Author Archives: Jen Mezei

Focus Group on Post Secondary Resources with the Ministry of Advanced Education

Tuesday March 28, 7pm at Burnaby Mountain Secondary School.

Register HERE.

The Ministry of Advanced Education is working to better understand the student journey from high school to post-secondary, and the resources and tools required to help student and their supports make this transition. One of these resources is EducationPlannerBC, an initiative to consolidate online post-secondary resources, enabling students to search for programs, compare admission and tuition requirements, and apply directly to the public post-secondary institution(s) of their choice through a common online application platform.

The Provincial Government’s Service Design team is visiting post-secondary institutions, high schools, counselling offices and parent advisory councils, conducting user research to validate assumptions and make recommendations for subsequent EducationPlannerBC development beyond 2017.

During the approximately 1 hour long PAC session, we will lead brainstorming exercises on your top areas of concern when talking with students about post-secondary, what resources you use to support your children and what might help make those conversations easier.


Burnaby DPAC supports the return of funds to districts

Burnaby DPAC Media Release 2016-05-31website

May 31, 2016

Burnaby, BC – The Burnaby DPAC supports the BC Ministry of Education decision today to return $25 million in mandated administrative savings back to classrooms across the province.

“We hope that some of the funds redistributed to Burnaby will be used to address the issues and concerns that were brought forward by school representatives and parents during our district budget consultation process last month such as increasing counsellor time, more supports for special needs students, and increases to custodial hours to provide coverage for custodial absences”, says Jen Mezei, Burnaby DPAC Chair.  “Unfortunately, the $25 million that is going back to our public education system is a small proportion of what has been cut provincially over the last five years”.

Underfunding was also an issue that was voiced at the BCCPAC AGM earlier this month, where provincial parents from across BC strongly supported a resolution for BCCPAC to advocate for  the total amount of administrative savings to be returned to district operating budgets.

“Although we applaud the government’s latest efforts to restore cuts from public education, it will only bring temporary relief to the chronic underfunding of BC’s public schools”, says Kristin Schnider, DPAC Executive member.  “A longer term funding strategy is needed to adequately meet the diverse learning needs of all students in BC.”



Dean Goodman from Ministry to Present at DPAC Meeting Nov 30

DPAC Reps,

Due to the issues with district email, we are posting the agenda for Monday’s meeting here:  2015-11 Agenda General.

Dean Goodman, Director-Accountability, Ministry of Education will present on the changes to the Accountability Framework.  After the presentation, Heather Hart, Assistant Superintendent will discuss what will be happening this transition year and the timelines and parameters that will guide planning of the the new school planning process at the district level.  We will be having table top discussion to provide parent input as to be used to help inform the district framework.

Please invite your current and last year’s SPC members to attend this meeting if they are interested.


Curriculum Redesign FAQ

With the new K-9 curriculum being used in some classrooms this year and full implementation scheduled for the 2016/17 school year, parents are asking why and how the BC curriculum is changing.

The new curriculum will support the development of skills students need to be successful after graduation such as critical thinking and communication skills.  The new curriculum will have more emphasis on concepts, competencies and processes.

 Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation on Changing Education Paradigms is an excellent video that explores why education systems around the world should be revamped to fit our modern world and to better meet the needs of students.  The Video is available here.

The BC Ministry of Education has produced a FAQ that explains some common questions regarding the new curriculum and is available here: Curriculum Redesign FAQ

The Ministry has also produced a presentation that explains what will change and what will stay the same for each curriculum subject area.  The presentation is available here.


PAC 101 and PAC Finances Workshops

Thank you for making our PAC 101 and PAC Finances workshops another success!  We had over 130 attendees who visited 14 Vendors and sampled culinary offerings from Burnaby Central’s ACE-it Chef’s Training program.

The presentations and handouts are available here:

2015-10-06 PAC Finances

2015-10-06 PAC 101

models of decision making


SD41 Budget Parent Survey

The Burnaby DPAC (District parent Advisory Council) is conducting a survey on potential cuts to the SD41 Burnaby School District budget for 2015/16. Deadline for the survey is April 20 midnight, and survey results will be used by DPAC to advise the District on parent and PAC priorities.

We invite all Burnaby parents and residents to take the survey HERE.
The Burnaby School District is facing a $2.4 million shortfall in the 2015/16 school year if the status quo budget is followed. In other words, if nothing were to change in the running of the district (and staffing, support and service levels from this year were to continue), the district would face a $2.4 million deficit. By law, school districts must submit a balanced budget to the province, and the Burnaby School District has prepared a draft of potential budget adjustments and is looking for DPAC, PAC and parent input before the final is approved.
Included in the total shortfall is $1.2 million in administrative savings (Burnaby’s portion of $23 million administrative efficiencies announced in the Provincial Budget). These savings must be on-going and sustainable, must be confined to non-instructional budgets and cannot have direct impact on the classroom.
Other budget adjustments that have been put forward by district staff include reductions to Librarian time at elementary and secondary and reductions to Distributed learning and Continuing Education staffing allocations.

Parent Information Evening – Response to Intervention, March 30

Response to Intervention – Meeting the Diverse needs of all Learners
Burnaby School District is moving toward a unified system of education that provides a framework for meeting the needs of each learner. A unified system of education creates a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by student outcome data.

Deborah Simak, Director of Instruction, will familiarize parents with Response to Intervention (RTI), a
multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning or behavior needs. Deborah will introduce the research behind RTI and look at why districts across the province are moving to this systematic and data-driven approach.

Deborah will explain how RTI is integral to the Burnaby School District’s Framework for Meeting the Needs of Each Learner, and how this framework is used to support the diverse needs of students with examples from Burnaby schools practicing RTI today.

Eventbrite - (2015) Response to Intervention

Parent Information Evening – Fostering Independence

Registration is now open for the March 25 PIE – Fostering independence.

Elizabeth Gardner, District Vice Principal-Learning Support Services will share focused work the Burnaby School District is doing with Learning Support Teachers, EAs and classroom teachers to assess, teach and develop independence so that our students with special needs can spend the majority of their time focusing on learning and social life within the classroom and school.

The presentation will cover:

  • Why independence is so critical.
  • How we identify the skills needed for our students/children to become more independent.
  • How we teach those skills.
  • How we fade supports so that the student/child is able to do things without adult support.
  • What parents do at home to support developing independence.

Eventbrite - (2015) Fostering Independence