December DPAC E-Bulletin
A Message from our DPAC Chair
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! In the past few months, while your children have been at school gaining new knowledge and skills, your hardworking District PAC Executive have been busy representing your views at committee meetings, aiding PAC’s in areas of Constitution and By-Laws, networking with other District PAC’s, advising and advocating for Public Education with an alphabet soup of stakeholders and that’s just on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s — the rest of the time we’re busy.
We have accomplished some awesome deeds in conjunction with our committee work, Thank you Ivy Leung , Iraj Khabazian and Mabel Sun for your work with the English Language Learner (ELL) and new immigrant Parent communities. Vancouver DPAC worked with the VSB Advocacy Committee and signed on to a letter to the government in support of educational funding issues with all stakeholder groups in the district. Our new members, Melanie Antwieler and Stefanie Gadjecki, are enthusiastic and contributing valuable assistance to the work of our DPAC Executive. Jim Smith and Colin Redfern have continued their commitment to DPAC over the last couple months while taking time away to deal with personal matters.
I was privileged to attend the BC Schools Superintendents Association (BCSSA) Fall Conference with the VSB team and our own DPAC executive member Diana Day. There is amazing energy when educators, parents and students get together to expand their knowledge and common interest in transforming, reforming and innovation in the public education system in BC. Wab Kinew, is probably the best speaker on Aboriginal Inclusion I have ever heard. I learned so much in a workshop on Parent Engagement: listen first, build relationships and find common ground. Parent engagement through Leadership was one of my biggest take-aways from the conference. VDPAC will be holding workshops around parent engagement in 2014 – please stay tuned for updates.
This New Year is going to be exciting and challenging with an anticipated budget deficit of 28 million dollars, curriculum reform and Teachers’ contracts up for negotiation. Parents’ voices have never been more important. We have an excellent education system and we need your help to ensure its continuation.
I am grateful to serve as the Chair of DPAC and I will work diligently with the team for Our Children, the Future.
Many Blessings , Monica Moberg DPAC Chair
Funding Challenges Continue
With a projected shortfall of $28 Million for the 2014/15 School Year, the School Board and partner groups (including Vancouver DPAC) have sent a letter requesting increased funding for the 2014/15 School Year. Our DPAC is asking all our PACs to send a similar letter highlighting the challenges your school will face without an increase in funding. Continued fundraising does not address the increased costs of running a school and supporting the classroom. The core services required to support the success of all students require sustainable funding for parents to support their child’s learning.
The letter to the Premier, Minister of Education and Minister of Finance is available here: http://vsbdpac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Joint-Funding-Letter-Signatures-Nov20131.pdf.
Curriculum is Changing
The BC Education Plan is continuing to make changes to the Curriculum. The K-9 Curriculum changes are available for your comment and input. For full information, check out the Ministry website at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/feedback.
The following is from the website:
“The Feedback Process
“The review of K-9 draft curriculum will take place during the 2013/14 school year. The review and feedback process is intended to be broadly based – it is designed to gather feedback from many individuals, schools, districts, organizations, regions, networks and groups within the education sector.
“The Ministry will gather feedback through a variety of processes and this input will continue to inform the redesign process. All feedback is appreciated.
“As available, draft curriculum documents will be posted online for review. For now, K-9 draft curriculum is available for Math, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts.”
Please share this with parents in your school.
School is in Session
Secondary schools have been informed that learning activities are required for students not writing exams in the last couple weeks in June. This is being required which means all students will be expected to be attend school through to June 27th. The Vancouver Sun did a story on this which is available here:
Parenting Teens in the Digital Age
All parents and guests are welcome to hear Dr. Gabor Maté talk about “Parenting Teens in the Digital Age,” on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at 7:30 pm in the Kitsilano Secondary School auditorium.
Dr. Mate, author and speaker, is well known in educational circles for his insights into childhood development, ADD, stress and addictions. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. Please see: http://drgabormate.com/
This event is being offered by the Kitsilano Secondary School PAC. The cost is $10 for advance tickets and $15 at the door. You can purchase tickets at http://www.kitsilanopac.ca/.
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils
The last chance to renew your PAC membership or to join BCCPAC and be a voting member is December 15, 2013. As of November 28th, there were 28 PACs from Vancouver signed up. We will be contacting PACs who have not joined to provide more information on the opportunity to join at a cost of $75 per year.
Petition on Line
With the continued funding challenges our petition for fully funded education is still open for signatures. Share this will all parents at your school and ask them if they have signed our petition. The petition is available on our website at http://vsbdpac.ca/petition-for-public-education-funding/.