Training and Development Centre at 311 Wilson Crescent starting at 7:00 p.m.

We encourage all School PACs to send a representative or two to the meeting.

Should you not be able to attend the meeting in person, you can log on to our website at www.sd57dpac.ca to review the meeting package and attend the meeting remotely over the Internet via our Elluminate web conferencing program.

FAQ on recent Playground announcement from Gov't

http://www.bccpac.bc.ca/UserFiles/File/NewsBytes/Sept%202011/Playgrounds%20FAQ.pdf

Some interesting sections:

Where schools have been identified as acquiring playground equipment in 2011 (January 1st to September 1st) through contributions made by PACs, reimbursement of up to a maximum of $50,000 will be available. Based on the priority set by school districts, schools may qualify for the replacement or upgrading of existing playground equipment. For a full playground replacement, districts will receive $50,000 per qualifying school. In the case of playground upgrades, districts will receive $25,000 per qualifying school. The funding amount for new or replacement playground equipment is based on an independent expert’s assessment of the costs to purchase and install a small to medium-sized adventure-style playground set. The funding amount for the upgrade or repair of existing playground is calculated at one-half of the new or replacement amount.

Not all elementary and middle schools will be eligible for playground equipment funding. The funding made available to address playground equipment needs is tiered, with the first category being schools that have students with no access to a playground; the next category is a reimbursement for district-identified playground equipment installations funded by PACs since January 1st, 2011; and the third category is schools identified and prioritized by districts as having minimal playground equipment or equipment that needs upgrading or replacement.

Minutes from September 12, 2011 Meeting

Sept 2011 Minutes as PDF

DPAC MINUTES FOR September 12, 2011
7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

Attendees:
DPAC Executive: Don Sabo, Michelle Rolfes, Chris Finke, Gillian Burnett, Sarah Holland and Steve Shannon
Partner Groups: Brian Pepper, Superintendent; Matt Pierce and Tina Cousins, PGDTA; Lois Boone, Trustee; Ian Landy, PGPVPA; Lorraine Prouse, CUPE
School Reps: Aboriginal Choice School, Beaverly, Ecole College Heights, Foothills(elluminate), Hart Highlands, Heather Park, Kelly Road, Ecole Lac des Bois, Nukko Lake, Mackenzie Secondary (elluminate), Pineview, Pinewood, PGSS, Quinson, Southridge, Spruceland and Vanway
Guests: Sharon Bourassa

1. Adoption of Agenda
Amendments – Addition of 7(a) Notice of Nomination for Trustee and 7(b) BCCPAC Funding

Motion to accept agenda – Ecole Lac des Bois
Seconded by – Ecole College Heights

2. Adoption of Previous Minutes
Motion to accept agenda – Ecole College Heights
Seconded by –Aboriginal Choice
3. PAC Networking
Discussions were held about:
• New playgrounds – Vanway working on accessible playground this coming year, Lac des Bois received $1000 from Integris allowing for swings this year and Heather Park had a playground installed from the closed Springwood school.
• Direction given to Aboriginal Choice to visit website for information on financials(911 Workshop)
• New administration in schools, condolences for Norm Kidwell’s passing
• Work completed or not completed to school facilities over the summer – playground installations, yet still awaiting completion of parking lots and modular.
• Review of Draft letter regarding Standing Committee (item 6(h))
4. Reports
(a) DPAC Chair Report
See attached

(b) Treasurer’s Report
See attached

(c) Superintendent’s Report
See attached

(d) Trustee Report – Lois Boone
• Not much to report since there has yet to be a Board meeting this year.
• Noted that elections are coming up and reiterated that she would not be running, but encouraged anyone interested in running to contact any trustee with questions.
(e) PGDTA Report – Matt Pierce/Tina Cousins
? Introduced Tina Cousins as 1st Vice-president.
? Provided update on job action which began on Sept 6
? Explained teachers had been working for 10 yrs. under an illegally stripped contract, according to BCTF’s interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling. At this point the Provincial Gov’t has different interpretation and will return to court for clarification on Oct. 11
? At provincial table, discussions basically haven’t progressed, still negotiating the ‘split of issues’
Q. How should PAC’s approach communicating with teachers regarding participation in PAC events and programs?
A. Teachers encouraged to attend PAC meetings.
Q. Why do teachers appear to have differing views regarding what they can and can’t do during the job action?
A. Teachers have differing levels of awareness; PGDTA is working on clarifying this for all members.
Q. How long is this Phase of job action likely to last?
A. Depends on how much movement there is from parties in negotiations.
Q. Is it true that teachers can no longer collect $ from students and does this include $ for PAC events and programs?
A. Teachers are collecting no $ period.
Q. What can parents volunteer for during job action?
A. Teachers do not view parent volunteers as taking away from their work. It would only be a problem if parents or any other staff stepped in to restore services being withheld as part of the job action.
Drew attention to the fact that all services involved with providing instruction are still being done, only those services that are NOT directly associated with instruction are being withheld.
Chair declares item 6(f) on the agenda covered during this discussion.

