Update on Prairie Valley SD Reporting Concerns

We want to thank all the home educators that have submitted their Annual Reports this year to their school divisions. We realize this can be a stressful time, especially when the divisions give families a hard time in what and how they are reporting.

SHBE has been working with several divisions this year in cases where families are been told they are “non-compliant” with the regulations. Sometimes this is true, and many times it is not. We want to remind all homeschoolers to ensure your reports have enough information that the Ministry of Education can conclude that education and learning have taken place. The report needs to tell them something. Being vague and having broad statements can be helpful, but they can also be a disservice as the registering authorities try to decipher what progress our children have made.

One thing we have learned through this process is the the Manual has several conflicting statements that both sides use to argue their points. At the end of the day, after consulting with HSLDA, we were advised that the entire legal package needs to be taken into consideration. Parents, SHBE, the Ministry of Education, and the School Divisions work together best when we all follow the policy manual with much grace for each other. In many divisions, families have been able to report very little for years without trouble, so when we are questioned it is easy to feel violated and like they are asking for too much. In reality, they sometimes are asking for what the Ministry of Education legally requires of us, we just haven’t always had to do it. We still want to keep reporting minimal and ensure the divisions are doing what they are required to, but we have to as well. Many of us wish we lived in a place where reporting was not required, but we do not, and we need to show the Government that we are willing to follow the rules. If people decide not to file paperwork properly, or at all, you can be subject to Truancy laws, and that is a road few want to travel. SHBE will always be here to help families navigate homeschool related situations, and remind everyone that knowing the Policy Manual and Regulations is important, along with keeping your membership to SHBE and HSLDA current. 

In the case of Prairie Valley SD this week, we were able to work together with the liaison and wade through some communication challenges to find that his final requests were reasonable. We hope everyone realizes what their part is to play in ensuring home education remains available and easy in our province.