September 25/17: Board Meeting: Auditor’s Report, Dress Code In Limbo, Trustee $, 9 Budget Motions

Any perceived errors, please quote the error and provide correction with citation / source.

Interesting SD61 parent David Marcovitz’s presentation September 2016 re VCPAC / SD61 DPAC representation of parents  here.

DPAC (District Parent Advisory Committee)

[Most district level parent groups call themselves DPAC, ie “SD61 DPAC”. VCPAC is that, but with a more pretentious name. And not accurate; SD61 serves 6 municipalities and two First Nations, not just Victoria.]

PAC & DPAC Grants: ” Parent Advisory Council and District Parent Advisory Council (PAC and DPAC) grants are intended to benefit K-12 students in British Columbia through enhancement of extracurricular opportunities and community involvement. This page includes information about these grants, including: eligibility, grant amounts, application periods, how to apply, online application resources (tutorials, tips, FAQs, etc.) and more.”

Some DPACS get zero  funding from their School District / Board. Some do get funding. VCPAC is funded, about $10,000 from SD61 annually.

Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils /  SD61 DPAC

How DPACS Work

School Act, British Columbia: District parents’ advisory council
8.4 (1) A parents’ advisory council, through its elected officers, may apply to the board for the establishment of a district parents’ advisory council.(2) On receipt of an application under subsection (1), the board must establish a district parents’ advisory council for the school district consisting of representatives elected to the council under subsection (3).(3) Each parents’ advisory council in a school district [each school] may elect annually one of its members to be its representative on the district parents’ advisory council for a term of not more than one year. (4) There must be only one district parents’ advisory council for each school district. [One person can hold and has held the voting cards for three schools, if that individual has a child in all 3 levels K-12.]

[Even reading between the lines, there isn’t anything that says a DPAC is the only / exclusive voice of parents in a School District, or that parents have to take any problem to their PAC first. Disagreeing with with the SD61 DPAC is  “abuse”, apparently.[Points to Ponder]

Purpose and operation of district parents’ advisory council
8.5(1) Subject to section 67 (5.1), the district parents’ advisory council may advise the board on any matter relating to education in the school district. 2) A district parents’ advisory council must make bylaws governing its meetings and the business and conduct of its affairs, including bylaws governing the dissolution of the council. (3) A superintendent of schools for the school district, a designate of the superintendent or a trustee of the school district may attend any meeting of the district parents’ advisory council.

School Act Part 6 — Boards of Education Division 1 — Corporate Status and Meetings: Meetings and chair : 67  (5.1) Without limiting subsection (5), a board may establish procedures respecting the provision of advice by a district parents’ advisory council to the board.

Information from the VCPAC Constitution
[much of any District Parent Advisory Council Constitution content is set as requirement in the School Act ]:

1.The Constitution and Bylaws of VCPAC may be amended only by a Special Resolution passed by at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the members present at any General Meeting,given that Notice of the proposed amendments has been provided to the membership at least twenty eight (28) days prior to the meeting at which they are to be considered.”

  • Unit of membership for voting purposes is a school Parents’ Advisory Council, [which sends an individual representative], not the individual representative, or  individual parents who show up at the meeting .
  • All PACs within SD61 [44 schools] are voting members unless they have waived membership in writing. Each PAC will have one vote.
  • General Meetings monthly from September-May except December, unless otherwise determined by membership [1 vote per PAC].
  • Quorum for General Meetings is 1/3 current membership [1/3 of the number of school-based PACs that have not opted out, each having one vote representing that school’s parents = 15 votes representing all parents of the approximately 20,000 students in SD61 schools = 8 votes is a majority in a General Meeting. ]. An individual may be a delegate for more than one PAC [more than one school] and therefore carry more than one vote. Each PAC will elect a delegate to be their representative at VCPAC. If a dispute arises as to the status of a delegate, the VCPAC Executive may investigate the matter and make a determination.
  • Additional General Meetings may be called at the discretion of the Executive. An Additional Meeting will be called by the Executive within seven days of receiving a request by petition representing ten percent (10%) of the membership (10% of member PACs).
  • All decisions relating to official VCPAC positions on educational issues must be approved by Special Resolution. Voting by show of hands (of single delegates from PACs) with exception of election of Executive members done by secret ballot. No proxy votes. A Special Resolution is resolution passed in general meeting by a majority of not less than 75% of the votes of those delegates representing members [a member is one PAC, not an individual parent] of VCPAC who, being entitled to do so, vote in person, or a resolution consented to in writing by every member [the one delegate per school] of VCPAC who would have been entitled to vote on it in person at a general meeting. [75% of quorum = 75% of 15 votes = 11 votes.]

Officers of VCPAC 2017-18:

  • Chair (somehow morphed into “President”): Audrey Smith[term 3 of possible 4]
  • Vice-Chair: None
  • Secretary: Swati Scott
  • Treasurer: None
  • 5 Directors: Marketa Lund, Val Montegue, Jodi Whiteman, none, none
  •  Additional directors, if approved at an AGM (up to three (3) positions): none, none, none
  • Executive meetings held at discretion of Executive, minimally 5 annually. Quorum is majority of Executive members [possible 12 elected officers of VCPAC;  currently 5 Executive members listed , so quorum 3, majority vote 2] . Subsequent to the election of the 9 permanent Executive members, the membership may add up to an additional 3 temporary Executive positions only from those individuals nominated prior to the election of the permanent directors. To be successful a candidate will require majority vote from the membership [a member is one representative of a school PAC, not individual parents] present at the meeting. No Executive positions will be filled by acclamation. Executive members of VCPAC: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, 5 Directors, up to 3 additional Directors, if approved at an AGM. The Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer only may not hold the same position for more than 4 consecutive terms. The Executive will process its decisions by making recommendations by notice of motion to the General Meeting for approval with the exception of time sensitive issues.
  • [With Executive quorum being 3, a majority of that quorum = 2 votes. It’s possible 2 votes could be seen to represent the voice of all parents of the 20,000 students in SD61, on “time sensitive issues”.]

2017-18 school year meeting minutes here.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils / BCCPAC

Fall Summit – not a mere “conference”; a “Summit”.

BCCPAC’s existence is not mandated as part of the BC School Act, though a 1998 Resolution attempting to change that is active. Constitution and Bylaws here.  BCCPAC website states “We represent a membership of the Parent Advisory Councils(PACs), and District Parent Advisory Councils (DPACs) of the BC school districts.” [Each PAC has one voting rep at DPAC.  In reality parent participation in most PACs at a schools is a small number of the parents in that school, and many schools do not want to organize a PAC. One individual can hold voting cards for 3 PACS / 3 schools. ]

Currently, Jen Mezei is the President.  Directors and Executive Director John Gaiptman here. 

Resolutions here.  There are 200+ Resolutions ongoing, achieved or pending. Worth a look. Chose “any” to see all of them, though you can narrow down by category in the dropdown menu. Here’s an interesting one from 1994 still on the books:

“That students have the opportunity to be taught the most commonly held theories on the origins of our universe and life on our planet, or at least be given a list of resources to explore these on their own; And that students be encouraged to discuss the pros and cons of these theories without being criticized for their opinions, in order to promote critical thinking skills; And that students be taught evolution as theory, not fact. ”  Status: Active.

Interesting background reading: January 2012 letter from former BCCPAC President Ann Whiteaker (now SD61 Greater Victoria Trustee) to the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils here.

BCCPAC History: On September 8, 1915, the first official parent organization was launched at the oldest school in the province, Craigflower, then on the outskirts of Victoria.



About Diane McNally