All posts by Sarah

Consultation deadline extended

As announced at the June 19th school board meeting, and copied from the School District website:

The Survey Deadline Date has been extended and will now be accessible until midnight on Friday June 29th, 2018

Also, if you would like to provide feedback in addition to the Survey, please feel free to send your feedback to the following e-mail addresses, by no later than Friday June 29th, 2018:

For Edgewood Elementary Catchment Feedback: edgewoodfeedback@sd57.bc.ca

For French Immersion Programming Feedback: immersionfeedback@sd57.bc.ca

Parent presentation made at school board meeting June 19th and analysis:

Want to send in your comments on Duchess Park capacity, but don’t have a survey?

We have some methods from the board chair and superintendent about ways to provide input for people who wouldn’t be receiving a survey.

Written submissions can be directed through the District Office to the Office of the Superintendent, Board of Trustees or to the attention of C. Molcak:

School District #57 (Prince George)
Attn: C. Molcak
2100 Ferry Ave., Prince George, BC V2L 4R5

The school board chair, Tim Bennett, gave out his contact information at the meeting at Duchess Park, repeated here:

TIM BENNETT
Board Chair // School District 57 (Prince George)
250.649.8316 // tbennett@sd57.bc.ca // @tiben12

Contact information for the entire board can be found here: https://www.sd57.bc.ca/Board/Pages/default.aspx

Draft surveys from board agenda package: Surveys from 2018.05.29 Regular Public Board Book

Presentation at Duchess Park

This presentation was made by the Duchess Park PAC related to the various consultations going on about catchment and capacity in the district.

If you have any questions, or if you would like access to spreadsheets or other data, please contact sarah@sarahholland.com

2018 June 11 Information Session – Duchess Park PAC

Notes:

  • The surveys are in the mail! They’re expected to arrive Tuesday/Wednesday. DPAC or the Duchess Park PAC cannot take any surveys, if you don’t receive a letter visit www.sd57.bc.ca
  • During the presentation, the principal of Duchess Park was asked, given his experience with setting up classes, how many students it would take to run a viable French immersion program in a school. His estimate would be about 50 students a grade.
  • The survey refers to an option for French immersion secondary programs to be offered at two schools. In the presentation, the numbers used refer to it at Kelly Road and PGSS based solely on numbers – the schools are not specified in the survey.
  • Use your voice, fill out the survey, and make suggestions to the district. There’s a reason that they are asking for input, and this is everyone’s opportunity to provide input to the district.

Duchess Park Information Session

Draft surveys from board agenda package: Surveys from 2018.05.29 Regular Public Board Book

The Parent Advisory Council is putting on an information session about the surveys and consultation that are going out to French immersion parents, staff, and students, and Edgewood parents.

  • Find out more about the capacity challenges that Duchess Park is facing, and the options that are being explored.
  • We encourage everyone to fill out their survey, and let the superintendent and board know your thoughts and your questions.
  • A decision has not been reached on this matter, and from all signs, the district is quite serious about looking for feedback.
  • The information session is open to all interested parents, staff, and students.

Join us June 11th, at 7pm, at Duchess Park in the Theatre.

Duchess Park PAC

 

General Meeting June 4, 2018

Web conference link:

https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/sd57dpac.ca/dpacmeeting?hceid=aW5mb0BzZDU3ZHBhYy5jYQ.02nuk3vdvk6vdiep12n92m4j9h&authuser=0

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, June 4th, 2018, 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, once all reports are complete, 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 (Joanne Hapke)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Kelly Johansen)
e) Senior Administration Report () –
f) Trustee Report (Sharel Warrington)

(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)
5. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Trudy Klassen & Andrea Beckett)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Arlene McKibbin)
6. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) Guest Speaker/Seminar/Conference for upcoming 2018-2019 year
– What topics, speakers, events, etc. would people like to see
– Ivan Coyote
– Rick Hansen (share costs with…? Another local partner group or organization?)
– DPAC conference for next year?
– Food Safe for next year (twice again?)
b) Foodsafe report (Kim Pryschlak)
c) PAC Café – upcoming on June 9th, 2018 @ Civic Centre (Andrea Beckett & Sarah Holland mediating)
7. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve Shannon)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report (Gillian Burnett)
c) Policy and Governance (Trudy)
d) Extended Committee of the Whole –
e) Suggestions for School Board Report –
8. Other Business
a) Increasing parent and PAC engagement with the DPAC
b) Open vacancy for DPAC executive positions of Secretary and Director at Large
9. Agenda items for next meeting
10. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 10th @ 6:30pm/1800hrs, Van Bien Training Centre

PAC Cafe

For all volunteer members of parent advisory councils. This may include the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other positions you may have – Volunteer Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Fundraising, and more. This is a fun and flexible event – bring your questions, concerns, or great ideas!

