December 2021 | BCCPAC

THANK YOU to all our DPAC leaders who spent time with us virtually for the 1.5 day Summit in November. It was another opportunity for our DPAC teams to provide input and feedback through breakout sessions on the draft of the Inclusive Education Parent Handbook; we very much look forward to its release! And THANK YOU to the members who have invited us to present to their parent/guardian communities about the role and importance of parents: DPAC 5, DPAC 23, DPAC 44, DPAC 59, DPAC 73, and Captain Meares Elem-Secondary School, Imagine High, Highlands Elementary and McCammon Elementary PACs. We enjoyed the discussions and questions.

December 31 is the Deadline to Renew Your Membership

Members must renew by this date to obtain voting rights at the AGM, be able to submit Resolutions, and be nominated to the Board.

One of the biggest changes to the 2021 Gaming Guidelines (thanks to our work on this for members) is that individual PACs can now use their Gaming funds to pay for their BCCPAC membership. DPACs are reminded that they can only use their Gaming funds to pay for their own individual DPAC membership with BCCPAC. RENEW NOW

Board Update

As members of a PAC and/or a DPAC, you are aware that finding individuals to both run for open positions and remain in these positions has proven much more challenging during the pandemic. Our BCCPAC board is not immune to this issue and are very aware that life continues to present challenges for many families including those of our Board team. 

Vice President Rina Diaz was elected in May 2020, took a leave of absence on June 25/21 and subsequently resigned for health reasons on August 10/21. Given the environment and pandemic circumstances, the Board made the decision in August 2021 to leave the position open. It will be open for election at the 2022 AGM as it would normally be.

Secretary Teresa Blades was elected in May 2020 and resigned due to health reasons on September 26/21. The Board appointed Chris Schultz-Lorentzen of DPAC 42 to act as Secretary for the remainder of the current term to the 2022 AGM. The position of Secretary will be open for election at the 2022 AGM as it would normally be and Director Schultz-Lorentzen is committed to putting his name forward for nomination and to run in the elections.

Gaming Grant Use Survey

In December 2020, we asked PACs, DPACs and members for their feedback on how they were spending their Gaming Funds in the pandemic-restricted environment at that time. All comments were extremely useful and shared directly with Gaming branch staff.

Well, the pandemic continues and we are seeking input again which we can share directly with the staff at CGG Branch. We know that PACs are using their Gaming funds to help students and their school community. We would like to gather new details on how PACs & DPACs are spending their Gaming funds and share them back to the people we meet with at Gaming. We know that for some, it’s been difficult or impossible to spend the funds you had and/or funds newly received this Fall.

President Sinclair met with CGG branch staff at the end of November and BCCPAC wants to share your comments with them by December 17 as they are now looking to edits and revisions to the 2022 Guidelines.

Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey for your community by December 17.

Calling Students in Grades 7 - 12

Minister Whiteside is hosting a Youth Dialogue Series to hear directly from Gr 7-12 students on their lived experiences of racism and discrimination and/or commitment to social justice.

Families can find all details and how to submit on this page and we encourage you to share this information with students. Deadline is December 6, 2021. If you have any questions call or text (604) 876-4881 or email

Input to Budget 2022

Each year, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds province-wide public consultations on the next provincial budget.

The Committee is also empowered to consider and to make recommendations on the annual reports, rolling three-year service plans and budgets of B.C.'s eight statutory offices. Each year, President Sinclair makes a presentation to the Committee and a written submission on behalf of members and parents. Read our Submission for Budget 2022.

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has now released their 2022 Budget Consultation Report. We encourage members to read the section on K-12 Education – page 7 references K-12 and speaks to BCCPAC's recommendations and the full K-12 information can be found on pages 70-76. Have a read.

Be an Active Participant in Truth and Reconciliation

We were honoured to have a representative from the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) present again this year during our DPAC Leadership Summit.

