Update on Tentative Agreement

Here is a letter from the Superintendent regarding the tentative agreement between the BCTF and BCPSEA.  Community Announcement Sept 16

Teachers will be voting whether to ratify the agreement Thursday.  There will be an update later this week with details on school start up.

What’s in the deal?  According to media sources the tentative agreement includes a 7.25% wage increase over six years, additional prep time for elementary teachers, $108 million to settle grievances on class size and composition from 2002, and $100 million per year (which replaces LIF) to address composition issues ($80 million to be decided by teachers for the hiring of more teachers).

Report from BCCPAC DPAC Summit

Report from BCCPAC “DPAC Chair Summit”

On August 16, I attended the “DPAC Chair Summit” in Richmond hosted by BCCPAC, the provincial organization for Parent Advisory Councils. There were 28 districts in attendance (representing 81% of students in the province) in addition to the BCCPAC Board.
The meeting was positive and productive. Despite the diversity of the regions and districts that were represented, there was agreement on a number of key issues.
Acknowledging the fact that attendees represented the diverse views of their district parents, we agreed to focus discussion on improving our education system so our discussion would not be perceived as “taking sides” in the current labor dispute.
Parents voiced frustration at the lack of progress in contract negotiations, and some felt that the current labor dispute was damaging the reputation of our public education system.
Parents felt that our classrooms are under-resourced, and that classrooms should have the resources and supports they require to enhance the learning of all students. This would reduce teachers’ workloads and allow them to spend more time on what they do best – teach.
Parent organizations – such as BCCPAC, DPACs – need to engage our partners in discussion on educational issues to better advocate the parent perspective on students’ rights.
Representatives agreed to several common goals.
First and foremost, representatives want school in session September 2. The hope is to have a fair negotiated settlement between teachers and their employer now that they have entered mediation. If necessary, however, the group would like to see students learning in the classroom as negotiations continue behind closed doors.
Longer term goals include advocating for an additional funding envelope earmarked for classroom needs that is protected from external cost pressures. Representatives discussed the importance of assessing classroom needs, at the classroom level, with teachers, support staff, parents, students and administration working together towards the best learning environment for all students. BCCPAC will be engaging provincial partners to further the goal of a provincial framework for a Classroom Resource Fund.
And our continuing goal is to foster good working relationships between parents and our partner groups at the provincial, district and school level and to put focus back on students.

Letter to Parents re Full Strike

Here is the letter send to Secondary parents from Superintendent Kaardal. Community Announcement Sec re full strike.  Here is the letter to Elementary parents.  Community Announcement Elem re full strike

In summary, unless an agreement is reached between BCPSEA and the BCTF, there will no classes from June 16 onwards, and Friday June 13 will be the last day of school.  Please be prepared to bring personal belongings home.  In addition, the following will apply.

The Labour Relations Board has ruled that only grade 12 marks are essential and must be submitted by June 20.  Other grades may or may not be submitted at the teacher’s discretion at the end of tomorrow.  Students will only receive report cards – whether full or partial - if marks are submitted.

Teachers supervising provincial exams has been ruled as an essential service.  Exams will go ahead as scheduled and students will enter from an entranceway that will be clear of pickets.

End of year activities will be affected.  School principals will inform their individual schools.

It is anticipated that Burnaby’s summer session will still go ahead, but is dependent on whether or not teachers are still on full strike.  A final decision on summer session will be made a week before the scheduled start date.




News on Job Action

From the SD41 website:
Earlier this week, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) voted to give the BCTF the mandate to move to phase three of their job action. They have just announced a full province-wide withdrawal of services effective Tuesday, June 17.

In addition, there will be a province-wide rotational strike day on Monday, June 16. This means that effective Monday, June 16, schools will be closed for instruction and parents are asked to    make alternate arrangements for their children.

This means that Friday, June 13 may be the last day of school before summer vacation.

For updated information please go to www.sd41.bc.ca



March 2014 Minutes

2014-03-31 DPAC General Meeting Minutes



Schou Education Centre
4041 Canada Way
Burnaby, B.C.
DATE: January 27, 2014
TIME: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Schools Attending: 

Alpha, Confederation Park, Kitchener, Burnaby North, Capitol Hill, Lochdale, Montecito, Sperling, Burnaby Mountain, Cameron, Lyndhurst, Seaforth, Stoney Creek, University Highlands, Twelfth Avenue, Burnaby Central, Gilpin, Lakeview, Moscrop, Cascade Heights, Burnaby South, Glenwood, Maywood, Byrne Creek, Taylor Park

District Staff:

Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools; Gina Niccoli-Moen, Deputy Superintendent; Heather Hart, Assistant Superintendent; Roy Uyeno, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer

Board of Education Trustees and their zones:
Baljinder Narang, (Kingsway South), Larry Hayes (Cariboo Lougheed), Harman Pandher (Central West), Gary Wong (Brentwood North)

DPAC Executive:
Jen Mezei, Past and Vice Chair (Cariboo Lougheed); Romy Bacchioni, Member at Large (Kingsway South); Dave Dye, Member at Large (Cariboo Lougheed); Herman Louie, Member at Large (Central West); Kristin Schnider, Secretary (Cariboo Lougheed); Jocelyn Schonekess, Treasurer (Brentwood North)

Regrets: Katherine Robertson, Chair (Central West); Gjoa Andrichuk, Secretary (Central West)

1. Welcome and Introductions

The Vice Chair called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and introduced the District Staff, Trustees and DPAC Executive members present.

