I visited a school this week. It is a very new school that I had not previously visited. The school spaces are beautiful, still shiny and new. While waiting for my host, I took in the views, and a slight envy welled up in me for such a wonderful learning space. I love my home school, but I wouldn’t turn down an upgrade. Just as my host approached me with a warm hello, I had to ask for his patience as I was in the middle of thumb-typing into my phone. It would have looked like I was sending a text, but I was actually recording a sentiment that appeared on a poster, mounted high on the wall of this beautiful, open learning space. The poster read “Absurd times call for absurd amounts of love.” I wanted to remember this phrase because I wasn’t sure if I was inspired by its simplicity, or struck by its naivety, and I knew I would be coming back to these words before the week was done. When I did return to these words, I discovered that they belong to New York Times bestselling author and award-winning director Brad Montague.
I’m okay with keeping the focus simple. Some years ago, I attempted to communicate to my staff that we needed to keep our efforts focused on our one goal; as part of my slide presentation, I included a quick flash of the KFC logo. This puzzled many of our group, and rightfully so; I was trying to be clever, but came across as obtuse. I was trying to communicate that, unlike a restaurant menu which serves a diverse array of cuisine, KFC focuses only on chicken. There can be so many distractions in education; we can leap-frog from one initiative to another, chasing the flavour of the week, month, or year. Teams can feel pressure to expand school plans, creating a menu that serves something for every taste, but which in the end offers little of quality. A singular message isn’t a problem for me, but in this case maybe I was disappointed by the language.
While recent weeks have been unimaginable, I’m not sure we can simply call them absurd. Yes, they have been shocking, unbelievable, and unimaginable – all synonyms. But to call our recent times absurd fails to capture the depth of pain and the far-reaching impact of these events.
The phrase fails to capture our collective struggle to understand what moves a man (a boy really, barely out of school) to don a tactical vest and turn his vehicle into a weapon of terrorism, to understand how this much hate festered undetected in someone reported to be a ‘nice guy’. It is hard to comprehend how a life spanning a mere twenty years could harvest and condense enough hate to take lives and carve a wide swath of pain and devastation for a nation. And in this nation, children with mothers and sisters who wear the hijab now ask if they will be safe. How will leaders and educators answer their questions?
I have two inboxes, one belonging to my home district. This inbox is quiet, for the most part, but every once in a while it chimes with a delivery. On June 8th, it chimed with a notification for district staff which came from the North American Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (NACTATR). My home district has been working with their Executive Director Kevin Cameron for many years. Principals and Vice-Principals in our district each received this notice as a resource, and a reminder of many more things, not the least of which is to reinforce that we are in an Extended Critical Period for increased threats.
The message reminded us that in the field of threat assessment, persons can “engage in a serious act of violence towards a target, or type of target, [they] feel justified in attacking”, meaning random acts of violence are not so random. A 1993 Boston study named extreme crusaders of hate crime as ‘mission offenders’, steeped in their justifications for violence against innocents. During the seclusion of the pandemic, those who hate have saturated themselves in the “justification for violence offered up by online searches and online communities of likeminded individuals.” This message highlighted that while the pandemic created a temporary and artificial pause by keeping those who hate at a distance from their potential targets, there is now the chance of greater proximity as the weather warms.
This NACTATR resource shares guidance at a time when it is difficult to know what to do, encouraging us to:
Dr. Marleen Wong, who is a senior advisor at NACTATR, shares guidance in this resource for engaging in conversations with our children. She encourages us to be honest and listen without judgement. She appeals for us to share our belief that love is stronger than hate, and to help our children “move toward constructive actions that fight every kind of bigotry and prejudice.” It seems that Dr. Wong may agree with Brad Montague, that the times call upon us to bring forth an abundance of love, such as that generated by the more than 10,000 people who gathered in support in London, Ontario. But Dr. Wong’s words, calling for action, also bring to mind words of author Ibram X. Kendi. In his book How to be an Anti-Racist, Kendi writes, “…there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist’. It is ‘anti-racist’.” He offers his readers a definition of an Anti-Racist: “One who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing an anti-racist idea.”
