Virtual PAC Cafe – Dec 3

We had a great turn out at the PAC Cafe in person on Nov 5. We understand that many PACs couldn’t attend, and it is difficult for our remote communities to come to Prince George in the winter. We have a second opportunity next Saturday December 3 for a Virtual PAC Café on Microsoft Teams from 12:30-2:30 including a $20 lunch reimbursement.

Any parent volunteer involved in an SD57 PAC can connect with DPAC virtually. Especially those from our remote communities in Mackenzie, McBride, Valemount, and Hixon. 

  • Share ideas and challenges
  • Network with other PAC volunteers in your area
  • Get ideas from other volunteers doing your job 
  • Reimbursed lunch – Tim Horton’s GC

Register on the Eventbrite link.

Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch

The SD57 DPAC Executive recently received the following notification from the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch (GPEB).

As you know, PACs receive $20/student (min. $2000/year) and DPACs get $2500/year in gaming grants to support our school communities. Unfortunately, these parent volunteer run organizations are small with high turnover and risk for fraud or audits.

The gaming guidelines have changed in recent years. Review the latest PAC/DPAC document here:

An outline of the changes is provided on the PowerPoint presentation:

Questions can be emailed here: CommunityGamingGrants@gov.bc.ca

Our local Northern Interior Communities Association (NICA) in PG is here to help. They often host webinars for PACs. Contact Us | NICA (northernica.org)

Let us know if you have questions or need support at exec@sd57dpac.ca.

DPAC Meeting – Oct 3

Please join us for our monthly DPAC Meeting on Monday October 3, 2022 at 6:30-8:30pm. The DPAC Executive, PAC Representatives, and Parents are welcome to join in-person (we have snacks!) at Van Bien Training Centre or virtually on Microsoft Teams at 6:30pm. Our District Representatives and Partner Groups join us at 7:30pm for approximately 1 hour.

The agenda is posted below. Feel free to email us with additional topics or add at the beginning of the meeting when we are adopting the agenda.

Join us on MS Teams using this link. You can download the app or join for free on the web. Meeting ID: 212 631 087 687 Passcode: 2NBzCu

Feel free to share this meeting info with your networks. Thanks!

Prince George District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) exec@sd57dpac.ca

Important – PACs and Parents please read!!! 2022 BCCPC Conference, AGM & Proxies

As many of you may have read or heard, the 2022 BCCPAC Parent Conference and AGM happening Friday April 29th & 30th has moved to online/virtual from in-person and today APRIL 21st is the last day to register for this amazing event.  The theme, and content focus, over the two-day event is “Making Connections, Moving Forward“. Please go the BCCPAC website to register either for the Conference on Friday, the AGM on Saturday, or both: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/registration

Today is also the last day for PACs to submit their Proxy forms to DPAC so that we can represent your voices at the AGM on Saturday April 30th – Please email us at info@sd57dpac.ca if you have any questions about how to fill out your proxy forms 🙂 For more information and a great FAQ/Q&A about Proxies see down below or go to: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/agm/proxy-faq

This is an amazing opportunity for PACs and parent’s to attend from the comfort and convenience of their homes.  Some key session highlights include:

  • Transforming Education Systems through Family-School Collaboration – Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, The Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution
  • Creating Belonging in Schools: Helping Children Thrive – Dr Jennifer Charlesworth, Representative for Children & Youth
  • Framework for Enhancing Student Learning:  Using Parent Voice to Support Student Success – Marnie Mayhew & Cynthia Drummond, Ministry of Education
  • Presentation by the Deputy Minister – Christina Zacharuk, Ministry of Education
  • Presentation by the Minister of Education – Honourable Jennifer Whiteside

Breakout sessions available to attend include:

  • #SchoolFoodMatters: Visioning a Healthy School Food Program for BC Students
  • Misinformation and Disinformation, Preventing an Infodemic – Cpl. Kerry Johnson
  • Indigenous Family Voices for Education – Mike Bowden (SD73 District Principal of Indigenous Education), Jacqueline Turvey and Roxane Letterlough
  • Foundry Virtual BC: Services for BC Youth ages 12-24 and their Caregivers

For more details on these sessions and others please see the BCCPAC website for Conference Schedule and Details: https://bccpac.bc.ca/index.php/conferences/conference-agm/conf-schedule

PAC’s! It’s that time of year again – Proxy forms are due this Thursday April 14th!  What is a proxy form?? Well, it’s the it’s the form attached to your email (go check – we sent it out earlier today) but it is also more than that – it is the form that allows us as a DPAC speak and vote on your behalf at the annual BCCPAC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 30th this year.

Our member PACs and DPACs are made up of many individual parents/guardians. As per the School Act, every parent/guardian with a student enrolled in a school is a member of that school’s PAC. Each completed Proxy Form authorizes an individual to represent members of that PAC or DPAC at the BCCPAC AGM. Basically it allows us as DPAC to represent your voices on key issues that if passed, will dictate the work that BCCPAC undertakes in the coming year(s). DPAC will have representatives at the BCCPAC AGM this year (as always) and we collect the proxy forms from our SD57 PACs so that we can make sure your voices are represented and heard at the provincial level – it lets us know how to vote for you on the resolutions (action items) presented at the AGM.