2. Budget Presentation – Roy Uyeno, Secretary-Treasurer

Roy Uyeno provided the DPAC reps with a presentation on the preliminary 2014-2015 operating budget. Included in that presentation was a breakdown for the budget timeline:

  • February 18 Provincial Budget announcement (which confirmed that there wouldn’t be any new education funding available through the Provincial Budget)
  • March 5 The School District began conducting meetings with its partner groups (BTA, CUPE, DSAC, DPAC)
  • March 14 Ministry of Education announcement of preliminary operating grant for 2014-2015 school year
  • April 7 Additional partner group meetings
  • April 9 Public budget meeting at the School District Office at 7 PM, which parents are welcome to attend
  • April 16 Partner group meeting to seek input on budget priorities
  • April 22 Board of Education approval for 2014-2015 operating budget
  • April 30 District to submit approved budget to the Ministry of Education

Roy Uyeno then addressed the guiding principles on which the proposed budget is based, which include:

  • Education programs offered to Burnaby students should be focused on including student achievement and facilitating student success;
  • Program enhancement, program development, and student choice will be guided by the Board’s ability to provide sustainable funding;
  • Operational systems and business services required to support students and schools will be maintained in an effective and efficient manner;
  • Available funding will be directed to supporting the objectives outlined in the Board’s strategic plan (to be released shortly) and with the District achievement contract; and
  • All budget allocation decisions will be based on relevant data and information.

The budget process is open and inclusive insofar as the District encourages partner group participation, communicates to the public on the District’s website and hosts public budget meetings.

Every year as part of process there are detailed reviews of specific areas within budget and some of the delivery models. For example the District may look at non-enrolling teachers or special education, distribution learning, administration)
The District develops key assumptions and projections to support a 3 year rolling budget, which provides more stability. Some of the key assumptions include:

  • A projected student enrolment for 2014-2015
  • Maintaining the current service levels and programs
  • The student base funding of $6900 per student will remain the same
  • Increased Provincial LIF funding: It’s anticipated that Provincial LIF funding will increase $15M next year for a total of $75 million provincially. Locally, Burnaby received $2.4M in LIF funding this year. So the budget anticipates approximately $3M for 2014-2015.

Roy Uyeno acknowledged that LIF funding is included in the operating budget, but it is part of the special purpose fund. Additional revenues in this area ease pressures in the operating budget to assist vulnerable students.

He then went on to explain holdback funding. Every year the Ministry of Education holds back revenue in anticipation of enrolment changes after the preliminary funding is announced. Last year the Government

held back $59M provincially. In Burnaby that translated into $1.4M that we receive after Sept. 30 when enrolment count. That said, if provincial enrolment grows, the Ministry may have to release additional funds to cover the increases.
Other budget assumptions include:

  • Liabilities for teacher salary incremental increases, which are anticipated at $750K for 2014-2015
  • Liability for maternity leave estimated at $260K (including top-up), which is significantly higher than in previous years
  • Projected enrolment increase for special education 2 classifications, which will require an additional 6 FTE education assistants, equating to $230K for 2014-2015
  • Liabilities for other cost increases (inflationary) – employee benefits including CPP, EI, MPP, WCB, MPS, EHB, dental, EAP. Benefits not anticipating an inflationary increase are life insurance, TPP.
  • The cost associated with the Cooperative Gains Mandate Savings Plan to offset the CUPE wages gain. For the 2014-2015 budget the cost will be $1.6M, which is an annualized cost of $620K CUPE wage lift
  • Projected utilities increase for water/sewer, election and gas
  • Projected $2.3M operating surplus to carry forward in the 2014-2015 budget

Not included in the budget is the potential cost of Provincial Network (PLNet) upgrade. The cost of this upgrade will be in the millions of dollars. At this point, the Province hasn’t communicated whether or not it will download the costs to the Districts.
Other costs not included are the implementation of the new MyEducation BC student information system, the potential costs of a new teachers’ contract, or the implementation of the Griffin decision on Bill 22.

Roy Uyeno then spoke about the projected District enrollment for 2014-2015. He noted that District is anticipating an increase of 103 FTE elementary students and continued growth over the following two years.
In terms of secondary students, the District is anticipating declining enrolment next year, which will continue of the new two years. Distributed Learning (online learners at the District) will see some growth.

The total school age enrollment is expected to grow a little, but growth will be fairly flat over next few years. Included within that international student numbers continue to grow.

The operating grant the District receives is based on these enrolment numbers, wherein every FTE student received $6900, every district learner received $581 and every FTE adult education student received $4430. Supplemental funding is also provided for vulnerable students.

As a result of our current enrolment projections, the Burnaby District will not be eligible for the Province’s Enrolment Decline and Funding Protection as the District would need to have a decline of 1% or more.

Roy went on to further explain that compared with the provincial per student funding, the Burnaby School District per student funding is the lowest in the province: the provincial average is $8750 per student, whereas the Burnaby funding per student is $7843. Moreover, 18 of the provinces smallest district receive a combined receive $12,258 per student (which—when combined—have an equivalent population to Burnaby schools).

Superintendent Kaardal added that funding received is based on a formula that can’t necessarily meet the needs of all districts because they are all unique.
Given the projected enrolment numbers, Roy Uyeno asserted that the School District is anticipating a 2014-

2015 operating grant of $192M from the Ministry of Education. This amount does not include any potential holdback funding. (For the 2013-2014 school year, $1.4M was received in holdback)
Other funding grants that the District is anticipating are pay equity, education guarantee funding for adults, one-time grants, which are estimated to be on par with what was received in the current education year. –
One grant in particular that the District is anticipating is the ELSA grant. This year $1.6 M was received and Burnaby has just negotiated a new contract with the Federal Government to continue this program; however, this grant funds are not reflected in the operating budget as they are restricted funds found in another budget. The 2014-2015 value is just over $2M.

Roy Uyeno then moved on to provide an explanation for the District’s expenditures within the operating budget:

72.8% of the budget is spent on salaries
17.3% of the budget is spent on employee benefits
9.9% of the budget is spent on services and supplies

The average provincial breakdown for expenditures differs slightly in the less is spent on salaries and more is spent on services and supplies:

70.8% of the budget is spent on salaries
17.9% of the budget is spent on employee benefits
11.3% of the budget is spent on services and supplies

A further breakdown of salaries was then provided. Of the 72.8% spent on salaries:

87% is spent on instruction;
10.2% is spent on operations and maintenance;
2.4% is spent on District administration; and
0.4% is spent on transportation.

