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Our Voice is a magazine published twice a year by
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC).

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Submit articles or ideas for our next issue.
Contact:  info@bccpac.bc.ca

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Our Voice advertising request form 2017

BCCPAC Mail Out Insert request_form

Current issues can be obtained:

  • with a membership, and
  • an individual subscription (i.e., if you contact the BCCPAC office).

Back issues are available for viewing or downloading:

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Highlights from this issue:

  • Meet the New Minister of Education – The Honorable Mike Bernier
  • Drug Ed
  • Energy Drinks and Kids Don’t Mix
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Highlights from this issue:

  • A Calm, Alert and Happy Child
  • Improving the K-12 Accountability Framework
  • The Teacher Regulation Brand: An information Resource for BC Parents
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Inside this issue:

  • Family Dynamics: The Microcosm of School Functioning
  • How to Raise Funds Through Local Grants
  • Who is Wilma Clark?

Inside this issue:

  • Steve Cairns’ Parents Are Partners
  • Board Member Highlights
  • Truth and Reconciliation

Inside this issue:

  • Supporting Children in Care
  • Education Transformation
  • Truth and Reconciliation
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Inside this issue:

  • What the Heck is a Proxy?
  • Rural DPACs: Going the Distance
  • Crisis in Public Education: What the Evidence Says
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Inside this issue:

  • Does your child’s backpack measure up?
  • Mobile Devices
  • Stability In Public Education
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Inside this issue:

  • Interview with BCPSEA
  • What To Do About Emotions?
  • High Energy Drinks for Kids
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Inside this issue:

    • Night of Family Science

 

  • Anxiety in Children

 

  • Post-Secondary Options
  • Parent Communities
  • Ethics in Parenting
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Inside this issue:

  • Questions to Ask Trustee Candidates
  • Healthy Packed Lunches
  • Think Like a Beaver
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Inside this issue:

  • Finding and Sustaining Quality Parent Leadership
  • Assessment – A Decade of Discussion
  • Focus on Suspension – A Resource for Schools
  • Understanding the Rules of Culture
  • Special Education—PAC/DPACs make a difference in Special Education
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Inside this issue:

  • Learning in the 21st Century
  • Shake Out BC’s Earthquake Drill
  • New IEP Resource for Parents
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Inside this issue:

  • How Education Could Save Canada Billions
  • Number One Killer of Teens
  • Parents Talk About Individual Education Planning
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Inside:

  • Fall Conference Emphasizes Student Success
  • Is Canada Losing Its Edge in E-learning?
  • More Physical Activity = Student Academic Success
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Inside this issue:

  • From Then to Now: PACs Are Our Grassroots
  • Five Mindsets of Parent Leaders
  • Challenging Parents to Manage Screen Time
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Inside this issue:

  • A Network for Parents Who Want a Learning System
  • What if There Was no BCCPAC?
  • Anxiety, Not Your Average Childhood Ailment?
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Inside this issue:

  • Technology a “Double-Edged Sword”
  • Tackling Topics at PACs Before They “Supersize”
  • Helping Refugee Students Adjust to School
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Inside this issue:

  • Supporting Student Success: Working Together in BC Public Schools
  • Membership: A Choice and Right
  • Healthy Schools: Healthy Living at Ashton Creek Elementary
  • Questions & Answers: Commonly Asked Questions of BCCPAC’s Member Support
  • ICBC New Driver Training Incentive Changing March 31, 2007
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Inside this issue:

  • Supporting BCCPAC “Grassroots” by Developing Parent Leadership
  • Budget Process to Get Your Input
  • Challenging Ourselves to Seek the Parent Voice
  • The Value of Parent Involvement in Education
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Inside this issue:

  • Results of Playground Survey
  • Helping Kids Bounce Back
  • Come and Get a Piece of the PIE
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Inside this issue:

  • BCCPAC undertakes governance audit
  • Immigration to BC: the changing cultural mosaic
  • Net a dangerous place, parents learn
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Inside this issue:

  • Advocacy: Dealing with Transitions
  • September Checklist For PACs
  • Ways to be Involved in Your School
  • Simple Tips For Healthier Lunches

Our schools should be safe and welcoming places, where students can learn in an environment free from bullying, harassment, intolerance, discrimination and violence. We all play a role in helping to ensure our schools are safe places, and one way to do this is by working to prevent bullying among our children and youth.
This guide for parents outlines how we can work together to ensure our children are part of a safe and respectful school community. We can achieve this by:

  • Helping our children recognize when they are experiencing or participating in bullying;
  • Taking steps to end bullying by working with staff at schools and representatives of community-based organizations and
  • Improving our school’s culture so that every student feels a sense of security, belonging and well-being.

