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Norquay Elementary PAC
16 May 2017
6:00PM Norquay Library
- Welcome/call to order
- Approval of the Agenda
- Approval of Minutes for Feb, March & April
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Website Coordinator
- EMB Coordinator
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Communications Coordinator
- Members at Large
- DPAC representative
- School updates
- Teacher representative
- Final Reports for 2016/17 (Highlights Given time permitting – please see written reports)
- Fundraising and Volunteers
- DPAC and EMB representative
- All other business
- Garage Sale
JOHN NORQUAY ELEMENTARY PAC
YEAR END REPORTS
Thank you everyone for all of your support this year. It would definitely not have been such a successful year without each and everyone of you. What everyone does is invaluable.
We had an amazing Carnival at the beginning of the school year and feel it was a great kick off to the year. We look forward to putting on another one next Spring! Stay tuned.
This year our Direct Drive raised a total of $6020 for technology for the school – we look forward to the school being able to purchase more Technology for our students. Thank you to everyone who donated.
Our Purdy’s, Meat, Gift Card Fundraisers were all another great success. As well as our Monthly PAC Hot Lunches! We will be hopefully running these all again next year as long as we get the volunteers out.
Please see the Playground & Garden Updates on what we were able to purchase and do with other funds raised throughout the school year.
Our major difficulty this year was finding volunteers. We have the same group of parents/caregivers/grandparents volunteering for the majority of our fundraising efforts. Hopefully, we can broaden this group for next year to make for another successful year. Please help us spread the word that we are always looking for volunteers! In order to get more parents out to PAC meetings and events we are trying to change our wording to “All Parents Meetings” as everyone is already a member of the PAC by having a child in this school. So we are hoping this will make everyone feel included.
Thank you again to every parent, grandparent, caregiver and volunteer for all of their support this year. It is a huge amount of time and effort and we appreciate it so much. We would not be able to do the things we do without your support and help.
Lastly, thank you to the school for all your help and support throughout the year. We look forward to working closely with all the admin again next year.
Charis Broadbent & Janisha Haywood Co-Chairs, Norquay Elementary PAC 2016/2017
-For the 2017-18 school year, we had several features added to our existing playground at Norquay:
– 6 seat swing set installed in the fall, north of spidernet, extending border and wood chip covering
– outdoor classroom, composed of 22 boulders, assembled late autumn in semi-circle formation south of spidernet with gravel path for wheelchair access
– 2 sand digger sandbox excavators were installed in the winter at the east end of the sand/long jump pit and more sand added to the pit
– brooms purchased and students assigned to sweep wood chips off rubber-surfacing of playground
– Buddy bench project undertaken by Divisions 3 and 21 (Gr 6-H Paris, Gr 1-H Paris/Grueger). 3 benches painted in February and non-vandalizing treatment applied by VSB in May. Two benches to be placed on south end of playground, 1 bench to be placed by basketball courts
– Painting lines of existing basketball courts, tetherball areas, hopscotch finally started in May plus 7 new designs on concrete areas at the back of the school to be added
– Chinese hopscotch to be repainted by Marathon Surfaces as design has completely faded
Still to be done
– We would like to pursue landscaping for a natural outdoor style playground similar to Lord Selkirk or Highlands Elementary (https://vimeo.com/163693450) for a portion of the existing gravel field. We have confirmed with VSB rentals that the field is not used by the community (i.e. for soccer, baseball). Funds required – $20-30K
– More buddy benches at Norquay. Several different colours of paint and paintbrushes already purchased from Dulux this year to be used to design and decorate more benches. Need to promote inclusion and kindness ideals of these benches at our school. (www.buddybench.org) New bench – ~$850 each, existing bench – ~$325
– Ensure future PAC budget sets aside funds for maintenance of playground as motioned and approved in 2013-14
– Outdoor chalkboard for boulder classroom area (similar to the one by garden boxes made by Mr. Warkentin) to be built.
– More picnic tables in school yard for seating outdoors desired. Table costs vary widely depending on material. Matching concrete tables currently in place about $2500 each.
– Requests from students have also been made for more basketball courts and outdoor hockey nets.
Volunteering at Norquay
– Volunteers needed to help out with the annual book exchange (May 30-Jun 2), lost & found organization and upcoming garage sale
– Special thanks to the parents who have volunteered their time, patience and organization skills to helping out with PAC lunches and other fundraising efforts.