In summary, the 2014-2015 budget is a “status quo operating budget,” which has a $6.9M shortfall in 2014-2015 to be offset by the $2.3M fund balance at the start of the school year. The 2014-2015 shortfall is up from the shortfall anticipated in the current fiscal year, projected at $5.7M.

And the total three year budget shows a continued shortfall in the following two year: in the 2015-2016 school year the shortfall equates to $8.1M and in the shortfall in the 2016-2017 school year is anticipated to be $9.1M.

Superintendent Kaardal added that each department and program within the District is also looking to find additional savings within their budgets to mitigate the operating budget shortfall. However, any savings found are not to sacrifice the quality of existing programs currently offered.

A parent asked if there was a consistent pattern with regard to the provincial holdback funding. Are they are trends that can assist with anticipatory budgeting? Superintendent Kaardal answer the amounts received are not consistent. At this point the School District does not know the Ministry’s plans for the holdback funding.

Superintendent Kaardal went on to explain that the District is working with its partner groups to identify and prioritize a list of potential cuts. Five would be the worst case scenario, which may include a reduction of services. However, the District aims to meet the shortfall by making small reductions in several areas versus the complete elimination of a service/program.

Another parent asked about international students and how they can assist the District’s operating budget shortfall. Superintendent Kaardal answer that currently international students generate $13.8M in revenue; however, there are limits to these markets. He added that the District also wants to ensure that we continue to have one of the best provincial programs for international students. Our current base of international students is already contributing to the operating budget. Without this revenue the funding shortfall would be much higher. Nonetheless, additional international students would not likely solve the funding shortfall.


3. Superintendent’s Report – Updates

Superintendent Kaardal addressed the current negotiations situation between the BCTF and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) who bargain on behalf of the 60 School Districts in the province. He advised that the Union conducted a strike action vote with its members, which received support. The vote was specific to Phase 1 job action, but it did not include an itemized list of actions included under this phase. To date, no strike notice has been issued, but the vote mandate last for the duration of the current school year. Kevin added that if any notice is issued, parents and stakeholders will be advised as soon as possible.

Superintendent Kaardal acknowledged that there are some differences in terms of response in this round of bargaining: Phase One job action will likely include things we have seen in previous rounds such as non-attendance at meetings (with the likely exclusion of safety meetings) and withdrawal from lunch and recess supervision. That would mean that administrators would need to seek permission to perform the duty of lunch supervision as exempt from struck work.
Again on the latter issue, the Chief negotiator for the BCPSEA has put out a letter indicating if any job action actualizes it will be different than instances in the education sector. Specifically this references the fact that the employer did not apply for an essential services mandate. The sector is still regarded as essential service and would therefore be governed by past rulings of the Labour Board if job action results. For example, in previous situations where essential service sectors have experienced job action for a period two-weeks, the Labour Board has not been viewed it as a complete disruption that would cause harm. By not applying for essential services the Government aims to put pressure on the Teachers’ Union.

The Provincial Government has also said that they would apply to the Labour Board to have the employer stop paying teachers’ benefits during any work stoppage and forward the costs to the Teachers’ Union with the aim to put additional pressure on the BCTF and bring the negotiations to a head more quickly.

There is still the hope for a successful (long term) agreement between the parties. Additional negotiations have been scheduled for April 1-3 and the District will provide parents with updates and appropriate.

A parent asked if there is job action what happens to the lost instruction time. Does it need to be made up? Superintendent Kaardal answered that students would not be required to make up any lost time. As it would be struck work, typically teachers do not need to make up the time lost. He then noted that if there was a prolonged work stoppage they district would make other arrangements for students. However, a long strike is not likely.

Another parent asked what happens if a work stoppage occurs during the international exam schedule. Superintendent Kaardal answered that administrators would have to facilitate the exam for students. To do so, they would have to seek permission first.

A parent then asked when the Griffin decision will likely be implemented. Superintendent Kaardal answered the decision is currently under appeal. And it’s likely that the decision will continue to be appealed by the parties up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Therefore, it will be a very long process. It’s possible that the parties will both accept the decision of the current appellant court, which may mean that the District will have to relook at the budget. In the interim the parties are also trying to reach a negotiated settlement on the issue given the potential costing tied to the decision.

4. Common Metro Calendar & Survey Results – Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Kaardal presented the DPAC reps with the same report that he gave the Board earlier this month. He advised the calendar is in draft form as it needs the Ministry’s approval. Kevin added the proposed calendar is also subject to a review of the recent two week spring break.

Superintendent Kaardal then reviewed the process to date for the common metro calendar, beginning in early 2013.

He reminded parents that in February 2014 the District proposed a 3 year calendar and conducted a survey from February 13 to March 6 to seek input from parents, students, District employees and other community members. Based on the results of the survey along with other input received from partner groups, the District made a recommendation to the Board of Education on March 11. Prior to March 31 the District was legally required to submit their calendar to the Ministry of Education. However, the District is still committed to conducting a calendar review in April as previously communicated.
Superintendent Kaardal then provided the rationale for the calendar that was submitted to the Ministry. In particular, he noted that:

  • the two week spring break accumulates a budget savings of $250K to assist with the funding shortfall;
  • moving to a three-year calendar also aligns with the District’s budget cycle;
  • common Metro District calendars is advantageous in terms of staff recruitment and retention; and
  • a three year calendar provide stability for working and planning with the District partners to provide services for families (e.g. City of Burnaby, childcare providers, etc.)

Superintendent Kaardal then spoke on the consultation process conducted with all stakeholders, including DPAC, DSAC, BTA, and CUPE. The general feedback received confirmed that all partner groups were open to the Board adopting a three year common Metro District calendar. However, some concerns were expressed through that feedback, which can be summarized into three categories:

  1. additional pressures on families to find childcare
  2. increased cost to families to fund childcare and/or community programs
  3. potential loss of learning

Both the BTA and CUPE also expressed concerns that there is reduced work for TTOCs and causal CUPE employees under the two week spring break as there are not being engaged to cover staff absences before and after a one week spring break.

