English Parents' Committee Association (EPCA), Montreal, Quebec
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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.

Considerations for the proposed Bill 144

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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

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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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

Récapitulation de réunion de l’ACPA – novembre 2016

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12 novembre 2016 – Assemblée spéciale pour les élections & assemblée générale annuelle

•Lors de l’assemblée spéciale, Rhonda Boucher a été élue par acclamation présidente de l’ACPA (Directrice CSWQ).
•Debie Germann a été élue vice-présidente (Directrice CSNF).
•Suzanne de Jonge a été élue trésorière (Directrice CSEM).
•Le chef d’équipe de chaque comité a été élu(e) comme suit : David Fournier, chef d’équipe du comité des règles et règlementations, Bobbi Brown comme chef d’équipe du comité d’audit interne et Dayo Odubayo comme chef d’équipe du comité de communications.

•Lors l’assemblée générale annuelle, deux discussions principales ont eu lieu – « ACPA avant le projet de loi n°86 et ACPA après le projet de loi n°105 » et « plan d’action 2016-2017 de l’ACPA. »
•Un bref résumé du projet de loi n°86 et la progression du projet de loi n°105 ont été présentés.
•Tous les nouveaux membres de l’ACPA vont recevoir les documents pertinents concernant le travail d’ACPA sur les projets de loi n°86 et n°105.
•La discussion concernant le plan d’action de l’ACPA a généré plusieurs idées : créer un sous-comité consacré aux élèves en difficultés d'adaptation ou d'apprentissage, élaborer et mettre en place une formation universelle pour les conseils d’établissement et de réitérer la conversation sur le problème du faible taux d’inscriptions pour les écoles anglophones.
•Chaque directeur de l’ACPA préparera une carte de leur commission scolaire qui démontre chaque école appartenant à cette commission.

EPCA Meeting Recap – November 2016

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November 12th, 2016 – Special Elections & Annual General Assembly

•At the Special Elections Meeting, Rhonda Boucher was acclaimed as President of EPCA (Director WQSB).
•Debie Germann is elected Vice-President of EPCA (Director NFSB).
•Suzanne De Jonge is elected Treasurer of EPCA (Director EMSB).
•The Lead of each committee are as follows: David Fournier as Lead for Rules and Regulations Committee, Bobbi Brown is Lead of Internal Audit Committee and Dayo Odubayo is Lead of Communications Committee

•At the Annual General Assembly Meeting, two major discussions took place – “EPCA before Bill 86 and EPCA moving forward with Bill 105” and “EPCA’s 2016-2017 Action Plan.”
•A general synopsis of Bill 86 and the progression Bill 105 were given.
•All new EPCA members are to receive all pertinent documents regarding EPCA’s work concerning Bill 86 and Bill 105.
•EPCA’s Action Plan discussion revolved around what EPCA can do for Parent Committees.
•This involved ideas such as creating a subcommittee within EPCA devoted to special needs, coming up with a universal Governing Board Training and raising awareness about decreasing enrolment within English schools.
•The EPCA directors from each school board will prepare a map of all schools within their respective school boards.

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

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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.

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