Minutes January 23, 2019

Present: Sheril Gelmon; Ramandeep Kaurminhas;  Lara Spence;  Wendy Sinclair;  Sheri Wiwchar; Damian Willmann;  Mr. Shaun Stewart (Math Department Head at JO); Mr. Jason De Couto (Music Director at JO) and eight parents.

Meeting began with round table introductions and the approval of last meetings minutes (Sherry Wiwchar approved, Sheril Gelmon seconded).

Damian Willmann presented the Principal’s Report:

  • JO Students’ Experience week is January 29th to Feb. 1st, guest speakers and other events will take place in the week. Grade 11 and 12 will be going off campus to see post secondary institutes. 24 Carrots/Senior Band going on Elementary ‘tour’ to showcase music. Some students going on Indigenous Peoples Vancouver walking tour. Great opportunity for students to learn some new things.
  • Pro-D day on January 28th and on February 15th
  • Course planning coming up – grade 8/9/10/11  – counsellors will be going in to classes to talk to students about what they would like to take next year. March 15th is the deadline for this.
  • March 7th is the end of term two
  • March 13th Reel Canada – film festival – so lucky to have it!
  • Recognition Assemblies (Honour Roll, Principal’s List, Effort Honour Roll) – Jan. 24th. Implementation 2020 and beyond re: recognizing/re-evaluating school achievement is in the works.
  • Capstone for Grade 11 was talked about. Students and teachers have visited various other schools to learn about how other schools are utilizing project based learning (other IDS models)
  • Principal will be sending pertinent dates to PAC exec for distribution – these dates will be noted on the PAC website once received.

The liaison teacher report was not present to give an update.

DPAC Report – Suzanne Smythe:

It would be helpful to have more J.O. parents on the DPAC executive. There is a facilities meeting on Monday, these meetings are very helpful to understand the process of how the seismic upgrading and moving of students are done – good to get on the ground floor in the planning stages. Suzanne will try to go to the upcoming meeting. The long-range facilities plan is coming out any day. They are no school closures in the plans. January 30th there is a PAN meeting the parent advisory network. This one will be about seismic projects. The meeting is at Tippers restaurant. There is a meeting tomorrow about cannabis legislation and schools. There is a meeting tomorrow night about ADHD. Good to check the DPAC website for updates and meeting dates. Parents are encouraged to go to any/all meetings.  Here is the website:  http://vancouverdpac.org/

Parents should be involved at the beginning stages for any school re-builds to help ensure important amenities are not lost.

Once the long range facilities plan comes out then hopefully there will be a much bigger parent meeting.


Thanks to Sheri Wiwchar for coordinating the Purdy’s Chocolate sale pre Christmas. We made $341.46 which is $100 up from last year (the first year). Gift card fundraising via Fundscrip has made $221 thus far for the PAC.


Bingo: Sheril – we did Bingo the past several years. Used to be just a Mini initiative but last two years was organized by PAC + Mini so would we hope include all parents/families. It is fun and is community building. Tracey Santos has offered to help, we need to talk to Anne M. about borrowing her equipment – it was agreed to hold Bingo night on March 6th  – More planning to be confirmed in February.

Teacher appreciation lunch will be discussed at the next meeting – Ramandeep and Tracey  will plan this event. Likely the Thursday before the May long weekend. May 16, 2019.

Business ended and the rest of the meeting was two teacher presentations:

Mr. Shaun Stewart (Math Department Head)

New curriculum – regarding Math – it is not vastly different than it used to be. The big difference is in the core competencies. For many teachers, it already drives their approach. We try to look at math as critical thinking. We can look at a problem and can encourage kids how to solve it. For the younger kids we are switching the grading system to a four -point scale. Grade 8 & 9 are part of the upcoming pilot project.  Rather than percentages it is a four-point scale. The first one is emerging, developing, etc.

We have the math Olympics with a lot of help from the grade 11 and 12 students. It is a combination of math and athletics. It is a mix of physical and mathematical activity.

We have the Waterloo contest coming up. We had our first grade 9 registration today. It’s a worldwide contest, but happens mostly in Canada. the contest runs on Feb. 26th grades 9/10/11 and grade 12 in April and May. The University of Waterloo hosts this contest. Anyone can enter. Last year there were a couple of medals for grade 11 students who placed in the top 25 overall.

Mr. de Couto (JO Music Director)

I am in my 12th year of teaching but this is my first year at J.O. I am a professional musician. I play in 10 different bands.

I teach Beginner, intermediate, senior bands and 2 choirs plus drum line we have the only drum line in the District. The kids are awesome!

24 Carrots R&B dance band – 24 members

My goals – to continue grow numbers especially the concert band. Adjust and update the program for the student needs and meet with curriculum goals.

Mr. de Couto also mentioned jobs related to the music field. My goal is to be open to new courses. Such as a Jazz Band or a strings course or music technology. I have taught all of these in my career.  I encourage collaboration between the school groups.

Students from all grades are always welcome to take a music class and no experience is necessary. Many students have joined throughout the year. I had a new student join the drumline just two days ago.

Students must have a genuine interest and work well in a group; they must attend performances, as well as sectionals (special small group lessons outside of class time). All students in JO Music should aim to 20 minutes daily.

Recently the Choir performed at Orange Day. We were the first high school to perform the Coast Salish anthem. The drumline performed as well.

In December we had the winter concert and Winter Madness.

Upcoming events – tomorrow the choir will be singing. There is an elementary school tour in the week of Jan 29. The senior students have been invited (different week) to teach to elementary school students. JO Music Students will be participating in a February celebration of life for local alumni and historian and teacher Kenneth MacLeod.

Whistler music trip (to perform in the Cantata Music Festival in Whistler for secondary schools) is April 26-28. Forty-two students among the choir and 24 Carrots and the drumline are going. This is the first time JO has attended a music festival in many years.

June 13th will be the year end spring concert and we will be involved in the Grad Ceremony.

We are looking at fundraising ideas to help with the April trip. We will do popcorn sales and bake sales. During the elementary school tour the students may make a small donation. I am open to ideas.


Legacy Fund started for Kenneth McLeod – there is money coming in for his legacy. His sister stated end Dec 2018, “In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Ken McLeod Memorial Fund at JO”. Cheques arriving. Sheril to tally. Edie (sister) to coordinate with us in coming months. Expecting $600 (?).

Lara described how to donate to John Oliver PAC via School Cash online. Applies to the Ken McLeod items and others.

The new Treasurer Michelle Koski will be here at the next meeting.

The meeting was finished at 8:10 p.m.

2019 JO PAC meetings:

  • February 27
  • Mar – no meeting
  • April 17
  • May 22
  • June 19th– social! – put it in your calendar

One Response so far.

  1. […] Review and approve minutes from last PAC meeting […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.