Elementary and Secondary Education Program - National Program Guidelines 2016-2017

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Table of contents

1. Introduction

These guidelines provide direction for the delivery of the Elementary and Secondary Education Program for students ordinarily living on reserve.

2. Objective

The objective of the Elementary and Secondary Education Program is to provide eligible students ordinarily living on reserve with elementary and secondary education programs comparable to those that are required in provincial schools by the statutes, regulations, or policies of the province in which the reserve is located.

3. Outcomes

It is expected that eligible students will receive a comparable education to other Canadians within the same province of residence, and achieve similar educational outcomes to other Canadians with attendant socio-economic benefits to themselves, their communities and Canada.

4. Activities

4.1 Instructional Services

The band council shall ensure that students ordinarily resident on reserve have access to elementary and secondary instructional services in a band-operated, federal, provincial, or a private/independent school recognized by the province as an elementary/secondary institution. Note that a student who is ordinarily resident on reserve lands that are leased is not eligible for funding unless that student is a registered Indian.

In the case of band-operated and federal schools, the band council shall ensure that programs comparable to provincially recognized programs of study are provided, and that only provincially certified teachers are employed. The band council shall also ensure that education standards allow students to transfer without penalty to an equivalent grade in another school within the school system of the province in which the school is located.

An independent evaluation of each band-operated and federal school is to be undertaken every five years. This evaluation must include, at a minimum, a review of the curriculum, an assessment of instructional quality and standards, and a review to determine if community and school objectives have been achieved. The band council will ensure that the school has a plan in place for the implementation of the recommendations of the school evaluation report. This plan will be updated each year.

Where access to instructional services is provided in a provincial school, or in a private/ independent school recognized by the province as an elementary or secondary institution, the council shall enter into a Local Education Agreement/Tuition Agreement with the applicable provincial school district or board operating the respective provincial school and agrees to maintain the Local Education Agreement/Tuition Agreement in good standing by making payments as required by each agreement.

4.2 Student Support Services

The council shall ensure that students ordinarily resident on reserve (with the exception of students who are ordinarily resident on reserve lands that are leased, and who are not registered Indians) have access to elementary and secondary student support services in a band-operated, federal, provincial, or a private/independent school recognized by the province as an elementary/secondary institution.

Eligible student support services are listed in section 7.4 of this document.

4.3 School Board Type Services

The band council or organization designated by the band council shall ensure that school board type services, as per section 7.5 of this document, are provided to band-operated schools and eligible students as required.

5. Eligible Recipients

Funding for the Elementary and Secondary Education Program may be flowed directly to band councils, or to organizations designated by band councils (bands/settlements, tribal councils, education organizations, political/treaty organizations, public or private organizations engaged by or on behalf of Indian bands to provide education services, provincial ministries of education, provincial school boards/districts or private/independent education institutions).

In addition, INAC may also enter into agreements directly with provincial education authorities for the delivery of elementary/secondary education services, with private firms to administer program funds with or on behalf of the First Nation (i.e. co-managers, or third-party managers), or in some cases, INAC may deliver services directly (e.g. in the remaining federal schools).

6. Eligible Students

6.1 Nominal Roll

The Nominal Roll is the registry of all eligible elementary and secondary students funded by INAC to attend a band-operated, federal, provincial, or private/independent school.

The recipient must demonstrate the eligibility of a student to be included on the Nominal Roll before being eligible for funding. To be eligible for the Nominal Roll, a student must be:

  • enrolled in and attending a band-operated, federal, provincial, or a private/independent school (including E-learning institutions and Alternative/Outreach schools) recognized by the province in which the school is located as an elementary/secondary institution;
  • aged 4 to 21 years (or the age range eligible for elementary and secondary education support in the province of residence) on December 31 of the school year in which funding support is required; and
  • ordinarily resident on reserve.

A student who is ordinarily resident on reserve lands that are leased is not eligible for funding unless that student is a registered Indian.