(f) PGVPA Report – Ian Landy
• Expressed thanks for acknowledging Norm Kidwell’s passing, noting that it had been hard on many at the district offices and school staff.
• Announced that the district had hired 2 new principals and 5 new vice-principals this year.

(g) CUPE Report – Lorraine Prouse
• Discussed the on-going negotiations concerning their contract. Noted that they had been given 10 days for negotiations between now and the end of Oct.
Q Is job action possible?
A CUPE will give BCPSEA the next 10 days of negotiations offered.

(h) DSAC Report –

5. Committee Reports
(a) EPPC Committee Report – Chris Finke (Alternate: Gillian Burnett)
• See attached

(b) Education Services Committee Report- Stephen Shannon (Alternate: Sarah Holland)
• Nothing to report
• Discussion concerning Confidentiality and the timing of the release of information.

(c) Policy/Governance Committee Report – Don Sabo (Alternate: Dennis Fudge)
• DPAC wasn’t invited to a meeting
• Noted that DPAC had submitted input regarding Policies 1230 and 1231.
6. Announcements/New Business
(a) Communications re: Strike Action / Bargaining from PGDTA and School Board
• Superintendent Pepper drew attention to the carefully worded letter he had sent out and indicated that if there were changes he would likely write another letter.
• Information can be found on BCTF and BCPSEA websites as well.
(b) Process for selecting DPAC reps to BCCPAC conferences
• Information available on website.
• Item tables till next meeting.
(c) Process for reviewing BCCPAC resolutions
• Discussion and suggestions made.

MOTION
Motion to establish a sub-committee made up of DPAC reps/parents whose task will be to establish a process for selecting DPAC reps to BCCPAC conferences and reviewing BCCPAC resolutions.
CARRIED

• Volunteers called for this sub-committee.
• Committee members Darlene Campbell
Jacqueline Dockray
Chris Finke
Dennis Fudge
Sarah Holland
(d) Report on Community Gaming Workshop (Chris Finke)
• Was attended on Aug 18th
• Mostly focused on providing information about how to use the online processes.
(e) Communication & Outreach (Sarah Holland)
• Update on what has been done to date.
• Discussion about BCCPAC holding a regional conference in Feb. and suggested our conference/workshop is held in conjunction with this.
• Many suggestions forthcoming regarding further work.
(f) Parent volunteering during teacher job action
• Covered under item 4(e)
(g) DPAC letter / Submission to Community Gaming Forum Sept 15th
• After some revision accepted unanimously 1 abstention
(h) On-going Sustainability Committee submit letter and report to School Board & critical stakeholders
• Covered during PAC networking.

7. Other Business
(a) Notice of Nomination for Trustee
• Nomination packages available now.
(b) BCCPAC Funding
• Drew attention to recent article regarding the cancellation of funding for BCCPAC.
• Concern expressed that this could be seen as an indication of cuts to come for PACs and DPACs.

8. Agenda items for next meeting
3rd party businesses targeting PACs as market
9. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

BC to provide additional funding for school playgrounds

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2011/09/premier-commits-8-million-for-school-playgrounds.html

Public elementary and middle schools provincewide will be eligible for the playground funding, which will ensure that every public elementary school – and every middle school that wants one – will have a playground for their students. Currently there are about 1,347 public elementary and middle schools in B.C. – 44 of which have been identified as having no playground equipment at all – and these are the schools that will be given first priority.

The Ministry of Education is currently working with school districts and parent advisory councils in the province to identify schools that had playgrounds built this year that will benefit from up to $50,000 in reimbursements. The remaining funds will go towards upgrading or replacing equipment at existing public school playgrounds.

“Well-planned school playgrounds provide unique learning environments for our children and are an important part of their school experience,” said Education Minister George Abbott. “They are an extension of the classroom and help promote fun and healthy activity for kids at school.”

To ensure that every public elementary school has a playground for students from the time they open, the Ministry of Education will be amending their capital project agreement with school districts to include the installation of playground equipment when building an elementary school.

 

Terry Fox run & teachers

According to Tuesday’s PG Citizen:

…Prince George and District Teachers Association president Matt Pearce said Thursday that [ongoing job action] won’t stop teachers from helping to organize the runs.

“We don’t have any intention of [impacting] extracurricular activities like the Terry Fox Run,” Pearce said.

Pearce said the only type of fundraising teachers won’t participate in is efforts to specifically raise money for schools.

“A lot of the fundraising that teachers have taken on is to support a system that’s no longer funded to meet those needs anymore,” he said. “For outside things like raising money for charities and food banks and things like that, those activities are going to continue.”

 

Read more in the Citizen:

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20110920/PRINCEGEORGE0101/309209986/-1/princegeorge/school-based-terry-fox-runs-to-go-ahead

Superintendent’s Speaking Notes from September DPAC Meeting

September 12, 2011

District Parent Advisory Council

Superintendent’s Speaking Notes

 

  1. Welcome and Thank You

We really appreciate your interest, donation of time and expertise in the service of students and school.  You are a valued partner!

