Wednesday, December 16

Holiday Sing-A-Long at Dickens Main

On Friday, December 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm in our School Gym, the whole school will be participating in a Holiday Sing-A-Long together.

There will be musical accompaniment by talented parent musicians in our community. 

Parents/guardians are welcome to attend.

Feature Article & Video at Dickens




Growing Chefs! was one of many successful PAC-funded Classroom Activities hosted at the Dickens main school this year, and was featured on the Vancouver Sun's Blog:

See Photos and Read about the Activities at:
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2015/12/01/kids-show-off-their-cooking-chops-in-stir-fry-competition/

Watch the Video Clip at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysaY0IQLqvg

Saturday, December 12

Holiday Hampers - Volunteers Needed

Thank you for your generous donations towards the Holiday Hampers! We now need as many hands as possible to help us with sorting and wrapping... 

A Wrap Party will be held this Tuesday, December 15
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: 1950 East 34th Avenue, Vancouver 

Please bring as many scissors and pens as possible with you. Tea will be served but feel free to bring any other beverage for sharing. Thanks very much!



Thursday, December 10

Parent Advocacy Network launches a postcard campaign

Join our Postcard Campaign for BC Education Funding! 


PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY YOUR PAC

The Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services found that K-12 Education Funding remains a top priority for British Columbians. 

The Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) in conjunction with Families Against Cuts to Education (FACE), has therefore started a postcard campaign targeting the BC Government. 

Parents on your Charles Dickens PAC are both founding and active members of PAN.

The goal of the campaign is to deliver thousands of postcards declaring “I stand with the Standing Committee” to the Minister of Education, Mike Bernier, in time for him to make his New Year's Resolutions. The postcard includes the Committee’s list of recommendations for K-12 funding as well as a space to offer up your own comments.  


In addition to passionate discussion on social media and support from many schools in Vancouver, PAN has already received numerous requests for postcards from around the province. 

We hope that you will join us in sharing postcards with fellow parents/guardians, family and friends to collect as many postcards as possible: In early January, we will make a bulk delivery and a big statement to the Minister of Education demonstrating that parents will be holding his government accountable to adequately fund public education.  

Here’s how you can participate and help make a change!

GET YOUR POSTCARDS

DELIVER YOUR POSTCARDS

  • If you are within the Dickens community, please drop off bundles of completed postcards to the personal residence at 744 East 14th Avenue. 
  • Alternatively, if you live in Vancouver, you can bring completed postcards in person to our January PAN meeting at the Tipper Restaurant (backroom) on January 4, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Thank you for participating in our Postcard Campaign 
Together we can make a difference! 

Front and back of two postcard samples:

Summary of Public Education Panel Discussion

On November 25, the Charles Dickens PAC hosted a Panel Discussion on Public Education featuring guest speakers from PENS (Public Education Network Society), a long time public education advocacy group that created a "Charter for Public Education".   

Mike Zlotnik spoke on the democratic vision of public education in Canada after the second world war that promoted equal opportunity for all citizens, and the erosion of that vision in recent years.  

Marilynne Waithman talked about the commodification of education and the consequent breakdown of neighbourhood school communities.  

John Malcolmson illustrated and gave clarity around the ‘numbers’ for public education in BC since 2002. 

This was followed by a lively interactive discussion by parents.  

If you missed the event, you can view their presentations at these links:

Mike: https://goo.gl/FwwkJ1 

John: https://goo.gl/yGcTOR

Marilynne: https://goo.gl/pmhXmX
   

You can also access a copy of the Charter for Public Education at: 
http://publiced.ca/index.php?page=english

PENS will be giving a second Panel Discussion on the west side of Vancouver in early February  the location and date will be announced in the near future.

Technology Fundraiser News

Charles Dickens Technology Campaign 
News Update 

Thank you to everyone for your amazing support!

Together we've raised an impressive $14,400
including funds donated by PAC, 
money given to our GoFundMe page 
and contributions made by our generous Dickens families, 
friends and communities.

We are so close to reaching our target of $15,000 
which will be matched by our big-hearted donor "Jackie" 
to reach our ultimate goal of $30,000!* 

To raise the final $600
we will be hosting a Burger & Beer Night 
early in the New Year
— stay tuned for more info!


