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What/Who is BCCPAC?
The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC), a registered non-profit and non-partisan charity, represents the parents and guardians of over 565,000 children attending provincial public schools. Recognized by government and education partners, BCCPAC is the collective voice of parents on educational issues within the public system. We are governed by a volunteer board of nine directors elected annually by the membership which consists of District Parent Advisory Councils (DPAC) and Parent Advisory Councils (PAC); through our DPAC membership, we represent 96% of parents in the public education system in BC.

What is the purpose of BCCPAC?
Our Mission: As the provincially mandated voice of parents in public schools, we engage, empower and support parents for the success of all learners through collaboration, partnership and education, in a culture of acceptance, inclusion and equity.

Our Vision: Each learner in public education in our province has the opportunity and support to thrive, and reach their full potential, in a diverse learning community of inclusion and equity.

Our Purpose: To promote, support and advance meaningful parent participation throughout the public education system in order to advocate for the success of all students; and through our membership, to promote leadership, communication, cooperation, and representation in British Columbia at the school, school district and provincial level

How does PAC, DPAC and BCCPAC differ from one another?
A PAC advises the school administration on any matter relating to public education. A DPAC advises the school district on any matter relating to public education. BCCPAC represent parents on provincial committees dealing with a wide range of issues, including school/student safety, student assessment, Indigenous education, and curriculum; advises and meets regularly with Ministry of Education staff and provincial education partners to ensure parent perspective and voice is always represented and heard; and strives to foster a culture of acceptance, diversity and inclusion in our public schools as we advocate both for systemic changes.

Are PAC’s and DPAC’s self-governing?
PACs and DPACs are given their responsibilities and powers through legislation in the School Act. They are autonomous bodies, which means they are self-governing, and not a committee of a school, or school district. They are composed of, run and managed by parents.

Can a Board of Education Chair interfere with meetings between the superintendent and DPAC?
No. A DPAC can set up meetings with whomever they think is appropriate. If there is opposition to a meeting between a superintendent and DPAC from a Board of Education trustee, that issue must be resolved between the superintendent and the trustee.

Can trustees attend PAC and DPAC meetings?
Yes. Trustees are welcome to attend PAC and DPAC meetings as invited guests. PAC and DPAC meetings are for parents of children at that school and/or district. Trustees, superintendents, education staff and community members should be considered as guests if attending. Many PAC and DPAC bylaws provide direction on the level of participation of invited guests and what to do if a trustee or school district employee is also a parent at a school.

Can invited guests be asked to leave a PAC or DPAC meeting?
Absolutely. The PAC or DPAC chair has the responsibility to ensure the meeting runs smoothly and respectfully. Should an invited guest become disruptive, they must be asked to leave. If the behaviour continues at subsequent meetings, this guest can be asked to not return, and if required, an alternate is to be asked to attend the meeting in their place.

Do we carry liability insurance as a group, and do we have liability coverage for functions outside of school hours?
BCCPAC itself does not have a blanket insurance to cover things like this. In most districts the school board will cover the activities of PACs/DPACs under the Schools Protection Liability Program. It is recommended that you ask the school principal to see if this is included for your PAC/School District.

When coverage is available and who is covered by the Schools Protection Program Liability coverage?
The Schools Protection Program Liability coverage is primarily designed to protect the school district, and its employees while they perform their duties, against liability claims. To the extent that liability arises from their authorized duties on behalf of the school district, coverage under the program, may also extend to include the activities of:

Members of committees
Volunteer workers
Student teachers
Student population
Students participating in Work Experience programs
PACs, DPACs, members and employees, School Planning Councils (SPC)

Does the liability coverage extend to PACs?
Yes. The liability coverage of the program extends to cover PAC’s, members, and employees, with respect to authorized activities in connection with the school district. This coverage does not apply to claims brought by a member against another member.

Can DPAC’s ask to meet with the Superintendent?
DPACs are the legislative voice of parents in the school district and should meet with the superintendent on a regular basis either at a DPAC meeting or another time set aside. Building a relationship with senior staff at a school district takes time and should be mutually convenient and worthwhile.

Our PAC constitution is old, is it therefore invalid?
No. Once a Constitution and Bylaws are adopted by the PAC it takes effect immediately and remains in effect until it is changed by members and those changes are voted at the PAC AGM. It should be reviewed regularly and revised to reflect current practice.

Does it really matter and can you dismiss situations based on how old a Constitution is?
Yes it matters and no you cannot dismiss sections of the bylaws no matter how old the document is. If your PAC or DPAC needs to revisit some sections of your bylaws then discussing potential changes at a PAC or DPAC meeting is a good way to get feedback and ideas. The current bylaws will have a process by which to make changes. This process must be followed to ensure the new constitution and bylaws are adopted properly.

