Monthly Archives: December 2011

Report Card Update

Parents should be receiving reports on how students are doing in at least two different ways, during the teacher job action.

The district will be sending formal progress reports home by December 9th, as they are required to do by the Ministry of Education and the School Act:
http://www.sd57.bc.ca/fileadmin/cao.sd57.bc.ca/Home/Dear_Parents_and_Students.pdf

For most students, these report cards will only have attendance information on them. Students in grade 12 should be receiving more information.

Teachers are also reporting to parents in a variety of different ways. At a recent DPAC meeting, all parents present were pleased with the communication they had had from their children’s teachers.

The Prince George District Teachers Association (PGDTA) has asked that if any parents have not heard back from their child’s teacher, to let them know and they can help make that discussion happen.

Contact information for the PGDTA can be found here:
http://www.pgdta.ca/contact/

Superintendent Report to DPAC, December 5, 2011

District Parent Advisory Council – 2011.12.05
Superintendent’s Speaking Notes

1. Board of Education
Congratulations to our elected Board:
Trustee Sharel Warrington
Trustee Trish Bella
Trustee Sharon Bourassa
Trustee Betty Bekkering
Trustee Brenda Hooker
Trustee Tim Bennett
Trustee Kate Cooke
The Inaugural Board of Education Meeting will take place December 6, 2011 beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Inaugural is a public event.
Our Board will be very busy during the next several months as they balance the work of the Board with ongoing orientation.

Board Liaison appointments will be made later this month.

2. Policy 5145.4 Child Protection
A very important policy now out to education partners for 90 days of input. The Policy has been forwarded to each school and is available on the District Website: www.sd57.bc.ca – Policy Manual – New Policies.

The deadline for submissions is February 22, 2012.

If you wish to provide input to the Board on this draft policy, you may do so as follows:
Mail to: Wendy De Marsh
Executive Assistant
School District No. 57
2100 Ferry Avenue
Prince George, B.C.
V2L 4R5
Fax to: (250) 561-6820

3. Community Development Board
Community partnership (SD57, RCMP, Ministry of Children and Family Development, City of Prince George, Ministry of Social Development, Northern Health and United Way)

Recently established to focus on the following priorities:
i. Improve communication by sharing key contact information
ii. Develop pro-active programs and education
iii. Provide an integrated response
The CDC has initiated 3 projects:
a. CASEY (Community Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth) – SD57 is a new participant to this work so critical to the safety of our students.
b. CTC (Communities that Care) – work informed by a survey of 4000 SD 57 students, social planning research and a large community board.
c. Integrated Response Team – wrap around support for at risk youth

4. Legislative Requirement – Report Cards
The School Act is the law that governs education in our province. The duties of superintendents and principals, outlined in the School Act remains unchanged by the teachers’ strike and it is a requirement of the law that 3 written progress reports must be forwarded to parents each year. Formal progress reports will be sent home to parents in our school district by December 9, 2011.
While the strike may interfere with the principal’s ability to discharge the reporting responsibility fully, all efforts will be made to maintain normal reporting. At minimum this report will include:
a. Student division and teacher(s)
b. Course(s)
c. Attendance
d. Reports or grades for any classes taught by administrators
e. Contact information to follow up directly with the teacher(s) if you wish to do so, and to the extent possible.

5. Happy Holidays
Thank you for your dedication and partnership in serving the needs of our students. Your support and advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Congratulations to the new board of education

Sharel Warrington was acclaimed as board chair at Tuesday night’s public meeting at the district office.

Sharon Bourassa was acclaimed as vice-chair, a position she held from 2005-2008 with the Chilliwack school board.

Trish Bella, who served as vice-chair with the former board, retained her role as District 57 trustee representative with the BCTA.

New trustee Tim Bennett was elected the board’s representative for the B.C. Public School Employers Association.

Betty Bekkering, Kate Cooke and Brenda Hooker were also sworn in.

http://www.pgfreepress.com/news/135190788.html

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20111207/PRINCEGEORGE0101/312069953/-1/princegeorge/warrington-will-chair-school-board

http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/22352/3/warrington+new+chair+of+board+of+education+for+sd+57

News for playground reimbursements

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2011EDUC0095-001546.htm

VICTORIA – Christmas has arrived early for parent advisory councils (PACs) in 102 elementary and middle schools across 31 school districts, as nearly $2.4 million in playground funding is being returned to PACs that have recently purchased playground equipment for their kids.