– Did you know? There is a clipboard located under the school banner at the front office. Teachers, staff and admin will list tasks here for volunteer opportunities in their classroom or for the school. Examples include photocopying, putting up artwork, washing jerseys, accompanying classes on field trips, pumping balls in the gym.
– Registered to participate in Bike to School week from May 29th to Jun 2nd. We will have support from the WE day club at school, who will be working on the promotion of the event.
– Three parents are volunteering to put cones in the no stopping area in Slocan to ensure children can cross safely. We are doing this most mornings and some afternoons. Thanks to Holman for purchasing more cones so we can cover properly the no stopping zone.
– We have been call the Parking Enforcement Authority about once per month to keep Norquay’s name on the list of school to come and issue tickets.
– We followed up with the City of Vancouver on the recommendations from a report done by HasteBC in 2013/2014, most of the recommendations have been completed but there are still a few ones pending and a few new ones requested. We are following up with the City but have not been able to get clear timelines on what/when these could be implemented.
This year, with the help of Lauren wood, we switched our blog mail-out provider to Mailchimp. This allowed us to manually add parents who agreed to PAC communication at the beginning of the school year. Our previous mail-out provider only allowed parents to follow our blog by visiting it and entering their own email. We currently are reaching 302 subscribers.
Our Canadian Web Hosting has been paid and renewed until 11-12-2018 $133.06 CAD
Our Name.com domain registration has been paid and renewed until 11-12-2018 $35.75 CAD
I will print all of our tech passwords and add it to the binder (as opposed to having them in our email).
We are looking to send out a year end newsletter to let our parents know what PAC has been up to this past year (to be sent out with the school’s at the end of May).
The Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) is a collection of parents (elected by PACs) working with the common goal of supporting education for all the children of Vancouver.
It’s been another busy year for DPAC. Here is a summary of the group’s accomplishments:
- Hosted workshops on creating strong PACs, advocacy/organizing at the grassroots level, and aboriginal focus issues
- Created a Resources page for PACs: http://vancouverdpac.org/resources
- Released statements regarding the Dismissal of the VSB Board, the SEED Proposal by BC Hydro, and the proposed 2017/18 VSB budget
- Shared guidance on FSA Testing
- Hosted an All-Candidates Education Forum prior to the provincial election
For more information about DPAC and DPAC’s activities, please visit www.vancouverdpac.org. DPAC “strives to ensure that the Vancouver Board of Education is communicating clearly with city PACs. We invite all PACs to become informed and participate in the workshops and meetings with our DPAC hosts. here are twelve elected positions on the DPAC executive plus two appointed community positions. Please take the time to share your PACs views and concerns with your District Parent Advisory Council Executive members.”
The parents in this program are active, passionate and vocal. They recognize the many benefits to be gained from their child’s acquisition of a second language, and the majority want their children to continue with their Mandarin learning at the secondary level. A well planned and well implemented program is something they have been advocating for many years.
Norquay currently has 173 students in the EMB program, grades K-6. Students in the program are taught both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
2017/18 will be the year the very first cohort prepares for secondary school and graduates.
EMB Transition to Secondary Committee
In January 2017, the EMB Transition to Secondary Committee was formed by Nancy Brennan, Associate Superintendent at the VSB. The mandate of the committee is to determine where the EMB students at Norquay will go and what that program will look like. The committee has stakeholder representation from DPAC, EMB and Secondary level Mandarin teachers, Norquay Elementary’s principal, a Modern Languages Teacher Consultant, Facilities and Planning and senior staff at the VSB. Per Nancy’s January 4, 2017 Memorandum, “Updates will be provided to Committee III on a regular basis and a final recommendation as to a proposed secondary school site will be brought to the Board no later than April 30, 2018.”
Many parents expressed have concern over the date for final recommendation. This has been relayed to the committee many times. Teachers, staff and I have all expressed our hope and desire that the EMB grade 7’s be part of the same school-based articulation process that happens in the fall as their regular stream cohorts.
The site selection process for the secondary school is currently underway. Parents have been informed of factors influencing this process including selecting a site with an existing Mandarin program, capital planning and seismic projects, physical space, proximity, and capacity.
The seven schools with a current Mandarin program are Brittania, Churchill, Hamber, Templeton, Thompson, Van Tech and Windermere. The committee will land on one of the seven schools listed above. The content of the program will be sorted next.
Principal Margaret Jorgensen, myself, and the teachers are posing the questions parents are bringing to us about location and about the timeline and urgency to make a decision as quickly as possible. In essence, we are advocating for all things families are identifying as important.
