Parents can get involved in their child’s education in many ways, including through school councils and Parent Involvement Committees.
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 (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.
Starting in January 2011, all school boards in Ontario must establish a Parent Involvement Committee. Recent amendments to Ontario Regulation 612/00, by Ontario Regulation 330/10, outline their composition, function and mandate.
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.
Extensive consultation took place throughout Fall 2009 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.