Research shows that children who have been bullied or who have bullied others are at greater risk of emotional and social issues. That’s why it’s so important to intervene appropriately and quickly if we suspect that bullying is taking place.

This guide offers advice for parents whose children are the targets of bullying, as well as for parents of children who have witnessed bullying or who have bullied others. Our goal is to help you gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and to suggest strategies for how you can work with your child and their school to come to a solution.

We hope that you find this guide to be a useful resource, giving you the tools you need to talk about bullying with your children and take action to seek a positive solution.

2014 Labour Dispute Survey Results are available for member review at this time. Should you have any questions please feel free to email the BCCPAC office who will be more than happy to forward your inquiry on to a board member.

This survey was sent to the 1867 e-mails listed as member contacts taken from the 2013-2014 membership forms.

From this, we received 375 responses from PACs and DPACs located across BC. We had 10 people explicitly opt out of this and future surveys. 68 e-mails sent bounced.

Should your PAC not have received this survey:

1) Please ensure that your PAC/DPAC is a member of BCCPAC. We do not send surveys to non-members.

2) If your PAC/DPAC is a member, please ensure that you are the listed contact for your PAC/DPAC as submitted on your membership form.

3) If your e-mails are being automatically forwarded to you from another e-mail, you will need to respond to the survey from the e-mail address that it was originally sent to and not from the e-mail address you received it in. These survey e-mails cannot be forwarded.

4) Please contact the BCCPAC office if you have questions or problems or if you did not receive this survey and felt you should have.

Additionally, we have some issues with the survey provider, Survey Monkey, which may have resulted in some survey invitations not being delivered because of more aggressive spam filters.

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BCCPAC has compiled a list of current and useful references for parents and students when facing conflict. Our aim is to empower the individual by providing them with the necessary information to take the steps to resolve their individual issues.

For additional resources and links please visit our

Conflict Resolution Resource Page

The BCCPACs Universal Concerns Procedure was set out as a parent friendly resource that can be used as a discussion tool when parents are working with district staff on revamping their district complaints policies and can be used as a starting off point or discussion material.

BCCPAC Universal Concerns Procedure

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Easy Separation Dealing with the first days of school

The video was produced by the UBC Anxiety Research Project and AnxietyBC.  We developed it to help parents with easy separation during the transition to kindergarten

A sample monthly report template for PAC treasurers.

In March 2012 the government passed Bill 22 – The Education Improvement Act. BCCPAC is pleased to provide an information sheet on this important piece of legislation highlighting what the bill does, and doesn’t do.

Sample template for a PAC Budget.

In September 2002, the Hon. Christy Clark, Minister of Education, announced the formation of a provincial Task Force on Student Achievement.
The Task Force on Student Achievement was established with an overall mandate to “consult with B.C.’s education community and recommend ways to improve the achievement levels of all students in all areas of learning.”
In 2003, the task force initiated an extensive review of available research on educational and student achievement, conducted or participated in several forums concerning the issues and received oral and/or written submissions from a variety of individuals and groups (Appendix C).

This document is a conceptual framework. Its purpose is to:

  • assist the school system in  meeting its obligations under the Constitution Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the  BC Human Rights Code, the  Multiculturalism Act, the  Official Languages Act, the  Employment Equity Act, and the  School Act; and
  • assist the  school system in  its ongoing efforts to create and maintain learning and working environments that are responsive to the  diverse social  and cultural needs of the  communities it serves.

This framework document describes key concepts, references guiding legislation and includes important implications for policies, strategies and initiatives in the school system related to:

  • honouring diversity and promoting human rights
  • preventing discrimination, harassment and violence
  • responding to incidents of discrimination, harassment or violence when they occur

It is designed to assist in:

  • reviewing existing policies and practices to ensure they are consistent with legislation
  • enhancing existing policies and practices to ensure that they address diversity
  • developing or implementing new  policies and practices to directly address the  diverse needs of the  people served by the  school system

The Primary Program is a guide to effective practices for primary educators it provides a comprehensive, general overview for primary educators.  It does not duplicate in detail material available elsewhere (for example, in the performance standards).  Cross-references appearing within this document will indicate sources of further information about topics that are discussed here in broad terms.  The Primary Program describes and exemplifies the first four years of The Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education Plan (B.C. Ministry of Education 1994). Building on the philosophy introduced in the 1990 document, it incorporates information on how policies and provincially prescribed curriculum can be interpreted and implemented.

The Primary Program integrates current knowledge and research on learning and teaching.

Copyright Ministry of Education 2000

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SET- BC assists BC school districts in supporting students whose access to the curriculum is restricted.

They provide a wealth of resources regarding educational strategies and assistive technologies for students with special learning needs.

