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What is a Parent Involvement Committee?

Parent Involvement Committees build parent engagement by:

Starting in January 2011, all school boards in Ontario must establish a Parent Involvement Committee. The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) participates at the board level and is a key vehicle for enhancing parent involvement in support of student achievement and well-being. It operates as a direct link for parents to the director of education and the board of trustees.

  • providing the board with advice on parent engagement and how to communicate with parents
  • developing strategies and initiatives the board could use to engage more parents to support their children’s learning at home and at school
  • sharing information with, and supporting the work of, school councils.

A Parent Involvement Committee’s activities are based on the unique needs of its board and its diverse community, how it is organized and the members of the committee.

Why is the government requiring school boards to establish these committees?

twoboysResearch shows that everyone benefits when parents are engaged in their children’s education. Parent Involvement Committees work at the board level to support, encourage and enhance parent involvement to improve student achievement and well-being.

This reinforces the vital link between parents, the director of education and trustees. It is an important part of the government’s commitment, demonstrated by the passage of Bill 177, Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act, to improve student achievement and well-being, to close the gap in student achievement, and to build public confidence in publicly funded education.

The Parent Involvement Committee is a formal structure and an important advisory body. It, along with school councils, encourages parent involvement at the local and regional levels through a grassroots approach.

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.

Who sits on Parent Involvement Committees?

The PIC is a parent-led committee. The chair/co-chairs are parents, and the majority of members are also parents. To provide a direct link to the board, the director of education and a trustee are also members. The PIC may appoint up to three community members. Each Parent Involvement Committee decides, based on their local needs, who else to include, such as a principal, teacher and support staff.

The committee meets at least four times a year. To qualify for election or appointment, a parent must have a child enrolled in a school of the board. School councils focus on the local school and community. Parent Involvement Committees focus on things that affect more than one school.

The Parent Involvement Committee is a formal structure and an important advisory body. It, along with school councils, encourages parent involvement at the local and regional levels through a grassroots approach.