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

Handsworth Parent Advisory Council News

Please join us at our next meeting Monday, April 10 at 7pm in the school library to hear from students about some of the enrichment activities they’ve been involved in this year.

They will share their experiences being involved in the school play NO IDEA, the trip to Cuba, the play "Red Patch", the ENACTUS marketing competition and much more! 

There will also be reports from music, athletics and Vice Principal Erica Schmidt. 

This is always a fun and insightful meeting so we hope to see you there!

You can also follow us on Twitter @Handsworth PAC to keep up to date on important information for parents.


District and BCPAC News

The NVPAC next general meeting will be on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 pm at the Education Services Centre.  We are working on the topic of Physical Literacy.  All parents welcome. As a follow up to our previous general meeting, the Teaching to Diversity poster is now on our website www.northvanpac.org.

The provincial election is coming up in May and the BCCPAC is hosting an All Party Forum on Education April 4, 2017 7-8:30pm. There is an option for live stream attendance but it requires registration.
Link is HERE

Amanda Nichol
Chair, NVPAC
[email protected]

Handsworth PAC Meeting, Monday, February 20th at 7pm in the school library

There was a great turn out of parents to hear Registered Clinical Counsellor (and Handsworth Grad!) Tyler Milley speak at our recent meeting on "The Anxiety We Share:  Understanding the common fears of teens and parents during adolescence."

You can view the slides from his presentation HERE. 

Tyler has over 12 years of experience helping individuals, couples, and families overcome anxiety, depression and conflict and shared with us real-world stories, practical advice, and even some humour to help guide our children through the teen years. Please click here to check out his website. 


NVPAC General Meeting (ALL parents welcome) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 7pm


Safe and Caring Schools: What Does It Look Like?

Brad Baker, District Principal will discuss how the NVSD works to ensure a safe and inclusive learning environment for students.  Cpl. Marlies Dick of the RCMP Youth Intervention Unit (YIU) will provide information on how their organization liaises with schools and the community in developing strategies to deal with safety issues. 

North Vancouver School District

Education Services Centre

2121 Lonsdale Avenue


Handsworth is hosting the Howe Sound Sr. Boys Basketball Championships!

The winner of the Howe Sound Championships proceeds to the Provincials so this is a huge event for the Senior boys. Please see full schedule here: http://www.esportsdesk.com/leagues/schedules.cfm?leagueID=17662&clientID=8

Volunteers are needed for both the door and concession. Parents must attend to the doors but students can help at the concession. Both the door and the concession will be inside the gym so you can watch some great basketball at the same time.  

You can sign up here (please insert your full name):        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Y2FJhhqNv_ULc1LNGL-LQyrjkNV23mRye8-Gpe6FpHU/edit?usp=sharing


Important Information For Parents of 2017 Grads

Please click here for the Prospects Newsletter which outlines upcoming graduation, scholarship and post-secondary opportunities and deadlines. 

Also, please click here for information regarding an April 22nd fundraiser for an after-grad celebration being planned by parent volunteers. This is a non-school sanctioned event. 


Handsworth PAC Meeting Recap - Monday January 23, 2017 at 7pm in the school library 

Thank you so much to youth workers Karen and Erin from Capilano Community Services Society for speaking to parents about their work in our school and the community. They, along with Sukh Kandola, run girls and boys groups at Handsworth during lunch-time on Tuesdays. It's a great way to build meaningful connections between the students and leaders and there's free pizza!  For more information about their services please visit their website: www.capservices.ca

Principal David Overgaard also gave us an update on the Innovation Wednesday student survey which included 1205 respondents. The majority of students love this extra time to enjoy enrichment opportunities, collaborate on projects, participate in physical activity and complete homework and exams. North and West Vancouver School District officials have visited the program and been impressed with how engaged students and staff are during these sessions. 

Please see below for opportunities to attend our upcoming financial speaker, as well as donate to our Cheques for Tech fundraiser.


NEW: Follow us on Twitter: @HandsworthPAC 


HPAC Presents — Dollars & Sense: Talking to Your Teens about Money

In our virtual age of online buying, instant credit, and e-money, it’s more important than ever to give our young people a solid grounding in money management. 

In this special HPAC presentation, certified financial planner and family business specialist Paul Lermitte will share with parents his simple, practical strategies for helping teenagers develop the financial literacy that is so vital in today’s complex world.

All Handsworth parents are invited to the school library on Tuesday January 31st at 7 p.m. to hear Paul Lermitte’s presentation on how we can teach teens to become independent, confident managers of money. 

Paul Lermitte, BA, CFP, R.F.P., FEA is a senior advisor with Assante Financial Management in Vancouver, specializing in serving multi-generational family businesses as a family enterprise planner. Please register at:

A copy of Paul’s book “Dreams, Dollars & Sense—Strategies for Teaching Your Teens About Money” is included in the $15 admission. Payment by credit card. Seating is limited to 75.

If you have questions or need assistance with registration, please contact Kathi Hagan at [email protected].

[email protected]________

CHEQUES FOR TECH – Handsworth Secondary and HPAC Fundraiser 

Handsworth Secondary School Staff and the Handsworth Parent Advisory Council work together throughout the year to enhance the educational experiences and resources for students and to foster the well being of families in the community.

