[lg policy] Canada: Quebec shuts down French private school over partly English curriculum

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 3 14:59:18 UTC 2010

Quebec shuts down French private school over partly English curriculum

  By Jan Ravensbergen, Montreal Gazette July 30, 2010   •Story•Photos ( 1 )

A decision to immediately revoke the operating permit of a private
Quebec elementary school — one that consistently turns out
high-performing, fluently bilingual youngsters — over its
English-language policy triggered Friday a promise of fiery,
unyielding refusal. The Laval-based l'Academie Lavalloise's core
policy of providing 30 per cent English curriculum — from kindergarten
through to the end of Grade 6 — was cited as one factor for the
shutdown by Quebec's education ministry. Under provincial education
regulations, that's forbidden in a French-language primary setting.

Ministry officials sought to shutdown the arts, maths and
language-rich school just three weeks before classes are set to resume
Aug. 23, triggering a "panic" among parents, said Albert DiFruscia,
president of the parents' committee. The timing, he said, makes it
"just impossible" to place the students in other private schools.
DiFruscia said he didn't know whether the school's from-the-start
English policy "is 90 per cent or 10 per cent of the reason" for the
edict, and ministry officials weren't available to say. But the
recently retired, longtime director of the school, David Zakaib vowed
that "the school is not closing." His successor, Veronique Guindon,
was not available as she was tied up in meetings to handle the crisis.

Zakaib's mother founded the private institution 52 years ago as Le
Jardin Rose. The educational approach to math and other fundamentals
taken by the school — and the results consistently achieved — are
"impeccable," he said, citing a steady stream of graduates accepted
into such private secondary institutions as Lower Canada College and
Loyola High School. The school operates without any ministry subsidies
— instead charging a flat-fee, base tuition of $5,150 per student per
academic year, plus busing, cafeteria and other fees as applicable. A
spokesman for Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne said "it's
too early to say" whether the school's doors will be forced closed,
alluding to a series of meetings under way after the school officials
went public with the shutdown.

Other long-standing issues of contention between the ministry and the
school include the qualifications of specialized teachers — such as
dance, gym and arts and crafts instructors. Courchesne is planning to
meet with representatives of the parents' committee Monday, Cedrick
Beauregard said, to lay out their options for moving their children to
other schools. A prepared statement cited "non-respect of certain
requirements of the Regime pedagogique and the Program de formation de
l'ecole quebecoise" as the reason for the school's closure.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Quebec+shuts+down+French+private+school+over+partly+English+curriculum/3344129/story.html#ixzz0vYTaFELF

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