Thursday, February 28, 2013

PAC information Update: Events and Awards

Social Media and You is sold out!
Social Media and You: An Evening with Steve Dotto is now sold out. All 700 tickets have been spoken for. We thank parents for their interest in this important topic and hope to see you there on March 13th.

Culinary Arts Information Evening, March 7th
Parents of Secondary students may be interested in an information evening on the Culinary Arts program on Thursday, March 7th, held at Carson Graham Secondary for parents and students entering grades 11 & 12 next year.  From 7-8:00pm in the evening. The evening offers the opportunity to meet this year's students, hear about the program, meet Chef Ysabel and have a tour of the world class working kitchen.

"Foods that Fit" Workshop, May 8th
NorthVanPAC in conjunction with Vancouver Coastal Health is putting on a workshop on "Foods that Fit" for schools, including samples from local supplies. The event will run May 8th from 5:30-8:30 at the Education Service Centre, 2121 Lonsdale ave. This event would be of particular interest to parents involved in various school lunch programs and options.

Traffic Safety Discussions
Both Dorothy Lynas and Boundary Elementary Schools are interested in discussing traffic safety issues and ideas amongst PACs. If your PAC is interested in getting involved in this please send me an email.

Sea to Sky Heritage Fair 2013
The North Vancouver Museum and Archives is currently preparing for the Sea to Sky Heritage Fair 2013. The popular annual event allows students to showcase their understanding of Canadian history in a festive environment. Last year, had over 50 students showcase their projects before over 500 spectators. Some of the participants were featured in the Vancouver Sun and on CBC Radio; others were sent on free history junkets to Abbotsford and Ottawa. The Museum is currently recruiting for the fair and are asking PACs to encourage students and schools to participate in this endeavour. If you would like more information please contact: Peter Valing at

City of North Vancouver Youth Awards and Scholarships 
The deadline to apply for City of North Vancouver Youth Achievement Awards, Youth Centennial Scholarships and Children and Youth Initiatives Grants is Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Program details and all application forms are available online at

District of North Vancouver Youth Recognition Awards and Scholarships
The deadline to apply for the District of North Vancouver Youth Recognition Awards is March 15th. More information about the awards and the online nomination form is found here: 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NVSD School Calendar Survey

NorthVanPac encourages parents that have not yet responded to the school calendar survey to do so before March 3rd.

The survey offers parents an opportunity to comment on the different calendar options currently under consideration but also introduces a few items that may need clarification and we have tried to clarify some of the the details related to the survey questions below. Of most interest may be the questions about Teacher Collaboration Times as parents were aware that students would be dismissed rather than supervised during these times.

We hope this information helps parents to make an informed choice on their preferences with regard to the calendar options.

Winter Break

Question 3 refers to a "Winter Break" this refers to the break typically held at the end of the year spanning the 2 weeks of the Christmas and New Years holidays

Spring Break

Question 4 refers to the option of having a 2 week Spring Break, this break is typically around the end of March. In the past the break has been extended to two weeks when the Easter Break coincides but if this option is selected the default schedule would be to have a two week break in addition to the Easter holidays unless they coincide?

3 or 4 day Weekends

Question 5 asks respondents if they support having 3 and 4 day weekends. Agreeing to this option does not mean that all weekends will be extended. Support for this option indicates support for the potential of extension of statutory holidays (Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Family day ) to form longer weekends for families. If this option is supported, the time for these days would need to be added to the calendar in other places such as extending the school day length, extending the year in July/August, or a combination of these two options.

Teacher Collaboration Times

Several questions ask about the use of teacher collaboration time to provide elementary teachers with an opportunity to work with each other to implement school wide plans. If supported, parents would be responsible for 45-60 minutes of childcare during teacher collaboration times as school would not be considered in session and students would not be supervised during those times. There are no specific plans at this time but the District recognizes the difficulties that this may create for some parents and so the District is considering limited childcare options for those families that absolutely need it.

