Monthly Archives: January 2014

Kindergarten Registration coming up

Information is available at SD57 website: http://www.sd57.bc.ca/?id=499

It is important for parents to realize that siblings only have priority for registration in a choice school or program (Aboriginal, French immersion, Montessori, Traditional), or if they are attending their catchment school. If you have more than one child, and you are registered at a school that is not your catchment school, it is important to consider that you may not get all your children into that school. If this is a concern for you, you may wish to bring it to the attention of the Board.

With the recent BCTF court decision, it would appear that the maximum class size for kindergarten has now changed from 22 students to 20 students, and grades 1 to 3 from 24 students to 22 students. It is unclear how this is going to be handled, but it is also important for parents to realize that elementary schools may have even more capacity issues in the new school year. DPAC will be keeping parents posted on this issue.

On-line pre-registration is required for Kindergarten in all School District No. 57 elementary schools. On-line registration will take place beginning at 9:00 am on Monday February 3, 2014 at www.sd57.bc.ca. Children whose fifth birthday falls on or before December 31, 2014 are eligible to enter Kindergarten in September 2014.

2014/15 Draft School Calendar

Following a consultation process involving its partner groups, the Board has published a draft calendar for 2014-2015.  The Board will make a final decision on the calendar at its public meeting on February 25, 2014.

Next year is unusual in that spring break will take place in February.  In 2010, in support of the City of Prince George bid to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the Board of Education approved the scheduling of spring break in 2015 to coincide with the Games.  With that exception, the proposed calendar follows the same template as in recent years.

If you wish to provide input regarding this proposed calendar, please address your submissions to:

Wendy De Marsh, Executive Assistant

E-mail: wdemarsh@sd57.bc.ca

BCTF wins court case

The full text of the decision is here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/14/01/2014BCSC0121cor1.htm

Iker said that in 2002, kindergarten class sizes were capped at 20 students, while Grades 1 to 3 were capped at 22. Today, those limits are 22 and 24, so each primary class will have to go down by two students. In 2002, class sizes for Grades 4 to 12 were negotiated by each school district, so there was no consistency across the province, Iker said.

In addition, in 2002 the contract included specific ratios for specialist teachers such as librarians and special-ed instructors, and rules about the numbers of special-needs children that could be in the same classroom. Some of those limits were provincial and others were negotiated within each district.

Iker would not speculate on the cost of restoring these limits, which presumably would mean hiring more teachers, but since 2002 B.C. has lost 1,400 specialist teachers, while close to 700 special-education teachers, more than 100 counsellors and 300 teacher-librarians have been cut from the system.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Court+orders+restore+class+sizes+million+damages+teachers/9436151/story.html#ixzz2rlSMvryL

 

 

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/analysis-court-ruling-a-major-blow-to-clarks-strategy-with-teachers/article16536749/

On Monday, the B.C. Supreme Court concluded that the Clark government has not just trampled the Charter rights of the province’s teachers for the past dozen years, but that it did so in an effort to manufacture a failure in collective bargaining for political gain.

Justice Susan Griffin’s ruling paints a picture of a government that stubbornly stuck to a political agenda, even after the court found Ms. Clark’s bill unconstitutional in 2011. When that verdict was delivered, a chastened Ms. Clark promised to fix the law. Her government vowed to “be entirely mindful of every word in the judgment.”

What the province did, however, was introduce virtually the same legislation, plus a $165-million fund for special-needs students.

The 2002 laws, Bills 27 and 28, took class size and composition – the number of special-needs students integrated into the classroom – out of the collective-bargaining process. Ms. Clark said at the time that the changes were needed to replace “rigid provisions and inflexible ratios with common sense and good judgment.”

The court Monday found a more sinister motive.

The B.C. Liberal government thought that a teachers strike would give it a political advantage, Justice Griffin found, and this mindset set bargaining up for failure and made disruption in the public-school system inevitable.

Further, Justice Griffin concluded that the government hoped to weaken the teachers’ union. The ministry of education’s superintendent for achievement “saw it as serving a useful goal of driving a wedge between individual teachers and the [British Columbia Teachers’ Federation],” she wrote.

