Appointment of the Minister of Education

Montreal, October 20, 2022 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) would like to take this opportunity to not only congratulate Bernard Drainville on his appointment to the position of Minister of Education, but also offer our complete cooperation to him on matters pertaining to public education in Quebec.

Katherine Korakakis, the President of EPCA, is looking forward to maintaining her positive relationships with both the CAQ Government and the education spokespersons of the parties that are in opposition to the CAQ. Ms Korakakis states: “I want to wish Mr. Drainville and the education spokespersons for the QLP, the QS, and the PQ the best of luck as they begin their work for their respective parties! During this mandate, we will continue to serve as the voice of English-speaking parents in Quebec and will insist that educational services and resources be provided to all children in a manner that is tailored to the need of each individual student. A further one of our goals will be to instill confidence in the responsibilities that parents play in order to help parents become active members in school governance and the education of their children and ensure that our English parent community continues to thrive and have equitable access to resources.”

Ms. Korakakis is interested in having a conversation with the incoming Minister as soon as possible about the concerns that are important to parents.

-30-

Newsletter Vol. 29

Dear Parents,

As we enter the third and final stage of the school year, I hope you are well and looking forward to the accomplishments that lie ahead. It's a pleasure to communicate with you as we navigate this critical period together.

You should have received your child's report card before the Easter holiday. As we approach the home stretch, it is critical to stay informed and engaged, especially as Ministry exams approach. These assessments are crucial in determining our students' progress and ensuring they are adequately prepared for the next academic phase.

In addition to academic updates, the Ministry of Education recently released the Education Dashboard. It is a powerful tool that provides our network with insightful data. Access to comprehensive data allows us to better understand our strengths, identify areas for improvement, and tailor our strategies to meet our students' diverse needs.

The detailed study of Bill 47 to strengthen student protection was completed during the same period. I am pleased to report that some of our recommendations have been incorporated into the measures outlined in the Bill. This reinforces our commitment to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all our students.

Furthermore, I am pleased that the government of Quebec provided clarification on the provision of information to English-speaking parents whose children attend English schools. This development demonstrates our ongoing efforts to ensure that all parents, regardless of linguistic background, have access to critical resources and support.

As we approach the end of the academic year, let us continue to work together to support our children's growth and development at all times. Thank you for your unwavering commitment and partnership in creating a better future for our students.

Warm regards,

Katherine Korakakis


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.

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

Many thanks to the 13,000 participants who took part in the national survey on the impact of social crises on the well-being of Quebec families! We will unveil the results of the survey on February 13 at 12pm. Join us! https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89306365629?pwd=alZyWHEveTR2dzJTQ0d4SlpZQStCdz09

Newsletter Vol. 26

Dear parents, 

I hope you and your loved ones had a restful and enjoyable holiday season. I am relieved that 2024 commences with the return of our children to school and the conclusion of the strike. The Minister and the Ministry consulted EPCA regarding a back-to-school strategy, and we specified: 

  • That the weight of the ministry exams needed to be lowered; 
  • That LEARN Quebec must be included in the partners that the Ministry is awarding extra funding to in order to meet the needs of our community; 
  • That effective and transparent communication between parents and the school team is crucial for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities the student may have and that it may not be possible to immediately identify these vulnerabilities; therefore, until the end of the school year, it will be crucial to modify the resources provided to each student in accordance with their changing requirements.

Some important notes for parents: The ministerial examinations, originally planned to take place at the end of the holiday season, have now been rescheduled to occur between late January and early February. Please visit this link for complete dates. As well, the deadline for the second report card of the year has been moved to March 28 instead of March 15, 2024. Finally, the weighting of these ministerial end-of-year examinations has reverted to the percentages established during the pandemic: 10% for final results at the conclusion of elementary and secondary 1-3, and 20% for secondary 4-5. 

I’d like to also note that the Minister of Education's directive banning cell phones in the classroom came into force on December 31, 2023, with exceptions provided for pedagogical, health, or special needs reasons. EPCA, however, does not believe that the Directive goes far enough, that the measures are punitive in nature, and the underlying behaviours and addiction are not addressed. We will continue to advocate for more to be done on this issue, especially with respect to combating cellphone addiction in youth. 

In closing, I’m happy to present this issue of the newsletter which will deal with homework and strategies parents can use with their children. Take care and enjoy the month ahead! 

1 2 3 21