Terms of Reference

printable version of this terms of reference is available for download.

1. Name

“Parent Involvement Committee of the Waterloo Region District School Board”

Throughout these Terms of Reference this committee will be referred to as PIC, and this school board will be referred to as the Board.

1.1. Related Legislation

Ontario Regulation 612/00 School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees

  1. Parents in Partnership: A Parent Engagement Policy for Ontario Schools (2010)
  2. Section 43(b) of Ontario Regulation 612/00 requires parent involvement committees to make by-laws relating to eight areas. These bylaws were originally passed by PIC on September 23, 2014 and are updated regularly.

1.2 Related Policies/Bylaws

  1. Board Policy 4005, Procurement
  2. Board Policy 4017, Fundraising
  3. Regulation 612/00 from Bill 177 (The Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act)

1.3 Alignment with Board Strategic Plan, 2016-2019

The role of PIC aligns with the Board’s Strategic Plan, 2016-19. It primarily relates to the strategic priority, “Our Staff, Families and Caregivers are Partners in Every Student’s Learning Journey” and secondarily to the other two strategic priorities, “Our Students Are First – Each and Every One” and “Our Culture of Innovation Builds Students’ Confidence and Success as they Face the Future.”

PIC also has the potential to promote and support all five commitments that accompany the above priorities:

  • Service: We seek to understand and meet the needs of those we serve.
  • Integrity: We conduct ourselves in an open and transparent manner that inspires trust.
  • Respect: We create an environment where people feel included, valued and treated with dignity.
  • Innovation: We build our capacity to think critically and problem-solve creatively.
  • Collaboration: We build collaborative relationships to achieve common goals and resolve differences.

1.4 Type of Committee

PIC is a statutory committee mandated by Ontario Regulation 612/00 section 29.

1.5 Definitions

PIC uses the following definitions and terminology:

  • “Waterloo Region Assembly of Public School Councils” (WRAPSC) – WRAPSC is a parent-run umbrella organization for the school councils of the schools of the Board.
  • “PIC Co-Chairperson” This is the title for the two chairpersons of PIC.

2. Purpose/Mandate/Goals

The purpose of PIC is to support, encourage, and enhance the engagement of parents of the Board in their children’s education in order to improve student achievement and well-being.

2.1 Focus

PIC will achieve its purpose by:

  1. providing information and advice on parent engagement to the Board,
  2. undertaking activities aimed at helping parents in the Board to support their children’s learning at home and school, and
  3. working closely with WRAPSC to communicate with and support the work of school councils of the Board.

2.2 Powers and Responsibilities

  1. PIC does not exercise any power over decision-making within the Board. The recommendations of PIC will be given full consideration by the Board, and the Board will inform PIC of its response to any advice or recommendations provided to it by the committee. Further, the Director of Education will provide feedback to parents regarding how parents’ ideas have been used by the Director and other staff.
  2. PIC is responsible for:
    1. developing and recommending strategies and initiatives that the Board can use to effectively communicate with, and engage, parents in their children’s education,
    2. advising the Board on ways to use strategies and initiatives for communication and engagement,
    3. collaborating with Board employees through the Director of Education and collaborating with school councils through WRAPSC:
      1. to enhance the skills and knowledge of these groups and individuals with respect to effective parent engagement,
      2. to identify and reduce barriers to parent engagement,
      3. to focus on the needs of parents who find engagement challenging, and
      4. to help ensure that schools of the Board create a welcoming environment for parents
    4. communicating information from the Ministry to parents directly or through school councils, and
    5. determining, in consultation with the Director of Education, how funding provided under the Education Act for parent involvement will be used in keeping with PIC’s purpose and responsibilities.
  3. PIC will establish subcommittees to assist in achieving its purpose. Subcommittees will make recommendations to PIC. A subcommittee must include at least one parent member of PIC, may include members not part of PIC and must be chaired by a PIC member.

3. Membership

Provisions for Conflict of interest and conflict resolution can be found in PIC Bylaws 8 and 9.

3.1 Composition/Stakeholders

  1. Parent members
    1. The majority of the membership of the PIC shall be parents with a total of up to fourteen parent members.
  2. Other members shall include:
    1. the Director of Education or his/her designate,
    2. one trustee or his/her designated alternate,
    3. one to three community representatives,
    4. one principal/vice-principal of an elementary school of the Board,
    5. one principal/vice-principal of a secondary school of the Board, and
    6. one teacher presently teaching in a school of the Board.

