Thursday, 17 December 2020

Heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday!


Peace River North teachers have been remarkably resilient during 2020!  You should be proud of the work that you have done and the adjustments you have made to ensure that your students have the opportunity to continue to learn and remain part of their school communities.  
We would like to wish you a well deserved rest and all the best in 2021!

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Each November PRNTA presidents attend the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Fort St John Legion to lay a wreath honouring Canada's veterans and serving members. 

The wreath pictured here is from Remembrance Day 2019.  The PRNTA continues to support the Legion and its members by donating to the wreath program.

There are changes to the program this year due to Covid-19:  Remember in place this Remembrance Day:

While the Royal Canadian Legion is hosting the annual Remembrance Day Service on November 11th, 2020 Residents are encouraged to participate virtually in the online service that will be live-streamed on the Fort St John Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 102 and City of Fort St John Facebook pages and on the FSJ Youtube Channel.  There will be no service or parade at the outdoor cenotaph.

https://www.youtube.com/user/CityFSJ 

Peace River North teachers continue to be active supporters of Legion programs by involving students in various Remembrance Day events, including the Remembrance Day Contest:

 



 

Friday, 30 October 2020

 For BCTF members: 



Monday, 26 October 2020



While official numbers on poverty in 2020 will not be available until 2022, it is not difficult to imagine the economic impact COVID-19 has created for many Canadians, and disproportionally more problems for those with much less. Many found themselves with fewer work opportunities or were simply laid off. This resulted in the rise of unmet health needs, food insecurity, and unmet housing needs to name a few. Additionally, students of such families faced the academic disadvantages of school closures, as well as the increased stress and strain of self-isolation and social distancing.

 

 

These adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially stressful, traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and general well-being. Studies have shown that the more adversities someone experiences, the higher the likelihood they will have serious mental and physical health problems later in life. While poverty is not a category on the ACE questionnaire, it is easy to see how poverty (with the effects of COVID-19 acting as a multiplier) could accelerate the risk and push towards the nine adverse experiences listed.

 

 

According to the World Bank, the pandemic could push as many as 115 million people into poverty worldwide. In his address in April of this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that “the world cannot afford a lost generation of youth, their lives set back by COVID-19 and their voices stifled by a lack of participation.” The risk of inaction is simply too great.

 

  •  Marcus Tse, Economic Justice Action Group

 

 

 

The BCTF has named November Antipoverty Month. As teachers, we know firsthand the effects of poverty on our students. Please take the time to look through this month’s Seeds of Social Justice and use the resources, book the workshops, apply for grants, and continue to be part of the solution.

 

 

The Committee for Action on Social Justice’s Economic Justice Action Group has created a set of resources for Antipoverty Month which are posted on the BCTF website. See below for details. This edition of Seeds of Social Justice also links you to our many in-house resources, which help us work towards systemic change, as well as to our alliance partners who work hard every day to do the same.

 

 

 

November

5–11: Veteran’s Week

11: Remembrance Day

17–23: BC Multiculturalism Week

20: National Child Day

20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women—16 days of action begins

27: Buy Nothing Day

 


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

 Don't forget to vote!

Kelly Snow, our Political Action Contact, recently submitted questions to Dan Davies who is running for reelection in the provincial election.  Here are the questions and his answers:

1. As an MLA, what will you do to help improve the safety of teachers' working conditions in Peace River North?  Right now, our teachers are facing increased before school, after school and recess supervision, large class sizes and student learning loss due to school closures in April and May.  These challenges, along with large class sizes, has increased teacher stress levels and exhaustion.

Thank you for allowing me to respond to these important questions.  As a former teacher in SD 60, I have incredible respect for our teacher and thank you for all for your incredible work especially through these difficult times.

We are undoubtedly in unprecedented times in all aspects, especially in education. Government must ensure that safety is number one! Proper PPE must be provided as needed.  We must be flexible in these trying times and need to work on supporting children.  Our school districts remain fully funded to deal with changes during COVID.  We will need to be looking at other ways to support teacher as more time is required to fill supervision.  Finally, we all need to be aware of the extra stress that educators, support staff and administrators are facing.  We need to make sure that there is a plan in place to deal with it and to support those that are struggling.

2.  Do you support increasing education funding to ensure provincially mandated expenses are covered and that BC schools are funded to at least the national average?  If yes, what actions will you take to ensure a positive outcomes?

Yes, provincially mandated expenses need to be covered by government.  We need to ensure that our students are receiving all the supports that they need to be successful and that teachers have all the tools they need to deliver this.  We need to look at ways to improve success and supports for our indigenous students, support and increase funding for early diagnoses and intervention and support programs on erasing bullying and discrimination.  British Columbia's education system is one of the best in the world due to hard working teachers.  We always need to look for ways to improve, from looking at best practices in other jurisdictions to other districts around our province.

3.  In Peace River North, many teachers do not have enough sick leave to stay home if they are told to self isolate because of a COVID-19 exposure or if they are experiencing COVID-10-like symptoms.  Do you support a specific leave for DOVID-19 in these circumstances?  If yes, what actions will you take to ensure a positive outcome?

