Program History

BCCPAC Advocacy Project Meeting Survival Guide

Be wiser than other people, if you can, but do not tell them so. Lord Chesterfield

To be well prepared for a meeting consider the following and note details such as:

Who is setting the agenda?
How do I add topics?
What is the meeting to accomplish?
Will a decision be made at this meeting?
How much time do we have?
Who will be at the meeting?
What is their role?
What are their rights & responsibilities?
Who are the decision-makers?
How are they involved with my child?
What questions do I want to ask?
What concerns do I have to share?
What is my role in the meeting?
Will I have a say in the decision?
What information do I have to help make a better decision?
What works well for my child at home?
Do I need more information on my child’s behaviour? Education activities? Education goals?
Are others looking to me for specific information on my child’s learning needs? Health? Emotional needs?’
Should I take a support person?
Would it help me to have someone taking notes?
Will I feel outnumbered or overwhelmed?
Will I be able to stay on track?
The topic of the meeting is: (Fill in the blanks)
Names and roles of meeting participants:
I want to accomplish:
Information I need:

What resources might help me prepare for the meeting?

  • BCCPAC Advocacy Project materials
  • BCCPAC Speaking up! A parent guide to advocating for students in public education
  • School District policies, etc.
  • School policies, Code of conduct, etc.
  • Fair Schools Report, Office of the Ombudsman
  • Parent’s Guide to Individual Education Planning / other special needs information?
  • Information from the BC School Act? Other?

It is important to include your child whenever possible.

Should my child attend the meeting?
Is this a positive place for my child?
Is my child able to understand & participate?
Is my child OK with coming?

Whether your child attends the meeting or not… think about what your son or daughter wants taken into account. Have confidence in yourself! You know your child and have important things to share!

How can I control my emotions during the meeting? If you start to go off track:

  • Review the purpose of the meeting
  • Focus on what will work for your child
  • Openly share information that will lead to better decisions
  • If you do not understand – ask!

If you need more time ask for it. You may want to consider options, reflect on the needs of your child, or gather more information. It may be better to delay the final decision rather than make a decision while under pressure.  If you agree to something during a meeting and later realize that it won’t work for you or your child ask that the decision be reviewed.   As the meeting draws to a close summarize the meeting from your prospective to ensure a common understanding. 

Put a plan in place in case things don’t work… discuss the following:
What you would do – contact the school?
What the school would do – contact you…speak with your child?
What your child would do – phone home… speak to someone at school?

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose