April DPAC Meeting on ZOOM

The DPAC Executive has decided to move our monthly DPAC meetings to an online/virtual meeting format in light of the social and physical distancing that is so vitally important with the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have explored and tested several videoconferencing platforms and have chosen to go with the free application Zoom. It was the most user friendly, and has the added benefit of being the same videoconferencing platform that teachers and SD57 will be utilizing in the coming months to interact with parents as well. Zoom has video, audio and chat functionality (both group and private with a meeting) with good audio and video quality.

Topic: DPAC Monthly Meeting
Time: Apr 6, 2020 06:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/123229189?pwd=MVBOTDFET3c0OU91MU9pM1JrYzY2UT09
Meeting ID: 123 229 189
Password: 023332

In order to make the April DPAC meeting successful we ask that you familiarize yourself with Zoom and its basic functionality prior to the meeting.  Zoom can be used on any device – smartphone, laptop, or tablet – and can be used via it’s webpage by setting up an account or by downloading its app onto the device of your choice.

Here are some links to assist with getting set up and comfortable using Zoom:

To download Zoom: https://zoom.us/download
Zoom – Getting Started: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697
Zoom – How to Join a Meeting (video): https://www.youtube.com/embed/hIkCmbvAHQQ?rel=0&autoplay=1&cc_load_policy=1

When signing in for the meeting, please enter your name in the following format: First Name Last Name – School you are representing

While the Executive has tested and prepared to host our first virtual meeting, we do ask for your patience on April 6th as we anticipate some trial and error with hosting and facilitating a larger group for the first time. Our usual partner groups will also be in virtual attendance and the usual structure/agenda of our monthly meeting will remain unchanged. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email or Facebook and we will make sure to connect with you to address them.

We look forward to “seeing” everyone on April 6th@ 6:30pm at our first virtual Zoom meeting!

BCCPAC Updates

We would like to forward 2 very important updates from BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) in the last week. We suggest following them on Facebook and frequenting their website for COVID-19 information.

Member Update – K-12 & COVID-19

Information Update for Parents/Guardians We are truly appreciative of the united effort that is being undertaken across the education sector resulting in the continuity of an educational program while our children are at home. As parents, we understand that alternative instruction plans are being created to best meet the needs of children and that learning will vary by grade, district and region. As we try to maintain a daily routine in our homes, including academics and recreation, parents acknowledge that educators play a critical role supporting our children during this extraordinary time. Staff at the district and school level are working together on developing plans for the continuity of learning of your children. Districts will provide information to parents directly once they have finalized their plans. Many of you may have already received an update by email (from your school district and/or school and/or teacher(s)) or requests for information via surveys etc. Watch for these and respond quickly to aid your school district in their planning for your benefit.
Ministry Released Information On March 27, on behalf of BCCPAC, President Sinclair released a joint letter with the Minister of Education, Hon Rob Fleming. Additionally on Friday, there was a media release to address concerns about the continuity of learning. On March 25, the Ministry released an FAQ document for parents/guardians to address the many questions as March Break was coming to a close. Please take the time to review and read these documents.
Where to Find Information We have put all the K-12/COVID-19 information for parents/guardians/caregivers in one place on our website and we are committed to updating it regularly. It includes documents which have been translated and all details shared with families. We encourage you to bookmark it, read it and share it. While teachers and schools have primary responsibility for continuous learning, the government has launched “Keep Learning BC”. This is a central place where families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, annotated links to free learning resources, as well as how to help children learn and how to ensure their well-being while they are at home. Keep Learning is available at: www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning/ The Keep Learning page has four icons on the bottom with popup pages with detailed information. The page contains helpful guides to maintain routines and stay safe online, giving parents information about how talk to their children about COVID-19, along with other mental health resources to manage stress or anxiety. Students, parents, guardians and teachers can also find learning resources and accurate, timely information about schools, programs and educational services, including regularly updated frequently asked questions at www.gov.bc.ca/SafeSchools/.
Please remember:
The coming few weeks will not be what you expect and you should not expect it to look just like in-class instruction prior to March Break
Continuity of instruction and learning will look very different for your children, varying by region, by district, by school and by grade level Instruction will not just flip over 100% to online – it may be part of many students continued learning but don’t assume it’s the 100% replacement to in-class instruction
Change is difficult but change doesn’t equate to bad or less
Don’t speculate, jump to conclusions or make assumptions – Rely on factual information from trusted sources There will be more questions that need answers as we move forward together – please know that discussions and the sharing of information continues throughout the sector.
Together we will make this work.

