Friday, November 27, 2020


NEW INTERIM DIRECTOR GENERAL:  The Council of Commissioners of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) have announced the appointment of Russell Copeman as its Interim Director General, effective immediately.

“The current Council of Commissioners has been in office for less than a month, and we have a full plate of issues to address,” explains EMSB Chairman Joe Ortona . “These include first and foremost ensuring we continue to meet the needs of our students and their families, particularly during the ongoing pandemic. At the same time, our role is to set the strategic plan for the EMSB while hiring a permanent Director General – the one person who reports directly to the Council of Commissioners.

“Russell has the leadership skills and understanding of our education system to guide the EMSB and advise the Council of Commissioners over the next few months. We are fortunate to have a public servant of his calibre on our team.”

Russell Copeman

For the past two years Mr. Copeman has served as  Executive Director of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) where he has provided dynamic and effective leadership on a wide range of issues ranging from opposition to Bill 40, the holding of commissioner elections in the middle of a pandemic and the school system’s response to COVID-19.

“I am excited about joining the school board with one of the highest student success rates in the province and on par with the private sector,” noted Mr. Copeman. “My goal is to work with my colleagues to build on this foundation. At the same time, I think I can be helpful as the EMSB continues to lead the opposition to legislation prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols by our teachers and defends the Quebec’s English community’s right to manage and control our school system.”

Prior to joining QESBA, Mr Copeman was Mayor of Cote-de-Neiges Notre-Dame-de-Grace and a member of the City of Montreal Executive Committee.  He was Associate Vice-President, External Affairs for Concordia University and served as the Member of the National Assembly for Notre-Dame-de- Grace for 14 years.

“I also wish to thank Pelagia Nickoletopoulos for her support and her commitment to doing what is best for the EMSB,” added Mr. Ortona. “She agreed to serve as Interim Director General on a temporary basis while we looked for someone to take on the assignment for a transition period. She is a principled and talented leader who will provide Russell with valuable advice and counsel.”

Mr. Copeman is on loan to the EMSB by the QESBA while the Council of Commissioners proceeds with its search for a permanent Director General, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. 

Agostino Cannavino and Joe Ortona.

COMMISSIONERS RETURN: The EMSB Council of Commissioners were officially sworn in on November 11. You can see the ceremony here

James Kromida and Joe Ortona.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS:  Commissioners vote for committee chairs and membership.   Agostino Cannavino is  Vice-Chair of the Board. More posts will be filled at a special meeting on December 2. For the complete list go to

Caleigh Saucier and her three children.

INTERVIEW WITH NEW CPC CHAIR:  Newly elected as chair of the EMSB Parents Committee, Caleigh Saucier comes into the position with an impressive history of parent involvement .For nine years, on and off, Ms. Saucier has been a parent volunteer, attending monthly meetings of the EMSB Parents Committee (PC), which she now chairs. She started out on the Parent Participation Organization (PPO) at Sinclair Laird Elementary School in Park Extension, from the time her son started Kindergarten until Grade 4. She continued the PPO work at Parkdale Elementary School in   St. Laurent, where he graduated. She helped form its Governing Board, where she was chair for one year and delegate for another, as well as assuming the position of its parent delegate for three years. Ms. Saucier’s son, 13, is currently in his second year at Marymount Academy International in NDG, where she sits on its Governing Board. She is also president of CSAssurance et Associés, where she works as a financial securities advisor and damage insurance broker. She is also mother three year old twin girls. We asked Caleigh Saucier some questions about what motivated her to take on this highest level in parental involvement in school governance and what she hopes to accomplish during her one-year mandate. Please see her full interview with Kristin McNeill here.

ANNUAL REPORT: Public notice is hereby given, in conformity with Section 220.1 of the Education Act that the Board’s Annual Report and Commitment-to-Success Plan will be presented on Thursday, January 14, 2020 at 7 p.m. by video conference.  You must register by Noon that day with Brigida Sellato at  in order to be sent a link.

SCHOOL SCHEDULE:  The EMSB has received new directives from the Ministry of Education regarding the school schedules.

December 17 and 18: At the elementary level, teachers will remain in contact with their students during the two day period via phone calls, home-based assignments, activities, and where possible, video-conferencing through a variety of platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, etc. (this can be on any personal device available to the student – computer, tablet, phone, etc.). As per the Ministry’s directives, four  schools shall remain open (Mackay-Philip A Layton, John Grant, LINKS and St. Raphael) during the two day period due to the specific needs of their students.  Regular daycare services will be cancelled on those days.  A few schools will be asked to keep their daycares open for emergency workers, first responders and medical personnel ONLY (as was done during the initial wave of the pandemic). At the High School level, students will be following their classes from home through virtual learning.

January 4 to 8: All elementary schools shall follow the established calendar and regular classes will resume with students present in class. Daycares will also be open for registered students.   At the High School level, students will be following their classes from home through virtual learning.

January 11: Regular schedule resumes for  High School students.

AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS: The 2019-2020 audited financial statements of the EMSB were deposited at the special Board meeting of November 4, showing an operating deficit that exceeded the authorized deficit by $2.5 million. This represents under one percent of total revenue.  The EMSB was able to appropriate (use) close to $7.3 million in  2019-2020 from the June 30, 2018 accumulated surplus for continued services to directly benefit students, including the continued investment in various initiatives, as well as direct allocations to schools for improvements to schools and centres.  The actual operating deficit of $9.8 million was cushioned by this amount. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant temporary disruptions to the EMSB’s operations. Steps have and will continue to be   taken in the aftermath of these events to minimize their impact. Given that the duration of the pandemic remains unknown, it is not possible to reliably estimate its impact.

SPIRIT OF GIVING: For more than a decade the EMSB has partnered with CTV Montreal for the Spirit of Giving campaign, collecting non-perishable goods, toiletries and toys to fill boxes to be donated to local charities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign will be collecting monetary donations exclusively online this year. Such a procedure was already in place for the last two years as an option.   The CTV Spirit of Giving started out over 20 years ago as a food drive for local charities, and included collections from schools, as well as local businesses.

Last year's Spirit of Giving at Dunrae Gardens.

It’s been a difficult year and lending a helping hand is more important than ever. The EMSB will be promoting the campaign through its schools and centres and encouraging donations. Schools which provide the most support will be featured on some CTV Montreal newscasts. Stay tuned for more information. “Our partner charities tell us that right now financial donations have a greater impact on fighting hunger and poverty in our community than collecting food,” says CTV Montreal News Director Jed Kahane. “Through bulk purchasing and reduced rates, our charitable organizations can stretch their buying power further than we could as individuals. Some of our partners also have other needs dealing with emergency services, mental health, shelter, and other education.”

The CTV Spirit of Giving campaign will collect monetary donations and distribute them equally to all charitable recipients. They contend that financial donations have a greater impact on fighting hunger in our community. Through bulk purchasing and reduced rates, every $10 you donate allows CTV to buy $30 worth of food!  Additionally, through conscious purchasing, we aim to provide fresh, healthy, seasonal, local, and minimally processed food for our members.

Here is the link to the campaign.

Dr.Goddard in the EMSB kitchen.

REMEMBERING DR. GODDARD: Former EMSB administrator Dr. Horace Goddard passed away recently. He served as Director of Community Services for more than 15 years. Trained in education, he taught elementary and high school in Montreal (1977-87), was Vice-Principal of LaSalle High School (1987-90), Principal of Parkdale School (1990-93), then from 1993-1995, was Coordinator of Personnel Services. Dr. Goddard was also active in the community and involved in a number of organizations including Black Community Resource Centre; Quebec Board of Black Educators (QBBE); National Council of Black Educators; Canadian Association of Commonwealth Language and Literary Studies. As a writer, his works included poetry, fiction and children’s stories. He was a patron to students in an orphanage in Kenya, supporting them through their high school years.

STATEMENT ON VENTILATION: The EMSB   wishes to provide an update on the topic of ventilation of school and centre buildings in the system. “We are waiting for an announcement from the Ministry of Education and the recommendations from Santé Publique regarding the purchase and installation of air purifiers in our school and centre buildings,” stated EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. “Until then we will continue to use our mechanical or natural ventilation systems, which continue to be the most effective procedure.  We have always had to air out our classrooms by opening windows and that will not change, even with air purifiers.

