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 — J to K

James Bay Lowlands Secondary School Board - JBLSSB

Box 157
1 Keewatin Dr
Moosonee ON P0L 1Y0

Board Type: Sec Sch Brd (Sch Auth)
Board Language: English
Region: Sudbury-North Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 336-2903
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (705) 336-0234
General Email: none
Website:
http://www.jblssb.ca/

Send the letter of intent to the Supervisory Officer / Superintendent of Education. The board's Contact page includes the Superintendent’s name (no email address) and a contact form that has no attachment option. You can either enter the text of your letter of intent into the form, send a physical letter by postal mail, or phone to request an email address for emailing it.

JBLSSB letter of intent

We don't know whether or not they have a form of their own. You can use the standard letter of intent. However, if you receive a notification form from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

JBLSSB letter of reply

We have not yet seen a reply letter from this school board. If they follow PPM131 directly, it should look somewhat like PPM131's appendix C. If you've received a letter of response from this board, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

JBLSSB policy/procedure

Their Policies page (Boardroom submenu) 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.

John McGivney Children's Centre School Authority

3945 Matchette Road
Windsor ON N9C 4C2

Board Type: Provincial/Hospital
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 977-2200
Toll-free: 1-800-976-5622 (JMCC)
Fax Number: (519) 977-2201
General Email: info@jmccentre.ca
Website:
www.jmccentre.ca

Since this is a Provincial/Hospital board type, the usual procedures for withdrawing a child from enrolment may not apply. However, if they do, you can just use the standard letter of intent and send it to the school authority without addressing it to any specific person.

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board - KPRDSB

!!! RED FLAG !!!

1994 Fisher Dr
Peterborough ON K9J 6X6

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 742-9773
Toll-free: 1-877-741-4577
Fax Number: (705) 742-7801
General Email: kpr_info@kprdsb.ca
Website:
www.kprschools.ca

This board's policy directs parents to send the notification to the principal, but given how problematic they have often been within this system, we recommend you send the letter of intent directly to the Superintendent of Student Achievement responsible for your school, with or without a copy to the principal. The board's webpage on Senior Administration (Our Board submenu) includes a sidebar menu. You have to click on a superintendent's name in the menu to go to the page that lists that person's area, family of schools, responsibilities, phone extension, email address, and their assistant's name, phone extension and email address. In other words, you may have to click on each one in turn until you find the one where your school is listed.

KPRDSB letter of intent

Rather than the using the problematic KPRDSB form, you may want to send a standard letter of intent, with an additional sentence added to it requesting that the Superintendent reply in writing to acknowledge receipt of your notification. Here's why:

!!! RED FLAG !!!

The KPRDSB's Notice of Intent to Home School form is problematic for a number of reasons. Here are some things to watch out for in their form:

  • "PLEASE NOTE: Notice of Intent to Home School is renewed annually."

CORRECTION / CLARIFICATION: This is not an application for a permit, this is a notification of your parental decision. So the term “renew” does not apply. If you're using this form instead of a standard one, you could, if you wish, replace the word "renewed" with the word "requested."

  • "This is notice of my/our intention to establish a home schooling program for my/our child/children beginning _________ (Month & Year) until ___________ (Month & Year)"

CORRECTION / CLARIFICATION: To reinforce the position that this is your decision until further notice, you can say so instead of providing dates that imply you have to renew anything. So in the blank space for beginning, you could write "immediately (see date below)" and in the space for until, you could write "further notice."

  • "I/We have been provided with a copy of Parent/Guardian Guide to Home Schooling."

Please note: If you're filling out the KPRDSB's form rather than sending the standard PPM131 form, it presumably means you have received the Guide to which they're referring. However, the statement you're signing here is only that you have "been provided with a copy" of it, not that you have read it. It is not necessary for you to read it, and possibly not even recommended, given that is has misleading wording that could trick you into doing something you're not required to do ("submit a program plan"). It's not just that you're not required to do it, it's also that them requesting it is in direct contravention of the directives and purpose of PPM131 to revoke this kind of routine gathering of information about your homeschooling plans.

  • "I/We are/are not submitting a program plan for review. Yes ☐ No ☐ "

CAUTION: Be sure to choose the NO option, since providing “a program plan for review” would enable and normalize an overstepping of bounds that is in direct contradiction to the very purpose of PM131, which was to revoke routine monitoring of homeschooling.

