D.P.A.C. MEETING NOTES
Burnaby Central Secondary School
6011 Deer Lake Parkway
DATE: May 30, 2016
TIME: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Brentwood North: Alpha, Burnaby North, Aubrey, Brentwood Park, Capitol Hill, Westridge
Cariboo Lougheed: Cameron, Lyndhurst, Seaforth, Stoney Creek
Central West: Burnaby Central, Moscrop, Brantford, Buckingham, Douglas Road, Gilpin, Lakeview, Marlborough
Kingsway South: Burnaby South, Edmonds, Glenwood, Maywood, Stride Avenue, Suncrest
Gina Niccoli-Moen – Superintendent; Roberto Bombelli – Assistant Superintendent; Roy Uyeno – Assistant Secretary Treasurer
Board of Education Trustees and their zones:
Katrina Chen (Central West); Gary Wong (Brentwood North)
Regrets: Ron Burton – Chair (Brentwood North); Meiling Chia (Kingsway South); Larry Hayes (Cariboo Lougheed); Baljinder Narang (Kingsway South); Harman Pandher – Vice-Chair (Central West)
Jen Mezei, Chair (Cariboo Lougheed); Shamsuddin Chowdhury, Member at Large (Kingsway South); Dave Dye, Member at Large (Cariboo Lougheed); Herman Louie, Treasurer (Central West); Kristin Schnider, Secretary (Cariboo Lougheed); Calvin Taplay, Member at Large (Brentwood North)
Regrets: Naz Jakir, Member at Large (Kingsway South); Jocelyn Schonekess, Vice Chair (Central West)
1. Welcome and Introductions
Jen Mezei called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM and welcomed everyone. Jen then introduced the District Staff, Board of Education Trustees and DPAC Executive members in attendance.
2. District Insurance for Parent Volunteers and PACs
Jen Mezei began the discussion, advising that the subject of insurance had come up a number of times over the course of the year. The Executive had also a compiled a list of insurance-related and School Protection Plan (SPP) questions they had received from parents and PACs. Those questions were forwarded to the Secretary Treasurer’s Office, and Assistant Secretary Treasurer Roy Uyeno had prepared the attached presentation to address those parent questions. Jen then welcomed Roy.
Roy began his presentation by explaining that the District had invited SPP to send a representative to speak about the program. Unfortunately, they were not available to attend this meeting. Roy went on to explain that he and Secretary Treasurer Greg Frank both work closely with SPP regarding risk management and liability insurance, and he was happy to speak about the program.
Roy noted that his presentation would also be shared with the District’s school principals to ensure both PACs and principals have the correct information regarding SPP, insurance and District policies.
Roy then explained that SPP is a self-insurance program, funded by all 60 school districts in BC, administrated by the Risk Management Branch of the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of Education. SPP insurance coverage includes liability, property and crime. Further details on SPP can be found on their website at www.bcspp.org.
Roy then went on to explain who has coverage under SPP, noting that liability insurance extends to PAC and DPAC members as well as parent volunteers. There are some circumstances where students are covered as well. However, this coverage is limited to situations where students are performing specific, assigned duties (e.g. classroom monitors, school crossing guards, work experience). In general, students are not covered by SPP.
In terms of parent volunteers, Roy explained that the District’s Board Policy 2.15.01 speaks to the administrative procedures for all volunteer activities. He added that all volunteer actions are covered while participating in school-authorized and supervised activities. Volunteers are to be properly screened, provided with adequate training and have the necessary skills and experience. Roy went on to explain the screening requirements are outlined by the SPP.
In the case of parent drivers, SPP does not cover primary liability coverage. That would fall to the driver’s personal ICBC coverage first. SPP will, however, cover liability insurance in excess of what coverage the driver has with ICBC provided that the activity involved was a school authorized activity. There are two situations for exemption under SPP: if the driver was in violation of the BC Motor Vehicle Act or the Criminal Code of Canada, or if the driver was using the vehicle for a purpose other than what it was insured for.
Roy stressed that not all situations are necessarily covered by SPP. For example, if a parent volunteer is driving for the field trip and that individual decides to do something of a personal nature during that trip, the driver would not be covered.