Do DPACs fundraise?
Normally no but it is up to individual DPACs to decide. There is nothing preventing DPACs from fundraising. DPAC raised funds are in the control of DPAC. DPAC gaming funds are intended to benefit students by supporting activities that foster parental involvement in the schools and promote effective communication between schools, parents, students and the community. Eligible uses of DPAC funding include educational and promotional materials, administrative costs including BCCPAC membership fees and travel for regular DPAC meetings. Grant funds to DPACs must be disbursed within 12 months of receipt.

How many meetings should a DPAC have?
The Bylaws will state how many meetings are required for a DPAC.

How do PACs and DPAC hold elections for executive positions?
The bylaws will state what your executive positions are. Traditionally that includes a Chair or President, Vice-Chair or Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Members-At-Large. DPACs may have additional positions such as District Liaison or BCCPAC Liaison.

The bylaws will also state elections are to be held during the annual general meeting (AGM). The timing of an AGM depends on the bylaws. Some hold AGMs in the Fall, once PACs and DPACs have had a chance to meet and solicit interest. Some hold AGMs in the Spring to prepare for the coming school year.

PACs and DPACs should put a call-out for nominations before the AGM and during the AGM. Eligibility will depend on what the bylaws say but traditionally PACs and DPACs allow all parents (including guardians) from their school community to run for positions. During the AGM the final call for nominations is made.

Its best to determine ahead of time if an election will be by show of hands or secret ballot, except for the election of School Planning Council reps which are – by legislation – required to be held by secret ballot. If only one person runs for a position, they are acclaimed to that position. If more than one person is running for a position an election will occur.

It should be noted in the AGM minutes who the successful candidates are and those elected to the PAC or DPAC traditionally take their positions at the close of the AGM. Should a vacancy arise on the executive the bylaws should provide direction as to how to fill that vacancy including whether or not another election is needed or a simple motion at a regular meeting will do.

How do I set up a PAC in a new school?
(Taken from School Act)
Interested parents should contact the school’s principal to make sure a PAC doesn’t already exist. If a PAC did at one time exist at a school, please see the section How do I re-start a PAC?

If no PAC has been established at a school then a letter needs to be written to the board of education requesting the establishment of a PAC at that school. A board of education must approve. Interested parents must create a Constitution and Bylaws for presentation at the inaugural PAC meeting which can be called by and chaired by the principal. Once elections are held at the inaugural PAC meeting the principal should turn the chair over to the new PAC Chair. Please see below for the special section in the school act that speaks to PACs.

Parents’ advisory council

(1) Parents of students of school age attending a school or a Provincial school may apply to the board or to the
minister, as the case may be, to establish a parents’ advisory council for that school.

(2) On receipt of an application under subsection (1), the board or minister must establish a parents’ advisory
council for the school or the Provincial school.

(3) There must be only one parents’ advisory council for each school or Provincial school.

(4) A parents’ advisory council, through its elected officers, may

(a) advise the board and the principal and staff of the school or the Provincial school respecting any matter relating to the school or the Provincial school, other than matters assigned to the school planning council, and
(b) at the request of the school planning council, assist the school planning council in carrying out its functions under this Act.
(5) A parents’ advisory council, in consultation with the principal, must make bylaws governing its meetings
and the business and conduct of its affairs, including bylaws governing

(a) the dissolution of the parents’ advisory council,
(b) the election of members to represent the parents’ advisory council on the school planning council, and
(c) the election of a member to represent the parents’ advisory council on the district parents’ advisory council.
(6) Voting at an election referred to in subsection (5) (b) and (c) must be by secret ballot.

How do I re-start a PAC?
Sometimes, for many reasons, a PAC finds itself no longer able to attract interested parents and the council becomes inactive. This doesn’t mean it has dissolved. If interested parents want to re-start the PAC at their school they must contact the principal to see if the constitution and bylaws can be located and if there are any past meeting minutes, bank statements or other important documents from the previous PAC. If possible contacting a past PAC member to see where this information is located can save hours of searching.

Its very important to contact the financial institute where the PAC bank accounts are held (regular, gaming and potentially other accounts) to find out the process to establish a new signing authority. Each financial institute will have their own process.

How to dissolve a PAC?
When parents decide to dissolve the PAC they must consult their bylaws for timing of notice and disbursements of any assets.

Sometimes school districts must make the difficult decision to close a school. Many times the closing school students are designated to attend another school, other times students are dispersed across several schools. In any case, parent leaders at the closing school – including PAC executive members, lunch program volunteers, etc. – find themselves spending their time and energy at a new school.