  • "(If program plan is not submitted, please state why.)"

Please note: Here's an example of the explanation you can provide for why you choose not to submit a “program plan for review”:

This goes beyond what is required by law and amounts to routine monitoring, which was never part of the law and was revoked as a policy when the Johnson Memorandum was explicitly revoked by the current Policy/Program Memorandum No.131.

  • "FOR USE BY KAWARTHA PINE RIDGE DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD:
    SUPERINTENDENT:
    Received from parent(s)/guardian(s):
    Signed Notice of Intent to Home School: Yes ☐ No ☐ Letter in lieu of Notice: Yes ☐ No ☐ Program Plan: Yes ☐ No ☐ (If Program Plan was received, was it satisfactory?) Yes ☐ No ☐
    Notice of Intent to Home School and Program Plan (if submitted), forwarded to school principal ☐ "

Please note: This part is for the superintendent to fill out, not the parent, but we're quoting it here so you can see what they're making note of. They're clearly expecting that some parents will provide their own letter of intent rather than fill out the board's form, and that some parents will not provide a program plan. They're also feeling entitled to evaluate any program plan that does get submitted, in terms of "satisfactory instruction." The OFTP maintains the position that it is not up to school boards to make that determination. "Satisfactory instruction" is not defined in the Education Act nor in the PPM131 policy. The Education Act does not require any process of approval before a parent "considers that the child is excused from attendance at school under subsection 21(2)." PPM131 was established specifically to stop school boards from presuming to make that evaluation instead of taking a parent's word for it that they will comply with the law.

KPRDSB letter of reply

Even when parents have already sent in a letter of intent, and even when they've used the Ministry's standard template from PPM131, they've sometimes been asked (by the principal) to fill out the board's form as well, "for final approval." The wording is problematic: the letter of intent is not a request for permission or approval, it is a notification of your parental decision — approval is not needed. PPM131 directs the board to reply to the letter of intent with a letter of acknowledgment, but this board has been known to try to withhold an official response until parents fill out the board's form first. So what should you do in this situation? If their request (that you fill out their form as well) is made by the principal or school secretary, you can ignore it if it's in writing and just communicate directly with the superintendent's office instead. If the request is made by by phone or in person, you can amiably but assertively refer them to PPM131 where it directs the school board to accept your written notification without further investigation and to send a written acknowledgement of receipt. If, on the phone or in person, they remain insistent in spite of your reminder about PPM131, ask them to send the request in writing. If need be, the letter or email in which they're making the request can serve as a written acknowledgement that they have indeed received your letter of intent. Therefore, do save a record of that, and of any other communications you receive from them about your homeschooling status. (Remember, you're the one who establishes that status and they're merely supposed to recognize it). You don't usually need a more official letter of acknowledgement, but if you'd like one or need one (for instance, if you need one to enroll in ILC courses), you may need to insist on your right to receive it as a response to the letter of intent you already sent, by reminding them of what PPM131 directs them to do. Your communication for insisting on a school board letter of reply should be with the Superintendent of Student Achievement, not the principal. Contact OFTP if you need help wording your communication in a way that is non-adversarial but assertive.

They also send a copy of PPM131, and a Parent/Guardian Guide To Home Schooling that is very misleading in the steps it tells parents to follow:

KPRDSB's "Parent/Guardian Guide to Home Schooling"

Some of the guide is simply informational about PPM131, the availability of accesss to EQAO testing, etc. But some of it is very problematic. Here are some excerpts and notes about them:

Parent(s)/guardian(s) are requested [emphasis added] to submit a brief written program plan to be reviewed by the school Superintendent.

Please note: This part of the text acknowledges that it is a request rather than a requirement. However, many people take the word "requested" to be simply a polite way to say "required" and this is even more of a risk given what else is stated in the document.

The school Superintendent will indicate whether or not there is a satisfactory program planned for your child(ren). [emphasis added]

Please note: It remains the OFTP's position that it is not up to school boards to determine "satisfactory instruction." The change in government policy that was established in 2002 was specifically to address the "institutional bias against homeschooling," which is why PPM131 states explicitly, in its guidelines for an investigation, that "board officials should recognize that 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." Although the KPRDSB administrative regulation acknowledges this (see the one positive note below), it still doesn't mean they should be attempting that assessment under normal, routine circumstances. PPM131's caution is in the guidelines for investigations, which are not supposed to happen unless there are "reasonable grounds to be concerned" — as an exception, not the rule.

