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 Staff Appreciation Lunch - Parent Volunteers Needed

We need your help to make this year’s lunch on Thursday, June 28th a success! Please click HERE to sign up and find out how to help us make this year’s lunch a success!  No time to cook? No problem. Just send along a donation envelope marked HPAC with your child and have them drop it at the office. For more info. contact event organizer Maura Rabiner at [email protected]. Thanks to those who have already volunteered! 


Handsworth School Replacement Project Updates

Fundraising Committee for Enhanced Outdoor Facilities - Meeting June 20
There will be a meeting of parents interested in getting involved in the fundraising/lobbying for enhanced outdoor spaces for the new school on Wednesday, June 20th at 7pm in the school library. Handsworth Parent Carol Sartor is leading this committee. If you are also keen to help out, but can’t make the meeting contact Carol directly at [email protected].

Family of Elementary School’s PAC Parent - Survey Closes June 17
Please click on the link below if you would like to participate in the parent survey prepared by our feeder school PACs. The results will be presented to the Steering and Core Committee members of the Handsworth Capital Project.


Fall 2018 Grade 12 Careers Conference - Parent Volunteers Needed!

The Handsworth Counselling Department is organizing an amazing day of post-secondary information and inspiration for next year’s Grads on October 2, 2018. The day will begin with a Grad Breakfast followed by a keynote speaker, break-out seminars and career panel presentations. If you are a parent with expertise in the area of human resources, interview techniques and resume-building and would be willing to lead small group sessions, please consider volunteering. There will also be a number of career panels where students will have the opportunity to hear about a variety of professions and explore possible career paths. If you are a parent who would be willing to provide information about your career and the path you took to get there, please consider volunteering. Interested parents please contact Counsellor Stacey Schwegler at [email protected].


Handsworth PAC May 2018 AGM

Thank you to all parents and guardians who attended this year’s Annual General Meeting to hear year-end executive/administration reports, vote in the election, and enjoy refreshments. 

Please click here for the Chair's Year-end Report and click here for the HPAC Gaming Summary to learn more about HPAC's activities and spending for the 2017/18 school year. 

We would like to welcome Tina Yang as a Member at Large and congratulate Quinn Cashion on moving to the position of Member at Large/Parent Education.

Anyone interested in taking on the role of Chair, Secretary, Communications or DPAC Rep. please contact outgoing-Chair Carolyn Warner at [email protected]


April 16th HPAC Meeting Highlights

Once again our meeting themed “Celebrating Students” was a wonderful look at many of the enriched programs offered at the school and featured some amazing students and staff!

We were happy to host three musicians from the Band Program who played for us and talked to us about the many opportunities available to students within the award-winning program. We also heard from two Grade 10 Students who recently participated in the trip to Italy and they shared some photos and personal experiences with us. Two students who were involved with the original school play “Blackout” gave us an overview of the theatre program, as well as the writing and musical production side of the show.

Business teacher Sheri Johnson and a student gave us insight into a new course being offered at Handsworth next year - Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Launchpad” or YELL - which partners with community business leaders and is offered outside the regular timetable. A Grade 11 student also shared with us her recent experience being part of the “Encounters Canada” program which involves students from across the country taking part in seminars and tours in Ottawa every year.

Many thanks to all the students for sharing your experiences!

Principal Rupi-Samra Gynane also updated us on the TEALS program which is attracting a lot of parent interest and will launch at Handsworth next year. It will give excellent computer science support to our teachers and students and help enrich student experiences at all grade levels. She also reported that there will be some changes to the timetable for the last week of school this year which will be communicated home shortly.


April 16 FOS School Replacement Meeting Highlights

Many thanks to our Principal and NVSD Assistant Superintendent Chris Atkinson for joining PAC Chair Carolyn Warner in welcoming parents from Handsworth and our "Family of Schools" elementary schools for a discussion about the Handsworth school replacement project.

We had a small turnout but received some great suggestions for features and fixtures that parents would like to see incorporated into the new school both inside and outside.

Please click HERE for minutes of the meeting.

For more information on the project please click on this link: https://www.sd44.ca/Board/CapitalPlanProjects/CapitalProjectsUpdates/Handsworth/Pages/default.aspx

FOS PAC Chairs are also considering conducting a parent survey for input on how best to fundraise and garner community support for some of the parent “wish list” items that the Ministry of Education and School District will not be funding. Stay tuned!


Handsworth is looking for Parent Volunteers with Computer Industry experience to help launch an exciting new partnership program for students.