During the session, there were numerous suggestions for PACs looking to be more inclusive and welcoming for Indigenous families:

  • Encourage and recruit First Nations representation on PACs
  • Request a representative from the school district’s Indigenous Education Council (IEC) to attend (D)PAC meetings
  • Allot time in PAC Meeting Agendas for updates from the IEC representative
  • Make land acknowledgements at PAC-organized events and invite a local First Nation elder to do an opening at large events
  • Recognize/include local First Nations communities in any new outdoor spaces including playgrounds or outdoor classrooms (i.e. outdoor classrooms to use local Indigenous plants and traditional names)
  • Be actively anti-racist, including addressing Indigenous-specific racism
  • Invite parents and caregivers of Indigenous ancestry into your PAC, and be curious about the possibility of adjusting meeting practices in consultation with the First Nations Parents Club or Indigenous members of your PAC
  • DPACs can review and share data for their local school district to take action to address the needs of Indigenous students from the How Are We Doing Reports
  • Parents/guardians and PACs can ask educators about how they are using the 9th Professional Standard to guide their teaching practice
  • Share authentic Indigenous Peoples' resources
  • Raise awareness about teaching materials created by Indigenous educators. These can be added to schools and school libraries, and read them for personal learning
  • Support the use of First People's content across the K-12 curriculum. Examples include funding speakers, workshops and performances to come into schools
  • Continue to educate yourself and your children about Indigenous Peoples' histories and cultures, as well as the history of colonial interference

Challenge yourself to learn more. We encourage you to review the many resources we have collected and those noted below. It’s time the conversations were started.

The British Columbia School Trustees Association Indigenous Education Committee recently led the initiative to create the Trustee Knowledge Series in response to the BC Tripartite Education Agreement. The objective is to help trustees and families, as well as members of the general public, learn more about Indigenous issues in education. There is a series of 5 – Have a read!

Reconciliation means listening. Listening to the stories shared by Indigenous Peoples and acknowledging the ongoing impact of Residential schools. The National Film Board of Canada features films from Indigenous filmmakers that bring these stories to light. Take a look with your family.

Have you read Spirit Bear's Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action? Now is a good time to read this child friendly book with your family.

Have you seen the giant floor map that can provide elementary students a look at Canada's pre-colonial history?

For anyone who missed the Orange Shirt Day events at UBC, the conversation with Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, and Phyllis Jack-Webstad that took place at the Chan Centre is now available to stream online.

Anti-Indigenous racism is a serious problem, rooted in BC’s harmful legacy of colonialism and residential schools. In November, the provincial government changed BC’s Human Rights Code to explicitly include Indigenous Identity as a protected human right. This is a step forward to help combat racism and discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in BC.

C19 Education Update

Vaccinations for Children Age 5-11

Health Canada has announced the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11. More information is available in this joint statement from Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC's Provincial Health Officer, and the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. Parents/guardians/caregivers can register their child with the Get Vaccinated system and will be notified when their child can be vaccinated. The vaccines are free and children do not need BC Care Cards to receive them.

BCCDC has information on COVID-19 vaccination for ages 5 to 11, including that all approved vaccines have gone through rigorous review and approval to ensure they are safe and effective. Read the parent/guardian information sheet.

Gathering and Events Order Updates

The PHOs Gatherings & Events Order was updated November 16, 2021.

This update includes revised language related to K-12 public and independent schools to describe who the Order does not apply to (Section AA): “This Order does not apply to…before, during or after school programs for students of public or independent schools (schools) organized by a school; home education or distributed learning activities…”

The PHO has confirmed this does not change the longstanding intention that all K-12 school-led activities, including extracurricular and social activities, are excluded from the requirements of the Order, including proof of vaccination, no matter their location.

Schools (which includes PACs) should not check proof of vaccination, and should continue to implement the following capacity guidelines for extracurricular gatherings and events (including concerts, festivals, and inter-school sporting events):

  • Indoor activities may have 50 spectators or 50% seated capacity, whichever is greater.
  • Outdoor activities may have 5,000 spectators or 50% seated capacity, whichever is greater.

Schools (including PACs) should continue to follow all applicable regional public health orders or recommendations in place.

Updated Pediatric Data from BCCDC

On November 23, Dr. Henry and Minister Dix provided a pediatric update with details on the vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years old. You can review the slide deck.
Learn more.

