Happy New Year!

We hope you are enjoying the break with family and friends over the holidays. Be sure to invest time in our students as they have new experiences, create new friendships, and learn new strategies this coming year.

Start the year off right and plan to attend our DPAC Meeting on Monday! It is the first day back at school on January 6 at 6:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre. It is important for parents to engage with the School District Staff and PAC Members working toward better education and school experiences for our children. The Honorable Shirley Bond and Mike Morris will attend as BC Liberal MLAs representing our region. It is important to understand the political direction our government is taking in regards to education and funding for families. Please come with your questions and encouragement for them as they advocate for us.

Feel free to contact DPAC Executive with any questions, suggestions, or concerns from your PAC. Email exec@sd57dpac.ca.

Merry Christmas from DPAC

We have several announcements and information to share:

  1. The DPAC Executive Team has distributed Christmas Cards to each school in our District. Contact your School Administrator to confirm its arrival and plan to pick it up in January if you haven’t done so already.
  2. A statement was recently released regarding booking schools for PAC events. A link to the information on our website is here. Please share this with all your PAC Executives and Volunteers as soon as possible. The DPAC Executive Team is available to visit your January PAC meeting to explain this and other initiatives we are involved in. Email us at exec@sd57dpac.ca with your meeting date and time and we will connect with you.
  3. Sometimes issues arise in our schools that cause frustration for parents. It may not seem like you get the answers or action you require within an expected timeframe. This can cause friction between parents and the student against the teacher and Principal. Every effort is made to resolve the issue at the school level but if necessary an escalation process can be followed. A link to the chart on the SD57 website is here. We ask that parents who are concerned about the programs or services at their school, contact DPAC for assistance in advocating on their behalf. We do not advise you to publicly share opinions on Social Media as it can cause defamation of our valuable Staff members. Contact us anytime by email or message us on our Facebook page.
  4. The District is working on providing PACs with SD57 email addresses to aid in communications regarding meetings, events, and policies. Stay tuned for more on this in the New Year.
  5. We encourage all PACs to register and pay annual dues ($75) for a BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) Membership. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2019. This is allows your PAC to get information and vote on initiatives that parents advocate on province wide. DPAC sends representatives to the AGM in May and will ask for your proxy vote if your PAC is unable to send a representative. We offer a reimbursement of your membership fee after the proxy forms are submitted. Win, win!
  6. The Honorable Shirley Bond and Honorable Mike Morris plan to attend our January 6, 2020 DPAC meeting. If you have questions for our MLAs regarding education in BC, funding for programs and facilities, or any other school related concern, please email us your question to present at the meeting. We welcome all parents to join us for this exciting opportunity to hear what the Opposition Party supports in the BC Legislature.
  7. Invitations have gone out for our Parent Café on January 18, 2020. It will be from 10am – 2pm at the Prince George Civic Centre. The cost is $5 and it includes drinks and lunch. This is an event where parents, PAC volunteers, and executives can freely ask questions to the DPAC Executive and network with each other. Many topics come up including parent engagement, fundraising ideas, successful events and hot lunches, how meetings should run, the roles of the executive members, relationship with the Principal, and much more. There are limited spots so register now at this Eventbrite link.

Thanks again for your interest and support for all that we do to represent parents in the District. We are open to feedback and suggestions at monthly meetings or through email.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!

From the School District No. 57 District Parent Advisory Council Executive

Booking PAC Events

As many of you know, PACs have been told they were not included in the School District’s insurance coverage for roughly the last year. We are happy to report that the issue has been resolved. Please read!

Here’s a summary of the process from the DPAC Executive:

– School District No. 57 (District) went through negotiations with the City of Prince George (City) regarding their Joint User Agreement that allows community groups to book and use school property. The insurance requirements were reviewed as well as the procedure for booking in advance to prevent scheduling conflicts.

– The District was uncomfortable with PAC using school facilities and property for events where there could be a risk of injury or damage. They asked that PACs purchase additional liability insurance according to the City requirements for other user groups.

– DPAC advocated against this for obvious reasons but seeing no way around it, they encouraged PACs to continue holding events but purchase insurance and keep receipts for reimbursement by the District.

– Much confusion followed throughout the year as to what the liability requirements were, how to book events, what PACs (or Executive) would be on the hook for, etc. Unfortunately, many family events and fundraisers were cancelled due to the uncertainty.

– In September, the District presented a new booking form that was not practical for PACs, did not alleviate the indemnity, and left many feeling unwelcome at the schools. Infrequent, poor communication from the District complicated matters and strained relationships between all parties.

– DPAC Executive attended the BCCPAC Summit and found that our District was the only one struggling with this issue. PACs are legislated to operate under the School Act therefore they are covered under Districts province wide.

– As of Dec 4, a final “Application for Use of School Facilities – PAC Event” form (may be two single sided pages or one double-sided page) was released removing all conditions on PACs to have proof of insurance or be liable for injury or damages.

– The December version includes a list of policies that must be adhered to on page 2. A second document was released called “Policy Information Sheet – PAC Events”. It outlines the policies pertaining to PAC events and what they mean to us.

