Agenda – General Meeting, October 1, 2012

For those logging in from their home computers, we have a link to attend the web conference of the meeting:

You may be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending on your Internet connection speed. Join the meeting early if you can.

A microphone and headphones or speakers will allow you to participate fully in the meeting.

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting

Monday, October 1, 2012, 7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre


1.      Call to order, Secretary pro tem

2.      Adoption of agenda

3.      Adoption of September 10, 2012 Minutes

  1. Elections – secretary, vice chair

5.      PAC Networking


7:30pm – Partner groups enter

6.      Announcement – Staples

7.      Partner Group Presentations (30 minutes maximum)

a)      DSAC Report  (Jay Khatra)

b)      CUPE Report (Lorraine Prouse)

c)       PGDTA Report (Matt Pearce, Tina Cousins)

d)      PGPVPA Report (Faith Mackay)

e)      Superintendent Report (Brian Pepper)

f)       Trustee Report (Kate Cooke)


(5 – 10 minute snack break)

8.      Officer and Committee Reports

a)      DPAC Chair Report (Sarah Holland)

b)      Treasurer’s Report (Gillian Burnett)

c)       Budget Committee (Gillian Burnett)

d)      Conference Committee – BCCPAC Northern Regional Conference

e)      EPPC Committee Report (Gillian Burnett)

f)       Education Services Committee Report (Steve Shannon)

g)      Policy/Governance Committee Report  (Sarah Holland)

9.      Announcements/New Business

a)      Flag policy – public participation

b)      Graduation requirement session – October 11th


10.  Other Business


11.  Agenda items for next meeting

12.  Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

New School for Giscome!

Ministry of Education Press Release:

PRINCE GEORGE – The community of Giscome will soon have a new modular school to replace its elementary school demolished this summer, Education Minister Don McRae and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond announced today.

This facility is part of the government’s $10-million modular school replacement pilot program to renew aging infrastructures in rural B.C.

Giscome Elementary was built in 1957 to serve families in a town growing rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2009, the Prince George board of education voted to close the school due to its deteriorating conditions and declining student enrolment. After consultation with residents, portable classrooms were put on site so students can continue to learn in their community, instead of travelling to Blackburn Elementary in Prince George.

The new modular Giscome Elementary will continue to accommodate students in kindergarten to Grade 7. In contrast to portables, modular classrooms are a permanent solution for school space and have a 40-year life span. They feature bright, open designs with high ceilings and windows for plenty of natural light and cross-ventilation. The Giscome modular will also utilize B.C. wood as much as possible.

The Prince George school district is working with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George to determine a location for the new modular school. The objective behind projects like this is to ensure students can go to school close to home. Continue reading “New School for Giscome!”

World Teacher Day

A message from the Prince George District Teachers Association:

World Teachers Day
We will be celebrating World Teachers’ Day on Thursday Oct 4th this year (the 5th is the Friday of the Long Weekend!).  Please come to the parking lot of the School Board Office, and enjoy some pie and ice cream.  Everyone is welcome to attend (Teachers, Student-Teachers, Admin, CUPE, Trustees, Parents and Friends)  Come and celebrate our PG teachers !

We will be serving pie from 3:30PM to 4:30PM.  Rain or Shine!


Comments requested on Kindergarten Transition and Split Kindergarten/Grade 1 Classes

At a recent school district committee meeting partner groups were asked to bring back comments regarding the one week transition period for kindergarten, and split kindergarten/grade 1 classes.

  • Is the one week orientation period too short, too long, too disruptive – should it be done differently? What do you think?
  • Is your child in a full day kindergarten and grade 1 split? How has that worked for you and your child?

If you are the parent of a child in School District 57, we would like to hear from you – please comment on this post, and we will take these comments back to the district. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please email and your comments will be passed along.

This is not a poll, or a formal survey – it is a request for comments.

Education Programs and Planning – Commitee Report

EPPC Report

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

By Gillian Burnett

1.             Minutes of the previous minutes were approved as circulated.

2.             Respectful Relationships Program – McBride and Valemount Secondary Schools

  • Received a presentation that outlined what the program was designed to do
  • Discussed the merits of the program – seeing positive results
  • Discussed the funding challenges of continuing with the program
  • Originally funded as a pilot in all of SD57, but due to non-profit delivery it did not continue in Prince George
  • Presenters asked that the district look into providing some funding for the continuation of the program in future years
  • The program includes 12 sessions for each grade and can be delivered to Gr 7, 8, 9 and 10
  • Program is not instructing what to think but rather making students think on their own and facilitating that discussion (more information can be found at

3.             Secondary Alternate Report Card (SARC) Pilot

  • Received a presentation on a proposed pilot that would introduce a new report card for Alternate Education students
  • Discussed the importance of having one method of reporting from all teachers for consistency
  • Contains more information than is required by the BC Ministry of Education
  • Will go to the board for approval at the next Board meeting

