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Grants and Funding

The Parent Involvement Committee has gathered the following information and resources to assist councils in obtaining a PRO Grant for the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline for this year's PRO Grant application is June 5, 2018.

What is a PRO Grant? 

Ontario's Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants are designed to support parents in identifying barriers to engagement in their own community and to find local solutions to involve more parents in support of student achievement and well-being. A school council can submit only one proposal for the 2018-2019 PRO Grant cycle and the maximum amount provided for a school council proposal will be $1,000. Projects must focus on informing or engaging parents in support of improved student achievement and well-being. The grants are intended to support projects that help identify and remove barriers to parent engagement that may prevent some parents from fully participating in their children's learning. For more information on the PRO Grant, visit http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/guidelines.html

Where should we start?

Deciding to submit a PRO Grant application with your school council:

  • Schedule a discussion regarding the application on your council agenda.

  • Ensure that there is sufficient time to discuss and complete the application before the deadline (June 5, 2018).

  • Provide the link to the PRO Grant information to council members to review before the meeting: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/guidelines.html

  • Assign a lead person to create an account to be responsible for the application:  http://education.factorial.ca/s_signup.jsp?token=XVtQC1oGZ1pQRhJaXxVRRlZTYklx

  • The lead should log in and print a copy of the questions to discuss at the meeting.

  • Consider, as a group, how this grant can best meet the needs of your parent community.

  • Review the requirements and acceptable ways to spend the funding as a group to ensure your project will be funded.

  • Ensure your principal supports the application.

  • All proposals must be approved through a motion of the school council before an application is submitted.

Special Consideration

Special consideration will be given to eligible projects from school councils that:

  1. support and engage parents who have not been previously active in the school community, parents from racially or ethnically diverse communities, or hard-to-reach parents; and/or

  2. support the engagement of parents from Indigenous communities; and/or

  3. promote increased access to and awareness of math strategies and resources for parents to support their children's learning at home and at school; and/or

  4. promote the value of postsecondary education (apprenticeship, college, or university) by providing parents with information on postsecondary education pathways, possibilities, and supports for their children.

How can we submit an application?

  • The application is to be completed and submitted online.

  • Information can be saved to allow work on the application at different times.

  • Upon submission, a copy of the completed application for the school council will be sent by the system to the school council chair and the school principal.

  • The submission of an application is a legal declaration that both the school council chair and the school principal have authorized the submission of the application.

  • Please keep your registration email address active for at least one year for future notifications.

How do we determine what project would be best for our school community?

Ministry requirements:

Projects must focus on informing or engaging parents in support of improved student achievement and well-being. The grants are intended to support projects that help identify and remove barriers to parent engagement that may prevent some parents from fully participating in their children's learning.

Projects may fall under the following categories:

Communication – may include translation of documents into multiple/other languages, providing parents with information related to curriculum or other school-based initiatives.

Geography – reaching parents living in a larger or remote geographic area.

Parents New to the System – parents who have a child in school for the first time, have recently moved into the area, or have recently arrived as newcomers to Ontario.

Overcoming Local Barriers – identifying local barriers to parent engagement and finding local solutions to support more parents get involved (e.g., socio-economic, childcare, transportation, and language, etc.).
Other types of barriers

Not all projects are considered eligible to be funded by a PRO grant. Ensure your council has reviewed the types of projects that are ineligible prior to submitting your application.

Learning from Others’ Success
To get ideas from other school councils visit: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/story09.html

Two types of PRO Grant projects that have been successful for school councils in the OCDSB in the past include hosting a speaker and creating a parent resource library. If either of these projects areof interest to your school council, please see the sample PRO Grant applications for to get your council started:

Hosting a Speaker and Creating a Parent Resource Library

How should we start our project?

Finding Speakers:

There are a number of local speakers that come to schools including Ottawa Police Services, CHEO, authors, and experts from the universities.

When contacting potential speakers, provide as much information as possible. Include the time, date, and topic of the presentation. Be sure to also note the PRO grant funding and provide links to the ministry and your school website.

