Determine the underlying reasons behind your child’s reluctance towards attending school. 

Children often lack the ability to effectively articulate the difficulties they encounter within the context of school. In contrast, "I hate school!" is a common phrase heard by parents. You can learn more about what's going on and your child's challenges by using this worksheet.
It can be difficult for you as a parent or caregiver when your child turns to you and declares, "I hate school!" or inquires "Do I really have to go?" Their attitudes toward education are rather obvious when this happens. However, the challenging aspect lies in determining the underlying reasons behind your child's emotional state. This four-page worksheet may be utilized as a helpful resource.
Have your child check or circle everything they don’t like about school. Then have them do the same for all the things they do like. 
Afterward, discuss everything your child indicated as a positive and a negative. Examine their emotional experiences and try to understand the reasons behind each of their answers. For instance, "I notice that reading aloud in class is not something you enjoy. Can you tell me more as to why you don't like it?”

 
Make an effort to make a connection between what they like and what they dislike. For instance, "You say you don't like sitting at your desk, but you enjoy recess. Perhaps we can discuss with your teacher what might be helpful for you in class.” Also, if there are specific aspects that go beyond simple preferences into special needs, there are many resources out there – including Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) – which may be beneficial for your child.


This worksheet isn’t here to solve all your child’s feelings about school. But it’s a great way to start an honest conversation with your child about school and how they approach it and their mental well-being. Depending on what you learn, you may want to connect with your child’s teacher or school resources (including guidance counsellors or administration), too. 

Newsletter Vol. 23

Dear Parents,

The new academic year has officially begun, and Governing Boards (GBs) should have been formed at each school by now. Congratulations to all of the newly elected or re-elected parent members.

The GB is an important component of Parent Governance and the educational ecosystem because it is the entity responsible for making decisions at a school. Are you aware of the numerous opportunities and responsibilities that come with having a GB? The more we understand our roles and responsibilities, the more effective and engaged we can be as volunteers. And the more you understand how to hold your school and the GB accountable for educational decisions that affect your child, the better! You can access our parents’ governance manual by clicking here.

Another significant event that is currently taking place is the creation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for your children. These are incredibly important documents that enable educational success for many of our children. EPCA has written a few blog posts to help you make the most of your child's IEP meeting, including how to prepare for conversations about your child's IEP. You can find them here.

EPCA understands that there are many critical issues ongoing for English language education in the province of Quebec. Our Directors - current and incoming - will continue to work with parents, schools, and Government representatives on behalf of English-speaking students across the province of Quebec to best position all children for success. If you have any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us.

Have a wonderful start to fall!
 

Newsletter Vol. 22

Dear Parents,

As we embark on a new school year, we are filled with anticipation, optimism, and a fresh enthusiasm to shape the educational experience for our children.

The beginning of this academic year presents us with a chance to enhance our connections as a community of compassionate and involved parents. Our Association serves as a vital link between home and school, working tirelessly to promote the well-being and academic achievement of our children. Together, we can work hand in hand with educators, administrators, and policymakers to ensure that our schools remain safe, nurturing spaces where children can grow, learn, and flourish.

Let's approach challenges with a sense of determination and resilience, promote communication, and cultivate a strong partnership between parents and teachers. This will create an environment where concerns can be shared, and victories can be celebrated. Together, we can collaborate to improve the quality of education by supporting initiatives that foster creativity, critical thinking, and a global perspective. I strongly encourage you to actively participate in the various events and governance activities that your schools have to offer. In this special issue, we have gathered all the guides we have created, as well as those created by our partners in government and elsewhere, to equip you with the necessary information to actively engage in the educational system.

As we begin this thrilling journey together, it is important to remember that our combined efforts have the potential to create a lasting impact on the lives of our children and the educational landscape of our province. We greatly value your involvement, passion, and dedication, as they are crucial to our collective mission of delivering the highest quality education to the next generation.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all parents and guardians, both new and returning. We are excited to embrace the opportunities and challenges that the new school year will bring. Cheers to a year brimming with growth, learning, and unforgettable moments for our children. Thank you, and let's strive to make this school year truly exceptional!

Press Release: Back-to-school campaign focuses on road safety.

Press Release

Back-to-school campaign focuses on road safety.

The parents' movement invites the public to adopt the yellow sign.