Tax Receipts
Donations of $25 or more given to Viv at the Main School Office 
will be eligible for a tax receipt with a tax form. 
Write cheques to: Vancouver School Board.

*All donations and matching funds will be used for much needed computers and technology-based learning tools at Dickens main school. e.g. laptops, tablets etc.

PAC Exec Meeting - Oct 2015

Oct, 13 2015 Minutes: https://goo.gl/0pexoF

Friday, December 4

Reminder: Sock Drive @ Dickens

The SOCK DRIVE led by Student Council 

is now on at the Main School


You can keep the homeless warm and cozy this winter! 


Please help by donating clean, warm wool socks 
[Men’s Sizes only] 


Place them in the drop-off box in the main lobby
by Friday, December 11 — Thank you!

For more info, contact teacher Peggy 
or chat with members of Student Council.


*Current sales tips for socks:

*Midland Liquidators, on Kingsway, have men's wool socks 
at 50% off. 

*Mark's, at Kingsgate Mall, also has a winter sock sale, 
ranging from 20% or more off.

Save the Date!


Holiday Hampers Reminder - Gifts are due by next Friday, Dec 11

Fill in the Tax Receipt Form received, for any Cash or Cheque donations of $50 or more. 
Write cheques to: Charles Dickens PAC — Thank you. 

Friday, November 27

* It's time for Holiday Hampers again! *

The following hand-out and a small envelope was sent home with all students this past Wednesday, November 25.  Tax Receipt Forms were attached for Cash or Cheque donations of $50 or more. {Write cheques to: Charles Dickens PAC— Thank you. 


Thursday, November 26

Sock Drive @ Dickens

The SOCK DRIVE led by Student Council 

is now on at the Main School


You can keep the homeless warm and cozy this winter! 


Please help by donating clean, warm wool socks 
[Men’s Sizes only] 


Place them in the drop-off box in the main lobby
by Friday, December 11 — Thank you!

For more info, contact teacher Peggy 
or chat with members of Student Council.

Monday, November 23

Reminder for this Wednesday!

Are you concerned about the future of Public Education in BC, and would you like to know how you can advocate for a better future?

Join us for a Panel Discussion with the Public Education Network Society (PENS) on November, 25. 

Parents/guardians from other schools are also welcome to attend this event. See poster for more details:



Tuesday, November 17

Parent Advocacy Network Presentation

Parent Advocacy Network Presentation to Vancouver School Board (VSB), re: Ernst & Young (EY) Report.​


On November 10, 2015 the VSB held a special public input meeting for feedback on the proposed response to the June 8, 2015 EY recommendations. These recommendations included the closure of 19 East Vancouver schools to meet a district capacity target of 95%. 

The Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education presented alongside other stakeholders such as DPAC, VESTA, VSTA and CUPE. There were common themes that emerged including the concern over selling school land, the privileging of corporate efficiency  over educational wisdom, and the need for the board to remain transparent to stakeholders in its decision making processes. The Parent Advocacy Network ​highlighted the negative impact on students, learning environments and the arts should a 95% capacity target be agreed upon.
  ​
A highlight of the evening was a presentation by Andy Yan, a city planner who stunned everyone by citing BC statistics student population predictions for Vancouver, which anticipate an increase of 25,000 school age students by 2041. If this is the case, then the elimination of 7,000 ‘empty seats’ through school closures seem shortsighted indeed!  
​​Read the report here: https://goo.gl/imD28x

The Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) is a grassroots group of parents representing schools across Vancouver who share a deep commitment to public education and are extremely concerned for its future. Its founding members include parents from Dickens Main and Annex. We see an urgent need for schools to connect with one another through advocacy groups to share information and support one another. 

Together we can share research and information about public education and current policies that impact Vancouver schools as well as upcoming advocacy initiatives happening in Vancouver. In this way we see ourselves as supporting and complementing existing groups such as FACE, PENS, DPAC, and BCCPAC in the work they are doing.

If you are interested in learning more about PAN, email us at:
parentadvocacynetwork@gmail.com

Attend the Panel Discussion regarding the Future of Education in BC - Wednesday, November 25 at the Dickens Main School Library:

Are you concerned about the future of Public Education in BC, and would you like to know how you can advocate for a better future? 

