LEARN collaborated with ROCLD and RCAAQ to co-host the 7th Provincial Conference for the Fight Against School Dropout, held between October 19 and 23. The conference brought together Indigenous, Anglophone and Francophone organizations from across Quebec to highlight the challenges that we each face and explore potential opportunities to collaborate on strategies aimed at reducing school drop-out rates and the resulting impacts on Quebec society.
The Regroupement des Organismes Communautaires Québécois de Lutte au Décrochage (ROCLD) is an organization that brings together community-based organizations in the French sector that work with youth, trying to keep them from dropping out of school and find ways to address the social issues that prevent them from succeeding. The Regroupement des Centres d’Amitié Autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) is the provincial association of Native Friendship Centres, advocating for the rights and interests of Indigenous citizens in cities and actively supports the development of Native Friendship Centres.
In a series of keynotes, panel discussions and workshops, the organizations and their delegates demonstrated existing and potential avenues for collaboration to reach the shared goal of students succeeding and thriving. Dr. Michael Canuel (LEARN) presented the context of the English schools and the vision of the CLC approach during the opening panel (view on Facebook).
The Minister of Education, François Roberge joined the three organizations and delegates from each network to a “Croissant et politique avec le ministre de l’Éducation” (Croissant and Politics with the Minister of Education) where he answered questions put forth by each group. Dr. Michael Canuel (LEARN) asked, Given that most pedagogues agree that real-world learning is an invaluable tool in keeping students engaged in the learning process, what role should community organizations have in a student’s daily school life?Click here to watch the answer.
Chuck Halliday, Coordinator of Community and Business and CLCs at the New Frontiers School Board, participated in a panel discussion which focused on the ecosystemic approach that the Community Learning Centres take, and what this collaboration looks like on the ground. He highlighted the importance of having a Community Development Agent to manage all the moving parts.
Presenters highlighting CLC school-community partnerships included Katherine Dimas (LEARN), Katrina Driver (SWLSB) with partner David Cordez (Boys to Men Canada), and Tammy Chatterton (ESSB) with partner Fay Gallon (CASA). They shared strategies, effective practices, and challenges faced in the current context particularly in English-speaking communities. Participants highlighted the benefits of connecting with schools through Community Development Agents in the CLC network, and expressed the need to develop avenues of collaboration with all schools across Quebec. Watch the video.
Throughout the conference, there were opportunities to network and connect with Francophone and Indigenous groups working with local communities in Quebec. The conference concluded with the launch of the “Handy Guide to Dropout Prevention Practices” and will soon be available online in English.
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