An All Party Forum on Education in BC was held at the Shadbolt Centre on April 4th, 2017. This was Livestreamed to an estimated audience of 1000 parents across British Columbia. You can still watch Jonina Campbell, Green Party MLA Candidate/Official Spokesperson for Education and Trustee for SD 40; Rob Fleming NDP MLA Candidate and Education Critic for the Official Opposition; and Andrew Wilkinson, Liberal MLA Candidate and Minister of Advanced Education respond to the questions posed from DPACs across the province.
Public education leaders understand the social, economic and cultural empowerment that comes with making public education our number one priority, and with the provincial election less than 30 days away, the urgency to ensure that our candidates understand the issues that are important to us continues to grow.
BCSTA has invited everyone to participate in 10 Key Actions in the lead-up to the BC General Election.
To participate in past Key Actions, please visit the Public Education is the Key campaign section.
Prince George is proud to be one of five communities in British Columbia that will host a Balancing Our Minds youth summit in 2017. The youth summit is a free, day long event for high school aged youth to learn about mental health, engage in fun activities and participate in thoughtful dialogue.
In Prince George, the youth summit is called Northern Balancing Our Minds (NBOM) and it will be the first to addresses the culture, lifestyle and interests of youth living in northern British Columbia. NBOM will entertain, delight and encourage young people to make mental wellness a priority – both for themselves and for others.
Lighting the Way: Attachment Through the Years
On May 11th 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM free evening sessions available for registered delegates and the public to attend. Registration is not required however attendance will be limited by the number of seats available. Arrive early to ensure a spot. See details below.
Attachment and Screens: Happy Kids & Angry Birds
Speaker: Vanessa Lapointe
Note: session will take place at UNBC
As a society, we have never before experienced a revolution as swift and all encompassing as the Technology Revolution. The result is we are growing up children in a time when their brains and worlds are being changed and shaped by forces we could not have imagined even 10 years ago.
Facebook didn’t exist just over a decade ago. Twitter and Instagram are a foreign language to many adults. And actual play in the real world is often replaced by screen time, with the average Canadian child being exposed to approximately 7.5 hours of “entertainment technology” per day. The challenge is that this has happened so quickly, we have not culturally had an opportunity to adjust our practices and build in safeguards and check-points to ensure that this does not harm the influential brains and minds of our growing children.
This workshop will focus on how technology exposure and use might be harming our children, how technology might be used to actually benefit the development of our children, and some ideas and guidelines to implement in our children’s exposure to and use of technology to ultimately protect and nurture their well-being.
(NOTE: this session will take place at the Prince George Native Friendship Centre located at 1600 3rd Avenue, Prince George)
Life is full of unpredictability. Families experience unexpected losses, illness, addictions, sudden changes and other crises. What can we do as parents to ensure our children adapt to life’s ups and downs? How can we ensure that they recover from these inevitabilities? It is not necessarily what happens to us but rather what happens in response to what happens to us. This is where we as parents and teachers can make a profound difference for our children who are experiencing crises whether personally or within the context of their families. During this session Denise will share her own experience leading her family through profound crises while ensuring her children continued to adapt, thrive and recover. Specifically, Denise will provide relational insight into…The keys to resilience and adaptation; Provision of fundamental needs in order for development to continue to unfold; The signs that a child may be stuck and how to get them unstuck; The importance of ritual.
We need to get signed proxy forms back from PACs who are members of BCCPAC. This helps to increase our voice at the BCCPAC AGM. Please send to us by Wednesday, May 3rd, at the latest.
If your PAC is a member (please see list below), please fill out the proxy, scan/take a picture, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do so, or vote by another method, then your BCCPAC membership will be reimbursed by DPAC.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this.
Proxy form: 2017-Proxy-Form BCCPAC SD57
We are sending two delegates at this time:
The BCCPAC resolution package has few resolutions that usual. We have not had our typical resolutions meeting to discuss the resolutions, as there are only a few that have been proposed at this time – for example, granting John Bird (recently passed away former Chair of BCCPAC) an honorary membership, installing defibrillators in school facilities, implementing a provincial poverty reduction plan, and advocating for single staff inclusive washrooms in school to be made available.
Our delegates will cast votes for resolutions, and nominees. If you like, you can direct these delgates to vote in a specific way, or to use their best judgement at the time – just let us know.
Who are BCCPAC members in this district?
We encourage our member PACs to cast your vote at the BCCPAC AGM
College Heights Elementary
Duchess Park Secondary
Lac de Bois
Nukko Lake Elementary
Peden Hill Elementary
Our meetings in May and June will be held the SECOND Monday of the month, due both to the BCCPAC conference and room availability.
May meeting – Monday, May 8, 7pm, at Van Bien.
June meeting – Monday, June 12. This meeting will be our annual general meeting, in which an election will be held.
According to the SD57 website, the transfer process for Springwood Elementary takes place from April 10th to April 21st, starting online at 9am.
