What We Do
One of the PAC's main roles is to bring forward our concerns. That means your concerns as parents. The PAC liaises with every level of the education system. We talk about problems and issues at monthly PAC meetings, which also include teacher representatives, the principal, and other community members. The PAC Executive voices their concerns at regular meetings with the principal. These meetings provide opportunities for dialogue between the parent community and the school administration.
On a broader scale, each school's PAC is a member of the Vancouver School District PAC group (DPAC) and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC). Both of these groups offer a larger perspective and an even stronger advocacy base for local and provincial issues.
Bayview's PAC has also taken on an advocacy role with the Vancouver School Board and the BC Ministry of Education. In the past several years, parents and students have written directly to government officials to give feedback on various initiatives. It's an important part of the education process, where local school communities can reflect on the effects of policies and proposals in the real world of our schools.
If you have a concern or issue that you would like to see tackled, bring it to the attention of the PAC Executive at a monthly meeting (or by e-mail). Parents always have the students' best interests at heart, and there is strength in numbers!
A surprising number of things rely on PAC efforts. At Bayview, the PAC is involved with many of the community and social events that take place each year. Thanks to parent volunteers, students (and often families) can enjoy the Hallowe'en Howl, the Pancake Breakfast, and other fun events. Parent volunteers arrange the snacks for the Terry Fox Run, Sports Day, and other activities.
You may already be a volunteer at the school. Parents help in classrooms with art activities, reading, and special events. We drive on field trips. We stand on the corners to help supervise Off to a Running Start. Some parents coach school sport teams. There are many ways to help our children's school and educational experience.
An important part of modern school life is raising money. It's not like the "old days," when we parents went to school. Many facilities and opportunities are provided through PAC funds. When your child comes home raving about the play she saw in an assembly, that was funded by PAC money. When your son makes a fabulous clay sculpture at school, those art supplies were bought with PAC dollars. Computers, library books, science supplies, and visits from local authors are all supplied by PAC funds. Even the playground equipment and gym sport supplies have been purchased with PAC money.
The unfortunate reality is that an active PAC, with fundraising skills, results in a well-equipped school with lots of opportunities. Bayview is one of those schools. There are other schools in Vancouver and across BC where parents have not formed active PACs. Those students may not have playgrounds, art supplies, or active school libraries.
In the past few years, Bayview's PAC has focused on a couple of larger fundraisers. Instead of constant requests to buy (and sell) giftwrap and cookie dough, we hold a large annual fundraising evening. Handmade class platters are auctioned off, a huge array of items await silent auctions bids, and parents enjoy fabulous food, drink, music, and company. Bayview also has the Dance-a-Thon, several eagerly-awaited Scholastic Book Fairs, and other events. We try to combine fundraising and community-building – it's more fun and sustainable that way!