Join us for a Panel Discussion with the Public Education Network Society (PENS). Parents/guardians from other schools are also welcome to attend this event. 

See poster for more details: 
http://dickenspac.blogspot.ca/2015/11/whats-happening-to-public-education.html

Another Update on Charles Dickens Technology Fundraiser @ Main


Charles Dickens Technology Campaign 
November Update 

Together we’ve raised $5,400 to date 
Thank You for your generous support!

We still need your support to raise the final $2,600 
to be matched by our generous donor 
to reach our goal of $30,000!*

Please help us by reaching out to your Family & Friends using our GoFundMe page for easy, instant, online donations. Thank You! 

All donations will be matched by our big-hearted donor!
“Jackie” grew up in Cedar Cottage and went to Charles Dickens Elementary — now he’s an entrepreneur who wants to give back to Dickens!

 [photo: Jackie at 9 years old]

Tax Receipts 
Donations of $25 or more given to Viv at the Main School Office 
will be eligible for a tax receipt with a tax form. Write cheques to: Vancouver School Board.

*All donations and matching funds will be used for much needed computers and technology-based learning tools at Dickens main school. e.g. laptops, tablets etc.

Friday, November 6

What's happening to Public Education?

Are you concerned about the future of Public Education in BC, and would you like to know how you can advocate for a better future?

Join us for a Panel Discussion with the Public Education Network Society (PENS) on November, 25. 

Parents/guardians from other schools are also welcome to attend this event. See poster for more details:


Thursday, November 5

Charles Dickens Book Fair – Volunteers Needed!

More volunteers are needed for our bi-annual school Book Fair to work 1-hour shifts from December 2 – 3. The Fair takes place during the week of the parent-teacher conferences at the main school.



1-Hour shifts that still require volunteers: 


December 2
  • 4-5 pm (2 volunteers)
  • 5-6 pm (1 volunteer)
  • 6-7 pm (2 volunteers)
December 3
  • 3-4pm (1 volunteer)

You are welcome to bring your kids if you'd like to do so. Please email dickens.pac@gmail.com if you're able to volunteer for any of these shifts.

What you will do 
Process payments for books as kids/parents come to the counter to purchase; this involves taking cash, cheques or setting up payment through visa machine. 

The school librarian, Cheriee, or parent working the shift prior to you will show you what to do, including how to work the visa machine. And you have to be able to do simple math too of course! 

Shift parents will also write 1 to 2 slips for books that have run out, but can still be purchased if prepaid. Cheriee then orders the books and they'll arrive before the Fair ends.

Sunday, October 25

Thursday, October 15

Update on Technology Fundraiser @ Dickens Main


Charles Dickens Technology Campaign 
Update 

Together we’ve raised $4,325 this Fall 
Thank You for your generous support!

We still need your support to raise $3,675 
to be matched by our generous donor 
to reach our goal of $30,000!*

Please help us by reaching out to your Family & Friends using our GoFundMe page for easy, instant, online donations. Thank You! 

All donations will be matched by our big-hearted donor!
“Jackie” grew up in Cedar Cottage and went to Charles Dickens Elementary — now he’s an entrepreneur who wants to give back to Dickens!

 [photo: Jackie at 9 years old]

Tax Receipts 
Donations of $25 or more given to Viv at the Main School Office 
will be eligible for a tax receipt with a tax form. Write cheques to: Vancouver School Board.

*All donations and matching funds will be used for much needed computers and technology-based learning tools at Dickens main school. e.g. laptops, tablets etc.

Thursday, October 1

Request for Class Reps at Dickens Main School

Dear Families at the Dickens Main School,

I hope the transition back to school has been a good one for your kids, and I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all new families!

We are still looking for Classroom Parent Reps  can you help?

We have many returning parents who graciously agreed to continue with this role but we still need reps for Divisions: 1, 4, 6, 7, 13 and 14.

Volunteering as a Classroom Parent Rep involves sending 1 to 2 emails a month to parents/guardians in your Division to keep them informed of the non-academic goings on in the school such as PAC-sponsored events and other announcements.

