Minutes of November General PAC Meeting

Here are the minutes of the general PAC meeting held on October 17. You can download them in pdf format from here.

Ecole Heather Park Elementary Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
General Meeting – Minutes
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Computer Room

  1. Call to order: 7:04 PM
  2. Welcome and Introductions
  3. Administrative Matters
    • Lesley reviewed PAC definition, Roberts Rules of Order, format of motions (Discussion –> Consensus –> Motion –> Vote), ‘parked’ items to be addressed as time permits or scheduled into the next meeting, invitation for additions to agenda, etc.
    • Previous minutes and forthcoming agenda are posted no later than the Monday preceding the next scheduled PAC meeting (Tuesday for holiday weeks). Minutes are unapproved until adopted at next council meeting.
    • Council meetings are on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Next is Thurs, Dec 13 – 6:45 PM; free childcare available in the library.
  4. Approval of Minutes
    • Minutes for Oct 17, 2012 were reviewed
    • Motion: Gina moved to approve the minutes . Seconded by Karen . Carried.
  5. New Business
    • Staff Appreciation Day, Nov 21
    • Gina reported that food items for the staff should be dropped off to the Home Ec. Room for 11:00 – 1:00. Parent volunteers are requested for fruit and veggie prep plus salads and desserts – please e-mail Lisa by Nov 19th. The Grade 7’s will help prepare, decorate, serve and clean. Kindergarten classes to help decorate.

    • Raffle Fundraiser – alternatives to the Vancouver Canucks
    • The PAC’s largest fundraiser in recent years has been raffle tickets with a top prize of travel to Vancouver, accommodations and tickets to see the Canucks – for a family of four. Lesley reported that, in view of the delayed hockey season, alternative prize ideas were discussed at the executive meeting. Some ideas put forward were a hop on/off bus pass to the Vancouver Aquarium and Science World. The executive to present a proposal at the December general meeting. This time-consuming project has been headed by the same individuals for the past few years, so Lesley put out the call for a different parent to take this on this year.

    • Hot Lunch Program
    • From January to June, planned hot lunches are: four pizza days, two Pita Pit days, two hot dog days and a year-end Subway lunch on Sport’s Day. The PAC hopes to set up for January an option to pre-pay for the entire remainder of the year.

    • Paper Newsletter Requests
    • Now that Heather Park newsletters have gone paperless, there have been numerous enquiries about the ‘missing’ paper copies. Mme. Shaw is therefore issuing another paper copy on Monday or Tuesday which will include a reminder about how to sign up to the on-line distribution list. Sarah and others were surprised that they had been dropped from the list established last year and had to sign up anew.

    • Bus Loop Signage
    • A large permanent sign was requested to advertise the traffic restrictions for the bus loop. Mr. Fleck noted one is already posted.

