DPAC April Newsletter- tony of great info!

April 2019

Message from Vancouver DPAC Chair

Welcome back from spring break!

First, I’d like to thank everyone — parents, District staff, and trustees — who attended our session on the VSB’s Long Range Facilities Report (LRFP).  Feedback from that session will hopefully make it into the revision of that report which is expected in the next week or so.

Second, I need to ask parents to come forward who are interested in being part of DPAC next year as many of our current executive members will not be continuing past June.  It’s my belief that DPAC, while not perfect, has become a respected voice within the VSB.  We have attempted to build strong relationships with PACs, VSB staff, trustees, and other education partners, and those relationships need to be maintained and nurtured.  Being part of the DPAC executive is not a trivial time commitment and it requires being able to put aside one’s personal interests and to try to serve the needs of the greater Vancouver public school community.  Please contact any current executive member (http://vancouverdpac.org/executive) for more information.

Last, I’d like to focus everyone on the work that needs to be done between now and the end of the school year:

  • The VSB’s 2019/20 budget will be presented soon and will require feedback from parents as to whether or not it reflects the correct set of priorities for the school district.  Interested parents should register to speak at the meeting at Mount Pleasant Elementary on April 23rd.  We will share details on how to register as they are known.
  • The LRFP will undergo some public consultation in the coming weeks, on April 11th at Kitsilano Secondary and on April 16th at Van Tech.  Indications are that the school district will use the LRFP as the basis for closing a lot of schools in Vancouver over the next 10 years, and strong parent and community resistance is needed to ensure that the notion of neighbourhood and community schools is preserved.  As many of the restrictions and requirements inherent in the LRFP come from the Ministry, pressure on the Ministry and provincial education partners will also be needed.  Please look to our website for a post that I will make about this before April 11th.
  • The proposal to merge the Henry Hudson and Strathcona French Immersion (FI) programs at Strathcona is an interesting test case that should be observed very closely, first because it is posited on previous recommendations for FI which may be concerning for other schools with such programs, and second because it will be a test of the Vancouver School District’s commitment to equity and Reconciliation as has been excellently documented by parents, especially at Strathcona.
  • Once the Hudson/Strathcona proposal has been decided, we may also see the catchment review that was started last school year resume.  A lot of parent feedback was received regarding the catchment review last year and pressure to get it right will again have to come from parents if it resumes.

All DPAC meetings are open to any parent or guardian of a child or children attending Vancouver School Board schools.  Voting at executive meetings is limited to executive members only and voting at general meetings is limited to official PAC reps and/or PAC Chairs only, but anyone attending may participate in the discussions and have their views heard.  Delegations may be heard at executive meetings and must be requested from the Chair at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Thank you,

Shaun Kalley, 2018/19 DPAC Chair

Upcoming DPAC Events

  • Thursday, Apr 11, 7:30-9:30pm – DPAC Executive Meeting Rm 120, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway (Note later start time to accomodate LRFP consultation at Kits Secondary)
  • Thursday, Apr 25, 7-9pm – DPAC General Meeting Rm 180, Vancouver Education Centre 1580 W. Broadway

Upcoming PAC Events Open to the Wider Community

  • Thursday, Apr 4, 7-8:30pm – Partners for Inclusive Education  (P.I.E.) at General Gordon is having district staff from Student Support Services in to talk about student support services available for diverse learners in our district. RSVP if possible but last minute drop-ins are welcome. Childminding available with Grade 7 student volunteers. (poster)
  • Tuesday, Apr 9, 7-8:30pm – Laurier Elementary PAC is hosting the parent workshop “Understanding How Technology Affects Your Brain” 7350 Laurel Street, in the gym. Facilitator: Gary Anaka (www.braincoach.caRSVP (poster)
  • Wednesday, Apr 24, 3-6pm – Laurier Elementary PAC is hosting their 2019  Spring Craft & Bake Sale in the school gym (7350 Laurel Street).  Come support their creative and entrepreneurial students and find an early Mother’s Day gift.

Important Dates

Useful Information & Resources

Diverse Learners

  • Thursday, Apr 4, 7-8:30pm – Partners for Inclusive Education  (P.I.E.) at General Gordon is having district staff from Student Support Services in to talk about student support services available for diverse learners in our district. RSVP if possible but last minute drop-ins are welcome. Childminding available with Grade 7 student volunteers. (poster)
  • Tuesday, Apr 16, 6pm – Supporting Your Child with ADHD. VSB Education Centre, 1580 W. Broadway
  • 100 Resources for Gifted Kids website

Expand/Embrace Your Indigenous Knowledges

  • Bill C-369, to make Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday, passed through the House of Commons on March 20 and will now move to the Senate before becoming law. (news article)
  • Reconciliation Back Pocket Plan – Make Reconciliation part of your daily life. Check out this “back pocket action plan”. Shareable. Portable.
  • Learn more about Jordan’s Principle. Jordan’s Principle makes sure all First Nations children can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. It can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs.
  • Indigenous Awareness – A FREE self-paced course offered by BCIT. Three self-paced modules in this course were created to promote and increase understanding about Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present. Together, the modules will provide you with a foundational knowledge of Indigenous people in the hopes that when the true history and contemporary reality of Indigenous people is known, Reconciliation can begin. It should take about 2 hours in total to complete the entire course and you will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end. To get access to the Indigenous Awareness course, send and e-mail to techhelp@bcit.ca asking for an account and access to the Indigenous Awareness online course. Please provide your first and last names.