ATTN MEMBERS: AGM to be held Online on Saturday May 2

Effects of COVID-19 Restrictions – AGM Format and Timing Updated This year will be remembered as a year of massive changes during which we will work together and evolve and adjust as each day brings new challenges. On March 14 we emailed members that your Board of Directors had made the very difficult but necessary decision to cancel our in-person May Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was scheduled for May 1-3. And at that time we had asked you to hold Saturday May 2, 2020 in case we needed your participation online. We will be holding a streamlined AGM as an online meeting from 9:30am to 11:30am on Saturday May 2, 2020. To ensure our stability and sustainability, we will be holding the AGM to cover necessary business elements of an AGM including board elections, presentation of audited financial statements and annual budget, and board and committee reports. You will receive more details and information regarding the AGM by Friday April 3, 2020. Online registration will be required but there will not be a fee to participate. We will also be updating our AGM Booklet and providing this to members as a PDF document in advance of the online AGM on May 2.
Board of Directors The following Board members are in the second year of their respective terms and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2020-21 membership year: Gillian Burnett, Treasurer
Kerri Schill, Director Ashley Sonosky, Director
In light of our current circumstances due to COVID-19, the Board recently updated Policy 4050 to allow these uncontested board nominees to be affirmed by the membership during the AGM on May 2.

These are difficult and challenging times. Please know that the Board is working hard on your behalf.

DPAC would like to reiterate from the BCCPAC website:

Please don’t speculate, jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Rely on factual information.
As parents/guardians in public education, your trusted and accurate sources for K-12 information are BCCPAC, the Ministry of Education, your School District, your local DPAC, your School staff and your PAC. Know who and where to direct your inquiries…and no its not into your echo chamber on social media.

Thank you for your patience and dedication to education during this time. From the SD57 Executive Team

April DPAC Meeting Online

To all our PAC’s and parents in SD57,
In light of the extremely vital adherence to social distancing due to COVID-19, the SD57 DPAC has made an executive decision to change to a virtual format and will be using Skype for the Monday April 6th, 2020 meeting.  There will be further details coming out shortly with instructions on how to access the meeting, however we wanted to give our parents and community enough time to arrange for access to a computer prior to the meeting.  If you have any questions or concerns please connect with us and we will assist you in working through them. The Agenda for the April 6th DPAC meeting will be sent out on Monday March 30th. If there is anything you would like to see addressed at the April 6th meeting please send it via email to the DPAC. Our partner groups will also be in attendance via Skype.
We appreciate your understanding and flexibility in these times and look forward to seeing and hearing from everyone on Skype at our April 6th meeting.
Regards, DPAC 57 Executive

PAC Bootcamp – Postponed

Unfortunately we have to cancel PAC Bootcamp until the public health advisories are lifted and we are able to access the school facility. We were blown away by your response to this event and understand the need to facilitate training.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

Contact us anytime at DPAC@sd57learn.com. Thank you!

PAC Bootcamp – April 14, 2020

We invite all parents of children in School District 57 to attend this free event with BCCPAC Treasurer Gillian Burnett!

Bring your queries, your questions and your stories – this session will be a great learning and sharing experience for anyone on your PAC Executive.

Gillian will discuss all things financial including the importance of budgets and documentation, best practices in fundraising, what makes for good cash handling policies, and transparency with meaningful reporting to parents. And you don’t need to be a Treasurer to understand what your Executive team should be putting in place to ensure financial responsibility.

