Convention 2018: Embrace the Unexpected

AHEA Update - November 3, 2016

Addressing Home Educator's Concerns since the Closure of Trinity/WISDOM

The initial shock over the closing of of Trinity/ WISDOM Home Schooling on October 25 has been replaced by an abundance of work and activity to support the home education community in Alberta. While the situation appeared dire in the beginning, seeds of hope and potential for good moving forward are present.

AHEA/HSLDA partnership meetings were held. 270 people attended on Halloween night in Calgary and 480 people were in attendance in Edmonton.

During the information and discussion meetings held in Calgary and Edmonton, the 750 people who attended (270 in Calgary and 480 in Edmonton) expressed shock, dismay and were looking to determine what courses of action to take. AHEA's Government Liaison, Patty Marler, HSLDA Legal Council, Lisa McManus, and HSLDA Board Member, Raymond Strom, advised people about the plethora of work going on to address this situation.

AHEA meets with Education Minister Eggen, Deputy Minister Clarke, and Deputy Minister Boje. Discussions were productive and fruitful.

Many questions and comments were shared around Alberta Education's request, or seeming demand, that home educators re-notify with another board within two weeks. Since the two information meetings, AHEA has met with Education Minister Eggen, Deputy Minister Clarke, and Assistant Deputy Minister Boje. Specific to notification, AHEA shared some of the difficulties that the restrictive Home Education Regulation poses, including having teachers entering our homes twice a year. Minister Eggen recognized that we had valid concerns and that two weeks is not a realistic expectation for home educating families to notify. Minister Eggen did not set a specific deadline for notification.

Wisdom files injunction to be reinstated.

WISDOM Home Schooling has filed an injunction requesting the reinstating of accreditation and funding to Trinity Christian School. Should this injunction be granted, Trinity/WISDOM would have full authority to serve their families. The hearing for this injunction will occur on Friday, November 4.

Information sharing between AHEA, HSLDA, and home education administrators.

Prior to the filing of the legal injunction, AHEA and HSLDA were in communication with the large home education administrators across Alberta (those who currently administer 100 or more home educating students). These administrators all expressed their shock, and dismay about the closure of Trinity/WISDOM, and there was an outpouring of support for WISDOM. Should WISDOM's injunction not be granted, these administrators are looking into ways to assist and support WISDOM families.

Continuing communication, discussion and collaboration.

AHEA continues to be in involved in significant discussions to assist the home educating community. We are following what we believe is proper due process, something we hope and desire for all, but a standard that we ourselves will adhere to. As a result, there remains to be no formal action presented for your consideration at this time. The outcome of Trinity/WISDOM's injunction will be a determining factor in many of the actions to be considered moving forward.

To all Alberta Home Educators and all Alberta parents

On October 25, 2016, Alberta Education announced the shutdown of Trinity Christian School and WISDOM Home Schooling.

At this time, AHEA reminds all home educators and parents of several things…

1 – Those displaced by this shutdown do not need to take any action right now. Keep home educating your children. You have at least a couple of weeks to notify with another private school or home education administration. Take this time. Don’t panic. Don’t make any hasty decisions. The education of your children is too important.

2 – AHEA is currently working with HSLDA to develop options for you to evaluate.This will take at least a few days so please be patient. We will post options for you here soon. This is a stressful time and there is no need to rush your decision.

3 – Remember that allegations against any home education provider are simply that: allegations. Trinity Christian School and WISDOM Home Schooling will no doubt defend themselves in this situation and the truth will come out.

4 – At this time, AHEA asks that you NOT contact government officials.We simply don’t have enough information to ask informed questions or to lobby for certain action.The time for such political action may come. We will certainly ask for your help with that when the time comes. In the meantime, should you choose to speak to your MLA or any government official, please be courteous and civil.

5 – Pray that God’s will is done in this entire situation. That’s a prayer for your own family, for all home educating families, and for home education in Alberta.

Again…. Please stay calm in this difficult situation.

Thank you and bless you,

The board of the Alberta Home Education Association

Trinity Christian School Permission to operate revoked

To all AHEA members and Alberta home educators:

You may hear, from friends or through the news media, that the 'permission to operate' of one of Alberta's school authorities - Trinity Christian School and its home education.

We cannot comment on this situation at this time other than recommending to all home educators to:

A) please pray for all Alberta home educators and

B) take time to carefully consider all options and not make any rash decisions on the education of children.

Thank you.

Paul van den Bosch


Alberta Home Education Association

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