3.2 Term

  1. All parent members serve two-year terms unless they request to serve a one-year term.
    1. Members wishing to serve additional terms must go through the process set out for appointment or election of parents.
    2. Parent members may serve a total of six consecutive years.
    3. Members wishing to serve as a PIC Co-Chairperson may not request to serve a one year term.
    4. A parent cannot serve more than two consecutive terms as PIC Co-Chairperson. After two years, he or she may seek an officer position again.
    5. Parent member terms begin on the date that the parent is or elected to PIC.
  2. The terms of other members of PIC are as follows:
    1. Director of Education: term is ongoing.
    2. Community representative member(s): one-year term to be renewed annually to a maximum of three consecutive terms.
    3. Trustee and a Trustee alternate will be designated following the Inaugural Meeting of the Board in December of each year for a two-year term, to a maximum of three consecutive terms.
    4. Board employee members: one-year term to be renewed annually to a maximum of three consecutive terms.

3.3 Appointment and Election Process

  1. Appointment and Election of parent members and community representative member(s) : PIC parent members and the community representative member will be elected or appointed at the first PIC meeting of the year.
    1. Process for affirmation of PIC parent members
      1. A formalized process for the appointment or election of new PIC parent members and community representative member(s) is outlined in the PIC Membership Subcommittee terms of reference.
  2. Appointment of Board employee members: Board employee members shall be invited to join PIC by the Board and shall be appointed to PIC by the Board before the first PIC meeting of the school year.
  3. Appointments and Election of officers
    1. Process for appointment or election of PIC Co-Chairperson
      1. After all parent members have been elected or appointed, if the PIC Co-Chairperson office is vacant then parent members may nominate any of the PIC parent members to serve as the PIC Co-Chairperson. If there is more than one parent nominated then an election will be held to determine the PIC Co-Chairperson.
    2. Process for selection of PIC Treasurer
      1. After all parent members have been elected or appointed, if the PIC Treasurer office is vacant then parent members may nominate any of the PIC parent members to serve as the PIC Treasurer. If there is more than one parent nominated then an election will be held to determine the PIC Treasurer.
    3. After being acclaimed or elected, the PIC Co-Chairpersons will chair the remainder of the first meeting of the year.

3.4 Vacancies

  1. Vacancies will be filled in a timely manner.
  2. Vacancies for PIC parent members and community representative member(s) will be advertised by the PIC membership subcommittee using a variety of methods.
  3. Vacancies of the trustee or Board employee members will be filled in a timely manner by the Board.
  4. When a member joins PIC to fill a vacancy for a member who left in the course of a term, then the new member’s term will end when the term of the member he or she is replacing was due to end.
  5. Any officer position that is vacated prior to the end of term will be filled at the next meeting of PIC.

4. Authority/Jurisdiction/Responsibilities

  1. PIC is mandated by the Ministry of Education as per Ontario Regulation 612/00.
  2. No person serving on PIC is entitled to any remuneration for their services.
  3. All expense claims and receipts from PIC members and PIC subcommittee members are submitted to Board staff for reimbursement, in accordance with Board policy, and a copy of the claim and receipt must be provided to the PIC Treasurer for reviewing and reporting purposes.
  4. Subcommittee chairs are responsible for scheduling meeting dates and locations and communicating this information to PIC members and the general public. In addition they must provide regular reports to PIC and an annual report at the end of the year.

4.1 Parent Members and Community Representative Member(s)

  1. All members of PIC commit to attending all scheduled PIC meetings. If a member misses more than 40% of the scheduled meetings they may be asked to resign.
  2. In addition, PIC members must actively work on at least one subcommittee and assist with the PIC Parent Event. Failure to do so may result in a request to resign their position.
  3. Two parent members will join the WRAPSC Steering Committee and this will satisfy the requirement to work on at least one subcommittee.
  4. Individual parent members and community representative members are eligible to vote at PIC meetings. The community representative member(s) may not vote in elections related to the selection of officers.
  5. Parent members may be employed by the Board, but need to declare such at the first meeting of the year.
  6. Should a community representative member foster, adopt or become a parent during their term, they may continue to serve out the rest of their one-year term.
  7. Any member finding him/herself in a conflict of interest will excuse him/herself from discussions and voting where they relate to the conflict. This is governed by PIC Bylaw 8.
  8. PIC Bylaw 9 provides information on conflict resolution procedures.

4.2 Officers

  1. Co-Chairpersons:
    1. Working with staff, the PIC Co-Chairpersons will schedule PIC meetings and communicate those dates to PIC members.
    2. The Co-Chairpersons are responsible for setting the agenda for PIC meetings in consultation with the Director of Education. In addition, they will chair the meetings.
    3. The PIC Co-Chairpersons will give official statements on behalf of PIC to the public and the media, and will communicate with the Director of Education and trustees on behalf of the committee.
    4. The PIC Co-Chairpersons may be asked to represent PIC at Board, Ministry and community functions. Wherever possible, the Co-Chairpersons are encouraged to actively participate in these opportunities or to send a PIC member designate.
  2. Treasurer:
    1. The PIC Treasurer is a parent member. The treasurer is responsible for keeping accurate records of transactions involving PIC funds, reviewing expenditures of members, providing regular financial reports to PIC members at PIC meetings, and preparing an annual budget summary.

