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Parent Advisory Council

The Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Parent Advisory Council (PAC) provides input on ways to improve communication and parent engagement at the district and local school level and provides parent advocacy trainings to support student learning. PAC members are parents who have at least one child in the school system and who reflect the diversity of the HCPS community. PAC meetings are facilitated by staff in the HCPS Family and Community Partnerships Office.


The mission of the Parent Advisory Council is to provide feedback and advice to the school system on parent engagement efforts related to the research-based PTA standards for family-school partnerships described in Board of Education Policy Number 10-0004-000, Parent/Community Involvement. PAC is proactive and innovative in identifying and sharing ways to enhance the school system's communication and parent engagement efforts and parent advocacy training.

Responsibilities of PAC include the following:

  • Working collaboratively as part of the Parent Academy to develop and conduct parent trainings that focus on parent advocacy skills and partnering with the school to help children succeed.
  • Working to promote a welcoming environment in schools through establishing and participating in a school walkthrough and evaluation process.
  • Communicating with and getting feedback from other parents in the community.
  • Providing advice on innovative ways to communicate with parents about system-wide initiatives, programs, and activities.
  • Providing feedback as requested to the Board of Education and HCPS offices and work groups on specific programs, activities, resources, and materials.
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What is the structure of PAC?

The PAC is composed of a minimum of 20 parents. Each member serves at least one two-year term. The term "parent" refers to the parent or legal guardian of a child enrolled in a Harford County public school.

What is the process for parents interested in serving on the Parent Advisory Council?

Nominations are welcome from parents, staff, community organizations, and other members of the HCPS community. Self-nominations are also accepted. All nominations are reviewed, and those nominated will be contacted as seats on the council become available. Nomination forms are available in local schools, or by calling Family and Community Partnerships at 410-588-5263.

How are members chosen to serve?

To ensure broad representation, the nominations of potential members will be evaluated on a variety of factors, including geographic location of residence, child’s grade level, and areas of interest and experience related to HCPS programs and services including, but not limited to, special education, gifted and talented, and ESOL. The goal for PAC membership is to be reflective of the HCPS student population racial and ethnic diversity of the student population.

When are PAC meetings held?

PAC meets several times during the school year. Specific dates are determined by the council. Interpretation services will be provided as needed.

What is expected of PAC members?

Each member will serve one (1) two-year term. Members may not serve for more than two consecutive terms. Council members will be expected to attend all scheduled meetings; prepare for each meeting as needed; work in a collaborative fashion with each other and with school system staff; express views and opinions openly, constructively, and respectfully; and help facilitate parent advocacy trainings and welcoming environment walkthroughs. Although an HCPS dedicated staff member will develop an agenda for each meeting, PAC representatives may submit discussion items for consideration.

What is expected of HCPS staff?

Staff from the HCPS Family and Community Partnerships Office will collaborate with PAC co-chairs to develop an agenda for each meeting and send agenda materials to PAC members sufficiently in advance of each meeting. An HCPS staff member will take minutes at all PAC meetings and disseminate them as appropriate. Staff will provide materials for review as needed.