Some speakers have speaker package models that are aligned with the PRO grant process. An example is Scientists in Schools.

A speaking contract helps clarify the expectations of both parties. This includes the time between booking and the event.Note: It may take a few months to secure a speaker. It is best practice to book your speaker as soon as you receive the confirmation of PRO funding.

Find a template for a speaking contract here.

Logistics:

Once you have a time and date in mind, reach out to Community Use of Schools office; even if the event is at your school you need to book the space.

Be sure to consider how many parents will attend and book the size room you need accordingly.

The event:

Consider what other events will be held at your school or in your community when scheduling your event. There are a significant number of events held in June that may affect your attendance.

Consider what will be required for set up and tear down at the event, including chairs, tables, food, microphone, projector, computer, and ensure that someone is responsible for each item.

Another consideration is connecting with the speaker. Someone should introduce the speaker and be the point of contact between the speaker and the council.

If you are having refreshments at the event be sure to review the guidelines outlined in the PRO Grant to determine how much you are able to spend.

Child care should also be considered and that information should be expressly shared with parents so there is no confusion about supervision of students.

Tips for securing volunteers:

When asking other parents to volunteer their time, you should be specific about what roles they will be asked to do and also provide a variety of opportunities for involvement at varying degrees, forexampleset up and tear down, greeting the speaker, or organizing food.

 

Parent Resources

When deciding which resources you should stock your library with make sure the resources you choose match your application and consider the options that would best meet the needs of your community. 

Note: It make take a few months from ordering to receive your resources so keep that in mind when planning your project.

Type of Resource

Description

Pros

Cons

Lending Library

Ordering books to be kept in a location in the school to be brought in and out of the school by parents using asign outsystem

·In depthinformation can be shared in a book;

· Can become a regular place for parents to meet up and discuss;

· A stock of resources can be built up for multipleuseas children age.

· A signing in and out system has to be managed;

· Books can be expensive to stock and replace; and

· There are limited copies available for each resource.

Pamphlets

Ordering pamphlets from organizations that provide informationofissues of concern in your community that are free to keep for parents

· A wide variety of information can be shared at a low cost to reach a wide audience;

· Parents can keep materials and share with others without worrying about returning; and

· There is anonymity in selecting items.

· Information in pamphlets can be limited;

· The pamphlet may direct parents to another source rather than encouraging participating at the school; and

· It may be difficult to manage continual restocking.

 

For both types of projects, be sure to collaborate with your school principal. They may have completed a similar project in the past and can provide insight and suggestions.

How do we finalize the process?

Congratulations on a successful PRO Grant project!

Project funds must be spent by June 30, 2019. Any funds not spent by June 30, 2019 must be returned to the district school board. The report back form is to be completed online by accessing http://education.factorial.ca on or before July 15, 2019.

School councils are encouraged to submit their report back form as soon as their project is complete. When the report back form has been completed, a copy will be sent by the system to the school principal. School councils must submit a copy of the report back along with all relevant receipts to their district school board.

For more information, please contact your local regional office of the Ministry of Education.

What are some tips to make our project successful? 

  • Working Together - A number of OCDSB school councils have had great success partnering up with another council in their area. This works for larger events that also may cost more than $1000 like significant speakers or community evenings.

  • Providing your Support - You could also partner with a nearby council for two separate events. Your council members assist them with their project and they in turn assist you with yours. Providing support to another councils allows you to see how other councils do their events and could get ideas for your own council.

  • Scaling Down - Sometimes a great idea that seems too big for your council can be done on a smaller scale. Instead of having a speaker on a particular topic you could view a film on a similar topic as a parent group. The example of the Parent Resource Library on page 6 is a great example of the same idea executed in different ways.

Need more information?

Regional PRO Grant administrator
Doug Tateishi
613-225-9219
Doug.Tateishi@ontario.ca

The Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils (OCASC) ocasc.ca  
chair@ocasc.ca

The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) 
pic@ocdsb.ca 

Executive Officer, Corporate Services, OCDSB
Michèle Giroux 

613-596-8211 ext 8310
Michele.giroux@ocdsb.ca

Your zone trustee

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