The proposed calendars

The survey asks parents to review two potential calendars for next year. Schedule A includes 2 week breaks for both winter break and spring break but does not include teacher collaboration times for elementary students. Schedule B adds the proposed dates for the monthly elementary collaboration time in light blue. This may be hard to see on some screens but the 2nd option presented show one possible schedule for the introduction of elementary staff (P/VP, teachers, support staff) collaboration times and if adopted indicates the days on which parents would need to provide additional supervision time.

July and August schooling.

The survey asks about the option of adding July and August schooling to the calendar. These options are there to gauge interest in these options for future consideration. If they were to be adopted they would be accommodated by extending the school day, extending the year or a combination of the two.

Monday, February 18, 2013

“Social Media and You” - March 13@7pm

North Vancouver School District and North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council (NVPAC) present...

“Social Media and You”: An Evening with Steve Dotto

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Doors open at 6:15pm

Centennial Theatre
2300 Lonsdale Avenue

Parents, staff, students of NVSD community

Please RSVP to to reserve your space due to limited seating!

This is a free, interactive opportunity to hear from one of the leaders in technology

Steve possesses a unique,  refreshing and thought provoking view of the world of technology and how it impacts our lives. He has a talent for looking at technology and understanding how it affects us, not just how it works and what it will do for us; Steve explains with great insight and humour the effect technology has on our work and ourselves!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Finance and Facilities Meeting Summary - Feb 5, 2013

NVPAC attended the Finance and Facilities Meeting  on Tuesday February 5, 2013. 

Thanks to Jane Lagden Holborne for drafting this report. 

Secretary-Treasurer Georgia Allison presented the three-year financial forecast and the Projected Financial Summary and Incremental Forecast.  It is expected that there will be a surplus of just over $3 million at the end of the current school year.  The surplus will be completely exhausted by the end of the 2013/14 school year, however, and by the 2015/16 school year, the expected shortfall will be nearly $6 million.

Ms Allison invited partner groups to participate in the 2013/14 Operating Budget Development Consultation Process.  Partner groups are requested to submit proposals for cost savings, in accordance with the Province of BC's Cooperative Gains Mandate.  This mandate requires that savings identified be real and measurable, with no transfer of cost to the public, and no reduction in services.  Partner group presentations will be made at the March 12 Finance and Facilities meeting.

Greg Milner, District Principal - Administrative Services, spoke about the Common Student Information System Update.  The present system, BCeSIS will not exist after 2016.  There is a need for a province-wide information system which can follow student s they progress through the school system.  After gathering input from stakeholders, an RFP was issued in December 2012, and it will close later this month.  It is expected that a contractor will be chosen, and a contract negotiated by July 2013.  The new system will begin to be implemented in April 2014, with full implementation by January 2016.

Ian Abercrombie, Director of Facilities and Planning presented the Capital Planning Update.

Construction:  The completion date for the Queen Mary project has been revised to the fall of 2013, as more extensive remediation was required than originally envisioned.  All seismic work at Queen Mary is now complete.  At Mountainside Secondary (the former Balmoral site), phase 1 of the project is complete – demolition and some asbestos remediation has been done, together with some cosmetic work.  Phase 2 of the project involves some new construction and renovation and should be complete in May.  At Carson Graham, site work such as asphalt paving, concrete and exterior lighting is near completion.  Grass seeding will be done when the weather is warmer.  The site includes bioswales to manage water on the site, rather than having it drain directly into the nearby creek.

Planning:  The requested bus replacement has been approved.  Argyle Secondary has been undergoing a seismic inspection, and 4 of 7 blocks have been identified as High Risk.  Cost of seismic upgrade only is estimated at $25.8 million; seismic upgrade plus “renewal” is estimated at $60.1 million; cost of full replacement of Argyle is estimated at $44.7million.  Seismic inspection is also underway at Handsworth as 6 of 8 blocks have been rated as H1 or H2.  At Windsor, some seismic improvements will be required due to changes in building code; these upgrades could be accomplished during the summer.