Each month has its important celebrations and observations. June is National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month in Canada. Several of the days on the calendar note special observances such as World Oceans Day, and June is also the season of grad. There is much to focus upon, and much to learn. However, the recent weeks have reinforced that beneath it all is job one, a singular focus: as educators — as people — we must act to build a society in which our children will never have to ask if the people they love will be at risk from violence because of the way they look.
BCPVPA staff are now working both remotely and in the office.
Our members and friends are now receiving the Summer issue of Principl(ed) magazine!
Check out your copy to read Darren's perspective on the sacred traditions of June, find out more about the VSB's Indigenous Education Allies and Leads program, learn about inclusive school communities, and so much more. Read the full issue and articles online.
If you have an idea for an upcoming article or feature, contact email@example.com
We have also posted a Survey for your feedback.
June marks Indigenous History Month! It's a time to celebrate, honour and learn more about the incredible accomplishments, heritage and traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's also a time to recognize the injustices and trauma of the past and present, and to further our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action, allyship & solidarity. Go to Resources
We mourn for the 215 children who never made it home from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and we hold space collectively for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and Indigenous communities across Canada. For survivors, families and communities, support is available if you need to seek help, counselling or reach a 24/7 crisis line: click here.
The month of June is also Pride Month! Pride Month is a time to celebrate the stories, diversity and accomplishments of LGBTQ2S+ communities and also to raise awareness of historical and ongoing injustices they face. We stand with the LGBTQ2S+ community and strive for equality, safety, justice and inclusion for all. School resources
The Minister of Education is seeking to appoint one BCPVPA member to the BC Teacher's Council for their first meeting in October 2021. Per the BC Teacher's Council Regulation, the BCPVPA may nominate up to three of its members for consideration and the Minister of Education will make the final decision regarding the BCPVPA member appointed to the BCTC.
Under the Teachers Act, the BC Teachers' Council (BCTC) is responsible for:
BCPVPA Member Application
The application deadline is 5:00pm Friday July 2, 2021.
On Friday May 28, 2021, the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria issued an editorial – “Principals’ push to unionize deserves detention”. As the Times Colonist elected not to print the BCPVPA's letter or OpEd in response to the editorial, we released the OpEd response on our website and through our social media platforms on Thursday June 10.
Save the date: the next Leading the Way virtual event will be on Monday September 20 at 7:00 pm.
The theme will be Resilient Women Thriving in Leadership and we are delighted to announce that our feature interview will be with Robyne Hanley-Dafoe. Principal Paula Gosal from Chilliwack Middle School (SD33) will join us as a guest speaker, and additional event guests will be announced when registration begins in August.
Congratulations to the winners, selected at random from all members who responded to the survey:
Heather Goodall (SD84, Vancouver Island West)
Shawn O'Brien (SD43, Coquitlam)
Patrick Thomas (SD35, Langley)
Click here to see the demographic and regional breakdown of those that completed the survey, and read the teaser summary.
We will be sharing a full report on the results in the early Fall with commentary on what recommendations we believe - going forward - will maintain those members who are currently doing well and what can be put in place to enable more members to thrive.
Our Communications Assistant Paige Jung has been with BCPVPA since March 2020, and she has had a tremendous impact on the success of our transition to the MemberTech communications platform and many other aspects of our work. Paige leaves us for a summer role as an illustrator for a children's book before returning to school in the Fall to pursue her love of branding and communications. We wish Paige all the best for a bright future!
If you have read the June 2021 issue of Principl(ed) magazine, you know that both Jessica Antosz, Director of Professional Learning and Development, and Don Boyd, Director of Member Support Services, are retiring from the BCPVPA at the end of July. They have each dedicated their careers to educational leadership, innovation and success for their students and teams. We will miss Jessica and Don greatly, and look forward to hearing about their future travel and leisure adventures. Read the Principl(ed) article.
Darren Danyluk, BCPVPA President, would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or town hall this Fall and, should health protocols allow, Darren may be able to begin traveling to communities for visits. If you are interested in having Darren attend a virtual Chapter meeting in September or October, please contact Sharon North.
This May, BCPVPA joined the month-long Jean Up movement in support of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation to make jeans a symbol of something way bigger—helping kids get out of their hospital gowns and back into their jeans.
A heartfelt thank you to BCPVPA members for joining us in taking a stand against childhood diseases. Because of your support, this year’s Jean Up raised an incredible $308,000 (and counting). Your support will allow experts at BC Children’s Hospital to advance innovative research, tailor care to the specialized needs of kids, and comfort families during their toughest days. Not only that, every dollar you raised will make double the impact thanks to Odlum Brown, Jean Up’s school match sponsor.
We also want to thank the members who participated in the Jean Up contest sponsored by Mavi. Please join us in congratulating Kelda Logan (SD 64) and Rob Clark (SD 75), our Mavi gift card winners — we can’t wait to see your new denim outfits for next year’s Jean Up. Thank you to Jean Up’s denim partner Mavi for the great support. Don’t forget to mark your 2022 school calendar to join the Jean Up movement next year!
We appreciate our readers, and want to hear how we can improve upon our magazine. Thanks for completing this short survey! Survey Link
In Episode 12, host Chris Horton sits down with Jessica Antosz, BCPVPA Director, Professional Learning & Development. As Jessica approaches retirement this year, they look back on the pivotal moments in her journey, and the growth opportunities, highlights and successes from her many years of school leadership and supporting leaders across BC.
Listen on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more! Access the podcast here.
The Principl(ed) Podcast is a made-in-Canada monthly series that connects with BC school Principals and Vice-Principals who are working everywhere in the province, from the smallest rural schools to the bustling urban centres.
The BCPVPA annually awards up to 20 scholarships, in the amount of $1000 each, to students who are graduating from the BC public school system and will proceed to a post-secondary institution. These scholarships recognize students who have demonstrated academic achievements and school or community leadership. More Info
View 2021 Application Form
Applications due Sept 17th, 2021
The BCPVPA is thrilled to announce the six recipients of this year’s Partnership Awards. The following individuals and groups are being recognized for their valuable and long-term contribution and support of Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers and students. We thank all the Chapters who put forth a nomination this year!
Read the media release
View 2021 Partnership Award recipients
The new Directors of the Board were elected by members in the May 25 – 27 vote. The five successful Directors of the Board for two year terms 2021-2023 are:
As Brian Leonard will take on the role of President-Elect beginning July 1, 2021, and there is one year remaining in Brian’s term as Director, the sixth place Director candidate will complete this one-year Director term, 2021-2022:
These six Directors will join Brian Leonard, SD43 (Coquitlam) – President-Elect and the following 2020-2022 Directors on the Board, beginning July 1:
Our very sincere thanks go out to Rob Clark, SD75 (Mission), Beverly Forster, SD54 (Bulkley Valley), Grant Frend, SD42 (Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows), Bill Rounis, SD47 (Powell River) and Tara Zielinski, SD45 (West Vancouver) for their candidacy in this election.
The Indigenous Cultural Competency Scale is a self-assessment tool designed to explore individual cultural competence. The purpose is to help an individual to consider their knowledge, skills, and awareness of ‘self’ in their interactions with others.
Indigenous Cultural Competency Scale
Learning Activity Guide
Learning Activity Example
The BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association has issued a statement regarding the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB) decision on the application for certification by the Southeast Kootenay Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (SEKPVPA). Read the statement.