  • 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.

We charge a nominal fee of $5 per attendee for SD57 attendees. Please contact info@sd57dpac.ca or chair@sd57dpac.ca 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 info@sd57dpac.ca

Eventbrite - PAC Cafe 2018

General Meeting and AGM Monday, May 7th

Our elections and general meeting is being held Monday, May 7th, at the Van Bien Training Centre.

As a number of representatives are currently attending the BCCPAC AGM, a full agenda package will be available on Monday.

We have a number of terrific people prepared to run for office for the DPAC executive (there is going to be quite a bit of turnover this year). There are also several representatives who have let us know that they are unable to make Monday’s meeting, and are getting concerned about our ability to meet our quorum requirements to hold our elections.

If your PAC can send a representative, we would very much appreciate it.

We will be working to provide the ability to web conference in, but this can sometimes depend on the district’s wifi and is not successful.

Google Hangouts link:  https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/sd57dpac.ca/dpacmeeting

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, May 7th, 2018, 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, once all reports are complete, 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 (Joanne Hapke)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Kelly Johansen)
e) Senior Administration Report () –
f) Trustee Report (Sharel Warrington)

(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)
5. Elections
a) Chair
b) Vice Chair
c) Treasurer
d) Secretary
e) Directors
6. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Gillian Burnett)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Sarah Holland)
c) BCCPAC Report (Gillian Burnett, Andrea Beckett, Kim Pryschlak, Trudy Klassen, Sarah Holland)
7. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) Guest Speaker/Seminar/Conference
b) Foodsafe report
c) PASC Cafe
8. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve Shannon)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report (Gillian Burnett)
c) Policy and Governance (Trudy)
d) Extended Committee of the Whole –
e) Suggestions for School Board Report –
9. Other Business
a)
10. Agenda items for next meeting
11. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 4th, 2018, at 7:00 pm, Van Bien.

Ministry of Education Funding Model Review

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/resource-management/k-12-funding-and-allocation/k-12-public-education-funding-model-review

In October 2017, government launched a funding model review to fulfill its commitment to ensure B.C.’s K-12 public education system receives stable and predictable funding.

The co-governors of B.C.’s K-12 public education system, the Province and the B.C. School Trustees Association, have worked together to develop a set of shared principles for the future funding model and establish a solid foundation for moving forward. The new model will be guided by the following principles:

  • Responsive: Allocates available resources amongst Boards of Education in consideration of unique local and provincial operational requirements.
  • Equitable: Facilitates access to comparable levels of educational services and opportunities for individual students across the province.
  • Stable and Predictable: Supports strategic, multi-year planning for educational programming and school district operations.
  • Flexible: Respects the autonomy of, and does not unnecessarily restrict, individual Boards of Education in the spending of their allocations to further student success.
  • Transparent: Calculates funding using a clear and transparent methodology.
  • Accountable: Allocates resources to Boards of Education in the most efficient manner, and ensures that resources provided are being utilized as intended

 

Input that has been provided to the Ministry is also accessible here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/resource-management/k-12-funding-and-allocation/k-12-public-education-funding-model-review/inputs-fmr

Fraser institute ranking information

This post is copied from a post from April 2016, with updates for current links.

 

The Fraser Institute has published their yearly, controversial, ranking of BC elementary schools:

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/report-card-on-british-columbia-elementary-schools-2018.pdf

While parents want data about schools, and to see how schools are doing, this is not a terribly useful, accurate, or helpful report. 

There is a BC government website that allows parents to access data about elementary schools:  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reporting/school.php

Here are two web posts that give some background information on how these results are calculated:

http://donaldgutstein.com/eight-distortions-and-other-problems-in-the-fraser-institutes-report-card/

“…

2. Twenty percent of a school’s ranking comes from differences between the results achieved by boys and girls. This artificially depresses the scores of schools with students of lower socio-economic status where, typically, gender differences are more pronounced.

