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This section contains definitions for many of the terms used throughout this website. For simplicity’s sake, they have been grouped into the following categories:


Dropping out

Dropping out of school

Dropping out of school refers to abandoning the minimum expected educational outcome (high school diploma [DES], vocational diploma [DEP], or qualification [training certificate in a semiskilled trade or prework training certificate]).

Rate of students leaving school without a diploma or qualification
(Dropout rate)

A dropout is a student who was enrolled in Secondary 1 to 5 of Québec’s youth-sector general education program as of September 30 of a given year but who cannot be found in any general education youth-sector teaching establishment, adult-sector program, or vocational program in Québec during a follow-up almost two years later using the databases of the ministère de l’Éducation.

School (or educational) success

School success

School or educational success means getting an initial diploma. Obviously, school success also refers to students’ gaining qualification, socialization, and a sense of accountability, as well as developing to their full potential.

Rate of high school graduation and qualification

This rate is the primary monitoring indicator for graduation and qualification. Calculated 5, 6, and 7 years after a new cohort of students starts Secondary I, the rate of graduation and qualification is the proportion of youth who have obtained a high school diploma (DES), a vocational diploma (DEP), or a qualification (training certificate in a semiskilled trade or prework training certificate). The government’s graduation rate target was based on this indicator.

Students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties (SHSMLD)

The ministère de l’Éducation classifies students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties into two groups:

  • Students who have been given a difficulty code,
  • Students without a difficulty code but who do have an intervention plan.
Rate of delay in expected age

Delay in expected age refers to students who have exceeded the maximum age under the Education Act for reaching a given level. The expected age upon leaving elementary school and entering high school is 12 years.Poverty

Family assistance program of the Régie des rentes du Québec

Statistics Canada no longer collects the data needed to calculate social and material poverty (Pampalon Index), so receiving the maximum amount from the Régie des rentes du Québec’s family assistance program has become one of the indicators of socioeconomic status for families. The payment is based in part on family income and the number of dependent children under the age of 18.

Poverty among families with children under the age of 18

Every year, Montreal’s school taxation committee (Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l’île de Montréal—CGTSIM) calculates school poverty level. The CGTSIM bases this calculation on what it calls the overall underprivilege index, which relies on the place of residence of students and not on the location of the school. The underprivilege index is made up of four indicators:

  • proportion of families with low after-tax income
  • proportion of single-parent families led by women
  • proportion of mothers who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • proportion of families in which neither parent works full time

Underprivilege index values are classified into six levels:

  • High concentration
  • Moderate concentration
  • Strong presence
  • Moderate presence
  • Weak presence
  • Minimal presence

Socioeconomic environment index

Published by the ministère de l’Éducation, the socioeconomic environment index (indice de milieu socioéconomique—IMSE) reflects a school’s level of underprivilege.

Its calculation is based on two indicators:

  • proportion of families with children in which the mother lacks a high school diploma
  • proportion of households where parents were unemployed at the time of the Canadian census

Each school is classified into a decile, with decile 10 representing the highest level of underprivilege.

Types of intervention

The actions in the Get inspired section have been classified into the following types of intervention:

Actions aimed primarily at changing attitudes through exposure to messages that promote school perseverance (e.g., presentations or thematic days).

Universal prevention
Actions aimed at developing individual competencies or improving environmental factors for all members of a group or population, without any screening (e.g., extracurricular activities).

Targeted prevention
Actions aimed at countering the influence of risk factors and at increasing the effects of protective factors among individuals. These actions require screening for potential participants (e.g., supplementary educational activities for at-risk students).

Re-engagement with school
Actions that encourage students to return to school and get their high school diploma or certificate or that promote social and professional integration (e.g., registration in a special education program).

Vulnerability of kindergarten students

EDI and developmental domains

The measuring instrument EDI (Early Development Instrument) is a questionnaire for kindergarten or preschool teachers. They fill it out based on their observations of the child.

The EDI measures five domains of early childhood development that are interrelated:

Cognitive and language development
Interest and skill in reading, writing, and mathematics; appropriate use of language.

Communication skills and general knowledge
Ability to understand others and to communicate, ability to enunciate, general knowledge.

Physical health and well-being
Overall physical development, fine and gross motor skills, physical readiness for school (adequate food and clothing), cleanliness, punctuality, tiredness.

Social competence
Social skills, self-confidence, sense of responsibility, respect for peers and adults, respect for classroom rules and routines, work habits and autonomy, curiosity.

Emotional maturity
Prosocial behaviour and mutual assistance, worries and anxiety, aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity and attention span, expression of emotions.

Rate of vulnerability among kindergarten students

This data point of the Québec Survey of Child Development in Kindergarten (QSCDK) is calculated from the EDI. It illustrates the vulnerability of kindergarten students upon entering school based on the five developmental domains.

Youth with immigrant backgrounds and language

Youth with immigrant backgrounds

Mc Andrew et al. classify immigrant students into first and second-generation immigrants, depending on where they or their parents were born. Thus first-generation immigrant students are born abroad, while second-generation immigrant students are born in Canada but have at least one parent who was born abroad.

Mother tongue or language spoken at home

Mother tongue: any first language spoken by a child, which their parents or guardians use with them; can be English, French, or any other language.

Language spoken at home: corresponds to language of everyday use at home.