 

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-teachers-win-legal-fight-to-bargain-class-sizes/article16525448/?service=mobile

Pro-D Day Flyer from City of Prince George

Please find enclosed the fourth edition of the 2013-2014 City of Prince George Pro D Day Flyer.  This flyer lists special programs, events, courses or activities that will be available to youth on January 31st, 2014.  Please feel free to print and distribute or display the full document as well as electronically post the flyer on your individual school websites and distribute to all of your administration, teachers and staff: so that they can pass on the information to students.

We hope that as many students as possible can have the opportunity to enjoy some of the wonderful activities that are being offered on Pro D Day.

The Pro D Day Flyer will also be available to view on the City of Prince George website by January 24th:  please direct students and parents to the link below or add it to your school newsletters or bulletins as possible.

http://www.princegeorge.ca/cityliving/recreation/youthprograms/Pages/Default.aspx

February 2014 General Meeting Agenda

To join web broadcast of meeting:

 https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M0PX6NS2DCGXWODNPFY4BBMRRB-B8NT

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, February 3, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

1. Call to order
2. Adoption of agenda and Adoption of January 2014 Minutes
3. PAC Networking
To increase the effectiveness of this section of the agenda, we suggest that people report on ideas that may be of interest to other PACs, or concerns that other PACs could help with.
7:30pm – Partner groups enter
4. Guest presentation – radon kits and information, Kerensa Medhurst, Canadian Cancer Society (10 minutes)
5. Partner Group Presentations (5 minutes each).
a) DSAC Report (Graeme Mackenzie, Shelby Miller)
b) CUPE Report (Karen Wong)
c) Prince George District Teachers Association Report (Tina Cousins, Richard Giroday)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Faith Mackay)
e) Professional Employees Association (Nicole Haines)
f) Superintendent Report (Brian Pepper)
g) Trustee Report (Betty Bekkering)
(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)
6. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Sarah Holland)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Gillian Burnett)
c) BCCPAC Report (Darlene Campbell)

7. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) Grant requests
b) PAC Café
c) Event scheduling –Fall conference
8. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve, Dennis)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report (Darlene, Chris)
c) Policy and Governance (Sarah, Chris)
d) Expanded committee of the Whole (Sarah, Gillian)
e) Calendar Committee (Darlene, Gillian)
f) Suggestions for School Board Report
g) Trustee Remuneration Committee, January 29 and February 19th, 3:30pm (Dennis)

9. Other Business
a) Update – Morfee parents experience with choice process
b) Request from Canadian Cancer Society to present on flavoured tobacco products
10. Agenda items for next meeting
11. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 3rd, at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

DRAFT minutes – January 6, 2014

DPAC meeting minutes Jan 6, 2014

DPAC MINUTES FOR JANUARY 6, 2014
7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

Attendees:
DPAC Executive: Sarah Holland (Chair), Chris Finke (Vice Chair); Gillian Burnett (Treasurer), Darlene Campbell (District Associate) , Steve Shannon (Technical Director), Michelle Yon (Director), and Inge Culhane (Secretary)
Partner Groups: Brian Pepper, Superintendent; Betty Bekkering, Trustee; Richard Giroday, PGDTA; Faith MacKay, PGPVPA; Karen Wong, CUPE; April Hendrickson, PEA;
School Reps: Jacqui Dockray, College Heights Elementary; Darlene Campbell, Duchess Park; Chris Finke, DP Todd; Inge Culhane, Edgewood; Sarah Holland, Heather Park; Michelle Yon, Hart Highlands; Steve and Kim Shannon, Kelly Road; Lotte Andersen, Nukko Lake; Darlene Campbell, Nusdeh Yoh; Amy Hudson, Pineview; Michelle Rolfes, PGSS; Jennifer Hicke, Southridge; Dennis Fudge, Spruceland;

Absentee School Reps: Beaverly; Blackburn; Buckhorn; College Heights Secondary; Ecole Lac des Bois; Foothills; Giscome; Glenview; Harwin; Heritage; Highglen; Hixon; Mackenzie Secondary; Malaspina; McBride Centennial; McBride Secondary; Peden Hill; Pinewood; Ron Brent; Valemount Elementary; Valemount Secondary; Van Bien; Vanway; Westwood;

1. Call to order

2. Adoption of Agenda and December 2013 Minutes-
*Add 7 (h) Superintendent review to the agenda.
Changes in December minutes:
*Gillian Burnett (Treasurer) was not in attendance
*PAC Networking – Spruceland “Ended up charging a candy cane for a BINGO sheet.”
*Partner Group Presentations – PEA Report – Caroline Northey not Marcia Waller
*Officer and Committee Reports – Treasures Report – Remove “Spoke to her report”

Adopted with changes by unanimous consent.