SPP does provide coverage for PAC and DPAC members provided that the activity or event is school authorized and connected with the School District. Parent-sponsored events that are not authorized by the School District (e.g. pub nights) would not be covered. Roy added that PAC and DPAC members are only covered for general liability; directors’ liability insurance is only for Board Trustees. PACs and DPACs are also still responsible for insuring their own property and funds.
A parent then asked who is authorized to “properly screen” volunteers. Are PAC Executive members to perform this evaluation? Assistant Superintendent Roberto Bombelli answered that all Burnaby schools have volunteer forms that are to be used. Those forms are then properly vetted by the School District.
Another parent then commented that PAC volunteers don’t necessarily fill out forms when they get involved with events or activities. The parent added that when she looked into whether or not criminal record checks were required, she found that they were not mandatory.
After further discussion, Dave Dye asked if SPP coverage came into effect at the start of claim or after an individual’s personal liability coverage was exhausted. Roy confirmed that SPP coverage begins at the start of a claim if the student or parent was involved in a school-sanctioned activity. If the event or activity was not sanctioned by the school district, insurance claims would be applied against the individual’s personal liability insurance. Roy added that if there are further questions on coverage and the SPP, they can be directed to the Office of the Secretary Treasurer.
Jen Mezei then asked if parents would have coverage through SPP for the transportation of students to their homes after field trips or school sports events. She added that often times, students are driven home rather than returning them to the school given the conclusion time of activities. Roy answered that if transporting students to their homes had been preapproved by school district staff as part of the field trip parameters, it would be covered.
Another parent then asked of a team coach or teacher would have the authority to approve any change in field trip plans (e.g. authorizing parents to drive students directly home rather than dropping them off at the school). Roy confirmed that coaches and teaching staff would have this authority.
PAC members should not be signing agreements on behalf of PACs for events. This responsibility rests with the school principal or School District staff. Roy then explained that PACs are not legal entities. PACs are established under BC’s School Act and are branch of the Ministry of Education. Jen added that PACs do have the option to incorporate under BC’s Societies Act. However, to do so is costly and has significant annual filing requirements.
A parent asked if this applied to contracts with online providers such as Munch-A-Lunch, which is an online ordering system for school lunches and fundraising. PACs enter service agreements with this provider by setting up online accounts. Roy answered the principals should be signing and/or agreeing to all contracts with any service providers that have value under $10,000. Those above $10,000 require School District authorization. He added that certain fundraising activities such as those requiring provincial licensing (e.g. lottery, bingo, 50/50 draws) must receive special permission from the Board prior to the event taking place. (Reference Board Policy 3.16.01)
Marleen Smith asked if principals should also be signing off on contracts for the rental of bouncy castles, particularly when the provider indicates that they have their own liability insurance. Roy answered that the School District would have to look at, and sign off on, all contracts of this nature because they may require that the School District be added as an additional insured party. Roy then stressed that these contracts must be reviewed by the School District prior to the event.
Further discussion ensued.
Kristin Schnider asked if the SPP would extend to high school student councils, members of the District Student Advisory Committee (DSAC) and the activities of both groups. Roy answered that he wasn’t sure, but that he would look into it with SPP and report back.
Another parent asked if there were specific situations where a PAC should seek authorization through the School District and other situations where authorization should be sought from the school principal. Roy answered that the school principal is School District staff and all contracts and requests should go through the school principal first. The principal will then direct information to the Office of the Secretary Treasurer, and/or the Board for further authorization if required. Roy noted that good communication between all parties is critical for insurance coverage: PACs, parent volunteers, school principals, and District Office staff. Principals should be apprised of all PAC activities, plans and events.
A question was then raised on what coverage was available for students in matters relating to (unintentional) damage caused to the property belonging to other students and families. Jen clarified that SPP won’t intervene or provide coverage for disputes between two parents and matters not involving the School District.
A parent asked if the School District could provide examples of claims and/or situations where the SPP did provide coverage to parents. Roy agreed and committed to providing the Burnaby DPAC with examples of recent SPP claims where parents received coverage.