Gillian will also provide an overview of the key things PACs should be aware of and practicing such as: the importance of the PAC/DPAC and their role within the school and the district; why an updated Constitution and Bylaws is critical; why communication and transparency are important and can be done easily; benefits of being involved at DPAC level, and a few general tips and tricks for ensuring your PAC is more knowledgeable.

Register at Eventbrite here: https://princegeorgedpac.eventbrite.ca/

Contact us with questions at DPAC@sd57learn.com.

BCCPAC Conference & AGM Proxy Vote Forms

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) is holding their Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) May 1-3, 2020 at the Westin Wall Centre hotel in Richmond. Take a look at the schedule and details here. If you are interested in attending, contact DPAC.

There are 23 PACs in our District who are BCCPAC Members in Good Standing and eligible to vote on Resolutions brought forward at the AGM. 

If you are not able to send a representative to the AGM to vote, a DPAC Executive Member will attend and can vote on your behalf. This is called a Proxy Vote. 

Each proxy vote counts to show our District’s support for Resolutions.  In the past we have noticed that many Districts struggle to acquire Proxies from their PACs.  Even Districts with many more schools than ours do not get the support of more than 50% of their PACs and may have fewer Proxy Votes than we do. This is why your Proxy Vote can make a big difference. We hope to receive permission from all 23 PACs to vote at the AGM as it gives Prince George and the North a louder voice on important issues.

If you would like to see last year’s AGM Package to see an example of the Resolutions and results, please look here.

Please follow these simple steps to fill out the Proxy Vote Form (download here):

  1. Ensure your PAC is a Member in Good Standing with annual dues paid. Check the website here.
  2. Discuss the process at your next PAC Meeting and vote on whether the group would like to give DPAC their Proxy Vote.
  3. Complete the Proxy Vote Form with your school name and have two members of your Executive sign it.
  4. Email the Proxy Vote Form to exec@sd57dpac.ca or hand it in to the DPAC Executive at the April meeting.  
  5. We will complete the Official Delegate and Alternate Official Delegate names once DPAC attendees are confirmed.  We will send the completed forms to the BCCPAC (and include your PAC) by email.
  6. Include any instructions for specific Resolutions, if applicable.  You can see the Resolution booklet on the BCCPAC website here.
  7. We will confirm receipt of your email and make arrangements to reimburse your PAC for the $75 annual BCCPAC membership fee.
  8. Watch for updates on our website and at BCCPAC to see how the votes made a difference. 

The deadline for submissions is April 24, 2020.

If you have any questions, email us at exec@sd57dpac.ca.

School District No. 57 District Parent Advisory Council Executive

DPAC Meeting – March 2

We hope you can join us for our monthly General Meeting on Monday March 2, 2020 starting at 6:30pm at the Van Bien Training Centre.

DPAC Minutes from February 3 can be found here.

The following are Reports from District Committee Meetings attended in February:

The DPAC Executive Team has reviewed the events from last Tuesday’s Board Meeting as well as the subsequent posts and feedback from the community regarding the renaming of Kelly Road Secondary. We have discussed the issue and struggle with the same questions that have already been raised. We hope to receive clarity at our Monthly Meeting on Monday. We will have representatives from the Board, Office of the Superintendent, Principals/Vice-Principals, Teachers, and CUPE attending to give input, but we will limit the discussion at that time. There will be an opportunity for parents and PACs to voice their concerns and questions at the end of the meeting. DPAC Executive will listen to parent feedback and do our best to represent the parent voice in this matter. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

New process for parents to submit suggested questions for the Partner Groups:

Feel free to contact us at exec@sd57dpac.ca if you have questions or feedback on any of this information. See you at the meeting!

Media Releases

There have been several news stories and information released regarding funding and education in our District and Province recently. Allow us to help you navigate that information.

