parent engagement

  • BC Gaming Grants

    BC Gaming PAC & DPAC Grants

    Parent Advisory Council and District Parent Advisory Council (PAC and DPAC) grants are intended to benefit K-12 students in BC through the enhancement of extracurricular opportunities and community involvement. An overview of the programs is noted below. See Town Hall Parent Presentation (hyperlink - Pls put Town Hall PDF Preso as item to live on our site).   Full details of the Gaming Grants, how to apply and other online resources can be found here:

    Parent Advisory Councils and District Parent Advisory Councils (PACs and DPACs). Details provided in Sections 3.4, 7.1 and 7.5-7.10 of the Community Gaming Grant - Guidelines (


    Eligibility PAC: $20 per student
    Grant Amount DPAC: $2,500 per year
    One application per year.
    Application Apply from Apr 1 to Jun 30 - Final notification: Sept 30
    Application Period * Final notification date is the latest date that applicants will be notified about the result of their application.
    Processing Fee Grants will be paid as soon as possible in September, no later than September 30.
    Processing Time  
  • Helping Your Child to Learn

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    Helping Your Child Learn

    These resources were developed with input from parents, teachers and other educators. They were designed to provide an overview of what your child can expect to learn at every grade level, setting out goals for your child’s progress and achievement. They also provides tips on how parents and families can help children learn. Families can make a big difference by taking an active role in their children’s education. Resources available: Helping Your Child Learn K - 3 Helping Your Child Learn Grades 4 -7 Helping Your Child Learn Grades 8 - 9

  • Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents

    Many parents are not sure what to expect at an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting. When they meet school staff on behalf of their child, they may feel vulnerable or even frightened. Often, they don’t know what to do and are not clear about their role in the process. In this guide, our focus is to help you understand how an IEP meeting works and how you and your child, working together with the school, can get the most out of this process for the benefit of your child. You know more about your child than anyone else. The school needs this information to tailor its teaching to your child’s way of learning. A good IEP brings together your knowledge about your child with the school’s knowledge about teaching. The IEP meeting will produce a plan of what the school will do to teach your child and help her succeed.

    BCCPAC is pleased to provide this valuable resource in several languages. Every effort has been made to ensure these translations are correct. If you find an error, please let us know by contacting the office.

    Individual Education Plan Guide - English 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Arabic 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Chinese 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Korean 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Punjabi 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Russian 2014

    Individual Education Plan Guide - Spanish 2014

  • Math for Families

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    Math for Families

    Helping your child with math at home Teachers help build children’s mathematical thinking at school. Families help build it at home. Research shows that an ongoing partnership with families can help children develop math understanding. This resource suggests ways families can support children’s math development by doing activities at home.   Resource available in English, Chinese and Punjabi

  • Ministry of Education - Special Needs

    Ministry of Education page on Special Needs with Resources, Policy and Cross Governement Initiatives.

  • Parent Information on New Curriculum

    Learn all you need to know about the new curriculum including: core competencies, assessments, orientation guide, parent's guide and the ability to give feedback. All materials housed on the government website. 



  • Parent Presentation Resource

    SOGI 1 2 3 Parent Resources were created in collaboration with BCCPAC, Ministry of Education and ARC Foundation to answer parent questions about what SOGI-inclusive education looks like in BC schools. Use the complementary presentation and facilitator's guide to learn within your parent community. 




  • Parent Resources: Videos, Brochures, Fact Sheet

    SOGI 1 2 3 Parent Resources were created in collaboration with BCCPAC, Ministry of Education and ARC Foundation to answer parent questions about what SOGI-inclusive education looks like in BC schools.

    SOGI 123 Parent Brochure

    SOGI 123 Fact Sheet

    Elementary Classrooms

    Secondary Classrooms 





  • Radon Awareness & Testing

    Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. You can’t see it or smell it. When radon gas seeps inside an enclosed space, such as a home or workplace, it can build up to high levels and become a health risk. Long term exposure to high radon levels is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause after smoking overall. All homes and buildings have some level of radon. Radon levels tend to be the highest in enclosed spaces and lower floors of a building since they are closest to the ground source. Since any building can have high radon levels, it’s important that all buildings get tested.

