Sep. 23, 2020 PAC General Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:05 pm. Meeting was held electronically (via Zoom).

Attendance: (will be confirmed and recorded using Zoom attendee screen names)

The previous Minutes from the general meeting held on June 3, 2020 were passed and adopted. Motion was moved and seconded.

Items discussed:

Introduction of PAC members and Sperling administrators

The PAC Chair (Kelly) provided an overview of Sperling’s Executive PAC positions and other existing committees. General introductions were provided for each member and their role(s). The Chair also introduced the school principal (Dave Maclean) and head teacher (Rosemary Venos), both of whom were present at the meeting.

Unfortunately, the current Vice-Chair (Norm) had to step down from this role due to scheduling conflicts. Accordingly, this Executive position is open again and the PAC welcomes nominations. No nominations were proposed during this meeting and therefore the position remains open.

The Chair further mentioned other various positions are available and if anyone is interested to volunteer to please inquire by e-mail at

Committee Updates

Lost and Found (L&F): Two parents (Alessandra and Renee) handle the L&F. In previous years, the L&F area was placed in the school hallway for retrieval and an Instagram account was created last year to post items and remind people that items not claimed by month-end would be removed and donated. The Instagram handle is #ecolesperlinglost The new L&F procedure will be that the items will be rolled outside at certain times for the L&F parents to organize and post lost items on Instagram. Only students will be able to retrieve an item and are to inquire with their teacher.

Emergency (ER) Boxes and Kits: Ms. Venos, Mme. Day and a parent (Phil) oversee the maintenance of the ER boxes and kits. Ms. Venos has prepared all backpacks with ER equipment for each class and is still working on filling them up. Phil will assist Ms. Venos to get the items finalized.

Indoor/Outdoor Boxes: Every year there is a budget allocated for each class to have an indoor/outdoor bin of items, i.e. balls, games, etc. for rainy days or outside play. There is some excess budget from last year, due to COVID-19, since some items to be purchased after Spring Break did not happen. The school is looking at putting together individual outdoor learning activities together. Ms. Venos did some research and found 2 balls (durably quality) per classroom = 25 soccer balls. The approx. cost is $625. It was agreed to have Rosemary go ahead and order the balls for purchase and use the budget funds accordingly.

Hot Lunch Program: Mr. Maclean advised that the District is very hesitant to proceed with PAC-run hot lunch programs at the moment. No Burnaby schools are currently running any. He can continue to bring proposals to the District, if desired. There was open discussion on this topic which led to considering the following steps: hot lunch
committee discusses logistics and feasibility; Mr. Maclean can send pitch to District; PAC surveys parents for interest to decide yay or nay on pursuing the program for this term or year.

Parent Help/Community Building: There was discussion on looking for new ways to support the school and build sense of community during this new normal. Volunteering is a great thing for parents to feel part of the Sperling community. PAC webmaster (Ian) will update the PAC website regarding the volunteer mailbox and e-mail options.

Another idea, which was initially brought up at the info Zoom for Sperling parents, was looking for tents to be donated to the school to help provide undercover at the handwashing station (outside boys and girls washroom doors). One parent has already donated two large canopy tents to the school. Help is needed with the set up (before 9:30 am) and tear down (after 3:00 pm). The PAC will send an email asking for volunteers.

Parent Donations: In the past, a letter is sent out once a year to all parents asking for monetary donations. This letter was scheduled to be sent after Spring Break which did not happen due to COVID-19. For this school year especially, one way this will support the teachers is to give funding for outdoor education, which will need to be supplemented to progress the program, i.e. PE will be more in outdoor settings than usual. The PAC Chair will discuss with the committee member(s) on the timing of if/when this year’s letter should go out.

Fundraising: The PAC does not anticipate to be able to roll out many of the usual and traditional fundraisers this year, and if so, much of the process and logistics will need to be considered on whether it is practical and feasible to do so. Some of the usual events were discussed:

Terry Fox Run (Fall): encouraging online pledges; classes will do runs around the field and record it on large map; families can include any walking/runs they do and send record to the school – this also helps with common goal in helping build sense of community and school culture
*will see how this version goes and evaluate how to perform our Sperling Sprint school fundraiser held in the Spring

Shopfunds (usually once per Term): if this rolls out, first one would be looking at early November ordering, with delivery for early December

Fun Fair (bi-annually, scheduled for May 2021): confirmed that the event will not be able to proceed for spring 2021; will have to see where the pandemic is at down the road and also how we are doing with the PAC budget to determine when to plan for the next one.

