Open Parachute – Nov 3

Seminar for Parents regarding Open Parachute mental health resources. Wed November 3 from 6:30-7:30pm at Vanier Hall (PGSS).

Message from Audrey Mitchell, Vice Principal – Inclusive Education Department, SD57

Part of my role as Vice Principal of Inclusive education is to support the implementation of Mental Health Supports for our students. Last year, we had a trial run in using the program Open Parachute and due to the supports the program provides for students, educators, and their families, as well as the quick “buy-in” from educators and staff in our schools we will be using the program for the next three years.

We have invited Dr. Hayley Watson, the CEO and creator of Open Parachute to Prince George share her knowledge of how to best support the mental health complexities of all educators, students and their families to all SD57 staff and all parents of the children in our schools. We are very excited for her to be presenting in person!

Information about the courses/resources are at the link below.

Open Parachute (

PG School Trustees

UPDATE! Results of the PG Voting

As you know we are voting 5 candidates to serve in the Prince George Electoral Area 1 in addition to the 2 incumbents from Mackanzie and McBride. Please research all 13 candidates and plan to vote on October 15. Accountability is important in public education.

Answers to the following questions from the All-Candidates Forum on September 28 are provided on our website here.

NAME Introduction:
Tell us about yourself and why you are running or what you hope to achieve.

Question 1 from CUPE Local 3742: 
What do you view as your responsibility in relation to senior management?

Question 2 from PGDTA: 
School District 57 continues to face a six-year shortage of teachers in all of its communities.  This has already resulted in over 20 thousand hours of lost support to students and District assessment data shows that vulnerable students are not reaching education achievement benchmarks in multiple areas.
What are your ideas for teacher recruitment and retention and how would you advocate at both local and provincial levels for a fully funded serious recruitment and retention plan

Question 3 from DPAC: 
What does accountability mean to you and increasing accountability in SD57?

Question 4:
Please provide a value Statement on Indigenous Education in School District 57.

Below are links to interviews from and

ANTRIM, Cory Public Schools Have Become a ‘Pay to Participate’ System Former Basketball Star

BEKKERING, Betty More Funding Needed for the District
Seeking Re-Election

BRENNAN, Craig In Favour of Organizational Audit as SD57 Trustee
Former Principal

BURNETT, Gillian Run as Trustee as a Natural Next Step
Long-time Parent Advocate

FORTIN, Cathy Bring a Different Perspective to School Board
Retired Beekeeper

MAHONEY, Milton Looking to Keep SD57 Trustee Seat
Running for Re-Election

McCRORY, Shar Looking to Bring Outside Experience as SD57 Trustee
Smithers Area Trustee

McLEAN, Erica Special Advisors Report Prompted Run for SD57 Trustee
Former Indigenous Education Worker

ROBINSON, Damon Bring Outside Perspective to School Board
Student Advocate

ROSITANO, Mike It’s Time to Step Away From ‘Cookie-Cutter’ Programs
Football Coach

SCHROEDER, Bob Bring Back Culture of Education to SD57
Prince George Social Worker

SILVA, Josh District Needs to Up Their Standards
Local Father

TAYLOR, Martin Bring 30 Years of Local Government Service Experience to SD57 Board
Municipal Consultant

If you have questions reach out to us at

SD57 Trustees All Candidates Forum

DPAC is cohosting this evening with Prince George District Teachers Association and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3742.  We are excited you have joined us as we to get to know our candidates for Trustee running for only 5 positions on the School Board. 

Date: Wednesday September 28. 2022
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Vanier Hall – PGSS
Cost: Free (summaries to be posted by DPAC)
Moderator: Caden Fanshaw from CKPG News

Candidate Introductions

Question 1 from Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3742:
If you are elected as a trustee, what do you view as your
responsibility in relation to senior management?

Question 2 from Prince George District Teachers Association (PGDTA):
What are your ideas for teacher recruitment and retention
and how would you advocate at both local and provincial
levels for a fully funded serious recruitment and retention

Question 3 from Prince George District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC):
Parents value accountability ‐ what does that mean to you,
how can a trustee work to increase accountability in

Indigenous Education Value Statement

SD 57 Declaration of Election by Voting P.G. Area No. 1.pdf

Final List of Candidates

See you tonight!

May DPAC Meeting – Elections, AGM and Extracurricular Activities

DON’T FORGET – Our monthly DPAC meeting is tonight Monday May 9th @6:30pm and it’s HYBRID!!! The theme is this month is Extracurricular Activities and Why Are They Important? That means if you need to get out of your house (even if it’s in your PJ’s, lounge clothes or your hubby’s comfiest jogging pants – we aren’t judging as we do it too) and want to connect in person we will be back in person at the Van Bien Training Center but we will also have a virtual option to join us via the comfort of your home and PJ’s via MS Teams at this link. Either way, we are just happy to have people join us and their voices heard, no matter what.

