What is a PAC?

Written by VCPAC Administrator

The BC School Act gives parents the right to belong to a parent advisory council (PAC) in their school, and through it to advise the board, principal, and staff on any matter relating to the school.

All parents/guardians of children in a school are members of the Parent Advisory Council and entitled to attend meetings.  Administrators and staff may be invited to become non-voting members of the Council.  Some PACs, usually at the secondary level, also include a student representative.

All parents/guardians of children in a school are entitled to vote at general Parent Advisory Council meetings.  The principal, teacher representative and student representative do not vote.  If a PAC holds regular executive meetings, only elected executive members vote.  Other parents, administrators, staff and student representatives may attend the executive meetings, but do not vote.

Executive membership
At an annual general meeting, Parent Advisory Councils elect an executive, usually consisting of a chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer, and such other members of the Council as the membership decides.

Executive role and responsibilities
The role of the executive is to:  provide leadership, take initiative, and manage the Council’s affairs between general meetings.  The members of the Parent Advisory Council executive represent and are responsible to the entire parent body that makes up the PAC.

Council executive responsibilities include:

  • to understand and abide by the council’s constitution, bylaws, and code of ethics
  • to understand and carry out the responsibilities of their executive office set outin the bylaws
  • to ensure that the council is involved only in activities it is authorized to do under its constitution
  • in consultation with the membership, to manage the council’s affairs by
  • -establishing direction, policy, and procedures
  • -being involved in planning
  • -delegating tasks and responsibilities, with supervision, to committees
  • to report to the membership and abide by the membership’s direction

Purpose of PACs

  • to promote the education and welfare of students
  • to encourage parent involvement in the school
  • to advise the school board, principal, and staff on any matter relating to the scool, other than matters assigned to the school planning council
  • to participate in the work of the school planning council through the PAC’s elected representatives
  • to promote the interests of public education
  • to provide leadership
  • to contribute to a sense of community within the school and between the school, home, and neighbourhood
  • to provide parent education and professional development, and a forum for discussion of educational issues
  • to assist parents in obtaining information and communicating with the principal and staff about their child’s progress or other concerns
  • to assist the principal and staff in ensuring the highest safety standards are maintained in the school and neighbourhood
  • to organize and support activities for students and parents
  • to provide financial support for the goals of this council as determined by the membership
  • to advise and participate in the activities of the district parents advisory council and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils