Below are several frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you learn more about our school’s Parish Education Committee (PEC). You are invited to help us build this section of the website by emailing us your suggestions for additional questions; we plan to keep adding to the list over time. This section was last updated June 5, 2023.
What is the PEC?
PEC is short for Parish Education Committee. The PEC is a group of six volunteers elected from the Parish who work with the Pastor and the Principal to ensure the successful running of our school. The PEC, like the school, acts to forward the mission of the Catholic Church.
Why do we have a PEC?
As a Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, St. Jude is governed by the educational policies and guidelines of the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) a registered non-profit society. CISVA requires that each school have a Parish Education Committee (PEC) that manages the school on its behalf. Parents of St. Jude students delegate responsibility for their children’s Catholic education to CISVA. CISVA delegates the PEC to support the Principal and Pastor with the administration of the school.
What are the PEC’s responsibilities?
The PEC has responsibility for: setting and managing the school’s budget, planning and organizing the school’s fundraising activities, managing the school’s parent participation program, overseeing building maintenance and site improvements, long-term strategic planning, hiring of staff with the support of the Superintendent’s Office of the CISVA and in consultation with the Principal, and liaising with the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) and the Federation of Independent Schools Association (FISA). The administrative and business functions of the PEC are carried out within the Church’s mission to “build and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” A full description of PEC responsibilities and corresponding policies is available here.
PEC Roles and Responsibilities
- The role of the Chairperson in the parish or regional education committee is critical to the successful
functioning of the Education Committee and ultimately to the successful functioning of the school. The
Chairperson’s main task is to work closely with the Pastor and Principal to ensure that the goals and
objectives of the school are being met and that the policies and guidelines of the Society are followed.
- The Chairperson derives all his/her authority from the role of the Education Committee. Since, in fact,
the authority to establish policy rests with the Committee it is important therefore, that when speaking
for the Education Committee, the Chairperson base his/her statements on policy that has been passed
Vice Chairperson and Society Representative
- Fulfills the responsibilities of the Chairperson when he/she is unable to perform. Represents the PEC as a Society Delegate, attending the CISVA Annual General Meeting.
- The role of the Treasurer is a critical one in the financial management of the school and as such must be
filled by a person with a formal accountancy designation and/or business administrative skills with direct
experience in preparing and managing budgets, and undertaking financial analysis.
- Assists with preparing budgets, ensuring fundraisers follow policy, ensuring school finances are in order, and reports to the PEC
- Oversees the Parent Participation Program and assigns parents to various categories of need for the school
- Communicates to parents about participation hours if families are not going to meet their hours
- Reports to the PEC
- Works with the maintenance families and our Facilities Manager to ensure maintenance projects happen
- Coordinates the participation families for Maintenance to ensure hours are met
- Takes the minutes of the meeting and distributes them to the PEC and others as requested
What happens at a PEC meeting?
PEC members talk about school needs and issues, generate ideas, problem solve, and make decisions.
Every PEC monthly meeting follows a set agenda
- we begin with faith development
- review action items from last meeting
- followed by reports (i.e. Principal, Pastor, Maintenance…)
- and finally, any new business
- on occasion there are “in camera” items that warrant discussion and only members of the PEC can stay for “in camera” items
The Secretary takes notes, known officially as “Minutes”, on what is discussed and decided at the meetings. A copy of the minutes can be attained by emailing email@example.com.
When are PEC meetings?
PEC meetings take place once a month, usually on Tuesdays (2nd or 3rd Tuesday of the Month). Meetings are held in the school Learning Resource Room and begin at 5:30pm. Generally the meetings run for one to two hours.
Can I attend a PEC meeting?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend a meeting. Meetings are typically held on either the 2nd or 3rd Tuesday of the month.
Is it necessary to have a child in the school to be on the PEC?
No, you don’t have to be a parent with a child attending St. Jude School to be on the PEC. You do, however, have to be a registered member of St. Jude’s Parish. St. Jude School was built by and for the parishioners of St. Jude’s Parish.
Who is eligible to be nominated for the PEC?
