School Board contacts, policies, forms, and responses

See the page on School Board Policies for important information about your rights and what to watch out for. If you're already well-informed, you can skip directly to the list of school boards to find yours by alphabetical order.

School Boards — W to Y

Waterloo Catholic District School Board - WCDSB

A, Box 91116
35 Weber Street
Kitchener ON N2G 4G2

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 578-3660
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (519) 578-5291
General Email: info@wcdsb.ca
Website:
www.wcdsb.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Learning responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Senior Administration & Department Organizational Charts (About Us > Our Administration > Director of Education & Senior Administration) lists each superintendent's name, family of schools, and areas of responsibility, and their name links to their email address. Above the list of staff names is a link to the Board Organizational Chart. You can click on it to see more specifically which schools are in each family of schools, headed by which superintendent.

WCDSB letter of intent

The WCDSB notification form is an acceptable version to use, as it is similar to PPM131's appendix B.

WCDSB letter of reply

The WCDSB letter of reply is similar to PPM131's appendix C. It indicates that a copy of PPM131 is enclosed. If they include the appendices, please be sure you understand you are not being asked to fill out more forms, simply being given a copy of the entire policy document FYI.

WCDSB policy/procedure

Their Board Policies & Administrative Procedures page (About Us > Our Governance > By-Laws, Policies and Administrative Procedures) lists Home Schooling under Administrative Procedures > Operations, as APO014 - Home Schooling. It includes:

Of positive note in their Procedure document, under Legislation:

d) "Satisfactory instruction" is not defined in The Education Act or its Regulations. Nor have the courts defined it.

and:

f) Home schooling is a choice any parent may make for a child. A board has no power to deny the exercise of this choice.

and, under Board Investigation of Home Schooling, they include a part of PPM131 that most boards omit, which is about The Role of Home-Schooling Support Associations in an Investigation. They list the OFTP along with the other groups mentioned in PPM131:

When the School Superintendent is conducting the investigation, a member of a recognized support group for parents who provide home schooling may be present. These support groups include the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents, the Ontario Christian Home Educators' Connection, the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada, and the Catholic Home Schoolers' Association–Ontario

Nevertheless, there are certain cautions:

CAUTION:
- omission (explicit recognition that homeschooling can differ from school education)
- outdated information ("Long Term Care Act")
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("must" provide the local LHIN with a letter from the school board)
- misleading wording (inquiries out of context of investigations)
- the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself

Waterloo Region District School Board - WRDSB

51 Ardelt Ave
Kitchener ON N2C 2R5

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 570-0003
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (519) 742-1364
General Email: info@wrdsb.ca
Website:
www.wrdsb.ca

The board's webpage on Student Achievement and Well-Being (About > Senior Team Roles & Responsibilities > Student Achievement and Well-Being) lists each superintendent's name, phone, email, responsibilities, family of schools, and assistant's name and email. There is one superintendent whose responsibilities include "Home Instruction/Independent Learning Centre (ILC)/Home Schooling." Send the letter of intent to the assistant named on the same line as that responsibility. Click on their name to get their email address.

WRDSB letter of intent

The WRDSB notification form is an acceptable version to use, as it is similar to PPM131's appendix B. You can also just use PPM131's sample: OFTP has a standalone version of it, removed from the other appendices and with the word "sample" removed.

WRDSB letter of reply

In the procedure documents made available through their website, there is no sample of how they reply, but actual response letters received by parents show they do have a template they follow. It acknowledges receipt of the homeschooling notification, states the child is excused under section 21(2)(a) of the Act because of receiving satisfactory instruction at home, and mentions available access to EQAO testing.

CAUTION:
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("must" complete a Notice of Intention in each subsequent year)
- omission (doesn't mention PPM131 nor supply a copy of it or link to it)

WRDSB policy/procedure

The board's webpage on Procedures (About > Policies and Procedures > Procedures) lists Home Schooling as Administrative Procedure AP 1180 – Home Schooling (includes appendix for investigations) and links to two versions of their letter of intent form:

CAUTION:
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("required")
- omission (recognition of how homeschooling can differ from school education)
- outdated information (CCAC, Long Term Care Act, "child" in section 21)
- the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself

Of positive note, however, is that they do include a part of PPM131 that most boards omit, which is about The Role of Home-Schooling Support Associations in an Investigation. They list the OFTP along with other groups mentioned in PPM131:

6.5 The Role of Home Schooling Support

When the board designate is conducting the investigation, a member of a recognized support group for parents who provide home schooling may be present. These support groups include the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents, [emphasis added] the Ontario Christian Home Educators’ Connection, and the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada.

