Monday, July 14, 2014

Opportunity for public input for City of North Van residents

The City of North Vancouver is seeking public input via a survey in order to develop a Municipal strategy, called CNV4ME, to create a community that is child, youth and family friendly.  There are three surveys: one for youth ages 13-18; one for older youth/young adults ages 19-24; and one for parents.  Follow this link for further information, and to find links to the surveys:  CNV4ME
 
The surveys are open until July 31, 2014.
 
 
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Volunteer Opportunity for Grade 10 - 12 Students - Youth Leadership Advisory Board

The Youth Leadership Advisory Board (YouthLAB) is a 10-month program (September to June) offered by Family Services of the North Shore (FSNS).  Students in Grades 10 - 12 are educated on common youth mental health issues, and in turn the students help FSNS develop an outreach and communication plan to reach at-risk youth in the community.   In the process the YouthLAB members accumulate up to 60 community service hours, learn valuable information that can be of service to themselves and their friends and develop public speaking and project development skills.
 
The deadline to apply for participation in the September 2014 YouthLAB is Thursday, July 24, 2014.  More information and the application form can be found on the Family Services of the North Shore website.
 

Chair's Annual Report for the 2013-14 School Year


NVPAC has several purposes - providing support to PACs, providing information and a forum for discussion about educational matters to all parents, and representing the perspective of North Van parents to the School District - are three of the most important.

 The NVPAC Executive spent a significant amount of time over the past year revising the old “Communications Protocol”.  Now called the “Communications Guidelines”, this document, currently at the final draft stage, provides information for School PAC Executives with regard to privacy and anti-spam legislation, best practices for electronic communication and the development of class lists and school directories.  The NVPAC Executive reviewed and polished our Policies and Procedures, which were approved at the AGM.  Both of these documents are posted on the NVPAC website.  NVPAC further supported PACs by providing grants for speakers at PAC meetings, for parent volunteers to take FoodSafe training, and to encourage communication and collaboration within Families of Schools.  NVPAC provided financial support to a number of individuals who attended the BCCPAC Fall Conference in Kelowna and the BCCPAC AGM in Richmond in May.

Following up on our spring 2013 parent survey, at our November General Meeting, areas of concern identified from the survey results – teacher-parent communication, extra support for students, and the process for communicating concerns -  were explored using the Appreciative Inquiry method.  In January, we heard about the “Parent Services” role developed by Mel Montgomery, Co-chair of Cleveland PAC.  In February, we departed from our typical General Meeting format and devoted the full two-hour session to a panel discussion on “Advocating for your child”.  Panel members included a secondary student, a parent, a secondary counsellor as well as elementary and secondary teachers and administrators.  Our April meeting featured a presentation by the “Safe Routes Advocates”, parents from the Handsworth Family of Schools.  This group developed detailed safe routes plans for each school, and lobbied the North Vancouver District Council for changes to help provide students with safe routes to walk to school.  They encourage other Families of Schools to create their own “Safe Routes” groups.

 NVPAC hosted two special events.  In March, we heard Tad Milmine’s powerful and inspiring presentation “Bullying Ends Here”.  In May, together with Vancouver Coastal Health and the support of the School District we hosted the “Foods that Fit” workshop, primarily aimed at PAC Hot Lunch Coordinators and volunteers, but open to all interested parents.  The workshop included food sampling and presentations on food safety, the updated food and beverage guidelines, recycling, and an opportunity for participants to share challenges and successes.

 Members of the NVPAC Executive served on all District committees to which we were invited to send a representative.  I attended meetings of the Presidents Council and the Finance and Facilities Standing Committee as NVPAC’s representative, as well as all school board meetings.  In addition, I served on the Inclusion, Policy Review, Communications and Education Week Planning (now “Class Acts”) committees.  I continued to serve on the Outdoor Learning Spaces committee which developed Administrative Procedures to support Policy 806 – Outdoor Learning Spaces, which was adopted by the school board in May 2013.

