Category Archives: Uncategorized

Clarification from District regarding Duchess Park motion

DPAC recently wrote a letter to the District, with concerns around the notice of motions, the wording of the Duchess Park motion, and concerns around the method and numbers used in their analysis.
Previous posts:
Duchess Park motion:
“that the Board direct the Superintendent to enforce the existing catchment area for Duchess Park Secondary school, regular program, on a graduated basis as indicated in the Appendix, beginning with new enrolment for the 2017-18 school year, until such time as Duchess Park Secondary, regular program, enrolls catchment area students only.”
The intent of the Duchess Park motion seems to be to limit enrolment of non-catchment students, so as to have room for students at the school. An example given at the board meeting was that 135 students attended Duchess Park last year, who live in the DP Todd catchment.
However, it was unclear if students enrolled at a feeder elementary school would still be entitled to transition to Duchess Park for grade 8, if they did not live in the Duchess Park catchment. As an example, Spruceland Elementary is a feeder school for Duchess Park, and that school is physically located in the DP Todd catchment. According to policy, a student is entitled to attend either the “secondary school serving the catchment area in which the student resides”, “or the secondary school to which his or her current [elementary] school is linked”. Also according to policy, students may register at a choice elementary school no matter what catchment they live in, and may enrol at a regular school in a different catchment if there is space in that school.
We have received clarification from the district that the motion does not attempt to override policy 5119, which allows for transition to grade 8 from feeder schools. Some examples:
  • a family living in Kelly Road catchment but was granted out-of-catchment admission to Edgewood and is attending Edgewood in Grade 7-  Will the Grade 7 student be entitled to attend Duchess Park for Grade 8? Yes, Duchess Park is the designated secondary school for Edgewood.
  • family living in DP Todd catchment but was attending the school-of-choice Spruceland in Grade 7-  Will the Grade 7 student be entitled to attend Duchess Park for Grade 8? Yes, Duchess Park is the designated secondary school for Spruceland Traditional.  This student would also be entitled to attend DP Todd because of home address.
  • family living in Duchess Park catchment but was attending school-of-choice Polaris Montessori in Grade 7-  Will the Grade 7 student be entitled to attend Duchess Park for Grade 8? Yes, entitled because of home address.  This student is also entitled to attend PGSS as the designated Montessori Secondary School.
The district has indicated that they will have the company that provided them with the enrolment projection data respond regarding the assumptions that were made, to see if the analysis took into consideration all aspects of current SD57 policy on catchment and registration – that students living in a non-Duchess Park catchment may be entitled to attend Duchess Park.
DPAC has concerns around capacity for students in different schools in this district. As a district, we will all need to respond to these challenges. We need to ensure that those affected have an opportunity to provide input, that that input is used in the decision making process, the data used is accurate, and that decision making process is transparent.

Implications of BCTF win in Supreme court decision

The BCTF and their employer are currently meeting to discuss how to proceed, after the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-teachers-union-wins-landmark-appeal-at-supreme-court/article32793770/

Both the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association said the discussion went well and will continue with an all-day meeting Friday. 

“We left feeling positive and cautiously optimistic about next steps,” said BCTF president Glen Hansman. 

The employers association said in a statement on its website that the meeting was a “positive start.”

…Hansman said implementation may take some time, so districts can determine what positions are needed to fill the gaps between the 2002 language and what is in place today. After that, they will post the positions, go through an application process and finally fill them.

“This isn’t like flicking on a light switch,” Hansman said.

…Hansman said it may be difficult to find enough qualified teachers for some positions, especially in rural areas of the province or in specialty areas like French immersion, secondary school science or school counsellors. 

The BCTF estimates the restoration could mean adding $250 million to $300 million to B.C.’s $5.1-billion annual school budget — though school superintendents estimated as much as $1 billion in 2014.

 

For those interested, DPAC has a copy of the language stripped from the BCTF contract, with notes as to the SD57 staffing ratios.

20161110_language-stripped-from-bctf-contract-and-returned

Email from Fresh Slice

Passing along an email from a Prince George restaurant…

Fresh Slice Pizza is a well established BC owned and operated Franchise Corporation. We would like to support the community that has supported us throughout our record breaking first six months in business in Prince George, by offering a Hot Lunch program designed with local schools in mind. Our freshly prepared pizza, made with skim milk cheese, low fat sauces and our acclaimed Multigrain Dough can be delivered hot and delicious to your school with no delivery charge with a minimum purchase of $50.