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BC School Superintendents’ Association (BCSSA) resource

copyright 2002

A principal’s leadership and commitment are essential to the successful implementation of quality educational programs for students with special needs.

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GUIDELINES – Applying for a Community Gaming Grant

Updated January 2012

To stay current with Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch policies, please visit the News and Updates page at: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming/news/

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Understanding How it is Structured and Operates, & How Member PACs & DPACs Can Contribute to Its Success

Presenters: Anders Ourom & Donald Golob

Copyright 2007 Anders Ourom & Donald Golob

BCCPAC Fall 2007 Conference

Plenary Presentation

Friday, November 16, 2007

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It all Counts – Treasurer’s 101

 

from the October 15, 2011 BCCPAC Regional Conference in Kelowna, BC

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Reading for Families: Helping Your Child Learn

Parents and guardians are a child’s first and most important teachers, and helping your child learn to read is one of the most important things you can do. This is because reading opens the door to lifelong learning. Set aside time each day to read to your child. Read all kinds of things, like storybooks, poems, magazine and newspaper articles, non-fiction books, comic books and letters. Continue reading to your child even after they have learned how to read.

Reading aloud fosters a love of reading and builds your child’s vocabulary. Ask your child to read aloud. Take turns reading pages or using different voices for different characters. Talk about words, stories and books. Visit a public library, read recipes, create grocery lists and play word games. Be creative, and have fun!

Available in English, Chinese and Punjabi.

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A Parent’s Guide to advocating for students in public schools

A step-by-step guide to resolution advocacy for parents who want to become better advocates for their children. This guide gives information on:

    • details on how the school system works,

 

  • outlines parent and students rights and responsibilities,

 

  • provides strategies for advocating for children, and
  • supports student self-advocacy.
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The findings in this Discussion Paper represent the synthesis of an extensive research process which included a comprehensive literature review, surveys of Aboriginal education coordinators from all regions of BC, visits to 7 districts and 24 schools, interviews with 69 administrators, teachers, Aboriginal staff and Aboriginal parents and focus groups with Aboriginal students and parents. Irrespective of their affiliation with the education system, almost all individuals contacted expressed a need for strategies that would help schools encourage and support Aboriginal parent involvement.

July 30, 2002

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Ministry of Education
Aboriginal Education Enhancements Branch
2003

Aboriginal Education within British Columbia has undergone policy, legislative, and conceptual changes over the last several decades. Aboriginal communities are exercising increasing influence over the formal education of their children.1 Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements, also referred to as Enhancement Agreements (EAs), provide a framework to ensure that the needs of Aboriginal communities are reflected within schools. The EA process involves communication and the building of collaborative relationships. This process improves shared decision-making practices, and benefits all Aboriginal children by providing highly relevant education, focussed on their needs.

 

This resource guide is intended for use by school districts and Aboriginal communities that are interested in establishing a formal agreement to improve educational experiences for Aboriginal students attending public schools. The guide includes a framework for successful collaboration and outlines steps and best practices for implementation of EAs in British Columbia school districts.

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Because the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) issue is very complex, the information kit will help to explain

  • the assessment,
  • the purpose of the FSA,
  • how the FSA is used, and
  • provide answers to common misconceptions about the FSA
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Understanding the BC Writing Performance Standards: A Guide for Parents

This document was developed to provide a guide for parents to the BC Performance Standards for Reading and Writing.

It is hoped its use will:

    • help parents know more about their child’s performance
    • help support children’s learning
  • help schools and families talk about reading and writing performance.

Working together, you and the teacher can help your child have a more successful school year. Together we can reach a shared goal in helping your child get the best education possible.

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Understanding the BC Reading Performance Standards: A Guide for Parents

This document was developed to provide a guide for parents to the BC Performance Standards for Reading and Writing.

It is hoped its use will:

  • help parents know more about their child’s performance
  • help support children’s learning
  • help schools and families talk about reading and writing performance.

Working together, you and the teacher can help your child have a more successful school year. Together we can reach a shared goal in helping your child get the best education possible.

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Math for Families

Helping your child with math at home

Teachers help build children’s mathematical thinking at school. Families help build it at home. Research shows that an ongoing partnership with families can help children develop math understanding. This resource suggests ways families can support children’s math development by doing activities at home.

 

Resource available in English, Chinese and Punjabi

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Helping Your Child Learn

These resources were developed with input from parents, teachers and other educators. They were designed to provide an overview of what your child can expect to learn at every grade level, setting out goals for your child’s progress and achievement.

They also provides tips on how parents and families can help children learn. Families can make a big difference by taking an active role in their children’s education.