4.             Learning Team Grant Update

  • 43 grants approved so far
  • 28 schools participating
  • There will be a 2nd call for grant applications very soon
  • Asked for a summary of the inquiry based questions that are currently being asked in the district this year

5.             Research Project – McCreary Centre Society Adolescent Health Survey

  • For information only
  • Have been collecting data since 1992, our district participates every 5 years, this year is our year to participate
  • Does take approximately 45 minutes of class time for students to complete the survey
  • The survey is administered by a health worker
  • Provides a great deal of information that assists district staff in responding to the needs of the students

6.             Yearly Plan

  • Currently blank
  • Discussed whether items usually left till the end of the year could be dealt with sooner to lighten the agendas in the latter part of the year.  It was noted that the end of the year has jam packed agendas that are difficult to have full discussion on all items.
  • Cindy Heitman will review the yearly plan and present an alternative to the committee at the next meeting

7.             All Day Kindergarten

  • Discussed the pros and cons of the “short” one week transition period on both students and families
  • Discussed the issue of K-1 split classes
  • Decided that this topic would be brought back for discussion at the next meeting and representatives asked to gather opinions on these two topics for discussion at October’s meeting

Next meeting October 23, 2012

DRAFT Minutes – September 10, 2012

Brian Pepper – DPAC Sept 2012

DPAC Meeting Minutes Sept 10th, 2012

2012 Sep – Trustee Cooke Report to DPAC

Information on school wide positive behaviour support –


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



DPAC Executive:               Sarah Holland (Chair), Gillian Burnett (Treasurer), Jacqueline Dockray and Darlene Campbell (Directors).

Partner Groups:               Brian Pepper, Superintendent; Kate Cooke, Trustee; Matt Pearce and Tina Cousins, PGDTA; Lorraine Prouse and Margaret Karlson, CUPE; Faith MacKay, PGPVPA; Gurbind Deo, DSAC.

School Reps:                      Darlene Campbell, Nusdeh Yoh; Colleen Smith, Beaverly; Jacqueline Dockray and Lara Beckett, College Heights Elementary; Chriss Finke, DP Todd; Darlene Campbell, Duchess Park; Melanie Pierce, Edgewood; Shauna Connor, Lac des Bois; Trista Spencer, Malaspina; Lotte Andersen, Nukko Lake; Wayne Beatch, Peden Hill; Sarah Holland, Heather Park; Michelle Rolfes, PGSS and Pineview; Don Sabo, Pinewood; Ryan Clarke, Quinson; Dennis Fudge, Spruceland


1.                  Adoption of Agenda

Unanimous consent


2.                  Adoption of April 2, 2012 Minutes

Unanimous consent


3.         Letter of resignation, Don Sabo – Don explained to membership that job action kept him in the position of chair.  Now he feels there are no major issues facing the district right now and felt it was a good time for a new chair to step in.

Motion by DP Todd:  To purchase a gift for the departing chair, Don Sabo, the amount of which is at the discretion of the Executive.

Seconded by Quinson –  Carried by more than 75% Continue reading “DRAFT Minutes – September 10, 2012”

BCCPAC Northern Regional Conference

We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about our Northern Regional Conference, taking place in Prince George, this October 20th!

Check out the Conference at a Glance for an overview of the Northern Regional Conference:


DPAC will be sending out an email to all DPAC representatives, offering TWO FREE TICKETS for each PAC to distribute.

We will also be offering travel funding for representatives from McBride, Mackenzie, and Valemount.

Talking with Kids about School

September 2012 Talking with Kids about School

I remember this well! “How was your day today?” “O k a y.” “What did you do?” “N o t h i n g.”
Hopefully, the following ideas can help.

Linda Campbell
School Counsellor, School District 57


  •  How was Your Day Today?
“Parents can ask ‘how was your day?’ but children often can’t answer. It’s asking kids to boil down every aspect of their day into one response. And that’s hard for kids (and even grown ups) to do! What a child might really want to say is, `My day was so complex, it was jam-packed with classes and social problems that I can’t even begin to tell you. After all, I’m only in second grade!’


Why is it so hard to talk about school? Parents often get exasperated with kids’ monosyllabic answers to their simple questions. That one well-intentioned line, “How was school today?” has probably provoked more bad feelings between parents and kids than either party ever intended.


Fortunately, some simple strategies can get kids and parents talking and listening. “What was fun? What was the worst part of the day?    Did your teacher explain that math homework?    How did soccer go?”


Understanding Each Other
So why don’t our kids want to tell us about their day at school? And why do we think we need to know every detail? And how can we become more effective listeners? To find out, take a look at the situation from your child’s perspective and compare it to your own.


“How was school?” and “how are you?” are not really questions — they’re greetings. A problem arises because we expect an answer. But the question is so general that it’s difficult for kids to answer, particularly when they are on overload from a challenging day at school. “What parents are trying to do when they ask ‘how was school?’ is to make contact with their child.” But we don’t realize that the question “how was school” may not be the most effective way to connect.


