Monday, April 25

Reminder for this Wednesday!


Reminder: Volunteers and Donations Needed for Staff Appreciation Luncheon!

Each year the parents at both the Annex and the Main like to say a special "Thank You" to our hardworking and dedicated staff at Dickens. 

This parent-made and parent-hosted luncheon, to be held at the Annex, is for all staff at both sites and is supported by the PAC Exec and parents/guardians. See details below. 

Cash Donations
Cash donations can be dropped at the Office [Viv at the Main & Patti at the Annex] in the marked boxes. 

Food Donations
Requested food/drink items can be dropped at the Dickens Annex Gym on Friday, May 13 at 9am  serving dishes can be picked from 2-3pm at the same location. 

Here's how you can help:
  • Cash
  • Sparkling Water and Juices
  • Appetizers: Cheese, Fruit and/or Veggie Platters
  • Pies, Cakes, Cookies or Cupcakes, Ice-cream
  • Entree Dish of your choice (Vegetarian, Gluten-free Dishes are welcome too)
  • Volunteer for a session on the day: Set-up (9-11am), Serving (11-1pm) or Clean-up (1-3pm)
To get involved and help out on Friday, May 13 contact Nicole: nicolenozick@gmail.com or Deb: anm8r_chick@hotmail.com or Mariko: mariko@kish.ca 


Technology Fundraiser Update & Thanks!


Tuesday, April 19

Annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon - May 13 - Volunteers and Donations Needed!

Each year the parents at both the Annex and the Main like to say a special "Thank You" to our hardworking and dedicated staff at Dickens. 

This parent-made and parent-hosted luncheon, to be held at the Annex, is for all staff at both sites and is supported by the PAC Exec and parents/guardians. See details below. 

Cash Donations
Cash donations can be dropped at the Office [Viv at the Main & Patti at the Annex] in the marked boxes. 

Food Donations
Requested food/drink items can be dropped at the Dickens Annex Gym on Friday, May 13 at 9am  serving dishes can be picked from 2-3pm at the same location. 

Here's how you can help:
  • Cash
  • Sparkling Water and Juices
  • Appetizers: Cheese, Fruit and/or Veggie Platters
  • Pies, Cakes, Cookies or Cupcakes, Ice-cream
  • Entree Dish of your choice (Vegetarian, Gluten-free Dishes are welcome too)
  • Volunteer for a session on the day: Set-up (9-11am), Serving (11-1pm) or Clean-up (1-3pm)

To get involved and help out on Friday, May 13 contact Nicole: nicolenozick@gmail.com or Deb: anm8r_chick@hotmail.com or Mariko: mariko@kish.ca


PEDALHEADS is back at Dickens!

There are only a few spots left this spring! April 27 - May 25, 2016

Dickens PAC is once again pleased to offer the Pedalheads® After-School Bike Program at Dickens Main. Sessions will run from April 27 to May 25 on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30pm. 

Cost is $179. Levels 1 to 4 are offered.
Dickens PAC receives $10 for every attendee which is given back to the Dickens Schools.  

Register online at www.pedalheads.com/camp

Tips for registration:
1. Step 1 - “Select a Program”, choose “Pedalheads School Camps” from the dropdown menu.
2. Step 5 - “Select Dates” enter April 27 as your start date.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Pedalheads at 604-874-6464 or email BC@pedalheads.com 


Personal Note from our PAC Chair

It's time for a new parent/guardian to lead the PAC Exec and it's urgent that someone (or two) step up and take this on!
Why do we need a new PAC Chair (or two Co-Chairs) for 2015-16?

1) All School PACs must have a Chair or two Co-Chairs. These roles are required by an Excecutive Council. 
2) To ensure succession planning, and ensure the new Chair(s) and new members can leverage the knowledge and understanding of those who've done the role before while they are still parents/guardians at the school.

I've heard people say, and I am truly flattered, that "these are big shoes to fill". However, I would say they are only as big as you make them, and the role is what you make it! No PAC Chair has ever been the same and each person's approach is always unique.

This year, we have a large group of 24 wonderful, passionate and helpful individuals making up our PAC Exec. Council. Each of them is working on one or more projects throughout the year. While you may not always see them at a meeting, they are there quietly working, often behind the scenes. 


My children will be entering Grade 7 in September this year. While I'll continue to be on the PAC Exec to help guide and advise the new chair, it's key that another parent/guardian is elected as Chair and takes on this role. And given my own personal commitments with work and home, I do need to step down and pass on the role to the next person(s).

So the Chair/Co-chairs isn't a team of one or two. You do not have to be at school everyday, and you are never working alone or on everything. It takes the efforts and diligence of the entire team to make the PAC Exec Council run smoothly but yes the team does need a leader or two!

I therefore invite you to consider taking on this role. You can lead and can make a positive difference to the Dickens Schools in your own way! I will happily meet to discuss the role with you. Please contact me for a chat, at andreasinclair@gmail.com

Andrea Sinclair
Current Dickens PAC Chair

Vancouver School Board (VSB) is seeking Parent/Guardian Feedback

VSB SEEKING INPUT re: STRATEGIC PLAN & LONG RANGE FACILITIES PLAN

They are asking for input and its critical for all our kids, especially in the current budget deficit environment, that we all provide feedback either in person or via online surveys.

