A 4-year-old girl will not be able to attend the same public school as her older brother after being denied the international education program offered to all students at that school. Her parents consider the situation “unacceptable.”
• Also read: Nursery access tests are still in effect for the public
Sabrina Ouellet and Louis-Michel Langevin live less than 200 meters from the Monseigneur-Robert School in Beauport, Quebec.
His son, Benjamin, who is in his second year of primary school, goes there every morning.
To be admitted, all students in this school that offers the international education program had to pass the selection process, unlike other public schools that offer the same training to all students in the neighborhood.
In December, Mrs. Ouellet accompanies her daughter, Frédérique, to school so that she can take part in a “selection activity” of approximately one hour, in view of her admission to the 5-year-old nursery next year. .
A few weeks later, the mother learns that her daughter is rejected for her behavior and math results.
For parents, the surprise is total. When their son was registered, they were told that places were reserved for the siblings of the students already enrolled.
And her daughter’s teacher – who is in a 4-year-old nursery school at another school – has nothing but good things to say about her.
“My daughter wants to go to the same school as her brother next year, which is ahead, but she can’t. How do I explain this to a four-year-old? says Sabrina Ouellet.
Not just for the neighborhood
The mother denounces an “arbitrary” procedure, as the selection process was not the same for her two children, she says.
This “discrimination” has no place in a public elementary school that should be accessible to students in the neighborhood, he adds.
The Première-Seigneuries service center states that places have priority for siblings, but only after younger siblings have passed the test.
The school service center has chosen to make this particular program accessible to all students in the territory due to the high interest of parents, says its general secretary, Martine Chouinard.
The number of applications for this program is twice the number of places available.
“From the moment I, as a parent, choose to enroll my child in a specific program, you should be aware that another child from the same family may not be admitted. The rules are very well explained, ”says Ms. Chouinard.
An increasingly rare situation
Public schools that pass the tests for admission from kindergarten to the international education program are becoming increasingly rare, according to SÉBIQ, the organization that accredits and supports Quebec schools where this is taught. formation.
Originally, the international education program was designed to be offered to all students, without selection, according to this organization.
A legal practice, according to the Ministry of Education
Nursing tests at a Quebec public school comply with the Education Act (LIP), according to the Ministry of Education.
This is what we can read in an e-mail sent to Sabrina Ouellet, the mother of little Frédérique, after having filed a complaint about it.
A public school that imposes admission criteria on all of its students for a particular educational project must have received ministerial approval to obtain special purpose school status, in accordance with Article 240 of the Education Act.
A single structure
This is not the case with the Monseigneur-Robert de Beauport school.
However, this establishment is part of the École de l’Harmonie, an administrative structure that also includes the École Saint-Édouard, another building located 1.6 kilometers away where the usual program is offered.
In general, it is permitted to offer a special selective program in a public school as long as the regular program, accessible to all, is also offered.
Administratively, the Monseigneur-Robert building and the Saint-Édouard building are part of the same school, the Harmony building, which legalizes this type of practice, according to the Ministry of Education.
Little Frédérique was therefore accepted to the École de l’Harmonie, but in the usual program of the Saint-Édouard pavilion.
“step by step”
His parents see it as an administrative game to put into practice a practice they question.
They hope to mobilize other families in the area so that this school becomes a neighborhood school again, as was the case when Louis-Michel Langevin walked there every morning when he was little.
For its part, the service center of the Première-Seigneuries school responds that parents can decide to send their two children to the Saint-Édouard school, in the usual program, if they want them to attend the same establishment.