Sunday, May 25

Inviting others to SPRING FLING 2014

It's been set up!

You can invite your friends and family members to SPRING FLING using our Facebook invitation

Thanks very much in helping us to get the word out!
Charles Dickens PAC 

Friday, May 23

SPRING FLING is next week!

Don't forget to invite your friends and family!

Thursday - May 29, 2014  (4 to 8pm)

A fun-filled event for all ages - Come and enjoy a wonderful celebration of our school and community!

This is the Dickens PAC main fundraiser to support field trips, school programs & facilities and classroom supplies.

Bouncy Castle - NEW Games - Giant Slide - Face Painting - Photo Booth - Dunk Tank - Bake Sale - Delicious FOOD - Cake Walk - Made It Gifts - Plants - Live Music - Silent Auction - Mini Obstacle Course - and lots more!

Check out our updates on Facebook and get a heads-up on the Silent Auction items!!!
Two fabulous auction donations of note:
* Thule Roof Box valued at $1140 from RackAttack
* 5 Night Stay at an Oceanfront Condo in Cabo San Lucas

Keep watching as more items are being added daily!
* Bring your chequebook/cash and go home with your item that night.


Friday, May 16

Volunteer @ SPRING FLING!

We still need VOLUNTEERS!

Please give a couple hours of your time on or before May 29 to help make this terrific event a success!

We especially require more hands from 6 to 8p.m.

Contact Celia at

Do you have Kids Books to donate?

Drop off gently used children’s books at Room 144 (Division 2) anytime from now until Friday, May 23rd. All monies raised will go to the Charles Dickens ChildRun Team "Dickens for Dawn" - see more info below:  


See list below. If you have any questions, contact Christy at

Silent Auction Donations

Are you or your business able to make a donation to the Silent Auction this year? 
If yes, contact Gail Hallett at   - Thank you!
See examples below.


April 9 2014 PAC Exec Meeting

Christy Thomas                             Co-Chair Main
Deb Copeland                               Co-Chair Main
Kerryn Williams                             Co-Chair Annex
Andrea Sinclair                              Vice Chair Main
Kelly Maxwell                                Treasurer
Phil Benson                                    Co-Secretary
Nicole Nozick                                 Co-Secretary
Andrea Mitchell                            Member at Large
Rachelle Leduc                              Member at Large
Tami Friesen                                  Member at Large
Anne-Marie Long                         Member at Large
Anna Maria Niccili-Mullett         Principal Charles Dickens Elementary
Karl Graham                                   Vice Principal Charles Dickens Main
Lisa Nucich                                      Vice Principal Charles Dickens Annex

Brad White                                     Vice Chair Annex
Aasia Paterson                              Member at Large
Ania Jakobs                                    Member at Large
Jenny Pronovost                           Member at Large
Leone Hall                                       Member at Large
Mimi Wong                                     Member at Large
Scott Urquhart                              Member at Large
Judith Steedman                          Member at Large
Cathy Golf                                       Member at Large

1. Agenda for tonight’s meeting was passed.

2. Minutes of last (March 2014) meeting were approved.

3. Principal’s Report – Anna Maria

-          Thanked everyone for support since Dawn passed

-          Call to parents for thoughts on which classes they’d like their kids placed in next year.  Parents thoughts are considered but final decision belongs to staff.  Main school feedback form sent out today (9-April) and requested back by 1-May.  Annex feedback will be requested by a form sent home to parents (sent out 1-May, requested back by 25-May).  Forms should be handed in at the office.

-          Noted that families are advocating for a separate music space in a very respectful manner.  Many thanks for that.

-          Anna Maria has invited Paul Nichols to attend the next PAC Executive meeting to discuss his thoughts for the Main School’s music program for 2014/2015.  Andrea Sinclair suggested that Paul attend the PAC General Meeting in late April (Anna Maria will check with Paul).

-          Anna Maria noted that the Main School owns almost a complete class set of guitars.  Some consideration has been given to this considering they don’t have the same noise impact associated with marimbas.

-          Anna Maria noted that school attendance for 2014/2015 is quite tight.  The school might not be able to accommodate cross boundary siblings.

-          2014/2015 calendars will be out to families by end of May.  Administration has heard requests by parents to align pro-D days at the Main School & Annex.  Deb Copeland to remind Karl to look into publishing electronic calendar that can be used by smart phones, etc.

