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Newsletter Vol.31

Dear Parents,

This year, we encountered significant challenges within the school system. In the fall, students experienced disruptions ranging from a few days to several weeks due to staff strikes. All educational partners collaborated to implement a remedial plan to ensure student achievement. However, this was yet another impact on students who were still recovering from school impacts due to the pandemic.

In the 2023-2024 school year, EPCA’s primary focus has been on the well-being of young people. We have addressed various issues such as school violence, screen time, safe routes to school, access to English-language resources, family quality of life, and accessibility of services. We have represented parents in the media and participated in meetings and events with the Minister of Education, the Ministry, and our educational network partners. All of these consultations and discussions have been focused on how to advance education in the province and how to support students and their families.

A core principle guiding our efforts is that children's well-being and success should always be prioritized.

This edition of our newsletter looks at how to continue to engage students throughout the final weeks of school and into the summer. We have also secured content from partners regarding digital literacy, support for parents, and educational contests. And as usual, we hope that our articles help parents by providing tips and tricks on building confidence, enhancing learning, and supporting neurotypical and special needs children.

As we look ahead, let's continue working together to ensure a positive and safe educational environment for our children. Your support, engagement, and collaboration are essential to making this happen. Together, we can build a strong community where every child can thrive and succeed.

Thank you for your continued support this year and have a wonderful summer holiday.

Katherine Korakakis
President, English Parents’ Committee Association

Create the UltimateDIY Summer CampSensory Kit

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Newsletter Vol. 30

Dear parents,

There are only a few weeks left until the end of the school year, and we are currently in the home stretch.

The school community has once again been dealing with a challenging year, which has brought everyone, including the parents, together to work through the difficulties. Across the province, thousands of parents are actively involved in education by providing support and encouragement to their children's academic progress and working together with the school. They volunteer, organize fundraising events with the Parent Participation Organization (PPO), serve on Governing Boards (GBs) and Parents' Committees (PCs), they are Parent Commissioners, and they are PRESENT! When we call on them, they show up! When parents voice their opinions or make choices, they do so with the intention of advancing the success and well-being of our students.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of these parent volunteers who not only impact our school network in a positive way, but also make a significant contribution to the academic success of all of our children. The fact that we are able to achieve such high success rates is due to the fact that all of the stakeholders are working together to ensure the success of our children.

In this newsletter – which is EPCA’s 30th edition of our Newsletter! â€“ we will present ways that parents can continue to stay involved - and help their children stay engaged - in the last stages of this school year and throughout the summer. We hope to help to demystify both summer school and school board elections, and provide tips to build confidence, help teens find jobs, and get the most out of the next few months. We hope you find this information helpful.

As always, we love to receive your feedback.

Warm regards,
Katherine Korakakis
President, English Parents Committee Association

Newsletter Vol. 28

Dear parents,

As the academic year progresses, it is critical that we address relevant issues affecting our students' well-being and academic success. Among other relevant topics, this edition of the newsletter will focus on discussing and addressing the rising use of vaping, wax pens, and other substances by students.

This newsletter will be a comprehensive resource for parents, providing important information and insights into the prevalence of these substances in our school community. We understand how important it is to provide parents with the tools and knowledge they need to effectively address this concerning issue.

In the newsletter, you can find:

  1. Educational resources: We will provide detailed information about vaping and other drugs, including the risks, health effects, and potential consequences for students.
  2. Signs and symptoms: Recognizing the signs of substance abuse is critical for timely intervention. We will discuss common indicators that may indicate a student is vaping or using other drugs.
  3. Prevention strategies: Our newsletter will provide parents with practical tips and strategies for preventing substance use in their children. We will look at a variety of approaches to supporting a drug-free environment, including open communication and setting boundaries.
  4. Support resources: We recognize that addressing substance use can be difficult for families. As a result, we will provide information about support services and resources available in our school community and elsewhere.

We hope that by focusing this issue of the newsletter on such an important topic, we can foster greater understanding and awareness among parents.

EPCA will also use this newsletter to inform parents about how to support reluctant readers and also will provide information on Projects pĂ©dagogiques particuliers – Special Educational Projects in order to ensure parents understand these important opportunities for students. Together, we can work to create a safe and supportive environment in which our students can thrive both academically and personally.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership.


ARE YOUR SCHOOL TAXES GOING WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO?

The deadline to change your situation is APRIL 1st

Please make sure you are paying your school tax where you want to, be it to the ENGLISH System or the FRENCH System. This does not have to be where your child goes to school and can be your choice even if you don't have child currently going to school. If you have don't know where your taxes are going or if you want to change where your school taxes are going, please follow the links below. You can also call your school board and they will be able to assist you.