The impact of the two-week spring break has also been assessed in other Districts and the research shows that there was no discernible loss in student learning or achievement. The Districts also noticed improved wellness of both students and District employees as determined by better attendance around spring break. Superintendent Kaardal then reiterated that it was recognized that the two-week break created a hardship on some families in these Districts to find childcare.

In terms of the responses received for this year versus the 2013 survey, fewer responses received this year. Overall 2,724 responses received in 2014, which included 2,050 responses from parents, students and community members and 674 responses from district staff members (based on voluntary identification from respondents). Over half of the respondents were elementary school parents, but geographically the responses were balanced across the community.

The result showed that:

64.5% of respondents were in favour of a two-week spring break
30.9% of respondents were in favour of a one-week spring break
4.6% of respondents had no preference
61.7% of respondents were in support of a common metro calendar
27.3% of respondents do not support a common metro calendar
11.1% of respondents did not indicate a preference

Therefore, the District made a recommendation to the Board of Education to adopt a three-year common metro calendar for the years 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, which include two-week spring breaks.

A parent asked if the district had been able to isolate the responses from elementary school parents to see if their answers were in line with the overall results. Superintendent Kaardal answered that this year’s survey didn’t allow for the District to isolate the responses of specific groups. However, the overall approval rates were higher with this survey and based on the percentages it appears the responses from elementary parents were in fact consistent with the supporting a two week spring break going forward.

5. Committee Reports / Questions & Answers

Committee reports attached to these minutes.

The Vice Chair asked if SPC reps were receiving the notice and motions for District policy. Some DPAC reps who are also SPC members advised that they hadn’t received them. Jen committed to follow up with Policy Committee on this issue. Kevin added that they will look into the matter and resolve.

The Vice Chair then raised another question regarding the PLNet and privacy concerns. She noted that there had been a couple articles in Victoria on this issue. Superintendent Kaardal answered that this privacy requirements were met within the RFP and that didn’t believe there was an issue. He added that one issue the District was aware of was between two competing products. Of those two products, Open School does not meet the RFP and is no longer running. The only product the meets the privacy requirement is the one the District has elected to use: MyEducation BC.

Jen followed up her question by asking if the education record was tied to the student provincial health record. Kevin answered that he would look into it and report back.

DPAC Executive member Dave Dye offered the data centres are located in Kamloops and therefore do not contravene the Canadian-based requirement in terms of data storage. Jen thanked Dave for his input, but added that her concern was related to how the files are linked and where parents can access information, etc. It was then agreed to address this issue at the next DPAC Executive meeting.

6. New Business / Show and Tell

A DPAC rep advised that her school PAC had been successful in recovering bank fees from their TD Bank. TD Bank contacted PACs by letter advising that they had misapplied fees for their accounts, which existed prior to 2004. In the letter they required PACs to contact the bank to make appropriate arrangements for the fee recovery. The DPAC rep added that her school had been able to recover $1500 from the Bank.

Alpha Secondary
Alpha Secondary is hosting a spring swap meet on April 12. Table space is available at $20 each. Further details are posted Craigslist or people can email the PAC. Parking may be difficult during the swap meet as Chinese school will be in session at Alpha at the same time.

Confederation Park
Confederation Park Elementary is putting on The Jungle Book at Michael J. Fox Theatre on April 17 at 1 PM and 7 PM. Tickets for the play are available through the school office at $5 each.

BCCPA Spring Conference & AGM
BCCPAC Spring Conference will be held Thursday evening, May 29th to Sunday June 1st at the Radisson Hotel in Richmond. Thursday evening Keynote Speaker will be Steve Cairns. The Friday schedule includes an hour with the Minister of Education. BCCPAC AGM (Annual General Meeting) will be held on the Saturday and will carry over to Sunday morning if necessary.

The full conference agenda is posted on the BCCPAC website at http://conference.bccpac.bc.ca/ along with the online registration form. Registration is now open. Schools wishing to send a representative to the conference may be eligible for 50% subsidy for conference registration fees from Burnaby DPAC, at one parent per school.

DPAC will review the resolutions put forward at the next DPAC general meeting as it is scheduled just before the conference.
Jen reminded DPAC reps to have their school PACs submit their proxy forms if they will not be attending the conference.

7. Next Meeting – Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7 PM

8. Meeting Adjournment

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:45 PM and thanked everyone for attending.

  • Connect! – www.burnabydpac.com – email your events to be published.
  • Communicate! – Email info@burnabydpac.com or chair@burnabydpac.com
  • Follow us on Facebook (Burnaby District Parent Advisory Council) and Twitter (Burnaby DPAC)
  • Please bing your coffee mug or water cup



Mar. 3, 2014 Meeting

  • District meeting with Burnaby Parks & Rec on February 19/14
  • Glenwood Elementary and Cascade Heights Elementary received $3000 playground grants from Burnaby Parks & Rec.
  • Review of the provincial McCreary Adolescent Health Survey findings. This survey given to approximately 30,000 students aged 12 to 19 last fall with 56 school districts across BC participating. Done every 5 years for students and asks a range of questions regarding physical and emotional health. Results specific to Burnaby are thoroughly reviewed by a District committee to ensure all areas of concern are addressed with prevention and intervention programming. Governments, health professionals, community programmers, parks and rec groups also use the data in addition to school districts for planning of services, policies and programs for youth. Areas of concern, provincially, include an increase in mental health issues and a larger percentage of obese youth. The entire report can accessed online at http://www.mcs.bc.ca/ under the heading “Latest Reports.”
  • Breakfast for Learning meeting recently attended by District Trustee Larry Hayes. This charity is one of the largest focused on child nutrition, supporting all of Canada, and partnered with Loblaws (Real Canadian Superstore in the West) to support and sustain breakfast, lunch and snack programs in schools. Currently seven Burnaby schools take part in the program: Edmonds, Maywood, Stride, Clinton, Armstrong, Burnaby North Secondary and Byrne Creek Secondary.
  • Tourism Burnaby Executive Director Matthew Coyne has resigned and has joined up with the Take a Risk Foundation for Youth at risk. Take a Hike currently works with students who have troubles with drug or alcohol addiction, physical and mental abuse, criminal activities, mental challenges such as low self-esteem, disorders, depression, trauma etc. at John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver. There is also an adventure-based learning program that included Wilderness First-Aid, hiking camping, snow-shoeing, rock-climbing, kayaking etc. with therapy and education. This program works in partnership with school boards and Matthew is hoping to expand in Burnaby.