Mr. Ortona emphasized that the EMSB is acting prudently and expecting an announcement shortly. “We have already started an assessment on the needs of our network for buildings without mechanical ventilation system,” he said. “We should get the results of this analysis shortly, at which time we will inform our stakeholders of the Board’s position.”

WESTMOUNT PARK BUILDING UPDATE: The EMSB has provided an update on the extensive ongoing renovation project at Westmount Park Elementary School. “While our goal remains to return to the building in time for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays beyond our control to the original construction schedule,” Principal Marco Gagliardi said in a letter to parents and staff. “As it stands today, we cannot exclude a scenario where our return to the building may be delayed.”

Westmount Park School before the renovations began.

The major renovations at Westmount Park include, but are not limited to, roof, interior finishes, accessibility (elevator), mechanical (plumbing, CVAC, sprinklers), electrical (wiring, lights, telecom, fire alarm system, etc.) and exterior (additional accessibility ramp, public utility works, drainage system and foundation waterproofing). Work began in the summer of 2019 and demolition was completed in February 2020. Our contractor and workers are sparing no effort to ensure the smooth completion of the project with the objective to make up for lost time. While measures can namely include double shifting and working on weekends, the evolving pandemic context may continue to interfere with our plans.

“In the event that a September reopening is not possible, we are committed to provide sufficient notice to all stakeholders and share mitigation measures,” stated Mr. Gagliardi. “If necessary, the present arrangement of having our school populations housed at the Marymount Academy International and Ville Émard facilities could be extended. While we are all eager to return to our newly renovated building, it is our primary responsibility to ensure that our student population and school team returns to a safe and secure environmentIndeed, we all look forward to the reopening of what will be a truly state-of-the-art facility.”  

Rocco Placentino in action.   

FORMER IMPACT PLAYER LAUNCHES SCHOOL PROGRAM: It may be nine years since Rocco Placentino last suited up for a professional soccer game. Many of the memories, however, are still fresh in his mind, as if they happened just yesterday. Mr. Placentino still thinks back fondly on his six years spent playing for Italian soccer clubs and his experience representing Canada at the Under-20, Under-23 and Senior levels. There were also, of course, his two separate stints playing for his hometown Montreal Impact, winning a USL First Division league championship in 2009, and playing a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match against Mexican club Santos Laguna in front of over 55,000 people at the Olympic Stadium on Placentino’s 27th birthday, among other highlights. He attributes much of that success to his time spent at the EMSB’s Gerald McShane Elementary School and, later, Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North.  As a way of giving back to the school board, he is offering free live Zoom sessions with EMSB students, with the goal of promoting physical literacy and keeping them active, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The in-class workouts are being offered as a pilot project at Gardenview Elementary in Saint-Laurent, with the ultimate goal of expanding the program to other EMSB classrooms.  He will be at the school (700 Brunet) on Thursday, December 3 (9:10 am) to do his first live workout with a physical education class and streamed throughout the school.  “Then we will go live on Zoom every Thursday at the same time,” said Interim Principal Gaetano Sifoni. “He will do those ones from home and stream into all the classrooms.”

For more details click on our story here.

EXCITING NEWS FOR INSPIRATIONS: The Fall 2020 /winter 2021 edition of Inspirations Newspaper is hot off the press! This edition has a new, fresh look. Start on page 3 with “In this edition,” which shares a snapshot of each section in the publication and where to find the articles you’d like to read first, be it a new resource, timely advice from one of our EMSB Student Services Department specialists, Sports, a Netflix or Apple TV+ review, or our new feature “A spotlight on some of Montreal’s awesome parents.” Read about our new sponsor, Simon Chang of the Simon Chang Foundation for Change, and our new Simon Chang Difference Maker Award, which has been awarded to Bradley Heaven and Dan O’Connor of All Access Life. Check out our photo gallery on page 7 to see all of the EMSB students that Simon Chang met with when he visited our schools prior to the pandemic. 

Simon Chang with students from L.I.N.K.S. High School last year.

Thanks to our EMSB Student Services Department specialists for sharing their knowledge and timely advice, which is especially needed during the pandemic. This edition includes articles on “Heartfulness: Practicing Loving-Kindness meditation” by Danika Swanson, “Managing quarantine exhaustion through self-care, problem solving and coping strategies” by Despina Vassiliou and Janet Perlis, “The EMSB’s new Centre of Excellence for the Physically, Intellectually and Multi-Challenged” by Claudia De Luca, Sarah Lynch and Sophia Orfanos, “Scrap the shaming, instead use sleuthing skills to understand what’s behind the behaviour” by Stephanie Paquette, “Language classes support students at the EMSB” by Elisabeth Christe, “Galileo provides tips to improve students’ mental health during the pandemic” by Lisa Trotto and Felicia Nardolillo. In addition, don’t miss Nick Katalifos’ column on the exciting launch of Polaris Enterprise at Wagar Adult Education Centre. Read a touching tribute to Jordan Smith, who was an autism spectrum disorders consultant at the EMSB, written by Tania Piperni, and Sebu Baghdassarian, who was a student at Galileo, written by Lisa Trotto and Caroline Jelovcic. 

You can read the edition here and visit us on Facebook @inspirationsnews. Email to have print copies delivered to you, or if you have a story idea to pitch for the Spring / Summer 2021 edition. 

Please see this wonderful TV report on Simon Chang and Inspirations on CityNews Montreal. 

Ms. Pia

MISS PIA:  During the pandemic, Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School daycare educator Pia Di Bacco-Falconi has been absolutely amazing at keeping her students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten safe and entertained. Despite everything going on, she ensures that the students sing songs about positivity, and keeps them moving to catchy songs that all the students enjoy! Ms. Pia is also well-known at Our Lady of Pompei for her catchy phrase "We don't want any double bubble trouble." This phrase reminds the students that everyone should stay in their bubble, in order to avoid trouble!  The youngest students at Our Lady of Pompei are able to maintain social distancing while having fun!  The school also purchased Ms. Pia a T-Shirt with her famous slogan!  

STUDENT ASSOCIATION: The English Montreal Student Advisory Committee (EMSAC) meetings have moved online for the 2020-21 school year and we just wrapped up our second meeting! EMSAC is made up of two student representatives from each high school across the network of schools. Sector Director Nathalie Lacroix-Maillette and Interim Director General Pela Nickoletopoulos, Commissioner Joseph Lalla, Vice-Principals  Andrea Dillon (James Lyng)  and Peter. McKelvie (Vincent Massey) and Lester B. Pearson High School teacher Paul Karpontinis serve as its mentors. Every month, students in EMSAC meet in order to consider and deliberate topics that are important to youth across the EMSB and beyond. As formal student representatives to the EMSB, members voice their opinions and declare their recommendations on matters received for consultation. In addition to empowering our members as the student voice of the EMSB, participation in EMSAC fosters leadership development and networking of our students. 

Some of the participants in the last EMSAC call.

“We have already covered a lot of ground in just two short meetings,” says Mr. Karpontinis. “The year began with ice-breaking activities, a mini workshop on what EMSAC is all about and how parliamentary style meetings are conducted. Our first discussions surrounded recent developments in Bill 40, COVID-19 and its impact on education and systemic racism and its implications in our schools."

A student strikes a pose for the campaign,.

NATIONAL CHILD DAY: November 20th was National Child Day in Canada, Lester B. Pearson High School’s Student Council took its annual Vow of Silence as part of its Social Justice Crusade. Members sacrificed their voices to draw attention to the plight of those who have been oppressed, bullied or exploited around the world. Students collected pledges for their hours of silence which will be donated to our global charitable initiative and used social media and badges to draw attention to global social injustices that are dear to their hearts. #PearsonPride  

MEDIA CLIPS: CBC Radio Noon did a program about the Christmas break, with some focus on how it will impact schools.  You can listen here. Go to the  26:50 mark  to hear teacher Robert Green from Westmount High and the 43:40 mark to hear  Vincent Massey and EMSAC  Grade 10 student Liam Leduc Boyle.