    Learn more about Radon

    Public schools in the North Shore/Coast Garibaldi regions of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) (North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast, Powell River and Central Coast) were screened for radon during the 2017/2018 school year. VCH conducted a radon school testing project in 2017/18 where they tested over 90 schools. Read their Final Report.

    Recognizing that awareness related to radon has increased significantly over the last five years, Health Canada has contracted Scout Environmental to help identify potential new opportunities to educate Canadians into action. Health Canada has funded several campaigns related to radon and while these campaigns have made significant strides, there continues to be a disconnect between education and action.

    Scout Environmental (Scout) and BCCPAC have partnered to increase awareness on radon and the importance of testing through several engagement channels. Scout’s Program Ambassadors will be in attendance at our annual Parent Education Conference in May 2020 to engage parents on the topic of radon and offer an exclusive discount on Health Canada approved long-term radon test kits.

    We have written a letter of support for the program as we know this is important to members. We will work with Scout Environmental to help educate parents and school boards. We will share more information with parents as we progress.

  • Raising Digitally Responsible Youth Parent Guide

     In cooperation with Safer Schools Together, the Ministry of Education has created/updated "Raising Digitally Responsible Youth" parent guide

     There is more information at Safer Schools TogetherERASE site, Common Sense Media and many others.


  • Reading Standards - A Guide for Parents

    Understanding the BC Reading Performance Standards: A Guide for Parents

    This document was developed to provide a guide for parents to the BC Performance Standards for Reading and Writing. It is hoped its use will:

    • help parents know more about their child’s performance
    • help support children’s learning
    • help schools and families talk about reading and writing performance.

    Working together, you and the teacher can help your child have a more successful school year. Together we can reach a shared goal in helping your child get the best education possible.

