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Meeting with the DEM summary

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AQED’s Board and Direction had a meeting with the DEM yesterday, November 9th, 2020. In addition to our review of specific members’ cases, here are the main points that might be of interest to you:

  • There are now more than 12,000 homeschooled children.
  • Sending bulk emails from resource people is not an encouraged practice. If you receive a bulk standard email from your resource person, you can wait for them to write to you individually or you can write to them yourself to find out if you are really concerned by the email before making any changes.
  • The request to “describe activities” is to ensure that the resource person can make the link between the resource and the competency: for example, reading a book with your child and discussing what he has learned can cover the skill “appreciating literary works” in addition to the skill “reading a variety of texts”. In the event of a misunderstanding, the DEM encourages telephone discussions between families and their resource person to clarify requests and to better understand each other. Resource people should accept verbal improvements of the learning project. They should not ask systematically for a rewrite of the learning project. In case of difficulty, do not hesitate to contact AQED support ([email protected]).
  • They reiterated that you are not required to follow the Québec progression of learning (QPL), although the contents of the Québec program should be addressed at least in part.
  • When a resource person makes a request to modify a submitted document, there are several options: the resource person can agree with the family on a deadline to make the adjustments (one week, two weeks, etc.) without official consequences OR the resource person may issue an official notice / letter of non-compliance. In the event of a notice of non-compliance, the parent has 30 business days to submit their corrections.
  • If the DEM “closes” a child’s file, it will notify the school board that the child is no longer exempt from school attendance. It is then the responsibility of the school board to ensure that the child fulfills his/her obligation to attend school, therefore that he/she goes to school. We have emphasized that using the threat of “removing the right to homeschool” is not a constructive and collaborative practice.
  • For children who need it, the CAPS program is an option to consider and may be suggested to you by your resource person. More specific monitoring will then be put in place. It is important to discuss the program with your resource person in order to properly identify the pros and cons of choosing this program.
  • The possibility of taking ministerial exams in English when the family does not have a certificate of eligibility for English as a first language has not yet been resolved. We don’t know, as of today, if that will be possible. This is a worrying fact. We will continue our requests for clarification in this regard and the DEM is working on the matter.
  • The issue of support (textbooks, resources, professionals) from school boards, including preparation for ministerial exams and access to diplomation, varies greatly from one school board to another. This is also an issue on which AQED is active. If you have difficulties with your school board, you can let us know at [email protected].ca so that the DEM can intervene.
  • The DEM also informed us that they are working on different ways to better support parents. We suggested that the DEM could play a role in the process of certifying secondary studies.
  • We will meet the DEM again in the coming days to discuss the assessment process by the holder of a teaching certificate.