Parents can get involved in their child's education in many ways, including through school councils and Parent Involvement Committees.
PICs are an important advisory body that operate as a direct link between parents and a board's director of education and its trustees. Where school councils focus on the local school and community, Parent Involvement Committees (PICs) participate at the board level and focus on things that affect more than one school.
PICs and school councils encourage parent involvement in their children's learning in support of student achievement and well-being. Ontario Regulation 612/00 requires all Ontario school boards to establish a Parent Involvement Committee and outlines its composition, function and mandate. Education partners, including parents, were consulted during the development of the regulation.
In the 2005-2006 school year, the ministry established a Parent Engagement Office (PEO) to help develop and implement parent engagement initiatives across the province in support of student achievement and well-being. The government currently provides boards with $5,000 annual base funding and 17 cents per student to fund its PIC, as well as an additional $500 per school council to support parent engagement activities.
Every school board is different. So every Parent Involvement Committee is different too.
Parent Involvement Committees build parent engagement by:
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.
The PIC is a parent-led committee. The chair/co-chairs are parents, and the majority of members are also parents. For parents to qualify for election or appointment, they must have a child enrolled in a school of the board. To provide a direct link to the board, the director of education and a trustee are also members. The PIC appoints up to three community members. Each Parent Involvement Committee decides, based on its local needs, who else to include, such as a principal, teacher and support staff. The committee meets at least four times a year.
The Parent Involvement Committee handbook Making a Difference: A practical handbook for Parent Involvement Committee members is provided for PIC members as a practical guide to support them in meeting the requirements of the PIC regulation (Ontario Regulation 612/00). PIC members from across the province were consulted in the development of the handbook.