Clothing Drive – likely no go for this year

Bottle Depot (Kensington Plaza) – yes, parents can still do this on their own to support the school. Can drop off items in a plastic bag and creating a label at the touchscreen at front of the shop using phone account *6042969030*. There is also an account for gr 7’s separately (account to be confirmed).

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer (Jessica) ran down the proposed budget prepared by the PAC Exec team. Various line items were reviewed, and some amendments were made:

Expenses Budget: Suggested decreases: Fun Fair; School buses (for track); YRCA Book Club; Zoom Account.
Suggested increases: Teacher appreciation event.

Gaming Account: May be impacted by the pandemic, still waiting for confirmation. Field Trip budget – suggestion was made to divide up the refunded amount and spread among teachers towards the consumables.

Consumables: This year classrooms were reduced from 27 to 26 (includes LSS/ELL). By adding the refunds from the Field Trips budget, teachers/classes would be provided a larger consumables budget for this year.

Project requiring PAC approval: Two pitches were suggested for this allocation. One was a focused theme of “Give Back” where kids think of others in caring and compassionate ways by giving back in time or volunteering and not just on a monetary level (going beyond fundraising and donations). The focus would not only bring out sense of community, belonging, pride, ownership, but also help raise more awareness to the school and students. The pitch is to have each class come up with a proposal and pitch it to a panel (perhaps PAC members), like Dragon’s Den style. Criteria include identifying an issue, looking at barriers, finding a solution to achieve the goal of helping others, what things (i.e., items) are needed to make it happen.

The other pitch was to use these funds to facilitate COVID-19 related new expenses that were unexpected for this school year, such as more outdoor equipment.

Subsequent addition to these Minutes that was initially missed in the post drafted version:

Motion was moved and seconded to approve the budget including all adjustments and amendments discussed in this meeting. Parents in favour showed a “thumbs up” icon on their screens; no parents expressed not being in favour. Majority vote was in favour and therefore motion passed.

CPF (Canadian Parents for French)

CPF is offering free membership this year and registration can be done through their website. The free tutoring program offered is now full, but there might be another program opening up in the Spring. Teacher awards were presented at the last CPF meeting. CPF also mentioned they have some funding that they want utilize and looking for more online based platforms to run the program through. William confirmed that the CPF grant (for the school) will be open for applications shortly.

DPAC (District PAC)

At the last DPAC meeting, lots of questions were raised about what PACs can do this school year and a question about what can the (gaming account) grant funds be used for this year (if no field trips). DPAC will discuss what and how the school can find ways to fundraise or build community through the DPAC. They want to find other ways on how we can build sense of community and will be continuing these discussions through to the next

Principal’s Report

General: The morale is super high with students who are also doing an amazing job with the new protocols. It has been great to see teachers and students settling into their new realities. Approximately 86% of Sperling students have returned to in-school learning.

New COVID-19 policies: The principal thanked everyone for their cooperation on the new policies and procedures. It is a constant balancing act for all schools. An e-mail was sent out with the latest daily health check procedures. The daily check will now be changed from individual questions asked to each student and instead to a general asking of “have your parents gone through the questions with you”. If a child does answer a ‘yes’ to a question, he/she will be directed to the office and screened by the principal or head teacher. If symptoms subside, one can return after 24 hours; if one has 2 symptoms or a fever, he/she will be instructed to seek medical attention through 811.

Staggered Schedule: The staggered start times have greatly helped reduce traffic flow; however, people are coming too early and playing on the playground until their bell time. It is strongly encouraged to come as close to start and end times and not too early in an effort to keep cohorts from being compromised.

Staff updates/changes: Due to online options this year, Sperling was surplused an French Immersion teacher for online services and therefore less a division in the school. Ms. Schulze is our surplus online, but still a part of the staff. Sperling welcomes the following teachers: Mr. Stuart (grade 4/5 in the portable) filling in for Ms. Grundy’s leave position; Mr. Larsen (gr 6/7 English) for Ms. Neumann’s position; Mme. Funnell (Gr 5/6) for Mme. Potyka’s maternity leave ; Mr. Brletic (2/3) for Mme Cirka’s maternity leave. We also welcome 4 new EA’s this year.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:53 pm.

Minutes prepared by Co-Secretary (Livia)

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