February 2014 minutes

COUNCIL D.P.A.C.MEETING NOTES​ Schou Education Centre 4041 Canada Way Burnaby, B.C. DATE: ​Monday, February 24, 2014 TIME: ​​7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Schools Attending: TO BE UPDATED Brentwood North: Alpha, Confederation Park, Capitol Hill, Montecito, Sperling, Kingsway South: Burnaby South, Edmonds, Central West: Burnaby Central, Buckingham, Lakeview, Moscrop, Cascade Heights, Inman, Cariboo Lougheed: Lyndhurst, Seaforth, Stoney Creek, University Highlands District Staff: Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools; Gina Niccoli-Moen, Deputy Superintendent Board of Education Trustees and their zones: Baljinder Narang, (Kingsway South), James Wang (Central West Zone), Meiling Chia (Kingsway South) Larry Hayes (Cariboo Lougheed), Gary Wong (Brentwood North), DPAC Executive: Katherine Robertson, Chair (Central West) , Jen Mezei, Past and Vice Chair (Cariboo Lougheed), Gjoa Andrichuk, Secretary (Central West) Members at Large Dave Dye (Cariboo Lougheed), Herman Louie (Central West), Romy Bacchioni, (Kingsway South), Jocelyn Schonekess, Treasurer (Brentwood North), Kristin Schnider, Secretary (Cariboo Lougheed),. 1. District Comments on Job action Presented by: • Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools Kevin spent a few minutes telling the attendees about Bill 22 (including LIF) a replacement of previous legislation and how it was not sufficient. The 2001 agreement language is now in play. Districts are looking at that agreement and impact on designations already made for students and implications should the 2001 agreement affect the designations or not. An Appeal was filed Feb 21. Gov’t has asked for a stay until appeal is heard. Expect decision on whether stay allowed on Feb 26. 2. Pink Shirt Day Presentation: Presented by: • Travis Price, Founder The parents in attendance had the pleasure of hearing how Founder, Travis Price of Halifax, Nova Scotia, overcame his struggles to conquer the incessant bullying he experienced throughout his life. His very moving talk reminds us to be there for our children finding ways to support them in whatever challenges them. His website http://www.pinkshirtday.ca/ has ideas for how to get involved or get help. Executive Report/Old Business – Katherine Robertson In the interest of getting attendees home safely in the accumulating snow, we ended our meeting after Travis’s presentation. 3. Next Meeting – Monday, March 31, 2014​​​​​​ 4. Meeting Adjourned​​​​​​​ 8:30 pm Thank you all for participating. Please join us next month and bring a friend! NOTES FROM THE CHAIR: • Connect! – www.burnabydpac.com – email your events to be published. • Communicate! – Email info@burnabydpac.com or chair@burnabydpac.com​ • Follow us on o Facebook : Burnaby District Parent Advisory Council o Twitter : Burnaby DPAC • Please bring your coffee mug or water cup. DPAC Objectives: 1. To serve as an advisory group to the School Board. 2. To assist in decision-making with regard to school district programs, policies and practices through information, input and recommendations. 3. To provide a formal process for the Superintendent and district staff to receive input and feedback regarding district programs and operations. 4. To act as a liaison between the School Board and the community. 5. To provide parent representatives with information on educational programs, operations and issues. 6. To provide a mechanism for local parent/school groups to share and discuss educational issues and communicate with other parent groups.

January 2014 Minutes

2014-01-27 DPAC General Meeting Minutes



Schou Education Centre
4041 Canada Way
Burnaby, B.C.
DATE: January 27, 2014
TIME: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Schools Attending:

Brentwood North: Alpha, Confederation Park, Gilmore, Lochdale, Montecito, Sperling
Cariboo Lougheed: Burnaby Mountain, Cameron, Forest Grove, Lyndhurst, Stoney Creek, University Highlands, Twelfth Avenue
Central West: Burnaby Central, Buckingham, Lakeview, Moscrop, Cascade Heights, Inman, Marlborough
Kingsway South: Burnaby South, Nelson, Suncrest, Byrne Creek, Edmonds, Taylor Park

District Staff:

Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools; Gina Niccoli-Moen, Deputy Superintendent; Roberto Bombelli, Assistant Superintendent.

Board of Education Trustees and Their Zones:

Larry Hayes (Cariboo Lougheed); Harman Pandher (Central West); Baljinder Narang, (Kingsway South); Meiling Chia (Kingsway South).

DPAC Executive: 

Katherine Robertson, Chair (Central West); Romy Bacchioni, Member at Large (Kingsway South ); Dave Dye, Member at Large (Cariboo Lougheed); Herman Louie, Member at Large (Central West); Kristin Schnider, Secretary (Cariboo Lougheed); Jocelyn Schonekess, Treasurer (Brentwood North).

Regrets: Jen Mezei, Past and Vice Chair (Cariboo Lougheed); Gjoa Andrichuk, Secretary (Central West).

1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and introduced the District Staff, Trustees and DPAC Executive members present.

2. School Calendar – Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Kaardal advised that the District is soliciting input from DPAC on the drafted framework before they set the calendar process for this year and post any future calendars in the next few weeks. The current process for the 2014 spring break was derived through consultation process that took place last year. During that engagement, staff promised to work with community to
support childcare programs and services during the two-week break to offset some parent community concerns regarding childcare spaces, etc. during the additional week of spring break.

