Category Archives for "Press Release"

Sep 07

Considerations for the proposed Bill 144

By Webmaster | Press Release

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September 7, 2017

The English Parents Committee Association (EPCA) is conscious that Bill 144 is outside the realm of its mandate but is also aware that some parents who home school their children do so because they have left the public school system for a variety of reasons.
Society needs to respect the decision of some parents to home school their children. Parental choice is a core value of English parents in Quebec: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” (article 26 (3) from the United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

EPCA is a strong proponent of data-driven decision making and it supports efforts to register home schooled children. Registration should also bring value added benefit to the registrants and home schooled children. This could include an online repository of resources of teaching materials that reflect the Quebec Education Plan (QEP), available to home schooling parents. This is particularly important for English speaking minority in Quebec that has a wide array of outside resources available but may not necessarily reflect the QEP.

EPCA encourages MEES to seek input from these parents, the primary stakeholders; parents who have chosen to home school as they understand their children best. The home schooling associations should be recognized and funded, to facilitate them with dissemination of resources that would assist parents to best integrate home schooling of their children with the QEP. Some level of flexibility is needed so as to adjust to the specific needs of each family and not have them fall into a “one size fits all” solution. EPCA would also like to ensure that legislation be enacted without incurring growth in bureaucracy and limiting potential litigation costs. Monies spent on education in Quebec must impact students first, including home schooled students, and not reduce educational services currently offered in our public schools.
It is the parents’ wish that MEES continues to assist in developing projects and new policy initiatives that will have Quebec's students’ best interests at heart, that will help foster better student engagement by harnessing different learning styles and enhancing and valuing the teaching profession.

For more information, kindly communicate with EPCA President: Mrs. Rhonda Boucher by telephone at 514-778-3722 or by email at president@epcaquebec.org

Nov 30

Concrete Measures to Increase Student Success

By Director Communication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Québec, November 30th, 2016 - Today, the English Parents’ Committee Association is proud to join forces with the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec, as well as our other partners representing parent groups.

Concrete measures to increase student success

We continue to advocate for our suggestions on improving student success that were found in our Bill 86 brief:

1. Commitment to teacher professional development.

2. Added support mechanisms for school administrators.

3. Improved Governing Board training.

Budget cuts to education over the years have been particularly hurtful to the official linguistic minority public education system and are compounded by Quebec's restrictive language law limiting enrollment into English public schools. This has negatively affected the availability of resources needed to deliver quality pedagogy to all our students. This has also put additional pressures on our inclusive, government recommended integration model for children with special needs.

We urge the government to move forward on the delivery of quality programs and services that will elevate teaching practices to help raise overall student success. We also note that the desire of focusing on results and system efficiency must be balanced with the ability to harness individual strengths and aspirations of each student.

Need for investment in education

• Increase funding of pedagogical programs

• Restore and increase funding of technology

• Increase funding for children with special needs

Law 105 finally brings forth the provision of the right to vote by commissioners who represent parents. We appreciate this new right for parents at the top levels of School Board governance. This will undoubtedly bring forward a new dimension of proximity and immediacy to serving the interests of the local school populations and community.

We would like to see the Government put forward concrete plans that deal with student success, teacher support and the necessary funding allocations for resources to programs and services.

Parents in the English sector have been “rolling up their sleeves” and volunteering in schools for years. We seek pragmatic solutions and are open and willing to work on initiatives that will improve our public education in Quebec.

We ask that the collective rights of the official linguistic minority be protected. Our specificity and historic distinctiveness is intricately woven into our society. Our children are indispensable to Quebec's future success.

For interviews or further information, please contact Rhonda Boucher, President at 514-778-3722.

Rhonda Boucher EPCA President

 

Nov 24

EPCA is pleased with the passing of Bill 105

By Director Communication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Montreal, November 2016 – The English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) is pleased to announce that Bill 105 was passed in the National Assembly today. Amongst the biggest change, Parent Commissioners will now have the same rights, including voting rights, as Commissioners that were elected at large, and this will come into effect in 30 days.

