The LCEEQ Strategic Plan 2013-2016 identifies as one of its four goals: To foster active participation of all members and to conduct a regular review of its purpose and processes. The Annual Seminar which took place on April 22-23, 2015 was designed to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments, to evaluate short and long term goals, and to provide direction to address the needs of the English educational community.
Kate Le Maistre, Chair of the Advisory Board on English Education (ABEE) was invited to open the two-day session with the presentation: “Responding to the requests of the new Minister – LCEEQ’s recommendations to ABEE”. She reported that Minister François Blais has posed two questions for ABEE to respond to:
- What are the best practices and winning conditions that lead to student success and retention in the English sector?
- How can reading and writing comprehension levels be raised in both English and French to promote the retention of English speaking graduates in Quebec?
She took this opportunity to have members of the LCEEQ reflect on these two important issues and to provide recommendations for consideration in the brief that ABEE will prepare for the Minister.
Cindy Finn provided a review of the events of the two-year cycle to be completed in June 2015 with a presentation entitled: “Revisiting Contexts”. She summarized the work that had been done during her mandate as LCEEQ Chair. Her presentation was followed by the announcement of the membership and the results of the process to name the directors of LCEEQ as a not for profit corporation for the next two year cycle:
Chair: Cindy Finn Lester B. Pearson School Board
Vice-Chair: Deb Foltin Littoral School Board
Former Chair: Marian Lothian Western Quebec School Board
Members: Tino Bordonaro English Montreal School Board
Sandra Furfaro English Montreal School Board
Gail Somerville Riverside School Board.
These individuals along with Non-voting members,
Chantal Beaulieu Assistant Deputy Minister of Education
Lise Langlois and Christie Brown Secteur des services au Anglophones, aux autochtones et aux communautés culturelles (SSAACC) of the Ministry
John Ryan, LCEEQ Coordinator
will form the Steering Committee which assists the Chair in the completion of her responsibilities.
The focus for the afternoon of the first day was Strategic Goal III: “To determine professional development needs and delivery models to meet the needs of the English educational community.” Elizabeth Therrien Scanlan, Chair of the Professional Development Subcommittee (PDSC), provided a report on the various activities that took place during the year. Following the presentation the members were given the opportunity to examine some of the ongoing LCEEQ projects to determine if these should be extended over the next two-year cycle. It was agreed that the John Killingbeck Teacher Administrator Scholarships, the Research and Development Grants Project, the Youth CEGEP Transition Project, and the PD Subsidy Project should all be continued. The necessary documentation will be revised and published on the LCEEQ website in a timely manner.
The second day opened with a presentation by Leo La France, former Assistant Deputy Minister who addressed the topic: “Why create a Leadership Committee for English Education in Quebec?” – A historical perspective. Given that the LCEEQ was created during his term in office he provided the rationale for creating the Committee and reviewed the accomplishments over the first six years of its existence. He posed two critical questions as the work of the Committee moves forward:
- How do you continue to bring a collective voice to the Ministry while maintaining the orientations of the group you represent at the table?
- How do you ensure that the LCEEQ remains a think tank that allows for a sharing of ideas and plans to support the English educational community?
The presentation was followed by an examination of Strategic Goal I: “To be a visionary and strategic body that advises and influences decisions regarding English education in Quebec”
Members were invited to do a Critical Thinking Analysis on the following statement contained within the strategic plan actions to be undertaken:
- It remains our collective responsibility to ensure that we stay informed and involved to ensure that our voice is heard and that our needs are addressed;
- Important objectives are to (B) establish mechanisms that facilitate communication with the English-speaking education community;
- To establish strategies that support our effective participation in education matters from the onset of pedagogical change.
The final presentation of the two-day session was made by Chantal Beaulieu, Assistant Deputy Minister who addressed the topic: “Interfacing with LCEEQ as ADM and the challenges of today’s educational context for the English sector”. She highlighted a number of challenges including changes in the structure of the Ministry (returning to one Minister for all levels), budget compressions, school governance, and the ongoing need to provide successful educational experiences for all students.
The presentation set the stage for the review of Strategic Goal II: “To be effectively involved with the Ministry throughout the development of policies, program elaboration, resource development, implementation, and evaluation, so as to ensure quality education for all learners in the English sector while advocating for timely delivery of the same.”
Members were divided into discussion groups around the following themes:
- Student services
- Programme Delivery
- Adult/Post-Secondary programmes
- Professional Development
- Technology in the classroom
Each group made recommendations which will form the basis of discussions and actions in the year to come.
Cindy Finn, LCEEQ Chair, thanked the participants for their efforts throughout the annual review and informed them that the Steering Committee would be reviewing the outcomes of the deliberations and recommendations and returning to the June meeting with a plan of action for consideration for 2015-2016.