Monthly Archives: April 2012

Report Card Update

According to the school district, all Primary, Intermediate and Secondary student report cards will be issued no later than May 8, 2012.

Some schools are adding report card writing days to their schedule, so parents may need to arrange childcare at short notice.

Update: According to Superintendent Pepper, most primary report writing days will be May 1st. Intermediate would be May 2, if the school holds an intermediate report card writing day. A number of schools will be adjusting the days assigned for this purpose, so check directly with your school for up to date information. As this news only came out mid-week, weekly newsletter would not have accurate information about report card writing days in them.

 

The BCSPEA has issued a FAQ about report cards and the LRB ruling:

http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/Files/No%20201210KJLRB%20Order%20Report%20Cards%20Q%20and%20A.pdf

Magic Show April 28th!

Please come out and support Beaverly Elementary – and enjoy a great show!

Shows at 5 pm and 8pm at the Playhouse, with 50/50 tix, raffle items, concession, souvenirs and a great Magic Show!!  Tickets can be purchased at the door, at the school or at Books & Company for $10 each.

Extracurricular activities still hazy

The future of school sports, graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year celebrations was still hazy Monday, as principals and parents scrambled in some schools to replace teachers who are withdrawing from extracurricular activities as part of a provincewide protest.

…Some teachers are taking a tougher position. In Nechako Lakes, for example, a memo from the local union office suggests teachers should refrain from a broad range of activities beyond those normally mentioned, such as coaching sports, organizing theatrical production and overseeing school clubs.

The memo suggests activities to be avoided include: After-hours academic help, parent advisory council meetings, meet-the-teacher activities, First Aid outside of class, philanthropic events, writing reference letters, parent contact beyond report cards, fundraising, spending personal money on school supplies or providing food and clothing for students.

“This list is not complete and this is a draft,” the document states. “Please do not assume that this is an official contractual document.”

…Ann Whiteaker, president of the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, said she’s hearing from parents who are angry their children have been caught in a dispute between the union and government. They want to help with extracurricular activities, knowing how valuable they are for students, but don’t want to damage their relationships with teachers, she said.

Parents are also looking ahead to the next school year and wondering if they should plan September events, given that the situation may not change much between now and then, she said.

Teachers vote to withdraw from extra-curricular activities

B.C. teachers have voted 73 per cent in favour of protest action that includes full withdrawal from extracurricular activities, efforts to defeat the Liberal government in the election next year and the possibility of a full strike following another vote at an undetermined time.

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/04/20/b-c-teachers-vote-to-halt-all-volunteer-activities/

B.C. teachers have voted to withdraw from all extracurricular activities as part of their Bill 22 protest. Now everyone’s scrambling to figure out what that means for school sports, Grade 12 graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year celebrations.

DPAC in the news: Student Enrolment

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20120420/PRINCEGEORGE0101/304209998/-1/princegeorge/sd57-student-enrolment-still-declining

Student enrolment in School District 57 continues to fall, and school board officials anticipate that trend will continue every year until at least 2016.

While overall numbers are dropping, some schools in the Hart and College Heights areas are at or over capacity, according to a school board report produced by the District Parent Advisory Council.

Although the current student population of 12,767 is expected to drop by 266 students to 12,501 in the 2012-13 school year, superintendent Brian Pepper said there is no imminent threat of school closures.

“At this point, other than enrolment decline, we believe we’re quite stable with our school budgeting and the board has had no discussions with senior staff about school closure,” Pepper said.

One very important consideration is that while overall enrolment decline is continuing,  elementary school enrolment is projected to increase, according to both the school district and the Ministry of Education:

Enrolment Projections and Capacity Report

At the February board meeting, the board approved making their enrollment projections public:

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/fileadmin/cao.sd57.bc.ca/FORM_AND_DOCUMENTS/School_Age_Enrolment_Forecast__2012-2016_by_School.pdf

Here is the updated DPAC report on projections and capacity:

Enrolment History and Projections – updated Feb 22 2012

The body of the report has the school district’s 2011 projections, and appendix E has the revised 2012 projections. In some areas of the district, these projections differ significantly.

The purpose of this report is not to change history, or debate historical decisions, but rather to learn from the past as we look to the future.

As a parent organization, we see future capacity issues with schools in our district, and have shown these issues in this report. There is already not enough capacity in certain elementary schools to accommodate all students who wish to attend those schools, and we see this problem becoming more common in the future in certain areas of the district.
As an example, at the start of the 2011/12 school year, one class in Prince George spent the first months of the school year meeting in a school library as there is no room for them in the school. A number of elementary schools have had their registration capped, and students have been turned away from their neighbourhood schools.

The District Parent Advisory Council would like to see an annual report on the condition of our district’s student enrolment and capacity. This report would be delivered to the school board at a public board meeting, prior to kindergarten registration and the start of the district transfer process, and also be in time to provide assistance to the budget committee when preparing the following year’s budget. The report would provide information on any caps on registration or transfers, and would also provide the board and the public with information on any problem areas.
There should be time built in for dialogue, discussion, collaboration, and consensus building to take place about options for dealing with capacity issues, and this discussion should not take place in the eleventh hour.
In this report, we have looked at the historic enrolment numbers and projected enrolment numbers, and compared them to the capacity of our schools. This is the type of visual information that can be generated and provided to Board members and the public to ensure that people understand the historical impact of declining enrolment, increases in enrolment, and school closures. This type of information could easily be included in an annual report so that trends can be clearly visualized.

Continue reading Enrolment Projections and Capacity Report

Why we do what we do – PTO Today

Deep down, I knew what I was doing would pay off. I was showing my daughter that to make things happen, you have to roll up your sleeves. I was, subliminally, letting her know that school and its surrounding activities were an important part of her life. I was letting her know I shared that with her.

Five leaders talk about what keeps them motivated and inspired to help their school, even when the going gets tough: http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/410-why-we-do-it

Message from BCCPAC

Dear PAC members,

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils acknowledges the important role you play as PAC chairs and parent leaders in your communities. In an effort to support you and your PAC, BCCPAC is requesting your input, stories, challenges and progress of how job action is affecting your students and schools, specifically extra-curricular or other activities occurring or not occurring in your School as a result of job action and the pending BCTF membership vote on their action plan to refrain from all extra-curricular/voluntary activities. A copy of the action plan that was drafted at the BCTF Annual General Meeting can be found here.  The union’s 41,000 members are expected to vote on April 17 and 18 on this action plan.

The one thing that is clear throughout job action is that the story or issues change frequently and frustrations exist in many arenas which continues to erode school connectedness in the communities our students rely on to support them. Each district and school is handling job action differently from report cards to extra-curricular activities to staff meetings and consultation. Your input will provide us with a more complete picture of what is occurring provincially for parents and students. This information will help frame our continued discussions with the provincial educational partners on the many issues as this dispute continues and by all indications may continue into the next school year. Your input and information is greatly appreciated and valued as we continue to advocate for students and parents at the provincial level through these challenging times.

Some points to consider when providing feedback may be – Are teachers withdrawing services? Which ones? Are parents able to volunteer their services in the absence of teacher volunteers? Do you have policies which impede parent volunteers in these roles? How is this affecting the students in your School? Is your PAC having discussions on what September will look like for extra-curricular activities?   What will your PAC be doing with unspent extracurricular funds previously budgeted?   Is your PAC adjusting their budgets for next year to exclude or reallocate extracurricular spending?

Please forward your comments to memberviews@bccpac.bc.ca subject line “job action”.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to parent involvement and your support of BCCPAC.

In partnership

 

Ann Whiteaker

BCCPAC President