  • Understanding Parent Stakeholders in Public Education

    Since March 2020, due to the pandemic, our staff and board have provided increased guidance, clarity, information and answers to DPACs, PACs and individual parents via email, phone and social media channels. As a result, we have noticed, across the 60 school districts, there are many individuals who are unaware of the role of parents as stakeholders within the K-12 system, how it works, how to get more involved etc.
    It is through the parent advisory council structure (per the School Act) that ALL public school parents are represented - at the school level by their PAC, at the district level by their DPAC and at the provincial level by BCCPAC. Parents elect their PAC executive to represent them and carry out the business of the PAC at the school. PACs elect their District PAC board members to represent them with the school district. And DPACs and PACs elect the BCCPAC board members to represent them at the provincial level. Its democratic the same way that your trustee or city councillor is elected to represent you; as representatives, they speak for you and may not always seek your direct input on issues, just as occurs in other democratic places including your MP or MLA. We strongly encourage parents/guardians/caregivers to engage with their local school PAC and connect directly with their DPAC.
    And please note there is NO master provincial parent list which we can email or contact all parents. Your school and PAC will reach out to individual parents or the school district or DPAC will based on individuals providing their contact details to these groups. More on this is below.
    We hope that parents/guardians/caregivers will find this informative and useful. 
    Part 1 - Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
    The School Act - This is the starting place. The School Act requires that every PAC has Bylaws that specify how meetings are run, how the business is conducted, how dissolution is to be handled, and how executive reps are elected. They exist to ensure YOUR voice is heard and represented. There are also Regulations and Orders in Council related to School Act. The School Act lists the most important rights and responsibilities of parents and students, both individual and collective. Parents should read and understand the relevant sections.
    Parents Rights
    - The right to be informed of their child’s attendance, behaviour, and progress in school; On request, to receive a copy of the school plan for the school; To belong to the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) in their school; To consult with the teacher, principal, vice‐principal, or director of instruction with respect to their child’s educational program. Conversely, parents are required, if requested, to consult with the teacher, principal, vice‐principal, or director of instruction on their child’s educational program
    Rights of students with special needs are covered under the Special Needs Students Order of the Minister of Education.
    Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
    PAC is the collective voice of parents in school community who has the legislative right to advise school administration on any matter relating to public education and whose role is to supports parents. All parents/guardians/caregivers with children registered in the school are members of the PAC. The PAC executive are those individuals, per the PAC Bylaws, who have been elected by their peers to represent them and to conduct business on their behalf.
    PAC meetings are for parents of children enroled and attending that school. School administrators and staff representatives should be welcomed to attend PAC meetings as regular invited guests (they cannot vote). Similarly PAC Executives should be meeting regularly with their admin teams AND request to present to staff meetings as needed to share information, inform etc.
    Recognized in the School Act, Section 8, PACs are required to have Bylaws under which they operate (self-governing) and are composed of, run and managed by parents. PACs can advise school staff/board of education respecting any matter relating to the school or provincial education. They can advise the school principal & staff on parents’ views and feedback about school programs, policies, plans and activities. They can organize PAC activities and events and endeavour to provide parent education. They encourage parent involvement in the school, and to support programs that promote parent involvement. And they communicate with parents, and to promote co-operation between the home and the school in providing support for the education of children. PACs also assist parents in accessing the system (could mean connecting to DPAC) and to advocate on behalf of parents and students, provide financial support for the goals of the PAC, as determined by its membership and will advise and participate in the activities of the DPAC.
    Communication with Parent Community
    Through their elected executives from parents in the school, PACs communicate with their parent community gathering and discussing issues of importance regarding their school in order to adequately advise those that influence their school. In addition to PAC meetings communication may also be done through, newsletters, telephone, email, and websites so that all parents have the opportunity for input. 
    PACs can only communicate with parents once parents have provided their contact information or opted in to receive information. Schools cannot provide email or other contact information to PACs even though parents have provided it to the school; due to data privacy the data cannot be shared. It is common for schools to send out information on behalf of the PAC to their school families. But there is a need for the PAC to communicate directly with its parent community and for that, parents need to provide contact details to their PAC. This means, if individuals don’t provide email or other contact information to their PACs, the PAC is unable to communicate directly with you.
    PACs fall under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA); they do not fall under FOIPPA.
    PACs are NOT required or obligated to raise funds but this practice started many years ago and most continue to do some fundraising. There exists “haves and have nots” and inequity at schools so not all PACs have the same ability to raise funds.
