Tuesday, October 27, 2015

REMINDER!!!  First NVPAC General Meeting of the 2015-2016 school year.  

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2015 7 pm at the Education Services Centre (2121 Lonsdale)
LIMITED parking is available in the underground garage, entrance of 21st St.  
Nearby transit stops are serviced by the 229, 230, 232, 241, 242, and N24 buses.

ALL PARENTS are welcome, not just DPAC reps.

DETAILED AGENDA and bios of our presenters are HERE on our MEETINGS PAGE

We will be finalizing our budget for the upcoming school year, and will receive updates on BCCPAC memberships.

We are honored to present our GUEST SPEAKERS, Petra Willemse, Bryan Hughes and some of their students (Anatolia Floe, Nash Jacoe, Spencer McCoach, Tylo Roberts, and Teva Zanker) from the Performance Learning Program who will be presenting

  "Leveraging Technology to Reach all Learners."

Presented by both a public school classroom teacher and a teacher librarian, presenters will share their pedagogy and methodology for using technology to meet the demands of the ever-shifting landscape that is education today.

By looking at examples of student projects, see how technology is being used in an inquiry and project-based learning environment to challenge all learners and create limitless learning opportunities.

Parents will leave with an understanding of how technology can be used in a meaningful way by educators to engage and empower students to take their learning to new heights.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015/2016 School Year is here!

NVPAC is excited to welcome new executives this year from our AGM elections in May:
Carol Sartor (Communictions) and Kulvir Mann (Member-at-large) come to us with an extensive history working on PAC executives and committees, most recently both have been involved in the Safe Routes Advocates.  Tanya Lahulek is also one of our newest executives and comes to us from Westview to fill a Member-at-large position.  We are still looking for a SECRETARY, please contact us if you or someone you know might be interested!

Executives continuing on this year include:
Amanda Nichol (Chair)
Heather Skuse (Vice-Chair)
Jane Lagden Holborne (Past Chair)
Homa Sorooshi (Treasurer)
Debra Dennehy (Registrar & BCCPAC rep)
Karen Nordqquist (Program Facilitator)
David Whitehead (Member-at-large)
Susanne Till (Member-at-large)

Our first GENERAL MEETING of the year has been schedule for WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2015 at the Education Services Centre at 7 pm.  Petra Willemse from Seycove's Performance Learning Program is presenting on TECHNOLOGY.  An exciting presentation with teachers and students on Leveraging Technology to Reach All Learners.

The NEW CURRICULUM continues to be a major topic of discussion and we are looking at ways to provide information and answer some of the questions parents may have.  Stay tuned and as we get more information or find links that offer reliable and useful information for parents, we will post them here.

We are also looking at updating our website and are hopeful that we will be able to launch it by the end of October.  Until then, we are compiling resources to help make it great.  Our new Communications Representative Carol Sartor is working away at an even more user-friendly version.

There are a number of upcoming dates in October that may be of interest:
The Carson Graham Family of Schools is presenting Sharon Selby on Emotional Resiliency on Wednesday October 7 at Queen Mary 7-830pm  More information can be found HERE:


For October at the School District, the Board of Education Standing Committee is happening on Tuesday October 13, 7 pm at the Education Services Centre and is open to the public.  The PUBLIC Board meeting is happening on Tuesday October 20, 7pm, also at the Education Services Centre

Of course Thanksgiving is Monday October 12 and there is a Province Wide non-instructional day planned for Friday October 23.

 Follow us on Twitter @NorthvanPAC

More to come,
Amanda Nichol
Chair, North Vancouver PAC

Friday, June 26, 2015

2014/15 Year At A Glance

The following is a list of some of the work undertaken by NVPAC on behalf of North Van parents during the 2014/15 school year:  

October 2014         Presented NVPAC Annual Report to Board of Education October 21      
                               NVPAC General Meeting October 22 2014
                               - Approval of 2013/14 Financial Statements and 2014/15 Budget
                               - Presenters:  Joanne Robertson and Kathleen Barter:
                                 Communicating Student Learning K - 12
                               Blog post: School Trustee Candidate Q & A responses
                               NVPAC General Meeting November 26 2014
                               - Presenters:  Carmen Farrell and Wendy Holtan, Friendship Groups;
                                 Cathy Jenkins, Conor McMullan, Cheakamus Centre;
                               - BCCPAC Fall Conference Nanaimo – Classroom Resources Funding

