Catholic Parent Involvement Committee
This committee meets at least four times per year (three times by teleconference and once face-to-face meeting in the spring).
What is a Catholic Parent Involvement Committee?
The Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (CPIC) is an advisory body which acts as a direct link between parents, the board of trustees and the director of education. PICs are mandatory organizations in all school boards in Ontario, Canada.
Why were Parent Involvement Committees started?
The Ontario Ministry of Education established Parent Involvement Committees in the school year 2005-2006 to create a direct link between parents, the board of trustees and the director of education. Before then, parents had indirect ties to these institutions which made it hard to engage parents in their children's education.
PICs were established under the Parent Engagement Office in the Ministry of Education. The aim of the Parent Engagement Office was and is still to help in the development and implementation of parent engagement initiatives across Ontario. Education partners (including parents) were consulted during the formulation of the regulation that guides Parent Involvement Committees.
Since the establishment of PICs, all Ontario School Boards must have parent involvement committees outlining their composition, functions, and mandate.
What do Catholic Parent Involvement Committees do?
The main mandate of CPICs is enhancing learning by involving parents in their children's education. CPICs support, encourage as well as enhance parents’ engagement in their children’s learning and overall well-being. They do this by supporting school councils and participating in activities aimed at helping parents support their children’s learning at school and at home.
CPICs also offer valuable information to school boards on parent engagement i.e. how to communicate with parents.
However, each CPIC decides the best ways of achieving these goals depending on the needs of its board, community, members or its organization. The unique needs of its board and its diverse community determine the Parent Involvement Committees structure, organization and its members.
Where do CPICs get funding?
The government funds PICs by providing school boards with $5,000 annually and 17 cents per student. School councils also contribute $500 per school to support the activities of Parent Involvement Committees.
How are Catholic Parent Involvement Committees different from school councils?
CPICs link parents to the director of education and board of trustees while school councils are local bodies whose role is limited to individual schools. When a school council is focusing on an individual school, CPICs are busy dealing with issues affecting many schools at the board level.
Catholic Parent Involvement Committee Membership
Most members of Catholic Parent Involvement Committees are parents although the committees also have other members i.e. the director of education, a trustee and community members. CPICs are led by parents. The committees are chaired and co-chaired by parents. Each committee appoints up to 3 community members. To become a committee member, you need to qualify for appointment or election.
Individual PICs can decide if they want to include any other members i.e. teachers, principals as well as support staff to help meet their special needs.
Joining a Parent Involvement Committee
Joining a CPIC is easy. You just need to be a parent/guardian of a student or students enrolled in a school which is part of the board that established the Parent Involvement Committee. Parent/guardian members can serve for 1 or 2 years.
Attending Catholic Parent Involvement meetings
CPICs meetings are open to all parents/guardians. You don’t have to be a CPIC member to attend CPIC meetings. Anyone can attend CPIC meetings to learn how PICs work firsthand. PIC meetings are held at least 4 times a year.
Finding out more about CPICs
Your local school board’s official website has all information you need to know about CPIC meetings i.e. minutes of past meetings as well as where and when future meetings will be held. You can also get into contact with the regional office of the Ministry of Education in your area. Either can connect you to your local CPIC as well as supply you with all the information you need about CPICs.
The main reasons you should consider joining your local Catholic Parent Involvement Committee
Attending CPIC meetings is a great first step for any parent who wants to improve their child’s learning and overall well-being. Joining a Catholic Parent Involvement Committee is the best way to have a direct influence on children’s learning and overall well-being. Some of the main reasons why you should join your local CPIC include:
- To promote higher levels of student achievement
- To reduce gaps in student achievement
- To boost the public’s confidence in public education