(NOTE: There are Advocacy Resources For Parents at the bottom of this page.)


DPAC Newsletter March 2017

Greetings to Kootenay Lake parents, staff, trustees and community members interested in public education!


Please forward this far and wide. PAC chairs and secretaries – please distribute to your parent list.


If you would like your event promoted via the DPAC mailing list or posted on the DPAC website, please contactsd8dpac@gmail.com.

Spring break begins March 18 – enjoy!

Parent Night Out #1: Parent Advocacy 101

*Thursday, March 16, 6pm*

Nelson School Board office

A workshop not to be missed!


Provincial parent advocacy expert and Slocan Valley resident Susan Wilson will be presenting the Nelson session of Parent Advocacy 101 on Thursday, March 16 from 6:00 to 7:00 at the Nelson School Board Office. Toll-free teleconference will be available.


Everyone is welcome! This workshop will be valuable for parents and staff.


Learn the basics of what to do when you have concerns about your child, or something that is happening, or not happening at your school, i.e.,

  • where to start
  • whom to contact
  • where to find resources and how to use them
  • the SD8 Communication Protocol
  • when to call an advocate
  • how and when and if to contact a trustee
  • when to go to the Teacher Regulation Branch
  • issues that should be addressed by your PAC
  • IEPs (Individual Education Plans)
  • and much more

As always, travel and childcare subsidies are available from DPAC. Details and expense claims are available here.


It will be followed by a one-hour DPAC meeting. The agenda will be posted on Monday, March 13.


The Creston parent advocacy session will be scheduled later in the spring.


Check out the presentation lineup for upcoming DPAC meetings here.


Budget Thanks

Thank you to the parents from throughout the district who attended Talking Tables on February 28. You made connections, learned about school district operations and your voices made an impact. DPAC presented the parent budget submission at the March 7 Budget Stakeholder Engagement Committee meeting.


Want more information about school district budgets? Find it on the DPAC and SD8 websites.


Stellar Results from Audit of SD8 Special Education Program!

Congratulations to Independent Learning Director Ben Eaton and his Special Education Team! The recently completed compliance audit of SD8s Special Education Program was, in the words of the lead auditor, the “cleanest audit ever”. While audits of similar programs in other districts have resulted in funding clawbacks, the SD8 program did not lose one cent.


The lead auditor also stated that “We see the love you have for your students which could be a detriment from a compliance standpoint, but you found a lovely way to show needs and strengths” and the department was urged to “continue with exemplary services and programs.”


Policies are Important!!!

*Budget Development Policy Comments due March 10*

Policies govern all school district operations. School district policies directly impact you and your child. The associated regulations describe how each policy is implemented.


New and revised policies are “field tested” with suggestions for improvement encouraged. Comments on new Policy 603: Budget Development, Approval and Monitoring, are due by March 10. Read this new policy and submit comments here.


Find all of the Kootenay Lake School District Policies here.


Got an idea for a new policy or revisions to an existing policy?  Submit a policy “pro-forma” to the Board of Education. Find one on the DPAC website here.



Late French Immersion

*Applications Close March 15*

The late French Immersion program is offered in Nelson in grades 6-8 at Trafalgar Middle School and at LVR for grades 9-12. There is space for 60 students.

Applications will be accepted until 16:00 on March 15. Information and application forms are here.


*Submit School Registration & Transfer Requests by March 31*

Planning to transfer your child to a school outside of your catchment area for the 2017-2018 school year?


Submit a Student Request for Transfer Form to your child’s new school by March 31 at 4:00 pm. Transfer requests received after March 31 will be waitlisted until September 8, 2017.


New registrations are also being accepted now.


Details and forms at: registration & transfer.


Winlaw Teacher Linda Out Receives Environmental Education Excellence Award!

Congratulations to Winlaw Elementary grade 5 and 6 teacher Linda Out for receiving an Environmental Education Excellence Award from the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network. The award recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence and leadership in encouraging stewardship and sustainability in the Columbia Basin.


Learn more about Linda and this award here.


It’s Story Time

*Submission Deadline March 31*

Kids Write 4 Kids is an annual writing challenge for children in grades 4 to 8 that provides winner(s) with the opportunity to be a published author before high school. In addition to author fame, the annual proceeds from book sales are donated to that year’s winners’ schools. School(s) are also provided with the option of selling their author’s book for fundraising. Winner(s) will have an opportunity to take part in the following year’s judging panel.