August 21, 2023

Montréal-Québec - To mark the start of the new school year, the Pas une mort de plus movement, along with the English Parents Committee Association (EPCA), is asking citizens to wear and to personalize a school zone signs as a reminder that:

  • Behind this emblem, human lives can be taken all too easily, like those of Anaïs, 11 years old (2018), Jules, 13 years old (2019) and, more recently, Mariia, 7 years old (2022);
  • that road users need to be extra cautious on their school journeys.
  • that political decision-makers must immediately prioritize the safety of children on their way to and from school and take responsibility for this.
  • that it is essential to encourage young people to adopt active modes of transport, without fearing for their lives.

An invitation to school boards and schools

In addition to parents and our allies, we're calling on school boards, schools and daycare centers to follow suit and initiate the creation of personalized yellow signs for staff and children in their care.

Additionally, we call on the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, to endorse the initiative, to ensure a “road-safe” start to the new school year, and to participate in the movement.

To make personalized yellow signs

Consult our tutorial

Information on the movement

Parents and citizens who, in the wake of little Mariia's death in December 2022, have joined forces to call for an end to the unsafe road conditions experienced by children on their way to and from school. We are asking our elected representatives to make changes adapted to the different realities of our communities.

Our actions in 2023

January 24th 

First national mobilization under the theme "La fin de la récré a sonné" ("The recess bell has rung")

March 15

Second national demonstration before the budget is tabled.

April 21st

Partisan press briefing at the National Assembly

Resolutions adopted by some 100 municipalities and MRCs are submitted to the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault.

May 5th

Private meeting of group members with the Minister to demand:

  • An increase in road safety budgets.
  • Implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Mobility Policy to adopt a "zero collision vision";
  • Changes to development standards aimed at a paradigm shift away from the "car-only" approach in favor of the most vulnerable road users, as stipulated in the Highway Safety Code.

For more information

Link to Facebook page

Video

Website:
pasunemortdeplus.org

Montréal

President of the English Parents' Committees Association (EPCA)

Katherine Korakakis

Newsletter Vol. 21

Dear Parents,

As the school year comes to a close, and I reflect back on the past months, I can certainly say that it’s been a year of both highs and lows. EPCA has worked on important topics like road safety, mental health, support for special needs students, tools for parents to help guide them through many aspects of the educational system, and the list goes on.

But our community has also felt the consequences of the new laws put into place by the Quebec government that impact education and English-language rights in this province. EPCA has provided support to parents at the same time as we ourselves have been scrambling to figure out what it all means for our children. However, you can rest assured that EPCA has worked diligently with its government partners, as well as community organizations to help advocate and represent the needs of our community and especially the most vulnerable among us.

As we pause and head towards the summer, I want to wish all students good luck and congratulations for all the hard work you have done this year. For the families, I hope that you enjoy your summer. EPCA's newsletter will be back in August with a special issue all about parent governance to help you start the year off equipped with all the necessary tools and information.

Take care!
Katherine Korakakis

Newsletter Vol. 20

Dear Parents,

Here we are at the home stretch. Summer is right around the corner! It is a time for reflection over a great year for our students and a moment to take a breath as we enjoy the warm weather and the break that is about to come for our children. 

That being said, we at EPCA have not slowed down. We launched a province-wide consultation on Bill 23: An Act to amend mainly the Education Act and to enact the Act respecting the Institut national d'excellence en education. We will compile all the reports we received from our stakeholders and build a comprehensive brief based on what we learn. We will submit this brief to the Minister of education in an effort to ensure that the voice of English parents is heard. 

 In tragic news, a child was struck crossing the street at her school and she remains in critical condition. As we have been doing for the past several months, EPCA will continue to advocate strongly for safe streets around schools. The government must listen! 

This month's newsletter highlights the future of education with the influence of Artificial Intelligence as described in a guest article by our colleague from LEARN. We are also pleased to provide additional resources for parents to help close out the school year and transition into summer school, if necessary. 

In closing, the new student ombudsman law comes into effect on August 28th. EPCA will hold a workshop for parents to explain the new complaints procedure. And finally, our newsletter in August, which will have all the information you will need regarding school governance... look out for that special issue. 

Thank you to all our parents and supporters. Have a great remainder of the school year. 

