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 — D to G

District School Board Ontario North East - DSBONE

Box 1020
Timmins ON P4N 7H7

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Sudbury-North Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 360-1151
Toll-free: 1-800-381-7280
Fax Number: (705) 268-7100
General Email: comments@dsb1.ca
Website:
www.dsb1.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your region. The board's webpage on Board Administration (Board Info submenu) lists each superintendent's name, phone, email, region (no specific schools), responsibilities.

DSBONE letter of intent

Aside from adding a column for the child's grade, their letter of intent form (Appendix B, page 7 of their Procedures document) is modeled after PPM131's sample letter of intent.

DSBONE letter of reply

Their school board letter of reply (Appendix C, page 9 of their Procedures document) includes most of the same paragraphs as PPM131's appendix C sample reply: acknowledging receipt of the notification, stating the child is excused under subsection 21(2)(a) of the Education Act, mentioning the availability of EQAO testing. However, there is no mention of PPM131, only enclosing their own "Home Schooling Policy" (presumably the Procedures document rather than just the very brief "Policy" document), which only references PPM131 as "PPM 131" (without an explanation of what that is or where to consult it) at the very top of the first page:

Procedure No. 2.1.20
Section 2.1: School Related Operations
Related References: Education Act, PPM 131
Appendices: A -E
Approved: March 4, 2003
Revised: September 1, 2015
Review Date:

An actual response parents received has come from the attendance counsellor, cc'ed to the Superintendent of Schools [sic] and the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools [sic], and did not follow their Procedures template strictly. Mainly, the final paragraph indicating the enclosure of their "Home Schooling Policy" was replaced by the following:

We wish you and your daughter continued success with your Home Schooling commitment, but remind you that [child’s first name] is welcome to register in school at any time. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at [phone number]

DSBONE policy/procedure

Their Policy & Procedure Manuals page (Board Info > Policy Manual) lists Home Schooling as Policy No. 2.1.20 – Home Schooling and Procedure No.2.1.20 – Home Schooling (includes the appendix forms without the word “sample”)

The board's Procedures document is aligned with PPM131. It even includes an important reminder usually omitted by most school boards: "the methodology, materials, schedules and assessment techniques used by parents who provide home schooling may differ from those used by educators in the school system. For example, the parent may not be following the Ontario curriculum, using standard classroom practices in the home or teaching with the standard school day or school year." Therefore, the only cautions about the DSBONE's Procedures document are the same as the cautions that apply to PPM131 itself. — However:

CAUTION: the Policy document contains some wording that is misleading enough to border on misinformation.

District School Board of Niagara - DSBN

191 Carlton St
St Catharines ON L2R 7P4

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (905) 641-1550
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (905) 685-8511
General Email: use contact form on contact page
Website:
www.dsbn.edu.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent responsible for "Home Schooling" — currently that's the Superintendent of Special Education & Mental Health and Well-Being. Alternatively, you could send it to the Superintendent of Education for your area (Elementary) or the Superintendent of Curriculum & Student Achievement for your area (Secondary). The board's Senior Administration page (About > Senior Administration) lists each superintendent's name and area, and links to their own contact page with phone ext. and email address as well as the list of schools they're assigned.

DSBN letter of intent

They don't appear to have a letter of intent form of their own, so you can just use the standard letter of intent.

DSBN letter of reply

Actual responses received by parents follow the basic template of PPM131's appendix C, and add a mention of PLAR and Equivalent Diploma Requirements.

DSBN policy/procedure

Their Policies page (About > Policies) links to the different categories of policies, including Educational Programs and Student Services where Home Schooling is listed as Policy D-05. It's a very summarized version of PPM131, which it mentions by full name.

CAUTION:
- prejudicial wording
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board - DPCDSB

40 Matheson Blvd W
Mississauga ON L5R 1C5

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Toronto and Area Regional Office
Phone Number: (905) 890-1221
Toll-free: 1-800-387-9501
Fax Number: (905) 890-7610
General Email: none
Website:
www.dpcdsb.org

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. They're listed on the Family of Schools page. For a given region, it indicates superintendent’s name, phone, schools. There are no email addresses listed, but it appears they may be constructed based on the superintendent's name as follows: First.Last@dpcdsb.org.

DPCDSB letter of intent

They use PPM131's appendix B, the standard letter of intent.

DPCDSB letter of reply

Letters of acknowledgment from the DPCDSB are based on PPM131. However, responses received by parents from principals in this board, tend to request that you meet with the school to complete some additional "paperwork," falsely claiming the letter of intent is just the "first step."