Ordinarily resident on reserve means that the student usually lives at a civic address on reserve, is a child in joint custody who lives on reserve most of the time, or is staying on reserve and has no usual home elsewhere. Students continue to be considered ordinarily resident on reserve if they return to live on reserve with their parents, guardians or maintainers during the year, even if the students live elsewhere while attending school or working at a summer job. (In this context, reserves are deemed to include all land set aside by the federal government for the use and occupancy of an Indian band, along with all other Crown lands which are recognized by DIAND as settlement lands of the Indian band of which the student is a resident.)

Note: In the case of a child in the care of a Child and Family Services Agency, or in the care of the province, the residency of the child is determined by the residency of the guardian with whom the child is placed. A guardian is a person who assumes authority for the child through a legal guardianship agreement.

6.2 Attendance Criteria

A daily student attendance book, or the electronic equivalent, must be maintained by all schools. In order to be entered on the Nominal Roll, a student must be eligible (see section 6.1 above), registered and in an established pattern of attendance and attending on the last instructional day of September in a school year (the census date).

Student eligibility is further confirmed by an on-site and in-office review by INAC of student attendance. At a minimum, attendance records will be reviewed for the months of September and October. The INAC regional office will establish the level of attendance during this period that is required for a student to be confirmed on the Nominal Roll for funding purposes (e.g. the number of days in September and the number of days in October, or a percentage in each month). Exceptions, as specified by provincial norms, may be made where there is documentation (e.g. a note or recorded notification in an established electronic monitoring system from the parent or guardian) that the reason a student's attendance falls below this level is due to participation in traditional pursuits, illness, placement orders by a Child and Family Services Agency, delays in school opening, or other unavoidable causes of absence from school.

The pattern of attendance established by INAC regions for funding purposes will apply to the following school types: band-operated, provincial, federal, and private/independent schools recognized by the province as an elementary/secondary institution.

7. Eligible Expenditures

The following list includes all items for which INAC elementary and secondary education funding may be spent at the discretion of the appropriate band authorities. The expenditures must be covered within the funding provided under the regional school funding formula and will depend on the overall amount of funding available for elementary and secondary education.

7.1 Instructional Services in Band Operated Schools

Eligible expenditures for instructional services in band-operated schools are:

  • salaries for school professional staff (e.g. principals, vice-principals, teachers, para-professionals, substitute teachers, Aboriginal language coordinators);
  • support for culture and language learning and counselling;
  • professional development services;
  • curriculum development;
  • purchase and/or modification of instructional materials, including computers;
  • diagnostic testing and evaluation (not covered under the High Cost Special Education Program);
  • professional and para-professional services;
  • services for official language instruction;
  • books and other instructional supplies;
  • internet connectivity costs;
  • necessary support for equivalency programming (e.g. distance education courses, correspondence courses, school-monitored home schooling);
  • school nutrition programs (not covered under the National Child Benefit program);
  • school administration (e.g. school secretary, travel and relocation of education and administrative staff, rental of equipment, telephone, office supplies); and
    Note for recipients: Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost, but cannot exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the Directive will not be paid.
  • school evaluation (e.g. costs of preparing school evaluations) and implementation of evaluation recommendations.

7.2 Instructional Services in Federal Schools

The same expenditures are eligible for federal schools as for band-operated schools (see section 7.1 above), with the exception of the salaries and benefits of federal employees, which are paid directly by INAC.

7.3 Instructional Services in Provincial and in Private/Independent Schools Recognized by the Province as an Elementary/Secondary Institution

Eligible expenditures for instructional services are tuition charges established by the provincial school authority or the private school, and are similar to components of instructional services outlined for band-operated and federal schools. Pupil accommodation charges, operation and maintenance of provincial or private school facilities are also included in tuition agreements. These tuition charges are generally paid by a First Nation but may be paid by INAC, under exceptional circumstances.

The amount provided to a First Nation for a student attending a private/independent school will not be greater than the rate that would be provided for a student attending the provincial school nearest to the student's home community.