Under the new requirements of COVID and staying home when feeling any symptoms, we need to be ensuring teacher are covered during COVID.

4. Do you support eliminating the Foundation Skills Assessment?  If yes, what actions will you take to ensure a positive outcome?

We have announced postponing the FSA's this year due to the circumstances we are in with COVID.  This one question is a hot button topic.  In order to determine if provincial curriculum is working across the province you need a 'provincial' standardized test to ensure it working and which districts are struggling and then we can 'dig deeper' as to the reasons why? Is it economy? Is it social isolation?  Is it connectedness?  Wha tis going on in the region and how can we support them.  It is one data set that helps provide a picture provincially.  The other data sets are the district assessments that are used to also determine how well kids are doing within each district - the FSA's add to this data set for each district and provide an even bigger picture for district staff, trustees and parents.  They should NOT be used by external organization for ratings as it hurts communities.  We know that our district is one of the best in the province with what we do.






 


FYI PRNTA members:  EMC offers deals to BCTF members



Friday, 9 October 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!


        We would like to wish you, your family & friends the best this Thanksgiving!  We know that the return to school has been challenging and that you are having to navigate tricky situations but we trust that you will manage as teachers so often are able to do.

We hope that you enjoy the long weekend and have a chance to spend time with people in your 'bubble',  get out for an autumn walk or do something that brings you peace and satisfaction. 

Please remember that help is available; whether from a colleague or the programs that are available through the PRNTA or BCTF.  Do not hesitate to contact Michele or Mary for more information.


Thursday, 10 September 2020

Welcome Back!

As we teachers return to our classroom or other jobs we have a heightened sense of concern regarding health and safety for ourselves and students, major adjustments to scheduling, classroom arrangements and protocols.  
We also know that we often face great challenges in our work and that we are good at preparing, adjusting and being resilient.
Take care, stay safe and reach out if you need help!
Michele & Mary


Friday, 14 August 2020

PRNTA President's update - August 14, 2020

 August 14, 2020


I have been noticing that teachers from our district have been very vocal about their concerns on FB regarding the announcement the Ministry of Education made on July 29th.  Just so you know, since that announcement the BCTF and PRNTA have been working to ensure schools will be safe for teachers.


Please read the message below that was sent to all members from the BCTF on Aug. 10th.  


I am concerned that teachers are saying that teachers are not part of the return plan but this is not true.  The BCTF have had provincial teacher-leaders on committees working with the government since the beginning of July.  Teri Mooring has been in daily (sometimes more often) contact with the Deputy Minister and Minister Fleming sharing teachers' concerns so that teachers will be safe in their classrooms and schools.  


Dr. Henry said:

"Teachers are working hard to make things safe for September.  These things are happening right now to make things safe."  Dr. Henry is referring to the fact that the BCTF has appointed teachers as advisers to the Ministry of Education and that Teri Mooring, who represents 47,000 teachers, is also working very hard on behalf of teachers. 


Mary and I were in a strategic planning meeting this morning with senior district staff to discuss the SD plan for health and safely procedures as we return to work.  We were able to bring up teachers' concerns we have received so far and will be part of the planning group going forward.  We will be meeting with HR on Tuesday and meeting with the strategic planning group next week as well. 


Here are a couple of things that have been agreed to already with the MoE:

- The BCTF and the BC Principals'/Vice-Principals' Association have been able to get the gov't agree to have a two-day delay in having students in schools.  This is unprecedented and the local feels these two days will give a chance for teachers to have training around the enhancements made to health and safety in schools and information on cohorts/learning groups.

- The district has agreed to have TTOC health and safety orientation.  We are still working on the details with the district for when this training will happen.


Thanks,

Michele


If teachers in Peace River North have concerns, they can contact me and I will address them with the district.  

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Summer 2020 is here!  


2019/20 has been a complex and challenging school year but teachers have stepped up as they  always do!


Most of us eagerly look forward to summer holidays as a chance to take some time for ourselves and our families.

May you have many opportunities to do what you love to do, explore, hang out, rest, relax and rejuvenate.

As the school year ends we want to wish you all the best and trust that you will stay healthy and safe.  See you in September!
Michele and Mary

Thursday, 28 May 2020

BCTF Executive 2020-2021

Elected by the BCTF 'virtual' AGM on May 25-27, 2020

President
Teri Mooring

First Vice-President
Clint Johnston

Second Vice-President
Carole Gordon

Member-at-Large-Aboriginal
Peggy Janicki

Member-at-Large-Racialized
Benula Bunjun

Members-at-Large
 Robin Tosczak
 Katherine Trepanier
 Matt Westphal

Continuing Executive Committee members
Violette Baillargeon
Karen Edwards
Rae Figursky
Jody Polukoshko

May 22, 2020
Town hall meetings on COVID-19 and return to school now online
Teachers turned out in record numbers over the past two evenings to engage in telephone town hall discussions about the June 1 partial return to work in the context of COVID-19. On Tuesday night we had 4,373 members on the call and on Thursday night we had an astonishing 8,547 members on the call!

