ASSOCIATION FRANCO-ONTARIENNE DES CONSEILS SCOLAIRES CATHOLIQUES (AFOCSC)
On January 1, 1998, after lengthy political, legal, and constitutional efforts, the Ontario government gave the Franco-Ontarian community the power to manage its elementary and secondary schools.
Traditionally shut out of the tightly knit circles of political power and Ontario’s educational community, the province’s Francophones have become full-fledged stakeholders in the education system through new district school boards.
The community manages its education facilities, the accompanying financial and material resources, and the future of its student population. Since governance was granted the new French-language school boards have worked to improve the education system and its students’ success.
To support them in carrying out this new responsibility, the Catholic school boards established AFOCSC.
In serving its members, the Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques is the voice of the French-language Catholic school boards in Ontario. AFOCSC reinforces within the community and with governments the importance of Catholic education in fostering excellence, success and personal development for all our students.
The Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques is a leader in ensuring the growth and vitality of the French-language Catholic education system in Ontario.
Excellence: AFOCSC provides strong professional expertise in Catholic and French education, and creativity in providing services that ensure success for all its member boards.
Collaborative Leadership: AFOCSC values consensus building and networking among Catholic school boards, community partners and governments in order to strengthen the connections that support growth of the French language Catholic system in Ontario.
Respect: AFOCSC infuses in all its interactions a culture of mutual respect, integrity in decision making and the value of social justice.
Commitment To Catholicism: AFOCSC stands strong in its commitment to transmitting Christian values through the expression of its faith in Jesus Christ.
Cultural Identity: AFOCSC, in all its communications, promotes and conveys pride in the French language, the Catholic faith and the diverse Franco-Ontarian culture to ensure the visibility and vitality of the French Catholic education system.
AFOCSC is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, composed of a representative from each of the eight school boards, a student trustee, the Executive Director of AFOCSC and a bishop in the role of moral adviser. The provincial office, located in Toronto, is managed by the executive director. The association promotes the interests of its members to government authorities and encourages consensus building and cooperation among the French-language Catholic school boards.
A Community of Faith and Learning
Since 1998 when French Language school boards were officially established in Ontario, the Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques has supported and promoted the interests of French Catholic education in the province.
AFOCSC is a central point of contact when it comes to disseminating information from the Ministry of Education on matters such as education funding and government initiatives that have an impact on French language education.
AFOCSC works with government at the provincial and federal levels to promote the needs and perspectives of the eight French-language Catholic school boards and their developing network of schools.
The AFOCSC is an official service provider to over 100 school board trustees, elected every four years by the taxpayers who fund French-language Catholic education. More than 70,000 students attend French-language Catholic schools across Ontario. Francophone Catholic boards operate more than 265 elementary and secondary schools.
One of AFOCSC’s main functions is to offer services to its membership.
School boards belonging to the AFOCSC, as well as Francophone Catholic school communities, can make use of our services and resources:
- Review and analysis of provincial regulations and legislation;
- Leadership and information on school funding issues;
- Information sharing in order to facilitate understanding of and response to governmentinitiatives as they are implemented;
- Meetings and information workshops to help school trustees exercise their political roles;
- Professional development and a forum for political discussion at our Annual General Meetings.
AFOCSC advocates for French- language Catholic education in Ontario. We monitor government activity, contribute to decision-making processes, liaise with provincial and federal political parties, and respond publicly to issues affecting French-language Catholic education in Ontario.
Our responsibilities include:
Strategic positioning and advocacy to ensure that government policies and programs reflect the needs and expectations of francophone Catholic school boards, their schools, their students and their parents, as well as those of taxpayers;
Presenting position papers to Parliamentary committees on draft legislation;
- Actively participating in budget planning around education funding and presenting finance briefs to the Education Minister and senior finance officials;
- Collaborating with various government stakeholders regarding the sustained development of French-language Catholic education in Ontario.
As the voice of its members, the association takes part in a number of committees, consultations, and discussions regarding issues of importance to French-language Catholic education, such as curriculum reform, education funding, early childhood education, the Ontario budget, and special education. The association works to build consensus among Francophone and Anglophone partners from the community to the national level.
In the view of AFOCSC, French-language Catholic schools reflect a unique philosophy of education. The schools and the boards that direct them are inspired by faith in Jesus Christ, a characteristic that is evident in various aspects of the schools’ learning environment, such as the Catholic curriculum, faith education, pastoral support, and community action.
Mission of French Catholic Schools in Ontario
“Animated by the Spirit of Jesus, rooted in the Christian community, enriched by their Francophone heritage, and focused on the student, French Catholic schools act as centres of evangelical life, liberating learning environments, and agents of social change for the Kingdom of God… making a difference in our world!”
This mission statement, shared by the 8 French Catholic boards, is outlined in the document Mission 2005 : L’école catholique de langue française en Ontario, published by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario.
Support for Initiatives linked with AFOCSC’s Mission
AFOCSC devotes time and resources to a range of activities and initiatives that align with its own mission. Some of these include:
- professional and faith development activities for trustees;
- regional meetings with trustees to discuss local concerns;
- production of materials and participation in initiatives to promote French-language Catholic education;
- help in coordinating World Catholicism Week activities in French-language Catholic schools;
- development of partnerships in collaboration with the Table des partenaires en éducation catholique en Ontario and its Anglophone counterpart, the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE).
Our French-language Catholic Education Partners
AFOCSC collaborates closely with the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO), the Office provincial de l’éducation de la foi catholique en Ontario (OPECO) and the Conseil ontarien des directions de l’éducation catholique (CODEC). AFOCSC sits on the board of directors of the Fédération nationale des conseillères et conseillers scolaires francophones (FNCSF) and maintains contacts with all provincial and national organizations working for sustained development of education in Ontario and throughout the country.
Facts About AFOCSC
Together, the province’s French Catholic boards are responsible for delivering programs to approximately 70,000 students in Ontario. All of the boards – from the smallest, with 550 students, to the largest, with an enrolment of nearly 15,000 – are working to improve Catholic education. The AFOCSC’s regular members are the elected officials of the following school boards:
- CSCD des Grandes Rivières (Timmins)
- CSC Franco-Nord (North Bay)
- CSDC du Nouvel-Ontario (Sudbury)
- CSCD des Aurores boréales (Thunder Bay)
- CSC Providence (Windsor)
- CSCD Centre-Sud (Toronto)
- CSDC de l’Est Ontarien (L’Orignal)
- Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (Ottawa)