  6. Upcoming Events / Volunteering Opportunities
    • November
      • Fri, Nov 16 – Movie Night – Pixar’s “Brave” – Lisa reported parents have been volunteering
      • Tues, Nov 20 – Fruit and Veggie day (Anjou pears)
      • Wed, Nov 21 – Staff Appreciation Day
      • Wed, Nov 21 – School Spirit Day
      • Fri, Nov 23 – Hot lunch downstairs
      • Fri, Nov 23 – Theme day – “Superhero Day” (favourite superhero or your own super skill
      • Fri, Nov 30 – Food Safe Course – e-mail Tami at tlrowe73@gmail.com to sign up
      • Fri, Nov 30 – Non-Instructional Day
    • December
      • Mon, Dec 3 – Intermediate Report Writing Day (No school, 4-7)
      • Tues, Dec 4 – Primary Report Writing Day (No school, K-3)
      • Wed, Dec 5 – Fruit and Veggie Day (Mandarin oranges)
      • Thurs, Dec 6 – Pink and Purple Day in memory of Kallie Hinton
      • Thurs, Dec 6 – Hot Lunch upstairs
      • Fri, Dec 7 – Mr. Edge’s grade 6 class and Mr. Pinot’s grade 7 class visit CNC
      • Wed, Dec 12 – Report cards go home
      • Thurs, Dec 13 – PAC meeting
      • Thurs, Dec 20 – Christmas Soiree – already has some parent volunteers (more will be needed)
      • Fri, Dec 21 – Last day of classes before Christmas break
  7. Treasurer’s Report
    • Pam presented the Treasurer’s Report and noted the PAC has about $700 in the Paypal account.
    • The financial review committee has yet to meet, so their report was tabled to December.
  8. Mathletics
    • Mrs. Dawn Proctor’s presentation was tabled due to illness
  9. Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Program
    • Mr. Fleck noted that he and Mme. Shaw continue to hold pre-PAC meetings with parents to develop school-wide behaviour expectations. A school-based leadership team meets five times per month – plus workshops. This is a standing committee which will remain formed for the next three to five years and will hold in-depth discussions with parents, students and staff.
    • Research has shown that an effective way to improve behaviour is via support of positive behaviour. The first step is to define and state our core values. Students respond when they know what is expected of them and get responses to their behaviour, so it is very important to reinforce and acknowledge their good behaviour.
    • If done well, this becomes the culture; the students reinforce among each other. A sense of connectedness to one another is much more powerful than responding to negative behaviour with punishment.
    • Heather Park has a code of conduct recorded in the student handbook. The school wants it to become a living idea in the minds of parents, students and staff.
    • The next three or four pre-PAC meetings will continue to informative and interactive – and will include a presentation about erasing bullying. The process is still in the discussion stage, back and forth between parents and staff.
    • At a request by Leslie, Steve extended an invitation for a parent to join the School Leadership Team. Applicants should be interested in student behaviour and available for monthly meetings (plus more) and regular e-mail conversations. Interested parents should e-mail him at steve.fleck@sd57.bc.ca. Respondents may be interviewed.
      The team’s mandate is leadership and direction to the PBS project. The project is research based but specific to Heather Park. Phase I is to establish a vision.
    • Tami recommended reminding parents in the newsletters to review with their children, in view of the PBS project, the code of conduct at the beginning of the student handbook. The newsletter could be web-linked to the code.
    • It was noted that the kindergarten students do not receive the planner, yet they are an important target group for the program’s message and the code of conduct.
    • Sarah commented that student leaders could help promote the PBS program and that, although opportunities for student leaders exist, there is no formal program. Teachers should learn, for each age group, the students’ hopes, fears and concerns. The most important work is done in the classrooms, so the teacher must buy-in to the program first, since (s)he bears the majority of the load in instilling values in children, within the school.
  10. DPAC Representative still needed for Heather Park
    • DPAC Chair Sarah Holland reiterated that Heather Park currently lacks a DPAC representative to vote for the school. DPAC meets the 1st Monday of each month. Membership is a great opportunity to network and learn what other PACs are doing. The school district superintendent is commonly available as well as other decision-makers. She again requested a parent volunteer to represent Heather Park parents. The PAC executive will rotate attendance until one is forthcoming.
  11. Safety Report
    • Spring drainage at the bottom of the slope in back below the soccer fields
    • Tami reported that drainage will be improved by a gravel-filled trench at the bottom of the slope. Spring run off from the surrounding areas pools here forming a surprisingly deep ‘lake’. Steve half-jokingly called it a “drowning hazard”. The school paid $12,000 for the trench, which will funnel the excess water into the City’s storm water system.

    • Food Safe Course – only six parents have enrolled, but the PAC has room for 18.
    • Bus Loop
    • This is restricted from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM unless you are driving a school bus or have an official handicap sign displayed in your front window. Parents are quite concerned for the safety of the children, yet some people persist in disobeying the posted traffic signs.
      Leslie spoke of one time when she was literally screaming at a driver to stop while pounding on their car as they obliviously backed into an equally oblivious small child. The driver was completely unaware they were within a few inches of striking the child. Mr. Fleck and Mme. Shaw have had parents rage at them for suggesting they shouldn’t be using the loop.
      Much discussion followed and many suggestions were offered, including: positive feedback for proper use of the school’s roadways and parking, tickets for offenders, a leaflet campaign from concerned parents, a PAC sponsored sign 10′ high, a ‘kid’ sign, a month long safety blitz, a September PAC-led safety blitz, a program to track the licence plates of worst offenders, and a program to report safety incidents and their impacts. Tami said a blitz might help since a physical presence in the problem areas reduced improper parking and road use.

    • Ice and Snow
    • Tami reported that the PAC executive and Heather Park staff recently held a safety meeting regarding snow/ice maintenance and removal. Tami asked that people stay aware of the winter conditions, dress appropriately for walking to/from the Elk Centre parking, use the sidewalks and remind the children about the dangers of snow and ice falling from the school roof (this results in safety incidents most years).