Mental Health / Substance Abuse

Multiculturalism / Anti-Racism

  • Unlearn Racisim – Designed for youth 12-16, the Unlearn Racism resource is about challenging the status quo, questioning the one-sided narrative that’s presented to us every day of our lives and putting aside the practice of discrimination that’s fuelled by historical events and past perceptions.
  • Anti-racism FAQs (Government of BC)
  • Joint statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Premier John Horgan and Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, released a statement marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Parenting / Childcare

  • Westcoast Family Centres provides parenting education and couselling services in the Lower Mainland. They are currently looking for parent feedback (Parent Education Survey) on how they can better serve parents.
  • Summer Camps – blog by Kelty Mental Health.
  • Child care planning goes local. Announcement by Ministry of Children and Family Development. Local child care needs from now through 2029 are the focus of $3 million in municipal planning grant. Local governments will use their grants to create an inventory of existing child care spaces, identify how many child care spaces are needed now and how many will be needed over the coming years, as well as the type of child care that is needed. They will then draft an action plan to create these spaces and work with their school districts, local health authorities, Indigenous partners and other key child care stakeholders to build these plans. In addition to the Community Child Care Planning Program, the Province launched the $13.7-million Community Child Care Space Creation Program in September 2018 in partnership with UBCM to provide local governments with up to $1 million and support the creation of new licensed child care spaces, with a focus on infant and toddler care. Successful applicants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Physical Health

  • Province to launch catch-up immunization program to protect against measles Announcement by the Ministry of Health. The Province is launching a measles immunization catch-up program to help B.C. families ensure their children are protected from measles. The program will run from April through June 2019. The program will be made available in schools to children (from kindergarten to Grade 12), public-health units, community health centres and mobile community clinics in select regions.
  • Governments of Canada and British Columbia Collaborate to Help Make Sport More Accessible Announcement by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Together, the governments are investing nearly $1.2 million in 2018–19 to support projects that strengthen physical literacy and the participation of children and youth in sport. This new funding will also improve sport opportunities for Indigenous, under-represented and marginalized populations.



  • ​Seismically safer schools for students of Selkirk, Weir and Byng – In February 2019, the Ministry of Education announced funding for not one but three schools in the Vancouver School District for the necessary seismic work to make them safer in the event of an earthquake.
  • District receives Ministry funding for capital projects
    • $315 thousand to build accessible playgrounds at John Norquay Elementary, University Hill Elementary and Waverly Elementary schools.
    • $1,772,500 for:
      • Fire system and accessibility upgrades at General Wolfe Elementary and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
      • Replacement heat plants at Lord Roberts Elementary and Hastings Elementary
  • Sharing music across the District
  • Student VOICE: Voice Our Ideas and Change Education
  • Statement: Code of Conduct breach at Eric Hamber Secondary School
  • Highlights: Public Board meeting of March 4, 2019 (video recording) – Matters Arising and Motions
    • Approval of a revised 2019-20 Budget Process Timeline
    • Adoption of the update to the Board Work Plan
    • Approval of the Accumulated Surplus Policy
    • Adoption of audit and finance committee responsibilities
    • Seeking additional funds to provide for more gym space, an auditorium and additional arts space at the Hamber Secondary School Seismic Replacement Project and provincial government commitment to fully fund the project’s verified costs
    • Approval of the Fleming Elementary utility right-of-way bylaw
    • Adoption of a motion re-affirming the Board’s commitment to the elimination of racism and additional staffing to support work in this area
    • Endorsement of a motion in support of All On Board
    • Authorization of Board Authority Courses
    • Approval of a three-year school calendar
    • Approval of a Terms of Reference for the Needs Budget working group
    • Trustee Gonzalez issued two notices of motion – both referred to committee. The first regards a renewal strategy for emissions-free landscaping and the second Vulnerable Youth Social Housing.

VSB Budget 2019/20 Timeline

Seismic Project Input Opportunities

  • Tuesday, Apr 2, 3:30-6:30pm – Lord Selkirk: Seismic Upgrade. (gymnasium, 1750 E 22nd Ave)
  • Wednesday, Apr 3, 3:30-6:30pm – Dr. George M. Weir Elementary: Seismic Partial Replacement. (gymnasium, 2900 E 44th Ave)
  • Thursday, Apr 4, 3:30-6:30pm – Lord Byng Secondary: Seismic Upgrade. (Byng Gallery, 3939 W 16th Ave)

Long Range Facilities Plan Input Opportunities

  • Feedback about the draft report can be sent via email to: LRFP@vsb.bc.ca.
  • Public Information Sessions:
    • Thursday, Apr 11, 6-8pm – Kitsilano Secondary School
    • Tuesday, Apr 16, 6-8pm – Van Tech Secondary School
  • Document and Appendices



Ministry of Education


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