Those eligible to hold office as a member of a Parish Education Committee are practicing Catholics, approved by the Pastor, who are eligible to vote in that parish and have reached the age of twenty-one (21), with the following exceptions:
• all employees of the CISVA or any CISVA Affiliate School;
• anyone who is part of the governance structure of any other CISVA School or CISVA
• past employees of the CISVA or any CISVA affiliated school until three full calendar years
have passed since the termination of employment;
• employees of the parish; and
• spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters of persons covered as above.
How do I get on the PEC?
Every spring the school and the parish invite parishioners to consider joining the PEC. Anyone who is eligible can be nominated. Fr. Jun Reyes must sign off on any official nominations. An election is held if there are more interested people than spots available. Nomination forms are available in the school office.
How much time does is involved in being a PEC member?
All members prepare for and attend a monthly meeting. Between meetings individuals carry out work on their own or with others to attend to their area of responsibility. Members also attend a one-day professional development conference in September.
Does being on the PEC count for participation hours?
Yes! Being a member of the PEC fulfills your parent participation requirements.
What are the expectations for members of the PEC?
It is expected that each PEC member will take responsibility for a specific role and area of activity: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Parent Participation, Maintenance, and Fundraising, CISVA Society Representative and FISA Liaison.
New members are not expected to take on major responsibilities immediately. Members are expected to: share their knowledge and gifts towards the school’s betterment; prepare for, attend and participate as able in meetings; conduct themselves in the spirit of Christian collaboration; respect confidentiality when necessary; and support the Principal as the chief administrator in the school.
To whom is the PEC accountable?
The PEC is accountable to the Board of Directors of the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). Parents of St. Jude students delegate responsibility for their children’s Catholic education to CISVA. CISVA delegates the PEC to support the Principal and Pastor with the administration of the school. Ultimately, this means that the PEC acts on behalf of CISVA and not on behalf of the parents or the students.
What is CISVA and what does it have to do with St. Jude?
CISVA stands for Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). CISVA is the registered non-profit society whose educational policies and guidelines govern St. Jude School. CISVA, for example, sets the minimum tuition fees and provides professional development for teachers and principals. CISVA requires that each school have a Parish Education Committee (PEC) to support the Principal and Pastor with the administration of the school.
The CISVA Mission Statement is as follows:
“Our Catholic schools provide each student with an education rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Guided by the Holy Spirit and Catholic teaching, in partnership with home and parish, our schools foster the growth of responsible citizens who will live,
celebrate, and proclaim their faith.”
Can I talk to the Principal – do I need an appointment?
You do not need an appointment to talk with the Principal. Mr. van der Pauw is happy to talk with you. You can drop by the office any time and ask to speak with him. If he’s able to do so right then and there he will. If it is a longer conversation, please schedule an appointment through the Office by calling the school or emailing email@example.com.
What is the Federation of Independent Schools Association (FISA)?
The Federation of Independent Schools Association (FISA) is the political arm of independent schools in BC. It has five member associations, including the Catholic Independent Schools of British Columbia, representing close to 300 independent schools in the province. FISA is a registered non-profit society that carries out research and advocates at different levels of government to fulfill its mission: “FISA BC’s mission is to enable parents to exercise the right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children and to promote the rightful place and responsibility of independent schools within a democratic and pluralistic society.”
What’s the difference between a PEC and a PAC?
There are several differences between a PEC and a PAC:
- PEC stands for Parish Education Committee and PAC stands for Parent Advisory Committee.
- A PEC is made up of seven parishioners from a Catholic church whereas a PAC is comprised of all the parents/guardians of children in a BC public school. An elected executive committee administers the PAC.
- The PAC plays an important role in improving the school life through its fundraising and volunteer efforts but it is not accountable to the school’s governing body (eg. the Vancouver School Board) for ensuring educational policies and guidelines are implemented; the School’s principal holds this responsibility.
- The PEC is responsible for managing the school of behalf of its governing body, the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA).
How is St. Jude’s related to other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese?
Most Catholic schools in the Archdiocese are governed by the CISVA, as is St. Jude’s. There are three non-diocesan high schools, originally run by religious orders (Little Flower Academy, Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate) that are not governed by the CISVA. St. Jude Parish supports both St. Jude Elementary School and Notre Dame Regional High School. Most of our students who continue to a Catholic high school will attend Notre Dame Regional High School.