ELSA Net Lower Mainland Regional Meeting Minutes

ELSA Net Lower Mainland Regional Meeting Minutes
September 28, 2010
Vancouver Community College
King Edward Campus, Room 5025 (Old building)
1155 East Broadway
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Nina Miller
Vania Ganacheva
Present: Audrey Truth, Katie Graham, Wes Schroeder, Bernard Tang, Diana Smolic, Mark
Batt, Andrea Solnes, Susan Schachter, Wei Wei Siew, Paul Badger, Julia Tajiri, Sheryl Zehr,
Christine Woods, Richard Sim, Louise Thorburn, Marta Batory, Seonaigh MacPherson, Brenda
Lohrenz, Colleen Rogan, Nina Miller, Vania Ganacheva, Alice Wilcox, IWBC- Aneke Van Vliet,
Deb Zehr, Jennifer Kim, Ben Pollard, Tim Tucker
Regrets: Marcela Mancilla-Fuller, Caroline Dailly, Patricia Steiner, Kathleen Kulpas, Ann
1. Introductions- Welcome to all in attendance.
2. Approval of Agenda- Moved by Katie, seconded by Diana. Motion passed.
3. Approval of Minutes- Moved by Katie, seconded by Bernard. Motion passed.
4. ELSA Net Update- Brenda Lohrenz and Colleen Rogan
A. Introduction of new Instructional Resource Coordinator: Seonaigh MacPherson.
B. Introduction of STaRS Help Desk Support: Alice Wilcox.
C. SFU Master Thesis request for data collection: Trixie Ling would like to interview
Chinese immigrant women for her thesis research. She will be here at lunch, or please
contact Brenda for her contact information.
 November 19, 2010 at the Radisson Richmond; more information to be sent out
next month.
 Please submit any topics of interest you might have for an afternoon discussion
E. Bulletin/Newsletter:
 Fall resource bulletin was sent out at the beginning of September.
 Recommend electronic distribution of bulletin to staff as they can more easily
access the hyperlinks.
 Health and Wellness is the theme for the fall Newsletter, deadline for
submissions is Oct.12.
F. Youth Pilot/Resources:
 VCC, ISS, MOSAIC, Excel and Diversecity are participating organizations.
 Pilot is due to start on Nov 1st.
Page 1
Instructor training planned for Oct. 14 and 15.
The curriculum is now available on the Teacher Resource webpage.
More information on referrals will be forthcoming.
G. ELSA Net Fee for Service Training Initiative:
 Primarily for instructors.
 Vania is the training event coordinator, so please contact her at
eventcoordinator@elsanet.org with any questions related to registration.
 2 Options are available – Certificate programs and a workshop series.
 Workshop topics include - CALL, Task Based Learning, Formative Assessment
Level Lit-2, Strategies for Managing Multi-Levels and Continuous Intake.
 Certificate Programs include – ‘Inclusive Classrooms for Learning Disabilities’ and
‘Classroom Assessment’.
 Certificate options are ‘completion’ or ‘specialization’. A Certificate of
Completion means the participant completed all modules, while the Certificate
of Specialization includes an evaluative component.
 First seating priority will be given to those who sign up for the full program (all
three modules). A discount will also be offered with this option. Remaining
seating will go to those who elect to participate in single modules as opposed to
taking the full program.
 A Fee Schedule will be sent out in the near future.
 Richard: It would be beneficial to send at least one representative from each
site to the VCC Testbank/Class Assessment module; Program
Coordinators/Managers as well as Instructors for levels 3-5 are invited to
 VCC Testbank has 144 different pairings; uploaded and online, which will avoid
compromising the test.
 ELSA Net Note: Priority seating will be given to allow for one representative
from each ELSA Program site. After an initial registration period, more
participants per site will be allowed if seats are avialable.
H. Active Living Video and Resource:
 This resource package is targeted towards Literacy / L1 students as well as
enhanced childcare parenting sessions.
 The package includes classroom resources and video, as well as resources and
handouts for parenting sessions.
 All resources and a streaming video are available at
5. Assessment Centre Report- Wes Schroeder
 Very busy, highest ever number of applications for September.
 Wait period for assessment appointments at approximately 4 weeks.
