Bill 101 framed the fundamental language rights in the province of Quebec. The “Charter of the French Language” made French the language of government and the law. Today, French is the normal everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce and business within the province. As such, the Charter restricts the language of educational instruction for all children (from kindergarten to high school) with some exceptions. Children who have English language eligibility are the only ones permitted to attend English language instruction within the province.
Given the legal restriction to freely choose educational instruction, the Charter of the French Language takes into account the plight of some of the province’s special needs students. Through the psychological evaluation and supporting documentation, the student must demonstrate that they fall under one of the three classifications of serious learning disabilities, as defined by the Charter, that qualifies for an exemption to the Charter of the French Language. For detailed information on the regulation regarding the exemption to the Charter of the French Language, click here.
- What Documents Do I Need?
- How Do I Apply for English Language Eligibility?
- Where Do I Submit the Documents?
- Will Siblings Also Qualify for Eligibility?
What Documents Do I need?
Applying for English Language schooling is not an easy process. It takes take time and requires a detailed and comprehensive psychological evaluation. In addition to the psychological evaluation, you must have all the necessary supporting documentation from your child’s school that confirms the presence of your child’s academic challenges. Without these documents, the chance of getting eligibility is virtually impossible.
The supporting school documents must indicate the nature of your child’s challenges, the extent of the academic delays, as well as the intervention and remediation services your child has received. Added to this, your child must have documented academic delays of at least one year or more. Unfortunately, retention (repeating the year) is most often viewed as evidence of an academic delay.
How do I Apply for English Language Eligibility?
The first step is to contact and schedule a meeting with a neuropsychologist/psychologist who is familiar with the process. The aim of the meeting is to review the school documentation, assess your child’s situation, as well as discuss the overall process and fee.
For the initial meeting, you should bring the following documents: resource (orthopedagogue) reports, individualized education plan (I.E.P, or Plan d’Intervention), teacher comments, as well as the student’s report cards. Any previous assessments and tutoring reports will also be helpful. The consultation session typically lasts an hour and applicable fees apply.
Similar to the neuropsychological evaluation, the assessment for English language eligibility will usually require anywhere from 4-6 hours of testing. (Please refer to Assessments for detailed information on the testing process.)
Where Do I Submit the Documents?
Once the psychological report becomes available, parents should contact the English language school board that their child is zoned for. Arrangements must be made with the school board so that all necessary documents are submitted to the school board’s representative in charge of English language eligibility requests.
Once all documentation are submitted, the child’s dossier is forwarded to the school board’s designated psychologist for review. The psychologist will then determine whether the child’s situation is eligible for an exemption to the Charter of the French Language. Once this file is examined and deemed eligible, the student’s file and request for English language instruction are transmitted to the Ministry of Education, who will then render a decision.
Both the school board and the parents will be informed of the Ministry’s decision. If the request is denied, the family can appeal under humanitarian grounds.
Will Siblings Also Qualify for Eligibility?
Once eligibility is granted, siblings will also be permitted to access English Language schooling. However, this eligibility can not be passed on to future generations of children in the family.