The VSB is going to have to make some very tough decisions and they need our input for two key reasons:

1) Feedback and data helps them push back to the Ministry of Education - it's powerful info from parents/guardians, teaching staff and all concerned citizens. 

2) Parent/Guardian input across regional, cultural, community and socioeconomic perspectives helps the VSB make smart, strategic decisions for all our kids - they don't know what they don't know, until we tell them!


Strategic Plan (VSB 2021)

From January to March 2016, over 1000 people participated in Phase 1, titled "Exploring the Issues", the process to update the Strategic Plan.  Phase 2, titled “Setting Direction, Making Choices”, is now underway. It will create the core content of the new plan.

Four “key themes” have been drafted, along with a set of “directional statements” to ensure action on each - these are for your discussion and comment until May 6th. 

There are 2 ways to provide your input:

1) Online Survey
Available online ​until May 1. This short survey covers the same draft content (“key themes and directional statements”) as the guides offered above but does not go into deep discussion. Take the survey here (English, Chinese simplified & traditional available).


2) Workshop
VSB is hosting a discussion-based workshop at Templeton Secondary School on Thursday, April 21 from 7 to 8:30 pm. Small-group discussions on the same “key themes and directional statements” will start promptly at 7:15 - don’t be late! See the workshop agenda here.


Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP)

It's time to share your thoughts on the VSB Engagement Survey regarding the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) which includes all things such as enrollment numbers, seismic upgrades, 95% capacity and school closures. Given the Provincial Budget and Education Funding, and the resulting VSB Shortfall, it's critical that we all give input and feedback to this process. The LRFP feeds into the VSB Strategic Plan for the next 6 years through to 2021 - it's all connected!

There are 2 ways to provide your input:

1) Online Survey
Take the survey here.

2) Open House/Workshops
There are two Open House/Workshops left to attend: Apr 24 River District Centre and April 30 at SFU World Art Centre - both are afternoon sessions. 

The Open House component will be one more opportunity for participants to drill down and share their thoughts. The Workshop will be 90 minutes, and will offer a chance to share detailed feedback in a group setting. There will be a briefing portion, questionS & answers followed by facilitated group discussions/listening sessions on seismic upgrades, temporary accommodation, closures, repurposing surplus spaces and new schools. You need only attend one of these sessions and it doesn't have to be the one closest to your school. 

The final event on May 8 is an Open House where the VSB will be sharing the report based on all input during March & April.

PAC Exec Meeting - Mar 2016

Mar 8, 2016 Minutes: https://goo.gl/XeVuYp

Saturday, April 16

SPRING FLING - Volunteer and/or Donate!

SPRING FLING is fast approaching –
WE NEED YOUR HELP to make it happen!

This is our 16th Annual Fundraiser to financially support all Dickens students for field trips, activities and classroom supplies.

Please sign up to VOLUNTEER and/or DONATE!

VOLUNTEERING

Working with other parents on Spring Fling is a great way to get involved and support ALL our children. We need over 200 volunteers to bring this event to life!  Most shifts are 1 to 1.5 hrs onsite on Thursday June 2, from 4 to 8p.m. or a few hours prior to the event.

Contact Mariko Kish at dickens.spring.fling@gmail.com to volunteer or ask questions about the following areas:  
  • Promoting the event
  • Silent Auction Canvassing
  • Set-Up or Tear Down
  • Silent Auction
  • 50/50 Raffle
  • Art Wall
  • Bake Sale
  • Cake Walk
  • Cotton Candy
  • Dunk Tank
  • Face Painting
  • Food Tent
  • Games
  • Plants
  • Photo Booth
  • Photography
  • Reptile Room
  • Recycling/Garbage

MAKE OR CREATE A DONATION

Calling all Professionals
Are you a Lawyer/Notary, Architect, Interior Designer, Bookkeeper/Accountant, Therapist, Dentist, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Hair Dresser, Landscaper, Musician or another Specialist? Can you donate 1-2 hours of your services as a Silent Auction item? Or do you perhaps own a business providing a service that would benefit our parent community? Then we want to hear from YOU! 

Support our kids by helping us raise auction funds and generate new customers. Contact Kasimir Kish at kasimir@kish.ca if you’d like to donate or have questions. 