Click HERE to read more about it in a letter from Principal Rupi Samra-Gynane.

Additional Resources for Parents and Students on E-Cigarettes and Vaping

As a follow-up to our February HPAC presentation by Vancouver Coastal Health, we are providing the following links and and fact-sheets to give families additional information and tips on how to talk to their teens about this growing trend.


Information for Grade 12 Parents!

Tickets on sale now for the Safe Grad Adult Pub Night at Seymour's Pub April 28th.

Contact Jan Mclean, [email protected] or Toni Crickmore-Thompson, [email protected] to get yours!  Only $35 each which includes $15 food and beverage voucher (plus gratuity). It is always a fun night out with live music by the Benders, silent auction and more so please purchase your tickets early. Bring your friends and dance the night away while supporting the grads. 

We are still looking for some silent auction items.  Don’t know what to donate?  Gift cards to restaurants or services are well received and nice bottles from the Liquor Store are always easy. If cash is easiest we will accept that too!  Contact Lisa [email protected]  to arrange drop off or pick up.

Wine for the wine draw:
Donations are trickling in but we need lots more!!  Contact Holly [email protected] to arrange drop off or pick up.

Any other questions contact Michelle [email protected] Cheers and thank you to those of you that have already bought your tickets or donated.

Your Pub Night Crew

Grad Banquet & Safe After Grad – June 9 
Safe Grad is an after-grad party, planned by parents, held at Ice Sports Arena. This will be the 10th year that our parent community puts on a Safe After Grad. After the event, the students are bussed back to the school for a pancake breakfast before heading home. 

Please Note:
The Adult Pub Night and Safe Grad are organized by parents, not Handsworth staff and are provided for your information only. The Grad Banquet is a school organized event and will be held this year at the Vancouver Convention Centre.


February HPAC Meeting Highlights

What a fantastic night of parent education at our Monday, February 19th meeting!

Thanks to all the parents who attended and to our amazing staff, student and community guests. We were so pleased that Vancouver Coastal Health Tobacco-Reduction Coordinator Brandon Biln was on hand to cover the "who, what, when, where and how” of vaping with Handsworth parents and to answer their questions.

His key points:
  • the number of teens vaping across the North Shore is increasing
  • it’s currently an unregulated industry in Canada
  • the devices are easy to access through on-line sites or downtown stores
  • most e-juices contain nicotine, even though it doesn’t appear as an ingredient on the label
  • the long and short-term health effects are still unknown.
  • more information and resources on this topic coming soon from VCH and NVSD

We also hosted Dana Warburton, the Parent Navigator from The Foundry who talked about this one-stop shop for primary care, substance abuse and mental health services now available for youth on the North Shore. The many peer and parent-support services available on both a drop-in and scheduled basis are making this a popular place for families to find help.

Please click HERE to view her slide presentation.

Handsworth Art Teacher Teresa Anton also attended the meeting and showed us some of the amazing art projects underway in her department. She was also happy to be there to see Grade 9 students Nicole and Graham receive prizes for their winning designs in a "Web Of Wellness" logo competition from organization member and Handsworth PAC executive Quinn Cashion.

January HPAC Meeting Highlights

This was one for the history books!

We were thrilled to host NVSD Senior Facilities and Project Managers, as well as Assistant Superintendent Chris Atkinson and School Trustee Barry Forward. They did a great job of updating us on the details of the provincial government’s recently announced seismic replacement project for the school and gave us a better idea of what to expect over the next few years. Hopefully, the new school will open its doors in the Fall of 2021. 

Many thanks to the Handsworth and Family of Schools parents for attending the meeting and asking such great questions! We look forward to working with all community stakeholders to plan and build a new Handsworth Secondary School to benefit the next generation of Royals.

See message from the Superintendent below and click on the government press release for more details: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018EDUC0004-000041


Dear Parents and Guardians in the Handsworth Family of Schools:

Re: Handsworth Secondary School Replacement Project Approval

I am thrilled to share with you today’s Ministry announcement for a full replacement of Handsworth Secondary School.

Since 2013, when the Ministry first announced its commitment to fund the seismic upgrade of Handsworth, the North Vancouver Board of Education has made it a priority to have the Ministry consider instead a full replacement. As announced today by Education Minister Rob Fleming, $62.3 million has been approved for a fully funded, brand new expanded Handsworth Secondary School.