Resources available:

Helping Your Child Learn K – 3

Helping Your Child Learn Grades 4 -7

Helping Your Child Learn Grades 8 – 9

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Writing for Families: Helping Your Child Learn

Writing, like reading, opens the door to lifelong learning. It is an essential skill that allows children and adults to express themselves, perform daily tasks and communicate ideas at school and in the workplace. Parents and guardians are a child’s first and most important teachers.

You can help your child learn to write well, and you can show them that writing can be fun. Set aside time after school and on weekends for reading, drawing and writing. Children’s early writing often consists of drawings, letters and the occasional word. Encourage your child to scribble and draw, and copy shapes and letters.

Make sure you have plenty of paper, crayons, pencils and markers on hand. Talk with your child about what they read, draw and write. Play word games, use buttons or macaroni to create letters and spell words, and ask your child to help you write a birthday card or thank-you note. Be creative, and have fun!

Resource available in English, Chinese and Punjabi.

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Fair Schools Report May 1995

This report is a summary of the office of BC Ombudsman’s experience in investigating complaints about the public school system since its proclamation as an authority. The observations and suggestions contained in this paper are not definitive and do not touch on all problems in BC’s school districts. They are a result of interviews and investigations carried out by the Ombudsman and staff, and summarize what was learned from approximately 500 complaints we have received. These complaints cover a few broad categories: lack of services to meet the individual needs of students; transportation; exclusions, suspensions and expulsions. These observations might be a starting point for discussion, amendments or action by ministry officials, administrators, teachers, staff and students.

About this handbook

BC public schools and school districts are learning communities, places where students, parents, educators, support staff, and community members respect and support each other’s roles, and share in the responsibility for student learning.

A students’ success in the public school depends on the relationships among all the education partners and the involvement of parents.

Parents play an important role and have the right and the responsibility to be involved in their children’s education. These rights co-exist with the rights and responsibilities of the people who work in schools and school districts.

In 1996, the handbook Building Partnerships in Schools helped parents with their first formal advisory role in their schools, giving parents information about the legislation, policy and practice that helped them in their interactions with others in the system. It also gave educators and parents a starting point to work together to improve parents’ access to the system.

Todays version, uses and expands on information from the first handbook. It is not meant to create new policy, suggest how parent involvement should happen, or replace the roles of the legislature, ministry, or school boards. This handbook intends to help parents and parent leaders understand the roles and responsibilities in the public education system and the different ways parents can be involved in their children’s learning. It includes information about:

  • Parent involvement in public education,
  • Roles and responsibilities of the partners involved in public education,
  • Coming together in the best interest of students,
  • Parent and community partnerships in BC’s schools and districts
  • Governance and legislation.

This hanbook is also useful to other education partners, as they continue their collaboration with parents to create positive learning communities where parents are actively and effectively involved at all levels to support students’ learning.

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Volunteers And The Law

Volunteers play an important role in our communities.

This guide will help volunteers, staff and board members learn how the law applies to volunteer activities and the work they do.

By understanding the law, volunteers will be able to prevent or minimize risks. This guide introduces some basic legal concepts and looks at how they apply to volunteer activities. There are lots of other legal issues that don’t appear in the guide.

If you have a specific legal concern, it may or may not be covered in this guide.

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On May 25 and 26, 2006, Interactive Innovations: A Showcase of Learners and Learning was held in five locations across British Columbia: Victoria, Whistler, Prince George, Kelowna and Nelson. The presentations of many Keynote Speakers were archived for viewing and re-viewing to support your professional growth over time.

Click on the link below to view and copy speaker bios and presentations.

On February 28, March 1, and 2, 2007, Interactive Innovations: A Showcase of Learners and Learning was held in five locations across British Columbia: Victoria, Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna and Nelson. In addition, five sites in Alberta joined the live webcast event. Keynote Speakers’ presentations were archived for re-viewing to support educators’ professional growth over time.

Click on the link provided to view and download speaker bios and presentations.

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Many parents are not sure what to expect at an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting. When they meet school staff on behalf of their child, they may feel vulnerable or even frightened. Often, they don’t know what to do and are not clear about their role in the process. In this guide, our focus is to help you understand how an IEP meeting works and how you and your child, working together with the school, can get the most out of this process for the benefit of your child.

You know more about your child than anyone else. The school needs this information to tailor its teaching to your child’s way of learning. A good IEP brings together your knowledge about your child with the school’s knowledge about teaching. The IEP meeting will produce a plan of what the school will do to teach your child and help her succeed.

Individual Education Plan Guide 2014

BCCPAC is pleased to provide this valuable resource in several languages. Every effort has been made to ensure these translations are correct. If you find an error, please let us know by contacting the office.

Individual Education Plan Guide – Arabic 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Chinese 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Korean 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Punjabi 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Russian 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Spanish 2014

Individual Education Plan Guide – Vietnamese 2014

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