7.4 Student Support Services

In the category of Student Support Services, eligible expenditures are:

  • room and board, or group homes costs for students who are attending school outside their home communities or whose parents are temporarily away from their home community pursuing traditional activities such as trapping;
  • daily, extra-curricular, seasonal or special transportation (i.e. between the student's permanent residence and a seasonal residence);
  • guidance, counselling and school liaison services;
  • financial assistance including the cost of purchase or rental of books and supplies, specialized clothing (including a graduation allowance), equipment (e.g. laboratory or shop costs) or specialized educational services (e.g. school psychologists), additional fees for specialized classes;
  • an allowance for reasonable incidental expenses for those students who are being accommodated outside of their home; and
  • school committee support consistent with provincial norms.

7.5 School Board Type Services

In the category of School Board Type Services, eligible expenses are:

  • costs associated with coordination of region-wide education programs and services in more than one community;
  • program modification or adaptation;
  • instructional materials;
  • development of curriculum;
  • diagnostic testing and evaluation (not covered under the High Cost Special Education Program or First Nation Student Support Program);
  • professional services;
  • professional development and support activities;
  • costs associated with providing advice to band administration (e.g. travel expenses, web sites) and consultation with communities;
    Note for recipients: Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost, but cannot exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the Directive will not be paid.
  • management of education/school boards (including operational costs);
  • advice and support to First Nations in wording and negotiation of agreements with provincial education authorities;
  • funding for liaison with community service providers (e.g. child/family services, employment programs), provincial service providers and education organizations to support improved education outcomes;
  • honoraria for school board members in line with provincial standards;
  • school evaluation and implementation of evaluation recommendations; and
  • maintaining a regional organization infrastructure.

8. Maximum Program Contribution

The maximum allowable payment per full time equivalent (FTE) student was established to ensure that the most extreme circumstances could be funded as necessary. Actual funding per student is set regionally and will depend on the overall amount of funding available for elementary/secondary education.

The maximum contribution for elementary/secondary education services to band-operated schools and federal schools (excluding high cost special education) is $36,000 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student, per year.

Cost per student for instructional services in provincial schools is based on the tuition rate established by provincial school boards/districts.

For students attending private/independent schools, the maximum amount payable is the rate that would have been paid if the student attended the nearest provincial school to the student's home community.

9. Funding Arrangement

Funding will be available in the form of a one-year or multi-year Set, Fixed or Block contribution depending on the type of institution and services. The results of the General Assessment (GA) of each recipient may impact the duration of the agreement and the recipient's ability to access certain funding approaches. For information on funding approaches and the GA, visit the Transfer Payments page on INAC's website.

10. Monitoring and Accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these National Program Guidelines while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures set out in these National Program Guidelines.

INAC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under these National Program Guidelines and funding agreements. Regional offices and other departmental contacts are available to answer questions and provide guidance related to INAC programs and funding.

To ensure that program delivery requirements are being met, that funds are expended on the intended purposes, and that INAC's accountability to Parliament is being met, activities including audits, evaluations, as well as desk and on-site compliance reviews will be conducted with all funding recipients.

  • The Department's collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program compliance reviews will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.
  • The Department is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by INAC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy. Recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations and/or policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to INAC.

11. Reporting Requirements

The reporting requirements are listed in the recipient's funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that reporting requirements are met and reports are accurate and submitted on or before the established due dates. Recipients who have access to the INAC Services Portal can access the reporting forms (Data Collection Instruments) by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office.

12. Contact Information

For further program information, please visit the Elementary/Secondary Education Programs page.

The regional offices coordinates can be found on the Contact Regional Offices page.

You can also write to:

Education Branch
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street
GATINEAU QC K1A 0H4
Fax number: 819-934-1478
aadnc.education.aandc@canada.ca

These National Program Guidelines can be consulted in the Education National Program Guidelines page of INAC's website and through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI).

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