Nov. 20, 2019 PAC General Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order: 7:07 pm

Attendance: (refer to sign up sheet)

The previous Minutes from the general meeting held on September 11, 2019 were passed and adopted.

Items discussed:

Burnaby Parks & Recreation

Amanda from the Burnaby Parks and Recreation came out to talk about upcoming community events, as well as obtain feedback and provide information regarding current and upcoming after school programs held at Sperling school.

Upcoming events:

  • Heritage Christmas @ Burnaby Village Museum
  • Warming Centres in Burnaby – spread the word to the community
    • Warm shelter; drinks provided
    • Staff is really trained
  • Preschool programs
  • Breakfast with Santa @ Charles Rummel – $5/person
  • Edible Gifts workshop @ Gilmore school ($ ?)
  • Family Games Night at Forest Grove ($1)

Programs held at Sperling:

Mr. McLean (from school perspective) and one parent provided awesome feedback regarding the programs – great praise to Parks Board and staff.

Various feedback was provided on the following:

  • Specialty one day workshops (ie. Valentine’s, Easter) – always popular;
  • Science – while Mad Science does hold their program at the school each term, Amanda suggested a soap/spa-making themed science program to be a little different;
  • Sports – the gym time/space is limited due to Staff uses of the gym after school on some days; however, springtime is good for sports and opens up the option to use the outside field and playground
  • Babysittting: Burnaby tried last year but it got cancelled.  Amanda inquired about trying again in the spring – perhaps there is possibility to coordinate it on a pro-d day (district or province wide day rather than school pro d day) 
  • Cooking – parents like less sweet items (cupcakes and muffins) – Amanda suggested a “meals around the world”/global snacks” theme

The Registration dates will be Dec 17th for Winter session (January-March) and March 10th for the Spring (April-June).  Flyers will be available from Parks Rec on December 2nd for winter programs, and they have barcodes to scan for registration; you may also register online via webreg site or you can call any Burnaby recreation centre.

Emergency Preparedness

Discussion was held regarding Emergency Safety kits.  Emergency kits are to sustain an individual(s) for 72 hrs for those that can’t be ‘picked up’ when an emergency crisis occurs during school hours. The school/Head Teacher is still conducting an inventory count.  A (new Sperling) parent offered to assist with reviewing and helping maintain safety equipment, (ie. the emergency bin). William Au (PAC Exec Committee) raised the question about considering an e-commerce bulk sale – he has some connections and can look into this.

While the Emergency bin (outside on the field was initiated by the Head Teacher, it should be overseen and maintenance upkeep done by the PAC.


The due date for Shopfunds orders is November 25th and delivery will be on December 6th.

Hot Lunch

The current organizers have stepped down from continuing the Hot Lunch program after Term 1.  The PAC will be holding an Information Night scheduled for November 27th to see if there is enough interest to form a new committee and continue the Hot Lunch Program going forward.

Principal’s Report

  1. Strategic Plan:
  • New Board has been excited and worked hard to align the initiatives of the schools
  • Mandate contracts to ensure the proposed plans and goals are being met
  • Hired outside consultant – turned the “Burnaby way” into really tangible pieces
  • Sperling initiatives will be aligned and founded within this Strategic Plan
  1. Recent school events:
  • Pumpkin Patch:
    It was a great day for the Patch and even caught some pictures of teachers playing in the leaves! Hot chocolate was provided by PAC.  There was inquiry about having marshmallows next time; however, there have been issues in the past hence the reason to forego marshmallows at the event.
  • Ski meeting:
    Numbers this year significantly declined, which is surprising.
    The price did not increase – for Grades 4 – 7, cost is $300 all in (transportation to and from Whistler, fully guided lessons, and rentals).  The potential drop could be due to increased other options for parents.  One parent provided feedback that her son didn’t want to do it after the 3rd year (bus ride too long, too far).
  • Remembrance Day assembly:

Assembly ran beautifully; great coordination of the last song.  Great thanks and shout out to Mr. Hersog!

  • Volleyball:

Boys and girls, Gr 6/7 – Competitive boys and coed teams, but no competitive girls team this year.  Season is finishing up with the play dates.  Kids have done a great job on sportsmanship, community and learning to play a new sport.