Herman Louie then asked what coverage would be available for parents to recoup any financial loss as a result of job action. Herman then provided the example of an overnight field trip that could potentially be cancelled due to a lack of supervision. Roy answered that there would be no reimbursement of costs through SPP if a field trip was cancelled. Further discussion ensued.
Roy then stressed the key takeaways from his presentation including:
- The school principal and School District must be aware of all PAC events or activities and what they entail;
- Events should be jointly planned by PACs and the school’s administrator;
- The principal and School District need to be comfortable with the level of risk assumed with any activity or event;
- It is a good idea to get the principal’s advance approval in writing for all PAC events and activities; and
- All events must be approved and sanctioned by the school district for it to be covered by SPP.
After further discussion, Jen then thanked Roy Uyeno for his presentation.
3. DPAC Chair Report
Jen advised that the practices for sending to the Listserv had been revised, and she will email a copy to all DPAC reps. Jen then asked that DPAC reps forward a copy on to their PAC chairs as well. Jen added that the document explains the rules for sending on the Listserv and how PAC chairs can obtain access to the Listserv.
Burnaby DPAC General Meeting Dates
Jen advised that the Burnaby Board of Education meetings for the 2016-2017 school year had been set for the second and fourth Monday of each month. Consequently, there are a number of conflicts with DPAC General meetings, which have historically been scheduled for the last Monday of the month. Jen went on the say that the Burnaby DPAC greatly values the attendance of Trustees and Senior District staff at DPAC meetings. Therefore, the Executive discussed this matter and came up with three options for DPAC representatives to consider for the 2016-2017 school year:
- Keeping the traditional DPAC General meeting schedule with meetings taking place on the last Monday of each month
- Adjusting the meeting date of any DPAC General meeting that conflicts with a Board meeting in 2016-2017 to the third Monday of the month, and keeping all other meetings on the last Monday of the month
- Moving all DPAC General meeting dates from the last Monday of the month to the third Monday of each month
Jen noted that moving meetings to the third Monday of the month would mean that DPAC meetings would not coincide with DSAC meetings. Another parent commented that moving meetings to the third Monday of each month would necessarily push DPAC meetings to the middle of the month rather than having them at the end of each month.
After further discussion, the following motion was then moved, duly seconded and carried:
Burnaby DPAC General monthly meetings be moved to the third Monday of each month, beginning in September 2016
Moved: Dave Dye, Lyndhurst Elementary
Seconded: Shams Chowdhury, Edmonds Community School
Traffic Safety Committee
Jen reported that she has been attending the City of Burnaby’s Traffic Safety Committee on behalf of DPAC for the last while. She noted that the Committee discusses a variety of subjects that would be of interest to Burnaby schools and parents including the location of cross walks, traffic calming measures, etc.
Jen went on to say that she’ll be getting a list from the Committee that will explain what are City traffic safety issues versus RCMP issues. Once received it will be shared with DPAC.
Jen added that the DPAC Executive has discussed having someone from the City of Burnaby attend a fall DPAC General meeting next year to discuss traffic-related concerns at Burnaby schools. Prior to that, if parents have traffic issues at their schools, they are encouraged to bring them forward so Jen can voice them on their behalf at a future Committee meeting. The next meeting of the City’s Traffic Safety Committee is scheduled for October.
4. DPAC Elections
Jen Mezei began the election process for the 2016-2017 Burnaby DPAC Executive.
Before proceeding, Jen advised that should would not be returning as the Burnaby DPAC Chair next year in light of her recent election to the BCCPAC Board. However, Jen would assume the role of Past Chair on the DPAC Executive. While Past Chair is a recognized member of the Executive, it is a non-voting position.
Jen went on to advise that she had received two nominations from DPAC representatives Naz Jakir and Jocelyn Schonekess who were not in attendance at the meeting. Both had indicated their desire to run for a DPAC Executive position in their respective zones.