4.3 Board Personnel

Board employee members of PIC may not vote during PIC meetings or serve as a Co-Chairperson or the treasurer of PIC. They may serve on, or chair, PIC subcommittees.

5. Role of Board Personnel/Staff

5.1 Restrictions of Membership

Board staff may join PIC as parent members or as Board employee members. If they join as Board employee members they may not vote during PIC meetings or serve in an officer position.

5.2 Personnel and Services

  1. A board staff person will take minutes at PIC meetings, and will circulate and post the minutes.
  2. Board staff will assist PIC members with administrative services as requested for the functioning of PIC and its subcommittees and following Board budgetary guidelines.
  3. The Board will provide a meeting place for PIC meetings and subcommittee meetings.
  4. If required, the Board will accommodate electronic meetings.
  5. Through the Director of Education, PIC members and subcommittee members may request information and resources from Board staff.
  6. Board staff will assist with the distribution and posting of notice of PIC meetings and agendas.
  7. Board staff will be responsible for the retention of records of PIC’s financial transactions in accordance with Board Administrative Procedure 4690 and will provide access to such documents as required by law.

6. Meetings

  1. PIC shall meet a minimum of four times in each school year.
  2. A meeting cannot be held unless:
    1. The majority of members present are parent members,
    2. the Director of Education or designate is present, and
    3. a trustee is present.

6.1 Access to Meetings

All meetings shall be open to the public and be held at a location that is accessible to the public.

6.2 Election of Co-Chairpersons

If there is no PIC Co-Chairperson at the first PIC meeting of the year, the Director of Education, or designate, shall chair the meeting until at least one of the Co-Chairpersons is appointed or elected.

6.3 Quorum

A majority of the members who are eligible to vote must be present in order for any vote to count. Members who are present by electronic means are eligible to vote.

6.4 Voting

  1. Only parent members and the community representative member are entitled to vote. Only parent members may vote for officer positions.
  2. For all votes, in relation to parent membership or otherwise, a motion is approved when there is a vote of more than 50% in favour of the motion.
  3. Voting members who are present by electronic means are entitled to vote.

6.5 Communications/Distribution of Minutes and Agenda

  1. PIC meeting dates and subcommittee meeting dates will be provided to all PIC members by email (or regular mail), and will be posted on the PIC page of the Board website at the beginning of the school year.
  2. The agenda will be set by the PIC Co-Chairpersons with the Director of Education. The agenda and meeting location will be distributed by email to members and will be posted on the PIC page of the Board website at least 3 days prior to the meeting.
  3. PIC meeting minutes
    1. PIC meeting minutes will be taken by a Board staff person.
    2. The minutes will be approved at the subsequent PIC meeting and then will be considered for approval by the Board of Trustees at their next monthly Board meeting.

6.6 In Camera Meeting

PIC meetings will remain open to the public at all times.

6.7 Attendance by Electronic Means

The board shall make all reasonable efforts to enable members to participate fully in meetings of the committee by electronic means. Members attending via electronic means will be deemed to be in attendance at the meeting.

6.8 Subcommittees Meetings

  1. Subcommittee meetings will be open to the public and held at a location that is accessible to the public. (s. 41(4))
  2. The membership subcommittee may hold in camera meetings when applications for membership are considered.
  3. The governance subcommittee may hold in camera meetings as necessary with the approval of the PIC Co-Chairpersons.

7. Reporting/Deliverables/Results

7.1 Committee Reporting Relationships

PIC has statutory requirements to report as per Ontario Regulation 612/00 section 50. It also has requirements to report on its activities to parents of the WRDSB and school councils.

7.2 Format of Committee Report Back

  1. Annually, PIC will submit a written summary of the committee’s activities to the Chair of the Board and to the Director of Education.
  2. There shall be updates to the WRAPSC membership on the activities of PIC at a minimum of a semi-annual basis.

7.3 Timeframe of Committee Report Back

  1. PIC’s annual written summary will be approved at the last PIC meeting of the year and then submitted to the Chair of the Board and the Director of Education.
  2. In a timely manner, the Director of Education will provide the summary of activities to the school councils of the schools of the board and will post the summary of activities on the PIC page of the Board website.
  3. In a timely manner, the written summary will be provided to parents and school councils through WRAPSC, posted on the WRDSB and WRAPSC website and emailed to parents on the WRAPSC email list.

Revised 2018