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 — S

Simcoe County District School Board - SCDSB

1170 26 Highway
Midhurst ON L9X 1N6

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 728-7570
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (705) 728-2265
General Email: info@scdsb.on.ca
Website:
www.scdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Simcoe County District School Board at homeschool@scdsb.on.ca (or at the mailing address above). If this is your first year homeschooling, send a copy of it to the school principal as well.

The person who will receive and reply to your letter of intent is the Superintendent of Education whose portfolio includes Home Schooling. It's not necessary for you to know their name when you send the letter of intent, but if you prefer to know it, you can find it through the list of all the Superintendents of Education, on the board's webpage about Board Administration (Board sub-menu). They're listed there by area rather than by portfolio, but you can click on a name to go to the page that contains more details, including their portfolio. At the time of writing, the superintendent responsible for homeschooling was the one for Area F, Michael Giffen.

SCDSB letter of intent

This particular board has two versions of a letter of intent form: one for those who are new to homeschooling (i.e. for the initial notification), and one for those who are continuing to homeschool (i.e. for the yearly notification). Both of them include a question about who has custody of the child, and have a column for indicating the last school attended.

The one for initial notification includes a section that the school principal is supposed to fill out before passing it along to the superintendent. So it's intended to be sent to the school principal rather than directly to the board. However, we'd recommend sending it directly to the board as well, so as to be more in line with the directives of PPM131. Given the additional section the principal is expected to fill out after receiving it, you could also choose not to use their form, but just to use the standard letter of intent instead, based on PPM131 appendix B.

If you do use their initial notification form, you don't fill out the part at the bottom, which is for the principal to fill out before they send it on to the superintendent:

To be Completed by Principal:
Student wishes to enroll in Independent Learning Centre (ILC) courses. Y N
Are there concerns with the student’s attendance? Y N
Has the student been referred to the attendance counsellor? Y N
Is there evidence that the student is being removed from attendance due to ongoing conflicts with the school? Y N
Has the student been suddenly withdrawn from school to be instructed at home and is there reason to believe that instruction at home is not the reason for withdrawal? Y N
An in-school instructional program has been determined for part-time attendance. Y N

CAUTION: The above practice is a more active and systematic way than necessary to look for a reason to initiate an investigation.

SCDSB letter of reply

Their letter of acknowledgement contains all the same points as PPM131's sample response, as well as some additional information about sending subsequent yearly notifications and a phone number where you can reach the superintendent if you have any questions.

SCDSB policy/procedure

They address homeschooling on their FAQ page:

I would like to consider home schooling my child. What information is available?

The Ministry of Education’s Policy/Program Memorandum 131 provides parents with direction in regards to home schooling.

Parents who decide to provide home schooling for their child(ren) should notify the school board of their intent in writing. Parents should provide the name, gender and date of birth of each child who is receiving home schooling, and the telephone number and address of the home. For more information, call 705-734-6363 ext. 11366.

Their Procedures page (About > Policies and Procedures > Procedures) lists Home Schooling as Memorandum A7660 - Home Schooling. It includes an appendix that is the part that they send to parents, also listed separately as A7660 APPENDIX A - Home Schooling Package. This, in turn, contains their two versions of the letter of intent form.

There are two noteworthy acknowledgements in their Procedure document, under Guidelines for Conducting an Investigation [emphasis added below]:

7.1.1 There is no definition in the Education Act or regulations of “satisfactory instruction” or of a process for determining it.
7.1.2 There is no specific legislative requirement for school boards to determine satisfactory instruction or for parent(s)/guardian(s) to notify local school boards of their intent to home school.

However, given how extensively they paraphrase PPM131 instead of just referring people to it for a more direct understanding of the issues in question, it would have been better if they had also included the omitted part of PPM131 that explains how homeschooling can be different from educational practices in the school.

CAUTION:
- omissions
- overreaching (additional "grounds" for an investigation)
- misleading wording ("responsibility... to excuse")
- misleading wording ("must")
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board - SMCDSB

46 Alliance Blvd
Barrie ON L4M 5K3

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Barrie Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 722-3555
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (705) 722-6534
General Email: info@smcdsb.on.ca
Website:
www.smcdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Student Achievement responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Superintendents of Schools (Our Board > Contact > Superintendents of Schools) includes name, phone, family of schools, and their assistant's name, phone, email. To find the superintendent's email address, click on their name to get to their own separate contact page.

SMCDSB letter of intent

We couldn't find a link to their letter of intent form, but a parent forwarded the copy she was sent. It is similar to PPM131's appendix B except for adding checkboxes to indicate whether it's a new or renewing notification, and a line for indicating "Current Home School." You could add that information to the standard letter of intent form or request they send you theirs.