Monthly School Situation Report

Announced by Dr. Henry on November 23 was the second monthly K-12 School Situation Report. We strongly encourage families to read and review the document. The purpose of this report is to provide a situational update on COVID-19 in BC K-12 schools since the start of the 2021-2022 school year. This document will be issued monthly and contains information on vaccination, cases and testing, severe outcomes, public notifications of potential exposures, regional analysis, and data sources and notes.

Key Report Findings:

Cases: The case incidence among 5‐11 year‐olds in BC is in general decline with some smaller peaks and valleys in November. Regions with higher vaccination rates among individuals 12 years and older have generally experienced lower case rates overall and among children.

Testing: Testing rates declined in October and have been relatively stable since the beginning of November in the 5‐17 age groups; the rate among the 0‐4 age group remains stable.

Outcomes: Serious outcomes from COVID‐19 infections continue to be rare among all school‐age children in BC. Hospitalization among 12‐17 year‐olds is less common for those who have at least 1 dose of vaccine compared to those who are unvaccinated. There have been no deaths among school‐age children in BC.

Vaccination coverage: By November 15, 2021, one‐dose coverage among 12‐17 year‐olds was 85% and two‐dose coverage was 79% provincially. On November 19, 2021, Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine for 5‐11 year‐olds.

Adverse events following immunization: There have been 133 adverse event reports following a COVID‐19 vaccine among 12‐17 year‐olds, for a reporting rate of 26.1 reports per 100,000 doses administered as of November 13, 2021. Of these, 14 were considered serious involving admission to hospital, and all have been discharged.

Exposure notifications: There have been 2,975 postings among 830 (45%) schools provincially between September 7 and November 13, 2021. Exposure means a child or staff has been in the school during their infectious period. Notifications are higher in areas where there is higher transmission in the community. Exposure notices reflect what is happening in the community more so than the risk in the school environment.

Clusters and outbreaks: A total of 382 COVID‐19 case clusters were reported in 217 (12% of schools - meaning 88% of schools didn't have any) K‐12 schools in BC since the beginning of the 2021‐2022 school year. The median cluster size is 3 as of November 6, 2021. During this period, 4 C19 school outbreaks have been declared in distinct schools; Outbreak is when there is increased transmission beyond a cluster and additional measures have been taken. The size of these has ranged from 36-67 cases and since Nov 6, 2 more have been reported. These remain rare events. In addition to the outbreaks included in the current analysis, one additional outbreak has recently been reported. A cluster is 2 or more cases in 14 days where there has been likely transmission in the school setting. In the Situation Report - investigation of these cases shows that most transmissions in school aged children is transmitted outside of school and at home.

Letter from First Nations Council regarding FSAs

As members are aware, First Nations are Rightsholders and the Foundational Skills Assessment (FSA) is noted in the BC Tripartite Education  Agreement (BCTEA) and assessments are noted in the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning Policy.

We are sharing the recent correspondence to the Minister of Education from the First Nations Leadership Council regarding the FSA.

"The education of First Nations children is a high priority among BC First Nations. With that in mind, we write to express our serious concerns regarding the ongoing targeted attack campaign, in particular by the BC Teachers’ Federation, to have the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) cancelled in BC public schools. The First Nations Leadership Council strongly disagrees with and is alarmed by actions that erode public confidence in province-wide assessments necessary for addressing inequities within K-12 education. Cancelling the FSAs would be contrary to the clearly expressed views of First Nations leadership and to the legal commitments of the Province in BCTEA."

Ministry of Education Anti-Racism Strategy

Vice President Shakespeare has attended the three meetings hosted by Equitas on behalf of the Ministry of Education. On behalf of the Board and members, she has raised many issues and challenges faced by students and families. The stakeholder discussions are focused on how together we can improve communication in our communities with an anti-racism lens. Communication and respect were key words that were used often throughout the conversations. Although some School Districts have worked hard on initiatives, there is still a lot of work to do. There are many who experience racism and the partners and the Ministry have pledged to do the hard work needed. 

