Category Archives for Press Release

EPCA Newsletter Vol. 12

It has been another long year getting through COVID and fighting for the rights of parents and English speaking students and I am really proud of what we have been able to accomplish together again this year. Students have again showed incredible resiliency in the face of a third year in the middle of change and uncertainty and parents have pulled together within their communities to support the educational needs of our children! Way to go!! 

Over the past year, EPCA has:

  • Created memory aids and tips and tricks for all levels of school to encourage student success;
  • Presented webinars for parents on a wide variety of subjects in partnership with the FCPQ;
  • Developed tips on advocating for students at schools; 
  • Worked with the OMETZ Foundation and The Betty and Bernard S. Shapiro Family Lecture Series to present Dr. Eli Lebowitz; and
  • Described in detail Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Progress Reports, and Report Cards to help parents.

We have also had to contend with serious bullying issues and provided resources for conflict resolution and combating youth violence; you will find in this issue reminders on Digital Citizenship and resources for your and your children. We also continue to fight for English educational rights when it comes to Bill 96 and the impacts this law will have on our children – especially our most vulnerable students – for many years to come.

But for now, I would like to wish you a summer filled with joy and laughter and rest. I look forward to seeing you all in the fall!

EPCA disappointed with new Assistant Deputy Minister appointment

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

QuĂ©bec, January 27, 2022 – The English Parents Committee Association (EPCA) was taken aback when the QuĂ©bec Cabinet announced on January 26th the nomination of the sous-ministre adjointe au rĂ©seau Ă©ducatif anglophone, aux relations interculturelles, et aux Autochtones to the Ministry of Education.

EPCA expresses regret for the manner in which this appointment was made and has great concerns about the new appointee’s professional profile, which includes no experience working in the elementary, secondary, adult technical and vocational systems over her career.

“The English-speaking community has been fortunate to have been represented at the Department by high-calibre educators who are recognized for their leadership and who have understood the growing needs and challenges facing the English-speaking minority community”, EPCA President Katherine Korakakis explained.

“Historically, EPCA and all of our partners have been in the forefront of assisting in the selection of the Assistant Deputy Minister overseeing our education network. We find it disheartening that an appointment of this importance has been made without community consultation” the President said.

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About the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)

The English Parents’ Committee Association represents Quebec English-language school boards. With a team of Directors chosen by member Parent Committees, it is the official voice of Quebec’s English public-school parent community, representing more than 100,000 students. Speaking with one voice for parents and their children, EPCA represents parent interests in all dealings with the MinistĂšre de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supĂ©rieur (MEES) and across all levels of government.

For more information contact:

EPCA

Katherine Korakakis – President

Cellulaire: (514) 668-8672

Courriel: president@epcaquebec.org

Where is the Plan?

Press Release

For immediate release

                                                            Where is the Plan?

(January 5, 2022 – Montreal) – With the 17th of January maintained as the day students return to school, the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) is still unclear of the plan for a safe return to school.

“Today’s press conference left parents with more questions than answers,” Katherine Korakakis, President of EPCA, stated.

Report Cards

EPCA is astounded that the first report card of the school year has been pushed back two weeks to February 11th. Parents rely strongly on information sent by schools about their children; since the beginning of this school year, only one official communication has been sent to parents. ” The report card is an important tool for parents. Parents rely on the report card and the teachers’ comments to know how there child is doing in school. This allows them to make appropriate arrangements as needed in order to better assist their child with their educational success,” explains Katherine Korakakis.

Distance Learning

It is critical to consider vulnerable students, who are disadvantaged the most when school is physically inaccessible. Students with disabilities, in particular, must be able to access the ancillary services to which they are entitled, even when they are not physically present. What remedy do parents have if educational services are not delivered throughout the distant learning period? EPCA is greatly concerned about inaccessibility further impacting these vulnerable students.

Mental health issues and school dropout

Dropout prevention methods must be incorporated into the plan. Young people drop out of school for a variety of reasons, including a lack of desire and the allure of the labour market. Everyone talks about mental health, but there is no plan in place to assist adolescents who are disconnected from their environment, have lost access to their source of inspiration – such as sports or extracurricular activities – or are in despair. EPCA wants to know what the Government will put in place to address these issues.

Ventilation

“We’ve known for over a year and a half that there is an issue with the air quality in our schools, the situation needs to be addressed. What about air filters?” Katherine Korakakis inquires.

We have been living in a pandemic for nearly two years; we must adapt to this reality and develop a concrete plan to ensure that our children can attend school. Where is the strategy? This wait and see approach serves no one and harms both the school system and our most defenceless population – the children of Quebec.

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For more information contact:

Katherine Korakakis – President

Cellulaire: (514) 668-8672

Courriel: president@epcaquebec.org

About the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)

The English Parents’ Committee Association represents eight Quebec English-language school boards and is the official voice of Quebec’s English public school parent community, representing more than 100,000 students. Speaking with one voice for parents and their children, EPCA represents parent interests in all dealings with the MinistĂšre de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supĂ©rieur (MEES) and across all levels of government.

EVALUATION OF LEARNING 2020-2021

As you know, the 2020-2021 school year began under unique circumstances, and it continues to present a variety of challenges for both school staff and students. Adjustments have been made to the requirements for the evaluation of learning that normally apply so that attention can be focused on supporting students in their learning. In this document, you will find information on the modifications that have been made to the report card.

Report cards and communication with parents

The number of report cards you will receive during the 2020-2021 school year has been reduced from three to two in order to allow more time for remedial activities and additional learning.