*English Montreal School Board

https://www.emsb.qc.ca/emsb/services/central-services/school-tax

*Lester B Pearson School Board (514) 422-3000

https://www.lbpsb.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/Application-for-Change-Tax-Roll-Registration.pdf

New Frontiers School Board (450) 691-1440

https://www.nfsb.qc.ca/school-taxes/

Western Quebec School Board (819) 684-2336

https://westernquebec.ca/resources/school-taxes/

Riverside School Board (450) 672-4010

https://www.rsb.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Avis-dimposition-24-25.pdf

Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board (450) 621-5600

https://www.swlauriersb.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/TAXATION-choice-FORM-2024-2025.pdf

Central Quebec School Board (418) 688-8730

https://www.cqsb.qc.ca/en/taxation/general-information

Eastern Shores School Board (418) 752-2247

https://www.essb.qc.ca/school-taxes/

Eastern Townships School Board (819) 868-3100

taxation@etsb.qc.ca

*On the Island of MontrĂ©al school taxes are paid to a central body (CGTSIM) and then redistributed according to population and need. School boards on the Island (EMSB and LBPSB) and School Service Centres do not collect their own school tax.

Special-needs children – What kind of educational pathways are available?

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApd-uppjwuHdJRXkbcy69pk_XmQ4maQ-Hs

Did you know that there are educational paths specifically for our little ones, regardless of their disabilities, disorders or challenges?

ON April 11th2024 at 7 PM, the Direction de l'adaptation scolaire of the MinistĂšre de l'Éducation will be presenting these specific educational paths at our open forum on "Children with special needs - what educational paths are possible?

Open to all, and more particularly to parents of children with disabilities or learning or adjustment difficulties, this presentation will give you the opportunity to learn more about what can be offered to your child, and to discuss the subject with representatives of the Ministùre de l'Éducation.

We'll be talking about the following paths:

  • PFEQ (Programme de formation de l'Ă©cole quĂ©bĂ©coise) - the famous straight line from kindergarten to secondary school leading to a DES diploma
  • CAPS 1 (CompĂ©tences axĂ©es sur la participation sociale) - for students aged 6 to 15 with a moderate to severe intellectual disability
  • CAPS 2 (Social Participation Skills) - for students aged 15 to 21 with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. This program, which is still being drafted, will replace the current DÉFIS (DĂ©marche Ă©ducative favorisant l'intĂ©gration sociale).
  • PEDIP (Programme Ă©ducatif destinĂ© aux Ă©lĂšves ayant une dĂ©ficience intellectuelle profonde) - for students aged 4 to 21.
  • PFAE (Programmes de formation axĂ©s sur l'emploi) - this program has 2 different components:
  • FMS (Formation MĂ©tier Semi-spĂ©cialisĂ©) - for students aged 15 and over who have achieved the objectives of the elementary school program in French (or English, depending on the language of instruction) and math, but have not obtained any junior high school credits.
  • FPT (Formation PrĂ©paratoire au Travail) - for students aged 15 and over who have not achieved the objectives of the primary program in French (or English, depending on the language of instruction) and mathematics.

Newsletter Vol. 27

Dear parents,

February is the month we celebrate Hooked on Schools.

On February 13, as part of Hooked on School Days, we unveiled the results of our national survey, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mélissa Généreux and the FCPQ, aimed at painting a portrait of family well-being in the context of social crises. All parents were invited to this webinar and a follow-up will be scheduled to discuss possible solutions for promoting family well-being.

We are following the implementation of the school catch-up plan, which is currently underway. Considering the large sums of money devoted to remedial education, and specifically to students with special needs, all students should benefit from support measures if students need them.

I'd also like to mention that EPCA was present at the National Assembly to make recommendations on Bill 48, amending the highway safety code. Many of the measures introduced by this Bill concern school zones.

EPCA also submitted a brief on Bill 47, an act to reinforce the protection of children. EPCA consulted with parents and provided strong commentary on the priority that must be given to protect the physical and psychological well-being of students. Links to both briefs can be found later in the newsletter.

Finally, EPCA will soon be launching this year’s workshops for parents. The topics are directly related to the survey results, and this is our next step in helping parents. To further encourage the implementation of solutions and actions following this survey, we are inviting all interested parties to an online reflection and discussion activity on March 13. Meetings will be held at 2 p.m., targeted at organizations (access meeting registration here) and 7 p.m., targeted at parents (access meeting registration here).

