Sunday, May 24, 2015

NVPAC Annual General Meeting - Wednesday May 27 2015

This is a reminder that our AGM is this week.  A short General Meeting will be held on the same evening.  The agendas for both meetings follow.

North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council
Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, 27 May, 2015
 7:00 pm
Mountainview Room
5th floor - 2121 Lonsdale Avenue
1.   Call to Order, Welcome and Introductions        
2.   Establish Quorum
3.   Approval of Minutes – 28 May 2014
4.   Treasurer’s Report – Homa Sorooshi
           -      Approval of Proposed Interim Budget for 2015/16
5.   Executive Reports
6.   Election of NVPAC Executive for 2015/16
7.   Adjourn
North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council
General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, 27 May, 2015
7:00 pm
Mountainview Room
5th floor - 2121 Lonsdale Avenue
1.   Call to Order       
2.   Approval of Minutes – 22 April 2015
3.   BCCPAC Spring Conference and AGM Reports:
-      Debra Dennehy, NVPAC
-      Karen Nordquist, NVPAC
-      Jana Madill,(Montroyal)
-      Jane Lagden Holborne, NVPAC
4.   Adjourn

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Foods That Fit Workshop - Summary

NVPAC was pleased to again support Vancouver Coastal Health in presenting the Foods That Fit Workshop at the Education Services Centre last month.  Helen Yeung, Public Health Dietitian with VCH, kindly provided the following summary of the workshop.  Please read on and click the links to find lots of valuable information.
Hello to all school administrators, educators, students, and parents:
A "Foods That Fit" workshop was held on April 15, 2015, for schools on the North Shore, to help schools implement the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools
I shared some information about selling healthy and safe foods with the school lunch coordinators, parents, staff, and vendors from that workshop.  A colleague suggested that I share this information more broadly so that those who did not attend this workshop could also benefit.
1. Here is a letter from our Medical Health Officer, Dr Mark Lysyshyn, about healthy and safe food at school.
2. The HealthlinkBC food policy dietitians presented at the workshop.  You can reach Dietitian Services by calling 8-1-1.
3. Sajan Joseph, Environmental Health Officer, recommended these websites related to food safety:
4. From Emily Jubenvill, Edible Garden Project:
If you're interested in learning more about school garden programs or Farm to School produce, please contact her at:
5. From Jenn Meilleur, North Shore Recycling Program :
Also, PAC members and schools are always welcome to call or email the North Shore Recycling Program office with any questions related to waste reduction, recycling or composting: 604.984.9730 or
6. The North Shore Table Matters website has a link to the North Shore Food Charter which has been endorsed by all the municipalities, the two school boards, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.  The Food Charter outlines a vision and principles around an integrated food system for the North Shore.  It articulates shared community principles related to food production, distribution, access, consumption, processing and waste handling.  You may wish to sign up for regular updates from Table Matters at their web site.
Thank you everyone for promoting healthy eating at school. We are helping to create the demand and the supply of healthy foods to students.  If you would like me to attend a PAC meeting at your school, please feel free to contact me.  As a school health dietitian, my roles include nutrition educator, connector (to people, resources, and programs), catalyst, and collaborator.  I would be happy to support your efforts to promote healthy eating throughout the year.  Some topics I have addressed include: healthy lunches and snacks; feeding picky eaters; preventing disordered eating; healthy growth; food issues at school; and healthy fundraisers.  Also, there is a public health nurse linked to each school, who can address health issues, and can be reached by calling 604-983-6700.
Helen Yeung, MHSc, RD
Public Health Dietitian, North Shore
Vancouver Coastal Health
Parkgate Community Health Centre
3625 Banff Court, 2nd Floor
North Vancouver, BC V7H 2Z8
Ph: 604-904-6458; Fax: 904-6470

Friday, May 15, 2015

April 2015 General Meeting Minutes - including Parent-School Communication Process Discussion Notes

NVPAC General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
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, Heather Skuse, Suzanne Till
Attendance: 20
Guests:  None
Schools Represented:  Argyle, Canyon Heights, Carisbrooke,  Carson Graham, Cleveland, Handsworth, Highlands, Larson, Lynn Valley, Montroyal, Norgate, Queensbury, Ridgeway, Seycove, Seymour Heights,  Sutherland, Upper Lynn
Regrets: Homa Sorooshi,, Amanda Nichol

7:05 Called to order

7:08 Round of introductions

7:09 Approval of minutes: motion to approve February: Hardish - montroyal  2nd -  Elly handsworth. All in favour – unanimous - carried

7:12 Treasurer’s report – Jane LH – please remind PAC treasurers to apply for gaming grants $20 per student. For NVPAC grants – we have a few still available and now open to all schools on a first come first served basis – 1=$200 school safety. $200 FOS  4 available, $50 foodsafe grants – 8 available, 1 speaker grant = $200. Please apply for the grants BCCPAC have 4 available $250 grants for conference registration fees. 

7:18 Special Education Aids: Lucy from Carisbrooke asked if schools are experiencing cuts to special aid hours on a per student basis. How are the schools being impacted, what is the amount that is provided by the ministry. Would the PAC talk to the ministry and ask them to come talk to PACs about it. Jane - NVPAC could prepare a letter. It is more effective if parents send it. More effective if parents call. Invite ministry to explain the funding changes.