  12. DPAC Update
    • BCPAC – Sarah reported that Vice-Chair Gina attended the provincial BCPAC meeting held on October 20 and that attendance by Prince George parents exceeded that of Surrey and Kelowna combined. Mr. Fleck attended the “Care and Feeding of Your Principal” workshop, in which parents of other schools raised concerns.
    • Justice League – two attendees from the DSCA (student association) gave an impressive presentation against anonymous web-based reporting of cyber-bullying.
    • PAC cafe is a casual networking opportunity for PAC executives across Prince George.
    • Safer Schools – online binder available for “Erase Bullying” program (see DPAC website)
    • Recent court case on educational requirements from school districts for special needs outlined in separate DPAC report.
    • Next DPAC: Monday, Dec 3, 2012 7:00 PM at Van Bien training centre (opposite Cemetery)
    • For more info see http://sd57dpac.ca/
  13. Teacher’s Forum
    • No teachers were present
  14. Vice-Principal’s Forum
    • Mme. Shaw again thanked the PAC for their contribution to the choir risers, which are expected soon.
  15. Principal’s Forum
    • Mr. Laupitz’ class formed a Variety Club for a fundraiser in support of Farah Welschler.
    • Students Help Orphans – The Grade 7 class was visited by an internationally celebrated Canadian Children’s and Youth Author, Eric Walters, who inspired them to help impoverished children via the Creation of Hope Project, which he initiated. By exchanging chores for funds, the class raised $2,400 which they used to buy goats and chickens for 500 Kenyan orphans. The Free Press reported on their achievements and published a class photo. The staff and students are deservedly very proud of their work. (For more on the Hope Project, see http://www.openbooktoronto.com/video/eric_walters_creation_hope_project).
    • Grade 7 Students to Benefit from CNC’s Commercial Trade Centre (CTC) Program
      Heather Park requests the PACs help in acquiring 36 pairs of work-boots for Grade 7 students to take advantage of an opportunity to experience hands-on trades training at CNC.
      In a push to increase student involvement in trades education and address the trades labour gap, the College of New Caledonia (CNC) initiated a program whereby high-school students can pursue their first year apprenticeship program at the college in the trade of their choice (industrial or culinary), while completing their high-school education. Since the Hart catchment area is largely rural with many trades connections, School District 57 is offering (to Kelly Road Senior Secondary (KRSS) students and to Grade 7 students at Heather Park) the hands-on opportunity of participating in this program.
      At Heather Park, Mr. Vonovitch is spearheading this effort, but the students must have work-boots to participate. 96 seats are available in the program, and 36 pairs of work-boots are needed, sizes 3 to men’s 13. Mr. Fleck called on parents and businesses to help supply or fund what they can, noting that trade businesses will directly benefit from this program down the road.
      Sarah noted that the Face Book page “Trades Make Sense” offers a parent-focused look at the benefit and opportunities, and how to sign up. She posted a link on the DPA website http://sd57dpac.ca/2012/11/trades-its-a-smart-move/

    • New Report Card Format
    • The district is piloting a new report card format in response to confusion over the 1 – 4 grading system vs. letter grade system. The intent of the new format is to produce more authentic reporting to reflect learning outcomes about each student’s individual progress. Mr. Fleck noted that education is currently evolving at a very rapid pace.
      Mme. Shaw noted that primary teachers get one report writing day per term and intermediate teachers get one per year. However, intermediate teachers have been allowed more time due to the format change.

  16. Fund-raising Update
    • The PAC received a letter from Christie Curbre thanking it for the bursary she received towards her Nursing education at CNC.
    • The Regal fund-raiser closes at the end of December but has already raised $900!
    • The Purdy’s fund-raiser closes tomorrow (and the on-line option closes Sunday) and has thus far earned the PAC $900 profit from on-line orders plus eight to ten paper orders.
    • Yvonne asked the PAC for future fund-raising ideas and received the following responses:
      Purdy’s Easter fund-raiser for the Barkerville field trip (Lesley)
      Crispy cream donuts from the USA (Cindy)
    • Canucks Raffle Tickets (highly successful in past but may be kibosh-ed this year by postponed hockey season)
      General consensus was that the hockey tickets were a huge draw in the past, so the PAC should cross-fingers and hope for a resolution between the owners and players in time to run the raffle with the usual prize.
  17. Open Business / Parked Items
    • Wheelchair Accessible Playground at basketball courts
    • Cindy sent the letter to Brian Mix requesting the funding. School board meeting to follow, Nov. 26.

    • Kudos to School Custodians
    • Cindy complimented the school janitors and teachers for their help above and beyond the call of duty in finding a lost boot in one of the unused lockers. Someone recommended zip-stripping the unused lockers.

    • Volleyball Tournament Tuesday
    • Lesley noted for future reference that more supervision was needed inside the multi-purpose room during the tournament.

  18. Adjourned 8:27 PM – Next Meeting: Thursday, December 13 @ 6:45 PM, Computer Room