We know that parents would like to see their children using up-to-date technological resources to support curriculum work as well as innovative instruction at the school but to provide this we need your financial support.

The HPAC receives provincial government gaming funds each year, but we are restricted to spending these funds on extra-curricular items. This year, the funds have been designated to support athletics, drama, music and student scholarships and clubs.

After a recent inventory of the school’s technological resources, it’s become clear that at a minimum, another mobile set of 30 laptops and a classroom set of 15 computers are needed to properly meet the learning needs of students at the school.

The cost for these improvements is approximately $45,000 and we would kindly ask that you consider making a donation to help make these purchases possible. 

Your donation can be made by clicking on the link below and you will immediately be emailed a tax receipt.


We thank you for your generous support of the school and HPAC’s endeavours to make the Handsworth student learning experience the best that it can be.

Handsworth PAC Meeting, Monday Nov. 21, 7pm 

Thanks to all of you who joined us at our last meeting. We will heard from several students about their Grade 9 Japan Exchange, the History 12 US Election field trip and Encounter Canada experiences, as well as discussed and approved the 2016-17 HPAC budget. 

NEW: Follow us on Twitter: @HandsworthPAC 

Handsworth Basketball Poinsettia Fundraiser 

The Basketball Parent Committee is hosting its Annual Poinsettia Fundraiser to benefit the Handsworth basketball program. The plants are beautiful!  Perfect for decorating your home or business and great for hostess & thank you gifts. 

Two ways to order:

1- Order online through Muncha Lunch – fast and easy! Here’s how:
If you don't already have a MunchaLunch account, you can create an account by clicking:  www.munchalunch.com/schools/handsworth then add a child to your account & select their grade. Then click the yellow “Fundraising Open” option.  

If you ALREADY have a MunchaLunch account then just login and click the yellow “Fundraising Open” option. Select the items that you would like to purchase and click on “Verify My Order”, then associate the order with any child in your account & complete payment. Note: you must have a student at Handsworth to create an account. 

2-Complete the order form here, and return, with cheque (payable to Handsworth Secondary School) to the “Poinsettia Box” in the school front office


ORDER PICK-UP: TUESDAY DECEMBER 6th 3-7 PM. Pick up at the Handsworth school cafeteria. 


[email protected]_____

The North Van PAC invites you to their meeting Wednesday, October 26 7-9pm. The evening will feature a New Curriculum Forum for parents of students of all ages. A panel of teachers and administrators will be on hand to explain the changes and how they will affect your child's learning. Please click here for more information. Hope to see you there! 

HPAC Meeting: October 17, 7pm 

Many thanks to NVSD Assistant Superintendent Chris Atkinson who gave us an update on the timeline for the Handsworth rebuild, district and school enrolment numbers and the new Outdoor Academy. It was also great to hear from two members of the school's new staff leadership team. Art teacher Kory Bogen gave us some insights into the school's new Makerspace and Business/English teacher Mark Barrett shared some of his work on Handsworth's new digital school plan. Principal Dave Overgaard's reported on an upcoming North Shore mental health initiative which will feature special presentations for students, staff and parents. Stay tuned for more details! 


SPECIAL NOTE TO GR 12 PARENTS - The Grade 12 parent meeting powerpoint presented on Wednesday, October 19th is now available HERE.  It contains everything you need to know about your grad's final year at Handsworth!

We thank Grade 12 school counsellor Sue Jecks and Principal David Overgaard for sharing information about school grad activities, important dates and post-secondary updates.  HPAC provided refreshments which were enjoyed by all. We'd also like to thank Lucas Jadue and Ross MacLellan for their great live music at the event. 

Also, please be sure to follow @hssgrads on Twitter for daily updates from the counselling department on scholarship and post secondary news! 

The NVSD is holding Parents as Career Coaches Workshops - Session 1 of 2 -

Oct 25, 2016 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Education Services Centre, 5th Floor - Ocean View Room, 2121 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver BC

Parents as Career Coaches Workshop is a two session workshop for parents of grades 10 - 12 students designed to help parents become more effective career development allies for their children. Parents/guardians are introduced to the concepts of coaching and given practical tools and research skills to help them as they coach their children. October 25 & November 1, 2016. Registration is now open: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/parents-as-career-coaches-tickets-28239136016


Our Options Solutions University Admissions Evening for Grade 11 and 12 parents and students was held on Monday October 3rd in the small gym. Options Solutions President Melinda Giampietro and Educational Consultant Amanda Halliday shared their extensive knowledge of the university admission process in Canada and talked about ways in which students can maximize their success. 
HPAC Meeting : September 19th 2016

The Handsworth Parent Advisory Council welcomed about forty parents to the first meeting of the year on September 17th. We heard from Student Council President Brooke about ways students can get involved at the school. Principal Dr. David Overgaard and Vice Principal Justin Wong also welcomed parents to the new school year and shared some information about Innovation Wednesdays and new curriculum. We even got a video sneak peek of the Grade 8 retreat!

HPAC Annual Handsworth Staff Luncheon 

Thank you at all parents and families who generously contributed to the annual HPAC-sponsored staff luncheon held Tuesday, June 28th. Your cash donations, beautiful salads and desserts, and volunteer hours at the event helped to make this a memorable lunch and maintain this wonderful tradition.


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 MacLellan
   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: [email protected] (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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