By | September 27, 2016
For those interested to know what is going on in the Ministry of Education, the School Board & that may affect families and students in the Public School System in BC…
Presentation to Select Standing Committee – PAN Needs YOUR Help
PAN presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on September 19th and during our presentation we were asked a number of questions. Due to time constraints, two questions were “takeaway” items for us and we NEED YOUR HELP! It’s the data from these questions which will help show yet again how much parents are funding schools and how much has and continues to be taken away from our children.
And we hope you can help share the link to the questions through your networks and on social media. The more data we have, the stronger the argument.
VSB Board Meeting Re Closures – Attend & Write to Trustees
It’s critical that Vancouver parents write to Trustees and attend the Board Meeting tonight September 26th – its important for everyone to attend to show support, to give feedback to Trustees regarding closures via email and to read the VSB reports on the 11 schools on the list. While you may think the closures won’t affect you…they will. Just as the budget shortfall will affect all of us in different ways, so too will closures.
  • TONIGHT September 26, 7pm – VSB Board Meeting at Tupper Secondary – Trustees will decide which, if any, of the schools on the potential closure list to move forward with public consultations.
VSB Closures – What YOU Need to Know
The whole closures discussion – like the funding debate – is and can be confusing. It’s key that parents and families can access the facts to better understand the issues. We posted information on our website which we hope will help. We’ve tried to educate and inform with facts and we hope the information will be helpful to families across Vancouver as we now enter “closure conversations”.

The info is found here:  The links take you to a series of pages with navigation at the bottom. We will be adding some information on timeline shortly and will be turning the copy into a PDF shareable document shortly too.

Please share the link widely within your networks – we are trying to reach as many affected families as we can. And follow our lead on Twitter and Facebook in promoting it.

Give Feedback to the Select Standing Committee 
FACE BC and PENS also presented – we encourage you to read these presentations to better understand the issues and what is at stake for public education.
The same ALL PARTY committee that has recommended increased funding and a review of the funding method for public education for two years straight. Help ensure this year is no different, in fact, assist them in giving even stronger recommendations for Budget 2017.

Important dates:

First PAN Meeting for new School Year – Tues Oct 4
Our monthly meeting is coming up fast and will be on Tuesday October 4th at the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Pub (private room at the back) at 7pm.  We look forward to seeing many of you there as we have much to discuss and need your input.
AND if you aren’t able to attend a meeting but you can be more involved in the work happening behind the scenes or can take on a small project, email and let us know. Attending meetings is just one thing – there are a great many others things that need doing.

The Future of Public Ed Event – Wed Oct 5

The Tyee is hosting an education evening called “The Future of Public Education: Beyond the Headlines”. Our own Jen Stewart of both PAN and FACE is one of the speakers. Details about the event are online and you can purchase tix too. The event on Oct 5 is from 7-9pm and will feature speakers who will explore what is, and what could be, for public education in British Columbia. From innovations to challenges, and from the perspective of teachers, academics,students and parents, they will delve into the possibilities ahead for our education system.

Surrey Ed Advocacy Event – Oct 11
Our friends in Surrey will be holding their event Advocating for Education 101 on Tuesday October 11th.  The event will be held at Ecole Woodward Hill in Surrey from 6:30-8:00pm. If you require childminding, you will need to register. If you are able to attend and show your support – yeah! If you aren’t able to attend, please help spread the word on social media – all information is posted online and their poster is attached.
Vancouver City Council Stands Up for Neighbourhood Schools
On September 20th, Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a motion put forward by Councillor Andrea Reimer calling on the Province for capacity criteria based on community and educational need. It’s a great help when more groups are pushing back to the provincial government!
The City will now write to the Minister of Education, with a copy to the Chair of the Vancouver School Board, to request that the Provincial capacity requirements be amended to:
• Allow for a lower capacity requirement where mitigating factors exist, such as significant enrollment fluctuation;
• Decouple the requirement for school boards to close schools in order to get funding for life-saving seismic upgrades;
• Support right-sizing of neighbourhood schools where there is a clear, consistent trend of lower enrollment; and • Change the formula for calculating capacity to reflect that place-based learning is critical for the success of inner city and Aboriginal learners.