Jen then clarified that to run for the Burnaby DPAC Executive all nominees must be voting DPAC representatives as authorized by their PACs for the 2016-2017 school year, and have a child enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Burnaby School District. Moreover, nominees cannot be employees of the Burnaby School District or the BC Ministry of Education.
The following nominations were then made:
- Kingsway South Zone: Shamsuddin Chowdhury, Naz Jakir
- Cariboo Lougheed Zone: Dave Dye, Kristin Schnider
- Central West Zone: Herman Louie, Jocelyn Schonekess, Gadis Setiaputri
- Brentwood North Zone: Stace Dayment, Calvin Taplay
The Burnaby DPAC Bylaws provide that a maximum of two representatives will be elected from each School District zone to serve on the Executive. In addition to the two representatives from each zone, one member at large may be appointed at the discretion of the Executive. Therefore, all nominees were declared acclaimed to the DPAC Executive.
Jen then reminded the DPAC representatives that the Executive determines the individual executive positions, including Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
The new DPAC Executive was then congratulated.
5. DPAC Budget Report
Herman Louie presented the 2015-2016 financials and the draft 2016-2017 DPAC Budget (copy attached). He advised that this year DPAC spent more than in previous years due to increased conference fees. Herman then reviewed the 2016-2017 draft budget, noting the areas where budget line items were being increased: Service Charges for the purchase of new cheques, Website/Email Service given the current value of the Canadian dollar in the US Market. Herman then drew attention the budget line for “DPAC Sponsor 50% PAC” Speakers. He noted that in the current year, $287 had been spent. However, going forward the DPAC executive weren’t sure what to allocate for this budget line.
For next year, the Executive is looking at the feasibility of rotating the PIE locations between Burnaby’s eight high schools with four schools next year and the other four in the 2017-2018 school year. In doing so, this may encourage greater participation overall and greater participation from within the hosting zones.
A parent then asked how the provincial gaming grants varied between the different DPACs in BC. Herman advised that all DPACs in BC receive the same amount of gaming funds regardless of their student enrollment numbers.
A parent then asked who funds the budget deficit when DPAC’s Gaming funds are exhausted or when they cannot be used for expenditures. Herman answered that the School District has traditionally provided DPAC with a $6,000 budget per year to cover event costs or expenses that cannot be applied to the Gaming account.
On the subject of speakers, Herman advised that the School District has always provided great support. In previous years, DPAC has underspent the School District allocation of $6,000, and the District allowed DPAC to rollover these reserve funds to the current year so that Dr. Yong Zhao could be brought in to present to parents. Jen added that the School District then agreed to cover the full cost of Dr. Yong Zhao’s speaker fees when the event was opened up to School District staff.
Another parent then asked if there would be a way to canvass PACs to find out what kinds of speakers they would like see in Burnaby and what speakers they are planning to bring to their schools next year. Perhaps this could be discussed at a fall DPAC general meeting. Jen answered that this was the original intent for the 50% speaker fee: to provide opportunities for PACs to open their parent education events up to other parents in the District and share speaker costs.
The parent then suggested that DPAC consider creating a PIE coordinator position to assist with the coordination of parent education events.
Returning to the draft budget, Jen suggested that the budget line item for DPAC General Monthly Speakers be reduced from $5,000 to $3,200 to balance DPAC revenues and expenditures. If any overages are foreseen for PIEs and or speaker costs they could then be discussed with the School District and dealt with on a case-by-case basis with School District assisting financially as necessary. Jen added that the $6,000 in the 2015-2016 statements for Dr. Yong Zhao will be removed as this expense was covered with School District funds outside of the 2015-2016 DPAC allocation. All agreed.
Herman advised that he would amend the budget as discussed. Jen then thanked Herman for his hard work.
6. Committee Reports / BCCPAC AGM
Buildings and Grounds Committee
The District Building & Grounds Committee last met on Wednesday, May 18th.