MADAME VICE-PRESIDENT ELECT:  The staff, students, parents, and commissioners of the EMSB wish to express their sincerest congratulations to Westmount High School graduate Kamala Harris on becoming the Vice-President elect of the United States. ‘This is a moment of extreme pride for the EMSB and the public-education system in general,” stated EMSB Chairman Joe Ortona.

Students show their support for Kamala Harris.

Mr. Ortona and  Assistant Director General Evelyne Alfonsi joined staff and students outside of the school on November 9 to celebrate this great moment in history. Ms. Harris attended Westmount High from 1978 to 1981. On November 7 she became America's first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect. She was previously a California Senator and Attorney General.  “From the moment Kamala Harris became a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, her story was integrated into discussions of the  American electoral system in some classes at  Westmount High School,” noted Ms. Alfonsi. “In the weeks leading up to her historic swearing in ceremony, this teaching moment may very well spread to more of our schools.”

It might be a lofty dream, but Mr. Ortona hopes that during the four year mandate of the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration that any Canadian visit by the future Vice-president could include a visit to her former high school where a hero’s welcome would await.  Prior to the election results being announced, Westmount High Vice-Principal Matt Shapiro, teacher Robert Green and student Kaleesia Bailey were guests on Toronto’s Breakfast Television.

INTERGENERATIONAL PEN PAL PROJECT: Social connection is important at every age. This school year Mélissa Bergevin's Grade 7 Enriched English class at Westmount High School  is embarking upon a journey that will build connections between multiple generations.  Students will be assigned a pen pal who is an older adult from the Cummings Centre in Snowdon. Every month between November and May students will write one letter and receive another as they build a relationship through writing. At the end of the year, students and seniors will meet virtually and finally put a face to the name they've gotten to know throughout the year. 

Building connections.

The project was launched the week after Thanksgiving with a presentation on dementia led by Joanne Baskin and Michelle Moore-Torman of the Cummings Centre, with the support of the Public Health Agency of Canada. This presentation helped students develop an understanding of those experiencing memory loss and gave them insight into what questions to ask their pen pals. The project's conception comes from the four year relationship between the West-End Intergenerational Network (WIN) and the EMSB Spiritual and Community Animation Service. 

Some pages from the book.

CHORALE NEWS: On November 14, the EMSB Chorale launched its beautiful keepsake book entitled Recipes & Memories in celebration of its 40th Anniversary. It was in 1980 that Arts Consultant Georgie Crawford set up the PSBGM Children’s Chorus as a Special Project of what is now the Educational Services Department. Renowned conductor Iwan Edwards was the first artistic director. The Children’s Chorus became the PSBGM Chorale and, with the restructuring of the school boards, the EMSB Chorale. Over the years hundreds of elementary and high school students have participated, performing as ambassadors for the school board throughout Montreal and the province, across Canada and internationally. The virtual launch was well attended by current and alumni members of the choir, as well as parent volunteers, and former Junior Chorale conductor Erica Phare and former accompanist Daniella Bernstein, joining in from Victoria, BC and Sherbrooke, QC respectively. All four decades of the choir were represented. Also attending the launch were Interim Director General Evelyne Alfonsi, Educational Services Department Director Anna Sanalitro and Assistant Directors Athina Galanogeorgos and Anna Villalta. The 72-page book features choir history and memoirs, 59 colour photos, and 37 delicious recipes submitted by choir members and their families, including dishes and desserts that have been favourites at our fall camps and end-of-season potluck banquet dinners. To order a copy ($20), or for more information on the EMSB Chorale, contact conductor Pat Abbott at or at 514-483-7200, ext. 7234.

The ceremony at St. Raphael.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: EMSB schools had a wide variety of Remembrance Day ceremonies for Remembrance Day, embracing a virtual format. Here is our detailed  story.

Mark Bergman filed this podcast with Spiritual Animator Rocco Speranza and some John F. Kennedy High School students about the Pass the Poppy campaign. Mr. Bergman is part of 92.5 FM The Beat's morning show and contributes to the EMSB Communications and Marketing Division.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose federal Papineau constituency includes JFK High, sent this video message.

Bergman (top left) talks podcasting.

JFK PODCAST: Six secondary five students at John F. Kennedy High School and  Mr. Speranza are teaming up with Mr. Bergman to start their own podcast.  It will serve as a way for students and staff to stay connected, share common interests, and shed light on current issues. “Despite the pandemic this is a way to bring the school community together,” noted Mr. Speranza. “The students taking part are naturals."  The students were put on the spot as they were asked to come up with an intro and conclusion and several questions, all in under five minutes, to ask the surprise guest invited by me. Stay tuned for the podcast to find out who was interviewed.” Their slogan and motto for the podcast are R & R Radio, JFK Knightsline: One Voice, One School, One Community.  

TWENTY-ONE DAYS: Rosemount High School and Perspectives I & II Alternative High School will be partnering up with Roberto Leclerc and Fatiha Guemiri from REISA ( and Tony Alfonso from AMI Quebec ( for a two-part virtual program on mental health, coping strategies for anxiety, and stress management. This 45-minute virtual presentation called 21 Days will take place via Zoom and will be facilitated by trained professionals from AMI Quebec and Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce. The presentation will cover topics such as self-care, healthy relationships, peer pressure, and include weekly motivational challenges, as well as testimonials from AMI Quebec. The program will be spearheaded by Resource teacher Jacklyn Di Genova and Mr.  Lacroce. Their goal is for students to come up with a personal or professional goal and to take action to meet that goal for 21 straight days. After three weeks, the hope is that whatever action students have been undertaking in pursuit of their goal will have become a habit. Once a positive habit is established, students will be challenged to keep it up for another 90 days, at which point, it should become a permanent lifestyle change.

SAINT MICHAEL’S MISSION:  Rosemount High, Nesbitt Elementary  and Honore Mercier Elementary will be participating in a virtual workshop called “Saint Michael’s Mission: More than a Bowl of Soup.” This 45-minute virtual presentation will be led by Chantal Laferrière, Director of Saint Michael’s Mission and Mr. Lacroce and feature a testimonial from someone who is currently homeless and benefiting from the services offered by the mission. The presentation will cover the following topics: the services and programs offered to the homeless community by Saint Michael’s; the impact of COVID-19 on the homeless community; reintegration programs; stigmas around mental illness; and the winter challenges that are up ahead. The program will be a perfect segue to upcoming annual holiday fundraising campaigns from each of the schools.

SOX IN A BOX CAMPAIGN: As we get closer to the holiday season, the Montreal homeless community will be preparing for another difficult winter. It is for this reason that Rosemount High School, Perspectives I & II Alternative  High Schools, Nesbitt Elementary  and Honore Mercier Elementary will be embarking upon their annual holiday campaign called "Sox in a Box." The campaign will be spearheaded by the administration teams of each school and Mr. Lacroce. 

The intent of the project is to encourage students and staff members to donate new socks (for all ages) to four shelters in Montreal. The following organizations will be benefiting from the school donations: Dans La Rue (benefitting teens and young adults), Chez Doris (benefitting adult females), St. Michael’s Mission, and The Benedict Labre House (benefitting adult males). Each school will create personalized holiday gift boxes containing new socks with bilingual messages of hope for the holiday season. Donations will be sanitized and kept in a clear bag. To ensure the safety of our beneficiaries, all donations will be quarantined for a period of 14 days before being picked up. Over the past six years, the Sox in a Box campaign has collected over 45,000 pairs of socks for those less fortunate in the community.

UNITED AGAINST VIOLENCE: Despite the pandemic, Edward Murphy School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve  continues to celebrate acceptance, non-violence, kindness and caring. For over 12 years now, the school and Mr. Speranza have teamed up with local socio-community officers to take part in the program, United Against Violence. Officially the city and SPVM are not able to run the program this year.  However, thanks to Principal Rania Delis, who purchased white t-shirts for the Grade 5 students, and teachers, the program will continue.  Students will be designing their new group logo on the t-shirt to accompany the motto, “At the EMSB we express ourselves. Connect, Care, Compassion, and Community.” The Care Rangers and United Against Violence groups will join forces this year. This initiative will be led by Mr. Chris, the school Special Ed. Tech, and Mr. Speranza. In addition, Mr. Speranza will work on creating and implementing a similar program for Kindergarten to Grade 4 students.

