Monday, January 20, 2014

Further BCCPAC Conference Reports

Another North Van parent who attended the BCCPAC Fall Conference is Bobbi-Lynn Nestor, a parent at Boundary Elementary.  Reproduced below are Bobbi-Lynn's notes from the workshops she attended, Treasurer 101 and PAC 202, and from a presentation by Barbara Coloroso:

Treasurer 101

Know what kind of PAC you are.

Know how to access your Direct Access Grants from BCLC
Know that you can partner with any service group or community group for a large project. They are given gaming money for that purpose!
Be sure to prepare a budget for your PAC
    All money should have a purpose.
Know how your PAC/DPAC disburses its’ funds.
Is it an application process? Budgeted expense? Annual ‘wish list’? Classroom fun’d account? Grants or bursaries?

For every cheque written, there should be a corresponding invoice, receipt or slip of paper.
All cheques should have two signatures
Make sure monies received are counted by at least two people and deposited promptly.

The treasurer should be giving regular meeting updates. Giving bank balances and any highlights (or lowlights).

PAC 202
Know you PAC policies & procedure and use these often rather than changing bylaws.
Use committees to keep meetings moving and conduct those outside of regular PAC meetings.
Keep the PAC human and in touch with the rest of the parents….an introductory letter from the PAC execs at the beginning of the year is a good way to be ‘real’.
Get the teachers and/or Principal to ‘talk up’ the PAC – get the kids excited and, in turn, the parents get excited.
Send more PAC details in the newsletters.
Attend the Kindergarten Info Nights as a way to get new parents out.
Take the meetings out of the school….meet at a local restaurant/coffee shop or pub.
Job share….if someone is overwhelmed by the job, allow them to share with another person.
Ask for 5 minutes at a staff meeting to address the teachers and see what they want and need from the PAC….also put faces to names.
Ask if you can attend the student council meetings.
Have a potluck….just to get to know parents.

Barbara Coloroso

What an amazing speaker. If you ever have the chance to see her speak it's worth it.

Some notes taken:
Bullies turn people into an 'it'…vermin, bacteria, objects
You don't have to like someone but you have to honor their humanity; treat them with dignity

Kids need to believe that what they do matters

Let kids make decisions: ie: pick out their pyjamas, if it's not life threatening, morally threatening or unhealthy, it's ok to let them make mistakes.

3 philosophical tenants:
1. Kids are worth it
2. Do not treat a child how you would not want to be treated
3. If it works, it must leave the child's and my dignity in tact

To have posted by a computer or computer lab: THINK (before sending an email or posting something on the web) is it True, is it Honest, is it Inspirational, is it Necessary, and is it Kind

Kids need 3 basic things TAO from you: time, affection and optimism
3 alternatives to saying NO
1.Yes, later
2. Give me a moment to think about it
3. Convince me why I should say yes

Be honest with teens. If they want to go out late at night and the answer is No tell them why. Sex, drugs, jail and personal safety.

Tell your teens that they can always put the blame on you, the parent. If they don't want to do something all their friends are doing, say your parents will kill you.

If you lose it on your kids, step back, tell your kids you lost your cool and need to take a few minutes to calm down and reassess the situation.

Teens do need to move away or get space from their parents, it's all part of the process in them becoming unique.

Stop Bribing Kids! Bribing is bankrupting the spirit of children. It's always "what do I get now".
Don't reward with stuff, reward is a feeling.
Do good, because good is good to do.

Tattling vs. telling: ask your child that comes up to you to "tattle or tell", if it is IN / OUT / or BOTH
Will it get the other kid IN trouble, OUT of trouble or BOTH. And if they don't know help figure it out together.

Conflict is inevitable in life, violence is not.

3 R's to making it Right

Bullying is not a behaviour, it's a role.
3 ways to stop bullying
Pay attention
Get involved
Never look away




BCCPAC Conference Report

Julie Dunsterville, a parent at Ross Road Elementary, attended the BCCPAC Fall Conference in Kelowna in November, and has kindly provided the following report:

BCCPAC Conference 2013 Summaries

  1. Communicating with the principal with Shelley Green, president of BC Principals and Vice Principals Association

  • Offered a framework for communication: Basic School info (newsletter), student progress (face to face), Emergent issues (phone calls) and PAC, coaching or volunteering (technology)
  • How to communicate: different levels ranging from social media to texting/phone to face to face
  • Need to evaluate how your communication choices fit the situation and/or emotions
  • The 5 skills of effective communication: 1.put your thoughts together and then speak 2. Listen to what the other person is saying and why 3. Get to the point of what you want to say 4. Tell the person why this conversation is important 5. Ask questions
  • offered questions to ask oneself before communicating with person: i.e. What time of day? Will you arrange ahead of time or spur of the moment? Where will you have conservation? How will you arrange seating? What if you get emotions, how will you calm down? What if the other person gets emotional?
  • Encouraged us to be “strong” and not avoid communication

  1. Parents in the district hiring

Keven Elder, the former Saanich superintendent who is now with the B.C. Public School Employers' Association, gave a presentation on parent participation in school district hiring. He said a majority of districts have parents involved in some way in the hiring of  non-union employees, especially principals and vice-principals. He noted that the B.C. School Act sets the framework for parent involvement, and some school districts have their own policies as well. Ideally, parent involvement at its best should allow them to be a part of the hiring of key leaders in the school district.