Worse, and inexplicably, the Fraser gives more weight to gender differences than to the actual results. Gender differences in Grade 7 numeracy and reading tests (what happened to writing?) account for 10 percent each. The actual test results account for only 7.5 percent each.

3. Twenty-five percent of a school’s ranking comes from the percentage of tests “not meeting expectations.” This result penalizes low-performing schools by accounting for their low scores twice.

4. Ten percent of a school’s ranking comes from the percentage of tests not written in a school. This indicator was added in 2007 “to encourage schools to ensure a high level of participation in the FSA testing program.” It is a not-so-veiled attack on the BC Teachers Federation and parents who don’t want their children to write the tests.

That punishing the BCTF is the purpose of this component of the rankings can be seen by comparing the Fraser Institute’s BC and Alberta elementary schools rankings. This component does not exist in the Alberta report card where the union is not as activist in opposing mandatory testing.

…”

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/jack-knox-fraser-institute-school-rankings-fail-the-test-of-utility-1.888744

The annual Fraser Institute ranking of B.C. elementary schools is out, showing that — shock! — private schools perform better than those where the kids arrive hungry and get stacked up like cordwood in the classroom.

Of course the Saint Whoever schools rank well, is the standard response. Children are screened before being accepted, special-needs kids have better support and, as a retired teacher pointed out in a letter to the editor, class sizes “are smaller than most grade-school birthday parties.” If a parent is paying both taxes and tuition, the results better justify the extra outlay.

Sure enough, this year’s report showed that 19 of the 20 schools that tied for first place — including Victoria’s Saint Michaels University School — were independents. West Vancouver’s Cedardale was the lone public institution. The other end of the scale was just as predictable: inner city and remote schools that might as well be named Sisyphus Elementary, the students destined to push uphill boulders that always rolls back on them.

If the Fraser Institute results never vary, neither does our reaction: we all A) complain that the rankings are statistics-twisting nonsense, then B) rush to see how our kids’ school placed. Nature abhors a vacuum; parents know the report’s methodology leaves a lot to be desired, but in the absence of a more comprehensive way to measure the quality of their children’s education, they’ll seize on this one. To which Helen Raptis says “Don’t.”

Ditto for David Johnson.

Raptis is associate dean of education at UVic. Johnson is an economics prof at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., and the education policy scholar at another think tank, the C.D. Howe Institute.

Both think the standardized testing on which the Fraser Institute rankings are partially based is useful — just not in the way the Fraser Institute is using it. The tests were never meant to be used as the education equivalent of TripAdvisor.

The rankings rely in part on the Foundation Skills Assessment taken by all B.C. students in Grades 4 and 7 to test their knowledge of numeracy, reading and writing (though note that in Greater Victoria, most elementary schools don’t go to Grade 7). If a parent really wants to use a yardstick to measure school performance, go to the Education Ministry website to look up that data, Raptis says.

But those tests account for just 45 per cent of an elementary school’s Fraser Institute ranking, she says. The balance of the weighting is based on indicators that haven’t been proven to affect school performance, but that are skewed against schools with a lot of kids of lower socio-economic status. The result is that a school full of poorer kids can be ranked below one with inferior test results.

Forget all the public-versus-private school talk, Raptis says. This is just an Orwellian exercise that pulls down good schools by measuring them with tools of uncertain usefulness. The low rankings of low socio-economic schools are inevitable, discouraging progress. It’s actually counter-productive, which is why the Times Colonist decided to stop publishing the Fraser Institute list a few years ago, she notes.

Johnson’s objections are different — and somewhat contradictory. He developed a more complete measuring system for the C.D. Howe Institute that incorporates socio-economic variables that the Fraser Institute ignores, he says. That allows schools in similar circumstances to be compared, allowing improvements can be made. “What you really want to do is look at schools that outperform similar schools and see what you can learn from that.”

Even then, forget saying with a straight face that School X, in 132nd place, is better than 445th-ranked School Y. We all like Top 10 lists, and there’s a sexiness to ranking schools one through 982, but Johnson scoffs at the idea of rating them that finely, particularly when doing so by focussing on year-to-year changes in the average FSA scores. In a small school, a handful of students who test particularly poorly or well can shift the marks dramatically. Better to put more weight on longer-term trends and the percentage of students who achieve at an acceptable level.

As it is, Johnson simply doesn’t find much value in the annual fuss. “I think it just annoys people.”