 When re-designating a student, please notify the assessment centre.
 Class Availability postings were distributed.
 Approximately 12 referrals done for Pre-Lit since July. (Pre-lit providers
acknowledged that the program seems to be filling well.)
 When LTO has “low/high” placement, do not post in STaRS class availability. As
we do not know what is meant by your organization’s designation of “low/high”,
this listing adds confusion to client referrals.
Page 2
6. Ministry of Advanced Ed and Labour Market Department- Immigration and Welcome BC
Branch- Deb Zehr and Ben Pollard
ELSA Updates
ELSA 6/7
 The Branch is currently in the process of designing the new ELSA 6 & 7 programs. More
information will be provided in the near future.
Stars II Update
 To help meet our March 31/11 timelines, the Ministry has purchased the “customizable
off the shelf” product Seibel instead of building the STaRS 2 application from
scratch. The three main reasons for this are: 1) cost effectiveness of the initial
purchase and of the long term maintenance; 2) the re-engineering of the Seibel
product will far quicker to complete and implement; and 3) Seibel is a product the
Ministry is able to technologically support verses the challenges that arise with a
custom application and having to manage a separate maintenance contract.
 The Information Technology Management Branch (ITMB) developed an RFP to obtain
proposals for a reengineering of STaRS using Siebel for the Public Sector. The
successful contractor is CGI Information Systems and Management Consultant Inc.,
who has demonstrated Siebel expertise in the government environment.
 The next step in the project is, the Ministry team will spend three days in early
September going over the detailed business requirements developed by the STaRS
working group and align it with the Seibel product.
 The initial demonstration of the Seibel product to the ministry was very impressive
and promoted ease of use and excellent help functionality.
ELSA Policy Committee
 The Ministry expects to recall the ELSA Policy committee this year to discuss updates.
Progression Tests
 VCC is completing updates on ELSA progression and exit tests to be ready by late fall.
ELSA Net has been contracted to produce complementary resources for this initiative.
General Branch-wide Updates:
WelcomeBC Consultation: Planning for the Future
 On May 18 and 19th, 2010, IWBC held a two day consultation with over 90
representatives from a wide range of organizations whose work has an impact on the
settlement and integration of newcomers.
 These organizations includes immigrant settlement agencies and other community
partners, labour market representative groups, post-secondary institutions, municipal
government, five provincial ministries, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and other
community funders.
 The consultation was held to assist the Ministry in defining strategic priorities,
program direction and models of delivery. The purpose of the consultation was to
reflect on key principles that guide our work; to develop a common understanding of
Page 3
client outcomes, and in doing so, consider how to best help newcomers achieve those
outcomes and who to build on the expertise and the mandate of all partners; and to
identify key strategic priorities.
The consultation report is in the process of being finalized and will be shared with the
consultation participants and wider settlement sector shortly.
Settlement Reference Group Meeting
 A reference group meeting is planned for September 21 in Vancouver for Stream 1
Information and Support Services (excluding SWIS and trauma counselling services),
Stream 2 Community Bridging programs and Immigrant Seniors Demonstration Projects.
This is to provide feedback and discussion on key service delivery principles, the
efficacy of current service activities in supporting newcomer clients to achieve
outcomes and potential service activities to improve client outcomes.
 In addition to other program planning considerations, IWBC will review and analyze the
reference group meeting input to help inform the design of the 2011/12 Settlement,
Information and Referral Program area.
Notice to Vendors – the Ministry posted the following notices on BC Bid:
o Contract Extensions: A notice (ON-001958) on the branch’s intention to extend
contracts for eligible contractors in anticipation of new services under the 2011/12
Settlement, Information and Referral and Vulnerable Populations Program Areas was
o Training Update The Ministry posted a NTV (ON-001-964) informing interested parties
of its intention to change the administration of training funds for the following
program areas for the 2011/12 procurement cycle: English Language Services for
Adults; Settlement, Information and Referral; and Vulnerable Populations. The
2011/12 solicitation documents will outline the Ministry’s requirements of contractors
to provide training.
