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

DPAC Minutes – November 2021 – Safety Quiz

Our DPAC Meeting on November 1 had a lively discussion about Safety in and around our schools. Much is being done to ensure students feel safe and have a sense of belonging in our schools.

Check out our Safety Quiz on SurveyMonkey to learn more about our theme this month. Safety Matters Survey (surveymonkey.com)

We had a Presentation from Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman.

Please also take some time to review the presentation regarding Facility Services. Some great data and information on how our buildings are heated and ventilated to high standards. Big thanks to Barry Bepple and Brett Apolczer for putting this together.

Reach out to us anytime at info@sd57dpac.ca. Thanks!

SD57 Traffic Town Hall

We want to hear your voice!!! The SD57 District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) is hosting a first ever virtual Town Hall with PG City Community Groups via Zoom this Monday June 7th @ 7:00pm to explore and discuss the issues and impacts of increasing traffic on our schools, families, and the surrounding communities.

What are your experiences as parents around traffic, safety, and commuting issues at our schools in SD57??

We want to know! We will be discussing:

  1. Safety and traffic: What are the experiences from your school and community?
  2. Barriers: What prevents you, your child, or family from walking or bicycling to school?
  3. Solutions: What do you see as potential solutions or interventions to improve the traffic and safety issues currently being experienced at your school? What changes do you see that would improve safety and provide better commuting options for students?
  4. Challenges: What infrastructure challenges have you experienced? Provide specific examples of sidewalks, crosswalks, crossing lights, etc.

We have an awesome panel of City & Community Groups who will be attending Monday’s Town Hall including:

  • Mayor Lyn Hall representing the City of Prince George
  • Fire Chief John Iverson – Prince George Fire Department
  • Dave Bradshaw – City’s Manager of Transportation and Technical Services and/or Chris Vliegenthart, Transportation Supervisor
  • Tracey James – Manager of BCAA
  • A representative from the Traffic Division for RCMP Superintendent Shaun Wright
  • Dane Greenwell – Urban Director PG Cycling Club & Go By Bike Week Coordinator for Prince George
  • Doug MacDonald – ICBC Road Safety Coordinator for Prince George

Also, we will have SD57 Representatives attending Monday’s Town Hall including:

  • Acting Superintendent of Schools – Cindy Heitman
  • Representative from the SD57 Board of Trustees/School Board
  • President of the PG District Teachers Association/PGDTA – Joanne Hapke
  • President of the Principals & Vice-Principals Association of PG – Kelly Johansen
  • President of CUPE for SD57 – Karen Wong
  • And others

During the Town Hall we will be using the app Slido (which you can access on any mobile device or via your computer) for participants to ask live questions, participate in live polls, and provide your thoughts and feedback during this event.  The Slido link will be provided at the start of the meeting.

So either email us questions in advance at exec@sd57dpac.ca or ask them live using Slido during the meeting as well. See you there!

The meeting starts at 6:30pm with guests joining at 7pm.
Join Zoom Meeting https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/65674887171?pwd=NmxKbGtYb2ZvU2c0VW53MFFISlZEdz09
Meeting ID: 656 7488 7171
Passcode: Kd5t*1cv