CAUTION: misleading request, sometimes falsely presented as a requirement

What it is, is their own "Student Information: Home Schooling" form where they ask about the child's Catholic status, status of residence in Canada, education history, siblings, custody arrangements, as well as parent/guardian info that also includes Catholic status. Here's what you need to know:

  • You can fill out this form to accommodate them if you want to, since it doesn't ask for your homeschooling plans, but you have no obligation to do so. It is not a legal requirement, nor even in PPM131.
  • Even if you do decide to fill out the form, you don't have to meet with them in person, you can insist it be mailed or emailed to you instead.
  • If they also ask you to fill out a form asking for details about your educational plan, that constitutes either routine monitoring, which has been revoked by PPM131 (see our note on misleading wording), or else an investigation (see our note on investigations), with which you should not comply without first requesting that they provide you with the alleged "reasonable grounds" upon which they justify it. (Please feel free to consult with the OFTP before responding in any way. Also, see our note on misunderstanding before you respond.)
  • Whichever kind of form it is they want (personal info or educational plan), either way, they have no grounds on which to refuse to provide you with a formal letter acknowledging receipt of your letter of intent. But you also don't really need to receive a formal reply letter anyway. Once you've done your part by communicating your intent to homeschool, that's all you need to do to notify them that they need to withdraw your child from the enrolment register. Also, any written response they give to that notification does, in itself, constitute an acknowledgment that they received it.
  • Remember: this is not an approval process, this is you notifying them of your parental decision. Neither the school nor the school board has any authority to grant or deny you permission to do so. Permission to homeschool is granted by the law itself. The law includes a procedure for school boards to follow when they want to challenge the legality of a child's non-attendance being excused under section 21(2) of the Education Act, and that procedure is not a school board investigation.

DPCDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies page (About Us > Policies) 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.

Durham Catholic District School Board - DCDSB

650 Rossland Rd W
Oshawa ON L1J 7C4

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (905) 576-6150
Toll-free: 1-877-482-0722
Fax Number: (905) 576-0953
General Email: communications@dcdsb.ca or use the contact form (has attachment capability)
Website:
www.dcdsb.ca

This board's policy document tells parents to send the initial letter of intent (which they misleadingly call a "request") to the principal, who will then forward it to the Family of Schools Superintendent responsible for that school, and in subsequent years to send it directly to the Family of Schools Superintendent. While this is the title given to superintendents in their policy document, on their website they're called Superintendents of Education. You may wish to send your letter of intent directly to the school board in the first year as well, as directed by PPM131, addressed to the Superintendent of Education either by name (if you know who it is) or just by title (if you don't). The board's webpage on Administration (Superintendents of Education) (in the Our Board submenu) includes only the superintendents' name and phone number (no email address, no assigned schools, no responsibilities). To email the letter of intent, you can use one of the general email options listed above.

DCDSB letter of intent

We haven't found a board-specific letter of intent form on their website. Their policy document references a Home School Administrative Procedure (AP510-1), which may or may not include such a form, but we were unable to find a link to that document. You can use the standard letter of intent. If you receive a different letter of intent form from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

DCDSB letter of reply

Their policy document references a Home School Administrative Procedure (AP510-1), which may or may not include a sample reply letter, but we were unable to find a link to that document. If you have received a reply letter from this board, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect in terms of how it's worded.

DCDSB policy/procedure

Their Board Policies page (under Our Board) lists Home Schooling in the Teaching and Learning section, as POLICY–PO510 Home Schooling

CAUTION:
- overreaching ("opportunity" to discuss reasons for homeschooling)
- misleading wording (notification as "request")
- misleading wording (when the board "must" investigate)
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Durham District School Board - DDSB

400 Taunton Rd E
Whitby ON L1R 2K6

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (905) 666-5500
Toll-free: 1-800-265-3968
Fax Number: (905) 666-6474
General Email: contact form (with attachment capabilities)
Website:
http://ddsb.ca/

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. To find the name of your superintendent, go first to the School Directory page. Once you've located your school in the list, click on the link to their website. At the bottom of the school's webpage, you'll find information that includes the name of the superintendent. Then go to the board's Contact Us page (link at the top of the board's webpages) for the list of Superintendents of Education. Click on your superintendent's name to display the link to Email.

DDSB letter of intent

Their sample letter of intent is the same as PPM131's appendix B, with the word "sample" in the title. For one that has the word "sample" removed, you can use our version of the standard letter of intent instead.