 

  1. Strike or “Job Action”

I have attached the British Columbia Labour Relations Board decision of July 26, 2011.  It is the most complete summary of the situation and guides action of both parties.

 http://www.lrb.bc.ca/decisions/B132$2011.pdf

As a district: “We respect the right of the union to engage in labour relations activities.  We expect the union will respect our responsibility for student learning and safety and our right to run the organization.”

 

We have a well defined concern/dispute resolution process and the union president and superintendent have established a direct communication protocol.

 

  1. School Organization

Population estimate for the district is 12 800 students (7 200 elem + 5 600 sec).

 

School start-up has gone very well.  It is usual to see some enrolment fluctuations in individual schools and as a result, class re-organization.

 

This is also the time of year where we are heavily involved in monitoring class size and composition.

 

K 1-3 4-7 8-12
Class Size Max. 22 24 30 30
District Class Size Avg. 19 21 28 30

 

There are many secondary school challenges at this time of year as a result of new registrations and transfers: ie. Course schedule building and student support programming.

  1. District Website

Our website will be updated later this fall.  Improved communication is our goal!

Back to School information regarding strike action, healthy relations, safety, bus safety and nutrition is available on the front page of the district site as well as on each school website.

Superintendent’s blog coming soon!

  1. Government Education Direction

Five areas of focus:

Teacher Excellence

New Teacher Regulation.

New Collective Agreement

Flexibility and Choice

Calendar.

Class composition and allocation of resources.

Learning:  Curriculum and Assessment

More flexible reporting.

Building competences into curriculum.

New performance standards.

New approach to assessment.

Learning:  Technology

Anywhere, anytime access for teachers.

Infrastructure expansion.

Economies of scale.

Accountability and Open Government

New approach to access to data.

New accountability framework.

Greater transparency on our part – post meetings, minutes, and track to enhance awareness for all partners.

** many actions begin immediately – part of a three year programme

** optional provincial exams – now eliminated

 

The challenge for education today is to educate many more students to much higher levels of accomplishment, in a broad variety of areas, than ever before.                         (Ben Levin, 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information from Prince George District Teachers Association for PACs

“Teachers have decided to take job action in an attempt to reach a new collective agreement and have illegally stripped resources returned to our schools. We have deliberately chosen to structure our job action to have maximum impact on our employer while having minimum impact on students and parents.

We realize it is not possible to take even a limited job action without having some effect on our students but it is our hope that parents understand why we have taken this particular form of job action. We know that the illegal actions of the government has impacted students and parents as well as teachers and we don’t wish to add to the damage. At this time we have chosen to drop non-essential administrative tasks that take away our focus on teaching and learning.

It is understandable that parents who are active in their schools are unsure of what activities might be perceived as crossing our virtual picket line. The simplest advice I can offer to parents is that if you engaged in the activity last year please stay involved. If the activity is something that teachers have dropped as a result of job action we would ask that parents not attempt to fill that void.

I would add that teachers are looking forward to having conversations with parents about how their child is progressing and we ask that parents touch base with teachers early and often so that all of us, teachers, parents and students can work together for a successful year.”

Matt Pearce, Chair, PGDTA

School Trustee Nomination Package

Notice of Nomination in PDF format

The notice states there is a nomination package available at the SD57 website. http://www.sd57.bc.ca/index.php?id=6465

 

At last night’s DPAC meeting, Trustee Boone encouraged people thinking of running for school trustee to talk with current trustees for information about what the job consists of. Our current trustees are:

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/index.php?id=498

BCCPAC Is Open For Business!

The recent funding announcement from the Ministry is disappointing [the Ministry announced they would not be providing any funding for BCCPAC this year]. However, the Ministry supported the BC Coalition of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) earlier this year with an additional $150,000 grant over and above that fiscal year’s operating grant funding of $100,000. And, BCCPAC has reserves set aside for times when funding is limited or exhausted so services to members will not be affected.

Some media reports are suggesting funding to all PAC and DPACs have been cancelled. This is incorrect. The Direct Access Grant to PAC/DPAC is not affected by this announcement.  The funding announcement refers to BCCPAC operating funds only, and in no way affects our members funding.

BCCPAC is committed to providing our members a high level of service and has been very busy the last week of summer moving into our new office space. Both the Board and staff are very excited to serve our members from our new location -#200, 4170 Still Creek Drive in Burnaby.

Your Board is also working on changes that will help our members stay informed and connected through the current teacher job action. Reaching out to members in their local communities through regional conferences and redesigning our website to better interact with member are just two initiatives we’re proud to see coming together.

We encourage you to send comments, ideas or concerns on any educational issue to memberviews@bccpac.bc.ca Please indicate the topic in the subject line and provide your school district number.

In partnership,

 

Ann Whiteaker

President BCCPAC