Parent councils earmark money for school extras

NANAIMO – Nanaimo school district's parent groups will receive $270,000 from the B.C. government.

Nanaimo school district’s parent groups will receive more than $270,000 from the B.C. government for student extracurricular activities.

The district’s 36 parent advisory councils will receive $20 per student.

Among Nanaimo’s high schools, Dover Bay Secondary’s council received the most with $26,340. John Barsby received $15,380; Nanaimo District Secondary, $19,300; Woodlands Secondary, $11,860; and Wellington Secondary, $15,940.

The province said money can’t be used for “curricular purposes or to schools or school districts or their activities or programs.”

Ursula Weiss, Wellington parent advisory council chairwoman, said formal requests for funding are submitted to the council.

“Because we have guidelines that we have to abide by, through the gaming laws, we have to evaluate what they’re asking for,” said Weiss.

She said the majority of the money will likely go to music and sport programs to cover entrance fees to festivals and tournaments, adding the council also distributes money to smaller groups.

“Even if requests didn’t come in right now, then we have enough money set aside so that when requests come in January for our arts programs or computer programs, we can also approve those types of approvals,” said Weiss.

The District Parent Advisory Council also received $2,500. President Charlene McKay said the grant will go toward educating parents.

“We are sponsoring a course called ‘Being your child’s natural advocate’ and essentially what it does is assists parents and teaches them how to access the educational system and how to speak up for their student and become a team player in their student’s education process.”

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