ONLINE RISKS WEBINAR:  The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s (C3P) new webinar: Online Risks and Emerging Trends took place on November 26, in conjunction with the EMSB’s Department of Student Services. Every available spot was filled. “We are excited to be the first Quebec school board to host this online forum with the C3P,” said Daphna Leibovici, EMSB Student Services Consultant for Violence Prevention, Bullying & School Climate. “Our students’ access to technology and social media has presented a host of privacy and safety-related concerns. Many parents rely on schools for information and for help with issues or situations that involve problematic online behaviors.”

The webinar was an extension of a longstanding relationship between the EMSB and the C3P. The national charity first presented to the EMSB in January 2015 on the issue of self/peer exploitation (sexting). The EMSB has since implemented the C3P’s Kids in the Know personal safety education program. The program is designed to build skills and help students to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations, reducing the likelihood of victimization on and offline. 

See our article.

Leo works on his project.

STEAM SUCCESS AT LHA: Rachel Rolbin and Leo Papazogolu, Secondary III students at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, have been faced with new protocols and guidelines previously foreign to them prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the wearing of masks and regular sanitization of their hands, Secondary III students now only attend school every other day. They also no longer roam from class to class throughout the school day, instead remaining in a single classroom at pre-assigned desks.  Rolbin, Papazogolu and their peers have made the most of this new reality, adding personalized touches to their learning space. “I realized I had no room for my water bottle, my pencil case and my books on my desk,” said Rolbin. “I designed a mini-shelf for the corner of my desk to store my pencil case and water bottle.”

STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, is an enriched-level program offering students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom to tackle real-world problems. “The program teaches students extra skills that they wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to do if they weren’t in the program,” said Magy Dimitry, a science teacher at LaurenHill. “There’s a nice cohesion between the kids, because they have been together for three years. It’s almost like a family. Everybody knows each other.”

You can see the full article here

Leigh-Anne and her parents.
CELEBRATION AT ST. MONICA: St. Monica Elementary School in NDG presented 2019-2020 Grade 6 graduate Leigh-Anne Cloutier with the PSBGM Cultural Heritage Foundation Scholarship for consistently excelling academically and being at the top of her class.  The pandemic closure delayed the usual distribution of the scholarship and the school wanted to invite Leigh-Anne’s family to share the pride and joy of her achievements. Principal Silvana Crigna stated: “Her dedication to her academic success as well as her leadership abilities have been a great example for other students and a positive contribution to St Monica.”

ESSENTIAL LIFE SKILLS: L.I.N.K.S High School in Ahuntsic DÉFIS A teacher Gail Bernstein and After School Program Myriam Farley are witnessing firsthand the transference and generalization of essential life skills. L.I.N.K.S is an alternative high school providing quality educational programs to students aged 13 to 21 who have been diagnosed with learning difficulties. DÉFIS A students are fully engaged in the wide range of courses offered, including functional academics, Home Life, Preparation for the Job Market, On the Job, Leisure and Personal Growth.  The long-term objective for our students is for them to be able to participate as actively and independently as possible in the community and at home. “The L.I.N.K.S team is always creating ways to enhance the lives of our students beyond the classroom,” said Ms. Bernstein. Please see the full article here

Cooking for success.

SHINE ON: Despite the challenging times, The Missing Children's Network (MCN)  joined together with school staff and administration from East Hill School, Edward Murphy School John F Kennedy  High School , L.I.N.K.S. and SCA Speranza  to take part in the pilot virtual workshops MCN workshop entitled “S-H-I-N-E ”  Self-Esteem, Healthy relationships, Independence, No means no, Empowerment ! for cycle 3 s and Secondary I and II students  The interactive workshop was structured to provide students with the necessary tools, understanding, and knowledge to aid with ways to develop healthy and equal relationships, respect one’s body, setting boundaries, and focus on building positive self-images. "The workshops are very informative, easy to understand, and allow for the students to share their opinions and ideas. It really empowers them to be confident about themselves and lets their inner light shine through" noted Mr.  Speranza. “Working together with the MCN allows us to keep our students and youth safe by teaching and empowering them how to be aware of their surroundings, and confident.”

REACHING OUT: Royal Vale School students have been reaching out to the community at heart nearing the holiday season. Grades 3 and 4 students prepared letters, stories, cards, and origami bookmarks for eighty seniors that are part of Joy Fyckes’s Reclaim Literacy network. Their work was in both English and French but most importantly in the language of care. A special thank you goes out to school librarian Annette Macintyre, who offered origami workshops in preparation for the initiative.

DANCE FOR ALEX: Every year, Royal Vale School in NDG celebrates the memory of one of their former students, Alex Porter-Rozmovits, who passed away 11 years ago due to a rare disease. He had just finished his last day of kindergarten. As a memorial they hold a “Dance for Alex” event. In previous years, large events were held in the gymnasium with all the elementary classes together, as well as parents. This year will be different. The Physical Education and Health   Department will prepare 21 separate “Dance for Alex” events. Each class will remain in their bubbles. The events will be spread over the P.E  classes during the week of November 30 to December 4. Each event will feature a few choreographed songs, as well as some freestyle elements, which Alex loved the most.  

OPTIONS FOR BREAKFAST: The team at Options Alternative High School in Ville Émard  wish to send a huge virtual thank you to the Breakfast Club of Canada as well as big shout outs to Coodinator Amanda Imbriglio  and Principal Craig Olenik for their help to make this happen.  They’re providing  students with a healthy breakfast while Marie Helene Gagnon is making sure the students start their mornings right. The school has   received a brand new fridge and two freezers. 

PROFESSIONALS IN EDUCATION: Education Professionals’ Week was marked November 16 to 20. It represented an opportunity to recognize the vital contribution of education professionals, who are an essential part of academic success. In this year’s exceptional context due to the pandemic, their presence is more meaningful and necessary than ever. Education professionals work in 35 types of employment, assisting students, providing educational support, and participating in administrative services. Whether it is a psychologist or a guidance counselor who supports students in distress, a librarian who supplies tools to teachers or an educational consultant who accompanies them towards distance learning, an engineer or an architect who seeks ways of improving school ventilation systems, they all contribute through their actions to students’ well-being and success. For more on the campaign click here.

STORIES SHAPE OUR WORLD: Last year the Educational Services Department of the EMSB  launched a new approach to storytelling that enabled teachers to evaluate talking authentically. Students explored and edited personal stories through discussion, games, peer and teacher support. They prepared and shared a personal story that they built through talking, not writing. Re-telling a previously published story was removed from the festival. To support these changes in the storytelling process Educational Services produced a comprehensive “What’s Your Story?” Resource Kit in both French and English that included videos, paperwork and a teacher’s guide. Each EMSB elementary school received several kits in English and French for their Grade 5 and 6 teachers. In light of the pandemic, this year the Storytelling Festival will go online.   Each school will host a virtual in-school event in the spring to choose their two best-told tales (one in English and one in French). The winning students will then be invited to tell their stories at a live regional virtual event. Each of the four events will be recorded for podcasts that will be posted on the EMSB website. Info:   Julie Tytler at   

DKG EVENT: DKG is an International Society was founded in 1929 in Austin Texas. It brings together key women educators, whose aim is to unite women educators with the goal to advance their professional interest and position. DKG Quebec joined the DKG International Society in 1956. DKG Quebec established and continues to support two scholarships at McGill: the DKG Dr. Mildred Burns Award for Leadership in Education, and the DKG Sarah Paltiel Award for Excellence in Education.  They also offer the DKG World Fellowship Grant which provides opportunity for women at McGill from any country except the United States of America and Canada. As well, they have  established the Evelyn Eaton Award, to honour their first president. DKG Quebec is a federate member of the Montreal Council of Women (MCW). Several of our members have been and are very active in MCW:  Dr. Mildred L. Burns, Georgie Crawford, Frema Engel,  and Beverly Townsend have all been successful in winning the Woman of the Year Award. DKG Quebec will hold its next Professional Development Community Virtual Event on Tuesday, December 1 (7:45 p.m). This special event - Hey Educators! Let’s Have a Laugh with Comedian Joey Elias will surely be a morale booster for Educators in these very challenging times of COVID-19.   To register: Send an email to: saying I WANT TO REGISTER FOR THE DEC 1 event.  


