DPAC minutes, March 3, 2014

DPAC meeting minutes Mar 3, 2014
DPAC MINUTES FOR March 3, 2014
7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

DPAC Executive: Sarah Holland (Chair), Chris Finke (Vice Chair); Gillian Burnett (Treasurer), Steve Shannon (Technical Director), Darlene Campbell (District Associate), and Inge Culhane (Secretary)
Partner Groups: Betty Bekkering, Trustee; Karen Wong, CUPE; Tina Cousins, PGDTA; Faith Mackay, PGPVPA; Holly Kavanaugh, David Ki, PEA; Megan Klitch, Gurkirat Kaurk, Canadian Cancer Society
School Reps: Chris Finke, DP Todd; Inge Culhane, Edgewood; Sarah Holland, Heather Park; Steve and Kim Shannon, Kelly Road; Lotte Andersen, Nukko Lake; Darlene Campbell, Nusdeh Yoh, Duchess; Michelle Rolfes, PGSS; Ryan Clarke, Quinson; Candice Bate, Buckhorn; Jacqueline Dockray, College Heights; Fiona Kier, Glenview; Dennis Fudge, Spruceland;

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

1. Call to order

2. Adoption of Agenda and February 3, 2014 Minutes-

Adopted by unanimous consent.

3. PAC Networking – Introductions
• Heather Park- Safety committee. Space blankets were purchased. Went to good use during fire alarm in -30 weather, especially for those students wearing gym strip.
• College Heights elementary – anti-bullying day, carnival, vice principal allocated to Foothills.
• Nusdeh Yoh- Parking lot garage sale May 24th, June outdoor movie night, Bone game, language club
• PGSS- Semester change, talent show
• Kelly Road- semester change
• DP Todd- Focus on athletics. Sitting students down in front of computers for programing, not enough students for honors program, Jr. Band concert tonight, Jazz Band concert next Tues.
• Duchess park- Parent info night for grade 7 students from feeder schools
• Buckhorn- Have safety blankets as well. Would like to request that the school purchase the bottled water used for sports day early in the year, to have on hand for emergencies.

• Nukko Lake – Olympic festival put on by teachers (parents unaware) PAC usually holds a winter festival for the students.
• Quinson- Principal returned after one month absence
• Spruceland – Nothing to report

4. Guest Presentation – Flavored Tobacco products, Canadian Cancer Society – Power point presentation and flavored tobacco products passed around. Petition circulated.

5. Partner Group Presentations
(a) DSAC Report- (Graeme MacKenzie (KRSS) and Shelby Miller (DPSS)) – Not in attendance.
(b) CUPE Report – (Karen Wong) – Things going well. Collective agreement expires in June. 2014 bargaining committee is formed. Trying to maintain labor peace. Positive moves. Going to Vancouver in April to start things early. Cold weather -please encourage children to go inside or EA’s have to be out in cold weather to supervise.
(c) PGDTA Report – (Tina Cousins) – Handed out info to parents. Strike vote this week. Part of unionized employees position is strike voting. Looking for fairness. Not planning immediate school closures. Provincial issue. Trying to work with School District 57.
(d) PGPVPA Report – (Faith Mackay) March – Leadership standards for Principals and Vice-Principals in BC self assessment tool. Handout provided during meeting. Document is on-line and available for the public.
(e) PEA Report – Holly Kavanaugh/David Ki – School psychologists. Individual service to students. Short workers/recruitment, service pre-school to Grade 12.
(f) Superintendent Report – (Brian Pepper)- Not in attendance.
(g) Trustee Report – (Betty Bekkering)- Spoke to her report. , LGBTQ policy passed, Camp Trapping visit, DP Todd Family meeting, UNBC high achievers,

6. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Sarah Holland) – Spoke to her report. Attached in March agenda package.
b) Treasurers Report (Gillian Burnett) – Spoke to her report. Attached in March agenda package.
c) BCCPAC Report- Darlene Campbell – Resolutions out next week. May 2, 2014 elections (half of the positions are available).

7. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) Grant requests – No new requests. Malaspina will contact Gillian with receipts for their event. Approx $66.00
b) PAC Cafe – April 12, 2014, 11am-2pm at Coast Inn of the North. Registration on website.
c) Fall Conference Committee meeting- March 12, 2014, 7pm 5425 Meadowlark Road
d) Serving our remote members – idea for bringing PAC’s in from outlying communities
MOTION: Jacqui Dockray. 2nd by Gillian Burnett. Invite PAC members from outlying communities of SD 57 to attend a DPAC meeting. Two representatives per school from each community will be allotted travel and accommodations as per policy. All in favor. Motion CARRIED.