Scan of Job Descriptions for Educational Assistants

The Ministry of Education and CUPEBC established a working group to gather information on the current state of the EA workforce and potential implications of standardized certification. As part of this project, the working group is seeking information on EAs' current scope of practice. School Districts have been asked to provide details by December 3, 2021 for positions that fall into the EA category in their school district (e.g., Education Assistant, Special Education Assistant, Teacher Assistant, etc.). As we learn more, we will be sharing with members.

Child Poverty Report Card

First Call's 25th annual Child Poverty Report Card was released on November 24 and indicates that BC's child poverty rate remains far too high, with 1 in 5 BC children living in poverty. In a province as wealthy as ours, this is appalling. See the full report for more data, and for First Call's recommendations for what needs to happen to address this.

Speech Development Research Study

Dr. Glenda Mason, a Speech-language Pathologist at UBC, is carrying out a research study called The School-aged Children’s Speech Development Project. The project is studying the way children say long words. Children from K-6 are eligible to participate. The research sessions are being conducted online using Zoom and will take about 45 minutes. Each child will complete 5 speech activities with a research assistant while they look at pictures. They hope their research will help Speech-Language Pathologists provide better assessments and therapy for children in the future. Find out more.

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Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Resources

If you are aged 15-24 Foundry BC is looking for you to help shape Foundry's new supported employment, school and training program, Foundry Works. They want to ensure they’re creating a program that meets young people where they are. Participants will receive $50 per group, with groups starting on December 15th. Register.

DYK about the Ministry of Education Emergency Management Planning Guide? Each fall there are always questions from PACs and parents/guardians about emergency kits, emergency planning, who pays for what, who is responsible for what, etc. Learn More.

Foundry BC offers virtual (online) drop-in counselling sessions, peer support check-ins & group offerings to young people ages 12-24 & their caregivers.

Helping kids stay safe while online is something many families are concerned about. Cybertip’s new website offers information about the ever-changing online interests of children, the potential risks they face, and proactive strategies to help keep them safe online.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has released the Inclusive Child Care Toolkit - a user-friendly resource intended to support quality, inclusive practices in child care settings throughout British Columbia. Have a read.

Vaping is on the rise. Here are some things families should know. Youth vaping is threatening to addict a new generation of young people on nicotine. In an effort to address this, the BC Lung Association partnered with Fraser Health Authority to develop health education resources for youth to provide an opportunity to explore their thoughts and perceptions about vaping. There is a Parent Resource and Parent FAQ. The Parent and FAQ materials have been translated into Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Learn more and access translated materials.

British Columbia School Trustees Association is again awarding three graduating BC public school students who have shown exemplary citizenship in their school & community with scholarships worth $500 each. The application deadline is February 28, 2022. Download the application.

Did you know that SOGI 123 is a resource (not a curriculum) that supports educators in addressing inclusivity in the provincial curriculum in schools? It helps schools create safe, caring, & inclusive learning environments for all students. Learn more.

The Canadian Cancer Society - British Columbia & Yukon has announced the national launch of the SunSense program. With a goal of reducing skin cancer rates in Canada, SunSense supports elementary schools to create a sun safe environment that protects staff and students from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Schools are provided free resources to assist in implementing a variety of ‘actions’ related to sun safety and earn points for each action that is completed. Based on the points earned, schools will be recognized as a SunSense Certified school. SunSense is available in both French and English. More info.

Key Dates and Events

Nov 30
Presentation to DPAC 23 Central Okanagan

Dec 5
International Volunteer Day

Dec 31
Membership Fees - Last Day to Pay

Jan 13
Treasurer 101 Presentation to DPAC 23 Central Okanagan

Jan 18
Advocacy Presentation to DPAC 73

Jan 20
Presentation to DPAC 40 New Westminster

Jan 31
Deadline for Submission of Special Resolutions

Feb 28
Deadline for Board Nominations & Membership Awards

Apr 29
Parent Education Conference in Person

Apr 30 - May 1
Annual General Meeting in Person

Unit C - 2288 Elgin Avenue, Port Coquitlam, BC  V3C 2B2
Phone: (604) 474-0524   |   Email:

© 2021 BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC). All rights reserved.  BCCPAC is non-partisan. We do not endorse, and are not affiliated with, any particular stakeholder group, political party or individual.

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