WAGAR PROJECT: During his many years as a principal, vice-principal and teacher in the education system, Nicholas Katalifos has heard his fair share of misconceptions surrounding those on the autism spectrum. “A lot of people automatically assume that a person on the spectrum can’t work,” said Mr.  Katalifos, Principal at the EMSB’s Wagar Adult Education Centre and chair of Giant Steps School and Resource Centre. “That is just completely wrong.”

A replica grocery store section set up at Wagar.

To the contrary, Mr. Katalifos says those with autism offer added benefits to their employers. “Most companies find they are exceptional employees,” said Mr. Katalifos, who is also the father of an 18-year old son on the spectrum. “They do their jobs well and they are happy doing their jobs. They might need different kinds of support, but they’re excellent employees. They are very reliable, very loyal and they’re happy to work, which helps the atmosphere at any company or organization.”

Mr. Katalifos is hoping a new pilot project at Wagar, resulting from a partnership with  Giant Steps, the Transforming Autism Care Consortium (TACC), Weston, and the federal government, will bring these traits to the forefront. The program recently had its official launch and you can see it here. Nine Wagar students, ranging in age from 21 to 62, are enrolled in an intensive nine-month bilingual work training program. Students meet daily with a Wagar teacher and two job coaches as they integrate and prepare them for future employment opportunities within the retail and supermarket distribution centre setting.

GALILEO STUDENTS HEAR FROM INTERESTING SPEAKER: On Wednesday, November 18  the Galileo Adult Education Centre's Social Integration Students (SIS) were visited by Michael Gioia, a young adult who was a victim of bullying in his youth and who knows firsthand how to overcome obstacles related to disability. Michael  was diagnosed with Autism when he was 15 and this diagnosis came with a lot of unanswered questions. Michael did not accept his disability at first and it took time for him to understand what it fully means to be on the autism spectrum. He explained how life is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and how important it is to take the time to find true self-acceptance.

Michael Gioia chats with a class.
As Michael grew up, he realized that he did not want to be defined by his disability, instead he learned how to make it work to his advantage. In fact, today, he considers his autism a gift to be treasured. Our special needs learners had the opportunity to prepare questions for him and his answers provided them with hope and reassurance for the future. He encouraged our students not to hide their true selves and to be proud of who they are. He also advocated that we should celebrate our differences. He is a true inspiration to special needs students, and they were able to relate to him a great deal. SIS students are lucky to have spent an afternoon with Michael and he said he would be happy to return to the school.  

EXTRA SPECIAL HOLIDAY BASKETS/ DONATIONS: The Galileo  SIS/ Sociovocational Integration Services (SVIS) students created a variety of festive baskets for the holidays with the generous help of Friends 4 Cause. During the beginning of the month, the students alongside this non-profit organization were hard at work assembling these beautiful gift ideaa. To date they have created 50 baskets! Furthermore, students were able to apply their work skill abilities in creating these baskets: organization, sorting, application process, repetition, analyzing dimensions, and recall skills.   Galileo also received a generous donation of $5,000 from fundraisers that took place during the last school year. These fundraiser activities included: bowling, holiday baskets, along with personal donations. All the money raised will be donated to the SIS/SVIS program in order to purchase items that can be further used to stimulate our students’ educational needs in the classroom. One example of their donation is our phenomenal Sensory Room which has allowed all Galileo students to benefit from the therapeutic effects and a safe  space which assists them in developing coping skills from external stimuli. 


COMMISSAIRES: Les membres du conseil des commissaires de la CSEM ont été officiellement assermentés le 11 novembre.

ÉLECTIONS DANS LA CIRCONSCRIPTION 3 : La CSEM tiendra des élections pour le poste de commissaire dans la circonscription 3 (Westmount, Sud-Ouest, Ville-Marie Ouest). Le président et les neuf autres commissaires ont déjà été élus par acclamation. Le vote par anticipation aura lieu le 12 décembre, et l'élection le 19 décembre. Le commissaire sortant Julien Feldman de l’équipe Ortona et le candidat indépendant Irwin Rapoport s’affrontent dans cette circonscription. Le vote par correspondance est réservé aux personnes vivant en CHSLD et dans les résidences privées pour aînés qui sont inscrites auprès du ministère de la Santé du Québec. Vous pouvez également voter par correspondance si vous êtes en quarantaine, si vous présentez des symptômes de COVID-19 ou si vous êtes en attente d’un résultat au test de dépistage.

En vertu de la loi 40, les élections scolaires ont été abolies dans les anciennes commissions scolaires francophones. Cependant, elles ont toujours lieu dans les commissions scolaires anglophones, les tribunaux ayant décrété que la loi 40 ne peut être appliquée au système anglophone tant qu'un jugement final n’aura pas été rendu sur le fond de la contestation judiciaire. Vous devez être inscrit sur la liste électorale de la commission scolaire de votre circonscription. Si vous avez déjà voté lors d'élections scolaires antérieures, votre nom figurera sur la liste électorale. Pour vérifier si votre nom y est inscrit, visitez le site Web de votre commission scolaire. Les parents dont l’enfant fréquente une école publique anglaise sont automatiquement inscrits sur la liste électorale. Si votre enfant fréquente une école publique au secteur francophone, vous ne pouvez pas voter lors de l’élection d’une commission scolaire anglophone. Une fois que votre enfant aura terminé ses études dans une école publique au secteur francophone, vous pourrez voter à l’élection d’une commission scolaire anglophone. Depuis 2007, les jeunes électeurs diplômés d’une école secondaire anglaise sont inscrits sur la liste électorale de la commission scolaire francophone de leur circonscription. Ces électeurs peuvent présenter une demande afin de voter à l'élection du 20 décembre.

PRÉSIDENCE DES COMITÉS: Les commissaires ont procédé à l’élection des membres et des présidents des divers comités. James Kromida est président du comité exécutif et Agostino Cannavino, vice-président du conseil. Pour la liste complète, consultez le

ÉTATS FINANCIERS VÉRIFIÉS: Les états financiers vérifiés 2019-2020 de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal ont été déposés lors de sa réunion extraordinaire du 4 novembre, affichant un déficit d'exploitation supérieur au déficit autorisé de 2,5 millions de dollars. Cela représente moins d'un pour cent des recettes totales. La CSEM a été en mesure d'affecter (d'utiliser) près de 7,3 millions de dollars en 2019-2020 à même le surplus accumulé au 30 juin 2018, et ce, afin de maintenir les services qui profitent directement aux élèves, notamment les investissements continus dans diverses initiatives ainsi que des allocations directes dédiées à l'amélioration des écoles et des centres. Ce montant a permis d'amortir le déficit de fonctionnement réel de 9,8 millions de dollars. La pandémie de COVID-19 a entraîné d'importantes perturbations temporaires des activités à la CSEM. Des mesures ont été et continueront d'être prises à la suite de ces événements pour en minimiser les répercussions. La fin de la pandémie n’étant pas connue, il nous est impossible d’en déterminer l’incidence de façon précise.

SPIRIT OF GIVING: Depuis plus de dix ans, la CSEM fait équipe avec CTV Montréal dans le cadre de la campagne Spirit of Giving dont la mission vise à recueillir des denrées non périssables, des articles de toilette et des jouets pour remplir des boîtes qui seront remises à des organismes de bienfaisance locaux. En raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, la campagne recueillera cette année des dons en argent en ligne exclusivement. Cette option était offerte depuis deux années déjà. La campagne Spirit of Giving de CTV a vu le jour il y a maintenant plus de 20 ans sous la forme d'une collecte de denrées alimentaires auprès des écoles et des entreprises locales au profit d’organismes caritatifs de la communauté.

Cette année fut difficile et il importe plus que jamais de donner un coup de main. La CSEM fera la promotion de la campagne dans ses écoles et ses centres et fera appel à la générosité de tous. Les écoles qui se distingueront par leur soutien feront l’objet d’un reportage dans certains bulletins de nouvelles de CTV Montréal. Restez à l'affût pour plus d'informations.