4.       4.  Vice Principal’s Report – Main School (Karl Graham)

-          Considering setting up a Twitter account for the Main School.

-          Deb Copeland mentioned she has heard of a school that puts each day’s morning announcements on Twitter.

-          Satisfaction surveys (anonymous) have been started for Grade 4’s.  Those for Grade 7 start tomorrow.

5.       Vice Principal’s Report – Annex (Lisa Nucich)

-          Annex also has a Twitter account but not much activity yet.

-          Dalai Lama Peace & Education Centre came to Annex last week to discuss kindness.

-          Dance Week is this week and is going well.

-          Grade 3 Egg Drop later this month.

6.       Treasurer Report (Kelly Maxwell)

-          Refer to treasurer’s report

7.       Fund Allocation Strategy for Next Year

-          Teacher concerns this year about disbursements are attributed to a bit of confusion around changing administration.  Anna Maria to discuss with staff.

-          There will be more discussion about how to budget allocations for 2014/2015 at the May PAC Exec Meeting.

8.       Greenway Discussion (Andrea Mitchell)

-          Agreed that boulevard planting volunteer work party to be done immediately after work on Friday 25-April.  Andy estimates she will need 10-20 people.

-          Painting budget issues.  VSB is low bidder but is not permitted to do the painting on city property (union issues).  Andrea & Karl are looking into this.

-          Would like to have a greenway potluck barbeque party when the work is complete.

-          Anna Maria to check with VSB insurer if they can insure a PAC project that takes place on City property.  It might be appropriate for VSB insurer to talk to the City’s insurer.

9.       Integrating Grade 4’s into Dickens Main from Annex (Kerryn Williams)

-          Kerryn suggested there could be a buddy system that enables the ex-Annex kids to come up to speed faster (similar to the system provided for new kids).

-          Karl advised that there is already an orientation program in place for the ex-Dickens Grade 4’s.  Administration is happy to hear of any concerns or issues encountered previously so that this program can be optimized.

10.  Dawn Memorial (Saturday)

-          Anna Maria noted that the obituary indicated that all are welcome.

-          Kelly Maxwell noted PAC has already given a $200 donation for this issue.

-          Anna Maria suggested that PAC revisit making some kind of tribute after the memorial is over.

-          Christy will put a card in the PAC box by the end of Thursday 10 April for PAC members to sign.  It will be given to the family at the memorial on Saturday.

11.  Spring Fling Update (Andrea Mitchell)

-          Meeting next Wednesday 16-April at Cedar Cottage Pub.

-          Noted that last year’s photo booth person is unavailable.  To rent one is $500 so Andy is putting out the word to see if anyone else is out there.

-          Christy will put letter templates for requesting donations in the PAC box.

12.  Loss of Designated Music Space (Christy Thomas)

-          There is a team still concentrating on finding an “extra space” that will not impact on any spots for new students.

-          Another committee meeting is scheduled for tomorrow (10-April) to evaluate options.

-          At this time the number one option appears to be addition of a portable but it seems unlikely.

-          Apparently a music space was promised when the Main School was first built and now the committee is looking for documentation.

13.  Upcoming Events

-          30 April – General Meeting / School Plan

-          14 May – PAC Executive Meeting

-          29 May – Spring Fling!

14.  New Business

-          Concerns about dogs on field and associated signage.   Scott Urquhart may come to see Karl directly about this.

-          Christy suggested that people start to think about PAC positions for next year.

-          Nicole articulated concerns about kids’ safety on the Internet.  Should there be some instruction on this by the teachers?  Lisa Nucich indicated that teachers do talk about this with students but there is no formal curriculum.  Anna Maria indicated that it is tough to teach at the school because so many websites are already blocked at the schools.  Is there a speaker program that PAC could fund next year?

