We will see you tomorrow Feb. 3 at the DPAC Meeting at 6:30 at the Van Bien Training Centre. There will be important updates from the Partner Groups including School Board, Senior Admin, Teachers, Principals, and CUPE. Come with your questions and feedback for DPAC.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back! We look forward to collaborating with you at the first DPAC Meeting of the year Monday January 6th, 2020. We are at the Van Bien Training Centre (side door entrance on Upland Street side) at 6:30pm until around 8:30pm.
We look forward to meeting our new District Superintendent Anita Richardson. We also have the opportunity to hear from the Honorable Shirley Bond and Mike Morris, or local MLAs in the BC Legislature. As usual, we will have presentations from CUPE, the Teacher’s Union, Principals Association, and School Board. Please come with ideas and encouragement for all our guests!
We hope you are enjoying the break with family and friends over the holidays. Be sure to invest time in our students as they have new experiences, create new friendships, and learn new strategies this coming year.
Start the year off right and plan to attend our DPAC Meeting on Monday! It is the first day back at school on January 6 at 6:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre. It is important for parents to engage with the School District Staff and PAC Members working toward better education and school experiences for our children. The Honorable Shirley Bond and Mike Morris will attend as BC Liberal MLAs representing our region. It is important to understand the political direction our government is taking in regards to education and funding for families. Please come with your questions and encouragement for them as they advocate for us.
Feel free to contact DPAC Executive with any questions, suggestions, or concerns from your PAC. Email email@example.com.
We have several announcements and information to share:
- The DPAC Executive Team has distributed Christmas Cards to each school in our District. Contact your School Administrator to confirm its arrival and plan to pick it up in January if you haven’t done so already.
- A statement was recently released regarding booking schools for PAC events. A link to the information on our website is here. Please share this with all your PAC Executives and Volunteers as soon as possible. The DPAC Executive Team is available to visit your January PAC meeting to explain this and other initiatives we are involved in. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your meeting date and time and we will connect with you.
- Sometimes issues arise in our schools that cause frustration for parents. It may not seem like you get the answers or action you require within an expected timeframe. This can cause friction between parents and the student against the teacher and Principal. Every effort is made to resolve the issue at the school level but if necessary an escalation process can be followed. A link to the chart on the SD57 website is here. We ask that parents who are concerned about the programs or services at their school, contact DPAC for assistance in advocating on their behalf. We do not advise you to publicly share opinions on Social Media as it can cause defamation of our valuable Staff members. Contact us anytime by email or message us on our Facebook page.
- The District is working on providing PACs with SD57 email addresses to aid in communications regarding meetings, events, and policies. Stay tuned for more on this in the New Year.
- We encourage all PACs to register and pay annual dues ($75) for a BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) Membership. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2019. This is allows your PAC to get information and vote on initiatives that parents advocate on province wide. DPAC sends representatives to the AGM in May and will ask for your proxy vote if your PAC is unable to send a representative. We offer a reimbursement of your membership fee after the proxy forms are submitted. Win, win!
- The Honorable Shirley Bond and Honorable Mike Morris plan to attend our January 6, 2020 DPAC meeting. If you have questions for our MLAs regarding education in BC, funding for programs and facilities, or any other school related concern, please email us your question to present at the meeting. We welcome all parents to join us for this exciting opportunity to hear what the Opposition Party supports in the BC Legislature.
- Invitations have gone out for our Parent Café on January 18, 2020. It will be from 10am – 2pm at the Prince George Civic Centre. The cost is $5 and it includes drinks and lunch. This is an event where parents, PAC volunteers, and executives can freely ask questions to the DPAC Executive and network with each other. Many topics come up including parent engagement, fundraising ideas, successful events and hot lunches, how meetings should run, the roles of the executive members, relationship with the Principal, and much more. There are limited spots so register now at this Eventbrite link.
Thanks again for your interest and support for all that we do to represent parents in the District. We are open to feedback and suggestions at monthly meetings or through email.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!
From the School District No. 57 District Parent Advisory Council Executive
As many of you know, PACs have been told they were not included in the School District’s insurance coverage for roughly the last year. We are happy to report that the issue has been resolved. Please read!
Here’s a summary of the process from the DPAC Executive:
– School District No. 57 (District) went through negotiations with the City of Prince George (City) regarding their Joint User Agreement that allows community groups to book and use school property. The insurance requirements were reviewed as well as the procedure for booking in advance to prevent scheduling conflicts.
– The District was uncomfortable with PAC using school facilities and property for events where there could be a risk of injury or damage. They asked that PACs purchase additional liability insurance according to the City requirements for other user groups.
– DPAC advocated against this for obvious reasons but seeing no way around it, they encouraged PACs to continue holding events but purchase insurance and keep receipts for reimbursement by the District.
– Much confusion followed throughout the year as to what the liability requirements were, how to book events, what PACs (or Executive) would be on the hook for, etc. Unfortunately, many family events and fundraisers were cancelled due to the uncertainty.
– In September, the District presented a new booking form that was not practical for PACs, did not alleviate the indemnity, and left many feeling unwelcome at the schools. Infrequent, poor communication from the District complicated matters and strained relationships between all parties.
– DPAC Executive attended the BCCPAC Summit and found that our District was the only one struggling with this issue. PACs are legislated to operate under the School Act therefore they are covered under Districts province wide.
