In November 1912, teachers and parents of students attending King George School in Brandon came together to enjoy a series of lectures for families to learn how to support student learning at home. Alfred White, Superintendent of Schools at the time, reported that, “The existence of such an association has had a splendid effect on the relations between the school and the homes of the locality. Never has there been so little friction. The spirit of cooperation has been prominent throughout the year.”
In the spirit of this association, educators and families continued to meet and work together in local schools and church basements, eventually incorporating as a non-profit organization named the Home and School and Parent Teacher Federation of Manitoba (HSPTFM) in 1954. The organization continued to evolve and membership voted to change the name to Manitoba Association of Parent Councils (MAPC) in 1995.
This proved to be an exciting period for MAPC as the volunteer board of directors at the time worked with education stakeholders and government to create the Advisory Councils for School Leadership Regulation in 1996, granting parent groups specific responsibilities and guidelines to govern as advisory councils within school communities while operating under the authority of the Minister of Education. Many parent groups switched to this formal method of involvement and continue serve in the same capacity today.
In 1997, Manitoba Education provided MAPC with an in-kind support of office space and equipment, as well as a modest operating grant, and its volunteers and part time staff member moved to its current home in the Norquay Building in downtown Winnipeg. Volunteers created the MAPC Advocacy Project in 1999 to support parents needing assistance in understanding how to navigate the education system when faced with a challenge in their child’s school. This was also the first year that MAPC received its first substantial operating grant from Manitoba Education to ensure its ongoing ability to create capacity as a recognized education partner, followed shortly after with a grant to operate the MAPC Advocacy Project in 2001 when MAPC registered as a charitable organization.
In 2013 MAPC was formally recognized in legislation as having a regulated responsibility to serve as the voice of parent groups in Manitoba with the introduction of the Parent Groups in Schools Regulation.
Today, MAPC continues to serve as one of the five major education stakeholders representing parents and working alongside teachers, division superintendents, trustees and school boards, and school business officials.