February 5, 2014 PAC Exec Meeting

Christy Thomas                  Co-Chair Main
Kerryn Williams                 Co-Chair Annex
Deb Copeland                    Co-Chair Main
Andrea Sinclair                  Vice Chair Main (chaired meeting)
Kelly Maxwell                    Treasurer
Nicole Nozick                     Co-Secretary (took Minutes)
Adrienne Wang                  Member at Large
Andrea Mitchell                 Member at Large
Leone Hall                           Member at Large
Scott Urquhart                   Member at Large
Rachelle Leduc                   Member at Large
Tami Friesen                       Member at Large
Judith Steedman               Member at Large

Brian Anderson                 Principal (Interim) Charles Dickens Elementary
Karl Graham                       Vice Principal Charles Dickens Main
Lisa Nucich                          Vice Principal Charles Dickens Annex

Phil Benson                        Co-Secretary
Brad White                         Vice Chair Annex
Aasia Paterson                  Member at Large
Ania Jakobs                        Member at Large
Maggie Lancaster             Member at Large
Tara Robens                       Member at Large
Cathy Golf                           Member at Large
Jenny Pronovost                Member at Large
Mimi Wong                         Member at Large
Anne-Marie Long               Member at Large (unable to attend on Weds)
Rochelle Tucker                  Member at Large (unable to attend on Weds)

1. Agenda for tonight’s meeting approved  (Deb 1st / Kelly 2nd / Passed)

2. Approve Minutes: Exec mtg Jan 8/14 (Kerryn 1st /Kelly 2nd / Passed)

3. School Update

        Brian (Main)

Anna-Maria is back on a part-time gradual-return basis working half day (mornings) for the next few weeks. Brian is in place full time until AM returns full time. AM is feeling well and happy to be back.

Re Basketball hoops - confirmed hoops will soon be lowered to a better height - 9’6” (as per January Exec mtg discussion). Some new coat hooks and cubbies near the gym will be replaced, more to be added in the hallways. VSB approval given for the outdoor drainage issues to be fixed (PAC funded as per previous meeting discussions and motions). This will take place in the near future.

        Karl (Main)

Activities are in full swing - grade 6/7 boys and girls basketball teams, skating fieldtrips, Bollywood dancing (performance planned for Monday Feb 17 - parents are welcome to attend), high school selections continuing. The Ministry-operated Satisfaction Survey for parents and students grades 4, 7 & 10 will be coming out in April. Students complete survey at school, parents receive/fill in via email.

Some discussion re after-school care Bike Camp - very popular program. Karl provided background explanation about VSB rental policy - school sponsored clubs (eg chess club) don’t pay rental fees, non-profit organizations (eg Bike Camp) pay reduced rate rentals, for- profit organizations (Church groups, Stratas) pay full rental fees.  The school has priority if the space is needed.

UPDATE as per Feb 11: Karl was able to purchase PAC’s #1 technology priorities for the Main with the most recent packet so Main library will now have four student Mac computers, a full laptop cart (that all teachers can sign out) and Arms installed for all smartboards in the school. 

        Lisa (Annex)

January has been extremely busy. Activities included parents centre morning with six parent-run stations, staff keen to have parent involvement whenever possible. Bob Heidebreider (author) gave presentation. Jump Rope for Heart coming up soon. The Annex has grown so much that the students are split into two groups for the performance.  (Brian - keep in mind that space is limited when bringing along family members to watch performances.)

Pink Day is coming up soon. Dickens Annex Parents Night Out (raised $2,500) happening again March 7. Only for Annex parents - space issues. Hopefully this will be expanded with a larger venue in the future.

Lice - VCH nurse will be visiting Annex to speak with parents about lice control and management. Parents will receive information kits to take home.  Some group discussion about the issue and how to address it in the schools.

4. Treasurer Update - Kelly

Budget Report
General funds have been updated to reflect the decisions voted on at from PAC January meeting.
General funds for Main$ 1579.75 uncommitted
General funds for Annex $0.00 uncommitted
Lisa - Annex used the technology money to purchase an additional projector. Grateful for the funding.

5. Spring Fling - May 29 Andy M

Four months away. Andy is happy to continue to lead this (huge!) project. Unfortunately Jen Smythe is unable to work with Andy again this year. Fling needs more male volunteers. Gail Hallet will lead the Silent Auction and needs help - specifically data-base entry and door-to-door solicitation (approaching neighbourhood businesses to solicit donations for the Silent Auction.) Kerryn, Christy, Rachelle will sign up to help with this.

Most Fling stations have a manager in place (pretty much the same as last year). The Bouncy Castle needs someone. Kerryn will manage the pop-up homemade store, parents will be solicited to donate anything home-made to have for sale.

Andy would like to set up a marketplace area and suggested having a garden centre/plant sale, the group liked this suggestion.

Some discussion about:

·         the  50/50 draw (raised approx. $250). Some concerns from last year that it is inappropriate (gambling). A gaming license is required. The group decided to keep 50/50.