o Childcare Services – In the same NTV, the Ministry provided information on the
intended changes to the format of child care services for the ELSA 2011/12
procurement process. Regular childcare services will continue but the Enhanced
Childcare Services, which are currently provided through the ELSA program, will be
incorporated into new family-focused services as a part of the 2011/12 Settlement,
Information and Referral, and Vulnerable Populations program areas. Further
information regarding Regular Childcare Services and associated funding will be
outlined in the 2011/12 ELSA solicitation documents. Additional information on these
family-focused services will be provided as plans are further developed
o VCC Direct Award - The ministry intends to direct award a contract to VCC to continue
to provide language services to immigrants in line with current service levels. (ON001973)
ELSA Literacy to Five
 The information session held in July provided an opportunity for IWBC to inform
service providers regarding the program design and procurement process for the future
Page 4
ELSA Literacy to Level 5 services and to maximize community planning and preparation
time in advance of an RFP process. Over fifty people from across the province
attended. A transcription of the meeting was posted on BC Bid. The draft RFPs were
posted on September 7 and will continue until September 21 and the final RFPs are
anticipated to be posted on September 24, 2010 until November 5, 2010.
ESL Settlement Assistance Program Transfer
 Previously delivered under the Learning Programs Branch of ALMD, the ESLSAP has
been moved to IWBC. This program is designed to respond to the English language
needs of newcomers in over 40 rural and remote communities. Martin Breuhan is the
Program Manager. The grant applications have been assessed and results will be
released in the near future.
Client Outcomes and Satisfaction Survey
 All BCSAP client satisfaction and outcomes surveys have been completed and BC Stats,
the contractor hired to administer the surveys on our behalf, is now at the data
analysis stage. We hope to have the final reports available in early winter.
WelcomeBC Day
 October 6, 2010 will be proclaimed by the Province of BC as WelcomeBC Day. The
proclamation will celebrate the economic, cultural, social and political contributions
that immigrants have made to BC. A celebration will be held in Vancouver.
BCSAP Success Stories
 The Branch is seeking client success stories to post on the WelcomeBC website. If
service providers have clients interested in sharing their immigrant success story on
video based on their participation in a BCSAP program, please contact Joanna Li,
Specialist, Social Content and Marketing at Joanna.Li@gov.bc.ca.
Live in Caregivers
 In April 2010, client eligibility for federally funded settlement and integration services
was expanded to include Live-in Caregivers who are in Canada with a work permit
under the Live-in Caregiver Program. As such, Live-in Caregivers are now eligible for
the full range of settlement services offered by the province (previously LICs were only
eligible for BSCAP Stream 1 Information and Support Services). As of August, 2010,
ELSA providers who perform ELSA eligibility assessments are now required to collect
service provision data regarding LICs. IWBC has also revised the reporting templates
for BCSAP Streams 1, 2 and 1/3 to collect new information on Live-in Caregivers.
 BCSAP Training Committee meetings have been put on hold until further notice
Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program (WICWP)
 Three forums took place in June with active WICWP project leaders and partners to
share project innovations, examine current research and to participate in capacity
building activities. The forums in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Prince George provided an
Page 5
opportunity for participants to learn about innovative projects taking place across the
The WICWP Newsletter is planned for the fall.
Staffing updates at Branch
The Branch has a number of new staff in the Victoria and Vancouver offices.
o Shelly Motz is the new Manager of WelcomeBC Website and initiatives
o Bev Clark is the new Policy Analyst
o Owen Toop is a new Senior Advisor
o Joanna Li is the new Specialist, Social Content and Marketing and Timothy Tucker is
the new Public Education Coordinator
o David Groden is the new contract manager and Carolyn Yam and Sandy Lim are the
new Contract Administrators.
o Derek Deacon and Heather Wilding are the new Finance and Program Assistants
o Patricio Ibarra and Vicky Chui are the new Senior Program Developers.
o Laura Sharpe has finished her term as co-op student. Our new co-op student is
Stephen Satterfield.
Other Updates
AMSSA Regionals
 In partnership with AMSSA, the branch intends to hold discussions on the proposed
Guided Pathway model and services to Vulnerable populations for the upcoming AMSSA
Regional meetings.
English Language Development Framework
 This provincial framework, currently being worked on through Louis Chen ESL Senior
Policy Advisor, focuses on:
- Ensuring respect towards learner objectives.