The general email for all reps will be written for you. However, reps are encouraged to personalize the note for their classrooms with division/classroom specific news like field trip announcements or the like.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in doing, and you have a child(ren) in Divisions 1, 4, 6, 7, 13 or 14, please email me at amlong@telus.net and let me know the following:

- your full name
- the division number
- teacher name(s)

Please Note: If you want to receive the classroom rep emails (whether you are a rep or not), you need to give permission for Vivian to share your contact information with us on the information forms that are going home from school around now. Alternately, you can provide your contact information directly to the parent rep in your classroom.

Thank you!
Anne-Marie Long
PAC member and parent of kids in Divisions 5 &15

Guest Speaker: Dr. Deb MacNamara to speak on Sibling Conflict


Tuesday, September 29

Care about Public Education in BC?

A request for written public input in to the 2016 Provincial Budget has been issued by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

This is your chance to express your thoughts to the Government of BC about:

  • Current funding levels for public education
  • Cutbacks to special needs’ and student support services/programs
  • Cutbacks to arts and music programs
  • The growing pressure on parents to raise funds to cover basic educational resources

Your written input can be short, but it should be in your own words.

Further information, including an outline of the Committee’s privacy policy, is provided on the Committee’s website at https://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/submission.asp

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 

Midnight, Thursday, October 15, 2015


There are three ways to submit your input:

1. Email your letter as an attachment through the online submission form at                    https://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/submission.asp 

2. Mail your submission to:
Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services
Room 224, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC   V8V 1X4

3. Fax your submission to: 250-356-8172


More info on Public Education in BC from FACE (Families Against Cuts to Education)

FACE brochure and fact sheet which has great accessible information on impact of funding cutbacks: https://facebc.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/whats-happening-to-public-education-in-british-columbia/#more-113


Podcast of BC Almanac about Public Education and School Supplies with Gloria Macarenko and Jen Stewart, co-founder of FACE, as a guest:  http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/bcalmanac_20150925_61649.mp3


Monday, September 21

Save the Date! Dr. Deborah MacNamara will speak on Sibling Conflict



Other dates for PAC Meetings to save:

2015
Nov 25 - Panel Discussion: Advocacy for Education

2016
Jan 27 - Ishtar Beck: Workshop on Effective Discipline

Feb 25 - Annual Winteruption Hop 'n Nosh Family Dance

Mar 30 - Michelle Kambolis: Easing Anxiety with Play-based Cognitive Behavioural Activities

Reminder Note: Donate to Technology at Dickens!

If you haven't had the chance to do so yet, this is a quick reminder to donate to our Technology Fundraiser where every dollar you give will be matched!



Tuesday, September 8

Donate to Technology at Dickens!

Welcome to the 2015/16 School Year! 

We have some wonderful news to share with you regarding our Technology Fundraiser and hope that you'll be able to participate with us in this drive where your donations will be matched! 



PAC Blog Emails

Help us spread the word about subscribing to our PAC Blog!

If you know of any Parents/Guardians who have not yet subscribed to the PAC blog (especially those who are NEW at the Dickens Main & Annex), please let them know that they can subscribe to receive occasional email updates on school issues, guest-speakers and all events organized by the Charles Dickens PAC.

*Every PAC email will contain the option to unsubscribe at any stage.

Here are the instructions to subscribe to our blog at:  dickenspac.blogspot.ca
  • Enter email in the box on the right. Click on “subscribe”.
  • Follow the next instruction and click on “complete the subscription request”.
  • An activation email will be sent to this email address.
  • To finalize the subscription, click on the “feedburner.google” link in this email.

Thanks very much!
  

Tuesday, June 23

PAC Executive for 2015/16

Welcome to the PAC Executive for 2015-2016 

Congratulations to the newly elected PAC Executive for the coming school year!

Chair Main - Andrea Sinclair
Chair Annex - Rossana Caritey
Treasurer - Tiffany Searchfield
Co-Secretary - Amanda George, Shaun Kalley
Members at Large: Andy Mitchell, Christy Thomas, Hayley Baines, Kelly Maxwell, Kerryn Williams, Lara Penno, Leone Hall, Maggie Martens, Mariko Kish, Megan Crouch, Tamara Shand, Tami Friesen *

*Additional members will be elected to the executive in September 2015. 

A Heads Up for Tuesday, September 8

The PAC will host a "Welcome Table" for Parents/Guardians on the first day of school, at both the Main & Annex, where coffee/tea and baked goods will be served from about 9 to 11a.m.  