3. PAC Networking – Introductions
• Heather Park- Gaming raffle to raise money for accessible playground
• Nusdeh Yoh- Pancake breakfast canceled by school personnel

Continue reading DRAFT minutes – January 6, 2014

BCCPAC Deadlines for Awards, Resolutions, and Elections

Important information about nominations, resolutions and awards deadlines for the 2014 year.

Nominations to the Board: Deadline to submit nominations is February 28th
Nominations for the BCCPAC board of Directors are being accepted until February 28, 2014, for the following five positions:
President
2nd Vice President
Secretary
Director 3
Director 4
Elections will take place at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May 2014.  For more information please contact the BCCPAC office at info@bccpac.bc.ca or click here.
Member Resolutions for the 2014 AGM:
We encourage member PACs and DPACs to submit proposed resolution(s) for presentation at the BCCPAC Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Resolutions represent the views of our membership, and help to provide direction of our organization.  For more information about special and ordinary resolutions and for a list of all BCCPAC member resolutions click here.
Special Resolutions:
Advocates for change to BCCPAC’s Constitution and/or Bylaws, calls for the removal of a director, or gives authorization to the BCCPAC Board to borrow money.
Deadline to submit a special resolution: January 31 (until 11:59 pm)
Ordinary Resolutions:
A resolution that advocates change to BC’s public education system or gives direction to the BCCPAC Board of Directors.  These can be submitted anytime, including from the floor.  However we recommend these are submitted prior to the AGM so they can be widely circulated to the membership for comment.
Deadline for ordinary resolutions to be included in the AGM Resolution Booklet and Agenda:  January 31 (until 11:59 pm).  After this date submitted resolutions may not make it into the resolution booklet mailed to our members and possibly delay their being heard until the 2015 AGM.
For more information about resolutions and to check the status of existing BCCPAC member resolutions click here.
BCCPAC AWARDS DEADLINES
BCCPAC Educational Award Application: Deadline to submit is February 28th 
This award honours a well-rounded student in grade 12, attending a BCCPAC member school, who plans to pursue post-secondary studies.
More information about the BCCPAC student educational award can be found here.
Bev Hosker Motivational Award: Deadline to submit is February 28th 
The Bev Hosker Motivational Award will honour a parent or guardian who is a member of a BCCPAC member parent advisory council (PAC) or district parent advisory council (DPAC) and new or newly involved parent taking on a leadership role in their PAC or DPAC.
More information about the Bev Hosker Motivational Award can be found here.
George Matthews Award: Deadline to submit is February 28th
The George Matthews Award honours a parent or guardian who has been an exemplary leader, not only in the education of his or her own children, but also in leading others to have a significant impact on the ability of parents to exercise leadership in public education.
More information about the George Matthews Award can be found here.

Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) coming up again

The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) – tests of reading, writing and math delivered province-wide every year in Grades 4 and 7 – are coming up. Schools are expected to administer the tests between January 13 and February 21 this year.

The B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) has  developed an FSA information kit for parents. Click here to see more information from BCCPAC: http://www.bccpac.bc.ca/resources/fsa-information-kit-parents

The B.C. Education Ministry has prepared a brochure advising parents why it thinks the tests are important. In summary, it says the tests help determine whether students are learning vital skills and improving over time, if there are any significant trends in schools, districts or across the province and how certain groups of students (such as aboriginals) are doing. Click here for more Ministry information: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/assessment/fsa/info/welcome.htm

The BCTF does not support the foundation skills assessments, and says: “The provincial government has been administering the Foundation Skills Assessment tests to all students in Grades 4 and 7 since 2000. This test does not help students learn or teachers teach. It takes valuable time and much needed resources away from the classroom learning and undermines the ability to provide meaningful learning experiences for all students.” Click here for more information on the BCTF position on FSAs: http://www.bctf.ca/fsa.aspx