SMCDSB letter of reply

We have not yet seen an official reply letter from this school board. If you've received one, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect. What we have seen, however, is an email exchange between the school and a parent who sent an email notification as the body of the email message instead of as an attached scan of a signed notification. The email letter of intent, although not signed by hand, did include all the same information as the standard letter of intent. Nevertheless, she was asked by the school to fill out the board's own form as well, before a letter of response could be sent by the superintendent. It was sorted out in the end, but the initial response was worded in an unreasonable and misleading/misinformed way.

CAUTION:
- misleading wording ("request", "approved")
- overreaching (unnecessary steps: redundant notification form)

SMCDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies and Procedures page (Our Board sub-menu) doesn’t list anything for Home Schooling. We hope this means they follow PPM131 directly. The only additional cautions (beyond the above) 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.

St Clair Catholic District School Board

420 Creek St
Wallaceburg ON N8A 4C4

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: London Regional Office
Phone Number: (519) 627-6762
Toll-free: 1-866-336-6139
Fax Number: (519) 627-8230
General Email: none
Website:
www.st-clair.net

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. The board's webpage on the Executive Council (Board sub-menu) includes superintendents’ name, responsibilities, family of schools, assistant’s name and phone, (no email).

St Clair CDSB 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.

St Clair CDSB letter of reply

We have not yet seen a reply letter from this school board. If you've received one, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

St Clair CDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies and Procedures page (Board > 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.

Sudbury Catholic District School Board

165 A D'Youville St
Sudbury ON P3C 5E7

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Sudbury-North Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (705) 673-5620
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (705) 688-1781
General Email: info@sudburycatholicschools.ca
Website:
www.sudburycatholicschools.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of School Effectiveness responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Senior Administration (Our Board sub-menu) provides only superintendents' names, linking to their individual pages, but at the top of the list is a link for "Choose a School." When you select your school, the page shows the corresponding Superintendent of School Effectiveness. You can then click on their name to get the details of their responsibilities, family of schools, phone, fax, email.

Sudbury CDSB 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.

Sudbury CDSB letter of reply

We have not yet seen a reply letter from this school board. If you've received one, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

Sudbury CDSB policy/procedure

Their Policies+Procedures page (Our Board sub-menu) 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.

Superior North Catholic District School Board - SNCDSB

Box 610
21 Simcoe Plaza
Terrace Bay ON P0T 2W0

Board Type: Cath Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Thunder Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (807) 825-3209
Toll-free: 1-800-465-3346
Fax Number: (807) 825-3885
General Email: contact form
Website:
www.sncdsb.on.ca

This board's policy directs parents to send the notification to the principal, but you might also want to send it directly to the school board, since that's what the Ministry's policy (PPM131) directs you to do, and also to bypass any attempts at gatekeeping. Address the letter of intent to the Director of Education, since that is the SNCDSB official to whom the principal forwards the notification. To find the director's email address, go to the board's webpage for Administration (About > Contact Information for Our Team, Our Principals & Our Trustees), and select "Catholic Education Centre" to narrow the search to the board administration staff (as opposed to including principals).

SNCDSB letter of intent

Their sample notification form (appendix A of their Procedures document) is similar to PPM131's appendix B and includes the word "sample" in the heading. You can use the standard letter of intent instead.

SNCDSB letter of reply

Their sample letter of response (appendix B of their Procedures document) is similar to PPM131's appendix C: acknowledging receipt, confirming the child is excused from attendance, informing about the availability of EQAO tests, and providing a copy of PPM131 (for the parent's information, not a request to fill out anything in it).

SNCDSB policy/procedure

On their website under Policy and Governance > Board Policy and Administrative Procedures, homeschooling is listed as 208 Policy – Home Schooling Non-Medical and 208 Procedure – Home Schooling Non-Medical

CAUTION:
- misleading wording ("assure... satisfactory instruction")
- overreaching ("conference... to review")
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("If the parents are prepared to comply")
- misleading wording bordering on misinformation ("Where a home visit is required")
- the same cautions as for PPM131 itself

Superior-Greenstone District School Board - SGDSB

Postal Bag A
12 Hemlo Dr
Marathon ON P0T 2E0

Board Type: Pub Dist Sch Brd (E/F)
Board Language: English
Region: Thunder Bay Regional Office
Phone Number: (807) 229-0436
Toll-free: none
Fax Number: (807) 229-1471
General Email: boardoffice@sgdsb.on.ca
Website:
www.sgdsb.on.ca

Send the letter of intent to the Superintendent of Education responsible for your school. The board's webpage on Administration (Departments sub-menu) includes superintendents’ name and email. Consult the Organizational Chart to see which Superintendent of Education is responsible for elementary schools and which one is responsible for secondary schools.

SGDSB 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.

SGDSB letter of reply

We have not yet seen a reply letter from this school board. If you've received one, please share it with us so we can let other parents know what to expect.

SGDSB policy/procedure

We have not found a Policies & Procedures page on their website. 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.


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.