Monday, June 22, 2015


Once again I ventured off to the BCCPAC Conference.  This year it was held at Metrotown in Burnaby.  It was a great location whether to drive or take transit.  Once again the speakers and workshops were informative and entertaining.  I met some new people and reacquainted with others. Thank you to NVPAC for financially supporting me to attend the conference and AGM.

Thursday, April 30
BC Ed Plan and Board Meet & Greet
Question and Answer Session on the new BC Education Plan
  • Rod Allen, Assistant Deputy Minister of Education was scheduled to speak but he has resigned his position with the ministry and has accepted a position as Superintendent of the Cowichan Valley School District
  • Paige MacFarlane, Assistant Deputy Minister of Education took questions from the floor about the new BC Ed Plan
  • the new BC Ed Plan will:  be personalized, retain foundational skills, enable students to explore their passions, equip students with skills and knowledge to adapt to the rapid changing world, engage students, be goal oriented, be enquiry based, cross curricular learning such as learning about the skeletal system in dance class
  • teachers have been collaborating with the Ministry to develop the new plan
  • plan is available for use and some teachers and school districts are already implementing the new plan; use of new plan has not been mandated
  • the new plan changes the approach to teaching/learning not the curriculum
  • BCCPAC Board of Directors along with candidates were introduced and accepted questions from the audience

Friday, May 1
Exhibitor Trade Show, Keynote Address, Plenary Session & Workshops

Welcome Address:  Dave Byng, Deputy Minister of Education
  • importance of parents:  have right to be meaningfully involved in their children’s education
  • BCCPAC is an important and valued partner
  • BC is a global leader in education; Japan and Finland are top performing jurisdictions in the world
  • curriculum redesign:  flexibility and choice while focusing on writing reading and numeracy; emphasis on competencies; Aboriginal perspectives and content built in
  • BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint:  double number in youth apprenticeship programs; reform grad requirements; develop new careers and applied skills curriculum; raise awareness of career options
  • quick mention of abolishing school planning councils; see Education Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 11)

Keynote Speaker:  Barry MacDonald
Educator and Registered Clinical Counsellor, Mentoring Boys
“Cultivating Self-Regulation to be Calm, Alert, and Happy”
  • self regulation:  the ability to calm oneself when dealing with stress
  • 10 keys to Self Regulation:

  1. Needs:  anticipate needs; isolation/seclusion not effective
  1. Temperament
  2. Lead with calm response
  3. Basic needs:  nutrition, rest
  4. Limit technology:  monitor use; set healthy limits
  5. Eye contact:  need break in eye contact
  6. Discuss how to manage anger:  ex breathing
  7. Get moving:  no chairs in classroom stay on task better when standing; sitting is the new smoking
  8. Get outside:  playing in nature reduces stress
  9. Game plan to reduce stress:  5 shoulder rolls; make a fist-look at it-squeeze watch water drip (5x); slowly count cards-on each side say “John” relax, I can handle this

Workshop Sessions:

“Happy Kids, Healthy Kids”

Dr. Farah Shroff, PhD, Public Health Researcher, Educator and Policy Analyst
  • panel moderated by Farah
  • questions were gathered from the audience and then asked of the panelists

Jane Garland, Clinical Professor, Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine, UBC-BC Children’s Hospital
  • “anxiety” is not really a problem, it is how we deal with it
  • anxiety is normal; there are normal fear at each age level
  • anxiety is physical
  • why is anxiety increasing?:  delusion that we can control everything; low tolerance for discomfort; abstract thinking and imagination
  • Need basic life skills including a routine
  • Role of parents:  “brave practice”

Jane Thornthwaite, MLA North Vancouver-Seymour

Christine Yu, Master of Arts Degree, Counselling Psychology and a Registered Clinical Counsellor
  • listen to internal alarm system
  • use breathing
  • talk about emotions
  • face fears:  involve them, ask them to plan, do in small steps

Dr. Ryan Gluvic, Naturopathic Physician
  • problem foods:  refined carbohydrates, refined sugars
  • magnesium may regulate blood sugar, is a muscle relaxant, may help with sleep issues
  • B vitamins help regulate blood sugar and brain function
  • fish fatty acid

“Temperament Matters!”
Barry MacDonald
Educator and Registered Clinical Counsellor, Mentoring Boys
  • understanding core temperament may reduce parent/child conflicts
  • appreciating differences in temperament enriches interactions with others
  • Mr. MacDonald gave examples of 17 different temperaments
  • the audience paired off and answered questions to determine what type of temperament we had

“Setting Boundaries with Your Children”, Raj Dhasi
  • defined assertiveness
  • taught us to recognize the difference between passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive responses
  • assisted parents to identify causes of loss of assertiveness with our children
  • taught us how to apply assertion tools to set limits on a child’s objectionable behavior
  • shared ways to manage defensive responses to our assertion

“Communicating Effectively in Difficult Situations”, Raj Dhasi
  • engaged the audience in defining and assessing what are difficult moments for ourselves
  • shared a 5-step self-regulation plan:  manage body movement; regulate para-verbal presentation; manage self-talk; attune and respond
  • discussed skills for dealing with defensiveness:  normalize; agree where you can; question and reframe

An Evening with the Candidates
  • appetizers were served as we met casually with the Board of Directors candidates
  • candidates were available to speak with one on one
  • Karen and I interviewed candidates to give us more voting knowledge

Saturday, May 2 - evening
Tim Nutt, Comedian

Saturday, May 2 to Sunday, May 3

Jane Lagden Holborne, NVPAC Chair; Karen Norquist, NVPAC Vice-Chair; Jana Madill, Chair, Montroyal PAC and myself (Debra Dennehy), NVPAC Registrar and BCCPAC Liaison attended the two day Annual General Meeting.  Between us we held proxies for thirteen PACs and one for NVPAC for a total of fourteen.  

Committee of the Whole (see Jane’s report)

BCCPAC 2015/2016 Executive:
President – Nicole Makohoniuk
1st Vice President – Farah Shroff*
2nd Vice President – Ayesha Haider
Treasurer – Gordon Byers*
Secretary – Kendra Mann*
Directors – Darlene Campbell*, Angie Carlyle, Tracy Wright, Shelley Courtney*
*newly elected board members

Debra J. Dennehy
NVPAC Registrar & BCCPAC Liaison

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