!!! RED FLAG !!!

2. Submit, [emphasis added] with the Notice of Intent to Home School, a brief, written program plan. (This plan will be reviewed by the school Superintendent.) You will be contacted by the school Superintendent in writing after the Notice of Intent to Home School and the program plan have been reviewed.

Please note: In spite of the word "request" in the earlier paragraph, in this paragraph the word is "submit," expressed as a command rather than a request or something optional. The paragraph also seems to convey that what happens next will depend on whether or not your submission passes this "review," and that the superintendent will not contact you (for example to formally acknowledge receipt of your notification) until after this review process. As mentioned elsewhere, such a review process is in direct contravention of PPM131 if it is not part of a declared investigation, and in any case the legality of such school board investigations is dubious, given the wording of subsection 24(2) of the Education Act (the law, which supersedes the policy).

KPRDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies / Regulations page (Our Board submenu) lists Home Schooling under Administrative Regulation ES-1.1.7 Safe, Caring and Restorative Schools - Home Education, which includes a section about Home Schooling and a section about Home Instruction. The "regulation" refers to an internal document, the Home Education Handbook, which is apparently provided to principals and includes "appropriate forms and procedures." There is no transparency to the public about what procedures principals are being directed to follow in this handbook.

CAUTION:
- lack of transparency about their internal Handbook
- misleading wording (procedure to "access" homeschooling)
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("must")
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("required" to investigate)

Of positive note in their Administrative Regulation:

The Board recognizes that the methodologies, materials, schedules and assessments used in home schooling may differ from those used in the school system, and parent(s)/guardian(s) may not follow the Ontario curriculum, the school day or school year.

Keewatin-Patricia District School Board - KPDSB

240 Veterans Drive, 4th Floor
Kenora ON P9N 3Y5

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Thunder Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (807) 468-5571
Toll-free: 1-877-275-7771
Fax Number: (807) 468-3857
General Email: listed on Contact page, currently as sheena.pilipishen@kpdsb.ca
Website:
www.kpdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. Find their name in the Organizational Chart (Board Information submenu) based on the schools listed in their column. Find their email address on the board's webpage about Senior Administration (Board Information submenu), which lists each superintendent's name, phone, email, and responsibility title.

KPDSB letter of intent

We don't know whether or not they have a form of their own. You can use the standard letter of intent. However, if you receive a notification form from them, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

KPDSB letter of reply

Actual responses received by parents show the KPDSB's letter of response to be similar to PPM131 appendix C except that it omits mentioning PPM131.

KPDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies, Procedures and Bylaws page 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.

Kenora Catholic District School Board - KCDSB

1292 Heenan Place
Kenora ON P9N 2Y8

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Thunder Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (807) 468-9851
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (807) 468-8094
General Email: info@kcdsb.on.ca
Website:
www.kcdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Instructional Services, whose name and contact information can be found on their Contact page. Currently (Fall 2020) it's Paul White, pwhite@kcdsb.on.ca.

KCDSB letter of intent

Their letter of intent form is the same as PPM131 appendix B, except for being on school board letterhead.

KCDSB letter of reply

Their letter of response template is the same as PPM131 appendix C, except for being on school board letterhead.

KCDSB policy/procedure

Their Policy & Procedures page lists Home Schooling as AP222: Home Schooling.

CAUTION:
- overreaching (unnecessary steps and possible attempt to dissuade)
- misinformation (re: "minimal expectations pertaining to satisfactory instruction")

KidsAbility Education Authority

500 Hallmark Dr
Waterloo ON N2K 3P5

Board Type: Provincial/Hospital
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 886-8886
Toll-free: 1-888-372-2259
Fax Number: (519) 885-6222
General Email: info@kidsability.ca
Website:
www.kidsability.ca

Since this is a Provincial/Hospital board type, the usual procedures for withdrawing a child from enrolment may not apply. However, if they do, you can just use the standard letter of intent and send it to the education authority without addressing it to any specific person.


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.