Policy 5119 – Revisions to School Catchment Areas and Student Transfers

At its public meeting on October 26, 2010, the Board of Education reviewed proposed changes to this policy and approved a motion to distribute them to reference groups for input.

Click here to see the draft policy and information about providing input.

The deadline for providing input is January 6, 2011.

December 1: The school district has posted a FAQ on their website about the proposed revisions, the Board’s process, and the error they made in implementing changes to the policy in 2008:  Click here for more information.

This will be discussed at the next DPAC meeting, but in brief, this policy governs how catchment applies to schools for kindergarten registration and student transfers. This policy sets the criteria for how priority is given to students when there is no room in a school, class, or program for a student attempting to register or transfer. Note that the catchment for the English program at dual track is the neighborhood, while the catchment for French, hockey, or Montessori (as choice program examples) is district-wide.

Students registering in Kindergarten, Regular program:

“Students, including those in Kindergarten, are entitled to attend the school serving the geographical catchment area in which they live, except as limited by available space or by actions taken in accordance with the provisions of this policy.”

Students registering in Kindergarten, Choice program:

Access to choice programs at Kindergarten is gained by registration, on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of the geographical area in which a student resides. Access to choice programs at all other grades is gained through the transfer process.  Acceptance in a choice program is dependent on available space and/or program criteria. ”

Student Transfer Process:

“Students who are already registered in a district school who wish to attend a different school are required to apply for a transfer through the transfer process.

If the Board determines that space is available in a school or a program, a student whose transfer application was received by the Board by the date established is entitled to enrol in that school in the following descending order of priority:
6.4.1    The siblings of a student who, in the previous school year, attended the school in question and who will be attending the school in the following year.
6.4.2    school district child.
6.4.3    A non-school district child.

6.5       If two or more students have the same priority category as outlined in Regulation 6.4, priority for entry will be established based upon the date and time of application.”


“5.1 Each school with the exception of choice schools and programs, distance education, continuing education, district alternative programs and provincial resource programs, will have a designated catchment area.  A school with multiple programs will have catchment area for its neighbourhood program.

5.2       The catchment boundary for all choice schools and programs will be the boundaries of the school district.”

Note that the policy does not seem to have any provision to students registering in a choice program from out of district, or give any priority to a student transferring to their catchment school from a non-catchment school. Additionally, no priority is given to students registering in a program who have siblings already at the school.

Also, the policy states: “Students, including those in Kindergarten, are entitled to attend the school serving the geographical catchment area in which they live, except as limited by available space“. There does not seem to be a policy for what happens if a student cannot attend their catchment school because of lack of space.

Comments to Board about Sibling Priority Inclusion in Policy – Jacqueline Dockray

November 23rd, 2010 – Comments to Board about Sibling Priority Inclusion in Policy, Jacqueline Dockray, École College Heights Elementary Parent

I would like to speak about the proposed changes to policy 5119 that are presently available to parents and the community for input.

First and foremost, the proposed changes have been published without a background or a rationale.  This means that many people will be unable to understand the grounds for the changes or indeed the context under which the proposed wording has been developed.

Secondly, the proposed policy does not include definitions for important words that are crucial to its correct interpretation.  For example, the word “entitled” seems to mean something different to the Board and District than the definition given in the dictionary.

Unfortunately, only those who are present at the Board Meetings for the discussion around the policy or who read the minutes (that are, by necessity, much less detailed) will get any context for what is proposed.  This is a major frustration and shortcoming in this important process and needs to be addressed for future policy discussions.  I’ll put my full thoughts to the Board and District in writing; I appreciate the opportunity and encourage all families to do the same.  I do want to urge people, however, to ask for clarification on anything they do not understand, and perhaps the Board can give some of that clarification at the December 7th meeting.

At this point, I would like to focus on an issue that I feel, and many of us feel, is crucial to the well-being and success of our children in our schools, and that is the issue about which our sub-committee met with you on April 28th of this year – the lack of policy around siblings when registering in kindergarten.

I would like to draw your minds back to the 60-day consultation period around the proposed school closures and reorganizations that we all suffered through at the beginning of the year and the many heartfelt presentations you listened to during that process.  I do not recall one person who stood up at those meetings who did not talk about the importance of families and communities in their passionate discourse about their local school. Continue reading “Comments to Board about Sibling Priority Inclusion in Policy – Jacqueline Dockray”

School Catchment Areas and Student Transfers – Change of Policy

On October 26, 2010, the Board of Education approved the attached revisions to Policy 5119 for distribution to reference groups for input. Note that in this copy, words that are crossed out are to be deleted from the existing policy and shaded words are to be added.