– The Application form must be completed, signed by the PAC Chair or Vice-Chair, approved by the Principal, and submitted at least 16 days in advance of the event.

Policies to follow:

  1. Policy 110 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy – No image or recording of identifiable students is to be taken or used without written consent and if even if permission is granted, it is only for that one purpose not for future use. Keep personal information on fundraising forms confidential and destroy as soon as possible.
  2. Policy 1223 School Parent Advisory Councils – Even though PACs are their own Society, they work with the Principal and can’t do activities without their approval.
  3. Policy 1240 Provision of Volunteer Services – All volunteers must fill out an application form and have a clean criminal record check to be on the approved volunteer list before the event.
  4. Policy 1330 Use of School Facilities – Activities must be inclusive and appropriate for all not infringing on human rights. No alcohol or smoking on school property.
  5. Policy 3542 Food Service – Food that is prepared at an event must have one person with FoodSafe to supervise the food area the whole time. Does not apply to pre-made food.
  6. Policy 3542.3 Healthy Food Choices in Schools – When providing pre-made items offer healthy options as well whenever possible.
  7. Policy 5131.5 Anti-Vandalism – Limit opportunities for vandalism and illegal entry into the school. Don’t leave doors propped open, supervise the door as guests come in. Make note of damage and report to the Principal immediately.
  8. Policy 5131.62 No Smoking or Vaping – Absolutely no one can smoke, vape, or use tobacco products while on school property, even if they are in their personal vehicle in school parking lot.

Forms for PAC are posted on the School District 57 website under “Parents” here.

We hope this brings clarity and helps alleviate any concerns about using the school for PAC events. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. Please email us at exec@sd57dpac.ca with your questions or feedback. Thank you!

DPAC Executive Members: Andrea, Kim, Arlene, Amie, Trudy, Nicole, Christa

SD 57 Parent Cafe 2020

Saturday January 18, 2020 from 10am – 2pm at Prince George Civic Centre

We invite all parents involved with PAC to join us!

This may include the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other positions you may have – Volunteer Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Fundraising, etc.  It includes any parent who helps with PAC activities! 

  • Share ideas and challenges
  • Network with other PAC volunteers in your area
  • Get ideas from other volunteers doing your job
  • Enjoy a catered lunch! 

Pre-registration is required. Follow this Eventbrite link.

We charge a nominal fee of $5 for SD57 attendees ($25 for non-SD57). Please contact us if this is a barrier to your attendance, as we have a budget to ensure all are included.

If you are from Hixon, Mackenzie, McBride, or Valemount, please let us know, as we should be able to assist with travel costs. 

Questions? Email exec@sd57dpac.ca

November Meeting Minutes & Agenda for December 2

The school year is in full swing and moving steady right into Christmas break. Please review the minutes from our November 4th meeting.

Plans are underway for a PAC Cafe in the new year. Plan to come to our next meeting on Monday to hear about that and much more. Representatives from Senior Administration, the Board of Education, and many other partner groups are there to provide information on initiatives within the District and answer parent’s questions. PAC Representatives from multiple schools benefit from discussions and networking regarding fundraisers and programs that they run at their elementary and secondary schools. Even if you are not an elected PAC Rep, all parents are welcome to attend!

DPAC Meeting Monday Dec 2, 2019 6:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre

SD57 Update

The DPAC is working closely with SD57 Administration and Board to support parents and families at Ecole College Heights in light of the recent event of a teacher being removed for having a history of inappropriate behaviour towards students. SD57 Senior Administration has been directly in contact with and is available for affected families at ECHE. The teacher in question was removed immediately upon SD57 becoming aware of the previous grievances, and a TTOC teacher was also immediately arranged. The school board and administration are actively reviewing the events that transpired resulting in this teacher being hired into SD57 and ECHE, along with how to prevent this in the future.
For the parents and families at Ecole College Heights, please contact the ECHE administration with your questions and concerns. A communique has been sent out to parents and administration at ECHE with more details.
For parents and families at all other schools, if you have issues or concerns with regards to any staff, events or situations at your school please speak to your school administrators and administration (Principal, Vice Principal). If the situation or concerns are not being addressed at your school administration level please then contact the DPAC via our email address (exec@sd57dpac.ca) with your concerns and we will connect with you.
We have also attached the SD57 Guidelines for Resolving Problems and Concerns for reference (https://www.sd57.bc.ca/…/Guidelines%20for%20Problem%20Solvi…).

The DPAC is always available as a resource for PACs and parents who are having difficulties resolving issues at their school level.

SD57 Update: click here

From the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council Executive

October Meeting Minutes

We had 16 parents attend the meeting on October 7. There is so much great information presented by DPAC Executives and Representatives from Senior Administration, School Board, Principals & Vice-Principals Association, Prince George District Teachers Association, and CUPE.

We had a presentation from Jason Peters, the new Communications and Public Relations Officer with the District. They have very recently launched a Facebook page School District No. 57. Be sure to “like” and follow. Check out stories from around the District on the new website sd57stories.com.