Gina Niccoli-Moen further provided that the District is currently working with childcare providers that offer spaces within the School District to determine which facilities will be open and have additional spaces for students during spring break. Once the list of providers is completed it will be posted on the District website. The District is also working with Burnaby Parks and Rec in offering additional programming throughout the two weeks in Community Centres. The District is also looking at possibility of opening one of the District’s community schools and teaming with the City of Burnaby and More Sports to offer day camps. Additional information on programs will be posted by the website as soon as it’s available.

Superintendent Kaardal then acknowledged that another provision of the current calendar pilot was a commitment from staff to conduct a review in April after the first two-week spring break so that adjustments could be made for subsequent spring breaks. Last year, following the consultation process, staff were unable to recommend the second year of the pilot two-week calendar to the Board due to lack of consensus within Metro Vancouver Districts on the alignment of dates. Consequently, the Ministry deadline to submit next year’s school calendar is March 31, which comes before the conclusion of this year’s spring break. This makes an April review problematic as 2015 dates will have already been submitted. Kevin then affirmed that the District can do the review regardless, and if there’s a recommendation that the Board has already accepted for the 2014-2015 school year (and potentially beyond) the District can then reassess and either affirm that decision or reopen the calendar consultation process for 2014-2015 school year based on the results of that review.

Last year there were two primary reasons for the two-week spring break: (1) cost pressures and the budget savings resulting from the two-week spring break, and (2) alignment with Metro Schools Districts, which assists with recruitment and retention of staff. This year, the District determined that a one-year cycle with uncertainty afterward makes it challenging for community partners to set business plans and service plans (e.g. childcare and additional programming during
spring break). A three-year plan is more conducive for their needs and also fits the District’s budget cycle, creating some stability in understanding savings based on cost pressures, including negotiated salary increases, infrastructure, etc.

Process for 2014-2015 school calendar:

  • February 1 – post proposed calendar to District’s website (3-year calendar to be proposed)
  • Conduct a survey February 11 to 28 via DPAC and PAC listserves
  • A date is still to be confirmed for an open community discussion, like the one conducted last year
  • March 11 – recommendation to the Board on a three-year calendar
  • Calendar review to take place April 22 – May 3, which the provision to reopen the discussion for following year if results warrant
  • Affirm Board decision or plan for new 2014-2015 calendar

Superintendent Kaardal then reviewed the tentative three-year calendar, noting that 7 of 10 Metro Vancouver districts will have aligned dates in 2014-2015 and in 2015-2016 all districts will be aligned. For the 2014-2015 year, spring break is tentatively scheduled for March 9-20.
For the 2015-2016 year, spring break is tentatively scheduled for March 14-25, which includes Good Friday. So an additional school closure day is proposed for Feb 5.

A parent then asked about the additional closure day noticed in November ’14. Superintendent Kaardal acknowledged that there may be an additional closure day in the 2014-2015 year for the purposes of alignment with the other Metro Districts, who included it to allow for a long weekend in conjunction with Remembrance Day.

Another parent then asked why the 2014-2015 spring break occurred a week earlier than in the following year. Superintendent Kaardal answered that it was a matter of alignment with other Metro Districts.

Superintendent Kaardal noted that they have not included any PRO-D days in the proposed calendar yet. These dates will be provided in the finalized calendars. A parent then asked if there was any intention to align PRO-D days with other districts. Kevin answered that is not a priority. Instead the aim is for internal alignment of at least 4 days to allow for staff development opportunities within families of schools in zones. 

Table discussions were then conducted and DPAC reps provided feedback on the previous consultation process as well as concerns/questions for moving forward with the proposed three-year proposal.

3. District Programs in Burnaby – Gina Niccoli-Moen

Gina Niccoli summarized the January parent information sessions on District Programs:

• Jan. 15- a parent information session was held on multi-age cluster class (MAC) program, which will be offered next September at Capitol Hill for grades 4-5 and 6-7. Session was well attended, and the Power-Point presentation from that session is available on the District website. Application deadline is Feb. 19.

• Jan. 16 – information session was held on the French Immersion program. The registration process for all District language programs begins Feb. 1-28. Applications are available online.

• Jan. 23 – information session was held on the Mandarin Language program. The program is now in its fifth year at Forest Grove. The program continues to have strong enrolment. The presentation from that session is also available on the District website.

• Jan. 29 – information session on the AP Capstone program at Schou. Presentation materials will be available on the District website following the session. The program is for students going into grades 11 and 12 in the 2014-2015 school year.

Questions on District Programs can be directed to Wanda Mitchell or Ron Hall at the Burnaby District School Office.

Career Night also took place at Burnaby Central regarding the ACE-IT and apprenticeship programs. The event was well attended by parents and staff. Program and registration information is available on the District website. Questions on the ACE-IT program can be directed to Donna Scott at the School District Office.

4. Digital Literacy and Citizenship – Roberto Bombelli, Assistant Superintendent

Roberto provided detail around the preliminary discussion and planning around digital literacy: the District Learning Tech Team and the Burnaby Online Team have come together to discuss how Burnaby can work with kids and parents around digital literacy and citizenship. This discussion is tied to improvements to the network. These plans are still in a draft form. By June the District anticipates having a more solidified plan for implementation next fall.

First stage of the planning looked at the definition of digital literacy (DL) and digital
citizenship (DC) to create a common vernacular:

  • DL – being able to use technology in the work kids are doing both at school and at home
  • DC – demonstrating appropriate behaviours and responsibility when using technology

The team aims to engage kids using technology. The team acknowledged that there is a bridge between what students do at home and what they do at school, and more importantly that kids are already using technology on their own.

Plan goals include:

  • Have parents and students sign and understand the District Network Acceptable Use Policy
  • Have staff and parents understand their roles and responsibilities in supporting this with kids
  • Engage students in understanding DC through meaningful activities at home and at school
  • Provide cross-curricular units and lessons to address DL
  • Provide access to these resources both at school and online

Core topics that will be included in DL and DC education materials:

  • Safety
  • Information Literacy
  • Self Image and Identity
  • Cyberbullying
  • Creative Credit and Copyright
  • Relationships and Communication
  • Privacy and Security
  • Digital Footprint

Proposed implementation strategies will be broken into two sections: one for K-6 and one for 7-12. The rationale for this breakdown is that there is a real shift in how kids use technology when they get to grade 7 versus earlier school years. In addition the resources tend to be different for one group versus the other.