EPCA will be examining the amendments made to the original bill and looks forward to working with our member Parent Committees and Governing Boards during this transition period. Our mission will be to ensure that our parents, the largest stake holders in education, are prepared to take on the extra responsibility in an informed and efficient manner.

For further information, please contact Ms. Rhonda Boucher, EPCA President Tel. (514) 778-3722 or e-mail info@epcaquebec.org.

Jan 15

EPCA’s Position Regarding Recommendations made by the Elections System Study Panel (Jennings Report)

By epublication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Montreal, September 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) wishes to detail its position in regards to each recommendation made in the Final Report of the Election Systems Study Panel.

EPCA represents Central Quebec School Board, Lester B. Pearson School Board, Western Quebec School Board, Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board, Riverside School Board, Eastern Shores School Board, and New Frontiers School Board.

Our mandate is to advocate for and represent the parents of our member School Boards PCs and CPCs.

EPCA’s position to each recommendation in the Election Systems Study Panel Report is as followed:

  1. EPCA wishes its parents’ constitutional rights be respected and protected.
    • a. EPCA supports Universal Suffrage, with the exception of the election of the Chair of the Commission of Council.
    • b. Should there be an end to the existing School Board election system, EPCA presented to the Minister in June alternatives to gaining representation on School Board commissions (Alternative Universal Suffrage).
  2. EPCA agrees that the English Minority Communities’ current system of English School Boards with Parent Commissioners elected through their electoral colleges be maintained.
  3. EPCA agrees that the English School Boards’ Parent Commissioners be legally vested with all of the rights, responsibilities and duties of Commissioners including the right to vote.
  4. EPCA recommends that Parent Commissioners hold the majority of seats on the
    Council of Commissioners.
  5. EPCA agrees that the English School Board elections being conducted through online, telephone and mail-in ballots is a favorable alternative of Universal Suffrage, as proposed to the Minister by EPCA in June.
  6. EPCA agrees that English School Boards be given the legal authority to collaborate with their French School Board counterparts to revise voter lists for School Boards on their territories.
  7. EPCA agrees on all points that the voter registration be modified for English minority community potential voters so that:
    •  English Minority tax payers who pay into the English School Board system are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • Graduates of English public high schools are automatically registered to the  English School Board voting list;
    • English Minority youth who turn 18 are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • Parents of children who have graduated from an English public High School are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • In the event that the Québec government does not implement ESSP recommendations 6 and 7, that voters in English School Board elections have the ability to identify their respective School Boards and be registered to vote for the appropriate candidates by showing proper identification on the day of the
      elections at their polling station.
    • a. Employees of the School Board cannot sit on the Council of
      Commissioners.
    • b. No government appointees to the Council of Commissioners are accepted.
  8. EPCA recommends that each School Board have the option of having a non-voting seat available to a Cycle II student, by whatever means they see fit.
  9. EPCA has advocated for mandatory training of Commissioners and members of Governing Board for many years.
  10. EPCA agrees that ethical and conflict of interest guidelines be included in  the Education Act.
  11. EPCA agrees that current opportunity for Councils of Commissioners to co-opt community Commissioners with specific expertise be maintained.

We must bear in mind that many of our school boards cover huge areas and encompass many different communities. This being said, many of our communities are not only represented by parents, but also by community representatives who represent the Anglophones without children in the system but have the right to vote in the English School Board present election system.

These representatives from these communities should definitely be elected by Universal Suffrage as they represent their respective communities. EPCA stands firmly behind this notion.

This would bring a wider variety of representation especially from our outlying regions, a
representation that the Anglophone community is entitled to under the Canadian
Constitution.

For additional information and/or interviews: Mr. Angelo Grasso, Director General of EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or director-general@epcaquebec.org.