There are two great things happening this month – ELECTIONS for the executive positions on DPAC as well as discussion of our monthly theme Extracurricular Activities: Why Are They are Important? Lots of studies have been conducted on the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, and they all show that students who participate in them have higher self-confidence, better social intelligence, higher team building and collaboration skills, higher grades, more positive attitudes toward school and higher academic aspirations. There are a couple of great articles to read including:

 Top 8 Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School Students
BC Parent: After-School Activities Offer Worthwhile Benefits
The Benefits of Participating in Extracurricular Activities by Claudette Christison

May is also our AGM (annual general meeting = elections) month and all of the executive positions are open for election and/or re-election. There is more information on all the positions available and what their roles and responsibilities include at the bottom of this page.

DPAC play a critical role in representing parent voices at the district level in SD57. Did you know that School Act provides DPACs the power to advise the board of education respecting any matter relating to education within the district including educational policy? That’s a pretty awesome thing – to have the power of parent voices and input protected by law!

So what is the role of DPAC?? Well, basically in a nutshell:

▪ Comprised of elected parent representatives from PACs and serve as an umbrella organization for district PACs
▪ Assist parents in forming a PAC in every school
▪ Assist members in obtaining information and communicating with district
▪ Help parents navigate the school system locally
▪ Advocate for parental involvement in the education system
▪ Support & encourage PACs and parents in accessing the school system at all levels by providing regular forums for the exchange of ideas and information to ensure that public education serves the best interests of all students

Chair – 1 position:

  • speak on behalf of the council – essentially be the face and voice representing DPAC, PACs and parent voices from across SD57
  • represent DPAC at the school district and board level
  • ensure that the council is represented in school and district activities
  • ensure that council activities are aimed at achieving the purposes set out in the constitution

Vice-Chair – 1 position

  • support the role of the Chair, assisting the Chair in the performance of his or her duties including assuming the duties of the chair in the president’s absence or upon request

Secretary – 1 position

  • ensure that members are notified of meetings
  • record and file minutes of all meetings and who attended meetings
  • keep an accurate copy of the constitution and bylaws, and make copies available to members upon request
  • prepare and maintain other documentation as requested by the
  • membership or executive
  • issue and receive correspondence on behalf of the council
  • ensure safekeeping of all records of the council
  • DPAC—keep an accurate record of PAC representatives

Treasurer – 1 position

  • ensure all funds of the council are properly accounted for disburse funds as authorized by the membership or executive
  • ensure that proper financial records and books of account are maintained
  • report on all receipts and disbursements at general and executive
  • meetings
  • make financial records and books of account available to members upon request
  • have the financial records and books of account ready for inspection or audit annually
  • with the assistance of the executive, draft an annual budget
  • ensure that another signing officer has access to the financial records and books of account in the treasurer’s absence
  • submit an annual financial statement at the annual general meeting

Directors at Large – 5 positions

  • serve in a capacity to be determined by the council at the time of election, and at other times as the council requires
  • represent DPAC and parent voices at various district Working Groups and Ad-Hoc committees throughout the year
  • be strong advocates for meaningful parent involvement in the school and school planning

Parent Focus Group for SD57 Strategic Plan 2021-2026

Parents!! Do you have questions about numeracy, literacy, how your child’s academic level is assessed and measured, how the district is planning on improving education and education outcomes ? Are you curious on what your school and our school district is going to do to support your child’s education and development in the next few years and how they plan on doing that? Do you wonder where your child is at in terms of literacy and numeracy and how that is assessed? Curious about how the data from the Student Learning Surveys administered in Grades 4, 7, 10 and 12 is used and what is shows? psst… check out page 4 and onwards on the Implementation Plan for Year 1 and 2 document 🙂

Well now you can find out!!!! SD57 Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman is inviting any and all parents and families of children in our school district to attend a Virtual Parent Focus Group via Zoom in order to hear your questions, feedback, concerns and thought on SD57s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.

January 13th @ 6:30-8:pm


January 27th @ 6:30-8pm

via Zoom:

Attend one, attend both…your pick! Join from the comfort of your home. Better yet, bring a friend – bring that other parent who you know is curious about their child’s numeracy and literacy. This is a safe, virtual space to have your voice heard and make a difference so make sure to attend!

At the June 22, 2021 Regular Public Meeting, the Board of Education approved the Strategic Plan 2021-2026 and its implementation plan for year one and two.  The Board also approved the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning Report 2020-2021.

This is your opportunity as a parent to have your voice heard and be actively engaged and involved as our school district works on revising and implementing the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan. This work is extremely important – did you know that all of our district schools have their individual School Plans (look on your schools website), which tie into our districts Strategic Plan which then in turn ties into the The Ministry of Education’s Framework for Enhancing Student Learning that states:

“Boards of education will set, create and maintain a strategic plan, annually report on student outcomes and put systems in place to continuously improve the educational outcomes for all students and improve equity for Indigenous students, children and youth in care, and students with disabilities or diverse abilities. The policy is grounded in a shared commitment and common values including literacy, numeracy, graduation, belonging and career and life goals to support each and every learner and improve equity of outcomes.