8. Advising School District
a) Education Services report (Steve Shannon ) – Spoke to report. Report posted on DPAC website Youth Survey from City. On PG City website.
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report (Darlene Campbell) – Unable to make the meeting. Report available on the school district website.
c) Policy and Governance report (Sarah Holland) – Spoke to report attached in March agenda package
d) Expanded Committee of the Whole ( Gillian Burnett & Sarah Holland)- Spoke to report. In March Agenda pkg.
e) Ad hoc Technology committee – MOTION: Darlene Campbell. 2nd Chris Finke. Nominate Steve Shannon to represent DPAC on Ad hoc Technoloy Committee. All in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
f) Suggestions for School Board Report (Sarah Holland) – please email Sarah with ideas. Students will be on Spring Break during Pink shirt day -please ask school district to celebrate it on another day. PAC Cafe info to school trustees.
9. Other Business
a) Nominating committee -MOTION: Sarah Holland. 2nd Darlene Campbell. Nominate Chris Finke and Jacqui Dockray for the nominating committee. All in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
b) Resolution Workshop scheduling – Sunday, April 6, 2014, 11am (lunch included).
c) Media talking points- DPAC hoping for fair and negotiated settlement
d) Spring Fling- 10th Annual North Central Zone Educational Conference, April 4, 2014. Free for PAC and DPAC members. Open to parents. Registration on line.
e) BC Student Voice Conference, March 12, 2014
f) BCCPAC Conference – May 29 to June 2, 2014 in Richmond -attendees, possible date change for June DPAC mtg. Please submit in writing if interested in attending. MOTION: Darlene Campbell. 2nd Chris Finke. Move June DPAC meeting from June 2, 2014 to June 9, 2014. MOTION CARRIED.
10. Agenda items for next meeting… please email Sarah with items. Lunch scheduling for students. Ask District about metrics for anti-bullying/bullying.
Meeting adjourned at 9:51 pm.
Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 7, 2014 at 7:00pm Van Bien training and Development Center.

Fraser Institute Elementary School Rankings released


Some useful links that discuss the Fraser Institute methodology, and debate around these scores:


I recently interviewed a Vancouver realtor about how house-hunting parents obtain information about K-12 schools. He said those relocating within the province often get advice from friends and relatives, but many families moving to B.C. from elsewhere use the Fraser Institute’s report cards.

Although controversial, they offer the only overview of B.C. schools, he said.

That’s not entirely true.

Earlier this year, the Education Ministry created a website (discoveryourschool.gov.bc.ca) in response to parents’ requests for more information to help them make educational choices. A news release went out in March, but based on conversations I’ve had with several people, I don’t think it circulated well.

The website provides data about class size, the school’s seismic rating, student and parent satisfaction and results from the annual Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) in Grades 4 and 7. Unlike the Fraser Institute’s report cards, it does not rank schools and – not surprisingly – doesn’t mention shortcomings. It also includes this qualification:

“The data shown here is just a starting point. The best way to get to know a school is to go there. Talk to the principal. Meet the teachers. Get a feel for the school first hand. Go to the school’s website, which will give you much more detail about what is going on.”

The ministry says the website is evolving and it welcomes feedback about what other information should be included. What do you think parents need to know about B.C. schools?


Parents need to make an informed enrolment choice. On April 30, the Fraser Institute released its 2012 school rankings, a controversial report of public sector and independent schools in B.C.

The first consideration parents should make when selecting schools, said Helen Raptis, researcher into the history and sociology of education at the University of Victoria, is to disregard the rankings.

The rankings are a distortion of the foundation skills assessments, tests administered in Grades 4 and 7 to measure basic reading, writing and numeracy skills, Raptis said, noting how factors such as number of students who abstain from writing the tests are combined with test results to determine a school’s ranking.

Raptis uses the example that in 2011, Torquay elementary scored higher than Pacific Christian in FSA test scores, but ranked lower in the Fraser Institute rankings than the independent school.

“Despite the flaws, (the rankings) have managed to have credence over the last 10 years,” Raptis said. “Parents continue to rely on flawed information … (The Fraser Institute) adds variables that haven’t been tested to have any merit in terms of measuring student achievement.”

Know your child

Is your child thriving in their current setting? And if they’re doing well academically, but are unhappy, is that OK? Monitoring achievement is an integral step in the process of finding the right educational fit.

Schools, public or private, are generally interested in opening their doors to prospective students, but before parents take that step, Raptis said, they should already know in which arts, sports, or academic pursuits their child is most interested and which schools have a proven reputation in those areas.

