On November 6, 2004, Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy announced the Parent Voice in Education Project / Projet La voix des parents en éducation to give him advice on how to create an independent, representative province-wide parent voice. Twenty parent leaders, chosen to be as representative as possible of the parent constituencies in Ontario, have come together to look at ways to increase parent involvement and participation in the education system at the local, regional and provincial levels.
At this time, we need your input.
We have prepared a discussion paper, intended to give you ideas, points to consider, and possible models to review. It also contains questions on which we would like parents’ input. You will find a link to it below on this page.
In addition, there will be 11 consultation meetings in 8 communities across the province, between February 15 and February 23. Parents are encouraged to attend these meetings if they can.
This information has been circulated to school councils, principals, trustees, district school boards and other people interested in education. The deadline for responses is February 25. I encourage you to visit the different sections of our website to learn more about the Parent Voice in Education Project and about parental involvement.
The input the PVEP receives during this consultation process will be used to write recommendations for the Minister of Education by the end of March.
Among Ontario’s parents is a vast and largely untapped reserve of knowledge and experience. We invite all of you to participate by sending us your ideas and suggestions and we encourage you to attend a meeting in your area. We look forward to hearing from you.
As a parent, you know the vital role you play in the development and education of your children and in the success of Ontario’s schools. The government knows that too. That’s why on December 1, 2005, it introduced a new Parent Involvement Policy.
This new policy will make it easier for all parents to participate in their child’s education and future success. It will also help create a more welcoming environment for parents in the education system and provide more support for increased parent participation.
Based on the input of parents such as you and the work of the Parent Voice in Education Project, the policy lays out the requirements for the Minister of Education, the ministry, the school boards, schools and their staff to create conditions, attitudes and supports for parents to become involved in their children’s education.
As a part of the policy, parent groups will have more control over new communication tools and resources that will help more parents participate fully in the system. There will be resources to help all parents, no matter what their backgrounds, get involved. There will also be training for parents, principals, supervisory officers, ministry staff members and others on how to mobilize and involve parents. Together, these measures will effectively allow for all parents to more fully participate in their child’s education.
To get the ball rolling, the former Education Minister Gerard Kennedy asked the members of the Parent Voice in Education Project to serve as an Interim Parent Involvement Advisory Board. The interim board will make recommendations to the minister on a series of issues raised in the Parent Voice in Education report and the Ontario Parent Involvement Policy.
The interim advisory board held its first meeting on March 5, 2006, and will finish its activities in the near future. The new Provincial Parent Board should be in place before the end of 2006.
I will continue to update you as things progress.
You can also contact the Parent Engagement Office for more information:
Parent Engagement Office
Field Services Branch
Ministry of Education
15th Floor, Mowat Block
Toll Free: 1-800-361-6483