Parent Focus Group for SD57 Strategic Plan 2021-2026

Parents!! Do you have questions about numeracy, literacy, how your child’s academic level is assessed and measured, how the district is planning on improving education and education outcomes ? Are you curious on what your school and our school district is going to do to support your child’s education and development in the next few years and how they plan on doing that? Do you wonder where your child is at in terms of literacy and numeracy and how that is assessed? Curious about how the data from the Student Learning Surveys administered in Grades 4, 7, 10 and 12 is used and what is shows? psst… check out page 4 and onwards on the Implementation Plan for Year 1 and 2 document 🙂

Well now you can find out!!!! SD57 Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman is inviting any and all parents and families of children in our school district to attend a Virtual Parent Focus Group via Zoom in order to hear your questions, feedback, concerns and thought on SD57s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.

January 13th @ 6:30-8:pm

and/or

January 27th @ 6:30-8pm

via Zoom: https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66767919771

Attend one, attend both…your pick! Join from the comfort of your home. Better yet, bring a friend – bring that other parent who you know is curious about their child’s numeracy and literacy. This is a safe, virtual space to have your voice heard and make a difference so make sure to attend!

At the June 22, 2021 Regular Public Meeting, the Board of Education approved the Strategic Plan 2021-2026 and its implementation plan for year one and two.  The Board also approved the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning Report 2020-2021.

This is your opportunity as a parent to have your voice heard and be actively engaged and involved as our school district works on revising and implementing the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan. This work is extremely important – did you know that all of our district schools have their individual School Plans (look on your schools website), which tie into our districts Strategic Plan which then in turn ties into the The Ministry of Education’s Framework for Enhancing Student Learning that states:

“Boards of education will set, create and maintain a strategic plan, annually report on student outcomes and put systems in place to continuously improve the educational outcomes for all students and improve equity for Indigenous students, children and youth in care, and students with disabilities or diverse abilities. The policy is grounded in a shared commitment and common values including literacy, numeracy, graduation, belonging and career and life goals to support each and every learner and improve equity of outcomes.

Provincial, district and school educational outcomes, goals, objectives and measures should be specific, meaningful, measurable, and evidence informed. The focus of planning and reporting is to understand the evidence and develop and implement actions to improve student outcomes.

Provincial, district, and school educational outcomes should align with the School Act, the Goals of Education and the Educated Citizen in Parts B and C of the Statement of Education Policy Order (Mandate for the School System) … Educational outcomes should also align with policies, reports and other frameworks that focus on supporting educational outcomes of all students.

MoE, July 6th, 2020

January 2022 Monthly DPAC Meeting

Happy January everyone!!! Our first DPAC meeting for 2022 is this coming Monday January 10th @ 6:30pm so join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link.

If you are attending virtually and are new to using MS Teams, we suggest downloading the app and creating a free Microsoft account. Alternately you can click on the meeting link and attend the meeting via the your browser of choice as a guest either on a computer or mobile device. When you join the DPAC meeting MS Teams will ask for your name – please fill in your full name and school or organization you are representing.

For obvious safety reasons and the current state of the Covid pandemic there will be no in person meeting this month, instead our January meeting will be held virtually only. Our theme this month is District Innovation and Strategic Plan and we are discussing:

  1. Two virtual SD57 hosted Parent Focus Groups to hear from parents on their feedback, thoughts, and input on the 2021-20216 SD57 Strategic Plan on January 13th and 27th from 6:30-8pm via Zoom 
  1. What do you as a parent need clarity or information on with the district’s current Strategic Plan? 
  1. Have you read your current school plan? Do you know where to find it? 
  1. What questions, feedback or concerns do you have about your school plan? 
  1. Do you understand how the individual school plans and district plan fit into the larger provincial education picture and plan? 
MonthTheme
SeptemberAdvocacy
OctoberSOGI; Inclusivity & Equality
NovemberSafety – Emotional, Psychological & Physical in our School  Communities
DecemberWhere’s Waldo? Where are things at? PACs to provide updates to Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders
January 2022District Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation

Welcome Back – Important Information for January 2022

Friday December 31st, DPAC attended a meeting of SD57 Stakeholders on the January 4-7 Re-entry period.  Information is limited at this time, open for constructive feedback and subject to change.  We all wish for nothing more than for school to function as normally as possible in a safe and predictable manner but the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is going to make this very difficult to achieve in the coming weeks.  
Please understand that School Staff, District Staff and the Board of Trustees are working diligently to implement these changes appropriately.  Our parent community will be understandably frustrated and we ask for your patience and respect towards our partners in public education during this period of uncertainty. Commentary on how and why this is being done should be reserved at this time and respectfully expressed to elected representatives and relevant provincial Ministries.   