 In May, NVPAC conducted the parent survey for a second year.  The results of the survey will be presented to the school board and published on the NVPAC blog once the analysis and interpretation is complete.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2014 BCCPAC Conference & AGM Report

2014 BCCPAC AGM REPORT

BCCPAC Executive Elected:
President – Nicole Makohoniuk
2nd Vice President – Ayesha Haider
Secretary – none elected
Directors – Angie Carlyle & Tracy Wright

BCCPAC 2014/2015 Executive:
President – Nicole Makohoniuk
1st Vice President – John Puddifoot
2nd Vice President – Ayesha Haider
Treasurer – Susan Wilson
Secretary – none elected
Directors – Bonnie Krisher, Darlene Campbell, Angie Carlyle & Tracy Wright

2014 BCCPAC Resolutions Voting Instructions – NVPAC
1.             Amendment of Bylaw 2.03                                                         
       Carried                                                                                      
2.           Equitable Funding of Provincially Negotiated K-12 Education Public
       Sector Employee Wage and Benefit Increase                              
       Carried                                                                                      
3.           Helping, Not harming:  Supporting Young People in Schools through
       Effective School Policy
       Carried                                                                                      
4.           Mathematics Curriculum Prior to Middle School
       Amended & referred to Curriculum Committee
5.           BCCPAC Suggested Bylaw Amendments                                    
       Carried
6.          Remove Special Resolution #2 (Lice Checks) & Special Resolution
       #3 in Support of Outdoor Schools from Appendix 1 of the Bylaws        
       Carried
7.            Approval of BCCPAC Resolution Policy
       Carried
8.          New Public School Funding Model
       Carried
9.           Defining and Advocating for Learning Conditions                       
       Amended-Carried
10.       Ban on Seclusion and Isolation                                                  
       Defeated                                                                                   
11.          Reporting on the Use of Restraint                                              
       Amended-Carried
12.        Student Right to Participate                                                     
       Withdrawn
13.        Reporting on Student Removal from Classroom                         
       Carried
14.        History of Residential Schools in the Curriculum                        
       Carried
15.        Expanded Basic Training and Professional Development             
       Carried
16.       Accountability for School Related Associations                        
       Carried
17.         Advocating for Counselling Resources in BC Schools                  
       Carried
18.       Flagging System for Mental Health Issues                                 
       Amended-Carried
19.        Decisions Related to Expulsion from Classes or Programs         
       Carried
20.     Support for the Draft Curriculum                                                        
       Carried
21.        Requirement to Maintain Currency for Teachers                         
       Carried
22.      Updating Teaching Standards                                                   
       Carried
23.      Board of Education Budget Clarity                                            
       Carried
24.      Reporting on the Use of Seclusion or Isolation                           
       Carried
25.      Alternative to Seclusion or Isolation                                          
       Carried
26.     BCCPAC Board Transparency                                                    
       Carried



2014 BCCPAC CONFERENCE REPORT

As I have attended the conference for a few years now arriving at the conference was like attending a family reunion.  It was great to see everyone again with all respectfully working together to improve the school system for our students.  It is always a very full and busy weekend.  This year was the first year I attended the evening sessions.  It gave me a chance to socialize with other parents and get to know them better on a personal level and hear how they make a positive difference in their schools.  I thank NVPAC for sponsoring my conference and agm fee and for Queensbury PAC for paying for the mileage fees.

Thursday, May 29
Networking & Exhibitors
Keynote Speaker:  Steve Cairns, Relationship, Relationship, Relationship
- family:  most important
- school:  centre of community
- community:  adults who live, work or engage in the environment in which our children are raised
- beliefs: 
·  systems must change to meet the needs of the child
·  no longer must the child change, to meet the needs of the system
·  parent know child’s strengths, challenges, fears, hopes, dreams
·  you are your child’s best bet
·  don’t hurry independence
·  the whole child will be developed when we have finished parenting
- practices:   
·    create a network of aligned significant adults
·        everything is about building relationships
·        partner with school to best meet child’s needs
·        agree on child’s priorities (not your priorities, not school’s priorities)
·        don’t save your child, come alongside them
·        back out of conflict and move into relationship
·        recognize right behaviour
·        be the compass, guide and model, not the judge
·        build on strengths at home, school, community
·        manage the relationship, not the behaviour
·        maintain the lead, hold the course

Friday, May 30
Minister Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education
Minister Fassbender addressed parents and answered questions in a formal question and answer period.  

