Monthly Archives: March 2017

Reopening Springwood Elementary?

On the school board agenda for April 4th, there is a recommendation to re-open Springwood Elementary for September 2017, and revise the catchment areas for Heather Park Elementary school and Glenview Elementary.

It’s important to note that this motion has not passed at this point, and it will be very interesting to hear the discussion at the board meeting. 

The motion as written states that “students currently enrolled in Grade 6 in the proposed new catchment area for Springwood Elementary School be permitted to remain at their current school for Grade 7”. It is possible that this would mean that students currently enrolled in kindergarten to grade 5 would not be permitted to remain at their current school.

The motion as written also states that a transfer process will take place from April 9 to 21, 2017.

The background given is that currently Heather Park, Hart Highlands, and Glenview are projected to be near or at operating and nominal capacity for September 2017. With the November 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision, and negotiations between the provincial government and the BC Teachers’ Federation, class sizes are being decreased.

The organization of Heather Park, Hart Highlands, and Glenview is estimated to require ten additional classrooms. They note that reopening Springwood, and revising catchments, will provided the additional classrooms required in this area.

Reopening Springwood (section of Board agenda package dealing with this issued).

The Board of Education will hold their regular public meeting on Tuesday, April 4th at 7 p.m. at the Central Administration Office located at 2100 Ferry Avenue. School board meetings are open to the public. There is a 30 minute public input session at the beginning, at which anyone who puts their name down may speak for 5 minutes at most.

It’s possible that people may be interested in a DPAC report from 2012 about future capacity issues in the district: http://sd57dpac.ca/2012/04/enrolment-projections-and-capacity-report/

As we noted then, “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.”

Journey from Secondary School to Post Secondary

The Journey from Secondary School to Post Secondary: Making an informed decision

The Prince George DPAC invites you to this workshop with the Service Design team for Ministry of Advanced Education,  to help the Ministry understand the needs of parents in looking at post secondary education.

Any and all interested parents are invited to attend Wednesday, March 29th, 7PM at Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

Come help the ministry:

  • Understand the needs of students and their supports(parents & guardians) in exploring potential career paths and post secondary opportunities
  • Understand how students apply to post secondary institutions and ways to improve the process.

Through activities designed to:

  • Review how students use the EducationPlannerBC tool(http://educationplannerbc.ca/), its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Exploring what online tools and supports students use to inform their decisions and how they locate those tools and supports.

Please register here, to allow planning for the number of participants
Eventbrite - The Journey from Secondary School to Post Secondary: Making an informed decision

SD 57 seeking input on…

Draft school calendar: http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Pages/newsitem.aspx?ItemID=97&ListID=75c80a8f-296a-4d0a-940f-ee765426e1a2&TemplateID=Announcement_Item

 

On January 31, 2017 the Board of Education approved Draft Policy 4117 SOGI (SEXUAL ORIENTATION GENDER IDENTITY) for distribution to reference groups for input.

DRAFT 4117 SOGI.pdf

On September 8, 2016 the Ministry of Education issued a directive requiring that all British Columbia school districts add explicit protections for LGBT students to their anti-bullying policies.

The existing policy was reviewed by the school district’s LGBTQ Advisory Group who identified areas within Policy 4117 LGBTQ that require updating to include the current terms, definitions and language as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s guidelines.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS REGARDING DRAFT POLICY 4117 SOGI IS APRIL 2, 2017.

On February 28, 2017 the Board of Education approved Draft Policy 4112.5 Administrative Appointments in principle and for distribution to reference groups for input prior to final approval. 

DRAFT 4112.5 Administrative Appointments.pdf 

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS REGARDING DRAFT POLICY 4112.5 ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTS IS MAY 2, 2017.