Press Release: EPCA has been excluded from hearings on Bill 23

May 30th, 2023

Montreal, May 30th, 2023 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) deplores the fact that it has been excluded by the government of Quebec for the parliamentary committee hearings on Bill 23: An Act to amend mainly the Education Act and to enact the Act respecting the Institut national d’excellence en education.


The hearings, which are set to begin in early June, will include only a select group of associations and individuals. All of the associations representing the French parent committees have been invited to participate, but EPCA has been excluded, despite having directly requested to participate.
EPCA represents the majority of the English parent committees in Québec, all of whom will be directly impacted by elements of the sweeping amendments to the education act proposed by the CAQ government. It is important to remember that English School Boards are one of the very few public institutions exclusively managed and controlled by the English-speaking community, so this exclusion is deeply troubling.


“It is very disappointing to not have our voices heard on such an important topic such as this. It is hard to understand why we would be excluded when all the other French parent groups are given to the opportunity to speak,” said EPCA President, Katherine Korakakis.

About the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)
EPCA is a coalition of parent committees from English-language school boards across Quebec and is the official voice of parents of students in Quebec English-language school boards, representing nearly 100,000 students in the youth sector.

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

National Student Ombudsman

Starting August 28, a new way for managing complaints in schools will be implemented across Quebec. This new process will be applied uniformly across Quebec and will replace the complaint examination procedures in place.

The National Student Ombudsman, a new independent organization outside the school network, will oversee implementing this new streamlined complaint procedure.

The National Student Ombudsman will conduct an impartial investigation, adhering to established protocols, to safeguard the rights of students and their parents.

The National Student Ombudsman’s mandate encompasses not only preschool, elementary, and secondary education both in the public and private sector, but also home schooling, vocational training, and adult education.

The revised national procedure will comprise a maximum of three steps and will adhere to the time limits specified in the National Student Ombudsman Act, thus improving its accessibility and simplicity.

3-step procedure

First step: Establish communication with the individual directly implicated or their immediate superior.

Prior to filing a complaint, the student or parent will initiate contact with the individual in question or their immediate superior. It is recommended to maintain a written record of the complaint from the outset, even though it can be communicated verbally, to facilitate the estimation of the processing duration. 

The processing of the complaint must be completed within a period of 10 business days.

Step 2: Speak with the Complaints Officer

If the student or parent is dissatisfied with the outcome of step 1 or if the complaint has not been processed within the time limit specified in the Act, they may contact the individual responsible for handling complaints designated by the school board, or by the private educational institution. This step can be performed verbally. It is recommended that you keep a written record of the actions taken.

The processing of the complaint must be completed within a maximum of 15 business days.

Step 3: involves reaching out to the Regional Student Ombudsman.

If the complaint remains unresolved or exceeds the time limit specified in the Act after Step 2, the Regional Student Ombudsman responsible for the student’s or parent’s region may be contacted. The Regional Student Ombudsman can aid in drafting a written complaint for the student or parent.

The Regional Student Ombudsman must conclude the complaint review and findings within 20 working days. The Regional Student Ombudsman will provide recommendations to the relevant educational institution. The institution will have 10 working days to respond in writing regarding how it will implement these recommendations.

Reporting

Starting August 28, 2023, individuals will have the ability to report incidents of sexual violence against students enrolled in public or private educational institutions. Reports can be generated by various individuals such as teachers, school professionals, employees, educational institution administrators, students, and parents.

Individuals who have observed an incident of sexual violence and desire to file a complaint may directly approach the Regional Student Ombudsman. The Regional Student Ombudsman will promptly handle these reports. The Regional Student Ombudsman will take all necessary steps to ensure that the confidentiality of identifying information is maintained, except with the consent of the person making the report.

Newsletter Vol.19

Dear Parents,

Myself and EPCA have had a very busy month working on your behalf. We are always so happy to be able to work with parents - and on behalf of parents - to advance the priorities of the anglophone parent community in Quebec. Remember to contact us with your ideas on how EPCA can help you and for suggestions for future newsletter topics. Here are some updates on initiatives we discussed in the previous newsletter.

