Deciding where to send their children to school is never an easy choice for parents to make, and in Quebec the nuances that come into play around language can make it even more difficult.
The New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) is very aware of the significance parents place in selecting a school for their children, and of the complexities parents who are eligible to send their children to English schools are facing. In an attempt to better understand the decisions parents are making, the NFSB has launched a survey for parents who have decided to enroll their children in a French school. Available online and in hard copy, the goal of the survey is simply to determine if there is something the NFSB could be doing differently to impact this critical decision.
“We are not doubting parents or casting blame,” says NFSB Chairman, Mr. David D’Aoust, of the motive behind the survey. “There is a gamut of reasons behind the decision parents make, and we just want to know more,” he adds, before acknowledging he himself chose to send his children to a French school.
“Parents can be very vocal when they want their school board to do more, and we want to hear from them.”
Bilingual versus immersion
Figures recently released by Statistics Canada claims Quebec’s English school boards are losing one third of possible enrollment to the French system. If this is the case, the English system is looking at a challenging future.
“We have been asked many times why we don’t offer a French immersion program,” says Mr. D’Aoust, who admits the NFSB has been criticised over this issue. “We are very proud of our bilingual program. It has produced great results,” he maintains, before noting the NFSB is also looking at some “major planning down the road.”
There is no doubt the communities that feed the NFSB schools are changing, and education is now taken very seriously. “It is parents who drive education,” says Mr. D’Aoust, who suggests it is a good thing parents are now so involved in deciding which school their child or children will attend.
In keeping with a longstanding tradition of consulting with parents, the data collected from the survey will go a long way in helping the NFSB to make future decisions regarding its programs and services. The survey can be accessed online via the NFSB’s Facebook page or website: www.nfsb.qc.ca/questionnaire-from-the-nfsb-council-of-commissioners/. It will remain open throughout the summer.
For more information, or to receive a hard copy of the survey, please contact either Michael Helm, Assistant Director General at 450-691-1440, or Mr. David D’Aoust at 450-264-4996 or 514-210-2898.