English Parents' Committee Association (EPCA), Montreal, Quebec
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CAQ wants to close school boards and replace with administrative centers

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Shawn Apel

CBC Daybreak with Shawn Apel Interview

On Friday, September 14, 2018, EPCA’s President, Rhonda Boucher participated on the “Daybreak” CBC Radio show at noon with Shawn Apel, as well as members from the four political parties, the new Director for QESBA, Russell Copeman and the Honourable Marlene Jennings.

The topic of the radio show was focused on the “CAQ” wanting to close School Boards and opening “Administrative Centers”.

Link to the show recording: https://bit.ly/2O6aeQp

Marlene Jennings and Rhonda Boucher were part of the “Election Systems Study Panel” (ESSP). The ESSP was put together to address the benefits of Universal Suffrage, the election of Commissioners and the practices of the English School Boards. Ms. Jennings brought up the Study and told Christopher Skeete, from the CAQ, that he obviously didn’t read the study.

Ms. Boucher promised to post the study on the epcaquebec.org website. Please take 20 minutes and read the study before you vote. You can send questions and/or comments to info@epcaquebec.org.

High school secrets to success

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High school secrets to success: a closely connected middle school

When middle and high schools work together, it can have a big impact on student success, including higher graduation rates and higher GPAs.

A surprising factor in high schools’ success at preparing students for college is a practice that’s not available for all high schools, but offers useful lessons for all schools: having a closely connected middle school. While research exploring the impact of combined middle and high schools on college enrollment is lacking, several winners of GreatSchools’ College Success Award credit their combined sixth to twelfth grade models as a part of their success.

In schools where middle and high schools share space and their administrative teams work closely together, several things happen that contribute to students’ postsecondary success. Students get familiar with a school’s culture and expectations earlier, which is especially helpful when the school has high expectations for postsecondary success; students have the opportunity to build longer-lasting relationships with teachers; and staff can identify and intervene with at-risk students earlier. Implementing more 6-12 and 7-12 systems may not be an easy solution for every district, but all schools can learn from these benefits.

A head start on learning school culture
Combined middle/high schools offer students more time to learn and internalize aspects of the school’s culture that will affect their success, while the schools have the opportunity to expose students to college and career pathways in earlier grades.

At College Success Award-winning Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, a rigorous college prep magnet school in Miami-Dade Unified School District, students enter in 6th grade and immediately start taking advanced classes to get them ready for AP classes in high school. In addition to walking halls filled with posters from the colleges where their older schoolmates are headed, middle schoolers receive explicit guidance from their college-bound peers. Through a structured program they call Big Sister, Little Sister, the high schoolers mentor middle schools students, helping them with academic and social challenges. The seniors run the entire program, guiding the high school mentors.

“[Middle schoolers] need a lot of attention, they need a lot of direction, they need a lot of structure,” says Concepcion Martinez, principal of YWPA, adding that if they get this attention during these early years, their college-going identity is formed, something that is much harder to do with incoming 9th graders.

At Newbury Junior/Senior High School in semi-rural Newbury, OH, high school students work directly with middle schoolers through a peer mentoring program. Principal Michael Chaffee says the high school’s celebration of college and career plans gets middle school students excited about their futures and makes them more passionate about learning.

Teacher relationships
The development of meaningful teacher-student relationships is critical for helping students succeed after high school. The longer teachers spend with students, the more invested they can be in supporting the student’s long-term growth, and the better they can understand individual students’ needs.

Such is the argument for the practice of looping, in which teachers and students remain together for two or more years. Research suggests that looping in the middle school years supports the development of meaningful teacher-student relationships and impacts learning and student achievement. There were even gains for new students who joined a group of classmates who had been with the same teacher for more than a year. The effects may be even more pronounced for groups traditionally underrepresented in college. A recent study showed that looping in elementary school increased student test scores, and the effects were greatest for minority students.

When middle and high schools operate together, many teachers naturally connect with students multiple times in their middle and high school lives — from childhood to young adulthood. A student may take 6th grade English, 8th grade history and 10th grade journalism all from the same teacher. When teachers and students have more time to develop strong relationships, teachers can spend less time on “getting to know you” activities every year and focus on helping each student grow to their highest potential.

Identifying student needs earlier
Starting in middle school also means identifying at-risk students even earlier than 9th grade. At Newbury, Chaffee says the school’s strong connection between middle and high school grades helps ensure all students receive a strong and consistent network of support. Teachers collaborate across grade levels, which is especially important for students who need extra help.

