October District Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

On October 25, 2007, I attended a DPAC meeting.

At the meeting, Steve Baker made a very convincing argument to change our current by-law of electing representatives by area to the DPAC Executive Board in order to increase the chances of having a full Board.

Currently, the City of Vancouver is divided into 3 areas, North, South, and Central. (You might think that these areas are intuitive and should be divided geographically. But, not exactly. For example, while University Hill Elementary is part of the ‘North’ area, the entire downtown peninsula is part of the ‘Central’ area.) The PAC from each area may nominate and vote for 4 representatives from each area for a total of 12 representatives that make up the DPAC Board. However, the problem the DPAC Board has faced for many years is the lack of representation from Central and South. Currently, there is only 1 representative from each of these two areas while North has 4 representatives.

One of the problems faced with not having a full DPAC Board is its ineffectiveness to delegate representation at various committees with the Vancouver School Board.

Steve proposed to change the DPAC by-laws to allow the 12 member board to be elected from nominees from VSB PACs regardless of the area their school is in.

There was an argument from one of the board members that the Board should address the under-representation with an increased effort to solicit participation from PACs to run for the Board.

I did cast a vote on behalf of UHill Elementary in favour of the by-law change. From experience, I know that not everyone has the time or energy outside of their family and work commitments to sit in committees. Although a campaign to increase PAC participation in the DPAC Board is a good idea, I do feel that it is more important to get the number of people we need (in this case, parents) in order to get the manpower we need to effect changes with VSB.

A treasurers’ workshop was held after the meeting. I attended the workshop as well and learned a few Dos and Don’ts from other PACs.

For minutes of this and other DPAC meetings, please see http://www.vsb.bc.ca/parentsfamilies/DPAC/dpachighlights.htm