All Parents PLEASE READ!

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) and the SD57 District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) have been busy gathering information and interpreting it for parents regarding September’s Restart Plan. Yes, school will be different in September. Different than last September, different than last April (after Spring Break), and different than the restart in June.

We understand that you have a hard decision to make:
1) Send kids back to school full-time.
2) Register for distributed learning.
3) Switch to homeschooling. See info article here.
Each option has its pros and cons and families have diverse needs that will affect their decisions. This will not be easy, but as long as your children are getting an education, there are no wrong decisions.

DPAC has collected updates for parents on a dedicated website page here: http://sd57dpac.ca/covid-19-updates/
We recommend 2 recent posts:
1) K-12 Schools are in Stage 2 (July 29)
2) Seeking PAC and Parent Feedback (Aug 14)

Here is some info from the BCCPAC Letter to Members (Aug 13) here.

Admin are back in schools starting tomorrow Aug 17 and the hard work starts… developing a plan… which will change! DPAC was consulted on the plan when students returned in June, and felt that it was solid. We are confident that SD57 will put a strong plan forward on Aug 21 for approval by the Ministry of Education and PHO.

We need PARENT and PAC input! Please comment on your thoughts regarding safety protocols being put in place and feedback on education and social-emotional supports required for your children.

The Public Health Office has released this guidance document for safety in Schools.

These 5 Control Measures will be required in all BC schools.

If you feel that the safety protocols are not sufficient, or there are medical conditions for your child or family where your Physician has recommended you self-isolate, the other option is Distributed Learning. But there are many options that need to be researched and discussed with your School Admin before deciding.

Finally, DPAC is meeting regularly with SD57 and will provide updates in the coming weeks regarding the Restart Plan. We need parents and PACs to be active and advocating for our students! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at exec@sd57dpac.ca. Thank you!

New PAC Email Addresses

During the last school year, DPAC worked with the District to set up email addresses for each PAC. We’ve been in contact with each PAC Chairperson at all 41 schools to assist with setting up their accounts.

The advantage of all PACs having a SD57 email is so DPAC can communicate regularly with your current executive, and keep information and history saved in an account where future executives can have access to.

Many of you set up accounts with “sd57learn.com”, but now all domains have changed to “sd57.bc.ca”. This is a note from Morris in IT:

We have completed e-mail system upgrades earlier this month, as we transition all district email accounts to the @sd57.bc.ca address format.
As a result, all of the login usernames ending in @sd57learn.com , have been changed to the username@sd57.bc.ca format.
Please try logging in again with your changed username of: pgsspac@sd57.bc.ca (instead of the old username of pgsspac@sd57learn.com )

  • your password should be the same (ie: the password will be the same as what you have been using with the username@sd57learn.com Office 365 account login)
  • All of the emails in the mailbox should still be there (even though the login username has been changed to the @sd57.bc.ca format)
  • Also, please note that e-mail messages sent to either pgsspac@sd57.bc.ca or pgsspac@sd57learn.com will end up in this mailbox, but we will be dropping the @sd57learn.com address on October 1st, 2020 — As of this date, the account will have 1 email address: pgsspac@sd57.bc.ca

If you have any issues with this, contact me Christa Porter (DPAC Director – Media Support) at DPAC@sd57.bc.ca and I will work with Morris to help you get connected.

Seeking PAC and Parent Feedback

BCCPAC and SD57 DPAC are seeking feedback from PAC Reps and Parents regarding the K-12 Education Restart Plan. Take a few minutes to read the detailed update from BCCPAC released yesterday Aug. 13. It explains where we are at, what the Districts are doing to prepare and consult, and some helpful FAQs. Find it on their website here.

The BC Ministry of Education has a section on their website on What Parents Need to Know.

SURVEY – The School of Nursing from UBC has released a survey for parents of children with complex medical needs and the impact that COVID-19 has on them. Complete the survey here. Deadline is Aug 28.

Finally, your SD57 District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) Executives are meeting tomorrow to prepare for a meeting with Senior Administration on Monday. If you have any input on Restart Plans for SD57, please email your letter to us at exec@sd57dpac.ca so we can share with the District.

If you wish to send feedback directly to SD57 email covid@sd57.bc.ca. Follow the regular updates on their website here.

Your DPAC Executive Team: Andrea, Kim, Arlene, Amie, Christa
With ongoing support from Trudy (past Executive) and Gillian (BCCPAC)

K-12 Schools are in Stage 2

The Public Health Office and Ministry of Education announced today that all K-12 Schools in BC are now in Stage 2 which has been changed to mean all students attend full-time (all day, Mon-Fri) and will be assigned to Learning Groups. Limits on these groups or cohorts are 60 for Elementary and Middle Schools, and 120 for Secondary Schools.

Please take some time to read the Ministry of Education website here.
1. There is a section where you can better understand Stage 2.
2. A section that explains Learning Groups.
3. A section with timelines for specific plans from the Districts. This includes Distance Learning registration for those who need it.
4. An important section about Health & Safety Guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
There is even a virtual assistant where you can ask questions.

This document provides health guidance for schools including Control Measures and Personal Protocols that can be taken.

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) has a LOUD voice on the Steering Committee of various partner groups. They are doing a great job at translating this information for parents. Check out their website here including today’s Facebook post here.