    There are many things a PAC can do that isn't connected to fundraising. During this particular school year, parents will be relying on their PAC to keep them informed and updated; they are a bridge between admin and parents and have the ability to push and pull information, bring forward issues, ensure parents have all the information they need.
    Part 2 - District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC)
    District PAC (DPAC) is the official representative body of parents/guardians of children in a school district. The School Act provides DPACs the power to advise the board of education respecting any matter relating to education within the district including educational policy. As a district stakeholder, DPAC, like other stakeholders, is entitled to have representation (on behalf of parents) on all standing Committees and on any advisory and ad-hoc committees or working groups.
    Recognized in the School Act, Section 8, DPACs are required to have Bylaws under which they operate (self-governing) and are composed of, run and managed by parents. 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. The DPAC is comprised of elected parent representatives from district PACs and serves as an umbrella organization for local PACs; all PACs in the district are by default members of the DPAC but many DPACs require member PACs to register with them.
    DPACs can:
    -Assist parents in forming/dissolving a PAC in every school
    -Assist member PACs and parents in obtaining information and communicating with district personnel
    -Help parents navigate the school system locally
    -Advocate for greater parental involvement in the education system
    -Support & encourage PACs and parents in accessing the school system at all levels by providing regular forums for the exchange of ideas and information to ensure that public education serves the best interests of all students
    DPAC meetings (now virtual this school year) are for PAC representatives and parents of children enrolled in public school in the district. District administrators and Trustees should be welcomed to attend DPAC meetings as regular invited guests (they cannot vote). Similarly DPAC Executives should be meeting regularly with their senior district teams. DPAC can (and should) set up meetings with whomever they think is appropriate within the district. If there is ever opposition to a meeting between the Superintendent and DPAC, that issue must be resolved between the Superintendent and Board.
    DPAC Execs
     Public representatives of DPAC
     Responsible for DPAC governance
     Have voting power at executive meetings
    PAC Reps
     Represent their PACs to DPAC
     Help form DPAC policy through motions
     Have voting power at general meetings & DPAC elections
    Any Parent/Guardian
     Contact DPAC with an issue requiring representation at the district level
     Attend any DPAC meeting
    Communication with Member PACs
    DPACs communicate directly with their PAC parent community gathering and discussing issues of importance regarding their district (such as Strategic Planning, District Budget, Long Range Facilities Plan etc.) in order to adequately advise those that influence their district decisions. In addition to DPAC meetings, communication may also be done through surveys, newsletters, email, and websites so that all PAC parents have the opportunity for input.
    Just like PACs, DPACs can only communicate with their local PACs and school parents once individual parents and PAC executives have provided their contact information or opted in to receive information. Districts don’t gather that information nor can they share it; due to data privacy, parent information cannot be shared. It’s to the advantage of the local PACs and their parent communities to be connected with their DPAC – both electronically and through engagement. The DPAC needs to communicate directly with its PAC members and parent community and for that, parents need to provide contact details to their PAC. This means, if individuals don’t provide email or other contact information to their DPAC/PAC, both the DPAC and the PAC is unable to communicate directly with you.
    DPACs fall under the Personal Information Protection  Act (PIPA); they do not fall under FOIPPA.
    Part 3 - Provincial Parent Advisory Council (BCCPAC)
    The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) is a non-partisan, registered non-profit charity, since 1922. We are governed by a volunteer Board of directors elected annually by our membership (annual fee) which consists of District Parent Advisory Councils (DPAC) and Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) through which we represent the parents/guardians/caregivers of >565,000 children in provincial public schools. As the provincially mandated voice of parents in public schools, we have the authority to get involved and to share concerns directly with the Minister and Ministry staff.
    BCCPAC is the provincial voice of parents on K-12 public education and related issues and we directly support DPAC and PAC members and individual parents. We 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.
    We advocate for systemic changes at the provincial table. BCCPAC sits at that table with the education partners—School Trustees Association, Superintendents Association, School Business Officials Association, Principals and Vice Principals Association, Teachers Federation, CUPEBC and the First Nations Education Steering Committee—and the provincial government. BCCPAC has a credible and respected voice, and is uniquely positioned to ensure the parent perspective is heard loudly and clearly. We communicate and meet regularly with the Ministry of Education and education partners.
    BCCPAC is invited to every meeting, asked to participate in every working group, sought for input which is often confidential, and we provide feedback directly whenever we believed it is needed.
