EPCA Questions On Report Cards, Mask Policy. Insists on Simultaneous English Rollout

Québec, January 8, 2021 - The English Parents’ Committee Association acknowledges the announcements made by Education Minister Jean-François Roberge today regarding the return to school, along with numerous new support and hygiene measures.

Measures to reduce the weighting of the first report cards will give them less prominence in the students’ overall annual academic record. As it is generally expected that there will be large numbers of report cards reflecting academic difficulties with many students this year, the announced delay and weighting adjustment are worthwhile measures, albeit no panacea, nor much more than cosmetic.

What Quebec parents are clearly asking for is specific information on their children's progress, or lack thereof. A simple number along with possibly vague and standardized, repetitive comments will no longer suffice, particularly during this unprecedented period.

Our children are experiencing exceptional difficulties, and it is imperative that parents have a precise and global portrait of their children's academic accomplishments and challenges, to help them move forward in this difficult year. Parents need to know where their children are at in terms of learning, and it is time for their report cards to reflect that, an initiative that should be implemented and maintained moving forward.

The announcement of a tutoring regime is welcomed, and we expect that this responsibility – handed to the school boards – will be fulfilled rapidly and effectively. We also laud the development of a mobile app to assist students with psychosocial support, an established and increasingly alarming concern.

These measures and initiatives are only effective insofar as they are accessible to, and welcomed by, our children. The rollout of any such tools must be done simultaneously in English and French. On several occasions over the last year, anglophone students have had to wait for equivalent consideration. As EPCA clearly communicated to the Education Ministry today, such a two-tier system will no longer be acceptable. Our children are worthy of identical consideration as others, and we expect this reality to be acknowledged. This is non-negotiable.

Since the earliest days of the pandemic and hygiene measures in schools, we have also made clear our position favoring masks for all. The announcement that students in Grades 5 and 6 will be required to wear masks is a positive one, but we question why they will not be required to wear three-ply procedural masks. Nor do we understand why they will not be supplied with two such masks per day as will be secondary students. This should be addressed in time for elementary students’ return on January 11.

As we send our younger students back to school next week and our secondary students resume their pre-holiday schedule on January 18, we must remain vigilant and ensure that the tools promised by the government and delivered to the boards will get into the hands of our children without delay.

We should all remain focused on student and staff well-being along with our children’s academic success. The English Parents’ Committee Association remains committed and available to assist the network and our educational partners in any endeavours to support Quebec students. As the official voice of parents in the English public-school network, EPCA will continue to be at the forefront of all discussions about our children’s schooling and remains steadfast in support of parents and their children in these trying times.

Food Bank To All Families In Montreal And Surrounding Areas

Membres MOISSON (19) au 22.09.20

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EPCA’s New Year, New Energy

(November 29, 2020) – Montreal, QC

The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) will begin another year with a strengthened and diverse team following its virtual Annual General Assembly held last Saturday.

Seven new directors were elected to the 16-member board, which is the official voice of Quebec’s English public school parent community, representing more than 100,000 students.

This new team represents a welcome break from the past with this unprecedented level of new interest.

English Montreal School Board delegate Katherine Korakakis, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier delegate Ailsa Pehi, were re-elected as President and Vice-President, respectively.

Korakakis, who chairs the Hampstead School governing board and sits on the EMSB Parent Committee executive, says the year's greatest accomplishment was the repairing and building of bridges and new relationships with educational partners. “We worked diligently to keep parents informed of all developments with Bill 40 and COVID as they evolved, and reached more parents than ever before,” she says, adding “throughout the year EPCA’s reach extended beyond its traditional grasp, as we acquired a greater independent voice in the governance discussion.

“With invigorated leadership, a forward-looking vision, and new Strategic Plan,” says Korakakis, “EPCA’s future has never been brighter.”

Pehi agrees. The Laval Senior Academy governing board chair says, “This new autonomy and greater relevance outside the established stakeholder ‘bubble’, has brought new ideas and new strength to our team, as we continue to stake a greater place for parents on all matters of education, against increasing challenges, both political and organizational. From Bill 40 and elections, to all COVID-related matters, including distance learning, transportation and hygiene measures, EPCA was and will continue to be at the table.

“I'm absolutely thrilled that we have so many members who are new to governance, and they are full of energy, creativity, and enthusiasm, ready to take on these increasingly vital roles. Leveraging our new visibility and partnerships with our Francophone counterparts, we have boosted our credibility and empowered our position at various government forums with the relevant political and bureaucratic actors,” she concludes.


For more information contact:
Katherine Korakakis - President
president@epcaquebec.org

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 Kévin 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

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