Provincial, district and school educational outcomes, goals, objectives and measures should be specific, meaningful, measurable, and evidence informed. The focus of planning and reporting is to understand the evidence and develop and implement actions to improve student outcomes.

Provincial, district, and school educational outcomes should align with the School Act, the Goals of Education and the Educated Citizen in Parts B and C of the Statement of Education Policy Order (Mandate for the School System) … Educational outcomes should also align with policies, reports and other frameworks that focus on supporting educational outcomes of all students.

MoE, July 6th, 2020

PAC Treasurer Training

At the September 13th DPAC meeting, we discussed setting up training for PAC treasurers, due to the change in the school district policy regarding how school trust accounts are run. Don Sabo has now met with Brian Pepper, and we would like to thank Brian Pepper, Bryan Mix, and the school district accounting department for their time and support in this matter.

An arrangement has been made as follows:

1. Due to the short time line for PACs to take over full financial responsibilities; the School District will not require 100% compliance for PACs taking over full financial management by September 1st. A more gradual compliance is recognized as a reality given significant changes and early year workloads in Schools and in Finance.

2. Mr. Pepper has talked with the SD Accounting department about providing in-service training to PAC Treasurers who would like financial management training. We are pleased to announce that they have agreed to provide this training on an annual basis to address any future turnover of PAC Treasurers.

While the SD Accounting Department is extremely busy this time of year, they would like to know what day of the week would be best to provide a full day workshop once their workload lightens. Please leave a comment on this post if you have an opinion on this.

Accounting for Parent Advisory Council Accounts

In addressing the financial challenges facing the school district the District Sustainability Committee received many suggestions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of school and district operations. One of those suggestions was to have Parent Advisory Councils assume responsibility for all accounting aspects of their own operation.
At the District Parent Advisory Council meeting on Monday, April 12, Superintendent Brian Pepper advised those in attendance that effective September 1, 2010 it would be required that all Parent Advisory Councils assume this responsibility. The Constitution and Bylaws of most Parent Advisory Councils outline these responsibilities in the Duties of the Officers and the Finances sections.

Specifically this means that:
• Each PAC will be required to keep its own accounting records. In many schools, the school secretary has provided this service. We recommend that a basic accounting software package such as Quicken be used for this purpose.
• Each PAC will be required to open its own bank account and ensure that it is reconciled on a monthly basis. This account will be separate from and in addition to their existing PAC Gaming bank account. We recommend that the PAC have at least three authorized signing officers of which any two must sign together.
• For example the bank account name should be:
___________________ Elementary PAC or __________________Secondary PAC.
• Each PAC will be required to receive, receipt and deposit all PAC related funds to this bank account.
• Each PAC will pay all of their own expenses directly from this account. Payments should be made by way of cheque from this account. Supporting documentation should be available for review by the cheque signers at the time of signing.

We believe that Parent Advisory Councils will benefit from this decision as the PAC will be able to make their own payments by cheque on a timely basis rather than having PAC members use personal funds and await reimbursement from the school. Also financial decisions made at PAC meetings can be acted on immediately by PAC members. The PAC will also always have access to their current bank balance without inquiring at the school office.

District Parent Advisory Council
The District Parent Advisory Council website at has valuable information to support and assist Parent Advisory Councils in these responsibilities.

Policy 1223 – School Parent Advisory Councils
The Administrative Procedure to Policy No. 1223, School Parent Advisory Councils currently provide two options for PAC’s to account for their fundraising. This decision removes the option in Administrative Procedure 1.1 to utilize a school trust account. It will be recommended to the Policy and Governance Committee that Administrative Procedure 1.1 be removed from the policy. Administrative Procedure 1.2 may be subject to revision. We still encourage Parent Advisory Councils to ensure that a current copy of their Constitution and Bylaws is on file in the Finance Department.

Transition Recommendations
In order to facilitate this transition for Parent Advisory Councils, schools are not to accept PAC raised funds after June 30, 2010. All PAC cheques issued and PAC deposits received should clear the bank by the end of this school year. The July and August 2010 school trust account bank reconciliation must be reconciled to the school trust bank account statement. This reconciliation will clearly identify any outstanding cheques from funds held in trust for the PAC that have not yet been cashed. Once the July and August 2010 bank reconciliation is complete please contact Jan Cote, in the Finance Department to review the Bank statements. Once this process occurs, Jan will provide the school and the PAC with written authorization for the school administration to issue a cheque to the PAC for deposit into their new bank account.
PAC wishes to open their bank account prior to July 1, 2010

In the event that your PAC wishes to open their own bank account and account for their operations before July 1, 2010 we ask they provide us with at least two weeks notice in order to have sufficient time to start the transition process. Please contact Jan Cote at local 224 if the PAC chooses this option.

Thank you
Please ensure that your PAC is aware of this change in process. You may wish to share this message with them. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jan Cote, Finance Clerk or me.

Allan Reed,