DPAC MEETING MINUTES
Monday January 28, 2013
Schou Education Centre
Cariboo Lougheed,Cameron, Lyndhurst, Seaforth, Stoney Creek, University Highlands, Twelfth Ave. Central West, Burnaby Central, Moscrop, Douglas Rd, Gilpin, Morley, Chaffey-Burke, Inman
Brentwood North, Burnaby North, Alpha, Capitol Hill, Lochdale, Montecito, Westridge, Confederation Pk. Kingsway South, Burnaby South, Byrne Creek, Clinton, Suncrest, Edmonds, Taylor Park.
Kevin Kaardal – Superintendent of Schools, Heather Hart – Assistant Superintendent, Gina Nicoli-Moen – Deputy Superintendent, Marguerite Henderson – Director of Instruction Cariboo Lougheed
Board of Education Trustees:
Baljinder Narang – Board Chair, Trustee Kingsway South, Meiling Chia – Trustee Central West, James Wang – Trustee Central West, joining after DSAC; Harman Pandher – Trustee Kingsway South
Ayesha Haider – Director
1. Welcome and Introductions
DPAC Chair Jennifer Mezei opened the meeting by introducing District staff, Board Trustees, BCCPAC guest and Burnaby South parent Ayesha Haider and the DPAC Executive; Vice Chair Dave Dye (Cariboo Lougheed zone), Treasurer Janet Reid (Kingsway South zone), Secretary Jocelyn Schonekess (Brentwood North zone) and members at large Gjoa Andrichuk (Central West zone) and Herman Louie (Central West zone). Regrets from Katherine Robertson and Victoria Brenden. New parents to DPAC from Lochdale, Chaffey-Burke, Marlborough and Edmonds were introduced and welcomed.
Superintendent Report & Board Chair Message:
Board Chair Message by Baljinder Narang
– The Board of Education Trustees had their cabinet shuffle in December, with Vice-Chair Baljinder Narang taking over the Chair position from Larry Hayes. Baljinder used her “Board Chair Message” to speak briefly on the subject of the common two week spring break.
The Board would like to engage all partner groups including students, parents, teachers, support staff, CUPE and the community at large in a consultation process that would have the 2013-2014 school calendar reviewed. This is being done because SD41-Burnaby and SD40-New Westminster are the only Metro school District’s that still have a 1 week March break. Up until now there has been no interest by Burnaby in changing how the calendar is. Baljinder and Superintendent Kevin Kaardal recently attended a meeting for Superintendents and Board Chairs, where it was brought to their attention that it was difficult for families in the Lower Mainland with children attending schools in more than one District that the spring breaks were not synchronized. The Board would like to ensure life is easier for those families who are working, living and studying in different cities to be able to plan their vacations or spring breaks. That being said, there will be lots of challenges to face as well so that is why the consultation will take place to discuss them. The Board wants to reassure parents that no decision has been made, and they value the consultation from the partner groups, including parents. The feedback from the partner groups will base how the Board and District will proceed.
Baljinder finished off by thanking parents for being part of the consultation process and advised that we have to move quickly on this as the proposal is on a fairly tight timeline and must be submitted to the Ministry of Education by the end of March.
Superintendent Report by Kevin Kaardal
– Newly appointed Superintendent Kevin Kaardal introduced himself and his team, Gina Nicoli-Moen – Deputy Superintendent and Heather Hart – Assistant Superintendent. Kevin has been with the Burnaby School District for five years, bringing decades of extensive experience with many other school Districts and is excited and privileged to be taking over the role as Superintendent. As he is new in the role, Superintendent Kaardal feels it is too early to say what he plans on doing or how he plans on leading as he feels that he is more a facilitator to help “the team” lead with DPAC and parents being a key partner in that team.