We all know there are still many questions to be answered and concerns that will be expressed. DPAC Executives are available via email at exec@sd57dpac.ca if you need support. We encourage you to read and evaluate the education and health information and advice, talk to your children, and make plans for September.

Important Parent Survey

How did it go? Thoughts on what went well and what could be improved with the continuity of learning (online schooling) during the pandemic? Do you have expectations of how September should go? Tell the Ministry of Education! Here is an excerpt from the latest post from BCCPAC. Full post is here.

Survey on Experiences for Your Input

The Ministry of Education is interested in learning more about parents’/guardians’ experiences during the COVID-19 in-class learning disruption between March and June 2020. Please take 10 minutes to complete this survey to help inform policy development and planning for schools.

The Ministry and BCCPAC will provide updates throughout the summer and an announcement is scheduled in August, in time to prepare for the start of school in September.

Take the Survey Now

Survey for Gr 10-12 Families

Do you know any families with Grade 10-12 students? The Ministry wants to hear from Gr 10-12 students about the impact of COVID-19 on their learning. Please share this student survey link so we can get more input from more students about their perspectives on the educational impact of COVID-19. The survey will be open throughout July and we encourage you to provide feedback. 

Take the Grade 10-12 Survey

Anytime you have specific concerns or suggestions for SD57, email COVID-19Questions@sd57.bc.ca and include exec@sd57dpac.ca and we will do our best to advocate for families during this time.

Safer Schools Together

Safer Schools Together (SST) works closely with BC School Districts to understand risk, minimize threats in schools, and educate staff and student on school safety. They are reaching out to Parents to give some understanding about online safety. Here is the info from the email. Click on the times (blue) as a link to the registration website.

On JUNE 29th, 2020, you are invited to attend a Remote Parent Learning Session providing valuable resources regarding online safety.

Our Safer Schools Together (SST) Parent Presentation will focus on increasing your understanding and awareness of safety in the remote learning world. Being social is such an important part of your child’s growth and that has become much more difficult with physical distancing in effect. This remote learning session will better equip you for your digital parenting strategy, and give you a snapshot of current video conferencing platforms, trends and concerning apps. At this age, your child will encounter situations that will challenge their independence, including cyberbullying (and more commonly – cyberexclusion), the dangers of anonymity, privacy, sharing intimate images, and inappropriate websites. You need to be there to provide support and guidance during this critical period. This session is being offered twice on June 29, 2020. Reserve your spot today! TICKETS $25
3pm – 5pm PST 6pm – 8pm PST

We look forward to having you join us and encourage you to share this opportunity!
If you have any questions, or difficulties registering, call us toll-free at 1 (855) 677-3720 or email info@saferschoolstogether.com and we will be happy to assist you.

Northern Health Survey

Northern Health is identifying “Grand Challenges” for Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Abuse issues in Northern BC. If you identify with any of the following, you are eligible to complete the survey.

The Survey Monkey link is here.

If you have any questions or further input, contact Kathy Buhler with FamilySmart in Prince George at kathy.buhler@familysmart.ca.

Health & Wellness Support for Families

There are many great organizations and individuals in our community who support families and children’s well being. In support of Child and Youth Mental Health Day in BC recently, FamilySmart held a series of webinars and posted videos and resources on their media platforms. Here is a great example:

How to Manage Your Mental Health in Tight Quarters: A Conversation for Families

Kathy Buhler with FamilySmart in Prince George is hosting an online version of “In the Know” about this very topic with Victoria and Liz (featured in the video). Wednesday June 17 at 2pm. Contact her for more information at kathy.buhler@familysmart.ca.

Eventbrite link is here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/in-the-know-online-discussion-june-2020-tickets-106972002138

Linda Campbell is a local school counsellor who does a remarkable job with pulling together resources for parents. Her mandate is: social emotional and mental health resources for students, families and staff. Contact her for more information at lindacampbellsel@gmail.com.

Check out her newsletters here: https://www.smore.com/u/53473253d61a88fcfb777e8f

Join SD57 PACs (public Facebook group) for regular updates from these ladies and the District regarding important information for Parents and PACs to share.

Anytime you see websites or information that would be great resources for parents and families, please forward to us at DPAC@sd57learn.com. Thanks!

June DPAC Meeting – Tonight!

Our last meeting of the school year is tonight June 1 at 6:30pm on ZOOM. Please plan to join us and give input on the SD57 Restart Plan and other programs and initiatives in our schools. We need 9 PACs represented to reach quorum.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82737434510?pwd=WXZCUWpiZTFQTXc4aFE3UkN3c0lJUT09

Meeting ID: 827 3743 4510
Password: 317793

Contact the Executive anytime at DPAC@sd57learn.com or exec@sd57dpac.ca. Thanks!

SD57 Restart Plan

New information regarding on-site learning at our school buildings starting tomorrow June 1. Please review this information from the SD57 website that was also emailed out to families.

Website updates including Letter to Parents and PowerPoint slides here.

Anita Richardson May 29 Video Message

Please review the flowchart with your child(ren) as to what to expect before, during, and after school so they understand the processes and protocols. We expect that it will be a positive, safe transition!

Letter from Rob Fleming, Minister of Education and Andrea Sinclair, President, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Schools:

If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other District matters, please attend our last monthly DPAC meeting Monday June 1 at 6:30pm. The zoom info will be posted on our website.