– As of Dec 4, a final “Application for Use of School Facilities – PAC Event” form (may be two single sided pages or one double-sided page) was released removing all conditions on PACs to have proof of insurance or be liable for injury or damages.
– The December version includes a list of policies that must be adhered to on page 2. A second document was released called “Policy Information Sheet – PAC Events”. It outlines the policies pertaining to PAC events and what they mean to us.
– The Application form must be completed, signed by the PAC Chair or Vice-Chair, approved by the Principal, and submitted at least 16 days in advance of the event.
Policies to follow:
- Policy 110 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy – No image or recording of identifiable students is to be taken or used without written consent and if even if permission is granted, it is only for that one purpose not for future use. Keep personal information on fundraising forms confidential and destroy as soon as possible.
- Policy 1223 School Parent Advisory Councils – Even though PACs are their own Society, they work with the Principal and can’t do activities without their approval.
- Policy 1240 Provision of Volunteer Services – All volunteers must fill out an application form and have a clean criminal record check to be on the approved volunteer list before the event.
- Policy 1330 Use of School Facilities – Activities must be inclusive and appropriate for all not infringing on human rights. No alcohol or smoking on school property.
- Policy 3542 Food Service – Food that is prepared at an event must have one person with FoodSafe to supervise the food area the whole time. Does not apply to pre-made food.
- Policy 3542.3 Healthy Food Choices in Schools – When providing pre-made items offer healthy options as well whenever possible.
- Policy 5131.5 Anti-Vandalism – Limit opportunities for vandalism and illegal entry into the school. Don’t leave doors propped open, supervise the door as guests come in. Make note of damage and report to the Principal immediately.
- Policy 5131.62 No Smoking or Vaping – Absolutely no one can smoke, vape, or use tobacco products while on school property, even if they are in their personal vehicle in school parking lot.
Forms for PAC are posted on the School District 57 website under “Parents” here.
We hope this brings clarity and helps alleviate any concerns about using the school for PAC events. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. Please email us at email@example.com with your questions or feedback. Thank you!
DPAC Executive Members: Andrea, Kim, Arlene, Amie, Trudy, Nicole, Christa
Saturday January 18, 2020 from 10am – 2pm at Prince George Civic Centre
We invite all parents involved with PAC to join us!
This may include the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other positions you may have – Volunteer Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Fundraising, etc. It includes any parent who helps with PAC activities!
- Share ideas and challenges
- Network with other PAC volunteers in your area
- Get ideas from other volunteers doing your job
- Enjoy a catered lunch!
Pre-registration is required. Follow this Eventbrite link.
We charge a nominal fee of $5 for SD57 attendees ($25 for non-SD57). Please contact us if this is a barrier to your attendance, as we have a budget to ensure all are included.
If you are from Hixon, Mackenzie, McBride, or Valemount, please let us know, as we should be able to assist with travel costs.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The school year is in full swing and moving steady right into Christmas break. Please review the minutes from our November 4th meeting.
Plans are underway for a PAC Cafe in the new year. Plan to come to our next meeting on Monday to hear about that and much more. Representatives from Senior Administration, the Board of Education, and many other partner groups are there to provide information on initiatives within the District and answer parent’s questions. PAC Representatives from multiple schools benefit from discussions and networking regarding fundraisers and programs that they run at their elementary and secondary schools. Even if you are not an elected PAC Rep, all parents are welcome to attend!
DPAC Meeting Monday Dec 2, 2019 6:30pm at Van Bien Training Centre
The DPAC is working closely with SD57 Administration and Board to support parents and families at Ecole College Heights in light of the recent event of a teacher being removed for having a history of inappropriate behaviour towards students. SD57 Senior Administration has been directly in contact with and is available for affected families at ECHE. The teacher in question was removed immediately upon SD57 becoming aware of the previous grievances, and a TTOC teacher was also immediately arranged. The school board and administration are actively reviewing the events that transpired resulting in this teacher being hired into SD57 and ECHE, along with how to prevent this in the future.
For the parents and families at Ecole College Heights, please contact the ECHE administration with your questions and concerns. A communique has been sent out to parents and administration at ECHE with more details.
For parents and families at all other schools, if you have issues or concerns with regards to any staff, events or situations at your school please speak to your school administrators and administration (Principal, Vice Principal). If the situation or concerns are not being addressed at your school administration level please then contact the DPAC via our email address (email@example.com) with your concerns and we will connect with you.
We have also attached the SD57 Guidelines for Resolving Problems and Concerns for reference (https://www.sd57.bc.ca/…/Guidelines%20for%20Problem%20Solvi…).
The DPAC is always available as a resource for PACs and parents who are having difficulties resolving issues at their school level.
SD57 Update: click here
From the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council Executive
We had 16 parents attend the meeting on October 7. There is so much great information presented by DPAC Executives and Representatives from Senior Administration, School Board, Principals & Vice-Principals Association, Prince George District Teachers Association, and CUPE.
We had a presentation from Jason Peters, the new Communications and Public Relations Officer with the District. They have very recently launched a Facebook page School District No. 57. Be sure to “like” and follow. Check out stories from around the District on the new website sd57stories.com.
Plan to attend the DPAC Meeting on Monday November 4 at 6:30 at Van Bien Training Centre. Let us know you are coming by responding to this event. DPAC Representatives (or Alternates) from every school can attend to ask questions, give input, and vote on initiatives.
Finally, there are still a few spots left in the FoodSafe course on Nov. 17. Register here.