- Providing stronger recognition to learner’s progress.
- Building on the foundation of the program by creating a pathway from ELSA to the
labour market or post secondary education.
- Developing a program with VCC, with a possibility of a credential for students.
 Brenda - Do you have timelines with respect to a VCC credential process? Ben- It
would be difficult to give a firm timeline.
 Brenda- If you are moving to a credential system, would VCC pilot the program? Ben VCC would lay the framework, getting the CLBs into the system.
 Nina- It seems the credential would come at the 6/7 levels. Ben - It would likely be at
that level, but we’re also looking into lower level credentialing.
Page 6
Member- Have you had any initial discussions with UBC for example? Ben- Not at this
stage, we’re at the early stages of design.
Deb - Are there any comments, concerns with the vision? Wes - Are you aware of any
similar processes in other regions? Ben- Some in Ontario. Some mechanisms in the UK
are along the same lines.
Member- In addition to ELSA programs, we find clients who are eligible to continue in
ELSA but switch to adult education/ Foundations after level 3. What would be the
incentive to those students to stay in ELSA? Ben- We are looking at creating an option
for people. If it’s their language level requirement to accessing post secondary, we
would be offering it.
Member- Many of our students stay with ELSA because of access to child-minding.
Member- How are levels 6/7 and the credential distinguished? Ben - They are different
in that the credential is supported by post secondary. Member- Dale indicated it will
be supplied through post secondary institutions. Ben- At this point, yes. Member- Is
there a possibility of adopting both, credentialing through ELSA and post secondary?
Ben- No, only at post secondary.
Member- Preliminary 6/7 might have a general and more academic stream? Ben- That
is the potential.
Brenda- When do you anticipate further discussion? Ben- The next few months.
Brenda- So you hoping to get an advisory group together? Ben- We are looking at that
Brenda- Enhanced childcare is being moved to the Vulnerable Populations file. From
the Board meeting I gather there will be some additional discussion around this
portfolio. Ben - We are going forward with consultation and design. Brenda - So
Enhanced might have a different look and feel once these consultations have taken
place. Ben – Yes.
WelcomeBC Information Services- ELSA Advertising Campaign 2010- Tim Tucker
 Nina- Where do you get the marketing kits? Tim - I’ll be emailing everyone a PDF order
 Brenda - Where will TV advertisements be aired? Tim - I think CBC. I’ll have to check
 Brenda – Through this campaign, window advertising is now acceptable? Tim - I
wouldn’t call it window advertising. I realize there’s some concern. We are going to
clarify the policy and procedure. But there will be static cling decals on the order
form, available for use on glass surfaces (including windows).
 Brenda- Will there be graphics (for websites and other usages) made available? TimYes, within the next month.
 Member- How about putting our address on the card and handing it out? Tim- It’s
meant to further inform people walking into your establishment.
 Member- Will there still be brochures available? Tim- Yes. We are going through a
redesign. My plan is to meet with the advertising committee.
 Member- I don’t see the word ELSA on this advertising. Tim- It was decided that use of
an acronym such as ELSA would not be as simple and direct. The goal is to increase
and improve exposure.
 Member- It seems completely different from the focus we have had in recent years.
Tim- It is different. Our target is remains the newcomers.
Page 7
Wes - I’m concerned about the increase of people contacting us who aren’t eligible.
Plus, the misconception that they can apply online/by email. Tim - The landing page
makes eligibility criteria pretty clear. On top of that, the Inquiry BC Line is aware of
the eligibility requirements. Wes - People should be aware that they can’t email an
application form. Our biggest volume of mail constitutes sending back application
forms. Tim - One way to mitigate that is to have more discreet information online.
We could discuss this further.
Member- Do you have any numbers on newcomers not accessing the service? Tim - I
don’t know. I could see if I can find out.
7. Other Business
Learning Canada: Across Communities/Across Time – ELSA Net Project Proposal
Three year funded initiative through CIC’s Multiculturalism Grant.
History and multicultural emphasi.
Preparing application now, due October 15.
There will be an advisory committee if funded.
8. Next Meeting- Tentatively scheduled for January 18 at VCC.
9. Meeting Adjourned- Moved by Wes, seconded by Katie.
Page 8