DDSB letter of reply

Their sample school board response is almost the same as PPM131's appendix C, except that it adds a sentence that is misleading (bordering on misinformation) in two ways:

CAUTION:
- misleading wording (notification is "required")
- misleading wording (notification is a "request" to homeschool)

2020-2021 school year: Some parents are receiving calls from this board or principals, asking them for feedback:
- confirming you chose to homeschool
- factors that influenced your decision
- what would be needed for students to return
or
1) what made the parents want to switch to homeschooling
2) is there anything they can do that might entice the family to go back to public school for either in person or remote learning and
3) would the parent be comfortable with someone calling them later on with possible options regarding returning to public school

DDSB policy/procedure

Their Home Schooling Procedure refers to the following attachments:
1: legislation
2: sample letter of intent (same as PPM131 appendix B)
3: sample school board response
4: educational plan questionnaire (basically PPM131 appendix D, i.e. for investigations, not routine)
5: homeschooling call log (for their own use in keeping a record of homeschoolers from whom they've received notifications)

CAUTION:
- unreasonable grounds for investigation
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Grand Erie District School Board - GEDSB

349 Erie Ave
Brantford ON N3T 5V3

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 756-6301
Toll-free: 1-888-548-8878
Fax Number: (519) 756-9181
General Email: info@granderie.ca
Website:
www.granderie.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Director and Superintendents (Board submenu) includes names, assigned family of schools, and phone ext. Their Policy & Procedures document says parents must “notify the Superintendent of Education with responsibilities for home schooling” but there is no such responsibility listed on the webpage.

GEDSB letter of intent

Their letter of intent form (Appendix A of their Procedure document) is acceptable to use, as it's similar to PPM131's appendix B except that it adds a column for each child's "Last School Name/ Last Month/Year Attended" and requests you check a box for your communication preference (email or paper).

GEDSB letter of reply

Their sample reply letter (Appendix B of their Procedure document) is similar to PPM131's appendix C. However, actual responses received by parents in the 2020-2021 school year add two additional items:

There is a paragraph about re-registration in school requiring full documentation again (of the child's birth and residence) and the possibility of losing a spot in a special program and having to go on the wait list to return to it.

There is a sentence about yearly notifications being "required."

CAUTION: this is misleading wording.

GEDSB policy/procedure

Their Procedures page (Board > Bylaws, Policies, Procedures and Protocols > Procedures) lists Home Schooling as Procedure P107: Home Schooling.

Of note in their Procedure document:

“Satisfactory instruction” is not defined in the Education Act or its Regulations. The courts have not defined it. However, the Ministry of Education website www.edu.gov.on.ca contains information for parents/guardians.

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

Regarding the rest of their document:

CAUTION:
- misleading wording ("must" notify, "must" use specific form)
- omissions
- minor misinformation (re: school health support services)
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Greater Essex County District School Board - GECDSB

Box 210, 451 Park St W
Windsor ON N9A 6K1

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 255-3200
Toll-free: 1-888-779-7735
Fax Number: (519) 255-7053
General Email: none
Website:
https://www.publicboard.ca/

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for Home Schooling. The board's webpage on Board Administration (in the Board submenu) lists each superintendent's name, phone number, email address, and title, but not which specific responsibilities they have. However, if you click on their name you'll be taken to their individual page, where the details of responsibilities are listed. It may be that Home Schooling always falls to the superintendent whose title is Superintendent of Education - Student Well-Being (Safe Schools, Equity, Healthy Schools, Mental Health). Currently at least, (Fall 2021), the superintendent with that title is the one whose listed responsibilities include Home Schooling: Sash Querbach, alexandre.querbach@publicboard.ca, 519-255-3200 ext. 10222, Administrative Assistant: Trish Del Papa at Trish.delpapa@publicboard.ca

GECDSB letter of intent

Their "Regulation" document refers parents directly to PPM131's appendix B sample letter of intent. Since that one has the word "sample" in its heading, you can just use our version of it, with the word "sample" removed.

GECDSB letter of reply

Their "Regulation" document refers the board to PPM131's appendix C sample reply letter. However, actual responses received from parents include some differences, including some misleading wording (your child is excused "as requested"), as well as letting you know they'll be sending you another form every July (Notice of Intention to Continue Homeschooling).

GECDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies and Regulations page (Board submenu) lists Home Schooling as Policy: Home Schooling P-AD-13 and Regulation: Home Schooling R-AD-13.

CAUTION: (policy)
- prejudicial statement

CAUTION: ("regulation")
- misleading wording (timing of notification)
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("must")
- misinformation (regarding curriculum)
- misleading wording (timing of EQAO sign-up)
- overreaching (telling parents how to parent)
- restrictions (no part-time attendance allowed)
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself


Continued >>>

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.