The report card that you would normally receive on November 20 will not be issued this year, on an exceptional basis. You will, however, receive two full report cards. They will provide you with all the information you need to support your child throughout the year, if required. To assist you in this regard, the usual parent-teacher meetings will take place, whether in person, virtually or by phone. The first written communication will still be provided, but schools have until November 20 to issue it.

In preschool

If your child attends preschool, the teacher will assess their overall development based on observations made throughout each term. This assessment will be communicated to you in the two report cards, which will include a grade explained by a legend.

If your child attends full-time kindergarten for 4-year-olds, the teacher will determine the methods by which to communicate with you about your child’s development.

In elementary and secondary school

If your child attends elementary or secondary school, their teachers will send you two full report cards: marks will be provided for each of the subjects and competencies indicated. For example, marks for English Language Arts will be presented in the first term report card as follows.

Questions ? and answers 

?? Will the changes to the report card affect my child’s admission to CEGEP?
✅ No. CEGEPs will be able to access all the necessary data. The first report card, issued in January, will be complete: all the subjects and competencies listed will have been evaluated. This report will count for 50% of the school year.

?? My child is enrolled in distance learning for medical reasons and must complete a workplace internship. How will my child’s learning be evaluated?
✅ The internship that your child is required to undertake is essential for successfully completing their program of study. Their success in the program depends largely on demonstrating work-related competencies based on practical training. If your child has medical reasons that do not currently allow them to undertake an internship, the practical component of their training can be suspended temporarily. The educational institution can adjust your child’s schedule to allow them to complete the practical component later. Once your child is back at school, they can complete their internship or training in the workplace in order to obtain their certificate.

??My child is enrolled in distance learning for medical reasons. How will their learning be evaluated and what will the report card look like?
✅ The results on every student’s report card are based on evaluation methods and tools that their teachers feel are appropriate. Your child will receive the same type of report card as students who attend school in person.

?? My child’s learning is normally assigned a letter grade (A, B, C or D) in their report card, based on the expectations set for them. Do the changes to the report card apply in this case?
✅ The changes related to the number of terms and the first written communication apply. The other changes do not apply. Therefore, your child’s learning will be graded in the usual way (numbers or letters) based on the expectations set for them. The report card will not include subject marks or group averages, and the usual value assigned to each term to calculate the student’s final mark does not apply. Like all children with an individualized education plan that modifies learning expectations, your child is not required to write ministerial exams.

For More Information:
http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/en/home/


Applauding Parents On Councils And Service Centre Boards

The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) and the Quebec Federation of Parents’ Committees (FCPQ) congratulate all parent commissioners who have been elected to their English board council positions, and all parent representatives who have been elected to their respective school service centre boards of directors.

“Parents have spoken. Quebec parents have stood and been counted,” says EPCA President Katherine Korakakis.

With elections held across the province, and voted in by their peers, parents have reason to celebrate. “Their voices have never been stronger, more united or more crucial to governance of our school network,” says Korakakis. “Parents who have worked in their schools as volunteers and in leadership roles, will lend their expertise, energies and independent voices honed over years at different levels of governance.”

“Hats off to the parents of students who have decided to take up the challenge of serving on the network’s first boards of directors” says FCPQ President KĂ©vin Roy. “A special thank you to the parents who are taking up the positions of chair and vice-chair of the boards of directors and whose leadership will guide these new bodies. Parents have taken their place and responded present!”

Parent governance is a core value at the heart of Quebec’s education system, and reflected in the elected parent positions on councils, boards, parent committees, special needs advisory committees and more. From governing boards and parent committees to councils, service centres, and in all interactions with the Ministry of Education, parents are looked to for their credible voices at all tables and applauded for their commitment to community.

“Parents with hours and hours of volunteer work accumulated in their schools, as well as parents with wide variety of expertise who are newly engaged in school bodies will work side-by-side with the interests of students at heart,” says Roy, adding that former parent commissioners are bringing their experience to new directors, committee chairs are passing their torch to the next generation and presiding over school service centres, and parents involved in special needs advisory committees are ensuring that these students’ voices are heard.

English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)
The English Parents' Committee Association represents eight Quebec English-language school boards and is the official voice of Quebec’s English public school parent community, representing almost 100,000 students.

Quebec Federation of Parents’ Committees (FCPQ)
For more than 45 years, the FCPQ has been bringing together Quebec’s parent committees and supporting parents who are concerned about parental involvement in public primary and secondary schools to ensure the quality of education offered to children.

Minister Of Education Declares Three Days On The School Calendar As ‘Planning Days’ For Teachers

Dear parents,

As you may have heard, the Minister of Education has declared that three days on the school calendar this year will be designated as ‘planning days’ for teachers.

This is a significant announcement, and the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) is applauding this move to ensure teacher training, particularly in online learning, which has become a key concern of parents and stakeholders since the beginning of the pandemic.

Each school board will determine which three days in their school calendar work best for them, but we feel that the days devoted to professional training is good news for our children, as is the announcement of daycare considerations. If your child cannot stay home alone and must attend daycare during these planning days, they can, and the government will cover the costs. Parents do not have to pay for it.

The training is expected to help teachers – the central resources in the entire educational system – to perfect their skills and help equip them to make the swift transition to online learning in the event of another round of complete school closures. This is a solid investment in our system and in our students, helping bridge the gap between teachers and their abilities to teach online, to maintain the continuity of our children's education.

Teachers are the key, and it is imperative that these three days are offered to them so that they can get the support and training they require to support our children, without parents having to scramble for childcare options.

The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) will continue to faithfully represent parent interests as the official voice of parents in the English public school system, bring that unwavering commitment to all representations with all levels of government and our educational partners.

Stay safe, and we wish you and your children continued success in the school year.

Sincerely,

Katherine Korakakis,
President