Secure Donations from Local Businesses
Prior to June 2, our Silent Auction team needs canvassers to get donations from local businesses in the area for the auction. Canvassing is a vital role as it contributes to a significant part of our fundraising! Think you can help? Contact Kasimir Kish at kasimir@kish.ca

“Made It” Donations
Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing, Quilting, Jams & Jellies, Basket weaving, Jewellery & Bead-work, Cards, Ornaments, Candles, Soaps and Woodwork. We welcome any home-made handiwork. Click here for more info Contact: Kerryn Williams, kerrynwilliams@hotmail.com

“Art Wall” Donations
Paintings, Sketches, Sculptures, Ceramics, Pottery and Photographs. We welcome artworks from hobbyists and professionals. Click here for more info  Contact: Tamara Cotton, tamaraleecotton@gmail.com

Calling all Bakers!
We need your delicious cookies, pastries, brownies and other baked goods to sell at the Fling. Contact: Nashlisha Thony, naslithony@hotmail.com

“Cake Walk” Donations
It’s a hugely popular event with the kids but it needs cakes from our community! Contacts:  Amanda Georgeamandageo2000@yahoo.com
and Rossana Cariteyraspberrymom@gmail.com

Plant Donations 
Buy new or pull from your garden! The more we have, the more we can sell back to our community. Contact: Nicole Nozick, nicolenozick@gmail.com

Please share this info with friends and family who may also be able donate their professional services, handiwork, artwork, baking and plants - Thank you! 

All proceeds will benefit Dickens students at both the Main & Annex. 

HELP US PROMOTE THE EVENT

Promote the Fling & Spread the Word
The more people we have in attendance, the more funds we can raise for our kids! We need help to distribute posters and flyers at specific locations in our surrounding neighbourhoods. Contact: Leone Hallleone.hall@gmail.com

Join us on Social Media!
It's an easy way for you to send your friends & family some info about SPRING FLING and to invite them out to our event on Thursday, June 2 from 4 to 8p.m. Like our page here on Facebook and follow us here on Instagram to receive our fun news updates and Silent Auction sneak peeks! Remember to share your photos with us at #dickensspringfling

Tuesday, April 12

Learning Goals for 2016-17 School Year

Would you like to gain some insight on the upcoming goals and new BC curriculum for the next school year? Join us to find out how they will both shape the continued focus of learning at Dickens.



Saturday, April 9

Join SPRING FLING on Social Media!

It's an easy way for you to send your friends and family some info about SPRING FLING and to invite them out to the event on Thursday, June 2 from 4 to 8p.m. 

Check out our past photos on facebook! And on the day (or even before the event), you can share your SPRING FLING photos with us at #dickensspringfling if you use facebook and/or Instagram [this is our main public hashtag].   

Friday, April 8

Proposed Cuts to VSB Budget

IMPORTANT INFO FOR ALL VANCOUVER PARENTS & GUARDIANS - A Message from PAN, Vancouver:


Please read and share widely & quickly through your networks so we reach as many parents as possible! (Share by emailing or via Social Media, using one of the icons below this article)

Parents need to stand up and demonstrate wide public concern about the VSB budget to help pressure the BC Government. The Vancouver School Board is facing a budget deficit of $25 million dollars – the worst deficit in over two decades.  

The proposed cuts - HUGE, highly detrimental and long-lasting cuts to services for our children, which we may never return - will have SIGNIFICANT impact to ALL children across this district. 

Proposed Cuts include the Elimination of:
    • ALL elementary Band & Strings Programs 
    • 33 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Secondary Teachers 
    • Athletic Coordinators facilitating Inter-school Sports Events
    • Fine Arts Coordinators facilitating Visual & Performing Arts Programs 
    • Essential Services Literacy Teachers
    • Teacher mentor and support positions (includes mentors/support workers for brail, anti-racism & homophobia, learning technology, gifted kids, early literacy intervention, librarians, modern languages)
    • Multi-age Cluster Class (MACC) and Gifted Programs (includes closure of Challenge Centre Programs, and mentoring)
    • ALL Teachers that serve Home-bound Students. 
    • Two Multicultural Liaison Workers for South Asian, Korean and Vietnamese cultural groups. 
    • 10 Career Advisors from Secondary Schools to be replaced with a Single District Advisor. 
    • School-Aged Children & Youth (SACY) Engagement Worker for "at risk" students in Secondary Schools 
    • 12 Non-Enrolling Teaching Positions providing English Language Learning (ELL), Aboriginal Ed, Special Ed and Library Services
    • 12 Special Needs Student Support Workers
    • Class Size Cap for ALL Secondary Schools
Proposed Cuts also include the Reduction of: 
    • Administrative Support for Mini Schools which will impact programming and class sizes
    • Vision & Hearing Teachers

Vancouver's Public has been invited to give feedback to the VSB regarding this proposed budget on Tuesday, April 12 at 7pm at Vancouver Technical Secondary School and on THURSDAY, APRIL 14 at 5pm at the VSB OFFICES, 1580 West Broadway, Vancouver.
 
We ask parents and strongly urge every school and/or PAC to send at least one representative to express concerns and indicate how these budget cuts will directly affect children in your school!  If you are unsure how your school or your child(ren) will be affected, ask you administrator who will easily be able to tell you.

PLEASE REGISTER ASAP via email at budget2016_2017@vsb.bc.ca - for the April 14, public session as space is filling up fast! 

Your "speech" need only be one or two minutes. What is most important is showing wide public concern about the contents of this budget to put pressure on the BC Government!  

ACT NOW AND PLAN TO ATTEND!