For the 7-12 section, the team is looking at developing an interactive course in partnership with SFU. The District is also in consultation with Jesse Miller to look at various resources to address social media safety with kids. The online courses will begin in grade 7 through Burnaby Online and will involve modular pieces that can be exchanged or adapted to new and merging media technologies. Credit will be granted for completed courses.

The team is also developing a layout for the scope and sequence so that materials aren’t repeated year after year. This will allow for a much more intentional delivery of DL and DC.

The plans for DL and DC involve a partnership with Microsoft and the use of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft has agreed to provide a user account for all students free of charge. The user accounts will provide students with an email address and cloud storage on Microsoft servers. However, the plan is not to give email addresses to students. Each student will first have to understand online
safety and parental consent will be required.

Another component of the DL and DC plan is to incorporate parent and community involvement, such as school websites, newsletters, etc.

Following a table talk session, Roberto call questions on the proposed plans for DL and DC:

Question: When will cloud storage be implemented for students (via Microsoft Office 365)?
Roberto answered the while the infrastructure will be ready in the next few weeks, implementation will not begin until at least September so that the deployment can coincide with the delivery of the DL and DC education.

Question: Where are the Microsoft servers located?
Roberto confirmed that Microsoft’s servers are in the States, which does involve some other issues. As a result, staff will not be permitted use the software due to privacy issues.

Question: Does the current network upgrade in involve a bandwidth expansion?
Roberto answered that the upgrade has entailed a number of different infrastructure upgrades, including new switches, the Provincial Learning Network (PLNet) in partnership with TELUS. That said, some of the schools are already have the existing bandwidth required whereas some schools will also receive this upgrade.

Question: Will students be able to work on the online courses during school hours?
Roberto answered that time will be allotted during school hours in grade 7 for students to work on course materials with school equipment. This should address any concerns on students with limited or no access to the internet at home. Some thought has also been given to using some of the study time available to high school students to facilitate online instruction/learning.

Roberto concluded, noting that the District will continue to provide DPAC with information as it develops.

5. Chair Report

Katherine was pleased to report that there are several parent education events ongoing throughout the District. In part this is due to a number of schools taking advantages of the DPAC grant for parent education. Katherine then quickly reviewed the grant guidelines and procedures and reminded parents that further details are available on the Burnaby DPAC website. A number of the parent education events are also the result of PACs finding free speakers and opening attendance up to other Burnaby School District parents. Katherine then reviewed some upcoming events for parents, including:

  • F.O.R.C.E. Society webinar on parenting and ADHD at Byrne Creek from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm on January 28
  • “Balancing Our Minds: Tools for Youth Wellness” – A free one-day workshop for high school students, organized by BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services in partnership with the Vancouver Canucks from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Tuesday, February 11 at Rogers Arena. For further details, please visit: http://canucks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=95567
  • “Rethinking Dyslexia” – movie night for parents and teachers regarding dyslexic learning styles from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on February 13 at Heritage Woods Secondary in Port Moody (1300 David Ave). Advance registration required. Admission: $3 for one person, $5 for two. For further details, please visit: http://www.nwdpac.ca/?author=21
  • “The Gift of Dyslexia” – free information talk by Sue Hall who will explain the cause of a multitude of so-called learning disabilities for teens and adults, the dynamics and the solution from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm on February 11 at McGill Library (4595 Albert St). For further details, please visit: http://www.burnabynow.com/events#/?i=1


6. Correspondence/Committee Reports

DTAC – DPAC representative at last meeting was Herman Louie
DTAC received several questions from parents, which were addressed at the last meeting. Herman then summarized the answers for these questions received:

• WIFI in schools – some new articles were sent to DTAC regarding WIFI in schools. The District will review these articles and add them to the District’s report, which is available online.

• Technology upgrades – upgrades in all elementary schools were supposed to be implemented by January. However, there have been some delays as a result of hardware issues with certain suppliers. Implementation in elementary schools is now expected to take place by spring break.

• FSAs – questions were raised with regard to computers that had been moved around to facilitate the FSAs. When these machines moved and rebooted, the initial log–on took considerably longer than expected. However, subsequent logons did not experience the same delays.

• iPads – PACs forwarded questions to DTAC and what the District provides for iPads. DTAC answered that they are decentralizing, allowing schools to control some of those accounts. Therefore some of the software at individual schools are being shared through those iTunes accounts. Parents were also asking for technical recommendations on approved applications for personal iPads. However, there are no District approved applications. DTAC suggests that parents
speak to the school’s administration on what aps are used within the child’s school to seek guidance. Of note, the District Learning Tech Team also has blog that goes out to teachers. Part of the blog reviewed applicable aps and good aps available for classroom use. There is no District recommendation per se, but this blog information is made available to teachers and administrators.

Metro DPAC Dinner last Thursday – Attended by Katherine Robertson and Dave Dye
Dave reported that the discussion was on Parent engagement discussed. They Metro DPACs also discussed best practices for engaging different cultural communities within schools and soliciting their involvement. Going forward the DPACs will continue to share best practices in these areas:
One school seeks contact information from all kindergarten parents during intake interviews, but instead of assigning responsibilities to these parents, they wait until the following year to seek their support. During the kindergarten year, these parents are provided with information on programs in the school and activities of the PAC so that they have a good understanding of what roles they can take on in subsequent years.

Burnaby DPAC is also working on way to engage ELL parents in DPAC and the schools. DPAC encourages any PACs that have had success in this area to share their strategies with DPAC and other schools.

Youth and Community Services – Jocelyn Schonekess advised that there have been no committee meetings since the fall. The next meeting is scheduled for early February.