The contest runs from October 1 to March 31. Info here.


Parent Night Out #2: Fostering Healthy & Amazing Relationships Among Youth:  The Secret Powers of Parents!!

with David Hatfield

*Tuesday, April 4, 7pm, LVR*

*Thursday, April 6, 7pm, PCSS*

DPAC along with the LVR and PCSS PACs are excited to present master facilitator and educator David Hatfield!


David describes himself as a leadership consultant, based in Vancouver, who has worked with boys and men exploring healthy masculinity, rites of passage and with facilitation, design and delivery of transformative experiential education. He will be working with students and staff at LVR, Trafalgar and other schools during the day, with a free evening presentation on April 4 in Nelson and April 6 in Creston.


“Raising kids through adolescence has never been easy! Age-old tensions around watching our kids explore attraction, sexuality and relationships brings up our concerns and often our own unfinished business. Parents can feel deeply challenged by shifts in youth culture, like expanded gender identities, the influence of social media and the internet, powerful and available drugs, and seemingly unceasing stories of serious violations between genders. We want great, fun, respectful and healthy relationships for our children, and as it turns out, we have a deep repository of useful information that they actually want to access. The magic is all in our delivery!! Learn about the gifts you already carry and leave with concrete ideas on how to share and deliver them to your kids and youth in general. Moms, Dads, step-parents, grandparents, soon to be parents, guardians, caregivers…all are welcome to an evening talk with an interactive participatory model!”


As always, travel and childcare subsidies are available from DPAC. Details and expense claims are available here.


Read about David Hatfield here and watch his TED talk here.


All Party Forum on Education in BC

*Livestreamed, Tuesday, April 4, 7:00-8:30*

If you can’t attend David Hatfield’s presentation in Nelson, check out BCCPACs All Party Forum on Education in BC. It will be held in Burnaby, but livestreamed everywhere.

Representatives of the Green, New Democratic and Liberal Parties will answer questions submitted by DPACs.


Register here by March 29 and the link will be emailed to you on April 4.


Have a question you would like the candidates to answer? Submit it to sd8dpac@gmail.com by March 17 for submission to BCCPAC.



BCCPAC Spring Conference & AGM May 5-7, Surrey

The 2017 BCCPAC Spring Conference and AGM will be held in Surrey on May 5, 6 & 7. Find out more about the BCCPAC spring conference and AGM here.


Because this event enlightens and inspires parents, DPAC will financially support up to four SD8 parents to attend. If the opportunity to join with parents from all over BC to discuss public education interests you, tell DPAC why you would like to attend and how your attendance will benefit your PAC.


Send your (2 paragraphs or less) response to sd8dpac@gmail.com by Wednesday, April 5.


PAC Chairs and Secretaries – watch for your AGM book with resolutions and a proxy vote form in your mailboxes shortly. Expect instructions and contact from a DPAC executive member in early April. Completing your proxy vote form allows your AGM representatives to vote on resolutions and the BCCPAC Board of Directors on behalf of your PAC.


Every SD8 PAC is a member of BCCPAC. Check out the services that BCCPAC membership provides your PAC and what BCCPAC does to improve public education in BC at http://bccpac.bc.ca/.


Find out what your BCCPAC has accomplished since last May – download and read the mid-term membership update here.


Parent Night Out #3: “The Mask You Live In”

In Your Family of Schools on the Date you Choose

Host a facilitated screening of this powerful documentary examining contemporary media representations of “masculinity” in your school with DPAC support. The film is deeply valuable for parents of children of all ages as well as students over 15 and is a companion to David Hatfield’s presentations.


Find more information about the film and view the trailer here.


Film screenings will be facilitated by Nelson-based facilitator, counselor, art therapist and outdoor educator Gabriel Keczan. DPAC has allocated funds to support PACs with facilitated screenings.


Contact sd8dpac@gmail.com to arrange a screening in your family of schools.


Facilities Plan Update Community Meetings

Want to know what’s happening with the SD8 facilities plan? Attend a meeting in your community.