3. Gaming Grants

Ursula  Cowland, executive director of licensing and grants in B.C., answered questions about gaming grants for PACs and DPACs.  One key message is that although the deadline for applications has passed, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch will continue to accept applications for this school year until Christmas. She also went over the different types of licences and went over specifically raffle basket protocol. (i.e. children should be accompanied by adult when putting in raffle tickets and should not be allowed to purchase them. She also reminded us the money raised through gaming activities should be deposited into a separate gaming account (same as gaming grant $). Another key point: be honest and correct any mistakes by calling Ursula- sooner or later every school will be audited.

Monday, January 6, 2014

NVPAC General Meeting Minutes - Nov. 25, 2013 (Draft)

NVPAC General Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, November 25, 2013
7:00 pm Mountainview Room, ESC, 2121 Lonsdale Avenue

Chair: Jane Lagden Holborne (Sutherland)
NVPAC Attendance: Jane Lagden Holborne, Karen Nordquist, Debra Dennehy, David Whitehead, Joanna Woronchak, Mike Sexsmith, Amanda Nichol
Regrets: Debrah Johnstone, Alex Best,
Attendance: 28
DPAC Reps & PAC Chairs: 16
Schools Represented: Argyle, Braemar, Boundary, Brooksbank, Canyon Heights, Carson Graham, Cove Cliff, Handsworth, Larson, Lynn Valley, Queensbury, Seycove, Seymour Heights, Sutherland, Upper Lynn


1. Welcome & Introductions: Jane Lagden Holborne called the meeting to order at 7:06pm

2. Approval of Minutes: Kelly Angell (Boundary), Seconded by Amanda Nichol (Braemar), moved that the minutes of the Oct 2013 General Meeting minutes be accepted as written. All in favour; carried.

3. PAC registration Update: Debra Dennehy reported that 20 PACs have registered for BCCPAC with 12 to go. Registration by December 15 is needed to have voting rights at the AGM. Only 4 pacs have not updated NVPAC with their contact info: Argyle, Brooksbank, Cove Cliff, Sherwood Park

4. Registrar/BCCPAC Matters – Debra Dennehy: The May 23-25 BCCPAC spring conference is in Richmond. Please contact our BCCPAC Liaison Debra Dennehy for more information

5. Treasurers Report: Joanna Woronchak: We have 20 BCCPAC registrations but have only 8 receipts for membership dues. PACs, should please submit their receipts so we can reimburse them. All speaker grants are spoken for at this time, 1 food safe left, 1 safety grant left, 5 FOS grants left – 2 spoken for.

6. BCCPAC fall conference report

Kelly & Bobby Lynn from Boundary
  • Attendance at 15 conference events was divided between 5 attendees  
  • Kelly attended “the force” kids mental health program – providing resources for families with children with mental health issues. Help to find resources in local areas or the families. One of many societies doing so.  PAC 101 session – new PAC info, very basic, helpful to those wanting to understand PAC bylaws and constitutions.
  • Functioning district keynote – Revelstoke presented on their use of the neighbourhood learning centre approach when schools are being created. 
  • Bobby-Lynn attended a Barbara Coloroso presentation on bullying, how they create targets by dehumanizing them. Best prevention is to teach and reinforce caring. 
  • Talking to teens, best approach is to be honest with teens – tell teens why they can’t do things so they can relate to it 
  • Treasurer 101 – very informative – know what kind of PAC you are, make sure all money has a purpose, fundraise for specific things, have a plan for funds disbursement, keep receipts , counter-sign by 2 people 
  • Pac 202 – use policies and procedures not bylaws, use committees to keep pac meetings short, take meetings out of school, job share for busy people, meet with staff, attend student meetings, have a pot luck
Julie from Ross Road
  • Communicating with the principal – what levels of communication are best suited to different topics, always try to build trust with admin. 
  • Gaming grants – any funds from raffles should go into gaming grant funds 
  • Parents in the district hiring process for school and district administrators 
  • Self Regulation interventionist – neuro-diversity. Hadn’t been to north van 
  • How to run effective meetings – a lot of social media, stay on time 
  • Social Volunteer – how to involve extended family and fathers in the PAC, use of social media.
Teri Henderson – Brooksbank.
  • Fabulous conference, left energized, highly recommended event. 
  • BC curriculum – Rod Allan BC superintendent of learning and reading presented on the new BC curriculum. State of the Art based on core-competencies and personalized learning. 3 pillars of education literacy and numeracy, creative and critical thinking, collaboration. On the bc ed plan page now for feedback.

7. NVPAC Spring 2013 Survey Report – David Whitehead: David Whitehead discussed area of concern from the results of the Spring 2013 North Van PAC parent survey that PACs may be able to contribute to and help make improvements.
  • Teacher (to parent) Communication 
  • Extra Support 
  • Process for Communicating Parent Concerns 
  • Extra-Curricular Participation 
  • Creating more inviting PACs
8. Appreciative inquiry – Mike Sexsmith: Mike Sexsmith led an appreciative inquiry session looking at ways parents could contribute to addressing the main issues for parents identified in the survey results. Mike will report the findings separately.

9. Meeting adjourned
at 9.28 pm.

Next Meeting: January 22, 2014, 7:00 pm

Education Services Centre,
2121 Lonsdale Avenue