Workshop Sessions:

21st Century Learning, Rod Allen, Superintendent of Learning

BC School Sports, Christine Bradstock
       - presented overview of structure of BC School Sports organization

Moving Beyond the Newsletter:  Communicating Through Social Media, Chris Wejr
       - presentation may be viewed at http://chriswejr.com/presentation-topics/

The Ins and Outs of Gaming Grants, Ursula Cowland
Opportunity for PAC reps to ask questions and hear what other PACs are doing
       - online application at www.gaming.gov.bc.ca
       - compliance:  if something is wrong inform gaming dept. as soon as possible
       - gaming grant money must be spent on items available to everyone
       - gaming license needed when charging for a chance to win
       - know what license is needed for gaming event:  License A, B, C or D
       - prizes may not be:  live animals, firearms, alcohol
       - PAC executive should not participate in raffle; give donation
       - hold raffle draw publicly
       - silent auction does not need a license (one person paying for item)   

Open Space Discussion Forum, Phil Cady
       - a whole-system method for exploring diverse ideas, possibilities, and solutions related to a central theme;       it has been widely and successfully used in many educational settings as a strategy to engage people in dialogue around key issues of importance
       - lively and interaction discussion around BCCPAC’s central theme:  “to engage parents as partners in education”

AGM 101, Meet the Candidates and Chocolate Extravaganza Event
       - overview AGM format
       - roundtable discussions with each candidate

Saturday, May 31
- AGM
- Social evening with jazz singer Maureen Washington

Sunday, June 1
- panel discussion with questions from the audience:

Brian Leonard, BC Principals & VP Association
Glen Hansman, 2nd VP BCTF
Darlene Louie, First Nations Education Steering Committee
Jane Thornthwaite, Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement to the Minister of Education, MLA North Vancouver
Terry Berting, BCCPAC President

- Glen Hasman stayed on to accept questions regarding current labour dispute.  Glen says BCTF is committed to solving labour issues by end of June.  BCTF is asking for a fair deal for teachers and better support for students.  BCTF is asking for a change in working conditions for teachers and learning conditions for students.  Parents are encouraged to advocate for better learning conditions for students.

- Continuation of AGM

Submitted by Debra J. Dennehy
NVPAC Registrar & BCCPAC Liaison

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Education and Programs Standing Committee - 4:00 pm Tuesday June 10, 2014

The June 10, 2014 Education & Programs Standing Committee meeting will feature presentations on the following:   District Achievement Contract, Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement, District Literacy Plan and School Plans.
 
 
Tuesday, June 10,  2014
 
4:00 – 5:30 pm
 
MOUNTAIN VIEW ROOM
 
North Vancouver School District
Education Services Centre
2121 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver BC
 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NVPAC 2013 Parent Survey Results



In May 2013, the North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council (NVPAC) conducted a survey to help us represent the parent perspective at the School District level.
 
The survey asked 13 questions on the school environment, personalized learning, parent engagement, student engagement, student support, school communication and the overall education received. The survey was open to all parents of North Vancouver School District students with a total of 2301 responses received and 1001 written comments.

The survey was conducted by NVPAC with three primary purposes in mind to help NVPAC better represent parents across the district:
·         To identify areas of concern to parents in the North Vancouver School District that should be investigated further to understand the context of the concerns and opportunities for improvement
·         To establish baseline measures of satisfaction for the school district against which the impact of changes to the school system, such as the introduction of communication tools or new curriculum can be assessed
·         To capture parent suggestions, through open feedback of what works for their children, as input into potential ideas for wider adoption to improve the system.


Areas of investigation included:
·         School Physical and Social Environment
·         Educational Fit
·         Student Support
·         Parental Involvement
·         School and Teacher Communication
·         Responsiveness to Student/Parental Concerns
·         Student Engagement
·         Overall Quality of Schooling


 The results and discussion document presented below are the first of what is intended to be an annual survey of parent perspective. Without the context of other results with which to compare it is hard to assess how good these results are or are not. The 2014 Survey will be held at the end of May. By conducting the survey annually we hope to detect changes in perspective over time. 

NVPAC 2013 Survey Discussion and Conclusions
NVPAC 2013 Parent Survey Results
 
Overall Action Recommendations for NVPAC
From the survey we identified 3 areas warranting deeper inquiry and recommended several directions NVPAC should work on based on the feedback. From the results, we concluded that NVPAC should:  
       Work with PACs, teachers and the School District to encourage teachers to improve communication with parents about school work, activities, homework and ongoing performance, potential through classroom blogs.
       Work with the school district to clarify issue resolution practices and to provide better communication resources to PACs and parents to help parents understand how to address their specific concerns
       Bring in speakers and work with the School District to enhance mechanisms to recognize and address bullying