Road safety around schools is critical to all of us. We worked with a group of dedicated parents to organize demonstrations in schools on March 15th. On Friday, 21 April, we also took part in a nonpartisan press conference. Parents presented a binder containing resolutions passed by more than 50 municipalities in Quebec urging the government to increase funding for road safety and make roads more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. We will continue to work hard to send a clear message to the government that road safety is a critical priority for today's parents and hope to gain support from as many municipalities as possible to make real changes in our communities.

On the capacity-building front, we have held workshops for parents on a variety of topics, including Evolving from Colour Blindness, Homework 101, and the transition from Elementary to Secondary school. We also partnered with Canadian Parents for French for a Family Movie Night. We had a fantastic turnout and will continue to offer workshops until the end of the school year, including on topics such as A Parent's Role in their Child's Friendships, Social Media and Internet Safety (check out our Facebook Page) and others listed later in this edition of our newsletter.

As we are nearing the end of the school year, we've focused this issue on keeping our kids engaged and on helping parents understand the ministry exams... what they are, when they occur, and how you can help prepare your child to face this challenge head on. We wish you and your students the best of luck in the coming months!

Answers to Participant Question-Homework 101 Workshop

homework

1. 13, 10, 8, different levels of homework involvement for each child as a single parent. How to manage that?

I’m not sure where you shop but if you go to Walmart, Amazon or anywhere else, perhaps pick out, with the children (those who are interested) a calendar with stickers. They can also buy their own stickers at the dollar store. Every Sunday, you sit down together and plan your week for an hour together. It’s family time, it’s connection time and it’s schedule time. Yes, you may need to cook, clean, have friends over and many other things. SCHEDULE the 1-hour block of this is for us. They schedule what needs to be done and at what times so you can feel more in control. What needs to REALLY be done each night? You aren’t sure, ask each teacher. Tell them that you are struggling with balancing this and would like to know what you should focus on and how to focus on it. Their teachers will be your best resource! The 13-year-old should be able to do their homework on their own. If they are struggling, find out why. What areas are they struggling with? What’s their focus? What do they see/not see? 


2. My frustration is that I feel that his reading level decreases a lot from the day we practice to one
days later. How to help with retention?
 

I am not sure how old your child is but I only started to REALLY understand what I was reading around the age of 23. Are they reading every day for 10-15 minutes? Focused reading, not slouched, on the couch, zoning off into some other place, really focused. If it’s focused reading for 5 minutes because that’s all they are capable of for the moment, take it. And congratulate them. Wow! Good job. You did really great reading during that time! Let’s do something else now. You are trying to get them to create small habits at their young age. Depending on the age, if they get through 3 pages, congratulate them; maybe 4 tomorrow. Small shifts. 


3. I try to help their homework, but they don’t want to do the homework. It seems like I’m doing the homework, not them. How to overcome this issue? 

If you are doing their work, which I’m not there to see what is really happening, but they won’t do it if you are already. It’s easy for them. What I love about what you wrote is that you are obviously VERY involved in what they are doing. Great job! Now, how can you get them more involved? Again, without knowing the children’s ages, it’s difficult to say how much independence the child “should” have but they are capable of doing at least 5 minutes. Every Sunday, plan out your week together. What needs to be done? What needs to be finished later but started now? How much time will that require? Can I just write the introduction the first week? Break it down for them so that they can start SMALL. Again, if it’s ONLY one sentence they can do at a time, go for it! Start shifting those small habits!


4. My daughter will rush through her homework; she will not take her time. How to get them to take their times doing homework? 

This is normal for a lot of kids. If you could rush to get all of your 8-hour workday done in one hour and your boss told you that you can go home and do whatever you want as long as it’s done, would you?What are your concerns about the rushing? Retention? Not caring? Not understanding? Is there proof of this already? Hold old is your daughter and what has her schooling/grades been like so far? How much time are they doing homework? Is 15 minutes enough for their age? Are you setting a timer together? Are they reviewing their work before putting it back in their bag? What habits do you want to be creating and why? Create those. 

5. Homework takes long time, sometimes they forget the book or the material, or the other reads too slow…, how parents can address these issues?