January 2015          NVPAC General Meeting January 28 2015
                                - Focus on safe and active travel to school - Presenters:  Harvey
                                  Kooner; ICBC, Tom Walker, North Shore Safety Council; Carol Sartor,
                                  Montroyal PAC
                                - Results of NVPAC 2014 Survey presented

February 2015        NVPAC General Meeting February 25 2015
                                -  Adopted changes to Policy # 103
                                -  Presenters:  Trustee Franci Stratton, Board Liaison to NVPAC;
                                   Tristan Crowther, Ilona Wardas, Janet Mclean, Windsor FOS, Topic:
                                   “Self-Regulation”; Kirsten Koppang Telford – ePact - Online
                                   Emergency Network

March 2015            Remarks on behalf of North Van parents to 25 Year Employee Reception
                               Presented NVPAC Budget Priorities to Standing Committee meeting
                               Hosted March Parent Education Event:   Christopher Burt - The Problem with Discipline

April 2015              Presented results of NVPAC 2014 Survey to Presidents Council            
                              Blog post: 2014 Parent Priority Survey Results
                              Assisted VCH to present Foods that Fit Workshop
                              Joint Advocacy Letter to Ministers of Finance and Education
                              - Advocating for adequate funding for public education in the 2015/16
                                provincial budget
                              NVPAC General Meeting April 22 2015
                              - Discussion of Parent-School Communication Processes

 May 2015             Attended the BCCPAC Spring Conference and Annual General Meeting;
                              additional Conference reports can be found here and here.
                              NVPAC Annual General Meeting

 June 2015            Joint Advocacy Letter to Minister of Education
                              -  Submission of 2015/16 Needs and Opportunity Budget
                              Conducted Annual Parent Perspective survey June 3 - 19

Chair's Annual Report for the 2014/15 school year

The 2014/15 school year was, as is usual for NVPAC, full of activity.

General Membership meetings were held in October, November, January, February, April and May.  Speakers at our General meetings covered a wide range of topics, including the School District’s Assessment Handbook, friendship groups, the Cheakamus Centre, safe and active travel to school, self-regulation, ePact, the online emergency network, and the BCCPAC Spring Conference and AGM.

NVPAC hosted two special events:  the School Trustee all-candidates meeting at Sutherland in November, and a parent education event, “The Problem with Discipline” featuring Christopher Burt, at Argyle in March.  Both events were well-attended.  NVPAC assisted Vancouver Coastal Health in presenting the popular “Foods that Fit” workshop at the Education Services Centre in April.

NVPAC offers several types of grants to support PACs.  Speaker grants assist PACs in engaging high-quality speakers for parent education.  Safety grants assist PACs in acquiring needed safety equipment such as supplies for emergency kits or crossing guard programs.  FoodSafe grants are offered to help support the training of parent volunteers who assist with hot lunch programs.  The Family of Schools grant supports communication and collaboration amongst the PACs within a Family of Schools.  In addition, NVPAC offers grants to support PACs who send representatives to education-related conferences, such as the BCCPAC Spring Conference and AGM.

NVPAC conducted its Annual Parent Perspective survey in June; we are grateful to the School District for distributing the link to the survey to North Van parents.

In my role as NVPAC Chair, I attended all but one of the meetings of the Board of Education, all but one of the Standing Committee meetings, and all meetings of the Presidents Council, as well as the one meeting of the Capital Planning Committee.  In addition, I served on the Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Communications Committee, the Class Acts Committee, and the Policy 412 sub-committee.  I assisted with the organizing of the Foods that Fit workshop, and helped out at the event itself.  I chaired the NVPAC General Meetings and Executive meetings, and acted as MC for our two special events.  I am NVPAC’s representative on the Children and Youth Safe and Active Travel Working Group, an initiative of the City of North Vancouver.

On behalf of NVPAC, I extend sincere thanks to the Board of Education of the North Vancouver School District for their continued and generous financial support of our activities.  In addition, I offer thanks to the School District for providing meeting rooms at the ESC for our General membership and Executive meetings, and for providing the Sutherland Theatre and the Argyle small gym for our special events in November and April.

