Handsworth Parent Advisory Council

Welcome to the HPAC website.

As a community of parents, the HPAC works with school administrators and staff to support student success.


This site provides parents with news about HPAC activities and events, connects you with information and resources you need, and identifies opportunities where you can make a difference to the school.

Latest Updates for Handsworth Parents

Next HPAC Meeting : September 2016

HPAC Annual Handsworth Staff Luncheon 

The date for this year’s HPAC-sponsored staff luncheon has been set for Tuesday, June 28th

This annual HPAC event is great opportunity for parents to show their appreciation for the Handsworth staff and thank them for all they do for our children throughout the year. You can do your part in making this a memorable lunch and maintaining this wonderful tradition by providing a salad or dessert, donating cash, or volunteering your time to help with the event.

Please use the link below to sign up.


Questions: Maura at maurab@shaw.ca

Grad Banquet Table Sign Up

Advance Table Payments for individual spots or tables online begins April 25th at https://sd44.schoolcashonline.com.  Tickets must be purchased PRIOR to Table Sign Up(unless paying cash) and receipt of payment must be shown at the Grad Banquet Table sign up May 12th at 3:10pm and May 13th at 12:50pm in Room 205. Cash payments can be brought to Table Sign up.  Table spots are first come/first served basis.
(Instructions for online payment can be found on the banquet forms below)

Grad Ceremony tickets Available Now

Grad Ceremony Tickets on sale in cafeteria at lunch time $6.00 each
May 03, 2016 - Jun 20, 2016
Available in the cafeteria at lunchtime   $6 each or $8 at the Orpheum door. Unlimited tickets available.

Summer Learning with NVSD

Registration for summer learning for NVSD students starts May 3rd.  Learn more

Safe After Grad Event

Safe After Grad is a parent-organized event for Grade 12 students – this is not a school event. It is a fun and safe, late-night event for all Grade 12 students following the Graduation Banquet on June 11, 2016. For more details on this event please visit the parent committee's  website 


2015-2016 HPAC Meeting Recaps

The HPAC Annual General Meeting and year-end parent social was held Monday May 16th. 

Socializing was the first item on the agenda. Parents mingled and snacked to the smooth tunes of our very own Handsworth jazz ensemble.

Next up was our business meeting. Highlights included:
-Grade 11 student Ross shared his experience being a part of Heart Talks, a student lead presentation held for all grades that explored the Handsworth student experience against the backdrop of the theme of indigenous learning principles. A short video clip highlighting teachers' contribution to Heart Talks was screened. 
-HPAC Executive officers presented year-end reviews of our activities and finances.
-Elections were held. Congratulations HPAC Executive 2016-17:
  Chair: Carolyn Warner
  Co Chair: Katy McLellan
   Secretary:  position open
   Treasurer: David Anderson
   DPAC Representative: Elly Safari
   Members at Large: Sylvia Sanchez, Gitte Olendorff, Lori Wheeler, Azita Namazi,
   Athletic Council: Lori Wheeler, Andrea Campbell
A few spots are still available on executive; please consider joining our group as your ideas and energy strengthen the school community,
-farewells and thank you's were said to "graduating" HPAC Exec: Kathy McGrenera, Caroline Ramsay , and Holly Robertson
-year-end report from Dr. O who shared the news about how an ongoing process of staff collaboration is having positive effects on deepening student engagement and thinking while serving to energize teachers and challenging them to be the best they can be.

In April our special guests were Business Teacher Sheri Johnson and Work Experience Facilitator Peggy Louise who told parents about some of the outstanding volunteer and work experience opportunities available to our students through courses offered at the school.
They shared with us some of the information available through the school's Career Centre website, which is a fantastic resource for students and parents of Handsworth.  Please visit the site at http://hsscareercenter.weebly.com/ 


In February  we heard from 18 students about some of the life-enriching and perspective-broadening opportunities available at our school. These energetic and enthusiastic Handsworth learners shared their experiences and accomplishments in Handsworth programs, clubs and activities including  fine arts, drama and music; athletics and sports leadership; French immersion; environmental protection; cultural exchange; academic and career exploration: and student leadership. It was an amazing and enlightening event.

We were also fortunate to have as our guest North Vancouver School District Superintendent John Lewis, who will give parents the latest news and answered many questions regarding plans for the rebuild of the Handsworth.

Our January 2016 HPAC meeting guest was Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, North Shore Medical Health Officer. Dr. Lysyshyn's topic was "What We know about Adolescent Health on the North Shore". He talked us through the facts about what is known aboutthe physical and emotional health of our North Van students and the role parents can play to bring about positive outcomes. A lively question and answer period followed the presentation.


At our November meeting, Science teacher Erica Toombs and English and Business Education teacher Mark Barrett demonstrated the innovative ways they are using technology to support learning in their classrooms. Also, the HPAC executive presented its 2015-16 budget for approval. Over $30,000 in gaming funds are being allocated to support student activities and experiences at Handsworth this year.


Our speaker's topic at the October  was Managing Conflict with your Teenager's Brain in Mind. Raj Dhasi,  lead us in an interactive work shop focused on helping us understand how the developing teen brain influences behaviour. She shared with us practical strategies for resolving differences with teenagers, setting limits on objectionable behaviour, and keeping cool while assisting teens to self-regulate.  


In September our meeting guests were Elise and Zach from Handsworth Student Council who shared their plans for the year and their hope to work with parents.  We also met Mark Pearmain, Assistant Superintendent of North Vancouver School District who explained his role and brought s up-to-date on the goings-on in NVSD 44.  Claudia Lefevbre, school nurse from Vancouver Coastal Health described the health services available to Handsworth students and families.Stacey Schwegler, Counsellor, told us about "Royal Time" the peer mentoring program she has developed and implemented for grade 12's and 8's. Finally, we heard from all three members of our Admin team with a special presentation by new Handsworth principal Dr. David Ovegaard.