Wellington Catholic District School Board

75 Woolwich St
Guelph ON N1H 6N6

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Toronto and Area Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 821-4600
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (519) 824-3088
General Email: generalinquiries@wellingtoncdsb.ca
Website:
http://www.wellingtoncdsb.ca/

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education if you know which one is assigned to your school. Their Board Administration webpage (Board sub-menu) lists the superintendents’ name, phone, email (but not which schools they're assigned). If you don't know which is your assigned superintendent, you can send the letter of intent to the general contact email or mailing address and leave it to them to forward to the appropriate superintendent.

Wellington CDSB letter of intent

Since there is no board-specific letter of intent form on their site, you can use a standard letter of intent or OFTP's alternative template.

Wellington CDSB letter of reply

On their website, there is no sample of how they reply, but actual response letters received by parents show they do have a template they follow. It acknowledges receipt of the homeschooling notification, states the child is excused under section 21(2)(a) of the Act because of receiving satisfactory instruction at home, mentions available access to EQAO testing, and encloses a copy of PPM131. It also adds a misleading sentence about yearly notification.

CAUTION:
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("required")

Wellington CDSB policy/procedure

Their Board > Policies page doesn’t list anything for Home Schooling. We hope this means they follow PPM131 directly. The only cautions, beyond the above, are therefore the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself. However, if you receive a policy document from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board - WECDSB

1325 California Ave
Windsor ON N9B 3Y6

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 253-2481
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (519) 253-8397
General Email: none
Website:
www.wecdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Executive Superintendent of Education - Student Achievement, who is the one responsible for Home Schooling. The board's webpage on Senior Administration (About > Departments > Senior Administration) lists superintendents’ name, phone, email, and includes a Family of Schools and Duties folder that contains link to several pdf files. The file that indicates Home Schooling as a responsibility is titled Superintendent Portfolios. There's another file that shows Superintendent Family of Schools, which would be where you would look if there was not a designated superintendent for Home Schooling.

WECDSB letter of intent

Since there is no board-specific letter of intent form on their site, you can use a standard letter of intent or OFTP's alternative template.

WECDSB letter of reply

On their website, there is no sample of how they reply, but actual response letters received by parents show that they use PPM131 appendix C as their template. However, the add a misleading sentence about yearly notification.

CAUTION:
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("required")

WECDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies webpage (Board sub-menu) doesn’t list anything for Home Schooling. We hope this means they follow PPM131 directly. The only cautions, beyond the above, are therefore the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself. However, if you receive a policy document from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

York Catholic District School Board - YCDSB

320 Bloomington Rd W
Aurora ON L4G 0M1

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (905) 713-2711 or 416-221-5051
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (905) 713-1272
General Email: contact form (without attachment capabilities)
Website:
www.ycdsb.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education - School Leadership who is responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Senior Administration (About > Senior Administration) lists each superintendent's name, phone, email. Find your superintendent's name through the list of Schools. Their name on that page is a link to their email address.

YCDSB letter of intent

Since there is no board-specific letter of intent form on their site, you can use a standard letter of intent or OFTP's alternative template.

YCDSB letter of reply

On their website, there is no sample of how they reply, but actual response letters received by parents show that they use most of PPM131 appendix C as their template. The one thing from that sample reply that they don't include is the mention of access to EQAO testing, but they do enclose a copy of PPM131, which does detail that option.

Please note: if the copy of PPM131 includes all the appendices, please be aware that this does not mean you're being asked to fill out those extra forms.

YCDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies and Procedures webpage (Board sub-menu in the site's footer) doesn’t list anything for Home Schooling. We hope this means they follow PPM131 directly. The only cautions are therefore the cautions that apply to PPM131. However, if you receive a policy document from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

York Region District School Board - YRDSB

60 Wellington St W
Aurora ON L4G 3H2

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (416) 969-7170 (plus specific 905 numbers for certain areas — see their Contact page)
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (905) 727-1931
General Email: none for the board, only for each CEC (see below)
Website:
www.yrdsb.ca
There are 4 CECs:

Community Education Centre - Central
317 Centre Street East 
Richmond Hill, ON  L4C 1B3
Phone: (905) 884-4477, (416) 324-2902
Fax: (905) 508-9942
cec.central@yrdsb.ca

