The School Act gives parents the right, through Parent Advisory Councils (PACs), to provide feedback in their school. PAC is the officially recognized collective voice of parents of their school. A PAC, through its elected officers, may advise the school board, the principal and staff of the school respecting any matter relating to the education of the students and the school.
PACs are forums within each school community to discuss matters affecting your school and the education of your children. Parents’ voices are a tremendous value to their school. They offer a wealth of ideas and support in the challenges that face all public schools. PACs strive to represent the diversity within their communities and contribute to the benefit of all students by:
- providing opportunities to educate and inform parents about the school;
- involving parents in volunteer activities; and
- openly discussing parents’ concerns and aspirations for their schools.
Who Can Become a Member of PAC?
All parents and guardians of students registered in the school are able to participate and are members of the PAC.
What Governs A PAC?
As an autonomous body, the PAC must abide by its Constitution and Bylaws and the School Act. PACs are NOT required to register as a non-profit or under the BC Societies Act.
How Does A PAC Work?
Through their elected executives from parents in the school, PACs communicate with their parent community gathering and discussing issues of importance regarding their school in order to adequately advise those that influence their school. In addition to PAC meetings communication may also be done through, newsletters, telephone, email, and websites so that all parents have the opportunity for input. PACs, with strong participation from parents, have an important influence on life at the school and the feelings the community has toward the school and education. There is strong evidence that increased parent involvement in the school results in increased student achievement, accomplishment, satisfaction, and bonding all of which result in decreased dropout rates and better citizen.
Purposes of a PAC
- To advise the school principal and staff on parents’ views and feedback about school programs, policies, plans and activities.
- To organize PAC activities and events and endeavour to provide parent education.
- To encourage parent involvement in the school, and to support programs that promote parent involvement.
- To communicate with parents, and to promote co-operation between the home and the school in providing support for the education of children.
- To assist parents in accessing the system and to advocate on behalf of parents and students.
- To provide financial support for the goals of the PAC, as determined by its membership.
- To advise and participate in the activities of the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) (hyperlink to What is DPAC page) and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC).
The business of the PAC shall be unbiased in respect of race, colour, religion, politics, family status, gender, sexual orientation or physical or mental ability. The PAC is not a forum for the discussion of individual school personnel, parents, or other individual members of the school community.
The BCCPAC Leadership Manual is a great resource for both PACs and DPACs. Tab 4 has tips on Getting Started in Your PAC/DPAC, including useful check lists. Looking for information and tips on how to write your PAC’s Constitution & Bylaws? Check out Tab 6 of the Leadership Manual.
Treasurer 101 Tools
See sample PAC budget template
See sample PAC Monthly Report template