Registration for LCL 1 & 2 is open for 2021-2022 Cohorts! This robust program offers practical learning, connection with other leaders, and opportunities to sharpen your leadership skills. View 2021 -2022 LCL Flyer
Specific dates to be determined (health protocols considered)
In-Person Northern Cohort (Prince George) and Virtual CohortRegister HereProgram Details
In-Person Metro RegionRegister Here
REGISTER HEREView CL 2021 Event Overview
The 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference: Leading for Equity, hosted by the BCPVPA’s Metro Region Chapters, will be happening October 21 – 22, 2021. Leading us in conversation will be Keynote Speakers: Nouman Ashraf, Anna Maria Tremonti, and Candy Palmater.
Each week, we will be sharing books, articles, videos and podcasts to encourage continuing the work of anti-racism and equity, and to deepen our understanding of the history of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and marginalized communities in Canada. Have a recommendation to share? Please let us know!
(Trans-multi)culturally Responsive Educationby Latika Raisinghani
“A (trans-multi)culturally responsive education calls for beginning with what the students have, including their cultural ways of knowing, the diversity of their learning experiences, and their self-identified cultural identities. It asks teachers to (re)think: What do we need to “undo” and “unlearn” to (re)create curriculum that is responsive to the multiple needs of today’s diverse students?”
SOGI 123 Resources for Educators
The website shares popular resources and ideas from their collaborating provinces, accessible for educators looking for a starting point and those looking for something new to complement their current programming.
ReFresh is a BCPVPA health resource with simple exercises and information to explore in your breaks at work. ReFresh appears as a Member Update every Wednesday. All ReFresh posts are archived here.
Read the latest ReFresh: The 'Power' of Spirituality
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider says that schools that truly want to instill wisdom, rationality, intelligence, and empathy in students must walk the talk.
Read the latest blogpost here
Charles Ungerleider is a Professor Emeritus of Education at The University of British Columbia and Managing Partner at Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the OpED articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy, or position of the BCPVPA.
New articles and blogposts are shared bi-weekly on Wednesdays from the Professional Learning & Development department on BetterEducate.
Read the latest resource here: The Final 20%: What It Takes to Create Profound Change in Leaders – Dennis Sparks (Learning Forward)
Not on BE yet? BCPVPA Members can sign up for free using the code Bcpvpa123.
The Ministry of Health has engaged a third party to survey education stakeholders across the province to better understand youth substance use prevention in schools.
This 10-minute survey is the beginning of a comprehensive two-year project that aims to increase awareness and uptake of best practices to help prevent, delay, and reduce harms from youth substance use.
Please complete this 10-minute survey about practices, attitudes, and barriers you face in addressing youth substance use. The survey is anonymous and voluntary, and is in no way an evaluation of professional performance.
It’s essential that they hear from you and your colleagues. Please share this survey with all BC Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers and other professionals in your schools.
The survey closes Sunday, June 27, 2021.
Vice-Principal Thomas Skelton (SD5, Southeast Kootenay) is nearing the starting point of his charity ride for Mental Health July 2 – 9, 2021. Thomas will ride from Fernie BC to Nelson BC, and then on to Kelowna doing 12 stages of 16 km rides in 48 hours! He is doing this in collaboration with the KIJHL hockey league and MindRight – a BC-based mental health charity that provides support and programming for students and athletes. Thomas is challenging every Principal and Vice-Principal in BC to show their support for mental health by pledging $2. Click here to donate.
Imagine the difference you can make with your support as you help Thomas reach MindRight’s goal of $10,000 for mental health programming!
Strong Stories Indigenous Learning Book Bundle for Students
This set of Strong Stories in partnership with Strong Nations is a bundle of 48 books for elementary students - written, illustrated and published by Indigenous people from across Canada. These resource books offer a wealth of knowledge from a variety of perspectives to help elementary school students better understand the richness of Indigenous cultures in Canada while supporting a deeper connection with the land. Learn more & order
Youth Ambassador Program
This program offers youth the opportunity to gain practical work experience, network, strengthen 21st-century skills, and gain leadership experience while learning about DWF and Canada’s true history with residential schools.
Indigenous History Month 2021
For more information, visit DWF Youth Ambassador Program. You can read more about the DWF's Legacy Schools Program in the June issue of Principl(ed) magazine.