7. Show and Tell

Lochdale Elementary – Hosting a parent education evening on February 11, 2014 at 6pm
Anti-Bullying: A Parent’s Guide by Sue Dorey. Advance registration is required via EventBrite. Childcare is also available.

Gilmore Elementary – hosting a free parent education evening on social media awareness with Jesse Miller on January 30th 6:30 to 8:30 pm (geared to elementary students) RSVP to gccpacsd41@gmail.com

Gilmore Elementary – hosting an anti-bullying seminar on February 18th at 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Kitchener Elementary – hosting “Literacy Strategies & Resources for your Child” with Teacher-Librarian Patricia Finlay on January 27 at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Alpha Secondary – hosting an open house for incoming grade 8 parents and students as well as students and parents interested in AP programs for grades 9-12 on January 29 at 6:30 pm

Burnaby Mountain – hosting a free parent on social media awareness with Jesse Miller on March 4 (geared to high school students). Advance registration is required through EventBrite. Link will be posted to DPAC website shortly

DPAC – as discussed last May, DPAC has purchased the Emergency Preparedness materials from the North Van. School District. The materials have come on CDs, which are only to be used internally by Burnaby School District’s PACs and the materials cannot be posted online. PACs requesting the
information can contact the executive and a copy of the materials will be provided.

Forest Grove – hosting an information evening on social media with different speakers. Seating is limited. Further details to follow. Forest Grove is also organizing Chinese New Year celebrations to take place Jan. 31 at the school, show-casing the students in the Mandarin Immersion program.
Forest Grove has been approved for District funding to construct a labyrinth, which will be installed this April. Forest Grove will be hosting their first emergency mock drill with parents and students in April (including parents signing out students).

Stoney Creek – selling tickets to a Vancouver Giants game on Feb. 16 against Kamloops to raise funds for the school. Tickets are $16 each and are available through the school’s community office. Orders and payments must be received by Feb. 5.

8. New Business/Q & A

Question: Problems with School Heating During Weekend Activities
A parent from Alpha advised that she is a volunteer with Canadian Blood Services, who hold blood clinics in the school every 8 weeks on weekends. However, the past two blood clinics have been hindered by the lack of heat in the cafeteria. She asked who she needs to contact to ensure that the heat is turned on earlier as the school’s custodian has no control over this matter. Superintendent Kaardal advised the parent to outline the issues in an email and send them to him and Greg Frank at the School District Office.

Question: Training for Head Lice Screening Volunteers
A parent advised that the school is forming a volunteer head lice screening committee. He asked where other schools seek the training for these volunteers. Katherine advised that at her school it is parents training parents. Dave added that this training is not provided through the Public Health Unit and they’re not able to assist. However, the Fraser Health Authority website has some training materials available on their website to assist parents.

Question: Future of Letter Grades in Burnaby
A parent asked if the Burnaby School District is considering dropping letter grades. Superintendent Kaardal answered that at some point, yes; it is on the radar. The Ministry is currently considering other options to communicate learning to parents. As a District, no strategy has yet been adopted. However, before doing so there will be consultation with the BTA and parents. Presently there is a joint conversation underway with the teachers’ union, but there will be no practice changes this year.

Question: Implementation of New Curriculum
A parent asked if there was any update on the implementation of the new curriculum. Superintendent Kaardal answered that they are still taking input at this point with set determined end date. However, he anticipates that this process will continue into the next school year. He added that he will provide DPAC with any timelines if received.

Question: Metro Vancouver School District Merger
A parent referenced recent media attention on the possibility of merger of New West, Coquitlam and Burnaby school districts and asked if there was any potential for such a merger. Superintendent Kaardal answered that the media story was based largely on a few comments made by parents, which new spun to create media hype. Currently there is no position or thought on such a concept by either Burnaby or the Ministry.

Question: District’s Non-Renewal of the Movie Screening License
A parent asked about the District’s recent decision to allow their movie screening license to lapse with ACF. She asked why the decision had been made as it has significant financial impacts on PACs’ abilities to organize family movie nights at schools. Superintendent Kaardal answered that license formerly held was based on the intention of both the licensee and the licenser that it would be used for
classroom use or free use. It was not intended to be used for fundraisers, which has often been the case when used by PACs (either for admission or concession revenues). If used for the movie screening as a fundraiser, there is a cost associated, which will now be incumbent upon PACs to fund. Kevin Kaardal suggested that District staff could provide further details at the next DPAC meeting.

Based on information from ACF website, all licensing options allow for the unlimited presentation of commercially available movies from the studios they represent … Movies can be obtained from any legal source. This means, you do not have to rent or buy the movies through ACF.

ACF offers three pricing options for licenses:

  • Option A (12 Month License) involves a fee of $0.75 cents per student, with a minimum charge of $350 + taxes. This option includes one complimentary pre-release movie rental during the term of the license.
  • Option B (12 Month License) involves a fee of $0.95 cents per student, with a minimum charge of $650 + taxes. This option includes three complimentary pre-release movie rentals during the term of the license.
  • Option C (12 Month License) involves a fee of $1.30 cents per student, with a minimum charge of $1,050 + taxes. This option includes unlimited rentals of any pre-release movie rental during the term of the license.

Question: BC Supreme Court Decision Regarding Class Size and Composition
A parent asked when the changes will take effect with respect court’s order to return class sizes and composition to the 2002 limits. Superintendent Kaardal answered that the court’s ruling determined that the Province’s legislation was no longer in effect. However, school districts are waiting on the responses for the lawyers for both parties. He added we’ll need to wait and see what happens between the Government, the BCTF and teachers. The implications of this decision could take months or years.

With the recognition that class sizes have been kept relatively low in Burnaby, a parent then asked what impact of the ruling would have in Burnaby. Superintendent Kaardal answered that if the ruling is upheld there may be challenges in terms of class composition in the Burnaby school district.

9. Next Meeting – Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7 PM

10. Meeting Adjourned
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM and thanked everyone for attending.



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