    We educate and inform parents and we help parents advocate for themselves and their child. We use the School Act, district policies and district bylaws to guide parents/guardians in advocating for their child’s educational program. Whether it's talking to parents about advocacy, spending 10mos pursuing a Section 11 to bring about equity for a child, meeting with a Superintendent regarding issues relating to children not receiving the supports they should, answering questions via email or social media or presenting at a DPAC meeting to ensure parents understand their role and responsibilities, the current Board and staff of BCCPAC are doing this and so very much more. During the pandemic our work has continued and the need for parent education and representation has increased.
    This year, and for the coming year, parent advocacy and advocacy for school-aged children has never been more important. The parent/guardian/caregiver perspective at the provincial table with the education partners has been critical during the pandemic and the return to school. We are the only provincial group 100% dedicated to parents and their children in public school. All other education partners represent their members who are employees in the system – that is their primary mandate.
    Since March 2020 we have been representing parents in all K-12 provincial discussions regarding education in our pandemic environment – we continue to regularly provide parent feedback directly with the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the other education stakeholders. We have emailed our members and posted to our social media channels and our website the important details parents need to understand and know in real-time as it’s released. We have provided guidance, clarity and answers to DPACs, PACs and individual parents via email, phone and social media channels.
    We fought hard in provincial discussions for flexibility and remote/online options for parents while ensuring children have the opportunity to remain connected to their school community. We have brought forward district specific issues directly to the Deputy Minister and his team who have raised those issues with Superintendents. We secured shared Zoom licenses for all PACs across the province to enable PACs to continue meeting, hold their elections and annual meetings and serve their parent communities.
    During the last 16months we have represented parents in provincial discussions and advisory groups such as curriculum and graduation assessments, the early learning framework for birth to age eight, child/youth mental well-being, framework for enhanced student learning, kindergarten transition resources and the inclusive education parent handbook. In June we once again made a submission and presentation to the Select Standing Committee regarding education funding specifically to safeguard stable funding and to increase both capital and operational funding. We continue to liaise directly with the Community Gaming branch to ensure PACs know of changes and updates which will affect their applications and reports and to try to influence the annual guidelines.
    BCCPAC falls under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA); we do not fall under FOIPPA.
    We email DPACs and PACs directly as they are members and have provided their contact details to us; we do not share this list. DPACs communicate directly with their PAC community and PACs communicate directly with their parent community.
    In all cases – communication with individual parents/PAC members/DPAC members can only occur when individuals/groups have provided their contact information or opted in to receive information. There is no master provincial list of parent contacts.
    We endeavor to post as much as possible for parents to our website and to this public page. Depending on the issue and many other factors, we may seek input directly via a survey or other means; we just completed a survey with our DPAC leaders.
    It’s to the advantage of parents/guardians to be connected with their local PACs.
    It’s to the advantage of the local PACs and their parent communities to be connected with their DPAC.
    It’s similarly to the advantage of DPACs and their PAC parent communities to be connected with BCCPAC.
    In all cases, parents who are engaged in their school, district or provincial PAC are volunteers giving of their time for their community and who do not receive any remuneration.
    We encourage parents/guardians/caregivers with children in K-12 to ensure they provide current contact information to their child’s school PAC, sign up for PAC blogs, newsletters etc., and sign up to receive information from your local DPAC. All the information can be easily found online.
    If you believe you can do more and give some of your time to public education, then please consider joining or volunteering to help your PAC. They are parents just like you and they need your help; everyone in the community benefits from parent engagement. Our strength is in our collective voice.
  • Volunteers and the Law

    Volunteers And The Law Volunteers play an important role in our communities. This guide will help volunteers, staff and board members learn how the law applies to volunteer activities and the work they do. By understanding the law, volunteers will be able to prevent or minimize risks. This guide introduces some basic legal concepts and looks at how they apply to volunteer activities. There are lots of other legal issues that don’t appear in the guide. If you have a specific legal concern, it may or may not be covered in this guide.

  • Writing for Families

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    Writing for Families: Helping Your Child Learn

    Writing, like reading, opens the door to lifelong learning. It is an essential skill that allows children and adults to express themselves, perform daily tasks and communicate ideas at school and in the workplace. Parents and guardians are a child’s first and most important teachers. You can help your child learn to write well, and you can show them that writing can be fun. Set aside time after school and on weekends for reading, drawing and writing. Children’s early writing often consists of drawings, letters and the occasional word. Encourage your child to scribble and draw, and copy shapes and letters. Make sure you have plenty of paper, crayons, pencils and markers on hand. Talk with your child about what they read, draw and write. Play word games, use buttons or macaroni to create letters and spell words, and ask your child to help you write a birthday card or thank-you note. Be creative, and have fun! Resource available in English, Chinese and Punjabi.

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