Monday, October 26

School service centers set up despite the pandemic

The shift in school governance is taking shape despite the upheavals caused by the pandemic. The majority (82%) of the boards of directors of the new school service centers, born from the abolition of elected commissioners, were put in place before the deadline of October 15, learned The duty.

These data are taken from a survey conducted by the Fédération des centers de services scolaire du Québec (FCSSQ) among its 61 members. Of 49 respondents, 40 had filled all the positions on the new boards of directors. Those that have not been completed have only a handful of members to name.

“We were apprehensive, given the context of the pandemic, but we are quite happy with the results,” said Jacky Tremblay, interim president and CEO of the FCSSQ.

These boards of directors were born of Bill 40, adopted in January under the gag order. This controversial law abolished school boards (and commissioners elected by universal suffrage) and replaced them with school service centers run by boards of 15 people from three groups: five parents, five school staff. schools and five community members. The chairman and vice-chairman of boards must be parents.

The first meetings of these boards of directors must take place this week, before October 23, indicates Jacky Tremblay. The meetings will be public, recalls the CEO of the FCSSQ.

“Acclimatization period”

Most boards are appointed, but are the directors ready? It is quite a challenge to administer organizations that oversee the hiring of staff, manage buildings (including maintenance, expansions and new construction) and school transportation, as well as child care and child care. distribution of pupils on the territory, in particular.

“There will be a period of acclimatization,” says Jacky Tremblay. They are new actors [du réseau de l’éducation]. There is the whole challenge of creating a group synergy. I am convinced that the boards of directors will find their rhythm and their methods to make the best decisions in the interest of the students. “

A training program for board members was produced by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the National School of Public Administration (ENAP). It will be distributed to service centers by mid-November, says Tremblay.

This transformation of school governance comes by chance at a time of upheaval in the education network: schools closed their doors in mid-March due to the pandemic, and some (outside of Greater Montreal) opened in June. The school network must also manage this fall health measures, temporary closures of classes or schools due to outbreaks, distance education …

The setting up of boards of directors has been postponed due to this crisis. “It was an extremely difficult time [lors du printemps]. We drove during the day, at night and on weekends. It caused a lot of questioning in the network, but it seems to have been resolved, ”says Jacky Tremblay.

The board of directors of the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM, the largest in Quebec) is also being set up, after a dispute between the Parents’ Committee and management over the nomination process. ” […] the Ministry of Education considers valid the designation of the parent members to the board of directors of the CSSDM, as carried out on September 29th, “said the Service Center.

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