As many of you know, PACs have been told they were not included in the School District’s insurance coverage for roughly the last year. We are happy to report that the issue has been resolved. Please read!
Here’s a summary of the process from the DPAC Executive:
– School District No. 57 (District) went through negotiations with the City of Prince George (City) regarding their Joint User Agreement that allows community groups to book and use school property. The insurance requirements were reviewed as well as the procedure for booking in advance to prevent scheduling conflicts.
– The District was uncomfortable with PAC using school facilities and property for events where there could be a risk of injury or damage. They asked that PACs purchase additional liability insurance according to the City requirements for other user groups.
– DPAC advocated against this for obvious reasons but seeing no way around it, they encouraged PACs to continue holding events but purchase insurance and keep receipts for reimbursement by the District.
– Much confusion followed throughout the year as to what the liability requirements were, how to book events, what PACs (or Executive) would be on the hook for, etc. Unfortunately, many family events and fundraisers were cancelled due to the uncertainty.
– In September, the District presented a new booking form that was not practical for PACs, did not alleviate the indemnity, and left many feeling unwelcome at the schools. Infrequent, poor communication from the District complicated matters and strained relationships between all parties.
– DPAC Executive attended the BCCPAC Summit and found that our District was the only one struggling with this issue. PACs are legislated to operate under the School Act therefore they are covered under Districts province wide.
– As of Dec 4, a final “Application for Use of School Facilities – PAC Event” form (may be two single sided pages or one double-sided page) was released removing all conditions on PACs to have proof of insurance or be liable for injury or damages.
– The December version includes a list of policies that must be adhered to on page 2. A second document was released called “Policy Information Sheet – PAC Events”. It outlines the policies pertaining to PAC events and what they mean to us.
– The Application form must be completed, signed by the PAC Chair or Vice-Chair, approved by the Principal, and submitted at least 16 days in advance of the event.
Policies to follow:
- Policy 110 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy – No image or recording of identifiable students is to be taken or used without written consent and if even if permission is granted, it is only for that one purpose not for future use. Keep personal information on fundraising forms confidential and destroy as soon as possible.
- Policy 1223 School Parent Advisory Councils – Even though PACs are their own Society, they work with the Principal and can’t do activities without their approval.
- Policy 1240 Provision of Volunteer Services – All volunteers must fill out an application form and have a clean criminal record check to be on the approved volunteer list before the event.
- Policy 1330 Use of School Facilities – Activities must be inclusive and appropriate for all not infringing on human rights. No alcohol or smoking on school property.
- Policy 3542 Food Service – Food that is prepared at an event must have one person with FoodSafe to supervise the food area the whole time. Does not apply to pre-made food.
- Policy 3542.3 Healthy Food Choices in Schools – When providing pre-made items offer healthy options as well whenever possible.
- Policy 5131.5 Anti-Vandalism – Limit opportunities for vandalism and illegal entry into the school. Don’t leave doors propped open, supervise the door as guests come in. Make note of damage and report to the Principal immediately.
- Policy 5131.62 No Smoking or Vaping – Absolutely no one can smoke, vape, or use tobacco products while on school property, even if they are in their personal vehicle in school parking lot.
Forms for PAC are posted on the School District 57 website under “Parents” here.
We hope this brings clarity and helps alleviate any concerns about using the school for PAC events. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or feedback. Thank you!
DPAC Executive Members: Andrea, Kim, Arlene, Amie, Trudy, Nicole, Christa