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IN THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
Wanting to get involved as a parent in your child’s school environment can seem intimidating, especially when you’re dealing with structures whose function you don’t know, and acronyms you’ve never heard before!
The Regroupement des committees de parents autonomes du Québec has therefore prepared this summary of information on the various opportunities for getting involved in school authorities. In particular, you will find short descriptions on:
- the Governing Board (GB),
- the Parent Participation Organization (PPO),
- the Parents’ Committee (PC),
- Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC),
Education is a rewarding environment to discover, not only for your child, but for you as well. We hope that you will find the place that you can occupy within your school and in your school organizations.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the RCPAQ or your parents’ committee!
AN OBLIGATION IN EACH SCHOOL
The annual parents’ meeting is the gateway to parenting engagement at school. It is intended for all parents of students who attend school. The written convocation of the presidency of the School Council must be sent at least four days before the meeting is held.
The agenda for the annual meeting contains:
- Communications and exchanges with parents on any relevant subject;
- Election of parents who want to become a members of the governing board (GB);
- Formation of the parent participation body (PPO);
- Election of your school’s parent representative at Parents Committee (PC).
Presenting yourself is important to know your school environment, elect the parents who will represent you on the governing board of your school and, among these people, your representative on the Parents’ Committee and allow a parent to have access to the Board of Directors.
Even if this is your first year in school, don’t hesitate to run for one or the other positions that will be up for election at the annual meeting. This opportunity only reappears at the start of each school year.
PARENTS HAVE THEIR PLACE IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND IT ALL STARTS AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FROM YOUR SCHOOL.
It will take place no later than September 30.
The GB chair who convenes this meeting, and as such must prepare with the support of management how this meeting will take place.
AGMs must be public: they can be held in person, in schools, or remotely, by videoconference.
(See sheet #28 of the Mandatory Minister’s Training for members of governing boards and school principals.)
WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL
The governing board (GB) is a place of information, exchanges, decisions and consultation between parents, school management and members of staff (and students for schools that offer 4th and 5th secondary education). The GB has a decision-making role on several issues including, among others:
- School values and code of conduct;
- Adopt the rules of conduct of the daycare service, if applicable;
- The school budget;
- The terms of various fees and services (daycare, lunch, extracurricular, etc.);
- Approval of the Educational Project, the time allocated to each subject and educational activities.
Members of the GB are required to take training offered by the Ministry of Education and their term of office is two years. Usually, each year, half of the seats reserved for parents are filled by an election.
The governing board may decide, if it deems it useful, to form a committee of parents who use the school’s daycare service, which can make recommendations to it.
WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL
The Parent Participation Organization (PPO) is at the heart of your school’s values. The PPO aims to promote the participation of parents in the development, implementation and periodic evaluation of the educational project as well as the support they should give to the academic success of their child. The PPO can give advice to parents who are members of a school council on any subject that concerns parents.
The existence of a PPO within your school is decided at the general meeting of parents, which also decides on its composition and its operating rules. There can be as many PPOs as there are buildings that make up the school.
WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL SERVICE CENTER
The mission of the advisory committee on services for handicapped students and students with social maladjustments or learning difficulties SEAC is defined by the Education Act (ACT), it is, among other things, to give its opinion to the school services on:
- The policy for the organization of educational services for ADHD students.
- The allocation of financial resources for services to these students.
- The application of the intervention plan of a disabled student or in adaptation or learning difficulty.
Parental involvement in SEAC does not go through your school’s annual meeting of parents. Parents whose child has an intervention plan can get involved at the annual general meeting of the SEAC and they will receive a notice to this effect at the start of the school year.
WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL SERVICE CENTER
According to the Education Act, the Parents’ Committee (PC) has the functions of:
- Promote public education to all parents of a student attending a school in the school service center;
- Provide the school service center with means to support parents’ commitment to their role with their child in order to promote their educational success;
- Provide the school service center with means to promote communication between parents and school staff members;
- Promote the participation of parents in the activities of the school and the school service center and to designate for this purpose the parents who participate in the various committees formed by the school service center;
- Transmit to the school service center the expression of the parents’ needs, in particular the training needs, identified by the representatives of the schools and by the representative of the advisory committee for services to handicapped students and students with adjustment or learning difficulties;
- Develop, with the support of the school service center, and propose to it, for adoption, the policy on financial contributions;
- Give its opinion to the school service center on specific educational projects offered or expected in its schools, on any subject likely to ensure the best possible functioning of the school service center, as well as on any subject for which it must be consulted.
The parents’ committee must be consulted on several subjects, including the following: the school calendar, the distribution of educational services, the student enrollment criteria and the school service centre’s commitment to educational success plan.
The parents’ committee can also inform and support parents in their efforts to get involved in the education network and provide them with resources to support them in their roles and represent and express their needs and points of view to government authorities and school, regional and national.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PARENTS
TAKE THEIR PLACE IN
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
Academic success is not the sole responsibility of teachers. The school team, the community and parents are also called upon to work together to promote student success as much as possible.
We hope to see many of you participate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you need support or more information, do not hesitate to make use of the RCPAQ consulting service: email@example.com
Indicating the school and school board will allow us to better assist and inform you.