As with the current Argyle replacement project, this investment will see the complete transformation of Handsworth into a 21st century learning environment. It will be designed with a focus on creating collaborative workspaces for students and staff with flexible and adaptable spaces for teaching and learning. Spaces will be inclusive for all abilities and will incorporate First Peoples Principals of Learning. The new Handsworth will also be designed to meet the expectations from our community that we connect the building with our natural surroundings, be sustainable in its’ operation and maximize community use opportunities in areas such as gymnasiums, dance studios, multi-purpose spaces and ‘black box theatres’. We look forward to this opportunity to create a prized community asset for the Handsworth community and the larger North Vancouver community.

You are invited to attend a Handsworth Parent Advisory Council Meeting on January 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Handsworth Library for an update on the project by Assistant Superintendent Chris Atkinson and Director of Facilities Jim Mackenzie.

We look forward to sharing with your additional information on the project as it becomes available. Please continue to check here for updates.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Pearmain

Superintendent of Schools


North Vancouver PAC and School District Updates

January 18, 2018 Enhanced Programs and Academies Night at Sutherland

January 31, 2018 (Wednesday) NVPAC General Meeting with Mel Montgomery - come and hear about how Mel has been successful at welcoming and engaging new parents at Cleveland.

February 6, 2018 (Tuesday) Standing Committee Meeting – Finance & Facilities 

February 13, 2018 (Tuesday) NVPAC presents SCREENAGERS at Sutherland.

January/February School District Grade 7/8 Parent Information Nights

Please check NVPAC website for more details on all of the above:


Amanda Nichol

Chair, NVPAC

[email protected]


Handsworth Basketball's Annual Poinsettia Fundraiser


Pick up in the Handsworth school cafeteria.

If you are unable to pick up your order at that time, please email [email protected] to make alternate arrangements. 

Handsworth Family of Schools Emergency Preparedness Event coming up Wednesday, November 22nd at 7pm in the Handsworth Learning Commons

Please click here for more information and to RSVP. 


November HPAC Meeting Highlights

The Handsworth PAC budget was approved and passed, along with the allocation of gaming funds for a variety of non-curricular actvities at the school. Everything from Robotics to Aboriginal Learning to Music received funding to help enrich the learning of Handsworth students.

We also heard about the fantastic work of this year's Student Council from President Darian Hooshi who outlined some of the activities that have taken place so far and those that are planned for the next few weeks and months.

Two student leaders from the First Responders Club also attended and shared a bit about the club's history and their daily work in the school. Both Jamie and Alex are passionate about helping and supporting fellow students in need of medical attention and we thank them for their dedication.

Principal Rupi Samra-Gynane gave us some updates on the roll-out of the new curriculum for Grades 10-12, as well as work on the Learning Commons.

October 2017 HPAC Meeting Highlights 

Another great turn-out of parents for this meeting - thanks to all who attended with excellent questions and comments for our guests.

We heard from the founder of the school’s Robotics Club, Grade 12 student Maggie, who provided information about the club and gave us a demonstration of an IQ Bot the club recently built. The group is hoping for more funds so they can attract an even greater number of students passionate about studying in the STEM fields. 

Teacher-sponsor John Vatougios explained that other schools in the Lower Mainland have very robust robotics programs and it’s something Handsworth staff and students are hoping to grow over the next few years.

Two students from Yearbook Class also visited to talk about their plans for the 2018 yearbook, including a first-time feature about HPAC! They interviewed some parents and executive members and we’re looking forward to seeing the final results in June.

The PAC Chair gave an overview and handout on of some of the new community and school support services available for Handsworth students this year. Fore me details, please see below. 

Principal Rupi Samra-Gynane updated us on the fundraising efforts for the Learning Commons - almost seven-thousand dollars in direct donations have been collected so far! She’s working with staff, parents and district officials to make the vision of a more accessible, multi-purpose literacy space a reality as soon as possible. She also shared a slideshow of the visit by exchange students from Inage, Japan who shared a week with thirty of our Handsworth Grade 9 students. 

HPAC has now received its government gaming grant and we will be reviewing teacher wish lists and making final allocations at next month's budget meeting. 

We also look forward to welcoming Student Council President Darian to this final HPAC meeting of the year - Monday November 20th. 

Hope to see you there!  