If you or your organization has any comments, concerns or suggestions about these proposed revisions, please forward them in writing to:

Wendy De Marsh, Executive Assistant
School District No. 57 (Prince George)
2100 Ferry Avenue
Prince George, B.C.   V2L 4R5

or e-mail: wdemarsh@sd57.bc.ca

or fax:  Wendy De Marsh at (250) 561-6820 or 561-6801

To help focus your input, the following questions may be considered:

1. How does the revision fit with current practice?
2. How will the revision affect your school/department/organization?
3. How will the revision affect teaching, learning and student achievement?
4. Do you have any idea(s) for making the policy more effective?
5. Are there any areas in the policy that are unclear?
6. Are there significant issues that the policy should, but does not, address?
7. Can you foresee any difficulties posed by the implementation of this revision?
8. Will the policy as proposed put unreasonable demands on people or resources?  If so, how?



DPAC meeting – November 1, 2010

Please be advised that the next DPAC meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 1st at the Van Bien Training and Development Center, 311 Wilson Crescent.

While our meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. with our PACs and DPAC Executive, we invite all our valued stakeholders to attend at 7:30 p.m. as is usual and customary.

Here is the link for anyone to remotely join our DPAC meeting, from the comfort of your home computer:


PAC-911 Workshop Announcement

  • Is your School Parent Advisory Council confused by the new School District Accounting Requirements?
  • What is a Constitution & Bylaws and why is it important?
  • What are the BC Gaming Rules for funding?
  • How do we run effective meetings and how do we get more parents involved?
  • Should our PAC become a Society like our Prince George DPAC?
  • What are some ways to communicate with our parents?

If these are questions that you and your school PAC have been asking, be sure to attend this informative Workshop.

Saturday, December 4th
9:30 am to 4:00 pm at
Van Bien Training Centre
311 Wilson Crescent
Prince George, BC

Sponsored by District Parent Advisory Council No. 57 (Prince George)
Register online now!
Please register early, as seating is limited. Tickets $10 per person, catered lunch included.

Saturday, December 4th

9:30 am to 4:00 pm at
Van Bien Training Centre
311 Wilson Crescent
Prince George, BC

BCCPac Membership and Proxy forms

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) is a charitable non-profit organization that advocates for the best possible public education for all children in BC through the active involvement of parents. Members are PACs and DPACs.

The annual membership is $75 – membership form can be found here.

However, if you become a member by October 31st, you can get a 50% rebate on your membership by giving your DPAC representatives a proxy form for your PAC. This year, for the extraordinary general meeting, your DPAC reps will be Chris Finke and Sarah Holland. DPAC provides this funding to give our school district, and the North, a larger voice at the  BCCPAC conferences.

Last minute registration? The proxy form says: “For the purposes of the 2010 Extraordinary General Meeting a Regular Member is in good standing if membership fees have been paid by October 31, 2010”. The application form can be faxed to their office with a credit card number, and my assumption is that as long as that form is received in the office by October 31st, that should count.

You can find more information the extraordinary general meeting here.

For more information on BCCPAC, please visit their website at http://www.bccpac.bc.ca

General Meeting Agenda – Monday, October 4, 7pm

Agenda package:

2010 October 4 – treasurer report pages for meeting PDF

2010 October 4 – agenda – printable PDF

BCCPAC Member Resolution Form

BCCPAC Nomination form

2010 09 13 DPAC Minutes


7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

1. Adoption of Agenda

2. Adoption of September 13, 2010 Minutes

3. PAC Networking (Increasing PAC involvement / outreach)

4. Reports

(a) DPAC Chair Report

(b) Treasurer’s Report (motion for signing authorities)

(c) Superintendent Report

(d) Trustee Report

(e) PGDTA Report

(f) PGPVPA Report

(g) CUPE Report

(h) DSAC Report

(5-10 Minute Coffee/ Snack Break)

5. Committee Reports

(a) EPPC Committee Report – Chris Finke (Alternate: Don Sabo)

(b) Education Services Committee Report- Stephen Shannon (Alternate: Dennis Fudge)

(c) Policy/Governance Committee Report – Don Sabo (Dennis fudge)

(d) Parent Involvement Committee – Cara Vandekraats

6. Announcements/New Business

(a) DPAC microphone and Luminate (Steve)

(b) BCCPAC Extra-Ordinary Meeting; Motion to appoint Chris and Sarah as our DPAC delegates.

(c) BCCPAC Extra-Ordinary Meeting; PACs to complete proxy form & send to DPAC via school principals?

(d) DPAC Executive /School Trustee Meeting (7:00 – 9:00 pm; Dates?)