Have a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, June 17

Reminder: Final PAC General Meeting & Council Elections is today!

Come out to our PAC general meeting to hear more on how you can be involved at Dickens, and to vote for next year's executive council. We will also be discussing our PAC budget for the 2015/16 school year.



Monday, June 8

SPRING FLING Thank You & Photos


View more of our photos at:
www.facebook.com/dickensspringfling

NO need to join Facebook (if you haven't already) to see our pictures — just click on our Facebook link, then click on our 2015 SPRING FLING Album and you'll be able to page through the photos!

Ultimate Frisbee News

The first year of the Ultimate Club Team was a huge success!  

Over 55 players honed their skills and Spirit of the Game (SOTG) after school on Tuesday and Thursdays — all of which was on display on May 23 at UBC during intermission at the Vancouver Night Hawks vs. Seattle Rainmakers game where we participated in the Elementary School Ultimate Showcase Game.  

We followed that up with a single bid at the Sabrefest Tournament on May 29.  Dickens and 15 other teams from the lower mainland spent a sun-soaked day at Winnona Fields making new friends and playing ultimate together.  Not only was our SOTG amongst the best, we finished 5th in our tier! Impressive for a first year program (open to grade 4+) playing against some very established programs using only grades 6/7).  

The Team would like to thank the PAC for all their support getting this program off the ground.  The players (and coaches) are looking forward to next season!

TODD HICKLING



PAC Exec Meeting - May 2015

May, 13 2015 Minutes: https://goo.gl/wkHz3e

Tuesday, June 2

Final PAC General Meeting & Council Elections

Come out to our PAC general meeting to hear more on how you can be involved at Dickens, and to vote for next year's executive council. We will also be discussing our PAC budget for the 2015/16 school year.


Monday, May 25

Take another Sneak Peek at our Silent Auction!

We have loads of fabulous items at our Silent Auction this year! 

For another Sneak Peek update of some of the items we have, go to: https://www.facebook.com/dickensspringfling

NO need to join Facebook to see the page if you are not on Facebook – 
Just scroll up and down to see the various products on our SPRING FLING Facebook!

You are welcome to share this info with all who will be attending.

Remember to bring cash or your chequebook to the SPRING FLING on Thursday May 28, so that you can go home with your item(s) on the day!

Bids will close at 6:30 and 7:30p.m.

Wednesday, May 20

Silent Auction "Sneak Peek"

Here's a sneak peek at a few of the many exciting Silent Auction items we have this year at the SPRING FLING!

Family Membership for one year at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Total Value of $73.
Enjoy an entire year of floral delights, fun and special events at Vancouver's renowned urban gem. 

2 adult and 2 children 3 month Flexipasses for Vancouver Parks and Recreation Centres. Total value of $350.
Take advantage of three months of fun and fitness with these passes to any Vancouver Parks Board gym, swimming pool or ice rink.

Birthday Package for 6 kids at The Hive Bouldering Gym.  Total Value of $150.
Give your child and five of his/her friends the birthday party experience of a lifetime at Vancouver's favourite climbing gym. 

2 adult concert tickets to the VSO for any regular concert in the 2015/2016 season. Total Value of $140.
Treat a friend or family member to the sublime sounds of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, at a concert of your choice.

Throw a Keg Party with a Whistler Brewing Keg. Total Value of $200.

Certificate for Harkness & Company Butchers. Total Value of $50.
Get set for backyard entertaining this summer, with $50 worth of steaks, ribs or other meat of your choice.

Gorgeous aromatic herb planters - valued between $25 and $40.
Add colour and freshness to salads all summer long with delicious herbs and goodies from your very own planter created by garden designer, Jill Townsend.

Remember to bring cash or a chequebook to purchase your auction item on the day! Bids will close at 6:30 and 7:30 pm.

***NOTE*** 
We are still accepting Donations for the Silent Auction! Please remember to contribute to your classroom basket and drop off any unused merchandise, certificates or descriptions of services you wish to donate into one of the boxes located in the office at both the Main and Annex schools. Thank you.

See our Dickens SPRING FLING Facebook for more Sneak Peeks of our Silent Auction at https://www.facebook.com/dickensspringfling
- No need to join Facebook to see the page - just scroll up and down to see the various items.