MINUTES OF JOHN NORQUAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
PAC MEETING HELD AT 6:00 pm ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2013,
IN THE JOHN NORQUAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LIBRARY
- Co-Chairs: Letti Kwong and Christie Chua
- Treasurer: Shirley Chang
- Secretary: Barb Wong
- Members-At-Large: Nancy McLean, Lisa Chong
- Principal: Tricia Rooney
- Vice-Principal: Erin Gibbs
- Teacher Representatives: Pinky Kwan and Joy Smith
- Members: Anat Yanai Alvin Chong
- Barb Lee KeePing Lau
- Louise Prosser Rob Whiton
- Valeria Kao Filomena Lucatuorto
- Rina Te Anna Kam
- Carolyn Schneyer Hank VanZile
- Vivian Lee Linda Chow
- Wendy Su
- Leslie Bishko
- Krista Kieswetter
- Bonnie To
- Niki Dun
Letti welcomed everyone attending the meeting. It is great to see new parents at the meeting. There are also many familiar parents who have helped to contribute to our school community by volunteering their time in the PAC executive, garden committee, playground committee, library, book fair & exchange, lost & found, driving students to sporting events, and our waffle breakfasts.
The attendance checklist was passed around for all members to complete.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
A motion was made to approve the minutes of the PAC meeting held on June 11, 2013. A parent asked for clarification on what was being approved. A hard copy of the Minutes was passed around for all members to review. Letti advised that about two weeks after each PAC meeting the Minutes are distributed by email to the PAC members. At the beginning of the next meeting, these Minutes must be motioned and approved by the members. If changes are required, this is noted in the meeting.
THE YEAR AHEAD (2013-2014)
School Events. Some of the various school events this year include the Terry Fox Run, Centennial Celebration, Scholastic Book Fair, Sports Day, Health & Wellness Day. Last year the school also held a Bottle Drive and Popcorn Days as fundraisers.
PAC Events. The various PAC events this year include Welcome Back to School, Pedalheads at Norquay, Waffle Breakfasts, Gift Card Fundraiser, Bingo Night. We would like to consider a Clothing Drive and Purdy’s Fundraiser. Priorities for PAC to be discussed later on in the meeting.
- Volunteers Needed. Volunteers will be needed for the following: class readers, drivers for team sports, parents for field trips, gym cupboard organizer, lost and found organization, traffic safety (includes meeting with City of Vancouver Engineering, Translink, VSB, administration and Vancouver Police), earthquake safety and Collingwood Neighbourhood House enrollment policy.
Garden Committee. Valeria Kao advised that tools and equipment have been purchased by the PAC and there has been a cleanup and weeding of the garden. New volunteers are always needed. The committee has lots of ideas including setting up a small vegetable garden and applying for a grant from Evergreen to assist with same. In the meantime, the local community gardens can be utilized.
PAC Executive. Two positions are still open—the volunteer coordinator and a member-at-large. Please let the PAC executive know if you would like to become a member of the Executive.
SPC, DPAC Representatives, BCCPAC membership and VSB Modern Languages Representative. Representatives from the PAC are needed for the School Planning Council (SPC), District PAC (DPAC) and VSB Modern Languages. Last year’s representatives will likely continue in their roles for this year. Our PAC should also register as a member of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC).
Constitution and Bylaws. The Constitution and Bylaws and the Code of Ethics contained therein will be followed and distributed. The PAC will motion to approve at the next meeting.
Welcome. Tricia Rooney (Principal) welcomed everyone back to school. It has been a great start and the school will be continuing with its’ strength-based focus. The beginning of the school year transition went smoothly in spite of the numbers of students going up and down on a daily basis. The final number of students to date is 588. A back to school package will be sent home next week.
Updates. Erin Gibbs advised we have eight new staff: teachers, Gary Loong, Graeme Bone, Genalyn Ang and Cathy Weng, SSW Ruth Nunez, office staff, Meghan Ridley and Susan, and area counsellor, Emi Garcito. Patty Holmes will be leaving us this year for Britannia Secondary School.
News. Tricia advised that eight sessions have been scheduled with Faye Brownlie. Our school will also be continuing with the Techgagement pilot project which brings technology into the schools. A team of our teachers will be meeting with other teachers throughout the district with regard to same. Erin advised that a steering committee for the school’s Centennial Celebration will be meeting next week. A request was made for 4 to 5 parent volunteers to be a part of the committee. Also, the school’s Terry Fox Run will be taking place on Friday, September 27, 2013. The time will be finalized at a staff meeting tomorrow. About 20 parent volunteers will be needed for this event. A parent also advised that it would be a good idea for the parent volunteers who will be directing traffic during the run to wear traffic vests so they are more visible to drivers and recognized by students.