Respectfully submitted,
Jane Lagden Holborne
Chair, NVPAC

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Sessions Summary
“Happy Kids, Healthy Kids”, panel discussion
“Keynote:  Self-Regulation”, Barry MacDonald
“Temperment Matters”, Barry MacDonald
“Setting Boundaries”, Raj Dhasi
“Plenary:  Communicating Effectively”, Raj Dhasi

The theme of these sessions all related to how parents can understand and help in developing stronger, calmer, happier children.  In today’s schools, children are exposed to a much more complicated world than we were and anxiety in youth is increasing.  As parents we are at the forefront of setting boundaries for our children, witnessing their break-downs, teaching them to deal with uncertainty, competition and change.  We are blessed to be the ones they turn to share their daily highs and lows and we get to watch them grow into amazing, responsible, intelligent, assertive and engaging adults.

Barry MacDonald is a champion for strong families and schools, and we are fortunate that here in North Vancouver, many of our parents have had the opportunity to see Barry present before.  Barry is best known for his work with boys, his book Boy Smarts and even though his website is mentoringboys.com, Barry’s extensive knowledge applies to all children and is valuable for all families.  You can get access to much of Barry’s strategies on his website. http://www.mentoringboys.com/.  An overview of his presentation was included in the Spring 2015 BCCPAC Magazine.

In the sessions that Barry lead, he spent a lot of time addressing the types of stressors that are present today, especially those that result from technology overload.  He reviewed strategies for recognizing stress response patterns and provided simple tools to help parents work with their children to discharge stress.

He also spent time reviewing types of temperament and how through discovering and better understanding your child’s (or your spouse’s) temperament you can better manage times of stress.  Having insights into your child’s temperament and how it is similar or different to your own can be a huge tool for parents – and for educators as well.

Barry left us with 10 practical suggestions to help keep our kids calm, health & happy:
  1. Anticipate emotional needs
  2. Support your child’s temperament
  3. Lead the way with your own calm response
  4. Meet basic needs for nutrition and rest
  5. Limit & monitor technology use
  6. Be aware of how demanding eye contact can trigger reactivity
  7. Discuss how to manage anger
  8. Get moving
  9. Get outside
  10. Develop a plan to relieve stress
In addition to understanding stress and stress management, Raj Dhasi discussed how to how to better recognize those stressful moments, and how setting boundaries and communicating can greatly aid stress management at home and at school.  Raj is a leading expert in conflict management and has been providing valuable intervention services to workplace organizations, school districts, families and communities for over 15 years.  Many of Raj’s points and strategies can be found on her website http://www.turningpointresolutions.com/.

Before discussing additional strategies for dealing with conflict, we defined what makes a moment difficult and signs of heightening emotions… things like:
  • A sense of powerlessness or lack of control, buttons are being pushed, things like lack of sleep/food/water are triggers, starting to fidget or changing posture, disregard for relationships, heightened sense of fear, etc.. .
Raj also discussed how best to be assertive in setting limits with your children so that parents can be more effective in challenging situations.  What is being assertive?...  Standing up for yourself at the right time, with the right person, for the right reason.  At times being assertive can be confused with being aggressive, so Raj reviewed the pros and cons of passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour and how the brain actually works in a challenging situation.  We also discussed how effective communication is critical in dealing with our children, or anyone, in a stressful situation.

Raj left is with a 5-step self regulation plan, critical for helping in conflict resolution:
  1. Manage body movements
  2. Regulate para-verbal presentation (tone, volume, rhythm…)
  3. Manage self-talk
  4. Attune
  5. Respond
In support of all of these strategies, expert panelists including Jane Garland (Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UBC and Children’s Hospital), Christine Yu (Registered Clinical Counsellor), Brian Gluvic (Naturopathioc Physician), Farah Shroff (Public Health Researcher) and our own MLA, Jane Thornthwaite.  These panelists provided brief insights from their own fields on how best to deal with, and help our children learn to deal with, anxiety, stress and conflict with our children.

Jana Madill, Chair Montroyal PAC