Community Education Centre – East
1000 Carlton Road 
(In white portable beside Markville S.S.)
Markham, ON  L3P 7P5
Phone: (905) 940-7800
Fax: (905) 940-6525
cec.east@yrdsb.ca

Community Education Centre – North
130 Carlson Drive 
Newmarket, ON  L3Y 5H3
Phone: (905) 895-5155, (416) 969-8216
Fax: (905) 895-7480
cec.north@yrdsb.ca

Community Education Centre – West
36 Stornoway Crescent 
Thornhill, ON  L3T 3X7
Phone: (905) 764-6830
Fax: (905) 764-0261
cec.west@yrdsb.ca

When postal mailing a letter of intent for a child who was never registered:
Administrative Support to School Social Work and Attendance Services
300 Harry Walker Pkwy South
Newmarket ON L3Y 8E2

Where to send your letter of intent:

We recommend you send your letter of intent directly to the school board, as per PPM131, even in cases where they tell you to send it through the school. In all scenarios, we recommend sending it to both the board and the school, to the specific officials mentioned below:

  • If your child is registered in school, the YRDSB wants you to send your letter of intent through the school when you withdraw them. (Again, we recommend you also send the letter of intent directly to the board.)
  • If your child has never been registered, they want you to send it to the Chief of Social Work and Attendance Services (according to their Procedure document on Home Schooling), or to the Administrative Support to School Social Work and Attendance Services (according to their webpage on homeschooling).
  • Board response letters come from the Chief of Social Work and Attendance. (This confuses some parents, who think of Children's Aid when they hear the words "social work," but don't worry, this is just the school department that takes care of attendance.)

We were unable to find even the role of Chief of Social Work and Attendance Services on the Contact webpage. However, by doing a website search for "Chief of Social Work and Attendance," we found a well-hidden webpage on Home Schooling, tucked away very non-intuitively under Schools > Child Care > Home Schooling. This is where you will find the name, phone, and email address of the Administrative Support to Social Work and Attendance Services and the Chief of Social Work and Attendance Services, and the mailing address for sending the letter of intent for a child who has never been registered with the board.

Please note: sending a letter of intent is not a legal requirement, it is merely the preferred policy of the Ministry of Education (outlined in PPM131) and school boards (outlined in their own homeschooling policies). It is only a necessary communication when withdrawing an already-registered child from enrolment, and when responding to a direct query about a non-registered child's non-attendance.

Note: if you decide to send the letter of intent to the school’s Superintendent of Education as well (which is the default contact for homeschooling in most school boards), here’s how to find their contact info: Click on your school in the list of Schools. It will list the relevant superintendent. Once you know the superintendent’s name, find their address, phone, email, and assistant's name and email, in the Senior Team Directory (About Us > Director of Education > Senior Team Directory).

The YRDSB's webpage on Home Schooling links to a Homeschooling Guide for Parents, as well as Policy Program Memorandum 131 (PPM 131), but not to their own Procedures document.

YRDSB letter of intent

Their letter of intent form is acceptable, since it's basically the same as PPM131 appendix B except with an added column for indicating the school last attended. Their webpage on Home Schooling says:

Parents may write their own letter [emphasis added] or use a copy of the Notification of Intent to Home school.

It is of positive note that this board explicitly accepts parents' own letters rather than insisting on a specific form the way many school boards do.

YRDSB letter of reply

We weren't able to find a sample letter of reply on their website, but actual responses to parents acknowledge receipt of the notification of intent, state the child is excused under section 21(2)(a) of the Education Act, and provide a link to the Ministry of Education website for obtaining curriculum guidelines and viewing PPM131. They also include a misleading sentence about yearly notification.

CAUTION:
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("required")

They don't mention EQAO testing in their letter of reply, thus leaving it up to parents to become more informed about such options through reading PPM131 for themselves, or through the board's Home Schooling Guide for Parents pamphlet.

YRDSB policy/procedure

Their Policy & Procedures page (About Us > Policies, Procedures & By-Laws) lists Home Schooling non-intuitively under S instead of H, as Procedure NP357.0 Satisfactory Instruction (Home Schooling). Of note is that it's marked as a Working Document dated in 2014.

CAUTION:
- outdated wording ("child" in quote of Section 21)
- overreaching ("consideration" of drastic measures re: CAS and truancy charges)
- the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself


See the page on School Board Policies for important information about your rights and what to watch out for. If you're already well-informed, you can skip directly to the list of school boards to find yours by alphabetical order.