Introducing Parent Posts – written by parents, for parents

By Brent HutzalBrent is co-chair of Parent Involvement Committee. He has two daughters, Kate, 7, who attends Bridgeport Public School, and Claire, 2 (Bridgeport Public School JK Class of 2019-20).


Brent Hutzal

Brent with his wife and two daughters

Some of the most valuable parent information that I have ever received has been at my daughter’s school bus stop. I am confident that I am not alone when I make this statement, as it is a universal fact that parents help parents – after all, we are in this together.

This represents the underlying reason why I am so excited to announce the launch of the new Parent Posts series on WRDSB.ca – written by parents, for parents. I am proud to be co-chair of the this district’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC), but I don’t have the answers to all of the burning questions that parents ask about their children’s education.

However, I do know who does have those answers….as a collective group, we do.

What is PIC?

First things first – what is PIC? PIC is an official committee of Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). The Ontario Ministry of Education mandates that each school board in the province have a Parent Involvement Committee.

We are a dedicated committee of parents, community, and board staff – it never ceases to amaze me what this group of volunteers continues to accomplish year in and year out. I am extremely enthusiastic with our plans for the upcoming year and beyond. PIC has the full support of our Director of Education, John Bryant, and his staff – they are engaging, responsive, and share in our passion for the well-being and achievement of each and every student.

Our purpose is to support and encourage parents of WRDSB in our children’s education with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement and well-being. Research shows that when we as parents are engaged, our children’s achievement increases. The Ontario Ministry of Education emphasizes this message: “Parents play a vital role in the development and education of their children and in the success of schools. They are the most important influence in a child’s life outside of school. Long after direct learning from parents in a child’s early years gives way to formal education, parents continue to play a key role in student success through the attitudes they help to share and the direct supports they provide.”

PIC also works closely with WRAPSC (pronounced RAP-C) and school councils throughout our region.

Wait, another acronym? What is WRAPSC? How is it different than PIC?

While PIC advises and works closely with the board, WRAPSC (Waterloo Region Assembly of Public School Councils) is a parent-run committee that brings together school council representatives from across the board to share ideas and work together to improve the effectiveness of school councils. PIC, WRAPSC, school councils, and the board are collaborative partners and encourage parent engagement and support student achievement.

What can you expect from Parent Posts?

Parent Posts will be a place where parents can share with other parents. PIC, through this blog series, aims to share information, be a collaborator, humanize (or “parent-ize”) information from the board, provide parent resources, and essentially be a helping hand in your journey with your child as they progress from JK to grade 12 and beyond! I encourage you to join us and take advantage of these other invaluable parent resources:

Stay tuned to WRDSB.ca for future parent blog posts. You can subscribe to posts by entering your email at the bottom of the webpage under “Stay Connected.” In a future Parent Post, I will be detailing some of the many ways that you can get involved with the school board and with your child’s education.

If you have any comments or ideas for future blog posts, please do not hesitate to contact me at brent_hutzal@wrdsb.ca. We would love to hear from you as we strive to reach and engage with parents in Waterloo region. At WRDSB, our students are first – each and every one – and behind each successful student, is an engaged parent.