PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) in an important part of Van Bien School. It enriches school life in many ways: providing special activities and opportunities for students, fund raising, assisting with school activities, and advising on school policies. The PAC meets once each month, and getting involved is an excellent way for you to meet other parents and support the school. Watch the newsletter for dates and times of PAC meetings.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS & Criminal Record Checks
Volunteers are welcome at Van Bien. If you wish to volunteer your time in your child's classroom please contact the teacher directly. District Policy requires that all people volunteering in schools complete a criminal record check before they work with children. This includes volunteer parent drivers. To obtain a criminal record check, you must pick up and complete the necessary forms from the school office, and take the form in person to the RCMP detachment office with a driver's license or other acceptable photo identification.
We will notify you when we have confirmation you have been cleared as a volunteer. Generally, the process takes between two and three weeks. Volunteer drivers will need to complete some paperwork at the school office as well.
PARENTS AS PARTNERS: A "TOP TEN" LIST TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED
When parents and teachers work together and communicate regularly, children do better in school. Not only is this simple common sense, but it has been proven time and again by educational researchers. In order to do our best for your child, we need to work as a team. Here are a few simple things you can do to help us be as effective as we can be with your child:
1. Ensure that your child gets enough sleep every night. There is a direct connection between successful learning and sufficient rest. In fact, recent research has demonstrated that IQ actually drops when children don't get enough sleep. If you have to wake your child up every morning, he or she is probably not getting enough sleep.
2. Make sure your child has a healthy breakfast, a nutritious recess snack, and a nourishing lunch. There is a clear connection between good nutrition and learning. If children are hungry, it is very difficult for them to concentrate on their lessons. If they have had too much sugar, their behaviour is often affected so they cannot concentrate on learning. Your children will do better in school if they eat well and if the candy and junk food treats are saved until they get home in the afternoon.
3. Read to or with your child every day. This is probably the single most important thing you as a parent can do to ensure your child's academic success. Children who are able to read on their own still love to be read to. Also, reading a book or magazine of your own while your child reads material he or she has chosen is an important way to model the value of reading.
4. Talk to your child daily about school life. Be positive and interested about what your child has done. Don't just ask, "What did you do at school today?" You'll likely get "Nothing" for an answer! Ask specific questions like "What did you do for math today?" or "Who did you play with at lunch?" Don't let your child get away with one or two word answers.
5. Display your child's work prominently at home. This shows children you value what they are doing, and are proud of their accomplishments. This is one instance in which actions are just as important as words. Even older children are proud when their work is on display.
6. Help your child find a time each day to complete homework/study. Setting aside a regular time each day to work on school related activities helps develop good study habits. If there is no assigned work from school, use this time for reading for pleasure. Make it a quiet time without the distraction of the TV.
7. Have a specific area for homework with a good light, a flat working surface, and a quiet atmosphere, and keep a well-stocked "homework-supply kit" of materials your child will need to complete assignments. Having the right materials close at hand can save a lot of time. Items like a ruler, pencil crayons, scissors, a glue stick, pencils and pens, and some extra paper are good items to include. A shoe box works perfectly for this.
8. Be supportive of your child's teacher and other school staff. Sometimes, you may privately disagree. Nevertheless, the attitudes you convey in front of your children are the ones they will bring with them to school. Research shows that children who come to school with positive attitudes have more success. If you have concerns with something that has occurred, share them with us, not in front of your child. Together we can work to resolve them.
9. Communicate directly with the teacher and share your concerns as they arise. If you have a concern or a question, please call us. Often, small problems can be easily resolved. Often, you may have information or suggestions which will assist the teacher. Sometimes, the teacher can provide information which will help you understand a situation. Don't wait until small concerns become big ones before deciding to do something.
10. Visit the school! Attend parent-teacher conferences. Attend Parent Advisory Meetings. Volunteer.
SOLVING PROBLEMS & WORKING TOGETHER
From time to time, children share with parents problems they are facing at school. Sometimes, parents may have questions or concerns about a particular aspect of school operations. Good communication is the key to effective problem solving, so it is important for you to make us aware of problems in a timely and appropriate manner. By working together, we can resolve whatever issues that arise in a way that respects the best interests of everyone concerned.
Working Together to Solve Problems Effectively
The British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils has published a set of worthwhile suggestions to keep in mind when you are seeking solutions to a problem.
- Focus on problems, not people. The issue at hand is to solve the problem as quickly as possible, in the best interests of the student.
- Respect everyone in the process. Always treat others with the same respect and dignity you want for yourself and your child.
- Bring clarity to problems. Describe specifics, document concerns, and raise issues in a thoughtful manner.
- Deal with your own issues. Avoid hearsay and concentrate on establishing the facts that give rise to a concern.
- Face unpleasant situations with courage. Ensure that facts are not avoided or ignored.
- Avoid sharing information with those not directly involved. Focus on the matter at hand. Understand that private information is not to be shared.
- Be pragmatic. Be concerned with practical results.
- Ensure clear, traceable resolution. Express possible solutions and ensure an effective follow-up plan is in place.
When there is a problem you believe needs to be addressed, here are three steps to follow.
Step 1: The Teacher: Call the teacher and discuss the problem as soon as possible. We've found that if a problem exists and a solution isn't tried early, then small problems become big ones.
Step 2: The Principal/Vice-Principal: If a concern still exists, enlist the help of Mrs. Cole or Mr. Grisedale to discuss the issue or arrange a meeting.
Step 3: The Assistant Superintendent: Assistant Superintendents Kap Manhas or Lee Karpenko are willing to assist with problems that cannot be resolved at the school level. You can reach them at 561-6800.
We are here to do our best for all Van Bien students.