The first thing that stands out to me is the reading too slow. Maybe that’s their pace? And if it is, saying it’s too slow rather than, “Let’s set a goal for this week that you can read this page in 45 seconds instead of a minute?” may deter them. We want to build confidence. Again, I only started to really understand things when I was 23, much too late but nobody if confidence boost and learning for me. The other thing that stands out to me is reminders, and lots of them. Make family habits in the morning, in the car, before leaving for school etc. “What are we doing tonight? What do we need to go over? Is there a test coming up? I love you!” and then off they go. Create these schedule-shifting habits. Is this going to happen 100% before the end of the school year, probably not. But will you get maybe a 5% increase? Possibly. Check-off list that you can print out of all of the books that they are using; you can laminate it and they can check it off every morning with the washable marker to give them a verbal and visual reminder of what needs to be brought home. Remember, they have a HABIT of forgetting and they need to exercise that part of their brain. You’re training the habit.


6. It’s after 7pm by the time we are home and dinner is done – so they are exhausted, how to motivate them to do homework?

That sounds exhausting for you! I would be too tired to do homework at 7, after dinner has settled in my stomach too! What is your schedule like? Where can adjustments be made? Crock pot? Would you rather homework be done between 5 and 7? Depending how old your children are, can work be done at school? Is there a school program? Can one be made? What are the most important things that need to get done? Look at schedules and times and see what can be shifted, added or taken away, (example cooking versus 10-minute dinner prep tonight.)


7. New to French, French as a new subject, my child needs help, ways to help with French?

There are fun apps you can download to help kids learn French in a fun way. I would see if the teacher can do one hour of tutoring after school or at lunch to help your child. There are often older kids in school who are willing to help and get programs going too. At home, watch tv in French for 5 minutes, longer if you can. Ultimately, if you could watch tv in French all the time, that would be great. 


8. Rushing to get to any screen, sometimes rush through the homework to watch TV. How to get them to focus on homework?

It is so hard to set limits, times, rules around all this kind of stuff. What do you feel comfortable with? If you say, only 1 hour of tv per night from 7-8 and everything must be done beforehand properly, do you feel comfortable with that? This is something that you’ll have to see how you feel about it. 


9. Not understanding that learning is important. It is like a chore, annoying chore. How to change their perspective of homework?

First off, find out what they are struggling with. A lot of kids put on masks of “it’s annoying” when really, it’s “Mom, I’m struggling and it’s easier for me to get in trouble and say it’s boring rather than admit that I have no clue what I’m doing”. See if this is happening but tread lightly. Reinforcements? If you can do 4 days of homework consistently, you can stay up an hour later, get a special activity (ice cream) etc. It depends on their age. Kids need and WANT structure. So, if there is an alarm at 4 pm every day and a plate of apples beside it, they’ll get used to that routine. Also, start talking about their dreams and what they want to accomplish in life. What will you need to get that, go there?


10. How to stay involved without micromanaging?

This is hard to understand just by reading as I am not sure what behaviours you are engaging in to lead you to believe this is happening. Again, it’s always about age and capabilities/learned behaviours. Schedules, timers, reinforcements, small increments. Look through all the other questions too. 


11. as they go to high school you do not always receive the same feedback about assignments. Finding time to be consistent with homework assignments. How to do it

You are right, it’s important to be consistent.  What will help you do that? Schedules, timers, calendars, speaking with the teacher weekly. Having the teacher set up an app for the class? Sitting down with your child weekly and seeing what needs to be done and showing them how to schedule their assignments?

12. Not consistent homework practice year over year (teacher to another) makes it hard to develop a habit, how to make it into a habit?

What are your current practices at home? What would you like that to be instead? What would you be comfortable with? Do you need/want to do homework every night? What do you want to implement?


13. How to get my 13-year-old son to stay on top of his homework? I wanted him to be on his own by now; but he still needs me or else he will not study before hand and look at his homework, I
still need to study with him or else he goes from 70 to 40s grades. He rushes through his homework; does the minimal. I try to motivate him by not having his electronics or losing
sports privileges. Not sure what do too anymore.

There’s more going on than just homework. If he still needs you, then he needs you. What other areas of life does he feel he may need you in? Ask him. He may be struggling to learn things. Maybe he has difficulty at school and just isn’t saying anything. Can you set up a meeting with his teacher? What other areas is he struggling? After finding this out, if it’s only homework, then he just isn’t getting it and needs someone else to explain this to him differently because maybe it was just too overwhelming at school to grasp all of the concepts. Is tutoring an option? After school, at lunch, on weekends?