“There’s nothing worse than having a bad school experience and having a bad fit,” she said. “We want our kids to thrive and pursue goals, to come out of their experience contributing positively to society. They can’t do that if the fit isn’t right.”

Raptis warns of switching a child out of any school – public or private – should they be enjoying a positive social setting.



A DPAC member also wrote an interesting report on the Fraser Institute reports last year: http://sd57dpac.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Fraser-institute-report.pdf

Teachers pass strike vote

From a news release sent to DPAC 20 minutes after the announcement of the strike vote:

BC teachers vote overwhelmingly in favour of job action

March 6, 2014

A total of 26,051 teachers voted yes in a province-wide vote conducted March 4–6, 2014. In all, 29,301 teachers cast ballots, of whom 89% voted yes.

“With this vote, BC teachers have sent a very clear message to the BC government; it’s time to negotiate in good faith, take back the unreasonable proposals, and offer teachers a fair deal that also provides better support for students,” BCTF President Jim Iker said.

In releasing the results, Iker stressed that there is no immediate action planned. “There will be no job action tomorrow, there will be no job action next week,” Iker said. “Teachers now have 90 days to activate the strike vote with some sort of action. There is no set timing for when we will begin. It will depend entirely on what is happening at the negotiating table and whether or not the government and employers’ association are prepared to be fair and reasonable.

“BC teachers are committed to negotiating a deal at the table. That is our goal. The vote is about putting pressure on both sides to get an agreement. We will work very hard to get that negotiated settlement without any job action. A strike vote is a normal process in labour relations and helps apply pressure to both parties during negotiations.”

If job action becomes necessary, Iker outlined that it will occur in stages, but any initial action will not:

  • include immediate school closures or disruption for students
  • ask teachers to stop participating in extracurricular activities
  • affect report cards or communication with parents.

Any initial job action will be administrative in nature and have no impact on student learning. If, at some point talks stall or government does not move on key areas, that initial job action could escalate into rotating strikes. Once again, it depends on events at the negotiating table. There will be no full-scale walk out as a result of this vote. Such action would require another province-wide vote of the BCTF membership.

“Teachers voted so overwhelmingly in favour because the government has tabled unfair and unreasonable proposals that would undo the class size, class composition, and specialist teacher staffing levels we just won back in a BC Supreme Court Ruling,” said Iker. “The employer’s salary offer is also less than what was given to other public sector workers and ignores how far BC teachers have fallen behind their colleagues across Canada.”

Spring Break and April 4th Pro D Day activities – City of Prince George Flyer

During each Professional Development Day, the City of Prince George helps to coordinate a listing of all the fun activities for children to enjoy during their day off school.  This is an opportunity for kids, parents and educators to discover all of the great events and programs that are available on Pro D Days.

Children can stay active, meet new people and learn some cool things by participating in all sorts of programs, special events and activities put on by our favourite local organizations and businesses – especially for kids on Pro D Days!

Pro D Days 2013/2014 are September 27th, October 25th, November 29th, January 31st, and April 4th and Spring Break (March 17th to 28th).


PAC Cafe – April 12, 2014

PAC Cafe flyer 2014

For parent advisory council members in the
Prince George School District

  • Share ideas and challenges
  • Network with other PACs in your area
  • Get ideas from other volunteers doing your job
  • Enjoy a catered lunch
Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 11am to 2pm
Coast Inn of the North, Gleason Room

Pre-registration required, at pgpaccafe2014.eventbrite.ca

Free of charge for all PAC executive members

Questions? Call 250-649-6770 or email info@sd57dpac.ca 





2014 March 3 General Meeting Agenda

Link to webconference for remote members: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M8JM2OE1J47DH14CTPCI3VI6QR-B8NT


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

1. Call to order
2. Adoption of agenda and Adoption of February 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 – flavoured tobacco products, 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 – April 12th, 11am to 2pm, Coast Inn of the North
c) Fall conference committee meeting – March 12, 7pm, 5425 Meadowlark Road
d) Serving our remote members – idea for bringing PACs in from outlying communities
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) Ad hoc Technology committee – being formed
f) Suggestions for School Board Report

9. Other Business
a) Nominating committee
b) Resolution workshop scheduling
c) Media talking points
d) Spring Fling – 10th annual North Central Zone Educational Conference, April 4th
e) BC Student Voice Conference, March 12th
f) BCCPAC Conference – May 29th to June 2nd – attendees, possible date change for June DPAC meeting

10. Agenda items for next meeting
11. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 7th, at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.