 

School District 57 (Prince George)

  • École Lac des Bois – $14,541
  • Heritage Elementary – $15,956

 

  • In September, the Province committed $8 million over two years for new playgrounds, reimbursements for recently purchased playgrounds with PAC contribution, and playground upgrades, repairs and replacements.
  • The first round of funding supported 40 new playgrounds for elementary and middle schools that were identified as not having a playground but wanting one, for a total of $2 million.
  • Adventure-style playground equipment purchased between Jan. 1, 2011 and Sept. 2, 2011 using PAC-raised funds was eligible for reimbursement under this program.
  • Individual school districts will be responsible for reimbursing their PACs, once they receive the funds from the ministry. The ministry does not have the ability to distribute capital funds directly to PACs.
  • Over the past 10 years, government has spent more than $1.8 billion to complete 83 new and replacement schools, 149 school additions, 26 renovations and 22 site acquisitions across British Columbia.
  • In the same time, the Province has committed more than $4 billion to school capital and maintenance projects, including school playgrounds.

Statements of Financial Information

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/12/06/b-c-school-districts-report-salaries-over-75000/

It’s the time of year when B.C. school districts are required to file annual Statements of Financial Information (SOFI) for the last school year. These should be easily accessible on district websites, and I urge you to complain if they are not.

The most interesting information in SOFIs is the report on salaries and expenses for employees earning more than $75,000. (There is other data about spending, but it is complicated and everything needs to be double-checked).

The Ministry of Education has made public the statements of financial information for all school districts from 2009/10 on their website, and will presumably post the 2010/11 documents at some point:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/accountability/district/sofi/2010/welcome.htm

 

What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?

http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/1/49012097.pdf

A study for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in the world’s leading industrialized nations on their reading comprehension and ability to use what they’ve learned in math and science to solve real problems (the most important skills for succeeding in college and life) found that fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all. The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socioeconomic background.

Most parents know, instinctively, that spending more time with their children and being actively involved in their education will give their children a good head-start in life. But as many parents have to juggle competing demands at work and at home, there never seems to be enough time. Often, too, parents are reluctant to offer to help their children with school work because they feel they lack some of the skills that would make a difference to their children’s success in school.

The good news coming from analyses of PISA data is that it does not require a PhD or unlimited hours for parents to make a difference. In fact, many parent child activities that are associated with better reading performance among students involve relatively little time and no specialised knowledge. What these activities do demand, though, is genuine interest and active engagement.

PGDTA Press Release

PGDTA Press Release Dec 5, 2011

There will be a candlelight rally for our PGDTA members, families and supporters of a strong and stable public education system, on Tuesday December 6, at 6:30 PM at the School Board
Office at 2100 Ferry Avenue.

Tuesday December 6th is the inaugural meeting of the new School Board of Trustees at 7 PM. Prior to this meeting, The Prince George District Teachers’ Association plans to shine the spotlight on conditions in our schools. Our Public Schools need Trustees who will champion a strong and stable education system that meets the needs of every child. Teachers are looking forward to working with our newly elected School Trustees. We also want a collective agreement: that ensures teaching conditions that support all students, that is fair and reasonable and includes salary and benefits with prep time and that provides local solutions for local problems.

Please join us for a brief discussion about public education. We plan to shine the light on the conditions in our schools. We want what is best for students and teachers. Please join us!

Tina Cousins, First Vice-President PGDTA

Agenda – December 5, 2011 General Meeting

Link for remote viewing – attend the meeting from your own computer:

https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=7345&password=M.BA0429A80CB306EFED3ACE60662415

AGENDA DPAC GENERAL MEETING – MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011

7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

 

1.               Adoption of Agenda

2.               Adoption of November 7, 2011 Minutes

3.               PAC Networking Topic: Increased pattern of School Administration requesting money from PACs for SD Equipment; laminator, etc.

 

4.               Reports

(a)                DPAC Chair Report (Sarah Holland)

(b)               Treasurer’s Report

(c)                Superintendent Report

(d)               Trustee Report

(e)               PGDTA Report

(f)                 PGPVPA Report

(g)                CUPE Report

(h)               DSAC Report

 

(5 – 10 minute coffee /Snack break)

5.               Committee Reports

(a)                EPPC Committee Report – Chris Finke (Alternate:  Gillian Burnett)<

(b)               Education Services Committee Report– Stephen Shannon (Alternate:   Sarah Holland)<

(c)                Policy/Governance Committee Report –  Don Sabo (Alternate: Dennis Fudge)

(d)               Environmental Sustainability Committee  – Don Sabo (Alternate: Lara Beckett)

 

6.               Announcements/New Business

(a)                Parent Advisory Council Contact Form amended with option to share

(b)               District Resource Centre Tour / Meeting?

