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Ontario government transfers governance of francophone school serving students with special needs

On August 18, the Ontario government proudly announced the transfer of governance of the Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) in Ottawa from the Ministry of Education to the CJL Consortium. This transfer marks a major milestone for the Franco-Ontarian community, as it ensures the province’s only French-language school for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, are deafblind, or have severe learning disabilities will be governed by francophones for francophones.

“For four decades, Centre Jules-Léger, in partnership with the Franco-Ontarian community, has ensured Francophone children and students with special needs can develop to their full potential,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.  “This transfer will strengthen the delivery of French-language education for students with special education needs and will further ensure that Franco-Ontarian culture and language are incorporated into the community.”

“The transfer of governance of Centre Jules-Léger to the CJL Consortium will help bring us closer to the community and closer to the parents and students we serve,” said Johanne Lacombe, chair of the Centre Jules-Léger Consortium, “This proximity will enable us to be more in tune with the community and allow us to better focus on the priorities of francophones.”

Now that the transfer is finalized, students and their families will benefit from a truly francophone governance model. The CJL Consortium’s leadership is composed of representatives from Ontario’s 12 French-language school boards. In addition, parents and the CJL community will also have the opportunity for stronger engagement to improve student achievement, equity and well-being with the creation of a Parent and Program Advisory Committee.

“The CJL Consortium represents an innovative and efficient governance model that will focus on providing French-language educational services to the province’s Francophone students, in accordance with CJL’s mandate,” said Minister of Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney. “This announcement is the perfect example of excellence in leadership by and for francophones, allowing Ontario’s Francophone community to determine how best to educate students so that they can reach their full potential.”

“This transfer of governance strengthens the delivery of French-language education for students with special education needs. These students and their families will benefit from a governance model that is by and for francophones,” said Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, MPP Sam Oosterhoff. “I am confident that with the leadership, strength and experience of the CJL Consortium, we can give our Franco-Ontarian students an excellent education system.”