Ever wondered what the PAC (parent advisory council) or parent council references were in your child’s agenda? A parent council is a monthly or bi-monthly meeting hosted by parents for parents. In each case teachers and administrators attend these meetings but the council is organized and created by parents.
These parent councils provide opportunities for parents to get involved and know what is going on in their child’s school as well as provide a voice for parents to have a say in their child’s education. It’s also a place to voice ideas and concerns and for families to connect. In Alberta, each school is mandated to have and host parent councils.
Related – Parent Involvement Matters
Within every parent council there are a number of positions to help organize meetings, to set goals for the year, and to plan activities. Some important roles include:
- The Chair Person – this person organizes, creates, and plans each meeting.
- The Secretary – this individual takes notes on what happens during the meetings and keeps the lines of communication open through notes and email.
- The Treasurer – this job is to keep track of money coming in and out through fundraising or donations.
Studies have found that the more a family is involved with a child’s education, that there is a higher rate of success and achievement from that child. This includes higher grades and test scores, better attendance, better homework completion, more positive attitudes and better behaviour.
Being involved in your child’s school bridges the gap between home and school and opens channels for communication. In Larry and Virginia Decker’s book, Home, School, and Community Partnerships, he states that the
“Most accurate predictor of student’s success is the extent to which the student’s family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning, communicates high, yet realistic, expectations for achievement and future, and becomes involved in their children’s education at school and in the community”
Participating on the parent council is one way you can help support your child’s education and become a partner with your child’s school.
Parent Council Contributions:
Examples of activities supported by parent councils are:
- A swimming and pizza event for families
- A movie night for families
- An African drumming program for the children
- A puppet or magic show for the children
- Purchasing books, toys or equipment for the classrooms
- Special events such as spirit days, fitness days, barbecues
Examples of fundraisers that parent councils have organized in order to pay for activities include:
- Selling pizzas, sausages, poinsettias in December
- Gift card sales
- Selling Student Union coupon books
- Having bake sales
- Volunteering at bingos or casinos
- Seeking donations from local community
What are your priorities for your child’s education? How do you want your voice to be heard? If being part of a parent advisory council something you are interested in talk to your children’s teachers and school administrators to find out more about the PAC and how you can get involved.