Capilano Rd Water Main Project News

HPAC was pleased to host an information session with Metro Vancouver's Steve Billington about the Capilano Water Main Project in June 2015, where many parents had their questions answered about this major project. Now that the work is underway, parents may wish to obtain further information on how this project will affect them.

To share your comments or concerns about the project:

Steve Billington, Community Liaison Officer 604-436-6986

email: icentre@metrovancouver.org (incude Capilano Water Main" in subject line)

Twitter: @MVRoadwork (for updates)

Website: www.metrovancouver.org/CapilanoWaterMain

Metro Vancouver is forming a Community Working Group for the project to receive feedback from residents and discuss methods to potentially further minimize construction impacts on the community.  If you would like to be a part of this, the first meeting will be held on Sept. 16 at Canyon Heights Church  For more details visit www.metrovancouver.org/CapilanoWaterMain


Thank You Volunteers: Staff Appreciation Lunch June 2015

Our sincere thanks to all of you who contributed to our very successful HPAC Staff Appreciation lunch held in June. We had a very generous outpouring of parental help for this event.  Special thanks to Maura Rabiner and Elly Safari for coordinating the lunch and to Tracy Dillon for delivering and administering a very efficient online sign-up website.


2014-2015 HPAC Meeting Recaps

Thank you to the many parents who joined us at our Annual General Meeting, held May 11, 2015 in the Handsworth Library. The first item on the agenda was the parent social -- good eats and the energetic stylings of Handsworth's own hottest new student jazz combo featuring Ross, Lucas, Alex, and Ji-In. The HPAC's current executive council was re-elected and two new members-at-large have joined the group.


In April we celebrated our students and heard about the many ways Handsworth nurtures their learning and development outside of the classroom. We had a slide show about the recent school trip to Nepal, we heard presentations on the Model United Nations, Student First Responders, Student Council Leadership Conference, The Breakfast Club and saw a sampling of the AP Fine Arts 12 student portfolios.We also had a few of our unsung parent volunteers on hand to share with us their experiences as part of the Handsworth community.


"Employed Teens" was the topic of the night at our first ever HPAC Expert Panel event, held in February.  What is the parents’ role when the teen comes home from work with a concern, or talks about a work situation that seems unfair or unsafe? What are the current employment standards, health and safety policies, and employee rights anyway? Our panel of experts helped parents with questions such as these, helping us become knowledgeable about issues that might confront employed youth and giving us a refresher on the employment standards and issues. We hope participants left feeling more confident in their ability to give informed support to their working teens. 

More information

Thank you to parent Kathi Hagan who planned the evening.


Jesse Miller, renowned national speaker, lead us in an interactive workshop in January  focused on Parenting in the Social Media Generation. He shared significant social media trends impacting our North Shore community and discussed ways parents can keep the dialogue open with their teens around social media and technology concerns while guiding them to be positive and respnosible participants in the online world.

Jesse has recently held sessions with Handsworth grade 8 and 10’s as well as with elementary students from our feeder schools. He will meet with grade 12’s in February. At our HPAC workshop, Jesse shared his observations about how our kids are using social media and what they are telling him about the online environment. He gave us practical ideas to keep in mind when we talk to our kids about how they are presenting themselves online.


In November, HPAC executive shared its 2014/15 plans for supporting student activities and experiences through gaming funds and presented the annual budget for approval by parents.

Our guest for the evening was Erica Toombs, Science 8, and Chemistry 11& 12 teacher at Handsworth. Her intereactive presentation gave parents a look at the innovative ways she is using technology to support and enhance student learning in (and outside of) the classroom.


Stacey Schwegler, counsellor from Handsworth’s Student Services department was our special guest at our October meeting. Stacey gave parents a first-hand look into the broad range of services counsellors provide to all Handsworth students. She also brought us up-to-date on the successful Peer Mentoring and Peer Tutoring programs that have been developed at our school and are benefitting students in Grades 8-12.

Principal Mark James gave parents an insightful update on recent and upcoming events at Handsworth highlighting the recent visit by students from our sister-school in Japan. He described  the enrichment benefits these types of trips provide Handsworth students. 

Over the years, Handsworth students have journeyed abroad to destinations such as Greece, Italy, France, Great Britain and El Salvador as well as made trips closer to home to attend athletic events, conferences, and music festivals. All of these trips offer students opportunities to be ambassadors for their school community and connect their learning to real-life experiences. More information


The Handsworth Library was packed for our  September meeting - Our guests for the evening included key members of our school community including representatives from Student Council, Handsworth Administration (including our new Vice-Principal Erica Schmidt) Staff, and North Vancouver School Superintendent John Lewis.

HPAC Executive members were on hand to share their top tips for navigating/surviving the highschool years. Check out our parent's handy A-Z Everything Handsworth Guide  here

HPAC supports the Handsworth School vision:

The Handsworth community develops empowered, innovative and compassionate learners who serve and lead with curiosity and integrity.

Ways to support student success at Handworth

1. Come to a HPAC meeting or event  Connect with other Handsworth parents, catch up on what’s going on at the school, and provide your input and ideas on how parents can support student success at Handsworth.

2. Volunteer  Join the HPAC Executive or a committee. Help out with an HPAC initiative or event. Any contribution of your time or talents is valued. Contact us for more information.


3. Donate  Contribute to educational resources to enhance student learning. Dollars from our Provincial gaming funds budget and fundraising efforts stretch only so far to meet  student needs. All donations in excess of $25 will be issued a tax receipt. 

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