COPACs News

(FAO PAC Executives) Zoom Licenses and MS Teams

 
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(FAO PAC Executives) Zoom Licenses and MS Teams
by Phil Molloy - Thursday, 24 September 2020, 1:26 PM
 

The British Columbia Confederation of Parents' Advisory Councils recently circulated information about Zoom accounts for use by District PACs (COPACS) and PACs (their email is pasted below this message). The purpose of this post is to explains COPACS' situation relating to this announcement and the approach we plan to adopt regarding the use of our Zoom license. 

Our school district (SD63) was been given only one Zoom license by BCCPAC to share across all PACs in our district and COPACS. As you can imagine, this makes scheduling the use of this account arduous, since it would mean all PAC meetings must be organized around those of every other PAC and the COPACS meetings. This organization would fall to a COPACS volunteer. 

Further, our school district has moved to a Microsoft Teams platform and consequently all schools now have their own MS Teams account. 

Given this adoption of MS Teams, the superintendent recommended in our latest COPACS meeting that SD63 PACs approach their administration about having them act as host for the PAC meetings using the school's MS Teams account. If this approach is not productive (i.e., the school for some reason is unwilling or unable to share their MS Teams account) and the PAC does not want to pay for their own Zoom account, the PAC executive should contact COPACS to explore the free account available through BCCPAC. 

Therefore, COPACS requests PACs to follow these steps to find a digital solution for online meetings:
1) Ask your Administration if they could host PAC Meetings using the schools MS Teams account
2) If 1 is not viable, consider purchasing a PAC-specific Zoom account
3) If 2 is not viable, email copacssd63@gmail.com to enquire about the use of our shared license.

All the best,

COPACS Exec

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Message from BCCPAC 

Date: 16 September, 2020
Subject: Zoom Licenses Now Available for DPAC & PAC Use

As part of our ongoing efforts to support district and school PACs and their parent communities, and with grateful acknowledgement to the Ministry of Education, BCCPAC has secured Zoom licenses for DPACs/PACs across the province to be able to host virtual meetings during the pandemic.

While PACs are not restricted from entering the school – and there are many good reasons to do so such as picking up mail including banking statements through to a meeting with the admin team – having fewer parents in the schools less often is advisable. By enabling all PACs to have the ability to hold their regular meetings virtually, at no cost to them, this reduces the need to use the school building and reduces the parent footprint in the school.

We were able to secure a sub-group license with 100 Zoom licenses as part of the Ministry’s enterprise license agreement. This means BCCPAC is the owner of the licenses but as we now release and issue them to DPACs, the administration and management of these licenses become the DPAC's responsibility as is the communication to their district PACs.

Key Points:
  • Every DPAC will receive a minimum of 1 license. Those DPACs with more school PACs will of course receive more.
  • Each shared license can host a meeting, with no time limits, for up to 300 attendees.
  • Available Zoom services include: Polls, Q&A, Chat, Muting, Reactions, Feedback.
  • DPAC will designate individual(s) to manage/schedule the use of their licenses, to ensure fair and equitable use for all PACs in their district.
  • At this time, the licenses are available for use until the end of June 2021 at no cost to the DPAC or the PAC for their use.

We are aware of a few districts where the DPAC is non-operational at this time. We will be connecting directly with the PACs in those districts and will administer and manage the use of the licenses in those unique areas. If your District does not have an active DPAC currently, encourage a parent to volunteer for this Zoom Administrator role for all the PACs in your district by contacting our office.

We have not restricted these licenses to our members but have made them freely available to all PACs via the DPACs. We do hope, however, that both your DPAC and your local PACs will find their way to support BCCPAC by retaining membership with us going forward to support the work we do on behalf of all public school families.

Your DPAC will contact your PAC with information on how to reserve and use the shared licenses.


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Re: (FAO PAC Executives) Zoom Licenses and MS Teams
by Phil Molloy - Friday, 25 September 2020, 9:09 PM
 

Update on Zoom License availability

Since posting our proposed approach to supporting digital PAC meetings, we have been in touch with BCCPAC and have learned of the situations faced by other school districts with respect to their access to online conferencing software. It became immediately clear that, given our district's access to free MS Teams accounts through schools, many other school districts are in more need of our Zoom license than we are. Therefore, we opted to donate our license to another school district (Surrey). As such, we strongly encourage PACs in need of online conferencing software to contact their school Administration about using the school's MS Teams account. If the PAC encounters problems with this approach, contact COPACS (copacssd63@gmail.com) and we will assist you to resolve the issues.


Thanks for your understanding,


COPACS Exec