Joy Smith spoke about “Growing your Brain”, this year’s back to school display in the library. As a part of her library orientation with all of the students, Joy is asking them how they will grow their brains this year. This puts some of the responsibility of learning on the students themselves. Neuro-pathways in the brain can be continually built by doing simple things such as learning something new, singing a song or playing a musical instrument, or having conversations or discussions with other people.
Tricia advised she attended a conference over the summer which focused on how to promote curiosity in learning. Instead of asking your child what she did in school today, ask her what questions did she ask today?
Shirley Chang advised that the budget year for the PAC is July 1 to June 30. The PAC has two accounts—the general account holds funds which are raised through PAC fundraising initiatives and the gaming account holds funds which are from the government gaming grant paid each year for each student in the school. For the 2013 year end:
the revenue in the general account was $12,006.32 (this does not include the $7,000.00 donation from the Rotary Club) and the expenses were $2,371.21. This left a balance of $24,209.42 as of June 30, 2013; and
the revenue in the gaming account was $12,594.41 and the expenses were $1,743.00. This left a balance of $21,009.78 as of June 30, 2013.
In August 2013, a cheque was issued for the playground equipment, leaving a balance in the gaming account of $303.83. This balance does not include this school year’s gaming funds ($20.00 per student) which we should receive at the end of September.
Playground Update. Barb Lee advised the playground plan, which was approved by the PAC in June 2013, has been scaled back due to monies available and various pieces of equipment that would not fit in the space allocated for the playground at this time. The items that will not be installed include a climbing rock, sand box, benches and picnic tables. These items can be included in a possible Phase 2 to the playground plan. In the meantime, we can request that the VSB refill the existing sandpit with sand. Another option for the future would be to combine the sand box with the garden project and solicit local developers to donate concrete pouring to create a concrete border for the garden and a sand box (which keeps the sand from blowing away).
The main equipment (including swings, oodle swing, gliders, climbers, slides, bridges/links, monkey bars and rings) has now been ordered for a total of $85,752.80 9 (including PST and GST). The amount of the PST is $5,359.55 and this amount will be returned to the PAC by the VSB at the end of the school year.
Further expenses are as follows:
- VSB work, includes installation of equipment $18,615.00
- Civil work to prepare base, drainage, concrete borders $22,365.00
- Poured rubber material and Installation $60,889.48
The total cost of the playground with poured rubber is $187,622.28.
There have been numerous discussions between the playground committee, administration and Marathon (the surfacing company). The poured rubber surface must be done correctly for safety reasons. Therefore, the base of the site must be prepared, drainage issues dealt with and concrete borders (rubber would pull away from wooden borders) poured to ensure the rubber surface performs the way that it should. Marathon has guaranteed their quote to prepare the site and will cover any cost over and above their quote.
The poured rubber surface is four inches thick and has a 10-foot fall height. We can choose the colour of the surface as well as have patterns sprayed onto it, such as the Norquay mascot, checkers/chess boards, jumping patterns in animal tracks or bear paws to represent our Aboriginal community and dragon hopscotch to represent our Mandarin Bilingual program. Also, the acknowledgment of the Tire Stewardship grant will be sprayed onto the surface. The surface may require some repairs in 8 – 10 years but same can be done in patches.
The total funding sources of $191,000.00 for the playground are as follows:
- Matching Donor $70,000.00
- Private Donor $25,000.00
- Playground Account – PAC General $20,000.00
- PAC Gaming Account $20,000.00
- Direct Appeal $14,000.00
- TSBC (Tire Stewardship) Grant $30,000.00
Additional funds required from PAC 2013-2014 Gaming Grants $12,000.00
Due to the impending rainy weather, the timeframe to complete the playground is relatively short. Once the VSB gives the go ahead, it will be a 5 to 6 week process. Therefore, work must start at the end of September or the first week of October at the latest. One other detail to be worked out is the TSBC Grant cannot be issued until the work is done but VSB will not start the work until they are paid. A compromise will have to be arranged in this regard.
Our Centennial Celebration is scheduled to take place November 21, 2013, so it would be great to have the playground completed in time for that. Tricia Rooney suggested that it might be a good idea to set up a display of the various playgrounds at the school over the last 100 years. The display can be made with a focus on donations for a possible Phase 2 to the playground.
A motion was made to allocate all of the PAC gaming account funds for the 2013 – 2014 school year to the playground, keeping in mind that the PST refund of $5,359.55 will be refunded at the end of the school year. Motion carried.
A motion was made to give the playground committee the authority to make the final decisions on the design of the playground. Motion carried.
Small Group Discussions regarding Priorities for 2013 – 2014. These discussions will be done at the next PAC meeting.
DATE OF THE NEXT PAC MEETING
The date of the next PAC meeting is Tuesday, October 8, 2013. There was some discussion about whether meetings could be alternated between morning and evening meetings to accommodate more parents.