·         the Cake Walk - a lot of mess, fewer cakes donated, last year the cakes were used for food fights (this hasn’t happened in previous years). Recommendation to keep the Cake Walk but have more volunteers in place to supervise and additional regulations in place to keep this popular event successful .

·         working with Paul Eviston (local realtor) and his offer to provide wine and/or donations for a station. (Kerryn to follow up). Eviston has been very generous in the past (cash donations) and has offered to host a money-making event. 

Brian - must be mindful about offering ‘free’ advertising for businesses. The school may not allow any form of advertising to parents or students to take place during school events. 

Lisa - the Annex has had to decline many funding offers because of this issue from parents who are neighbourhood realtors.

Beer garden on roof suggestion quickly dismissed as inappropriate.

There is a Spring Fling committee that will begin meeting in March.

6. Feb 27 - General event discussion - Christy/Nicole

Event suggested will include potluck appies (sweet/savoury) plus a dance or line dancing component. Christy to talk with staff to get them on board, this will encourage student attendance, but not necessary for teachers to attend or participate (but desirable of course). Gym and multi-purpose room to be used. Gym capacity standing 750, seated 420. 

Some discussion about expected attendance and whether to include Annex families.

Karl expressed concern about numbers/attendance if both schools are included.  Discussion and decision made for event to be held on Thursday or Friday, to include Annex and Main, with the idea that very few Annex families would attend in reality. Suggestion to make it ticketed (free) to address attendance/over-crowding concerns.

UPDATE as per Feb 11: there is no funding left in the speakers budget line to cover the DJ ($300). Funding will need to come from the Emergency funds budget line (currently $800).

Motion: to take $288 from Emergency Funds to use for DJ Dance Party on Feb. 28 at Main School (both schools invited).

(Christy 1st /Kerryn 2nd/Passed). Whoohoo!

7. Main Remaining Funds Discussion - Kelly/Christy

A number of funding requests have recently been presented from teachers. There has been some a fair amount of misunderstanding amongst teachers about the application for funding process. Christy met with Main school staff to talk about the process and address the confusion/concerns. Christy will address communication issues with staff to improve the process for future funding requests.

For now, after much consideration, a solution has been devised by Christy and Kelly to address the discrepancies between teachers/divisions and to ‘even out’ the playing field so that all the students benefit equitably from field trip/funding opportunities. Group discussion about disbursing funds to each division (Main) to ensure equitable division amongst all the divisions/classes while acknowledging and honouring the requests made by teachers in advance.

Some discussion about the recommended plan which includes a suggestion to hold $10 per student for two classes in which the usual teachers have been absent and therefore not applied for funding, but are expected to return soon.  

Below is the plan put forward by Christy and Kelly:

February Funding 2014 – Main

DIV + title
Teacher (s)
$ requested
$ received
1-7 - School bus for Salmon Release
Wendy & all K/1/2
1 + 2 – Planetarium
3 + 4 - Field Trip
3 + 4 - Bird Talk
Sheila, Cathy, Jeanne
5 + 6 - Salmonids/aquarium
8 + 9 - Owl Rehab
10 + 11 - Spring Field trip
13 -Spring Field trip
16 - Anne Frank
19 + 20 - Museum of Anthropology
12 - reserved by PAC
Julia/Georgina (Nicole)
14- reserved by PAC
Kelly/Julie (Jennifer)

MOTION: Funding for the above will come from General funds; excess funding needed ($1,200.22) will come from the contingency and cash surplus. Whatever is taken out of this (contingency/cash surplus) will be given to the Annex on a per student rate - total $351.03.

(Kelly 1st/Andrea 2nd / Passed)

New Business:
    Crossing guard (Judith) - Rachelle explained that a former conversation with Bob provided some important information - it’s possible to set up a patrol program but it must be parent volunteer run. It requires some training/gear and a parent liaison. Student involvement is not allowed.

     Criminal record checks - Kerryn heard back from VSB about criminal record checks which will be needed by parent volunteers as per new VSB requirements. At the moment it is up to the parent to fund the criminal record checks.  Tabled for discussion at next meeting.

     Christy  - Dawn and Dawn’s family were very grateful for the support. There is a dinner roster going around.

     Internet: safety and best practices (Nicole) - is this being addressed in the classroom, curriculum based, ad hoc? Tabled for next meeting.