DPAC Presentation to the SD57 Board of Trustees for June 2021

Tonight at the SD57 Public Board Meeting the following presentation given by DPAC Chair Andrea Beckett:

“First off I would like to say Wow, we made it. If someone told me in June 2020 that we would be where we are today I honestly don’t know that I would have believed them.  In spite of a global pandemic and the amount of uncertainty facing us as parents, families, teachers, educators and school staff in September 2020 DPAC still managed to accomplish a lot of work while ensuring access to safe public education was upheld as a community priority.  

I would like to say thank you to the board, administrators, principals and vice-principals, school office staff, department leaders, teachers, EAs, counselors staff in all positions including maintenance, custodians and support staff at our district office, and thank you to anyone else that I have missed recognizing specifically for your commitment to a safe school year that was more productive than we could have expected.  Thank you for making the mission of Inspiring Learning Anywhere into a reality, especially on such short and sudden notice..  I would also like to thank our departing DPAC executive members, Kim Pryschlak and Amie Thibodeau, who were integral parts of our executive team this year.  

The collaboration between our DPAC and SD57 Senior Admin combined with solution-oriented problem solving allowed the parents to feel included and to make our mission of parent advocacy and parent education a reality in the 2020-2021 school year, despite the many challenges.  Together we accomplished so much by providing parent access to decision-making meetings and parent perspective to our schools and district in many areas, including:  

  • Covid Restart Townhall with NHA experts
  • Covid Safe Schools Re-Start 2020
  • Enhancing Communication Plans to Parents around Covid and changes within school.
  • Parent Education opportunities throughout the year: 
    • Facilitate access to White Hatter seminars 
    • Food Safe funding
    • BCCPAC Parent Education Conference
    • One on One communication with PACs and parents
  • Facilitating the work of PACs: 
    • Hosted our first Virtual PAC Cafe
    • Facilitated Zoom Meetings across the region
    • Rural PAC engagement
    • Problem-solving with PACs directly on school level questions
    • Support and Engagement with Centre for Learning Alternatives and Central Interior Distance Education PAC around changes to District Learner Supports and access for students
  • Representing SD57 schools, parents and families at the provincial level via BCCPAC events
  • Valentine’s Day Social Media Campaign
  • Strategic Plan Review and Development
  • Participating in the Special Advisor’s Review
  • Expanded Committee of the Whole budget consultations and feedback
  • PAC/Principal & Vice Principal working group resource development
  • Traffic Townhall and safety resource development

This year PAC and DPAC feedback really mattered and we watched the implementation of our parent perspectives be integrated in real time.  The collaboration between our volunteer parent organization and our school district is truly second to none in the province and is something in which we take a great deal of pride. As Martin Luther King said,

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” 

Next year’s priorities are already taking shape as we carry forward initiatives started this year and finally bring conclusion to other projects including the Policy and Governance Review work this board started almost 3 years ago. On the note of Policy & Governance, I do need to state that currently this board is stalling progress in our school district by refusing to move forward with the Policy & Governance work that was started July 3rd 2019. Policies are the guiding principles of our district and the Procedures are the guiding processes of our district – these two pieces are how we function.  We know that we don’t function well as a district – that’s why this policy & governance work was undertaken. That’s why the Ministry of Education Special Advisors were sent to our district. Because we needed to improve and do better. 

However, we as a district can’t get better if we do nothing. We talk about living documents because they are under constant progress. Just like education – constant change – it is a journey towards improvement and that journey can only continue if we keep moving. It’s never going to be perfect because we live in a changing world. But doing nothing and constantly waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect opportunity, the policy to be perfect – is simply wrong. It makes us stagnant, unable to respond, grow or move forward at all. Where we are going is better than where we are – and yes, we still have further to go and work to improve upon but that is why the work will never be finished. And that’s okay –  in fact that’s good. What is not okay is not doing anything, waiting.

We have done work, massive, good collaborative work- in fact downright amazing work – just look at the proposed Draft AP 170 on Anti-Discrimination – it is a phenomenal piece of work. But if we don’t adopt it, or others,  we can’t implement them – we can’t take action on it, we can’t use it and thus we can’t do better. 

DPAC is excited to be an active part of the next phase of work in School District 57 to deliver high quality education that nurtures and empowers all students in all places at all times to be proud, confident and engaged lifelong learners. We look forward to working with this board to facilitate meaningful and positive change next year for our school, student and parent communities. Despite the challenges we have all faced, I know we can move forward and do better. I know what we as a DPAC have done and achieved this year to meet our mandate – so in closing I ask this board the same question, “What have you as a board achieved this year to move us forward?”

To watch the Board meeting either live in real time or after the fact: https://youtu.be/SuLPp7HHRjA

For more information and the Board Agenda book, reports and meeting details please go to the SD57 Website here.

June Monthly Meeting & Traffic Town Hall

This Monday June 7th we are holding our Traffic Town Hall as part of our monthly DPAC meeting SD57 Traffic Town Hall. The monthly DPAC meeting will start at 6:30 as per our usual time, with Community and Partner group representatives joining us to start the Traffic Town Hall at 7pm.

Zoom Meeting Link: https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/65674887171?pwd=NmxKbGtYb2ZvU2c0VW53MFFISlZEdz09
Meeting ID: 656 7488 7171
Passcode: Kd5t*1cv

May Minutes are posted here.

June 2021 Treasurer’s Report:

Education Programs & Planning Committee Report:

Expanded Committee of the Whole (ECOW – budget) Report:

Education Services Committee Report:

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

DPAC AGM – May 3, 2021

Thank you to everyone who attended the AGM and DPAC meeting tonight!

The results of tonight’s AGM elections and your DPAC Board of Directors for the upcoming 2021-2022 year are:

Andrea Beckett – DPAC Chair

Laura Weller – Vice-Chair

Arlene McKibbin – Treasurer

Rickie Mitchell – Secretary

Gillian Burnett – Director at Large

Christa Porter -Director at Large

There are additional Director at Large positions available and un-filled, so if you or anyone you know is interested in getting a feel for the work that DPAC does and are thinking of trying something new and exciting, please submit your interest to us via email!! We had a fantastic presentation on the Equity Scan done of SD57, which then led to a very in depth and great discussion with our partner groups around the effects of the pandemic on our teachers, students, families and what the next year will bring both in terms of challenges as well as opportunities.

The minutes of our discussion with the partner groups will be up on our webpage shortly.

The Agenda for our May meeting and associated reports are posted below. Meeting minutes from the April DPAC meeting can be found here.

Bylaw Amendments can be found here.

If you are interested in a position on the Executive, contact us for more information. exec@sd57dpac.ca