In honour of Indigenous History Month, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is pleased to present a series of four events in celebration of the diversity of Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Throughout the month of June, we will be featuring Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists, and allies from communities coast to coast. Join us on Facebook and Youtube as we come together in hope, unity, and celebration.
Register for Events Here
Stories from the River: Exploring British Columbia's Principals’ Experiences of Developing their Identities, Capacities, and Agency in Leading Educational Transformation
The objective of this study is to hermeneutically explore and address current gaps in the literature regarding Principals' perspectives on and lived experiences of developing their identities, capacities, and sense of agency while leading increasingly diverse schools through complex transformations and events. The study is seeking 10 volunteer Principals from diverse backgrounds, who are willing to share a few stories of leading their schools through change at three points in time:
View Confidentiality Form
If you have any concerns about this voluntary and recruitment survey, or the study itself, please contact Leah Taylor, Doctoral Candidate in Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria.
Graduation ceremonies qualify as ‘educational activities’ and are therefore allowed to continue in alignment with the PHO Gathering and Events Order and the K-12 Health & Safety Guidelines. The Government of BC has issued this guiding resource.
Solution Tree Canada is pleased to offer BCPVPA members a preferred price for the upcoming Achieve Virtual Institute this summer.
Achieve Virtual Institute: Promising Practices in Instruction, Assessment and Grading
BCPVPA members registering online can apply Discount Code Leader21 at check-out. If paying by purchase order, please quote “BCPVPA Discount Code Leader21”
*The BCPVPA discount code provides $100 off each registration and cannot be combined with other discounts i.e. team pricing
With the ongoing need for continuity of learning in our system, the BCPVPA has opened up free access to BetterEducate for all BC K-12 educators. Develop a BetterEducate Profile | Collaborate with Colleagues | Browse and Share Resources | Develop your Plans – All on one platform!
If you haven’t yet signed up for BetterEducate, visit the site and sign up for your free membershipwith the promo code BCPVPA123. View Sign-Up Instructions
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a province wide professional support service provided by the BCPVPA at no cost to you and is completely voluntary and confidential. The program supports BCPVPA Benefits Plan members experiencing health-related personal and/or professional challenges. Find out more
Applications for the 2021 Johnson Scholarship Program are open! Our partner, Johnson Insurance, is proud to offer 50 scholarship opportunities, valued at $1000 each, to eligible applicants. Deadline: July 15, 2021
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, visit Johnson.ca/scholarship. Programme debourses d’études 2021: Johnson.ca/fr/bourses-detudes.
Johnson hopes that you are staying safe and healthy! As we all adapt to the changes necessary due to COVID-19, home insurance should be the last thing you have to worry about. Johnson can make your home insurance easier with great benefits, and caring service. Find out more about exclusive savings.
Are you or a colleague thinking of retirement soon? Please check the BC Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association for benefits offered to retired members, such as affinity, health & travel insurance, prestige coverage, pensions & other topics of interest, and you will also find a mail-in application form on the site. The BCRPVPA looks forward to hearing from you if retirement is in your near future! Contact the BCRPVPA
Visit Make a Future for an up-to-date job board with all of the latest opportunities in the BC Education sector.
SD 82 (Coast Mountains)Vice-Principal - Hazelton Secondary School
Find out moreClosing June 18 by 11:30pm
SD 82 (Coast Mountains)Vice-Principal - Mount Elizabeth Middle/Secondary School
Find out moreClosing June 18 by 4:00pm
SD 46 (Sunshine Coast)
Director of Instruction, Inclusive Education
Find out moreClosing June 30 by 12:00pm
Expression of Interest for SecondmentMinistry of Education (Online Learning & Change Management Lead)
Find out moreClosing June 18 by 5:00pm
SD 5 (Southeast Kootenay)Vice-Principal
Find out moreClosing June 14 by 12:00pm
Find out more Closing June 14 by 12:00pm
SD 91 (Nechako Lakes)Elementary Principal
Find out more
Ongoing Closing Date