Powell River District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) has developed a brochure to help parents who believe their child has been negatively affected by a school decision.
At the February 10 School District 47 board of education meeting, the brochure was introduced by superintendent of schools Dr. Jay Yule. The brochure states that if a school district employee makes a decision that significantly and negatively affects the education, health or safety of a student, then that decision is open to appeal by the student or the student’s parent or guardian. The brochure outlines six steps that can be taken to help resolve issues students may have with the school system.
Yule said the initiative was supported by the school board.
“They (DPAC) worked for a couple of years looking at how they could be stronger advocates,” said Yule. “They now have a brochure and people willing to be trained to be advocates.”’
Yule said the brochure will be on the school district’s website and is at schools, available for parents.
“If parents disagree with a decision of an administrator, or anyone, for that matter, it can help them go through the process,” said Yule. “We have the appeal process, but sometimes people need support walking through the steps, so this would help parents. They could look at the brochure or could call and get support from another parent as they walk through the process. It can be kind of a lonely walk.
“We want to make sure that people get heard and get the support they need. We really appreciate the work of DPAC to get this up and going.”
Trustee Aaron Reid said when parents receive letters about their children being suspended, they are mailed and often not received until the suspension is over. She said the information about the meaning of the suspension is in the letter, so she’s wondering if that process can be looked at.
Reid said sometimes the conversations can be rushed, or awkward, so she thinks it would be better to email so there would be a more timely response than regular mail.
Yule said it could be looked into.
Board chairperson Dale Lawson said there had been a lot of robust conversation around creating the brochure. She asked how long they had been out.
Yule said the brochures have been available in the last week.
The brochure encourages parents to reach out for support and indicates there are skilled volunteers who will help them advocate on behalf of their children’s education. Parents can call Powell River DPAC at 604.414.2633 and leave a voice message with their contact information, requesting a parent advocate. Parents can also email at email@example.com.