What we currently know: 

  • Essential workers are defined as parents who are Essential Health Care Workers or SD57 Staff.
  • No changes to district calendar.
  • School Trustee By-Election will proceed as scheduled
  • No funding or support from MOE other than this ‘prep’ period (no PPE, no money, limited guidance yet)
  • They are planning for Functional Closures due to staff illness (Functional Closure: not enough staff to safely supervise students)
  • Classroom layout will adapt to be similar to 2020/2021 (more space and no face-to-face configurations by removing non-essential furniture, no ‘carpet time’ spaces)
  • There will be no ‘instruction’ during the week of Jan 4-7 although electronic/self-serve supports and resources will be available and distributed to families in a general way. 
  • There are multiple competing priorities from government to balance on behalf of the people of BC and all are valid: health, healthcare, continuity of learning for students, predictability for families.  

There are almost no new ‘enhanced’ measures from the Ministry of Education plan (more detail available here: Addendum to the K-12 Communicable Disease Safety Plan)

  • No spectators for sports; only 2 teams allowed for games (no tournament play of 3 or more teams at one place/time)
  • Essential visitors in schools only (not sure if PAC hot lunch would be essential – requested that clarification)
  • Virtual gatherings for student assemblies and staff meetings
  • Reinforce the importance of previous mitigation efforts (hand washing, health check, stay home when sick, masking effectively and importance thereof – exemptions will continue to be respected but may be reviewed individually)
  • Reviewing traffic movement within the schools, staggering breaks but no cohorts.

What we will see from School District 57 in the coming days: 

  • Letter released December 31 to all parents/families.
  • Bussing will run normally on Tuesday for student safety and revised for the remainder of the week.
  • Planning will be underway to have a process ready to support Functional closures on a school-by-school basis as needed basis (more information coming on what this would look like)
  • Outreach to specific families/students from a school contact
  • Outreach to school-level PAC and parents on implementation of Enhanced Measures
  • Communication on Ventilation in schools
  • Changes to Covid Exposure notification in conjunction with Northern Health Authority and the Ministry of Health/BC CDC as contact tracing will not be able to function on a case-by-case basis as it was September to December 2021

Parent Concerns: 
There have been a wide-range of responses to this news.  All responses and view point are valid, and we understand that this is extremely disruptive now with 5 days’ notice let alone what it will be like if families are facing Functional Closures with less than one day notice which is entirely probable. Thus we want and need to hear from you, our parent voice, to make sure we are advocating for what you need for your families and children.

Please send all your thoughts, feedback and concerns to us at: info@sd57dpac.ca

Thank you for your attention, thank you for your patience, thank you for supporting our school communities. 

SD57 DPAC Executive

If you or a family member are experiencing concerns with your mental and emotional well-being support is available.  Please review this list from the Province of BC for specific supports: 
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-mental-health-supports#students

Additional free support options are available through this Government of Canada portal: https://wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA

December Monthly DPAC Meeting

Happy December everyone!!! Our last DPAC Meeting for 2021 is this coming Monday December 6th @ 6:30pm. Come and meet us in person at the Van Bien Training Centre (see Covid protocols below) or join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link.

If you are attending virtually and are new to using MS Teams, we suggest downloading the app and creating a free Microsoft account. Alternately you can click on the meeting link and attend the meeting via the your browser of choice as a guest either on a computer or mobile device. When you join the DPAC meeting MS Teams will ask for your name – please fill in your full name and school or organization you are representing.

For those attending in person, the following communicable disease guidelines requirements must be adhered to:

  • Do a self-assessment Covid health check prior to attending: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en  or SD57 Daily Health Check for Staff & Visitors
  • Do not attend if you sick or have symptoms or any kind (even if it just a cold or sniffles)
  • You must be wearing a mask when attending any indoor in person events, including DPAC and PAC meetings
  • Social distancing is on personal preference – it is no longer mandated
  • You must sanitize or wash your hands upon arrival
  • You must sign in and provide your contact information upon arrival, should PH and SD57 need to follow up for case and contact tracing purposes.

November Minutes: click here.

Chair Report

As all are aware, we have our monthly themes that are being focused on throughout this school year (see below) and for December we are switching it up a bit – there will be no presentations from our Partner Groups (though they will be there) and instead we want to hear from you – PACs and parents. This month it is your turn to update us on how things are going, with your PAC and your school and family. What has gone well so far? What have been both your successes and your struggles? What do you want or need us to know?