(e) PACs and Accounting Responsibilities (group discount rate or purchase of accounting software?)

(f) Gaming Grant Year End Financial Report Training (Chris)

(g) Major theme: “Economies of Scale” Presented an Introduction to the School Board

7. Other Business

(a) Signing Authorities for DPAC Bank Account

8. Agenda items for next meeting

9. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 8, 2010 at

7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.


– Minutes of September 13, 2010 Meeting

– Treasurer’s Report

– BCCPAC Proxy Forms

Prince George PACs share $222,845 in community gaming grants


PRINCE GEORGE -Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) in Prince George will share $222,845 in community gaming grants this school year to support activities for local children.

“This funding is important for a variety of reasons, but most importantly it supports kids,” says Prince George – Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell. “It brings schools and families together and that builds communities.”

“Studies show us that when parents are involved in their child’s education, they do better. That is why Parent Advisory Councils are so important,” says Prince George – Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “These grants support the hard work that PACs do to enhance student opportunities in schools right across School District No. 57. As a former PAC chair I know firsthand how important these grants are.”

Activities that gaming grants support include school drama and chess clubs, writing, debating and music competitions, and student societies, as well as student travel in B.C. Newsletters, yearbooks, playground and sports equipment, awards, trophies, scholarships and bursaries are also funded through these grants.

Funding is also provided to district parent advisory councils (DPACs) to build relationships and promote effective communication among schools, parents, students and the community. Eligible uses for this funding are educational and promotional materials, as well as administration and travel to DPAC meetings. DPACs are comprised of members from each PAC in a district. DPACs receive grants of $2,500 every year while PAC grants are based on the respective schools’ student enrolment and are paid annually at $20 per student.

Funding for PACs is part of $120 million budgeted for gaming grants this year – $7.4 million more than last year.  For a complete list PACs and DPACs receiving community grants, and other information on the gaming industry, please visit www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming/.

To learn more about Shirley’s work in Prince George-Valemount, visit www.shirleybondmla.bc.ca or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/shirleybond.

To learn more about Pat’s work in Prince George-Mackenzie, visit www.patbellmla.bc.ca


Prince George PACs receiving Community Gaming Grants include:

  • Association de Parents du Programme Francophone de Prince George – $2,460
  • Beaverly Elementary School PAC – $4,960 ·
  • Blackburn Elementary School PAC – $4,840
  • Buckhorn Elementary P.A.C. – $2,200
  • Central Fort George Traditional School Parent Advisory Council – $3,400
  • Centre For Learning Alternatives PAC – $7,440
  • College Heights Elementary School PAC – $9,260
  • College Heights Secondary School PAC – $15,580
  • District Parent Advisory Council No. 57 Prince George – $2,500
  • DP Todd Secondary School PAC – $15,000
  • Duchess Park Secondary School P.A.C. – $17,100
  • Ecole Austin Road Elementary School PAC – $6,320
  • Edgewood Elementary Parent Advisory Council – $3,060
  • Glenview Elementary PAC – $2,540
  • Hart Highlands P.A.C. – $5,240
  • Harwin Elementary School P.A.C. – $3,740
  • Heritage Elementary P.A.C. – $8,540
  • Hixon School Parent Advisory Council – $500 ·
  • Immaculate Conception Elementary Psg – $3,740
  • Kelly Road Secondary School PAC – $18,865
  • Malaspina Parent Advisory Council – $5,360
  • Nukko Lake Elementary School PAC – $1,620 ·
  • Peden Hill Elementary School PAC – $3,940
  • Pineview Parents Advisory Council – $3,740
  • Pinewood Elementary School PAC – $3,480
  • Prince George Secondary School PAC – $25,920 ·
  • Quinson Elementary Parent Advisory Council – $4,060
  • Ron Brent Elementary School P.A.C. – $4,480
  • Sacred Heart Parent Support Group – $1,860
  • Shady Valley PAC & Community Association – $440
  • Southridge Elementary School PAC – $7,020
  • Springwood Elementary P.A.C. – $2,740
  • Spruceland Elementary School PAC – $7,700
  • St. Mary’S Catholic School Parent Support Group – $4,320
  • Van Bien Elementary School PAC – $4,680
  • Vanway Elementary School PAC – $5,740 ·
  • Westwood Elementary School P.A.C. – $4,860

October DPAC Meeting

Please be advised that the next DPAC meeting is scheduled for October 4th at the Van Bien Training and Development Center, 311 Wilson Crescent.

While our meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. with our PACs and DPAC Executive, we invite all our valued stakeholders to attend at 7:30 p.m. as is usual and customary.

Here is the link for anyone to remotely join our DPAC meeting on Oct 4th: