The parent advisory council for Rutland Senior Secondary School is in need of volunteer parents. (File photo)

Rutland Senior Secondary seeks volunteers for school PAC

Absence of a PAC means loss of $22,000 gaming donation for school

Failure to form a parent advisory council (PAC) for Rutland Senior Secondary could curtail support for some of the school’s extra-curricular activities.

Current RSS PAC president Marie Howell is concerned if there are not enough volunteers to serve on the school PAC, up to $22,000 in provincial gaming grant funds won’t be distributed to the school, money that is critical to compensating program needs the school district budget is unable to address.

Howell said several current PAC members, including her, will reach the end of their time serving next year when their children graduate.

“You have to have a child in the school to serve on a PAC and you have to have a PAC to receive the gaming funds,” Howell said.

She is hoping an upcoming information meeting on June 7, 7 p.m., will draw enough interest to fill the PAC executive positions for the 2022-23 school year and leading into 2023-24.

“Parents get so involved in other activities like their kids’ sports, we need to get them involved in their kids’ education as well,” Howell said.

Howell said she became involved with PACs when her kids were at Ellison Elementary and continued to step up as they matriculated into Rutland Middle School and now the secondary school.

She said the time requirement is one meeting a month, now held on Zoom, which can run an hour to an hour and a half.

Howell said PAC meetings are not a place to complain about school staff or personal issues related to a school.

“(PAC meetings) are an opportunity to discuss and sometimes meet with administrative staff to hear about concerns or needs of a given school,” she said.

She said it’s an opportunity for parents to gain greater insight into what is happening at the school their children attend.

The most recent big-ticket item calling for PAC support at RSS was the purchase of new football uniforms for the Voodoos gridiron squad, at a cost of $15,000, which the PAC was unable to pay for because of other program funding demands.

The RSS PAC also played a role in helping adopt the wellness class credit program, busing costs for field trips and helping offer an array of courses that have made RSS the current go-to school for elective credits.

“KSS used to be the school for students to go for things like that. But now we even have kids coming from the Mission to take special elective classes offered at RSS,” she said.

More information on how to participate in the June 7 meeting will be made available in the RSS email messenger service for parents and guardians.

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