Salmo:                                    Tuesday, March 14

Creston:                                 Tuesday, April 25

Meadow Creek:                    Tuesday, May 9

Nelson:                                  Tuesday, June 6

Slocan:                                  Tuesday, June 20


The final approved facilities plan is here.


Advocacy Works!

Parents and Teachers Together for Public Education

This BCTF-sponsored provincial conference recently brought together teachers and parents from throughout BC along with academics and activists who shared advocacy experiences and gained new knowledge and skills to build awareness and momentum to bring about positive change to public education in BC.


Presentations are available here and include:

  • The Internet of Me: Connecting in an Age of (Hyper) Connectivity by Dr. Phil McRae
  • Education Underfunding: How Does It Add Up? by Alex Hemingway and Dr. Sherri Brown
  • Hungry to Learn: Why BC Needs a Poverty Reduction Plan
  • Opening remarks by Glen Hansman
  • Parents Advocating for Public Education: Creative and inspiring examples of public education advocacy. Panel with Sarah Miller, Kim Nowitsky, Andrea Sinclair and Sheri Walsh.


Free Concert!

*Sunday, April 9, 2pm, Capitol Theatre*

Students attending the following schools are granted free admission to the Trio Accord concert on Sunday, April 9, at 2pm at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre:

  • Blewett
  • Homelinks
  • Hume
  • LVR
  • Redfish (?)
  • Rosemont
  • South Nelson
  • Trafalgar
  • Wildflower

Trio Accord includes Mary Sokol Brown (violin), Andrew Brown (viola), Rebecca Wenham (cello) with Arnold Draper (piano). “These musicians are ardent and enthusiastic proponents of chamber music, offering unique insights in the music they play.”


Call 250-352-6363 to reserve a free student ticket. More information and non-student ticket purchase is available here.
This is the last presentation of the Nelson Overture Concert Society this season. If your school does not participate in the Nelson Overture Concert Society Outreach Program, be sure to sign up for next year!


Revised 2017-2018 Calendar Approved

On Tuesday, March 7, the Board of Education approved the 2017-2018 calendar with two changes from the previously approved calendar:

  • This year (2016-2017) the district received significant feedback regarding placement of the Christmas celebration in the middle of the winter break rather than at the beginning. After consultation with the Calendar Committee, the board approved moving the previously scheduled 2017-2018 winter break to a later start time. The first day of winter break will now be December 22, and the first day of school in 2018 will be January 8.
  • There is now a Non-Instructional Day on Friday, March 9, 2018 as per Ministry guidelines in order to support staff with implementation of the new curriculum.

The Calendar Committee is comprised of representation from KLTF, CUPE, DPAC, KLPVPA and senior district leadership.

Find the new calendar on the DPAC website here.

Review of Standards for the Education, Competence & Professional Conduct of BC Educators

The British Columbia Teachers’ Council is currently reviewing the Standards for the Education, Competence and Professional Conduct of Educators in British Columbia. The Standards serve to guide the practice of BC educators and to communicate to the public the conduct and competence expected of educators as they carry out their work.


The Council has recently drafted a set of proposed revised Standards. These revisions build on the strengths of the current Professional Standards. In addition, in recognition of the role that educators play in contributing towards truth, reconciliation and healing, the Council has drafted a proposed new Standard that speaks to the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada. While it is the Council’s role to develop Professional Standards, the actualization of the Standards requires a commitment across the education system to ensure that the necessary resources and supports are available to BC educators.


The Teacher Regulation Branch, on behalf of the Council, is now asking for your response to questions on each proposed Standard to inform the Council’s review.


Submit your comments here.


Junior Dragon’s Den

Nelson, April 20

West Kootenay students from grades 7 to university will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a group of potential investors in Nelson on April 20. The Kootenay finals will be held in Trail on May 6. More information here.


State of the Basin 2016

Education, Poverty, Workforce Trends & Much, Much More

What are the trends in student enrollment, class sizes, class composition and high school completion?

Are Columbia Basin-Boundary communities growing or shrinking?

What sectors are people working in? How do our wages compare to other places?

What is the rate of low birth weights in our communities?

How does housing affordability compare?


Find the answers to these questions and many more in the Rural Development Institute’s State of the Basin 2016 report. Find all ten Trend Analysis briefs here.


The complete report will be released in the near future. In the meantime, subscribe to be alerted to upcoming releases here.