  1. Upcoming Calendar of Events:
  • Basketball – starting up in Jan 
  • Toy Drive – student council run – aiming for a goal of 150 gifts
  • Primary Concert – scheduled for December 11th as an evening event; ticket system – 2 tickets per family, any available tickets available first come first get at the office
  • Dance – Hip Hop coming again via One Vibe; beginning after the winter holidays in the first 2 weeks of January
  • Wheelchair Basketball – 1st 2 weeks of March (before spring break)
  • Tennis – after spring Brek
  • Report Cards:
    • Will be handed out on December 19th
    • As an “Option A” school, a variety of different formats can be used, but still meets the interim report requirements
    • Principal emphasizes 3 roles to the reports: (1) show you know the child; (2) Do no harm; and (3) 
  1. Learning Resource Program (LSS):

Collaboration and support of the teachers is really starting rub off on the other classrooms. The parents’ feedback on full service resource model/classes have been positive. Teachers are really getting to know the students and kids are really starting to come out of their shell.  Everyone that requires support and seems to be getting support.

  1. Resident Bard Owl:

There is a bard owl residing in the forest and the students have been going and checking it out. It is the talk of the town – there is even a naming contest happening. This is the 3rd year now with the forest being integrated into the curriculum and it is very exciting to see kids own their learning and their space.

  1. Zonal indigineous resident speaker:

This Friday is a professional development day and teachers will have a resident speaker presenting on what it means to have relations with the forest and nature. Topics include evasive and non-evasive aspects of the forest; indiginizing the forest; cottonwood – how it can be used in traditional ways; and onnection to nature and connection to the forest.

At the end of the presentation, all will have a whole bunch of teas from the plants out there.

Treasurer Report

The Treasurer (Jessica) provided a brief summary and general notes on:

  • Centralized all the money
  • All fundraising money now into our account – hot lunch, Sperling sprint
  • Little interest coming in every month
  • Still holding vendor money for hot lunch (prepaid money) – not considered revenue; after January will be paid out to vendors and will reflect over as revenue
  • Gaming account – BC government grant ($20/student)
  • $400/division for each $50 sundry to spend


The last DPAC meeting had a focus around mental health issues. It was aimed towards teenage years. The discussion included:

  • words around mental health
  • thinking about stress differently – rather than trying to accommodate our kids, we should try to work around ways to build resiliency 
  • not calling it anxiety – that is using the term/language incorrectly and using diagnosis words before an actual diagnosis

Ron Heyde is considering stepping down as the DPAC co-representative. William expressed interest to take on this role. Ruth nominated William for the co-representative position which was seconded by Kelly. 

It was therefore adopted that the new DPAC co-representatives are now Dina and William.  William will remain as the CPF representative; Livia expressed interest in taking on the CPF rep role or co-rep with William, but for now will maintain her co-secretary position with Ruth.

The Vice-Chair (Grace) inquired about obtaining information regarding DPAC; in particular, regarding free speakers to come to the school. Dina will follow up on this, as well as login information for William. 

Clothing Drive

The Chair (Kelly) reported on the Clothing Drive fundraiser held in October. The school brought in over 3,000 lbs of textiles and raised a total of $663.93. After general discussion, it was proposed to have the next clothing drive scheduled after spring break. A notice will go out before the break. Kelly noted that if we accumulate a total of 6,000 lbs by the end of the school year, we will earn an extra $100.  

Helping Community

Principal MacLean mentioned that Edmonds Community School is collecting new or gently used items as gifts to the community for the Christmas season. They are also asking for wrapping paper, bows and  bags to wrap it. These items can be dropped off directly at Edmonds school.

Pancake Breakfast

The annual breakfast held in December has not been confirmed as of yet. The current organizers, who are also the Hot Lunch committee, may be stepping down and if so, we will need to organize a new coordinating committee. This will include much needed planning beforehand as well as on the day of.

A suggestion was made to vary the timing of the breakfast to be during school hours rather than early morning before 9 am.  There could also be designated time slots for each division/class. The PAC hopes to have confirmation from the current organizers by this Friday Nov 22nd

Sperling PAC Website and CommunyHub app

The Sperling PAC website was updated and refreshed over the summer by our webmaster (Ian). Since September, the site has a new look and is much more user friendly. 

Ian has also created a new app called “CommunyHub”. CommunyHub is a private online parent community for Sperling and is spread and communicated through parents directly. It is meant essentially as an augmentation to what a teacher or school may have in place, ie FreshGrade or class site (which are teacher driven). The app can be set up for a particular division or group/committee so that parents may upload or retrieve specific information related to that group, ie field trip notices, important classroom dates, etc. Ian has already received requests to set up a grad committee group for fundraising.

It is important to note that CommunyHub is not headed or run by the school; rather, it is among the parent community and is parent driven. While CommunyHub sources and generates its information from the school website for general calendar events, the information is generated by a school parent and not the school itself.

The PAC plans to prepare an information sheet to communicate to parents about the CommunyHub app.

Meeting adjourned (time unconfirmed – approx. 8:30 pm).

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