Getting Involved

Hazelgrove Elementary is the largest populated elementary school in British Columbia.  Our current enrollment is over 800 students in a school that was probably made for about 300 students, 600 students with our 10 portables.  Even with the addition of four new classrooms that were built last year during the spring and summer, we still are unable to have our kindergarten classes (kindergarteners are at the Hazelgrove Annex on 72nd) at the main school, and we still have 10 portable classrooms in use.

With so many students, then there should be so many parents wanting to come to the PAC (Parent Advisory Council) to find some solutions and support their school.

I was surprised to see that this was not the case but I understand why there were not many.

I brought the Man and both children the first time I went to a PAC meeting, as my easy escape route, crabby kids and husband equal a quick exit.  I knew that I wanted to be involved but I was scared of the ex-corporate, stereotypical, control issue moms that were bored and looking for gossip.  This was not the case.  Instead I found parents who were here because they believe like me, that being involved in your child’s school and education, encourages and helps your children to be more successful in school.

After my first meeting I was convinced that I was in the right place.  I became a Parent-Teacher Liaison to help keep the parent’s of my child’s class informed, I kind of didn’t know what to do at first but learning from last year, I am more experienced in what my role is.  I helped raise funds by promoting all school fundraisers at work, family, and to anyone who might be interested.   After helping to generate funds for our school through fundraising, I also wanted to have a vote as to where that money would be spent.  Going to PAC meetings brings insight from the school Principal and Vice Principal, who normally meet with the teachers (not currently due to job action), knowing what the school and teacher’s needs are will help make the right decisions that will support my children’s educational experience.

It was great to spend the money on a new school computer cart with new computers and iPads, so more children could have access to online learning.  It was inspiring to know that we were making a difference by exposing our children to new state-of-the-art interactive Smart Boards.  I was also happy to vote for spending more money on new books for the library, with a school of over 800, more books were definitely needed.  It’s especially hard not to love our Librarian.  She knew Jackson’s face and name immediately and what types of books he enjoyed,  what a memory.  She also let me know how he was one of her regular Kindergartners that took books out every day last year.  I have to say that made me smile.

It’s not all about voting to spend money.  Many times we have to look at Emergency Preparedness; Lice checks; Hot Lunch delivery volunteers; storage units; cement pads for storage units;  but it’s worth it because it’s important for the school that Jackson and eventually Easton will go to.

Last year’s Fun Fair was the biggest and most impressive fair that I have been too.  I was happy to have been a part of it, even if my role was just one of the volunteers on the field that day.  I was proud to be a Hazelgrove Elementary school parent and proud of our PAC.

Even though I have jumped in with both feet, I realized that you don’t have to be hard-core and join the PAC executives to make a difference.  Simply by keeping up-to-date on school events and happenings is one of the best ways to help the school.  Trying to sell or buy something from the school fundraisers, or just volunteering when you can, helps to keep you and other parents involved in what is happening at the school.

I didn’t think that I would have the time to get involved with the school PAC but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

Are you involved in at your child’s school?  If not, what is preventing you from being involved?  How do you stay connected with your child’s school and education?

 

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