FUNDRAISING
Freshslice is committed to working with the community and our partners to assist in generating revenue for their school programs and extracurricular activities. In this spirit we have developed a very successful fundraising program that enables schools and other institutions in raising funds to help seed new program and events.

For more details/menu items etc. please visit us at www.freshslice.com email us at 999centralst@freshslice.com or call us directly 250-563-5601.

 

Enrolment Numbers, Projections, and Capacity

The district has made public the 2016-17 enrolment numbers. DPAC has done some analysis of numbers, and will be updating the previous report on enrolment and capacity.

sd57-enrolment-table
Shows schools by family of schools, enrolment from 2011 to 2016.

sd57-enrolment-projection-comparisons-2016
Compares 2013/14 to 2018/19 numbers, with actual enrolment, projections from the long range facilites plan (2015), school district projections from 2013, 2012, and 2011, and projections from the district sustainability committee report (2010).

sd57-headcount-compared-to-capacity-2016
Compares 2016 enrolment to capacity in a graphical format.

Revised Curriculum – Grades 10 to 12

191851-parent-letter_curriculum-timeline

From letter from the Ministry of Education regarding Grade 10-12 curriculum implementation

Teachers, principals and trustees asked for more time to work hands-on with the redesigned draft curriculum in grades 10-12 – and we agree. The extra time means teachers can try out the draft curriculum and provide feedback before it is fully implemented in the 2018/19 school year. The new curriculum is already fully in place in the earlier grades. The extra year makes sense because the graduation years are more complex than the K-9 years. They are tied to provincial exams. They are connected to post-secondary choices. We are making sure that we get the Grade 10-12 redesigned curriculum right for students, ensuring their future success in post-secondary and the workforce.

When it comes to provincial exams, we have mapped out which old exams and new exams will be written and when. The most important thing is that new or old, our standards remain high, testing remains rigorous, and combined with in-class exams we will be thoroughly testing student knowledge.

Detailed exam information can be found at: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/graduation-info

Reminder – BCCPAC Membership Deadline

Join BCCPAC and Make Your Views Count!

Dec 15 is the deadline for voting membership for PAC/DPAC eligibility to vote at BCCPAC’s AGM

  • Where can your PAC or DPAC add its voice to thousands of others for positive change in public education?
  • Where can your PAC or DPAC get information and support on parent involvement and leadership in our public schools?
  • Where can your PAC or DPAC find a representative provincial organization prepared to listen, share information and take your views forward?
  • BCCPAC offers all this and more

Mini conference follow up

Thank you to our attendees for taking the time to attend our mini-conference on Sunday!

As discussed, we’ve posted the powerpoint used in the conference, and added a treasurer 101 presentation, and a link to two previous posts with information about creating and updating bylaws, along with some generic bylaws that can be modified.

Importance of Bylaws for PACs

 

Amending Bylaws for PACs

DPAC General Meeting Monday, November 7, 2016

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, November 7th, 2016, 7:00 p.m., Van Bien Training Centre

Web conferencing: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/meetings/join?uuid=M8IP8N0WOSYRL17T5EDS0YBPBU-B8NT

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 about general topics, detailed and specific questions are best kept to the break)
a) District Student Advisory Council ( )
b) CUPE Report (Karen Wong) – Received communication that Karen would be unable to attend as she is in Vancouver at the moment.
c) Prince George District Teachers Association Report (Richard Giroday)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Kelly Johansen)
e) Superintendent Report ( Marilyn Marquis-Forster )
f) Trustee Report ()
(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)

5. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Gillian Burnett)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Sarah Holland)
c) Financial Review (Kim Shannon and Candice Bate)
d) Draft Budget
e) BCCPAC Report

6. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) PAC Café – January 28th, February 4th or 25th?
b) Mini Conference – Held Nov 6th
c) Parent Information Night regarding Curriculum – Held Oct 19th

7. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve Shannon)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report ( Gillian Burnett)
c) Policy and Governance (Mike Gagel)
d) Input on Policy 1231 Aboriginal Education Committee and Policy 5144 Physical Restraint and Seclusion in School Settings due December 2nd
e) Parent needed for SD committee regarding Reporting
f) Suggestions for School Board Report

8. Election – Director positions

9. Other Business
a) Long Range Facility Plan

10. Agenda items for next meeting

11. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 12th, at 7:00 pm, Van Bien.