  1. A good news story about new Board Authorized Courses for our District as discussed at the Education Programs and Planning Committee Meeting on January 21. A report outlining the details is in our February 3 DPAC Meeting Minutes here.
  1. There have been discussions about a teacher shortage in Prince George for some time but this is the first year that classrooms are experiencing vacancies. Listen to Prince George District Teachers Association (PGDTA) President Joanne Hapke explain. 
  1. Prince George District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) Chair Andrea Beckett was asked to join a panel including Joanne Hapke (PGDTA) and Joanna Larsen (Prince Rupert parent and BCTF activist) on CFIS FM “After Nine – Monday Edition” with Stuart Parker on February 3. We brought a parent voice to the discussion on teacher shortages and funding issues. 

http://stuartparker.ca/after-nine-monday-edition-bctf-pac-activists-on-two-decades-of-education-austerity-in-bc/

  1. We had a lengthy discussion about the BC Ministry of Education’s proposed Funding Model with MLA Shirley Bond at our January 6 DPAC Meeting, details in the Minutes here. Little information was released following the Independent Review Panel releasing its list of 22 recommendations outlined in this report from 2018.
  1. Last Friday February 7th, Rob Flemming Minister of Education announced supplement funding allocated for programs such as: Tuition Waiver Program for former youth in care to attend post-secondary or trades; TogetherBC a poverty reduction strategy; and Pathway to Hope, a 10 year mental health plan; and further support for indigenous education. This is the News Release, CKPG clip including reaction from Tim Bennett School Board Chair, and article from the Prince George Citizen.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0012-000244?fbclid=IwAR0x7qDHUD4fz-6VG1FpmJ6xv3g2FFjvFv7jTqvcqlQ4-OhpkxDbYg9KNmU

https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/teachers-encouraged-by-special-needs-funding-changes-1.24073839?fbclid=IwAR1WYbdgKPQdooTMwTtRHNaUSWzrx-V0vvJRPKE9U61fLlShIhbqtD2vjv4

  1. There is more information on the BC Government website in regards to the history of the Review and how the Funding Model will be implemented.

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

  1. The Throne Speech was Tuesday Feb. 11. The NDP Government will release their Budget next Tuesday Feb 18. We watch to see how much will be allocated to Public Education in BC. Then on March 15 the Ministry of Education will release budget amounts for each District in the Province and our School Board will provide comment on what the changes will mean for us locally.

Anytime you have questions and need help navigating the system, come to our monthly DPAC Meeting on the first Monday of each month. Representatives from the School Board, Senior Administration, Teachers Association, Principals, and CUPE all meet with us to talk in depth about issues and initiatives affecting our children. Email us anytime at exec@sd57dpac.ca.

School District No. 57 District Parent Advisory Council Executive

PAC Email Accounts

School District 57 is moving to a new Office 365 email system. DPAC has requested more seamless communication from the District Office and DPAC to PACs. Each of the 40 elementary and secondary schools in our district will now have an opportunity to set up their own email addresses. These will be in a standard format that is accessible to all. It will be used for District announcements and news items, DPAC meeting minutes, agendas, and events, communications from Principals, and collaboration with other PACs.

Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. TALK TO YOUR PRINCIPAL – A Consent Form to share the current PAC Chairperson’s personal email is required to be submitted by the Principal. If you are the current Chairperson for your PAC and haven’t completed this already, please reach out to your Principal to have it completed and submitted as soon as possible. The personal email will only be used once to send set up instructions and will not be used or shared for any other purpose.
  2. SOME SCHOOLS ARE ALREADY SIGNED UP – The District IT Office is already creating accounts for 20+ PACs already registered, but we would like to include all 40 schools! The IT Manager will send out a link to the account with instructions on how to set up your password the first time. An outgoing Chairperson will give the newly elected person the password to update and then continue to use the same email address, having access to all the email history. The IT Manager can reset passwords if needed.
  3. IT CAN WORK WITH YOUR EXISTING PAC ACCOUNT – If you already have a PAC email address or a personal email that you use and would not like to check an additional email account, you can forward incoming messages. Instructions will be sent from the IT Manager.

DPAC Executives can help with questions or concerns at any time. Email exec@sd57dpac.ca.