As a strong believer in public education, Kevin feels that it is a public good and that it is the responsibility of all partner groups including community, not just the District, to work together to educate its citizens, which in turn make Burnaby and British Columbia a better place to live. There is a lot of research that supports the value of public education in terms of the betterment of society. While a lot of the work is done by the professionals at the District or on the Board, parents are part of that voice and will be consulted because the District believes in the importance of parents as partners in Education and is committed to collaboration. As parents are the primary educators of children and the district is the formal educators of children, both are partners.
There is accountability in public education starting from the bottom up. Students are accountable for doing and handing in their work. Teachers are accountable to the administrators to ensure they have lesson plans and work for the students meeting District goals, administrators are responsible to the District staff and senior management to make sure they are meeting Board directives, District staff and Senior Management are accountable to the Board of Education who then have a responsibility to the Ministry of Education. That is what accountability can look like structurally. True accountability is to the learner, keeping them safe and supported and knowing we have succeeded when the learner is learning. Superintendent Kaardal would like to also increase student voice to the collaborative team process so that we are even more accountable to the learner. In the end it is all about the learner and we are all partners in the learning.
3. Preliminary Conversation Exploring a Common Metro School Calendar
DPAC Chair Jennifer Mezei explained that the common metro school calendar included synchronizing school closure days amongst Districts, including winter and spring breaks and reminded everyone that the purpose of the presentation was not about making decisions, but to ask DPAC parents as representatives of PACs for input on strategies how to consult parents on what they think and feel about the calendar change. This is only the beginning of the consultation process.
Presentation by Superintendent Kevin Kaardal:
• Metro Board Chairs and Superintendents met on January 16/2013 and discussed whether or not a common calendar in respect to winter and spring breaks could be achieved. Also discussed were alternate calendar schedules such as a balanced calendar.
• The school closure days (two week spring break) were adopted in other District’s due to budget short falls to help those districts meet their budget responsibilities.
• A common calendar would help employee’s families who have partners and/or children attending or working in a different school district.
• A common calendar would support parents and families who have children attending schools in more than one school district.
• The school District of Burnaby can face recruitment and retention difficulties with staff, being one of only two school Districts not offering a two week spring break as employees view this as a benefit.
• Despite Burnaby School District being financially stable, ongoing funding is always a concern and the two week spring break could provide savings.
• The District will be taking into consideration input from partner groups, evaluating all pros & cons, reviewing available community programs, finances & contractual obligations before making any final decisions
• Consultation process will include checking with partner groups, school PAC meetings, community forum and a community survey.
• School calendar decisions must be approved by the Board of Education and submitted to the Ministry of Education no later than March 31/2013. The Board policy is 6.05: School Calendars and Hours of Instruction.
• Timeline as follows:
Jan 28 Initial conversation with DPAC
Jan 28-Feb 19 Partner Groups conversations & feed back
Feb 3 – 8 Local media advertisement – Burnaby Now & Newsleader
Feb 13 Community Information Session @ SCHOU (to be rescheduled)
Feb 13 Community Survey – Online, School Listserv, Paper
Mar 3 Community Survey “closed”
Mar 26 Report to Board of Education with District’s recommendation
Mar 29 Burnaby’s School Calendar submission to the Ministry of Education
The Common Metro School Calendar presentation wrapped up with questions and concerns being brought forward to be included in the District’s consultation process. Main concerns are: access to affordable childcare and being able to support families who would be adversely affected by the school closure dates. Superintendent Kevin Kaardal assured the meeting that the District’s information package would be going out as soon as possible.
5. Chair Report – Jennifer Mezei
DPAC is looking for DPAC Reps to sit on the executive for next year. Chair Jennifer Mezei is on her last year as Chair and Treasurer Janet Reid’s daughter is graduating this year so Janet will be “retiring” from the Executive. DPAC elections will be in May so it is a good time to start considering a rewarding volunteer position with DPAC.
•The Special Education Advisory Committee is looking for one more parent representative. This would suit someone with some experience with special education learners. Applications can be submitted to DPAC for review.
•The LGBTQ Committee is also looking for another parent representative.