Due to the enormous turnout, the system was overwhelmed and unfortunately many other members could not get on the call. Now both events have been posted on the BCTF website so that everyone can hear your questions and the answers from BCTF President Teri Mooring. Please go to the member portal here to listen in.

On the Thursday town hall Teri was joined by Dr. Andrew Miki, clinical psychologist and creator of the online mental health and wellness tool, Starling Minds. This tool is available free to all BCTF members here.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

PRNTA 2020 AGM Election Results

PRNTA 2020 AGM ELECTION RESULTS 
Congratulations to the following members who have been elected to the
PRNTA Executive for the 2020-2021 school year: 
President (2-year term)
Michele Wiebe (PRNTA) 1st year
Vice-President (1-year term)
Mary Tremain (PRNTA & Learning Services)
Secretary (1-year term)
Jessica Dmytruk (Prespatou)
Treasurer (1-year term)
Donna Bulmer (Robert Ogilvie)
Bargaining/Working & Learning (2-year term)
Donna Bulmer (Robert Ogilvie) 2nd year
Ryan Windhorst (Bert Bowes) 2nd year
BCTF Local Representative 1-year term
Bryan Barranti (Dr. Kearney)
Social Justice (1-year term)
Emily MacPherson (Bert Ambrose)
Professional Development Chair (2-year term)
Jessica Dmytruk (Prespatou) 1st year 
Professional Development 
(2 positions, 2-year terms)
Mary Tremain (PRNTA, L.S.) 1st year
Lori Wigglesworth (Alwin Holland) 1st year
Health & Safety (1-year term)
Lyle Warbinek (Upper Pine)
Kelly Snow (Alwin Holland)
EFAP (1-year term)
Myla O’Hara (Key Learning Centre)
Indigenous Education (1-year term)
Josie Gauthier (Robert Ogilvie)
TTOC (1-year term)
Carla Lowther (DTTOC)
Political Action Contact (1-year term)
Kelly Snow (Alwin Holland)
French Contact (1-year term)
Isabella Miron Piazza (Ecole Central)
Scholarship (1-year term)
Harmony Shaw (NPSS)

Thursday, 14 May 2020



Thanks, teachers!
BCTF President Teri Mooring expresses her thanks for the creativity and commitment of BC teachers now providing emergency learning opportunities



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQHPuIEx_xM&feature=youtu.be

Thursday, 30 April 2020


Full Image
April 30, 2020
Full Image

Dr. Bonnie Henry Makes Special Address to B.C. Educators and Support Staff



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Thursday, 16 April 2020

Please vote! 

Please note: This ballot is for our local contract language.  

Keep watching for information from the BCTF regarding voting on the provincial language. 



Monday, 6 April 2020

Starling Minds: support for BCTF members

If you are feeling stressed, remember that you are not alone!  





What is Starling Minds?

Starling Minds is an online mental health and wellness toolkit, designed for teachers, that provides education and training to manage stress and prevent anxiety and depression.  The Starling program was develop by Dr. Andrew Miki and is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

The BCTF has sponsored full access to the platform for you and your family so there is no cost.  Any information you enter on Starling Minds is private and secure.  

Starling helps teachers learn about stress, mental fitness exercises, and how to break unhealthy patterns that may lead to anxiety and depression. Starling provides:
  • Online training tools and education videos based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Case study videos of a teacher named Virginia 
  • Evidence based training and tools that are available anytime and anywhere in the world
  • An assessment of symptoms and functioning that tracks progress over time
  • A five-module preventative mental health program
  • A rules engine to provide unique recommendations for each user
  • Early intervention programs for anxiety and/or depression
  • Additional coverage for family members

Go to: https://bctf.ca/SalaryAndBenefits.aspx?id=38267


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Thursday, 20 February 2020

BCTF Member Portal

Please go the the BCTF member portal for information on issues of importance to teachers.  All you need is your BCTF membership number! (Contact the PRNTA office if you do not know your membership number.)

 

Friday, 7 February 2020

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Please note the upcoming meeting for TTOCs:





Thursday, 9 January 2020

Seeds of Social Justice

- a BCTF publication where you can find additional resources and training opportunities.

The BCTF is a democratic union that recognizes the importance of encouraging and supporting involvement by all members, while recognizing that some members have historically been marginalized. For the Federation to be at its best, all members must see themselves reflected in its goals, structures, and practices. The BCTF will strive to identify and eliminate barriers to participation through programs, procedures, by-laws, and policies supported by specified resources and education.


Click on this link:
https://bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/SocialJustice/Publications/Seeds/2019-20/Jan2020_SEEDS_Jan%207-2020.pdf

Monday, 6 January 2020

Parenting Seminars

Please share - this time of year can be so hard on our families:



Check out the new Peace River North SD 60 page dedicated to health & wellness:

 https://www.prn.bc.ca/hw/

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