EDUCATION. The project to set up an alternative school in La Tuque for the fall of 2024 passed an important milestone on November 7, when the instigators of the project had a meeting with the director general of the Center de services scolaire (CSS) of the ‘Energy, Denis Lemaire. A first contact described as positive by both parties.
“We felt a great openness on their part to offer this type of education. Mr. Lemaire explained to us that there were many great successes with other alternative schools in the area,” explains Amélie Lavoie, one of the six members of the founding committee, which is completed by Maxime MacGregor, Élisa Labrecque, Mélody Terter. , Sarah Bouvette and Micheline Côté.
The alternative school project in La Tuque was first led by Mélody Terter about three years ago, but really took off last spring when the six women began to give it shape by surveying, among other things, the interest of young families in the area.
“In our first survey, we asked what mission could we give to our future school and, for the most part, it was nature that emerged among the 162 responses we received. It comforted us, because it was part of the values we also wanted to give him. We want to take advantage of the region’s beautiful attractions,” says Maxime MacGregor.
In a second survey, the founding committee wanted to know the number of parents wishing to enroll their child in the event that La Tuque has an alternative school. It is here 43 families (94 pre-registrations) who raised their hands. “That means that we would have enough students to start two classes and maybe even three if we consider that several of her families have more than one child,” rejoices Amélie Lavoie.
During their meeting with the general manager of the CSS de l’Énergie, it was agreed that the committee should refine this information by obtaining the date of birth of each of the children concerned in order to establish a projection of the clientele for the next few years. . “These data will be forwarded to Mr. Lemaire in the coming days so that he can officially file the file at the next meeting of the board of directors on December 13,” emphasizes Maxime MacGregor.
The Marie-Médiatrice school
Closed to elementary school students since June 2010 and then rented to the Cégep de Shawinigan to provide training in La Tuque until 2021, the former Marie-Médiatrice school is targeted to host the alternative school project. However, the building needs major work, agreed Denis Lemaire when interviewed by L’Écho.
“The parents’ project is super positive, but the challenge here is that we are restricted to our premises in La Tuque. The Marie-Médiatrice school would do the trick, but there would be major work to repair the roof and completely redo the plumbing,” explains the director general of the CSS de l’Énergie, who intended to take steps with the Ministry of Education to see what could be done in this file.
It should be noted that in December 2021, Ville de La Tuque adopted a resolution of support for the CSS de l’Énergie in a request for funding to renovate the old school. Mayor Luc Martel’s municipal council agreed to establish a partnership with the CSS for the use of the premises and the gymnasium for a period of ten years in order to hold leisure and cultural activities.
Remember that the educational project of the alternative school in La Tuque would focus on nature with three main values: respect, cooperation and eco-citizenship. The two classes, or possibly three, would be multilevel since one of the characteristics of this type of school is to promote mutual aid between older and younger students. Parents, and even other family members, are also invited to get involved by becoming co-educators. “In the alternative school concept, education takes place at the community level, with both the school and the family,” concludes Amélie Lavoie.