Having a connected middle school eliminates some of the hazards of the 9th grade crisis. The transition to high school is associated with a risk of failure, particularly for low-income students. Research shows that in ninth grade, students are more likely to miss classes, earn low grades, and have disciplinary issues than at any other time in high school.

Middle and high schools that are not connected can help ameliorate this by being strategic about the transition process. Advisory programs, which match small groups of students with teacher or staff, can help students get to know at least one adult on campus more quickly than the typical high school model where 9th grade students have six to eight teachers, and every teacher has a roster of 100 to 200 students.

Jean Baldwin Grossman, a lecturer of economics and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, has studied a multitude of ways to help prepare middle schoolers for high school transitions, and notes that a crucial step is to expose middle schoolers to the realities of high school life.

“A good place to start is developing some bridging activities,” she says. “Like having middle schoolers visit the high school.”

Some strategies for that exposure include high school orientation and summer bridge programs, which let students spend extra time in their new school and get a feel for high school culture and coursework. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers can also take steps to collaborate across the district to ensure curriculum and expectations are aligned, and to identify students who may need extra support.

Original article: Greater Schools

QFHSA Post AGM press release

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Press release

April 28, 2018- The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations held its 74th Annual General Meeting at the Novotel Hotel in St Laurent. Delegates were welcomed by outgoing president, Brian Rock, and were greeted by Charles Taker on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The delegates then turned their attention to keynote speaker William Floch. Floch offered an update on the recent activities of the Secretariat Responsible for Relations with English Speaking Quebecers. Through a series of consultation townhalls and roundtable discussions, the secretariat has heard from over sixty-five (65) community groups and stakeholders in the English communities of Quebec. Areas of concern demonstrated by the community included youth retention in the regions
and Montreal, access to government employment services and programs, and access to health and social services, better access to French Second Language training and better support for English- speaking Quebecers living in poverty. The Federation offered its assistance in bringing the concerns of the Home and School membership across the province to the Secretariat’s attention.

The following resolutions were adopted by the QFHSA membership at the afternoon business session: Healthy Sleep and School Start Times, Wider Access to English Education and significant changes to the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Constitution and By-laws.

New directors were elected to the Board along with a new president. Linton Garner will serve as president of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations for 2018-2020. Garner had served as Executive Vice-president from 2016-2018 and was ready to step into the shoes of Brian Rock. He is currently the Executive Director of the Regional Association of West Quebecers and a Director on the Board of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

Garner’s first duties as president were to present three of the major QFHSA awards at the Banquet later that evening. Receiving the 2018 Gordon Paterson Award was Steve Dubinsky, music teacher at Westwood High school; the Pat Lewis Environmental Award was presented to the wonderful Willingdon Elementary School community and the Pat Lewis Humanitarian Award was presented to Rhiannon Sparkes, an educator at Dorset Elementary school.

Rickhey Margolese, long time volunteer with Home and School at the local, provincial and national level, received the 2018 Canadian Home and School Federation’s Lifetime Membership Award.

The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations is an independent, incorporated, not for profit volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the education and general well-being of children and youth. The QFHSA promotes the involvement of parents, students, educators and the community at large in the advancement of learning and acts as a voice for parents.

In 2019, Home and School will be celebrating the support of parental involvement in education in Quebec for 100 years and the federation will be celebrating 75 years of activity. For more information on the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, visit their website at: www.qfhsa.org

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Office of the Commissioner of Languages Annual Report 2017-2018

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Rapport Annual 2017-2018

Madame, Monsieur,
C'est avec grand plaisir que je vous informe que j’ai déposé mon rapport annuel 2017‑2018 devant le Parlement ce matin.

Cette édition du rapport annuel présente l’ensemble des activités du Commissariat aux langues officielles et dresse un portrait des activités en matière de langues officielles du gouvernement en 2017-2018. Le rapport se divise en trois grands chapitres thématiques, à savoir les activités entourant le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération canadienne, les recherches et les interventions du Commissariat ainsi que les diverses initiatives mises en œuvre par le Commissariat et par les institutions fédérales en lien avec les langues officielles

Dans le rapport, je formule deux recommandations. La première vise l’avancement de la mise en œuvre des recommandations provenant du rapport du greffier du Conseil privé sur la langue de travail. La seconde recommande à Patrimoine canadien et au Conseil du Trésor de revoir les outils d’évaluation du rendement des institutions fédérales en matière de langues officielles.