Motion handouts – Duchess Park, Mackenzie, McBride

From the board meeting of November 1, 2016, items handed out at the meeting that were not included in the posted board agenda book:

board-handouts-for-motions-november-1-2016

Sent by request from DPAC, the Duchess Park motion with Appendix (not distributed at the board meeting):

lrf-plan-recommendation-to-the-board-duchess-park

 

A trustee asked at the board meeting if there would be any grandfathering for siblings at Duchess Park. From DPAC’s notes taken at the meeting:

“Will there be any grandfathering for siblings?
policy does prioritize siblings – do attempt to assist families in that way
siblings have priority if spaces available – where schools are tight, then no guarantee – priority doesn’t mean that a spot is available”

It’s unclear if any siblings of non-catchment area students would be allowed in – given that these students would not be able to register at Duchess Park directly, they would need to register at their catchment school (or feeder school), and then apply to transfer to Duchess Park. While the policy would given them priority among the non-catchment students applying to transfer, the motion would appear to eliminate any non-catchment transfers.

SD57 Policy 5119:

https://www.sd57.bc.ca/Board/Policies/Documents/5119%20School%20Catchment%20Areas,%20Registration%20and%20Student%20Transfers.pdf

Some specific provisions that apply:

Elementary to Secondary Transition

3.1 An elementary student who attends the regular program offered in the school serving the catchment area in which the student resides is entitled to attend the regular program offered at the secondary school serving that catchment area.

3.2 A student attending a regular program in an elementary school outside his or her catchment area, when moving from elementary to secondary school is entitled to attend either:

  • 3.2.1 The secondary school serving the catchment area in which the student resides, or
  • 3.2.2 The secondary school to which his or her current school is linked.

3.3 A student in a choice program moving from elementary to secondary school is entitled to attend either:

  • 3.3.1 The secondary school serving the catchment area in which the student resides, or
  • 3.3.2 The secondary school to which his or her school or program is linked.

 

Grades 1-12

2.2.1 Students who wish to attend a regular program are required to register in the school serving the catchment area in which they live. Proof of residence is required. If there are more students than can be accommodated, then priority will be established based on the date and time of registration.

2.2.2 Students who wish to attend the regular program offered in a school other than the school serving the catchment area in which they live must first register in the school serving their catchment area and then apply for a transfer through the school district’s transfer process.

Mini Conference on Sunday, November 6th, at 1pm

Are you a parent volunteer?

As a parent volunteer, you have a lot on your plate. You want to benefit kids in your school, keep good relationships with administration and staff, get more volunteers, raise money – and have a good time doing it.

Taking 4 hours to attend a Sunday afternoon mini-conference may seem like just something more for the to-do list.

So why are we suggesting you take the time to do so?

Well, did you know that since last year, there have been three PACs in BC that have discovered missing funds?
$30,000 – K.B. Woodward PAC (Surrey)
$20,000 – Serpentine Heights (Surrey)
$40,000 – Keating Elementary School (Saanich)

DPAC also gets calls and emails from local principals, asking for suggestions as to how to deal with PAC issues that cause them problems.

Our goal with this mini-conference is to share useful information and discussions about what our purpose is as PACs, keeping good relationships, communication and representation within your school community, making sure your meetings are conducted efficiently, raising, spending, and protecting your money, and what to do when things go wrong.

We want to respect your time, which is why it’s a mini-conference this year – Sunday, November 6th, from 1pm to 5pm. We don’t have any limits on how many people may attend from any one PAC, so feel free to bring as many as you like.

If you haven’t signed up yet, register today – registration is $5 for SD57 PACs:
https://pgdpacmini.eventbrite.ca

Your PAC can pay by cheque if you choose to, and if the cost is an issue, please let us know.

If your PAC is in Mackenzie, McBride, or Valemount, we can supply financial support to attend the conference.