District News

From time to time PAC executive members express concern about the liability they take on in their PAC role.  Volunteers are covered by the school insurance when volunteering at a school sanctioned event or activity. This applies to being sued if an accident were to happen while volunteering. Another time one be concerned about liability would be when signing equipment rental agreements.  As a best practice, no PAC members should sign rental waivers for school sanctioned, school community events (Such as inflatables or other equipment for a fun fair).  The Staff member on the committee or sponsoring the club/team should be the one to sign such documents or even better the administrator.  Secretary Treasurer Mark Walsh provided this feedback to a similar question a few years ago.

SD61 Volunteer Liability

Parent Advisory Councils (PAC’s) within the Greater Victoria School District may apply for Parent Education Funding to support parent education opportunities.  Each individual PAC may apply for up to $250.  PAC’s may apply together to combine their grant funding request. Requests for funding will be reviewed and evaluated based on the merit of the request, viability of the plan, community impact, identified parent interests, financial need or alignment to school or district goals and initiatives.  Eligible expenses may include but are not limited to, workshop facilitator fees and honorariums; registration fees for parent education events; resources to support parent education; etc.

Applications for funding will be accepted once per year.  The application deadline will be Friday, October 20th, 2017.  Applicants will be advised by October 27th, 2017 of grant funding allocations. 

Download Application Form


New student enrolment priorities that place greater emphasis on catchment students attending their neighbourhood school, while including priority for siblings attending a school together at the same time are being recommended by a committee of parents, staff, students and Trustees to the Board of Education this month. 

The proposed student enrolment priorities for introduction in the 2018-2019 school year, are:

  1. re-enrolling students
  2. a catchment area sibling
  3. a catchment area child
  4. a non-catchment sibling
  5. a non-catchment child
  6. a non-school district child

These enrolment priorities would apply to new registrations, transfer requests and student transitions between elementary and middle, and middle and high school for English and French programs.  The proposed changes differ from the current priorities in that non-catchment siblings would no longer have priority over new catchment students. 

Student enrolment priorities within the Greater Victoria School District have not been reviewed in decades. Until recently, declining enrolment had meant most schools could accommodate a family’s choice of schools. However, with growing enrolment in recent years, and an expected 2,000 new students within the next 10 years, space is becoming limited at some schools.  In addition to this, recent provincial changes to class size and composition have recently impacted the availability of space in schools.

Over the past 10 months the Student Registration and Transfer Ad Hoc Committee has reviewed data related to student enrolment, including; catchment and sibling data, transfer requests, space and facilities information, demand for French Immersion and various stakeholder perspectives. The committee updated the Operations Planning and Policy Committee in May 2017, and work has actively continued on consideration of the priorities over the past month. The Board of Education also directed that the committee’s work continue after recommendations to enrolment priorities are made, to review catchment boundaries, French Immersion demand and the potential for reopening schools. 

The recommendations will first be considered by the Operations Policy and Planning Committee on Monday, June 12th and by the Board of Education on Monday, June 26th.  The public is welcome to attend, and the Board of Education welcomes written feedback at

The detailed report is available here: https://www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2017/06/06-12-17-Reg-OPPs-Packup.pdf

Student enrolment priorities determine the order in which students will get into a school when space is limited. The Greater Victoria School District is seeking public input on what is important to parents and what is most important when prioritizing how students are accepted when space is limited.

The Greater Victoria School District is seeking input from parents as part of a review of the current priorities and the overall registration and transfer process. The results of the review process will help ensure a transparent and fair process for student registration at all grade levels including French Immersion and requests to transfer to a non-catchment school. This does not apply to Programs of Choice in secondary school (e.g. Flex, Challenge, and sports academies) Registration for these programs is done through a merit-based application process.

In an effort to reach as many parents across the District as possible, an online survey is available to collect input. The survey is also available in print and is being translated in five languages to reach parents whose first language is not English. The survey will close Monday, April 10, 2017 at 4 pm.

Implementation Plan and Timeline for Parent Education Fund

1) Greater Victoria School District Parent Advisory Councils will be advised of the opportunity and application process via school Principal’s.

2) There will be two application deadlines, January 4, 2016 and May 31, 2016, that will support spring and fall parent education opportunities.

3) Questions regarding the application should be emailed to:


4) Questions and Answers will be collated and a Q & A information sheet created for future applicants.

5) Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the merit of request, viability of the plan, community impact, identified parent interests, financial need, or alignment to school or district goals and initiatives.

6) The Deputy Superintendent will establish the selection team.

7) Successful applicants will be advised by January 31, 2016 and June 30, 2016 of grant funding allocations and reporting requirements.

8) Grant recipients will be required to submit a summary report within 30 days of completion of the initiative. This information will be used for reports to the Board of Education regarding the Parent Education Fund.

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