Encore cette année, conformément à notre engagement environnemental, nous optons pour une édition uniquement électronique, que vous pouvez consulter sur le site Web du Commissariat. Bonne lecture!

Annual Report 2017-2018

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am very pleased to announce the release of my 2017–2018 annual report, which I tabled in Parliament this morning.

This annual report presents an overview of my office’s activities and describes some of the government’s actions regarding official languages in 2017‑2018. The report is divided into three thematic chapters: the 150th anniversary of Confederation; my office’s studies and interventions; and various initiatives taken by my office and by federal institutions regarding official languages.

I make two recommendations in the report: the first concerns the implementation status of the recommendations contained in the Clerk of the Privy Council’s report on language of work, and the second calls on the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the President of the Treasury Board to review the tools they use to evaluate federal institutions in terms of official languages.

Again this year, in keeping with our commitment to the environment, we are publishing only an electronic edition of the annual report, which is available on the Office of the Commissioner’s website. I hope you have an enjoyable read!

Raymond Théberge
Commissaire aux langues officielles |Commissioner of Official Languages

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Summer school

Summer School: The Enhanced and Extended Learning Project

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Summer School Attendance as a means to enhanced and remedial education for all students. The goal is:

a) Better quality of graduate;
b) Increase the graduation rate.

As we take a look at our neighbours to the South:

“... As the final months of the 2016-17 school year unfold, the nation’s 4 million 9th graders—the Class of 2020—are entering the make-it-or-break-it final weeks of their first year of high school. And GradNation—the national campaign by America’s Promise Alliance to increase graduation rates to 90 percent by 2020—is entering its make-it-or-break-it years.

GradNation has a goal to reach 90 percent graduation.”
(https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/03/24/six-ways-to-improve-high-school-graduation.html)

... our own provincial government has a new goal:

“...Quebec seeks to curb slumping high school graduation rate
Premier Philippe Couillard wants to increase rate to 85% by
2030.”
(http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-education-couillard-proulx-1.4171106)

... Lester B. Pearson, our own school board as per a last year report:
“...The LBPSB recently posted a seven-year graduation and qualification rate of 87.8 per cent, which is higher than the seven-year average of public schools (74.9) and rates for all schools in the province (78.8).”
(http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/west-island-gazette/lester-b-pearson-boasts-top-public-school-graduation-rates-in-quebec)

In addition to these numerical goals, our students also face additional competition from foreign and out of province students in higher education.

So in addition to a new goal to increase the graduation rate, we also now require a qualitative factor.

In the United States some states have recognized that some of the major issues have to do with income disparity. The second is what is referred to as the summer learning loss, summer setback or summer slide.
(See report by David M Quinn AND Morgan Polikoff
https://www.brookings.edu/research/summer-learning-loss-what-is-it-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/)

Based on the Brookings study referenced above, they found that students lost an average of about 20-30 percent over the summer. When socio economic factors are included, a gap starts to develop. While we do not have adverse socio economic factors as exists in the U.S., they do exist in our province and as such they present an impediment to our primary goals.

The solution is to use existing tools and facilities to run within our summer school project.

The Summer School Project
Common suggestions include blending academic learning with hands-on or recreational activities, professionalizing summer school staff, and forming partnerships with community organizations to leverage resources (cost as much as $1500 per student).

The Reading and Math Based Programs
READS for Summer Learning. In READS, which has been iteratively modified over several randomized trials, students receive eight books in the mail over the summer that are matched to their reading level and interests. Along with each book, students receive a tri-fold paper that leads them through a pre-reading activity and a post-reading comprehension check. Students are asked to mail the postage-prepaid tri-fold back; families receive reminders when tri-folds are not returned. (Cost as much as $700 per student.)

While investing in extensive school-based summer options may not be feasible, it may be cost-effective and strategic for School boards to begin to offer targeted out-of-school interventions to the students most at risk of backsliding. (Fusion Portal can help track certain metrics.)

Where is summer learning successful
The new term for Summer school is Summer Learning and some states have new names to change the stigma. In California it is called “Expanded Learning Strategic Plan” for enhanced student success.

Signed into law in California, in 2014, this program focuses existing resources on summer and year-round programs; requires data-driven local quality improvement plans; leverages state data systems to track outcomes; and streamlines program administration. Implementation is supported by new quality standards from the California Afterschool Network.

