Parents and Caregivers are Strategic Partners in Education
On December 1, 2005 the Ontario Ministry of Education released the Ontario Parent Involvement Policy. This policy recognizes that parents play a vital role in the education of their children and in the success of schools and that together with parents the Ministry of Education, school boards, schools and staff all have a role to engage parents in education. In 2010 the Ministry of Education amended the Ontario Regulation 612/00, by Ontario Regulation 330/10. This resulted in the creation of Parent Involvement Committees (PICS).
Any TDSB parent/guardian/community agency may participate as observers at business meetings and as working members on Parent Involvement Advisory Committee and other committees and working groups. Here are just a few ways to be involved.
Participation on School Committees
Parents are mandated to be represented on a number of committees in a school. Some of these committees run all year; others have a particular purpose and require a shorter commitment. School Committees are created by the school to support administration in the effective operation of the school.
School Budget Committee
“TDSB Schools all have annual budgets to support classroom programs. Money provided is based on the school budget model. The school budget model has been developed through a process involving Principals, Vice Principals, Superintendents, school office budget staff, Trustees and staff from the central Budget and Revenue Department. Although a model is used to determine budget amounts, schools do have flexibility in administering the budget.” -TDSB website.
The school budget information is to be shared with parents. For more information regarding the school budget and how it is determined please go to http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=177&menuid=2925&pageid=2345 You will also be able to review the previous school budget for the 2010-2011 school year.
School Improvement Plan
A school improvement plan is a road map created by teachers, school councils, parents and other community members that sets out the changes a school needs to make to improve the level of student achievement, and shows how and when these changes will be made. Please ask your Principal to share this document with you.
“Each school must have in place a safe and caring school committee responsible for school safety that is comprised of at least one student (where appropriate), one parent, one teacher, one non-teaching staff member, one community partner and the principal. The chair of this committee must be a staff member. This committee will develop a code of behaviour and a safe school plan.”-TDSB website
Parent Staffing Committee(March/April and September)
The TDSB procedure also outlines the participation of parents in the school staffing process. Each school must establish a Parent Staffing Committee that will run parallel to the Teacher Staffing Committee. The composition of the committee will be parents (minimum of 2) and administration. The committees’ purpose is to:
- Develop a proposing staffing model based on projected enrolment and staff allocation for consideration by the total staff;
- Review current staffing model and propose modifications; and
- Consider and respond to proposals or suggestions submitted to the committee.
PIAC’s purpose is to support, encourage and enhance parent engagement at the Board level in order to improve student achievement and well being. In working towards this purpose, members of PIAC shall foster open, positive, inclusive and effective communication at all levels of parent involvement, and shall respect the Committee’s accountability to its constituent groups and its responsibility to the Board.
Money Available to School Councils
There are 3 sources of funds for school councils outside of fundraising.
(1) The TDSB allocates a stipend to each school for school council activities. The stipend is $1.25 per FTE (full time equivalent) student and ranges from $300 to $1000. This is found on the school budget line GL41500 which the Principal can show you and is to be used to support having school council meetings – photocopying, refreshments, and so on. The allocation for this money is to be a Principal and School Council decision.
(2) Ministry of Education through the Parent Involvement Policy provides each school council with $500 for parent outreach activities. This money again is delivered to the school via the school budget on line GL 41500. The allocation for this money is to be a school council decision and is to be used for parent outreach such as a workshop, newsletter, and so on.
(3) Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grant offered by the Ministry of Education. A maximum of $1000 can be applied for by a school council to support Parent Engagement/Outreach projects. For more information please go to http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/schools.html
Parent Concern Protocol (PCP)
The PCP is a tool for staff wishing to effectively respond to a concern brought to them by a parent. However, the PCP may also be used by parents looking for suggestions on best practices in resolving various types of conflict. It emphasises respect and trust in all encounters. For more information The TDSB Parent Concern Protocol
Principal/Vice Principal School Profile
Each TDSB School Council is asked to provide to their Family of Schools’ Superintendent an annual Principal/Vice-Principal Profile for their school. The outline provided gives you a format in which to discuss and comment upon the characteristics best suited to your school community.
Please remember that this information is not an evaluation of the current principal/vice-principal in your school. It is a reference document which will be used by the superintendent in the process of considering future transfers or appointments for principal or vice-principal.
Part of the process of selecting a principal and vice-principal for TDSB schools involves consulting with parents and the school community. As part of this process, each fall (by November), ALL school councils are asked to write a Principal/Vice Principal School profile that identifies the important characteristics of their school and community and the desired candidate. This profile should be the result of parent consultation within the school (parents, students, and administrative staff) and should be forwarded to the superintendent. Any parent within the school can write the profile as long as it reflects the consultation with the wider parent/school population. This profile can be completed on the board’s template found on the board’s web site by searching “principal profile” or can consist of a letter or list format. Most importantly, it should reflect the individual nature of the school and community: school goals, important annual school/community events, valued programs, etc. If your school is one of the few that will be having an administration change, this document will be used by the superintendent and further consultation with parents will take place. You can use this blank template.
Principal/Vice Principal Selection Hiring Process
Principal/Vice Principal Selection Hiring Process
Please see below in order to ensure that you are aware of the parent involvement in the process.
In the spring of 2010, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) approved a new pilot process for placing principals into schools. This was the result of a lengthy consultation process with parents and the principals’ association about how to improve parent input. For the 2010 – 2011 school years, the following is the new process that will involve parents (steps with parent involvement are underlined):
1. Draft a principal/vice-principal school profile. This is most helpful if it is a list of the priorities for your school/community and could include valued programs you would like to continue or new initiatives you think are important (e.g. school newspaper, leadership programs, music focus, French language skills etc.). This must reflect your school communities’ wishes.
2. Send the principal/vice-principal school profile to your superintendent through your current principal. This is for all schools in the TDSB.
3. Only when your school will be changing principals (not VPs), the superintendent will notify your current principal. The superintendent, a parent representative and the trustee (when available) will meet to draft a school statement of needs which will prioritize the information from your principal/vice-principal school profile which reflects the school’s/communities’ wishes.
4. The superintendent will meet with the TDSB staff to choose the new principal by matching the school statement of needs to the candidate’s profile.
5. The superintendent will meet with the parent representative and the trustee (when available) to discuss how the candidate they have chosen matches the school statement of needs. If there are concerns, they can be raised at this time. Depending on the level of concern, the superintendent may continue to search for an appropriate candidate. All members at this meeting will sign a form indicating that this process was followed.
6. A meeting will take place between the parent representative, the superintendent, the trustee (when available) and the selected candidate to discuss the vision for the school. This is NOT an interview.
7. The TDSB will officially approve the appointment of the candidate to the school.
Annual Parent Conference
Each year the “Annual Parents Make A Difference Conference” is held in the Fall. Look for information on the TDSB website and the PIAC pages. GET INVOLVED. You do make a Difference!
If you require additional information, please call 416-394-2070 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org