« Les organismes que nous appuyons nous disent qu'à l'heure actuelle, contrairement à la collecte de denrées, les dons financiers contribuent davantage à la lutte contre la faim et la pauvreté dans notre communauté », de dire Jed Kahane, directeur des nouvelles à CTV Montréal. « Grâce aux achats en gros et aux tarifs réduits, nos organismes de bienfaisance peuvent optimiser leur pouvoir d'achat au-delà de ce qu’il nous est possible d’accomplir en tant qu'individus. Chaque 10 $ recueilli permet d'acheter 30 $ de nourriture!  De plus, grâce à des achats réfléchis, nous visons à fournir à nos membres des aliments frais, sains, de saison, locaux et peu transformés. Par ailleurs, certains de nos partenaires éprouvent également d'autres besoins en matière de services d'urgence, de santé mentale, de logement et d'éducation ». La campagne Spirit of Giving de CTV recueillera des dons en argent et les répartira également entre tous les organismes. »

VENTILATION: La Commission scolaire English-Montréal souhaite faire le point sur la ventilation dans ses établissements scolaires. « Nous sommes dans l’attente d’une annonce du ministère de l’Éducation et des recommandations de la Santé publique concernant l’achat et l’installation de purificateurs d’air dans nos écoles et nos centres », a précisé Joe Ortona, président de la CSEM. « D’ici là, nous continuerons à utiliser nos systèmes de ventilation mécanique ou naturelle, qui demeurent l'option la plus efficace. Nous avons toujours aéré les salles de classe en ouvrant les fenêtres et cela ne changera pas, même avec des purificateurs d’air. » 

M. Ortona a souligné que la CSEM agit avec prudence et s’attend à une annonce imminente. « Nous avons déjà entrepris une évaluation des besoins de notre réseau pour ce qui est des bâtiments sans système de ventilation mécanique », a-t-il ajouté. Les résultats de cette analyse devraient nous parvenir sous peu. Nous informerons alors nos parties prenantes de la position de la commission scolaire. »

MISE À JOUR SUR LA RÉFECTION DE L’ÉCOLE WESTMOUNT PARK: La Commission scolaire English-Montréal a fait le point sur le vaste projet de rénovation en cours à l’école primaire Westmount Park. « Bien que nous ayons pour objectif de nous réapproprier notre école à temps pour la rentrée scolaire 2021-2022, force est d’admettre que la pandémie de COVID-19 a entraîné des retards indépendants de notre volonté par rapport à l’échéancier initial des travaux », a déclaré le directeur Marco Gagliardi dans une lettre adressée aux parents et aux membres du personnel. « Dans l'état actuel des choses, nous ne pouvons pas exclure le scénario d’un retour à une date ultérieure à celle prévue au départ. »

Au nombre des travaux majeurs effectués à l’école Westmount Park, mentionnons la réfection de la toiture, la finition intérieure, l'accessibilité (ascenseur), des travaux d’ordre mécanique (plomberie, CVC, gicleurs) et électrique (câblage, éclairage, télécommunications, système d'alarme-incendie, etc.) ainsi qu’à l'extérieur (rampe d'accès supplémentaire, travaux d'utilité publique, système de drainage et imperméabilisation des fondations). Les travaux ont débuté à l'été 2019 et la démolition a pris fin en février 2020. Notre entrepreneur et ses ouvriers ne ménagent aucun effort pour achever ce projet et rattraper le temps perdu. Or, malgré les heures de travail prolongées en semaine et durant les fins de semaine, l’évolution de la pandémie pourrait continuer d’entraver la réalisation du projet.

« Dans l’éventualité où une réouverture en septembre ne serait pas possible, nous nous engageons à en informer suffisamment à l'avance toutes les personnes concernées et à leur communiquer les mesures d'atténuation », a renchéri M. Gagliardi. « Si nécessaire, la relocalisation actuelle de notre effectif scolaire à l’Académie internationale Marymount et dans les installations de Ville-Émard pourrait être maintenue. S’il est vrai que nous sommes tous impatients de réintégrer notre école nouvellement rénovée, il nous faut d’abord et avant tout nous assurer que nos élèves et notre équipe-école puissent évoluer dans un environnement sain et sécuritaire. »

L'administration de la CSEM fournira des mises à jour fréquentes sur l’évolution de la situation. 
« Il est clair que nous attendons tous avec impatience la réouverture de ce qui sera sans contredit une école à la fine pointe de la technologie », de dire M. Gagliardi.

ASSOCIATION DES ÉLÈVES: Les réunions du comité consultatif d’élèves de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal (English Montreal Student Advisory Committee – EMSAC) ont lieu désormais en ligne pour l’année scolaire 2020-2021. La deuxième réunion s’est tenue tout récemment. L'EMSAC est composé de deux représentants parmi les élèves de chacune des écoles secondaires du réseau. La directrice de secteur Nathalie Lacroix-Maillette, la directrice générale par intérim Pela Nickoletopoulos, le commissaire Joseph Lalla, les directeurs adjoints Andrea Dillon (James Lyng) et Peter McKelvie (Vincent Massey) de même que l’enseignant Paul  Karpontinis à l’école Lester B. Pearson, en sont les mentors. Chaque mois, les élèves de l'EMSAC se réunissent afin de réfléchir et de délibérer sur des thèmes importants pour les jeunes de la CSEM et d'ailleurs. En tant que représentants officiels des élèves à la CSEM, les membres expriment leurs opinions et formulent des recommandations sur les questions qui leur sont soumises pour consultation. En plus de donner à nos membres les moyens de se faire entendre en tant que représentants des élèves de la CSEM, la participation à l'EMSAC favorise le développement de leurs compétences en leadership et le réseautage.

« Nous avons déjà parcouru beaucoup de terrain en seulement deux brèves réunions », de dire M. Karpontinis. « Nous avons entamé l’année avec des activités pour briser la glace, un mini-atelier sur l'EMSAC et sur la manière dont les réunions de style parlementaire se déroulent. Nos premières discussions ont porté sur les récents développements entourant le projet de loi 40, la COVID-19 et ses répercussions sur l'éducation, de même que sur le racisme systémique et ses implications dans nos écoles. Nous sommes ravis de travailler ensemble au cours de cette nouvelle année scolaire et nous attendons avec impatience nos réunions mensuelles. »

ÉLECTION AMÉRICAINE: Les membres du personnel, les élèves, les parents et les commissaires de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal (CSEM) souhaitent adresser leurs plus sincères félicitations à Kamala Harris, ancienne élève de l'école secondaire Westmount, élue vice-présidente des États-Unis. « Il s’agit d’un moment de très grande fierté pour la CSEM et le système d’éducation public en général », a déclaré le président de la CSEM Joe Ortona. Monsieur Ortona et Evelyne Alfonsi, directrice générale par intérim, se sont joints au personnel et aux élèves à l’extérieur de l’école le 9 novembre afin de célébrer ce grand moment historique.

Madame Harris a fréquenté l’école secondaire Westmount de 1978 à 1981. Le 7 novembre, elle est devenue la première femme, la première femme noire et la première femme d’origine sud-asiatique à accéder à la vice-présidence des États-Unis. Elle était auparavant sénatrice et procureure générale de la Californie. « Dès le moment où Kamala Harris est devenue candidate à l'investiture démocrate pour la présidence des États-Unis, son parcours a fait partie des discussions sur le système électoral américain dans certaines classes de l’école secondaire Westmount », a souligné Evelyne Alfonsi, directrice générale par intérim de la CSEM. « Au cours des semaines qui mèneront à son assermentation historique, cette page d’histoire pourrait très bien être enseignée dans d'autres écoles de la commission scolaire. »

Même s’il s’agit d’un rêve ambitieux, M. Ortona souhaite qu’au cours du mandat de quatre ans de l'Administration Biden-Harris, la future vice-présidente puisse s’arrêter dans son ancienne école secondaire lors de l’une de ses visites en sol canadien, où elle serait alors accueillie en véritable héroïne.

DES NOUVELLES DE LA CHORALE: Le 14 novembre, la chorale de la CSEM a lancé son superbe livre souvenir intitulé Recipes & Memories (Recettes et souvenirs) à l’occasion de  son 40e anniversaire. C'est en 1980 que la conseillère en arts Georgie Crawford a fondé la chorale des enfants de la CEPGM dans le cadre d’un projet spécial des Services éducatifs. Le chef d'orchestre renommé, Iwan Edwards, en a été le premier directeur artistique. La chorale des enfants est devenue la chorale de la CEPGM puis, à la suite de la restructuration des commissions scolaires, la chorale de la CSEM. Au fil des ans, des centaines d'élèves du primaire et du secondaire se sont produits en tant qu'ambassadeurs de la commission scolaire à la grandeur de Montréal et de la province, au Canada et à l'étranger. Ils ont été nombreux à assister au lancement virtuel, notamment les membres actuels et des anciens de la chorale, des parents bénévoles, de même que l'ancienne chef d’orchestre de la chorale junior Erica Phare et l'ancienne accompagnatrice Daniella Bernstein, venues respectivement de Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, et de Sherbrooke, au Québec. Les quatre décennies de la chorale étaient représentées. Evelyne Alfonsi, directrice générale par intérim; Anna Sanalitro, directrice des Services éducatifs; Athina Galanogeorgos et Anna Villalta, directrices adjointes, ont également assisté au lancement. Le livre de 72 pages renferme l'histoire et des souvenirs de la chorale, 59 photos en couleur et 37 délicieuses recettes soumises par les membres de la chorale et leurs familles, y compris les plats et desserts préférés lors de nos camps d'automne et des repas-partage à la fin de la saison. Pour commander un exemplaire (20 $), ou pour plus d'informations sur la chorale de la CSEM, contactez la chef d'orchestre Pat Abbott à ou au 514 483 7200, poste 7234.

WEBINAIRE SUR LES RISQUES EN LIGNE: Le nouveau webinaire du Centre canadien de protection de l’enfance (C3P) intitulé Online Risks and Emerging Trends a eu lieu le 26 novembre, en collaboration avec les Services aux élèves de la CSEM. « Nous sommes ravis d'être la première commission scolaire au Québec à accueillir ce forum en ligne avec le C3P », a déclaré Daphna Leibovici, conseillère en prévention de la violence, intimidation et climat scolaire au sein des Services aux élèves de la CSEM. « L'accès à la technologie et aux médias sociaux a suscité une foule de préoccupations liées à la vie privée et à la sécurité des élèves. De nombreux parents comptent sur les écoles pour obtenir de l’information et de l'aide en lien avec les comportements problématiques en ligne ».

Le webinaire s'est voulu le prolongement d'une relation de longue date entre la CSEM et le C3P. L'organisme de bienfaisance national a fait une première présentation à la CSEM en janvier 2015 sur la question de l'exploitation des pairs et de l'auto-exploitation (sextage). Depuis, la CSEM a mis en œuvre le programme d'éducation à la sécurité personnelle « Kids in the Know » du C3P. Ce programme est conçu pour développer les compétences et aider les élèves à reconnaître et à éviter les situations potentiellement dangereuses, réduisant ainsi leur vulnérabilité en ligne et hors ligne.

DANSE EN L’HONNEUR D’ALEX: Chaque année, l’école Royal Vale de NDG honore la mémoire d’Alex Porter-Rozmovits, décédé des suites d’une rare maladie il y a maintenant 11 ans. Il venait de terminer sa dernière journée de maternelle. Pour commémorer sa mémoire, l’activité Dance for Alex a lieu tous les ans. Par le passé, les grands événements se tenaient dans le gymnase où se réunissaient toutes les classes du primaire ainsi que les parents. Cette année fera toutefois exception. En effet, les enseignants d’éducation physique et à la santé prépareront 21 séances distinctes de Dance for Alex. Ainsi, chaque classe demeurera dans sa bulle. Les séances auront lieu dans le cadre des cours d’éducation physique au cours de la semaine du 30 novembre au 4 décembre. Il y aura quelques chansons chorégraphiées ainsi que des segments libres où chacun pourra improviser, chose qui plaisait le plus à Alex.  

PROFESSIONNELS DE L’ÉDUCATION: La Semaine des professionnelles et des professionnels de l’éducation a eu lieu du 16 au 20 novembre afin de souligner l’apport essentiel du personnel professionnel, dont la contribution à la réussite scolaire est vitale. En cette année exceptionnelle de pandémie, leur prestation est plus importante, nécessaire et utile que jamais. Les professionnelles et professionnels œuvrent dans 35 corps d’emploi en service d’aide aux élèves, en appui pédagogique ou encore en organisation scolaire. Que ce soit un psychologue ou une conseillère d’orientation qui soutient un élève en détresse, une bibliothécaire qui outille un enseignant ou une conseillère pédagogique qui l’accompagne à pourvoir l’enseignement à distance, un ingénieur ou un architecte qui cherche des façons d’améliorer la ventilation d’une école, tous par leurs actions contribuent au bien-être et à la réussite des élèves.

DES HISTOIRES QUI FAÇONNENT NOTRE UNIVERS: L'année dernière, les Services éducatifs de la CSEM ont lancé une nouvelle approche en matière de narration qui permet aux enseignants d'évaluer la compétence orale de manière authentique. Les élèves ont exploré et modifié des histoires personnelles par l’entremise de discussions, de jeux, du soutien par les pairs et les enseignants. Ils ont préparé et partagé une histoire personnelle, oralement et non par écrit. Le volet qui consistait à adapter un conte existant a été retiré du festival. À l’appui des changements apportés au processus de narration, les Services éducatifs ont produit la trousse « What’s your Story?/Raconte-moi ton histoire! » disponible en anglais et en français. Celle-ci renferme des vidéos, des outils et un guide à l’intention des enseignants. Chaque école primaire de la CSEM a reçu plusieurs trousses en anglais et en français destinées aux enseignants de 5e  et 6e année. En raison de la pandémie, le Festival L’Art de conter se déroulera en ligne cette année. Au printemps, un événement virtuel sera organisé dans chacune des écoles afin de choisir leurs deux histoires les mieux racontées (un en anglais et un en français). Les élèves sélectionnés seront ensuite invités à raconter leur histoire lors d'un événement virtuel régional en direct. Chacun des quatre événements sera enregistré sous forme de balados publiés sur le site Web de la CSEM. Pour informations, veuillez communiquer avec Julie Tytler à   
Consultez le site Web sous l’onglet « Storytelling ».

DKG: Fondé en 1929 à Austin au Texas, DKG est un organisme international qui regroupe des éducatrices dans le but de faire progresser leur intérêt professionnel et leur position. DKG Québec s’est joint à la Société internationale DKG en 1956. DKG Québec a créé et continue d’appuyer deux bourses d'études décernées à des étudiantes de l’Université McGill : la Bourse DKG Dr.  Mildred Burns pour le leadership en éducation et la Bourse DKG Sarah Paltiel pour l'excellence en éducation. Mentionnons également la Bourse DKG World Fellowship qui offre des opportunités aux femmes de McGill qui proviennent d’un pays autre que les États-Unis et le Canada. De plus, la Bourse Evelyn Eaton a été instituée en l'honneur de leur première présidente. DKG Québec est membre fédéré du Conseil des femmes de Montréal (CFM). Plusieurs de nos membres ont été et sont encore très actives au sein du CFM : Dre Mildred L. Burns, Georgie Crawford, Frema Engel et Beverly Townsend ont toutes déjà remporté le prix de la femme de l'année. DKG Québec tiendra son prochain événement virtuel sur le perfectionnement professionnel le mardi 1er décembre à 19 h 45. Cet événement spécial intitulé « Hey Educators! Let’s Have a Laugh! » avec la participation du comédien Joey Elias saura assurément remonter le moral des éducateurs en ces temps très difficiles marqués par la COVID-19. Pour vous inscrire, il suffit d’adresser un courriel à et de mentionner que vous souhaitez vous inscrire à l’événement du 1er décembre.  