A new before and after school childcare program was approved for Windsor Elementary School with the YMCA being selected as the operator from submitted proposals. Current capital projects were reviewed including:
1) Alpha Seismic Upgrade and Partial Addition
- Project evolving well and is on schedule and on budget
- Phase 1 work is underway including small and main gym seismic upgrading
- North Wing vacation of space and demolition prep – demo to start in summer
- Relocating underground services to accommodate demolition & addition
- Services (sewer, heat, water, fire safety alarms etc.) will be ready for September opening
- Measures being taken to reduce school population during construction including two programs being relocated to other schools and more students being allowed to transfer to Burnaby North.
- No portables will be used during this project
2) Montecito Elementary Seismic Upgrade and Expansion
- Project awaiting Ministry review before it can go to tender
- Five pre-qualified contractors already short listed for tender
- Four room addition and seismic upgrade anticipated to start in July
3) Seaforth Elementary Building Envelope
- Building envelope project managed by BC Housing now wrapping up
- Tarps are coming down and clean-up is starting
4) Burnaby North Secondary Seismic Upgrade
- Project Definition report completed and received from pre-qualified consultants
- Project plan meeting upcoming
- Project will be interesting as there a lot of concrete was used building that school
5) Stride Avenue Community School Seismic Upgrade
- Evaluation of proposals for Project Definition Report from pre-qualified consultants complete
- Will go to tender as soon as funding approved so work can start quickly
- Mechanical HVAC upgrade project design and material order completed
Youth and Community Services Committee
Kristin Schnider attended the Youth and Community Services Committee meeting on May 3. During that meeting the Committee discussed Second Step, a social-emotional learning (SEL) violence prevention program in use in Burnaby schools. Second Step is a research-based, universal, classroom-based SEL curriculum program designed to increase kids’ school success, promote social-emotional competence and self-regulation, and decrease problem behaviour. The middle school (grades 6, 7 and 8) program focuses on essential communication, coping, and decision-making skills that help adolescents navigate around common pitfalls such as peer pressure, substance abuse, and bullying (both in-person and online). The Committee for Children that develops and produces Second Step asked Dr. Shelley Hymel from UBC to conduct an evaluation of their updated middle school program. As evaluation requires passive consent, the Committee discussed the request and agreed that it could proceed provided that the School District prepare a letter to parents in support of Dr. Shelly Hymel and the Committee for Children’s Second Step. The letter would provide parents with an opportunity to opt out of the evaluation if so desired.
The Committee also discussed the School District’s School Meal Program. The current School Meal Program vendor will end their contract with Burnaby on June 30, 2016. The District is currently undergoing a Request for Proposal (RFP) with Vancouver School Board and expect to see results in the coming weeks. An information letter will be sent out to parents after a review of the RFP.
7. New Business / Q & A
Email Disruption between the School District and Outlook/Hotmail Users
Kristin Schnider asked if there was any update on the email disruption between the School District and Outlook and Hotmail users. Currently, a large number of parents and families (who are users of Hotmail and/or Outlook) are not able to receive any emails from the School District email accounts because the School District has been placed on Microsoft’s blacklist.
Assistant Superintendent Roberto Bombelli answered that there is no update regarding the School District’s placement on Microsoft’s blacklist. However, the District is working with Microsoft to resolve this situation. In the interim, the School District has asked school principals to send hard copy notices and announcements home with students and to post information to their school websites while email communication is not possible with parents who use Microsoft email providers (Outlook and Hotmail, etc.).
Calvin Taplay then asked what strategies the School District has in place to prevent future black-listing via email servers. Assistant Superintendent Bombelli answered that a large part of the issue relates to spamming. To mitigate this concern, the School District IT department does use filters, which are working quite well. Another component of the situation is the staff and student education piece: all staff have received a presentation on phishing attacks and what to look out for. The District’s IT Help Desk is also sending out regular emails to all users to further identify and educate staff on spam and malware attacks.
Calvin then asked if there is any risk to the School District’s network when staff are accessing the network from home. Assistant Superintendent Bombelli answered that because staff access the network through a portal there is no risk of viruses or malware transferring from a staff’s personal computer to the District’s network. Email is routed through an online server.
Update on Child Care Services on School District Properties
Stace Dayment asked if the School District could provide an update on the partnership between the City and the School District to provide new child care facilities. Stace added that she had heard that twelve portables were being acquired for this purpose at Burnaby schools, which would be good news given the high demand for child care spots at a number of schools.
Superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen answered that this project with the City is still underway. The School District contact person for child care needs is Assistant Superintendent Wanda Mitchell. The Superintendent added that the Board is supportive of using additional District space for non-profits to provide child care service. However, before the School District can allocate space within schools for child care operations, they need to access what is available and what the anticipated school needs are for the future. If the space is needed for students within the next two years, they District cannot designate the space for child care as it is not conducive to stable, long term child care services for providers and families.
With regard to the agreement with the City of Burnaby to provide additional child care sites, the School District is actively engaged. Together, they are conducting feasibility studies for a number of sites to determine if they are viable and meet the City’s requirements. Superintendent Niccoli-Moen acknowledged that this process will take some time to activate.
A parent communicated that there are still serious concerns at her school regarding the number of custodial hours. The parent added that she understood measures have been taken to investigate the possibility of shifting the shared custodial time between schools, and wanted to know how realistic it is to facilitate any custodial scheduling changes.
Superintendent Niccoli-Moen acknowledged the concerns of parents and advised that District Facilities and the Secretary Treasurers Office are working together to assess and support the custodial needs at Burnaby schools. The Board of Education has allocated time and funds to conduct this review, which is ongoing. While findings are still unknown at this time, the District is committed to looking at the situation and addressing it.
Burnaby School District Summer Session 2016
A parent asked if School District staff could provide some clarity on the registration process for the Summer Session 2016 relative to previous years. There had been media reports that in previous years, Burnaby School District students had registration access before students from private schools. Moreover, it was reported that this year Summer Session registration for Burnaby School District students and private school students is taking place at the same time.
Assistant Superintendent Roberto Bombelli answered that in previous years Burnaby School District students had advance registration access to Summer Studies courses; however, it wasn’t by design. He explained that previously, students not enrolled in the Burnaby School District – both private school students and students from other public school districts – needed to register in person for Summer Session as they needed to first establish a student file by registering in person with appropriate documentation. In-person registration typically began one week after online and phone registration opened. Consequently, Burnaby students were able to register for courses before those outside of the District. This year, the School District made it possible for students outside of the Burnaby School District to come in the School District Office a week prior to online registration to set up their student files. These students could then register for courses online or by phone at the same time as Burnaby students when registration began. The impact of this changes is approximately 180 students now being able to register at the same time as Burnaby School District Students.
Assistant Superintendent Bombelli went on to clarify that this change was not a factor in the online registration system crashing on the first day or registration, which had also been reported in local media. He went on the say that with the popularity of Summer Session, in the first three hours of registration there were 2800 course registrations. This large volume crashed the server. As a result, the School District has now decided to split the online registration for elementary and high school courses.
The parent went on to say that given the limited seats, it seems unfair that they are now vying for seats with students from outside the School District. Assistant Superintendent Bombelli answered that Summer Session is separate from Burnaby’s regular school system and is open to any BC resident. Generally speaking, the District will continue to add sections to the Summer Session provided that there is a registration demand and there are teaching staff available. He noted, however, that the challenge has been finding staff to teach additional sections.
8. Meeting Adjournment
Before adjourning the meeting, on behalf of the DPAC Executive Jen extended thanks to all DPAC representatives for their participation and efforts this year. Jen added that she has enjoyed her time as Chair and is looking forward to her next chapter with BCCPAC. The Executive and DPAC reps then extended their thanks to Jen for all her hard work and dedication.
Jen then adjourned the meeting at 9:01 PM.
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR:
- WEBSITE – burnabydpac.com – email your events to be published.
- Communication – Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- To serve as an advisory group to the School Board.
- To assist in decision-making with regard to school district programs, policies and practices through information, input and recommendations.
- To provide a formal process for the Superintendent and district staff to receive input and feedback regarding district programs and operations.
- To act as a liaison between the School Board and the community.
- To provide parent representatives with information on educational programs, operations and issues.
- To provide a mechanism for local parent/school groups to share and discuss educational issues and communicate with other parent groups.