6. Correspondence & Committee Reports
Lower Mainland District DPAC Dinner – Jocelyn Schonekess
Vancouver DPAC extended an invitation for all Lower Mainland DPACs to send two or three executive members to join them for dinner and a meeting. All but three Districts from Chilliwack to Sunshine Coast & Sea to Sky were in attendance.
•The dinner on December 6
th was represented by DPAC Chair Jennifer Mezei & Secretary Jocelyn Schonekess, with the next dinner to be hosted by Surrey scheduled for January 31/13.
•Each District took a turn in introducing their attending Exec members and summarizing their District’s biggest strengths and challenges. Most Districts had similar concerns including the BC Education Plan & 21
st Century Learning, funding, Special Education and support for Second Language learners.
•The group decided that the main theme or focus for that night’s meeting would be concerns with the BC Education Plan and support for Second Language Learners.
•As the Lower Mainland has the largest population of multiculturalism in the Province, it is crucial that we lead the way in advocating for Second Language learners.
•Common concerns amongst the group regarding the BC Ed Plan included:
o Lack of understanding by parents of what the BC Ed plan is
What is 21st Century learning entail, for example does individualized learning mean students will work in isolation on a computer?
Ministry providing unclear information to the public on the plan, lack of advertising to the website and making the website easier to navigate
Ministry not fully aware of the current curriculum and programs being run in BC schools, yet promoting a new concept
How will the Ministry be implementing the BC Education Plan (funding, retraining teachers etc.?)
•Jennifer added that she was interested to learn about the UNICEF program, “Canada’s Rights Respecting Schools Initiative.” This program uses the UN Convention guidelines on the Rights of the Child as a basis for creating an inclusive school culture for students and adults. Check out the UNICEF Canada website for more information on how to become a Rights Respecting School.
SPC Visits – Assistant Superintendent Heather Hart
School team visits will be starting on February 19th so look for sign up to be starting fairly quickly.
•Team visits did not take place last year due to job action.
•Visits will occur between February 19
th and March 28th.
•Teams visiting the schools consist of a Trustee, a Parent and a Principal
•The visiting team will go into the school to have an engaging conversation with the schools “internal” team consisting of their Principal and SPC committee which provides a wonderful dialogue.
•Team visits are a great way to see what other schools focus is and how they are addressing their goals and a great learning experience for parents who are already an SPC rep.
•A schedule is sent out to schools to sign up and then it will be made available on listserv. Parents interested are welcome to volunteer for a team visit that works with their schedule.
Newsday in BC $1000 Scholarship
News Day in BC project is open to all Metro Vancouver high school students in grades 10-12.
•Workshop dates are Saturday February 2
nd from 11:00 am to noon and Sunday February 3rd from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the main Vancouver Public Library.
•Sign up at www.cbc.ca/bc/newsday and fill out an online form to attend a workshop and compete to be one of 30 News Day Reporters.
•Thirty finalists will receive a $1000 scholarship for post-secondary education.
“Raising Confident Boys & Girls” – at SCHOU
Burnaby PATT (Parents and Teachers Together) and the BTA (Burnaby Teachers’ Association) are presenting a free seminar for parents on Monday February 18th 2013 at 7:00 pm.
•The workshop will be here at SCHOU Education Centre, 4041 Canada Way. Space is limited so register as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.
•For more information call 604-664-8416 or look for the Burnaby PATT on Facebook.
Mind UP™PIE – at Burnaby Central Secondary
Burnaby DPAC and SD41 are presenting a free MindUP™workshop for parents of Burnaby public school children.
•The seminar will take place at Burnaby Central Secondary (6011 Deer Lake Parkway) on Wednesday February 13
th 2013 at 7:00 pm.
•Childcare will be available but space is limited and registration is filling up fast. To register go to the Burnaby DPAC website at dpac.burnabyschools.ca
For more information about the workshop visit the website or the Burnaby DPAC Facebook page under “Events.”