(c)                District Sustainability Enrollment Projections Background.

(d)               Revision to Child Protection Policy Parent

 

7.               Other Business

(a)          Democratic Representation on DPAC

8.               Agenda items for next meeting

9.               Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

Schedules

–          Minutes of November 7, 2011 Meeting

–          Chairperson Report

–     Treasurer’s Report

Revised – Draft Policy for Conference Delegates

Policy for SD57 DPAC Delegates to BC Coalition of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) Conferences

DRAFT – December 5, 2011

1.      Background

a)       The Spring Conference is the annual general meeting (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 to the provincial table.

b)      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.

c)       Note: the Spring Conference has educational sessions, and the Fall Conference has had special meetings with resolutions and policies brought forward.

d)      All BCCPAC member PAC’s will be encouraged to attend the conferences, or pass their proxies to those delegates from our district who will be attending.

e)       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.

2.      Applicant Criteria

a)       DPAC will fund at least two delegates to attend each of the Conferences, assuming adequate financial resources.

b)      A standing invitation will be offered to the DPAC District Associate or his/her stand-in (preferably a member of the DPAC executive).  This person will fulfill the role of proxy-carrier for all district PAC’s who wish to participate in proxy voting.

c)       The other delegate(s) will be selected by the delegate selection committee, with an eye to building future capacity at the DPAC executive level.

d)      All DPAC members currently fulfilling the function of DPAC reps for their schools or serving as a DPAC executive member will be able to apply to be a DPAC delegate, including members of the delegate selection committee.

e)       A delegate selection committee will be established at the first general meeting of the school year.

f)        The committee will invite all interested parties to submit a brief written application before a specified deadline (at least one week before early bird registration closes), detailing their reasons for wanting to attend the conference, and how they believe this experience will benefit DPAC and/or their PAC.

 3.      Delegate Selection

a)       In selecting delegates, the following criteria is to be considered:

i)        Applicants who have demonstrated a high level of involvement in DPAC or their PAC

ii)      Applicants who stand to benefit most from the training provided

iii)    Whenever possible, the selection committee will ensure that one of the delegates has previously attended such a conference and can act as a mentor/guide for the other(s).

iv)    Applicants who miss the deadline will only be considered if there is a shortage of other suitable applicants.

b)      The committee will have at least one alternate delegate who is willing to attend on short notice in the event one of the selected applicants is unable to attend.

 4.      Delegate Expectations

a)       Delegates are expected to attend the full conference.

b)      Delegates may choose which workshops to attend based on their own interests and anticipated benefits to DPAC.  There should be a cross-section of workshops attended by DPAC delegates. The DPAC executive may decide on workshop selection for delegates.

c)       Delegates must provide a post-conference presentation for DPAC at the next general DPAC meeting. This may be delayed to the next meeting upon request.

 5.      Expenses

a)       Delegates selected through this process will be reimbursed for all reasonable costs related to conference fees, transportation, lodging, and food (excluding alcohol).

b)      Payments will be made on the basis of actual receipt amounts.

c)       Meals will be based on a maximum of $10 breakfast, $15 lunch, and $25 dinner.

d)      DPAC reserves the right to set transportation and lodging maximums.

e)       Delegates must be willing to carpool or share a room upon request.

f)        DPAC may advance a payment to delegates to cover their expenses upon request.

g)       DPAC will not be responsible for any financial loss if delegates have to take off any time from work to attend the conference.

 6.      Resolutions and BCCPAC AGM

a)       The DPAC executive will arrange for a resolution workshop, prior the BCCPAC AGM and any other conferences with resolutions, as far in advance of the conference as possible.

b)      DPAC volunteer(s) will research information on the more complex resolutions for presentation at the workshop.

c)       Parents from all PAC’s are encouraged to attend the workshop meeting to discuss the resolutions, with the intent of taking the information back to their schools.

d)      Member PACs would fill in their proxy form and voting instructions, and pass them to the DPAC proxy-carrier.

e)       Proxies that are supplied without voting instructions will be voted according to the proxy-carrier’s decisions.