Plan to attend the DPAC Meeting on Monday November 4 at 6:30 at Van Bien Training Centre. Let us know you are coming by responding to this event. DPAC Representatives (or Alternates) from every school can attend to ask questions, give input, and vote on initiatives.

Finally, there are still a few spots left in the FoodSafe course on Nov. 17. Register here.

Insurance Update

DPAC and the SD57 have been working to resolve the issues around insurance requirements for PAC events. As of our recent October meeting with the District, please note the following:

1. PACs are not to cancel any events due to concerns around insurance and liability – if your PAC has concerns or questions please contact the DPAC, your school Administration or SD57 directly.

2. PACs – Please use this form called Application for the Use of School Facilities – PAC Event; Complete the form to the best of your ability and then review it with your school Principal or Vice-Principal. They will ensure that it is filled out correctly and then submit it to SD57. The “Licensee” on the form is either the person booking the event or a member of the PAC Executive – it is simply a formal reference to the person or party organizing the event.

3. Event info is general information about the event being planned.

4. Activity Leader is the person in charge of organizing the event

5. Other form updates that have been requested include:

  • The “business phone” will be changed to “cell/other”
  • “Days of the Week” and “Frequency” fields will be removed
  • “Start Date” and “End Date” will be removed and replaced by “Event date and times”
  • Clarification about the term “Licensee”
  • Who can sign on behalf the Licensee – either a member of the PAC executive, or the event organizer (needs to be attending the event)
  • “First Aid” may not be a relevant policy on the checklist – under review – leave blank for now
  • “Official Position with the Organization” will be changed to “Event Applicant”

6. Once the form is filled out and completed, the event organizer or PAC delegate will submit to their school administration for review and to have them sign and submit the form to the SD57 office.

7. The District will soon have an online Criminal Record Check system. Regardless, all PAC volunteers must have an up-do-date criminal record check on file. Please submit a list of volunteers for the event you are booking, along with the booking form, to your school administration. They will then confirm with the District that those volunteers do, or do not, have criminal record checks on file.

8. Child-minding during PAC meetings: It is suggested that children remain in view and under the care of their parent during meetings and other events.  Further discussion is still happening at the school district level; in the meantime SD57 and DPAC asks PACs to refer to this link from the Ministry of BC as reference as this is what SD57 is using to review the issues.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at exec@sd57dpac.ca with any questions or concerns. We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue.

Your DPAC Executive Team

DPAC Meeting & Events

We hope to see you at our monthly meeting on Monday October 7, 2019 starting at 6:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre. All parents are encouraged to attend.

DPAC Representatives are elected to attend on behalf of their elementary or high school PAC. Partner Groups report on activities and initiatives throughout School District 57. This includes Representatives from Senior Administration, School Board Trustees, Principals & Vice Principals Association, Prince George District Teachers Association, CUPE, and more. Great information and access to decision makers in our District!

Upcoming Seminar for Parents about Adolescent Brain Development this Wednesday Oct. 9 at South Fort George Family Resource Centre

FoodSafe for PAC Parents Sunday Nov. 17 8:30am – 3:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre – For more information or to register click: here

The White Hatter is coming to Prince George again! Details below.

Please “Like” our page “Prince George District Parent Advisory Council” on Facebook. PAC Executive Members can join “SD57 PACs” Facebook Group. There is also “PG PAC Connections” Facebook group for general discussions and forum to share ideas.

Welcome Back, from DPAC

We are excited to get back to business, continuing to support PACs and families in School District 57. A big thank you to our District Leaders and Administrators, Principals and Vice-Principals, Teachers, and Support Staff for all they do to ensure a smooth start up and continued success throughout the school year.

DPAC Executive Members (elected at AGM on May 6, 2019)

CHAIR:  Andrea Beckett
VICE CHAIR:  Kim Pryschlak
TREASURER:  Arlene McKibbin
SECRETARY:  Milanka Pavlic
DIRECTOR:  Nicole Laferriere
DIRECTOR:  Amie Thibodeau
DIRECTOR/Media Support:  Christa Porter
VOLUNTEER DIRECTOR:  Trudy Klassen
You can contact us at anytime at exec@sd57dpac.ca. Like our page at https://www.facebook.com/sd57dpac/ and message us there.

Insurance Update

We know that PACs have received confusing and conflicting information about booking the school for meetings and events and have been asked to provide proof of insurance to the City. We thank you for your patience as DPAC advocates on your behalf regarding this matter. Here’s what we know:

In response to a requirement in the User Agreement with the City of Prince George, School District 57 has an “Application for Use of School Facilities” form and policies for licensees to book facilities, pay fees, and show sufficient insurance coverage. It will be rolled out to schools soon.

Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) are mandated to operate under the School Act and the District does not intend to cause financial hardship to our non-profit organizations. They are working to ensure we do not have to pay user fees or purchase insurance.
If you have previously incurred a cost for a meeting or event, forward the receipt to exec@sd57dpac.ca.

Further information on the booking process and exemptions will be provided at the September DPAC meeting as well as updates on other initiatives.
We hope to have representatives from all PACs attend.

DPAC Meeting Monday Sept. 9 at 6:30pm Van Bien Training Centre