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Thank you to our DPAC leaders who joined us for nine hours of discussion and dialogue via Zoom; we had attendees representing 43 school districts and once again this year. Your DPAC’s now have the presentations and resources to distribute and share with what they learned to all their local PACs – If you’ve not heard from them yet, reach out and remind them to share. Learn More…

Senior staff from the Ministry of Education's Learning Division joined us again this year. Jennifer McCrae, ADM and Patricia Kovacs, Executive Director spoke about the Mental Health in Schools strategy which has its foundations in the work being done by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Currently five school districts are doing an integrated delivery model with wrap around supports - this is a big shift. Parents and PACs are part of the mental well-being of children and school community and we shared many ideas of what PACs are doing and what is possible. We discussed Anti-Racism and how we all need to "call it out" and how the entire school community needs to work together to address the systemic racism which exists. "It’s hard and uncomfortable". "It’s important to be an ally."

We reviewed some of the topics and tips contained in the new and not yet released Inclusive Education Parent Handbook which is aligned with the soon to be released revisions to the Policy Manual. BCCPAC has had ongoing input into both of these documents over the past year.

Shelaina Postings, Executive Director and Cynthia Drummond Director from the Ministry of Education provided details on the Policy for Enhanced Student Learning (which we strongly support) and enabled DPAC leaders to give their input on how school districts can ensure success for all students. Many great questions asked and recorded this afternoon. "Never was there a more important time to be steadfast on student success." "We need to shine a light on the students who have been underserved."

Jo Chrona from First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) opened with her presentation "Moving Forward: Our Individual and Collective Learning Journeys toward a Better Education System. Jo shared context and history and some great resources for DPAC/PAC parents to self-educate and gain a better understanding. Jo reminded us that "we all have a role to play and we cannot move forward unless we know and understand where we came from." She asked us to ask questions of ourselves and each other and stated that "we need to be OK with feeling uncomfortable".