Parents as Career Coaches – at Byrne Creek Secondary
Burnaby DPAC presents the popular two-part workshop on Wednesday February 20th and Wednesday February 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Byrne Creek Secondary School (7777 18th Street, Burnaby.)
•Note there are two parts to this workshop, and while attendance to both is not mandatory the workshop will not effective without taking in both evenings.
This program will help parents become more effective in guiding their children in their search for what they would like to do and what career best suits them. Parents will be introduced to the concept of coaching, websites to utilize and how to get to know your child.
•There is no childcare for this seminar; registration is up on the Burnaby DPAC website at dpac.burnabyschools.ca.
•For more information about the workshop visit the website or the Burnaby DPAC Facebook page under “Events.”
Emergency Preparedness for Schools – at Seaforth Elementary
Due to recent interest, Burnaby DPAC has engaged speaker Bernadette Woit for an Emergency Preparedness for Schools PIE.
•Bernadette, the President of the Emergency Social Services Association of BC, is an expert in school related emergency preparedness and planning. She is the co-author of the invaluable resource, “Emergency Management for North Shore Schools” that covers all aspects including school plans, student release, education, training, drills and basic supplies. She will help parents determine if their school is prepared in the event of a natural disaster, how to become prepared and what happens with children during and after.
Policy Committee Report – Herman Louie
The District recently met regarding the draft “District Technologies and Information” policy.
This document was revised December 3rd, 2012 with recommended wording changes regarding “role and responsibility” and “Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)” for teachers and students. The policy document would be updated and reviewed for adoption at the policy meeting.
Building and Grounds – Janet Reid
The Building and Grounds Committee has met twice since the last DPAC meeting in November 2012.
•Agenda Topics include:
1) School gardens/murals
o Brentwood Nursery School: Outdoor Shelter
Burnaby North Secondary School: Mural
Cameron Elementary School: Mural
Confederation Park Elementary School: Mosaic Project
Douglas Road Elementary School: Garden Box
Stride Avenue Community School: Garden Project
University Highlands Elementary School: Eco-Sculpture
The district is asking that any garden projects be implemented above ground so that if they need to be torn out it is easier for maintenance. Mural projects, inside or out, need to be done on plywood and then affixed to the wall. This is to facilitate maintenance of the permanent structure.
2) Waste Management Program
o The Facilities Services Department and City of Burnaby started a project in January 2012 to manage food scrap waste by removing it from the mainstream waste system.
The initial pilot program involved nine schools and will be expanded to all schools in March 2013.
There has been over 12,000 kg of food scrap diverted from landfills in 2012, and 3600 kg this year.
Each secondary school will be provided with four food scraps toters and each elementary school will get two.
3) New Facility Rates and Rental Booking System
o Anyone interested in booking a school or SCHOU for a function can utilize the District’s Facility/Rental Booking system online. See the SD41 website at: http://sd41.bc.ca/services/facilities_rentals.htm.
Bear in mind that while booking a facility, especially at a high school level, it is tricky to juggle around school events such as sports.
4) Capital Projects
o Top 5 capital project request have been submitted to the Minister of Education
SD#41 has already been approved for a seismic upgrade for Alpha Secondary; however the District would like to build a new school there which would hold more students due to the expected increase in students after the Brentwood Mall redevelopment. In conjunction with this, the District would like to replace the aging Burnaby North Secondary and make it smaller with the thought that the boundaries for Alpha and North could be realigned. The Minister has refused the idea at this point but the District is still working to get it approved.
Anyone interested in booking a school or SCHOU for a function can utilize the District’s Facility/Rental Booking system online. See the SD41 website at: http://sd41.bc.ca/services/facilities_rentals.htm.
Special Education Advisory Committee – Jennifer Mezei
Working on Transition from Elementary to Secondary School to help prepare parents for the transition and reduce anxiety.