Handsworth Community: Support Services Overview 

The Foundry

  • part of a province-wide network of integrated health and social service centres for young people ages 12-24.
  • provides a one-stop-shop for young people to access mental health care, substance abuse services, primary care, social services and youth and family peer supports.
  • goal is to reach young people earlier before health challenges become problematic and to get them the services they need
  • Contact info: foundrybc.ca and located at 211 W. 1st Street North Vancouver

Capilano Community Services Society

  • Youth outreach workers at Handsworth four afternoons a week: DJ Hunt, Tristan Cyprien and Kelsey Pagley.
  • Fridays they have separate girls and boys clubs in rooms 231/233 - everyone is welcome and they provide free pizza at one meeting a month
  • Offer one to one support for youth and can assist with issues such as trouble with school, anger management, sexual health information, drug and alcohol support, self-esteem and family and peer relationship difficulties

School Nurse Laura Battison

  • Vancouver Coastal Health nurse assigned to Handsworth
  • Able to provide support, education and referral in healthy living, sexual health, mental health, anxiety and disordered eating, also contact for immunization info.

Handsworth School Counsellors/Administrators

Grade 8 and International – Dave Craik. Rupi Samra

Grade 9 – Dana Millar, Mark Barrett

Grade 10 – Don Carlson, Justin Wong

Grade 11 – David Lavallee, Mark Barrett

Grade 12 – Stacey Schwegler, Justin Wong

Choices – Sarehka Jagpal


September 2017 HPAC Meeting Highlights

We had a fantastic turnout of about 100 parents to our first meeting of the 2017-2018 year! 

Many thanks to Chill Yin Lee and Paul Sandhu from the Delbrook Rec. Centre for attending and sharing with parents information about the programs and services available for youth. 

Please click here for more info. on North Vancouver Rec. Centre services and programs. 

Handsworth Student Council Vice-President Irene Jang spoke to parents about some of the recent and upcoming special events student leaders have planned for the year. So far, these include the Football Pep Rally and the Grade 8 Retreat wind-up BBQ and dance. 

Our new Handsworth Principal Rupi-Samra Gynane was on hand to talk about some of the new initiatives she has planned to support a focus on "Making Learning Visible" this year at the school.  She also answered questions and gave us updates on the timeline for a seismic upgrade and the Learning Commons project.

We urge all families to consider donating to this worthwhile fundraising campaign which will benefit students, staff and parents. Please click here for more information about this exciting project and how to donate.

North Vancouver School Board News

The North Vancouver School Board did a public presentation on the recent Supreme Court ruling on the BCTF's case against the provincial government:  RESTORATION 101 on April 25, 2017 the notes can be found here:  http://www.sd44.ca/Board/Meetings/Pages/default.aspx

Handsworth PAC Staff Appreciation Lunch 2017

Many thanks to all the parent volunteers who brought dishes and volunteered their time and money to make this year's Staff Appreciation Lunch a great success. Special thanks to event coordinator Maura Rabiner for ensuring this wonderful tradition went smoothly.

HPAC AGM and Year-End Social

Thank you to all of those who attended the Handsworth Parent Advisory Council (HPAC) Annual General Meeting and Year-End Social on Monday, May 15th at 7 pm in the school library. We enjoyed some refreshments and live jazz before the meeting and it was great to see some old friends and new faces!

A year-end review of our activities took place, along with a financial update. We also said good-bye to long-time Co-Chair Katy MacLellan and Member at Large Kathi Hagan. Both have truly made a difference in creating a strong Handsworth community.

Vice-Principal Justin Wong and Student Council President Brooke also provided information on the new Celebration of Student Achievement ceremony and Royal Recognition Awards.
Principal David Overgaard gave an update on what the new school year will look like based on staffing and classroom changes taking place in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the BCTF case against the provincial government.

Newly or Re-elected Members of the HPAC Executive:
Chair - Carolyn Warner
Vice-Chair - vacant
Treasurer - David Anderson
Secretary - Sally Gregg
DPAC - vacant
Members At Large - Andrea Campbell (Athletic Council), Lori Wheeler, Gitta Oldendorff, Azita Namazi, Elly Safari, Min Xuan


April HPAC Meeting Highlights 

Thanks so much to the students and staff who shared their experiences attending the trip to Cuba, performing and collaborating on the school play “No Idea”, and participating in the ENACTUS marketing competition. It’s always so inspiring to hear about the many enrichment activities our students and teachers take part in during the school year. Vice- Principal Erica Schmidt also talked about exciting new changes to the Handsworth Grade 8 Retreat in September - stay tuned for the chance to be a retreat student leader! 

Follow us on Twitter @Handsworth PAC to keep up to date!


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].


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. 


The Handsworth Royals Lunch Program is in URGENT need of lunchtime volunteers to help distribute hot lunches. If you can help out, please email Carolyn at [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 Overgaard.


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  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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