Restored Class Size & Composition Language – EMB Impact
The Supreme Court of Canada has restored class size and class composition language. In determining an intake number for Choice Programs the district has used the parameters set out in the restored class size and class composition agreements.
20 for kindergarten (no split K/1 classes)
22 for grades 1-3
30 for grades 4-7
EMB Impact: There will be an additional kindergarten and intermediate class in 2017/18. This is fortunate given that district-wide there has been an overall REDUCTION in intake.
Parents and PAC/DPAC EMB Representation need to continue advocating for EMB to be a Choice/District Program from Grades 8-12 instead of elective courses.
To meet the numbers to keep the program going, LATE ENTRY is also essential. Standards and assessments need to be developed for this purpose.
- In October, we purchased and installed a new 3-bin compost (cost $1,050) and a second storage box (cost $500) that were designed and built by Mr. Russ Evans and his students at Tupper Secondary School.
- Chang is leading an in-house compost program to collect raw vegetables and fruits from primary classrooms and the staff room. Brown leaf material was collected in the fall to layer the compost.
- We had hoops for a winter garden donated by QE School last year, and we purchased additional winter garden supplies (clamps, screws, plastic covering) for our first winter garden! Despite the unusually cold and snowy winter, we had some herbs survive.
- We requested donations from Canadian Tire and West Coast Seeds. Only West Coast Seeds responded with a generous donation of seeds to last us for the entire growing season.
- In March, we constructed 6 additional raised 4’x8’ planter boxes with Mr. Evans and Ms. De Jardin’s grade 6-7 class. Costs were $3,125 for the cedar wood and spikes, $310 for the soil, ~$350 for a TOC to replace Mr. Evans at Tupper. We still have to pay ~$1,100 for the VSB Grounds prep and gravel pad which has been delayed due to the poor weather.
- We purchased 12 Growoyas for the new raised planters at a very discounted rate, total cost $390 from Figaro’s Garden. Many of the Growoyas installed last year cracked from the cold winter, but Growoya replaced all of the damaged ones at no charge. SPEC also donated 4 Growoyas when we discovered more had cracked. We will need to dig out the Growoyas before each winter and store them indoors until spring to prevent future damage.
- Nikoo from SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) held eight different garden workshops for classes ranging from Grade K to 7 in the Fall and Spring terms. Each student paid $2 per workshop.
- SPEC submitted our school’s name to receive the donations from the UBC Botanical Garden Christmas Tree Chipping, and we received $611.
- In April, we submitted another application for the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Grant for the maximum $3,500. We are awaiting their response.
- Nikoo did a garden and beneficial insects presentation at a school assembly on April 28 and held a Pro D garden workshop for interested teachers on May 5.
- Garden Club led by Ms. Chang is held on most Thursdays at noon.
- Warkentin is helping to gather and prepare materials for new garden signage . Funding is provided by the RBC Days of Giving Grant, and a work night with RBC volunteers to install the new signage will be held on May 18.
- Third Annual Harvest Festival to be held on Thurs June 8 for seven classes participating in the SPEC Workshops. We will need volunteers to help at the Harvest Festival (see details below).
- A new water tap at the portable building closer to garden will cost $767, but we requested a new quote for the tap to be placed in the middle of the garden instead to make watering easier. We are waiting to hear back from VSB Maintenance for the modified quote.
- 2 water tap keys have been lost, so we are implementing a sign out sheet for the key instead of keeping it in the storage box. The tap key is currently in Ms. Chang’s room, but we may move it to the office in the future.
- We would like to hire an organization to help us manage and oversee the garden year-round in the future. This is expected to cost a minimum of $5,000 per year.
- The garden funds are depleted, and more funding is required. Administration, staff and parents all seem supportive of a proposed small fee of $3-4 per student along with the other school fees for the 2017-18 school year. We also request that PAC provide $5,000 per year which has been done in the past but not for 2016-17.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR:
1) Harvest Festival Thurs June 8
– set up tables 12:30-1:00pm
– dish out food to students 1:00-2:00pm
– put tables away, minor cleanup 2:00-3:00pm
2) Summer Watering
– water the garden once or twice during the summer months
– orientation sessions to be held the last two weeks of June
3) Garden Committee
– contribute ideas and help out with garden projects
Please contact Val at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are available to volunteer. Also watch out for volunteer sign up sheets in the lunch room!