We are really excited to hear from you, our parents and PACs and school communities this month and we know the partner groups are as well 🙂

MonthTheme
SeptemberAdvocacy
OctoberSOGI; Inclusivity & Equality
NovemberSafety – Emotional, Psychological & Physical in our School  Communities
DecemberWhere’s Waldo? Where are things at? PACs to provide updates to Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders
What has the first half of the school year been like for your family and school? 
What are some of your PAC’s successes thus far this year? 
What has your PAC struggled with so far this year? 
What questions do you have as parents or PACs? 
JanuaryDistrict Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation

BCCPAC Update and Membership Deadline

Our SD57 DPAC Executive attended the DPAC Summit on Zoom, hosted by the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC), on November 26-27. There is important work and consultation going on between parents and the Ministry of Education and many other provincial stakeholders.

Check out the latest news on their December Update here.

Your PAC Membership is so important to guide and fund the important work that BCCPAC does. The deadline to register and pay your $75 fee is December 31. This enables PACs to attend and vote at the AGM in May. Very important resolutions and information is shared at that event (virtual).

There are 18 PACs in SD57 (out of 39 eligible). Let’s get those numbers up! If you don’t see your school on the list below, contact us at info@sd57dpac.ca, or check out the BCCPAC website to find out how to become a member.

SD#School Name2020-2021
Member
2021-2022
Member
Eligble to
Vote at 2022 AGM
57Blackburn ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57D P Todd SecondaryACTIVEYES
57Duchess Park SecondaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Edgewood Elementary SD57ACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Glenview ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Heather Park ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Heritage ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Kelly Road/Shas ti SecondaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Malaspina ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Peden Hill ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Prince George SecondaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Quinson ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Southridge ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Spruceland TraditionalACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Valemount ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57Van Bien ElementaryACTIVEYES
57Vanway ElementaryACTIVEACTIVEYES
57École Lac des BoisACTIVEACTIVEYES

PAC FoodSafe – Nov 27

Did you know that at least one volunteer with your PAC needs to have Level 1 FoodSafe for food related events at your school?

PAC FoodSafe Level 1

Date: Saturday November 27th, 2021

Time: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Break 11:30 am – 12:15 pm)

Location: Van Bien Training Centre Meeting Room

Available Spaces: 24

Masks required and participants must follow all current and future SD57 COVID-19 protocols for in class learning.

Deadline to sign up: Wednesday November 24, 2021

Attendees: Parents from within School District No. 57, if space available after the deadline we can offer to district staff who indicated to us that they would like to attend.

Participant Cost: $10 (non-refundable)

Lunch: Not provided, coffee, tea, and light snacks will be available

Tickets: Available for purchase on Eventbrite here

Travel Subsidy: For schools located in the Mackenzie, Hixon, McBride, and Valemount a gas subsidy will be provided per km.

Online Course Subsidy: If parents feel uncomfortable travelling from these towns, or are not available on this date, after the event has taken place, DPAC will be looking to offer a limited amount of partial subsidies for an online option. https://www.openschool.bc.ca/foodsafe_level1/

DPAC Minutes – November 2021 – Safety Quiz

Our DPAC Meeting on November 1 had a lively discussion about Safety in and around our schools. Much is being done to ensure students feel safe and have a sense of belonging in our schools.

Check out our Safety Quiz on SurveyMonkey to learn more about our theme this month. Safety Matters Survey (surveymonkey.com)

We had a Presentation from Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman.

Please also take some time to review the presentation regarding Facility Services. Some great data and information on how our buildings are heated and ventilated to high standards. Big thanks to Barry Bepple and Brett Apolczer for putting this together.

Reach out to us anytime at info@sd57dpac.ca. Thanks!

November DPAC Meeting – Safety is the Theme

It’s that time of month again!!! Come join us on Monday November 1st @6:30 for our monthly DPAC meeting. Due to circumstances outside of our control our November meeting will be entirely virtual via MS Teams.  Our DPAC meetings start at 6:30 for PACs and parents, with our Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders joining us at 7:30pm.

Join on your computer or mobile app click on the link below:

Click here to join the meeting

Learn More | Meeting options

The theme for November is Safety – physically, emotionally and psychologically both within classrooms and within the larger school community. We want to hear your experiences, challenges and thoughts on what safety means to your family and child. All of our usual partner groups will be there, and there will be a presentation on ventilation and air safety in our schools by SD57staff.

