The Central Okanagan School District is standing behind South Rutland Elementary parents in the wake of the $20,000 theft from the school’s parent advisory council bank account.
School board chair Moyra Baxter said the district appreciates the efforts those parents have made through donations and giving their volunteer time to enhance the education activities for their children.
“This kind of thing happens in all walks of life and organizations. When funds are misappropriated like this it always comes as a shock,” Baxter said, speaking at the education and student services committee meeting on Wednesday.
“But we don’t want students to miss out as a result. Any field trips that were planned and the cost to have been covered by the PAC funds will go on. We will work something out to make sure that funding is made available.”
With this being the second PAC account theft this school year, following the revelation in September the Glenrosa Elementary PAC account had been robbed of more than $20,000, Baxter encouraged all parent advisory councils to revisit their money management policies to make sure best practices safeguards are in place.
She indicated that the school district administration staff can also assist in that process.
Baxter also encouraged parents to support their school parent advisory councils so tasks like overseeing bank accounts can be shared by more people.
“The more people that come to the PAC meetings, the more people who are available to do these things,” she said.
Sarah Shakespeare, president of the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council, followed up on Baxter’s comments, saying the South Rutland theft “shook a lot of people up.”
Shakespeare said COPAC is both reiterating the importance of what individual parent advisory councils do for their schools and when requested to help review their accounting procedures currently in place.