So what does all of this mean?

  1. We need all PACs to fill out their Proxy forms and send them back to us by end of week. You can fill it out electronically and email it to us or you can fill it out old school with pen and send us a picture of it. Either way works – just please send us your completed form 🙂
  2. If you trust us to speak on your and our districts behalf – that’s it!  However, we love to hear your opinions and thoughts so if you have the time or chance have a look at the resolutions being brought forward this year and let us know how you would like us to vote on April 30th (or even if you just feel strongly about a couple), let us know:
    1. Click here to find and open the 2022 AGM Booklet (or open the PDF version via the link further down below) – the resolutions are listed on page 24 and the following pages go into more details on them:
    1. Fill out the “Proposed Resolution Voting Instructions” on page 35 for any (or all) resolutions you feel strongly about and email it back to us prior by April 29th.

Any PAC who is a member of BCCPAC has the right to “vote” (via your proxy form) at the BCCPAC AGM on the resolutions that are presented. These resolutions (which can be found and read here) are what drive the work that BCCPAC does and the advocacy work that BCCPAC. Check your PAC’s status on BCCPAC’s Membership List if you aren’t sure of your membership status. If your PAC’s membership registration form and payment were received by December 31, 2021, “ACTIVE” will appear in the “2021-2022 Member” column and “YES” will appear in the “Eligible to Vote at AGM” column; this means your PAC is eligible to vote via proxy form.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions at all. We will be sending out reminders a couple of times this week to get Proxy forms from everyone so bear with us 🙂

Thank you as always for your voices and trusting us to represent you and your school communities as the district and provincial level!

April Monthly DPAC Meeting – Mental Health, Our Kids, Our Families and Our Schools

Don’t forget our monthly DPAC meeting is tonight Monday April 4th @6:30pm and it’s HYBRID!!! The theme is this month is Mental Health, Our Kids, Our Families and Our Schools 🙂

That means if you need to get out of your house (even if it’s in your PJ’s, lounge clothes or your hubby’s comfiest jogging pants – we aren’t judging as we do it too) and want to connect in person we will be back in person at the Van Bien Training Center but we will also have a virtual option to join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link. Either way, we are just happy to have people join us and their voices heard, no matter what.

The theme for April is Mental Health during the Pandemic: Effects, fallouts, lessons learned and solutions for the future  and we want to hear from you, including:

  1. What were your experiences with your children(s)s and family mental health during the pandemic? 
  2. What mental health gaps and needs did you experience in our schools and education system in the last two years? 
  3. What is missing? What have we learned? 
  4. What are some potential solutions or opportunities you see for our district? What have you seen or heard from other districts that you think may be helpful for our district? 

Regular Meeting March 7 – Teams

Our Regular DPAC Meeting is Monday March 7 at 6:30 on Teams, our theme is budgets and financials but we are open to additional parent-generated topics.

Click HERE to join the Teams Meeting (Join on your computer or mobile app) 

February Minutes are available here.

March Agenda is available here.

Opportunities coming up for BCCPAC Conference and AGM travel reimbursement which will be reviewed and discussed. (April 29-May 1)

DPAC AGM is on May 2 – we are accepting nominations for multiple positions and have director positions available now.

We are fully hybrid for meetings enabling interested parents from across the district to participate. Please contact us for ways to get involved and support the work of advocacy for parents and students:

  • short term district committees (monthly for 3-6 months, variable)
  • regular district committees (monthly throughout the school year)
  • executive positions
  • special projects (event planning, coordination of special activities)
  • public calendar management
  • social media engagement and monitoring

All of these opportunities can be customized to a parent’s interest and availability.

We hope to see you there.

Parents – Important Dates and Events!!! Focus Group, Kindergarten Registration and more fun stuff…

Parent don’t forget about the virtual Parent Focus group with SD57 Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman tonight January 27th @ 6:30pm – this is an awesome opportunity to get your parent voice heard and bring forward questions, concerns and ideas on what our district needs to consider moving forward over the next 5 years!!! It’s happening over Zoom tonight so no need to get out of your joggers or lounge pants – just click on the link below to to join

January 27, 2022 6:30 pm to 8 pm:  Zoom Link for Parent Focus Group

Also don’t forget that Online Kindergarten Registration for September 2022 opens February 1, 2022. Children whose fifth birthday falls on or before December 31, 2022 are eligible to enter Kindergarten in September 2022.Registration applications must be made to your catchment school if not applying to a choice school. If you are applying to a choice school, it is not necessary to also apply to your catchment school. To find your catchment school please use SD57s interactive map at School Locator. For more information visit SD57 website here.

ERASE (erase = expect respect & a safe education) is hosting a virtual on-line Student Session on Social Media Awareness about Establishing Safe, Caring and Respectful Digital Communities on February 3rd at 6:30pm PT for 60 minutes.  This is an opportunity for you as a parent or family member to learn alongside your high school or middle school children. This session is for students in Grade 8-12 covers all things digital, from how to be a good digital citizen to the criminal consequences of cyberbullying. Some of the most prominent concerns currently surrounding students’ use of social media platforms and smartphones will be discussed.

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