Here are some Safety Resources for PACs and Parents:

If you are attending virtually and are new to using MS Teams, we suggest downloading the app and creating a free Microsoft account. Alternately you can click on the meeting link and attend the meeting via the your browser of choice as a guest either on a computer or mobile device. When you join the DPAC meeting MS Teams will ask for your name – please fill in your full name and school or organization you are representing.

This year we are trying something new – we have decided to focus on certain themes for each month of the school year and have lined them up with other events and district work happening throughout the year. We have asked that each of our Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders present to our PACs & parents related to or focused on the monthly themed topic for 5 minutes and then we have planned for 5 minutes of Q&A for each partner group as well. 

MonthTheme
SeptemberAdvocacy
OctoberSOGI; Inclusivity & Equality
NovemberSafety – Emotional, Psychological & Physical in our School  Communities
DecemberWhere’s Waldo? Where are things at? PACs to provide updates to Partner Groups, Rights & Stakeholders
JanuaryDistrict Innovation & Strategic Plan
FebruaryCatchment & Capacity in SD57
MarchFinancial & Budgets
AprilMental Health & Wellness
MayExtracurricular Activities
June Truth & Reconciliation

In addition to our monthly focused themes, DPAC has identified three key overarching priorities that we will be focusing our work on this 2021-2022 school year:

Community SafetySafety in and around our school community Emotionally & psychologically Physically – in the school, on the school grounds & around the school grounds Virtually
PAC & Parent Education & EmpowermentAdvocacy Education
Getting Excited About Education AgainCurriculum changes, core competencies, life skills Indigenous content integrated in curriculum How special education programs support learners. District Learner Support (DLS) Integrating physical activity and outdoor class times into learning

We look forward to seeing everyone again and continuing the work to improve education for the children and families in our district!

An Evening with Ivan Coyote

Parents & Families of SD57!!

SD57 DPAC is delighted to offer An Evening with Ivan Coyote” this coming Thursday October 28th @ 6pm via Zoom.

The evening promises to be an engaging break from a typical weekday evening. Grab a comforting drink to warm you up while Ivan’s stories warm your heart as they touch on their northern upbringing with shared Canadian family values of hard work, self-reliance and small-town/big family connections. This one night engagement is limited to a small audience so secure a ticket now to join us from the comfort of your home.

Ivan will share relatable and humourous accounts of their experiences growing up and traveling Canada: experiencing society while expressing themselves in ways that do not match society’s expectations. The audience will be captured in a traditional story-telling event that is hard to find in today’s fast-paced, sound bite media. Join other parents to share a deep conversation that will open the heart and mind. The chance to hear Ivan speak is not to be missed and there will also be a question period at the end.

Ivan Coyote is a writer and storyteller. Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, they are the author of thirteen books, the creator of four films, six stage shows, and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Coyote’s books have won the ReLit Award, been named a Stonewall Honour Book, been longlisted for Canada Reads, and been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction. In 2017 Ivan was given an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University for their writing and activism. Coyote’s stories grapple with the complex and intensely personal topics of gender identity, family, class, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, and a quick wit. Ivan’s stories manage to handle both the hilarious and the historical with reverence and compassion, and remind us all of our own fallible and imperfect humanity, while at the same time inspiring us to change the world. Ivan’s 13th book, Care Of, was released in June 2021 by McClelland and Stewart.

For event details and to register please go to the  An Evening with Ivan Coyote Eventbrite site. 

For more information on Ivan and their storytelling background, you can visit their Facebook page or Ivan’s website here.

Date: Thursday October 28, 2021
Time: 6:00pm until 8:00pm

Cost: $20

Zoom link will be shared with registrants before the event. It will be a webinar format with no video/audio or chat features. But Ivan will be taking live questions through the Q&A with DPAC moderating.

Eventbrite: An Evening with Ivan Coyote

Please share this event with all your friends and family. If the fee is a barrier, contact info@sd57dpac.ca to inquire about a grant.

DPAC Minutes – October 2021 – Inclusion Survey

Our theme this month is Inclusion which includes equality and sexual orientation and gender identity topics. We had a great discussion with PACs at the beginning of the meeting about what parents can do to support inclusion and identity at home. We had presentations from various stakeholders and partners from the District on how values, policy, and curriculum drive the organization to create welcoming spaces for all.

Please take a minute to do our Inclusion Quiz on SurveyMonkey. It will give you insights into our District.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SD57DPACInclusionQuiz

Take a look at the minutes from our October 4th meeting below. Plan to attend our November 1 meeting on MS Teams with the theme of Safety.