Parent Involvement Committees
All school boards in Ontario must have a Parent Involvement Committee. Ontario Regulation 330/10 outlines their composition, function and mandate.
The Parent Involvement Committee, is a formal structure and an important advisory body. It, along with school councils, encourage the grassroots support of parents at the local and community level.
The ministry has established a Parent Engagement Office to develop and implement parent engagement initiatives that support learning and student achievement across the province. The government currently provides boards with base funding of $5,000 and 17 cents per student for a PIC and an additional $500 per school council to support parent engagement activities.
To make it easier for more parents to get involved, we have invested more than $10 million since 2006 in thousands of school council and regional projects through Parent Reaching Out grants.
Extensive consultation took place throughout the fall with parents, caregivers, Parent Involvement Committees (PICs), school councils, educators and others with an interest in public education. Both the policy and the new regulation for Parent Involvement Committees, reflect a supportive approach that recognizes the complexity and differences among school boards and their communities.
Parents play a vital role in the development and education of their children and in the success of schools. Parents are the most important influence in a child’s life outside of school. Long after direct learning from parents in a child’s early years gives way to formal education, parents continue to play a key role in student success through the attitudes they help to shape and the direct supports they provide.
Research clearly indicates that good schools become better schools when there is a strong connection with parents as part of the learning community. The positive results of a genuine partnership between parents and schools include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, better behaviour, and restored confidence among parents in their children’s schooling.
How to get Involved
Parents can get involved in their child’s education through school councils and Parent Involvement Committees. A Parent Involvement Committee is like a school council for the school board
School councils focus on the local school and community. Parent Involvement Committees focus on things that affect more than one school. They also discuss issues that matter to parents across the school board. They do this by:
- Supporting parent involvement at the regional level
- Linking parents with the school board’s director of education and trustees.
What do they do?
Every school board is different. So every Parent Involvement Committee is different too. The goals of the committees are to:
- Seek the advice and ideas of school councils, other parents and partners
- Advise the school board on topics that matter to parents
- Plan and implement strategies to involve more parents at the regional level
Parent Involvement Committees also assess how well the school board responds to parent concerns. For example:
- Does the school board consult parents when developing its policies?
- How well does the board support parent engagement?
- What information does the board make available to parents? Is it easy to understand?
- How does the school board respond to parent questions and concerns?
- Does the board encourage schools to reach out to parents?
A Parent Involvement Committee achieves these goals based on the unique needs of its board, how it’s organized and the parents on the committee.
Who sits on Parent Involvement Committees?
Most members are parents and the committee is chaired by a parent. But the director of education and trustee representatives also sit on the committee. This helps communication flow both ways. It helps the school board communicate with parents and makes sure that parent voices are heard by the board.
How can I get involved?
Contact the Avon Maitland District School Board for more details. We can put you in contact with the local Parent Involvement Committee.
While the recent initiative by the Ministry mandates Parent Involvement Committee, the Avon Maitland District School Board has had an active “PIC” for several years.