7:30 Discussion of Parent-School Communication Processes – David W.

Improving the communication process: 2014 Parent Survey
      13% said response timeliness was poor
      19% said the response appropriateness was poor
      11% uncomfortable approaching the schools with concerns
      34% received partial guidance on the process

Types of issues and processes
What positive and negative communication processes have you experienced?
       Procedure/Protocol Problems: If problem then go to the teacher. Some parents may not be comfortable going to the teacher which compounds the problem.
       Circular directions – parties direct people to each other
       Hard to always start with the teacher if the teacher is seen as part of the problem
       Minimal follow-up: Not being informed of the results of tests or interactions. Unclear whose responsibility it is to follow-up, the parent or the school.
       Need Tools and methods for parents who can’t be at school
       End of term reports
       Regular ongoing communication: teacher newseletters etc is a big help
       High school communication to parents is poor: grade 12 info, early dismissal
       Principals may not intervene with teacher/parent issues even if needed

What sorts of issues tend to have successful responses/interactions?
      General School Information - what's going on at the school
      PACs reaching out to parents
      When personal issues are not involved
      Academic issues
      Homework questions – especially if rapid response via email
      Course selection with counsellors

What sorts of issues tend to have difficult responses/interactions?
       Special needs issues
       Sensitive subjects
       Behavioural issues, especially involving multiple parties
       Assumptions about information that people may or may not have
       Difficulty reaching all parents
       Being made to start with the teacher when the problem involves the teacher.
       Significant lack of communication and tools related to helping students with special needs

Learning where to start
When you needed to address a concern how did you first approach the situation?
What resources, people etc did you use to help you know where to start and where did you find them?
How did you and the school set your expectations with regard to process and a response?
      Most valuable resource is other parents especially PAC executive
      Office staff may or may not be helpful.
       School website not updated - depends on the administration. Is it PAC responsibility or school?
       At some schools the principal sends updates but this varies from school to school
       Administrators should be talking to kindergarten parents.
       New parents need a welcome package to be sure they know where who to contact and are in the loop.
       Information is needed on the chain of command, who to go to, their roles and a dictionary for all the acronyms
       Feedback channels don’t move fast enough, so frustration mounts and can make matters worse
       Teachers sometimes email, sometimes call, sometimes have conversations at the door. It is hard to know when and where to reach them.
       Expectations could be set in an email dialog with teachers to establish times, responses etc
       Create a template for all schools to follow on how to communicate all issues
       The principals don't have time to address every inquiry
       Parents cannot always rely on the PAC to know the process or have time to help.
       When the administration moves then there is always a new process

Communication Resources
What were some of the key processes, resources and factors that you felt helped or hindered your ability to resolve the situation?
·         Meet the teacher nights help but are too limited. Teachers need to provide contact information including when and how to contact them
·         PACs should provide a list of communication resources at each school
·         Schools should use the web, twitter etc to inform parents
·         Teachers seed to set expectations on when to contact, how, best time. They also need to make use of technology and acknowledge when contact is made.
·         send both paper and email updates.
·         Should be a District directory of resources
·         Parents need to be seen as a partner and involved in the communication / resolution process

Steps Forward
Are there any other organizations/processes that would be a good example for the schools to emulate?
What steps could NVPAC, the working group and our partners take to improve communications processes?
      NVPAC maintain links on website
      NVPAC create a guide on best practices for how to approach schools, especially how to do so in a respectful way during an uncomfortable conversation.
      Create welcome packages templates that can be maintained at each school
      Provide parent friendly descriptions of processes and official lingo.
      Develop tools to help take some of the personality out of discussion to focus on the issues and resolution.
      Technology can help to provide information but not a way to avoid conversation, actual facr to face conversation is needed for resolution.
      Parent info night in communicating with schools
      Schools making more use of messaging to reach parents
      Discussion with the administrators on the different types of issues.
      Training information for parents on how to approach different situations.
      Develop more district level processes rather than have each school/administration develop their own.
      Good communication helps families feel good about their school.
      “online chat” capability at the school or district level – anonymous or not. Could be delayed response as long as it is responsive. Would be convenient for working parents and reduce intimidation factor.
      Videos available on school issues and processes
      Need to look at it as a team approach rather than us vs. them. Focus on the child
      Ask PACs for their best practices

8:45 NVPAC AGM – NVPAC elections are on May. Many positions opening up with NVPAC. We need new executive to help us fulifill our mandate and represent parents on various district committees dealing with a variety of school issues.
· Treasurer – if you can manage your family’s accounts you can manage ours.
· Secretary – keep notes on the decisions NVPAC makes.
· Chair – work with parents and the district on issues, maintain contact with the district.
· Vice-Chair – Help out with executive and District discussions
· Registrar & Communications – maintain website and blog, maintain communication with the school PACs.
· BCCPAC liaison – keeping PACs informed on BCCPAC issues
· Members at Large – participate in the meetings and provide perspective.
· Program Facilitator – organizes meetings and speaker events

Motion to Adjourn: 8:55 pm

Next Meeting:    Annual General Meeting
Topic: NVPAC Elections
May 27, 2015
7:00 pm
Education Services Centre,
2121 Lonsdale Avenue