January 24, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM by Maureen Bayless.
Twenty-one parents were in attendance, as well as Principal Bev Seed, Counsellor Jean Mickelson, and Student Council representative Rachel Snarch. Regrets: Co-Chair Michael Baker, Secretary Catherine Martin. Minutes were taken by Brook Macey.
Welcome – Maureen Bayless invited everyone to try some of the delicious treats that had been contributed by Fanny King, Sandy Wong and Sharon Blair-Chow in honour of Lunar New Year. Then she gave an introductory lesson to the four tones in Mandarin, awarding a special prize to Student Council rep Rachel Snarch, for volunteering to demonstrate the tones.
Report from Student Council – Rachel Snarch. Rachel told parents that students appreciated the money that PAC had given them, and said that a consultative voting process was underway to determine how the money would be spent. She also said that students were planning a dance for February.
Guest Speaker – Jean Mickelson, Head of the Counselling Department. Jean Mickelson gave a detailed talk about the range of elective courses offered at Point Grey, using an overhead projector for notes. She said that there is lots of room in students’ schedules for elective courses and that there is a great deal of value for students in taking courses that are not part of the core curriculum. These courses are not only broadening, but often provide skills or benefits that are brought forward into other areas or careers. Mrs. Mickelson showed parents studies indicating that the skills learned during the teen years permanently affect the development of the brain, and if the student learns music or languages at that time, those neuronal pathways become ‘hardwired.’ Mrs. Mickelson described the courses available in:
Ø Fine Arts: Art and combined art and drama courses available in Grade 8, then a range of courses including Drama, Visual Art 3D (Ceramics), Photography and Art Careers.
Ø Performing Arts: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Strings, Drama, Acting, Directing, Stage Craft, Theatre PM, and Musical Theatre.
Ø Languages: French, Spanish, Japanese
Ø Applied Skills: Home Economics: Foods, Family Management, Clothing and Textiles, AP Psychology; Business Education: Accounting, Web Development; Information Technology; Graphic Communications: Graphic Arts, Yearbook; Technical Studies: Woodworking, Drafting, Carpentry and Joinery.
Ø Physical Education: Co-ed PE 11/12, Girls’ PE 11/12.
Mrs. Mickelson concluded by describing Point Grey as a comprehensive school, where students are encouraged to take a balance of electives. Maureen thanked Mrs. Mickelson for her thoughtful presentation.
Approval of the Minutes: Barbara Corbin moved that the minutes of the November 24th PAC meeting and the December 8th, 2005 and January 4th, 2006 Extraordinary PAC meetings be approved. This was seconded by Fanny King. CARRIED.
Chair’s Report – Maureen circulated thank you letters from the Administration, teachers and a former student (Jaclyn Boyle).
Report from the Administration – Bev Seed. Bev thanked parents for their help during the consultative one-time funding decision-making process. She also told parents that teachers were very appreciative of the PAC’s Fall Wish List contributions.
Report from the Safe After Grad/ Grad Dinner-Dance Committee – Catherine Evans. Catherine explained that there are three parts to Grad:
a) Ceremony. This is organized by the Teacher Committee. In the past, it was held in the school, but last year it was held in the Orpheum. The school has reservations at a few locations and will have a firm booking by February.
b) Grad Dinner-Dance. This gala event is organized by parents. This year, it will take place at the Hyatt Hotel on May 26th.
c) Safe After Grad. Safe After Grad, also known as Dry Grad, is organized by Grade 12 parents and chaperoned by Grade 11 parents. It takes place immediately following the Grad Dinner Dance, starting at midnight, and students are given a taxi ride home at 5 AM.
Catherine told parents that they might also hear about “Prom.” Prom is not a school-sponsored or parent-organized event. It is usually organized by a student and there is often liquor involved. As well, there is a teacher-hosted Grad Breakfast on the morning of the Grad Ceremonies.
Striking of the Nominations Committee: Catherine Evans, as Past Chair, is responsible for chairing a nominations committee that will look for parents who wish to become part of the PAC executive. Sharon Blair-Chow moved that a nominations committee be struck, chaired by Catherine Evans. This was seconded by Brook Macey. CARRIED. Catherine told parents she would like one or two more parents on the committee. Interested parents should contact Catherine at 604-261-5960.
Report on the Vancouver School Board’s Appreciative Inquiry (AI): Sharon Blair-Chow. Sharon, who is Point Grey’s parent representative on the Appreciative Inquiry Team, described the Appreciative Inquiry process. Point Grey is one of ten schools in the city that are participating in this pilot process. She said that the process will pose thoughtfully worded questions to parents, teachers, students, administrators and members of the community at large to find out what people like to learn, how they learn best and what makes a great learning experience or environment. In a process taking one and a half to two hours, respondents will give their opinions on questions such as: What do educators do that creates an exceptional learning experience? What choices and options most enhance education? What kind of student-teacher relationships enhance learning? What are our greatest hopes for ourselves and our students? This is a process of affirmative questions and topics that will carry forward for at least a year, and Sharon asked parents to give their time if they are approached by an interviewer.
Closing Remarks: Maureen thanked Fanny King, Sandy Wong and Sharon Blair-Chow for the food they had brought in celebration of Lunar New Year.
Motion to Adjourn: Gemma Grossi moved that the meeting be adjourned. Seconded by Janis Esau. CARRIED.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.