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The initial shock over the closing of of Trinity/ WISDOM Home Schooling on October 25 has been replaced by an abundance of work and activity to support the home education community in Alberta.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
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.