Kids often think adults ask too many questions.
Adults are often just trying to start a conversation and don’t understand that their questions make a child feel put on the spot. Be aware that a question from a big person like you can place demands on a small child, even though you don’t mean it that way.””It’s important to also be clear why you are asking children about school. Is it merely chit chat, are you looking for something more meaningful, and are you communicating in ways that relate to your child’s experience?”


School can be hard for kids and that’s why it’s hard for them to talk about it. Every day at school, kids get things wrong and make mistakes. That’s how they learn. But generally, kids don’t want to come home and say, “I was frustrated by my mistakes but I learned from them.” They would rather come home and say, “I got everything right.” Their feelings about meeting the expectations of their teachers, their parents, and themselves can make school a challenging topic to discuss.


So — should we stop asking questions? No. But you might ask fewer ones and try not to get crazy when your kids don’t respond the way you want them to. Remember that if your kids don’t want to talk, it’s not a rejection of you. When you do speak, try to find ways to discuss what’s meaningful to both your child and you, because this shows that you care.
Michael Thompson Ph.D.  Author, The Pressured Child

Continue reading “Talking with Kids about School”

Connecting parents and schools

Connecting parents and schools is a challenge in many countries, according to a survey by the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). “The most striking feature of parental involvement in school activities is the relative lack of it,” says a PISA report released this year. “In most schools, parents and teachers generally meet only when students are having difficulties.”

The study found that the best ways for parents to help their offspring are simple: read to young children, engage teenagers in conversation and demonstrate reading for pleasure. But the report also stressed the importance of building school-parent partnerships.

“Children of involved parents are more motivated to learn for learning’s sake, and have more control over their academic performance because they adopt their parents’ positive attitudes toward school and learning. They know, too, that they can obtain guidance from their parents on how to navigate school and its challenges.”

Furthermore, teachers may pay more attention to students if they know their parents are involved, the report adds.

Shelley Green, president of the B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association, said school staff must understand the culture of their community before they can develop solid relationships with parents. “The old tradition, where you had parent-teacher interviews on one night and expected everybody to come, is long gone,” she said. “That might work for a small population but it certainly doesn’t work for everybody.”

Her message to parents is that their help is critical “You know your children the best … and we need your knowledge and involvement. We want to be a team with you.”

Porter, who has been hired by the Vancouver school district to teach immigrant families how they can support their children’s learning, said she emphasizes the importance of informal connections rather than formal ties through groups such as the school’s parent advisory council (PAC). While PACs do good work, they usually attract parents who are already plugged in, she added.

In giving advice to parents who are new to the school system or uncomfortable, she uses the word “smile” as an acrostic, with each letter standing for a particular action. Smile at the teacher when picking up your children, Make eye contact, Introduce yourself, Leave when the class commences and Engage. Her advice for schools is to use food, family and fun — such as potluck meals, games nights and talent shows — to make an initial connection in a non-threatening way.

Respect is key. Terry Berting, head of the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, said parents shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if they don’t have time to volunteer at school or join the PAC. And those who do have time, shouldn’t barge into the school with unrealistic expectations, he added. “You want to encourage parent involvement … but it’s so important to respect the role of administrators and teachers,” he said. “I think parents are still struggling a little bit with where we fit into the school system.”

Agenda package – General DPAC meeting, Monday, September 10, 2012

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting

Monday, September 10, 2012, 7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

Note: all parents may attend a DPAC meeting. In order to vote, attendees must be representatives from each school’s parent advisory council.

For those logging in from their home computers, we have a link to attend the web conference of the meeting:

Participant Link: 

You may be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending on your Internet connection speed. Join the meeting early if you can.

A microphone and headphones or speakers will allow you to participate fully in the meeting.


    1. Call to order and adoption of agenda
    2. Adoption of June 6, 2012 Minutes
    3. Correspondence – Don Sabo
    4. Executive board report – actions taken over summer
    5. Elections – secretary, vice chair
    6. PAC Networking


7:30pm – Partner groups enter

7.      Reports

(a)                DPAC Chair Report (Sarah Holland)

(b)               Treasurer’s Report (Gillian Burnett)

(c)                Superintendent Report (Brian Pepper)

(d)               Trustee Report (Kate Cooke)

(e)               PGDTA Report (Matt Pearce, Tina Cousins)

(f)                 PGPVPA Report (Faith Mackay)

(g)                CUPE Report (LorraineProuse)

(h)               DSAC Report (Jay Khatra)


(5 – 10 minute snack break)

8.      Committee Reports

(a)                Conference Committee – October 20, 2012 – BCCPAC Northern Regional Conference

(b)               EPPC Committee Report , Education Services Committee Report, Policy/Governance Committee Report


9.      Announcements/New Business

(a)    Tapestry singers request

(b)   Report on Food Safe workshop (Gillian, Jacqui)

(c)    BCCPAC Conference Report (Gillian, Sarah, Darlene)


10.  Other Business


11.  Agenda items for next meeting

12.  Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.