MASSACHUSETTS: After-School and Out-of-School Time (ASOST) Quality Enhancement Grant Program
Since 2011, the ASOST program has provided grants to enhance afterschool and summer learning programs in areas such as professional development and STEM; address barriers to participation and expand summer learning programs specifically. The program was appropriated $1.7M in 2014. (N.B.: This is the number one state in education in the US.)

Summary
Our solution identifies goals, and the reasons for this radical solution: Summer School and its new term: Enhanced and Extended Learning.

Concrete Measures to Increase Student Success

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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

 

Les mesures concrètes pour améliorer la réussite des élèves

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COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE Pour diffusion immédiate

Québec, le 30 novembre, 2016 - Aujourd'hui, l'Association des Comités des Parents Anglophones est fière de collaborer avec la Fédération des comités de parents du Québec ainsi qu'avec nos autres partenaires représentant les groupes de parents.

Les mesures concrètes pour améliorer la réussite des élèves

Nous continuons à recommander nos propositions pour améliorer la réussite des élèves décrites dans notre mémoire sur le projet de loi 86 :

1. Engagement envers le développement professionnel des enseignants.

2. Mécanismes de soutien supplémentaire aux administrateurs scolaires.

3. Réviser la formation des conseils d’établissement.

Les compressions budgétaires des dernières années dans l'éducation ont été particulièrement néfastes pour le système d'éducation publique anglophone en plus de la politique linguistique restrictive québécoise qui limite les inscriptions aux écoles publiques anglophones. La prestation d’enseignement de qualité à tous nos étudiants est brimée par la diminution des ressources. Ces compressions ont également exercé une pression considérable sur notre modèle d’intégration inclusif recommandé par le gouvernement pour les élèves ayant des besoins particuliers.

Nous exhortons le gouvernement à aller de l’avant avec la prestation de programmes de qualité et de services qui rehausseront les pratiques pédagogiques associées à la réussite globale de l’élève. Nous remarquons également la tendance vers les résultats et l'efficacité ce qui doit être équilibré avec la capacité d’exploiter les forces individuelles des élèves pour qu’ils puissent réaliser leurs aspirations.

La nécessité d’investir dans l’éducation

• Accroitre le financement de programmes pédagogiques.

• Rétablir et accroitre le financement pour la technologie.

• Accroitre le financement pour les enfants ayant des besoins particuliers.

Le projet de loi 105 apporte enfin la disposition du droit de vote des commissaires qui représentent les parents. Nous apprécions le nouveau droit des parents au plus haut niveau de la gouvernance de la commission scolaire. Sans aucun doute, ceci présentera une nouvelle dimension de proximité et aura un effet immédiat sur les intérêts de la population scolaire locale et de la communauté.

Nous souhaitons que le gouvernement présente des solutions pratiques qui sont toujours axées sur la réussite des élèves, le soutien des enseignants et l’allocation du financement des ressources requises aux programmes et aux services.

Les parents du secteur anglophone s’impliquent activement en tant que bénévoles dans nos écoles depuis des années. Nous cherchons des solutions réalistes et nous sommes ouverts et prêts à participer à des initiatives qui amélioreront notre système d’éducation publique au Québec.

Nous demandons de protéger les droits collectifs. Notre particularité historique est étroitement liée à notre société. Nos enfants sont indispensables à la réussite du Québec.

Pour entrevues ou information complémentaire, veuillez communiquer avec Rhonda Boucher, présidente au 514-778-3722.

Rhonda Boucher
EPCA President

L’ACPA est heureuse suite à l’adoption du projet de loi 105

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COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE Pour diffusion immédiate

Montréal, novembre 2016 - L’Association des comités de parents anglophones (ACPA) est heureuse d’annoncer que le l’assemblée nationale a adopté le projet de loi 105 aujourd’hui.

Parmi les changements les plus importants, les commissaires-parents auront maintenant les mêmes droits, y compris les droits de vote, que les commissaires qui ont été élus au élections générales, et cela entrera en vigueur dans les 30 jours.

L’ACPA examinera les modifications apportées au projet de loi initial et se réjouit à l'idée de collaborer avec nos comités parentaux, membres et nos conseils d'administration. Pendant cette période de transition. Notre mission sera de veiller à ce que nos parents, les plus importants intervenants dans le domaine de l'éducation, soient prêts à assumer la responsabilité supplémentaire d'une manière informée et efficace.

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez nous contacter Mme. Rhonda Boucher présidente de l’ACPA au (514) 778-3722 ou par courriel info@epcaquebec.org.

EPCA is pleased with the passing of Bill 105

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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.