Report of the Meeting with the DEM

 

Dear ACPEQ members and friends,

I am pleased to give you news on our meeting with the DEM (Direction de l’enseignement à la maison) concerning the following documents they recently sent to several families:

1- THE STATUS REPORT AND THE MID-TERM REPORT (SR)
2- THE PORTFOLIO SUBMITTED TO THE MINISTER (PF)

The meeting was very cordial. The director, Mrs. Kelly, was accompanied by three co-workers (Audrey, Isabelle and Manon). We submitted our concerns to them with respect to certain points contained in the two above-mentioned documents.

Our discussion, during which we had an open exchange of information, lasted almost two hours. We were then introduced to several ‘follow-up officers’ whose mandate is to work with families. They can provide you with support services if you wish. If, however, you are facing a delicate situation with your follow-up officer, do not hesitate to contact us. We will guide and support you in your dealings with the DEM.

Our meeting assuredly gave us the opportunity to establish a stronger working relationship between the DEM and ACPEQ.

We began by hailing the DEM’s work of informing parents. We particularly liked the fact that there is only one resource person per family, and that there are several ways to transmit the status report and the mid-term report. Also, we appreciate that the DEM’s documents use terms such as “brief” and “short” when referring to the reports that are to be submitted. In our opinion, this indicates a willingness on their part to avoid increasing the burden placed on homeschooling families.

We suggested that some of the wording in the documents be modified in order to properly reflect their expectations, with a view to being less restrictive and allowing more latitude and creativity for children and parents. This would more accurately reflect the homeschooling reality.

We are confident that we have been heard, and are hopeful that modifications will be made to the documents. At the very least, we have mutually agreed on the meaning of certain aspects contained therein.

For example, in the ‘SR’ document, where there is mention of approximate time or duration, we agreed that the concept of overall time is adequate and that it is not necessary to be more precise.

For example, in the ‘PF’ document, where non-statutory obligations were being presented with words such as ‘should’ or ‘must’, we clearly expressed our disagreement. It seems that the document could be modified in order to better reflect the expectations of the DEM, and to present these ideas as interesting suggestions that a parent could consider including in a portfolio.

The following is a comment by the DEM which clarifies their expectations regarding the ‘PF’ document: ‘The PF must enable the assessment of a child’s learning progress’. We understand that this is eminently part of the DEM’s mandate. I would like to insert here that the follow-up officer who was present at the meeting had very positive comments regarding parents who had already submitted their SR using the template proposed by HSLDA and ACPEQ. Our thanks go to Jean Landry who worked countless hours last summer.

We sincerely feel that the DEM has demonstrated an openness to having a collaborative relationship with ACPEQ. We commit to representing you in a positive and constructive way, always having the best interests of our children, as well as your best interests, in mind. We seek to maintain an attitude of openness and collaboration.

I would like to thank the following individuals who accompanied me and actively participated in the meeting: Julie Charette, Thamara Jeudi and Louise Frazer, as well as Sylvie Crasci and Megen Zelinka, HSLDA Legal Counsel, for their contribution to our preparation. I also want to thank all the parents who contacted us to share useful information and to let us know about their concerns as we navigate these new waters.

‘The whole (of our Association) is greater than the sum of each of its parts (i.e., its members)’, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Mat.18:20, KJV

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4: 13, ESV

Thank you for your prayers. May you be blessed, and please continue to contact us with your concerns.

 

ACPEQ is composed of dedicated volunteers who generously invest their time and talents to advance and support the cause of homeschooling.

A large number of volunteer families within ACPEQ is essential to enable us to offer the services that support homeschooling, improve support for members, and create a welcoming atmosphere in our association. A wide volunteer base is what will permit us to influence the next generation of homeschooling families. Be involved – become an ACPEQ volunteer.

 

Patrice Boileau, Eng., MBA
Spokesperson
ACPEQ
patboileau@acpeq.org