Agenda for March 6 Meeting

Video conference link: https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/sd57dpac.ca/dpac-general-mt

Draft agenda:

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, March 6, 2017, 7:00 p.m., Van Bien Training Centre
1. Call to order
2. Adoption of agenda and Adoption of Minutes
3. PAC Networking and discussion (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. Partner Group Presentations (five minutes each – questions may be taken about general topics, detailed and specific questions are best kept to the break)
a) District Student Advisory Council ( )
b) CUPE Report (Karen Wong)
c) Prince George District Teachers Association Report (Richard Giroday)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Kelly Johansen)
e) Senior Administration Report ( )
f) Trustee Report (Bob Harris)
(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)

5. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Gillian Burnett)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Sarah Holland)
c) BCCPAC Report

6. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) PAC Café (Sarah Holland) – Report out
b) Foodsafe – October

7. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve Shannon)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report ( )
c) Policy and Governance (Mike Gagel)
d) Expanded Committee of the Whole – School District Budget
e) Meeting with Trustees – March 8th – Agenda items include Capacity Issues, Policy and Policy Development, Parking, and what PACs and DPAC could be doing to help trustees

f) Lunch “hour” – next steps
g) Draft Policy 4112.5 Administrative Appointments
h) Suggestions for School Board Report

8. Elections
a) Director Position
b) Nominee Committee

9. Other Business
a) BCCPAC AGM Delegates
b) Ministry of Advanced Education session – looking at the student journey from high school to post secondary, and the tools and resources required by students and their supports to make informed decisions, including EducationPlannerBC – either March 29 or March 31

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

 

John Bird

For people who didn’t know John Bird, this is a loss to our entire province of a dedicated advocate for public education. He will be missed.

 

It is with deep sorrow that the BCCPAC Board of Directors must announce the passing of our former President and dear friend, Mr. John Bird.  After a courageous battle with cancer, John passed in his sleep on Tuesday morning with his loving family at his side.

Dedicating almost two decades in service to his District PAC and the BCCPAC,  John was a devoted and tireless advocate for parents and students in public education.  With his extensive knowledge of educational issues and his skill as a negotiator, John was able to successfully advance the interests of parents and students with the Ministry of Education and to forge alliances with other key partners in Education.

He was a strong voice for the most vulnerable of our students, and for the right of each unique learner to be able to access the resources and supports they need to be successful in their local schools.  In addition to advocating for large scale change, John helped countless families to advocate for the needs of their individual children in school districts across the Province.

Above all of his tireless volunteer work, John was a devoted and loving husband and father, and a kind and dedicated friend.  He inspired us all with his wisdom, his compassion, and his strong, yet gentle leadership.  Words cannot adequately express how deeply he will be missed. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and dear friends.

Sincerely,

Your BCCPAC Executive Board and Staff

Report from PAC Cafe

Thank you to all our attendees for taking the time to come out and discuss various PAC issues.

We have some notes – this is not a full record of the meeting, but some information recorded at the time.

  • Online survey on student reporting – can be found at curriculum.gov.bc.ca
  • When having tables at a school event to meet parents, noted that Tim Hortons has donated coffee & timbits to various PACs – don’t be afraid to ask
  • some PACs have attached notes to a treat to go home
  • mailchimp.com – great free online service to manage mailing list, so that people can subscribe/unsubscribe themselves
  • discussion of Facebook useage, and importance of good moderation, if posts/comments are allowed
  • One PAC mentioned an item in the school newsletter called “PAC Musings”, which is a summary of meetings, rather than expecting people to read minutes
  • volunteers need to be careful of being “Super Volunteer” – makes it very difficult to be replaced
  • important to be able to say no – both to time taken and whether or not events are held
  • important to take look at bylaws before issues arise, can have your bylaws reviewed/critiqued by DPAC
  • Money can be donated through School District in order to receive a tax receipt – money held in school district trust account for PAC usage
  • don’t be afraid to simply ask for money, rather than sending multiple fundraising items home for parents
  • discussion over items that are being asked for by schools – keep in mind that principals may ask for things in preference to paying for themselves. PACs can ask to see school budgets
  • If there are gaming questions, the people at Gaming are terrific to deal with – highly recommended take questions there
  • Discussion about parking issues, crossing guards, bicycle lanes – major safety issue with congestion around schools
  • DPAC to work on setting up committee / event / community forum – jokingly called “Asphalt and Assholes” – bring together various PACs, district, city, ICBC, whoever may be useful
  • need to work together – changing behaviours, changing design, look at what realistically can be done, and look at doing this before anything serious happens to a child
  • should be looked at through district level, rather than just each individual school