Renewal:  Functional improvements have been made at a number of schools.  “Choices” classrooms have been built at Handsworth, Argyle, Seycove and Windsor.  Acoustic projects have been undertaken at Dorothy Lynas, Ridgeway, Seycove, and Sherwood Park.  Facility upgrades include items such as new window coverings, whiteboards, interior and exterior painting, flooring upgrades, and roofing projects at various schools.  An exterior stairway was replaced at Seycove.  There have also been furnace and boiler replacements at several schools, and fume hoods have been either replaced or upgraded at all of the secondary schools.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

General Meeting - "Parent Education Options" - Feb 21, 7pm @ ESC

North Van PAC would like to invite PAC representatives and other members of your PACs interested in parent education to our DPAC meeting coming up on February 21st. Parents are often seeking information on a number of topics and so we have invited a number of parent education speakers to our meeting to come and introduce us all to the presentations that they offer and how you can bring them to your schools. 

This would be a very good evening for parents involved with parent education in your schools to join us and find out about different options that are available. Please feel free to invite any parents that you think would be interested in finding out more about these sessions to attend. If you could have them RSVP to  so we can estimate our attendance that would be very helpful.

Please book your evening (and invite others) to attend this interesting session.

North Van PAC General Meeting
Date: Feb 21, 2013
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: 5th floor, Education Services Centre, 2121 Lonsdale Ave.

Meeting Agenda

7:00-7:15 PM
DPAC General Business
7:15-7:30 PM
Monty B / David J

SD44 Information Technology Update
7:30-7:40 PM
Teresa Triggiano

Stand by Me  - Bullying and respect
7:40-7:50 PM
Tina-Marie Meyer

Joy of Learning Network - Motivation; stress; and leadership
7:50-8:00 PM
Andrea Benton

Weeboot - Learning technology in the 21st century
8:00-8:10 PM
Brittany Palmer

UnlockYourFuture/UYFscholarship - How to find scholarship
8:10-8:20 PM
Helen Yeung

VCH-Foods That Fit wkshp for school lunch coordinators - Food Health
8:20-8:30 PM
Kim Shetler

NSMS - Settlement Workers in Schools
8:30-8:40 PM
Jo-Anne Landolt

Kids in the Know - School safety
8:40-8:50 PM
Ashley McIntosh

"iGirl" - On empowerment for 9–12 year old girls

Presenter Summaries

Stand by Me - Bullying and Respect
Stand By Me is a program that focuses on empathy building, social responsibility, restorative justice and self-awareness. In the program, I will be identifying bullying behaviours, how those behaviours make students feel and how to take responsibility for those choices.  Students are given an opportunity to speak about how they feel at school and to offer apologies to classmates.  No one is asked to say anything they do not feel comfortable saying.

Joy of Learning Network - Motivation; stress; and leadership
1.   Motivation, Goal Setting, and Communication for middle and high school students
2.   Stress and Organization for optimal performance
3.   Personal Leadership in the 21st Century: Who am I? and How do I fit in?

WeeBoot - Learning Technology in the 21st Century
Weeboot was started by a techie Mom, Andrea Benton, who has 2 kids, aged 3 and 5. Andrea believes that both parents and educators need to work together to get the most out of technology.

During her presentation Andrea will outline/discuss the following...
A) How to select apps for your kids
B) Why parents need to be engaged with tech and their kids
C) Parent tech best practices

Unlock your Future
An in-depth scholarship seminar to illustrate funding opportunities and provide a step-by-step program to access them. This evening, Brittany will outline the scholarship seminar package and how the Unlock your Future program can benefit the student body at your school.

North Shore Multicultural Society - Settlement Workers in Schools
Helping integrate newcomer family experiences when arriving in Canada, a description of the SWIS program and services, and our hopes to facilitate these families to be able to participate with their school’s communities.

Kids in the Know - School safety
An interactive safety education program to empower children and reduce their risk of victimization

"iGirl" - On empowerment for 9–12 year old girls
iGirl is a straight-to-the-point, lighthearted, empowerment workshop that prepares 9–12 year old girls to make smart decisions in even the toughest situations. Knowledge is power and the iGirl workshop, created by Saleema Noon B.A. M.A., will give your daughter the power to make smart decisions and to successfully navigate the changes galloping into her young life.