The SD57 website states that “2017 – 2018 Kindergarten to Grade 6 regular program students residing within the new Springwood catchment (see map attached) will automatically be registered in Springwood Elementary. Students wishing to remain at their existing school are required to apply through this process.”
Note: it is unclear if students living in the new Springwood catchment, attending schools other than Heather Park and Glenview, would be automatically registered at Springwood. There has been different information provided to some parents.
It also states that “A time and date is automatically assigned to each application received. Applications will be considered in order of receipt. Staff at district schools are available to assist you with the online system during the application process.”
Bolding is our emphasis. Again, this procedure starts on Monday morning at 9am.
School District policy 5119 governs registrations, catchment, and transfers:
This policy states that transfer requests are handled in the following manner for transfers:
2.3.1 A sibling of a school district child who, in the previous year, attended the school in question and who will be attending the school in the following year.
2.3.2 A school district child.
2.3.3 A non-school district child.
2.3.4 If there are more students in a priority category than can be accommodated in any program, priority will be established based on the date and time of application.
If the district is following this policy for Springwood, this would mean that if you live in the new Springwood catchment, and your child was previously attending Glenview or Heather Park, and you wish to transfer your K to 6 child back to that school, the following categories would apply:
It is unclear if this is actually going to be the procedure. Typically, parents would be informed of the process BEFORE the transfer procedure opens.
As per the Superintendent’s letter:
“The District Office is equipped to answer telephone, 250-561-6800 and email email@example.com questions and school communities will be supported to plan appropriately for September 2017.”
“Parents affected by the reopening of Springwood Elementary School should circle Tuesday April 18 on their calendars. That’s the night, starting at 7 p.m, the Prince George School District will hold a community information night at Kelly Road Secondary School in the multi-purpose room to discuss the matter and answer questions from concerned parents.”
DPAC has two reactions regarding the district’s decision to re-open Springwood Elementary:
The district’s strategic plan states: “we will actively engage in open communication with our education community. Transparency will enable us to establish trust and support from our communities and will provide clarity in our processes”. We have not seen that engagement, communication, or transparency in this process, and we encourage the district to live up to those words in the future.
At the public input section of the school board meeting of April 4th, the DPAC chair gave the following presentation:
Good evening. I’m Gillian Burnett representing the District Parent Advisory Council. I sit before you tonight, knowing that our organization has failed – we have been ineffective in influencing change that we have spent years advocating for. The release of the recommendation to reopen Springwood Elementary- what should be a good news story-, and the subsequent response from many families, has followed our anticipated, predicted and feared path.
For many years we have kept vigilante watch on enrollments, projections and capacities. We have written reports, delivered presentations and had numerous conversations about the need to plan in advance for a better response to ever changing demographics and emergent issues.
Let’s look at two examples. The declining enrollment and under-capacity of our buildings that resulted in the 2010 closures had been evident for quite some time, and it was the loss of the Annual Facilities Grant which made the problem critical. Compare that to today. The increasing enrollment and subsequent capacity challenges in the Hart area have been evident for quite some time, with class size changes now making them critical.
The very nature of a crisis implies restrictions on the length of time we have to plan and act and results in what DPAC has called “unnecessarily disruptive processes “. We have repeatedly called upon the board and administration to develop a process that allows time for fulsome consultation, communication, planning and implementation. Our recommendation is the same today as it was in March, in January, or 5 years ago:
We recommend that a standing committee with full partner group representation be created. That the committee meet annually to review the district’s enrollments, capacities and projections in order to identify trends, challenges and emergent issues. That partner groups be engaged in providing input on proposed solutions and implementation plans.
If you approve Item 7.1 later this evening, there is a lot of work to be done in order to make this successful for our affected communities.
We know transitions can create stress for those affected. We know that stress is a contributing factor to vulnerability in childhood development. We know that the Hart area has seen an increase in the number of kids vulnerable on 1 or more scales of the EDI. And good news, we know that strong relational communities that provide nurturing and enriching environments are most effective in mitigating the negative outcomes for vulnerable children.
Some of the processes necessary to implement this plan have been predetermined and are outlined in the recommendation already, but more is needed. We need a process that can begin to build a sense of community. We need to ensure that from this point forward, communication with affected parties is improved and that those affected are engaged in developing an effective implementation plan. We need a process that identifies the supports and resources necessary to ensure Springwood becomes the very best environment we can provide.
I hope my presentation has helped identify constructive solutions to improve the outcomes for our students, their families and communities. Thank you.
They are looking to establish a communications plan for the affected families. If you have a student in Heather Park or Glenview, you can look forward to receiving a letter.
There are currently 183 students living in the Springwood catchment.
Summary: Tentative Memorandum of Agreement (between British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (“BCPSEA”) and The British Columbia Ministry of Education (“Ministry of Education”) and British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (“BCTF”)