Advocacy – Parents Helping Parents

Sometimes families need assistance dealing with problems or situations at school. Parents may find these issues challenging to deal with or not be sure where or how or with whom to begin.


The Kootenay Lake DPAC has resources to help parents and students be heard and problem solve in a positive way. Find parent advocacy resources on the DPAC website here.


Kootenay Lake school district parents can also contact DPAC for information and support. Contact our volunteer parent advocates via email at sd8advocate@gmail.com. All correspondence is completely confidential.


SD8 Directory of Community Services

SD8 has produced a Directory of Community Services available throughout the district. Find it along with other helpful information on the SD8 Healthy Schools website here.


Mental Health & Substance Use Resources

If you or your child are dealing with mild anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance use, or suicidal thoughts, help is available. Check out KB Searchlight for great self-help and other resources as well as to find the appropriate services in communities west of Kootenay Lake.


Live Streaming Mobile App “Live.me” Concern

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection would like parents to be aware of youth using the popular live streaming mobile app Live.me. The app allows its users to post live broadcasts and receive “tips” from other users for completing specific tasks during live broadcasts. These “tips” are in the form of “gold coins” and can be exchanged for money. Users then have the ability to either delete the recording of the live broadcast or post it on their profile. There is no minimum required age to have an account.


CBT Programs & Grants for Schools, PACs and Students

The Columbia Basin Trust has many programs and grants available to school districts, schools, PACs and students. Find out more by downloading the brochure from the DPAC website here.


(Thanks to SD8 Innovative Learning Director Lorri Fehr for tracking this down!)


BCTF Free Presentations for Parents

Did you know that the BCTF offers presentations to parents? These presentations provide “opportunities to learn strategies, gain knowledge and explore concerns” on a variety of topics from professional development days, advocacy and social media to racism and anti-bullying. All presentations are offered free by qualified teachers after school and in the evening. Presentations can be booked now for January to May 2017.


Find out more at http://bctf.ca/parentpresentations/.





The world is run by those who show up – get involved!


Did you know that SD#8 parents have their own facebook page?

It’s “A place for parents of SD8 students to share news, ideas, information, plan events and work together for our children’s education.” Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/groups/273417826188629/


The DPAC Website is updated frequently

Please visit http://dpacsd8.weebly.com often to get updates from DPAC on a variety of district and provincial issues as well as many useful resources for parents. Please drop by and don’t forget to send us a comment!


DPAC Executive Members are available for PAC Meetings.

Have questions about DPAC or PACs or public education, but can’t attend DPAC meetings? Does your PAC need some mentoring? Contact sd8dpac@gmail.com to request that a DPAC member attend your PAC meeting.


Thanks for reading!

Sheri Walsh, Chair

Kootenay Lake DPAC



If you no longer wish to receive emails from the Kootenay Lake DPAC please reply. Email addresses are held in confidence and will not be shared or sold to outside individuals or organizations.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Honoring and working with male vulnerability | David Hatfield | TEDxEdmonton

Honoring and working with male vulnerability | David Hatfield | TEDxEdmonton


NEW Advocacy Resources For Parents:

“The Kootenay Lake District Parents’ Advisory Council (DPAC) is pleased to announce that six trained volunteer parent advocates are available to assist parents who are experiencing challenging situations at their school. Parent advocates can help parents problem solve in a confidential and positive way. All volunteer parent advocates have signed a code of conduct and oath of confidentiality (attached) and are being mentored by Susan Wilson who is under contract to DPAC.

Parents can also access parent advocacy resources and services from sd8advocate@gmail.com and through the DPAC website at: http://dpacsd8.weebly.com/advocacy-parents-helping-parents.html.

Kootenay Lake Parent Advocates January to June 2017

Name Phone Email
Cate Baio 250-354-4484 catebaio@hotmail.com
Sharon Bloodworth 250-435-0205 sharon.bloodworth@egis.ca
Amy Bohigian 250-551-1711 amybohigian@gmail.com
Kelly Lee Fitchett 250-428-8905 N/A
Kendra Mann 250-352-9981 kendradpac@gmail.com
Sheri Walsh 250-359-7639 sheridpac@gmail.com
Additional parent advocacy resources & services available from sd8advocate@gmail.com &