Have a great month!

Projet de loi no 48 : Le collectif de parents Pas une mort de plus propose une Loi sur la santé et la sécurité des usager·es de la route 

QuĂ©bec, le 6 fĂ©vrier 2024 - Ă€ l’occasion des auditions publiques sur le projet de loi n48, le collectif de parents Pas une mort de plus prĂ©sentera mardi le 6 fĂ©vrier Ă  16h55 son mĂ©moire  devant la Commission des transports et de l'environnement et dans lequel il propose une Loi sur la santĂ© et la sĂ©curitĂ© des usager·es de la route analogue Ă  la Loi sur la santĂ© et la sĂ©curitĂ© du travail et une institution analogue Ă  la CNESST pour veiller Ă  son application. 

Bien qu’ils saluent le projet de loi 48, les parents demeurent sceptiques quant Ă  l'impact que celui-ci aura sur le terrain puisqu’au QuĂ©bec, ni la SAAQ, ni aucune institution n'a comme mandat d'assurer la prise en charge de la santĂ© et de la sĂ©curitĂ© par les responsables des chemins publics en regard des infrastructures.

Les parents qui tentent des dĂ©marches pour sĂ©curiser les trajectoires scolaires de leurs enfants s’adressent Ă  une panoplie d’institutions (municipalitĂ©s, MTMD, centres de services scolaires, etc.) et se butent Ă©ventuellement Ă  l’absence d’obligations de ces instances en ce qui concerne la sĂ©curitĂ© des enfants piĂ©tons/cyclistes et Ă  la lĂ©galitĂ© des situations dangereuses qu’ils dĂ©noncent. 

Contacts pour entrevues 

Ann-Julie Rheaume (438)-821-0240
Jean-François Gagné : (438)-368-6638
En anglais
Katherine Korakakis (514)-668-8672 

Unveiling of the results of the national survey on the impact of social crises on the well-being of Quebec families

Watch or re-watch the unveiling of the results of the national survey on the impact of social crises on the well-being of Quebec families. Thank you to the 150 or so people who tuned in to find out the results with us, and to the 14,000 parents who took part in the survey.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Dr. Mélissa Généreux, public health physician and full professor at the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the English Parents' Committee Association (EPCA) and the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec. The results were released online on February 13, 2024.

In order to help implement solutions and actions following this survey, we are inviting all interested parties to an online reflection and discussion activity on March 13. Meetings at 2 p.m. (targeted at organizations) and 7 p.m. (targeted at parents) are planned.

Key findings of our study

  • The strong participation of parents testifies to their interest in sharing their experiences.
  • Measuring quality of life provided a comprehensive picture of children's well-being. The key challenges reported by parents related to relationships with friends and relatives, as well as energy and attention levels.
  • A score ranging from 0 to 100 was calculated, where 100 equals excellent quality of life. The average score for participating children was 64. Children were considered to have a low quality of life when their score was [cid:image010.png@01DA6026.D8E83010]  50. In secondary school, children were more likely to have a low quality of life than in primary school (20% vs. 14%).
  • Quality of life scores vary according to gender and school level. In primary school, boys are at a disadvantage compared to girls (15% vs. 12%). However, quality of life deteriorates for girls from grade 1 to secondary 5 (low quality of life rises from 10% to 27%). It is more stable for boys.
  • Children classified as having special needs are 2-3 times more likely than others to have a low quality of life, both in primary school (25% vs. 9%) and secondary school (31% vs. 14%). Their parents are almost twice as likely to report fair to poor mental health (24% vs. 14%). These families were also harder hit by the strike.
  • For many parents surveyed, financial issues also represent a challenge. One in 5 fears food insecurity, and one in 3 is concerned about their financial situation.
  • The use of screen time is another major issue. Heavy screen use (at least 4 hours a day) during free time on weekends becomes more frequent from the end of primary school onwards (30% at this age). Weekday screen use becomes more frequent from the 2nd cycle of secondary school onwards (25% at this age). Heavy screen users during the week are twice as likely to have a low quality of life. Levels of energy and fun with friends are the two spheres most affected.
  • At both primary and secondary level, screen time is parents' #1 concern, followed by learning loss, motivation and psychological well-being.
  • Strikes seem to be associated with a deteriorationchildren's and parents' well-being, but the cause-and-effect relationship remains uncertain. Increased screen time appears to be most associated with the duration of the strike, being 3-4 times more frequent in children who experienced the FAE strike vs. those who did not.
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