Dec 18

Proposed Bill 86 fails to consider English parents’ concerns

By epublication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion
Montreal, December 14, 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) denounces the proposed Bill 86. Upon a cursory glance, the proposed Bill 86 has an outward appearance of greater parental presence within each school board's decision-making body, but after careful examination, many clauses mitigate perceived gains.
We, as parents, fail to see how the proposed legislation will help sustain English minority schools, which are renowned to have some of Quebec’s highest retention and academic success rates.
In spite of EPCA having met with the Minister of Education twice to discuss governance issues, almost none of the recommendations were considered or acted upon. In fact, only one of our recommendations was addressed yet mitigated by other measures introduced in the proposed bill.
The EPCA intends to consult with its member Parent Committees and Central Parent Committees to consider where to go from here.
EPCA will also partner with other English community organizations in order to confer with them on this matter.

Source: Angelo Grasso
Director General of EPCA (514) 778-3722
info@epcaquebec.org

Nov 20

EPCA Elects New President

By epublication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion EPCA Elects New President Montreal, November 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) is pleased to announce that Rhonda Boucher, Western Quebec School Board Parent Commissioner, EPCA Director and EPCA Vice-President, was elected President of the EPCA following elections held on Saturday, November 14th . The elections took place during the EPCA’s Annual General Assembly on this date, where Mike Nalecz, Lester B. Pearson School Board Parent Commissioner and EPCA Director, was elected Vice-President. Andy Simon, Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board EPCA Director, was re-elected as Treasurer. The EPCA’s Board of Directors would like to thank outgoing President Pierre Chouinard for his time, contribution and dedication to the Association. For further information and contact please call (514) 778-3722 or e-mail info@epcaquebec.org

Jul 20

The future restructuring of School Boards’ Council of Commissioners

By epublication | Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate diffusion

The future restructuring of School Boards Council of Commissioners

 MONTREAL, July 20, 2015 – On June 23, 2015, the English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) met with the Minister of Education, François Blais, to explain its position on future changes to governance of Quebec’s school boards’ Council of Commissioners.

The guiding principle behind the proposed restructuring of what is now School Board Councils is to create a Council that has a majority of its seats occupied by parents. It is the EPCA’s contention that parents have only one agenda, quality education for their children, and as such are best suited to make decisions that impact the students.

The following points are included in our proposal :

  1. All School Board Councils consist of a voting majority of parents
  2. The Chairperson of these councils be a parent elected by the council
  3. Two alternatives to the election of all council members that would replace the costly existing process
  4. That no member of the council be nominated by any level of government, including municipal
  5. That all members of the council undergo a mandatory training
  6. That the terms of office for members be staggered to assure consistency during transition periods

Minister Blais was also reminded that the English school boards took nine of the 13 top graduating rates, including first place. It was suggested that the existing internal method of policy development through collaboration of teachers, principals, senior administrators and parents through standing committees be a model developed across the province as is the case for its member English school boards.

At that same meeting, the Minister was asked to consider that since 1990 the English community had led the way in integrating special need students without additional government funding. Given the annual rise in special need enrollment, the EPCA requests that additional financial support be provided in this sector.

Our organization intends to provide an information session on these and other topics in the later weeks of August 2015. At this session, parents from across the province will be present to answer questions on their local impact issues.

About the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)

The English Parents’ Committee Association is a coalition of parents’ committees from English-language school boards across Quebec, representing nearly 85,000 students in the English language sector in the province. EPCA is the sole representative body of Quebec English parents’ interests to the Ministry of Éducation, Enseignement supérieur et Recherche. Through its member Parent Committees, the EPCA assists and supports parents by providing education and, when necessary, advocacy, on more regional matters. For more about the EPCA: http://epcaquebec.org/about-epca/.

For additional information and/or interviews: Angelo Grasso, Director General of the EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or director-general@epcaquebec.org.