•There will be a Kindergarten Transition meeting on February 20
th for all the kindergarten parents starting out in the school district to give them ideas on how to get involved, what programs are available, what do you need to know etc.
•There is also a “transition-out” workshop for Grade 12 students that will be more of a “jobs fair.” Date to be announced.
•The District is looking at doing a transition meeting for grade 5 and 6 parents to give them an idea of what different programs there are, how to start preparing yourself and your child, what do you need to think of to get ready for the move from elementary to high school.
DTAC (District Technology Advisory Committee) – Dave Dye
The committee consists of a couple parents, teachers and principals discussing technology in the school District.
•Recent improvements have been made to the technology core infrastructure, making it more current.
This refresh doesn’t affect classroom computing in a huge way however it does allow for things like faster student log in and expensive software to be better utilized. This is similar to an earthquake retrofit.
•School Principals will be notifying PACs before budget time as to what inventory such as school Labs, laptop carts etc. are upgradeable and what will need to be replaced altogether.
•All computers will still be supported; however some may not be upgradeable.
•The Smart Board install process is well under way after a prolonged delay in the fall due to staffing shortages.
•The District is looking at hiring a technician to specifically install smart boards only, due to the popularity of the devise and backlog of installations.
•Online Payment Processors are being introduced and Principals are being trained on how to use the system for online payments. This system will be able to process any type of payments including donations, at the discretion of the school. The online system is currently in use by the District, Secondary schools and some elementary schools have piloted the system this year. This system does not accept credit cards, but uses debit to automatically withdraw payment from a bank account.
The ListServ usage guidelines and policy should be formally published shortly. If your school needs a copy early please contact Dave Dye.
•If you have any issues in your school or with the District regarding technology please do not hesitate to contact Dave Dye or Herman Louie through the email@example.com email. The District is very good at responding to all questions and concerns brought forward at the committee meeting.
7. Show and Tell
Confederation Park: o Recently participated in the Pink Project Flash Mob at the January 20th Vancouver Giant’s game. Over 2000 elementary & secondary students danced to “Because Your Beautiful” by One Direction with the theme shifting from Anti-Bullying to Acceptance. The highly successful event made the news and has been a big hit on YouTube.
The students have been going on a wide variety of field trips including the Museum of Vancouver to learn film animation, and to SFU for a basketball game.
Upcoming events at the school will be Literacy Day, Artist-In Residence two week program with Axe Capoeira and a new District Strings initiative.
The recent Art Show and Auction fundraiser featuring artwork from the students and local community was a huge success bringing in almost $12,000 which is a hard work for a small school.
o Currently participating in the 60 Minutes Kids Club for kids aged 5-12.
The aim is to empower children and families with the knowledge and skills to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
The program engages kids by using the website to login and use inter-active program that sets goals, creates accountability and gives fun incentives.
The website can track how much water they drink, vegetables they eat, exercise they do and how much time is spent online for examples.
Two Olympians have visited the school promoting the program.
More info can be found on the website at www.60minkidsclub.com.
•Burnaby South Secondary:
o Hosting a Community Professional Day on Monday February 4th 2013 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for the “Burnaby South Community.”
The school has invited all involved stakeholders including parents, educational assistants, janitors, students, teachers and Administrators etc. to join in the professional development session.
The goal is to talk about ensuring good learning for the kids, share best practices and information.
o Has found using the DDA (Developmental Disabilities Association) a successful fundraising tool.
They provide bags for parents/donors to collect gently used clothing, bedding etc. and then will come and collect the bags.
They paid $1.50 per bag if you have fewer than 150 bags or $2.00 per bag if you have more than 150 bags.
This can be a great ongoing fundraiser if your school has a spot to collect bags.
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR:
•Burnaby DPAC is on Facebook and now on Twitter –
look for the link on our website.
WEBSITE – dpac.burnabyschools.ca – email your events in to be published.
– Please bring your own coffee mug or water cup.
Communication – Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
– 7:00 pm Monday February 25th, 2013 at SCHOU