PROJET WAGAR: Au cours de sa carrière à titre de directeur, directeur adjoint et enseignant dans le réseau de l’éducation, Nicholas Katalifos a entendu toutes sortes d'idées fausses sur les personnes atteintes d'autisme. « Beaucoup croient automatiquement qu'une personne autiste ne peut pas travailler », fait remarquer M. Katalifos, directeur du Centre d'éducation des adultes Wagar de la CSEM et président du conseil de l'école À pas de géant et du Centre de ressources. « Or, c'est tout simplement faux. »

Au contraire, M. Katalifos affirme que les autistes offrent des avantages supplémentaires à leur employeur. « La plupart des entreprises s’entendent pour dire que ce sont des employés exceptionnels », poursuit M. Katalifos, lui-même père d'un fils autiste âgé de 18 ans. « Ils font bien leur travail et ils sont heureux de le faire. Leurs besoins en termes de soutien sont peut-être différents, mais ce sont d'excellents employés. Ils sont très fiables, loyaux et heureux de travailler, ce qui est favorable au climat de travail au sein de toute entreprise ou organisation. »

M. Katalifos ose espérer que le nouveau projet pilote à Wagar, découlant d'un partenariat avec l’école À pas de géant, le Réseau pour transformer les soins en autisme (RTSA) et le gouvernement fédéral, contribuera à mettre ces traits en avant-plan. Le programme a récemment été lancé officiellement et vous pouvez le voir ici. Neuf élèves du Centre Wagar, âgés de 21 à 62 ans, sont inscrits à un programme intensif de formation professionnelle bilingue de neuf mois. Les élèves rencontrent quotidiennement un enseignant de Wagar ainsi que deux conseillers en emploi qui veillent à leur intégration et les préparent en vue d’occuper de futurs emplois dans le domaine des centres de distribution en grande surface et de détail. 

The next Focus will be published December  16.  Deadline for submissions is  Friday, December  11 at Noon. Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 17 décembre. La date limite pour soumettre vos articles est fixée au 16 décembre.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


The EMSB Success Rate leads the way.

HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE: The EMSB has surpassed its record, set last year, for the highest Success Rate in graduation and qualification among public school boards in the entire province of Quebec, based on a seven year cohort at 92.5 percent.  These figures were released by the Ministère de l’Education   de Québec (MEQ). While the majority of students graduated after five years, the Ministry allows each cohort to be followed for an additional two years to ensure that students have every opportunity to graduate or obtain a first qualification. In addition to having the highest Success Rate in the province, the EMSB is also number one in the public network and among English boards.  The province-wide Success Rate, which includes both public and private school results, remained stable for 2019 at 81.8 percent. Please see the complete press release.

Joe Ortona
EMSB COUNCIL: The Quebec government issued a decree, indefinitely postponing school board elections in red zones scheduled for November 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the EMSB, incoming Chair Joe Ortona and nine of the 10 commissioners have already been acclaimed. As part of the administrative decree 1039-2020 and Section 79 of the Act Respecting School Elections, they will automatically assume office on November 6.  The election for commissioner in Ward 3 (Westmount-Sud Ouest) has been suspended. As a result, the work of the electoral revision office will halt activities and resume when a new date is chosen.  Those who were permitted to vote by mail will also be contacted when the election process resumes. In keeping with Section 160 of the   Act Respecting School Elections, those persons holding these positions at the time of the notice of election (September 18) remain in office until an election is held. For the EMSB that means incumbent commissioner Julien Feldman will continue to serve Ward 3. Their first Council meeting will be on Wednesday, November 11. The acclaimed commissioners are: Ellie Israel, Ward 1; Joseph Lalla, Ward 2; Jamie Fabian, Ward 4; James Kromida, Ward 5; Agostino Cannavino, Ward 6; Sophie De Vito, Ward 7; Mario Pietrangelo, Ward 8; Mario Bentrovato, Ward 9; and Pietro Mercuri, Ward 10.

See this Montreal Gazette story on 20 year old Commissioner Jamie Fabian. 

PARENT REPRESENTATIVES: The EMSB Parents Committee held their Annual General Assembly (AGA) on October 22.  Caleigh Saucier from Marymount Academy International in NDG was elected chair; Serena Capplette from LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, vice-chair; and Franco Mazzariello from Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North, treasurer. The four parent commissioners are: Mubeenah Mughal, ACSES; Maria Corsi, Elementary; Tony Speranza, Secondary; and Daniel Tatone, No Designation.

TRUSTEESHIP DRAWS TO A CLOSE: EMSB Trustee Marlene Jennings will conclude her mandate on November 6. Here is an opinion piece she published in The Montreal Gazette

Christy Tannous

ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTS: Christy Tannous has been named principal of the EMSB Virtual School and Real Heppelle vice-principal.  Jody Cayer is now an interim vp at Royal West.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL UPDATE: In a message to parents, Ms. Tannous and Mr. Heppelle stated: “We are confident that our experience in varied EMSB schools, combined with our knowledge of innovative technology integration, will help your children navigate through these challenging times.  Our shared vision for the Virtual School is to create a community of learners focused on engagement and connection.”  In an effort to help stay connected and up to date on the current events of the Virtual School, social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been launched.

EDUCATION FAIR: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20th annual EMSB Education Fair (formerly the Career Fair) is taking  place virtually this year. Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank are once again the event’s title sponsors. The Education Fair represents a good opportunity for students and their parents to look towards post-secondary education options. This program is coordinated by the EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services and the Student Services Departments. 

The main objective is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them. Please take advantage of the information and videos provided on this dedicated site.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES: Here are links to the EMSB Bell Media radio campaign ads for our virtual open houses.

Virgin Radio Traffic Tag

Virgin Radio Flash

TSN 690 Traffic Tag 

TSN 690 Sports Update Tag

CJAD News Tag

Please take a tour of our virtual open houses here.

Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery and Jon Gurman from the M4SK Army hand out masks at Marymount Academy International.

MANDATORY MASKS IN HIGH SCHOOL:  Masks are now mandatory inside and out of the classroom for high school students. Media visited Marymount Academy International on the first day:

CTV Report


Global TV


Vincent Massey Collegiate Secondary  II student Alessandra Mercuri was interviewed here on the Andrew Carter CJAD morning show.

Carlyle students make their point for human rights.

HONORING THE RIGHTS OF SENIORS:   At Carlyle Elementary School in TMR, Ms. Jessica's Grade 5C class   recently took their IB human rights program activity outside. After learning about the vulnerability of seniors with COVID-19 and about the conditions of some of the residential care centers that the seniors were living in, the students were shocked. They created mini banners advocating for respect and for the rights of seniors. Spiritual and Community Animator Puynung Choy said, "they understood that the situation described indicated a violation of some basic human rights and they saw the need to ensure that all seniors were given proper care.” As a prelude to International Seniors Day, the students made a declaration that every person rightfully deserves the same quality of life as another, including our seniors.

A John Caboto Academy student takes part.

TERRY FOX RUN: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, and many EMSB schools are creating innovative, fun and safe ways to continue the legacy of the great Canadian. Fundraising takes place online, but the actual physical event is being played out in different and interesting ways among the participating schools. The official date for the Terry Fox Foundation school run across Canada is September 30, but EMSB schools are having their events at different times during the fall. “We fully understand how busy educators are during these challenging times - in the same way Terry Fox inspired people by running the Marathon of Hope, educators are inspiring us by finding the time to raise funds for cancer research,” said Peter Sheremeta, provincial director of the Quebec branch of The Terry Fox Foundation. “This has been such a strong tradition at EMSB schools – in the past 40 years, they have raised $2,142,965 for Terry’s dream of a world without cancer.” Please see the complete story, with a roundup of what schools have been up to.

40 FOR 40: In honour of the 40th anniversary of the iconic Terry Fox run, the students of Rosemount High School, Honore Mercier Elementary, Nesbitt Elementary, and Perspectives I&II participated in a unique community program during the last month. Students were placed in clusters of a minimum of four students and had to complete 40 kilometers as a team between September 28 to October 28 by walking, jogging, or running. They were encouraged to work together with their families to reach their goal. Students and parents were asked to monitor their progress using a digital device and tracking app. 

A young Batman.

In the classroom, staff were able to obtain free educational programs and audio visual resources from the Terry Fox foundation, and received a video message from Fred Fox, Terry Fox’s brother about Terry’s life and what The Marathon of Hope has accomplished over the past 40 years. The ultimate goal was to reach the symbolic 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), where Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. The schools collectively ran over 6,578 kilometres throughout the campaign surpassing their goal.    

Several schools planned to hold a (socially-distanced) closing ceremony at the end of the month, where certificates would be provided to students and the total amount raised and total number of kilometres walked during the campaign will be announced. In addition on the 29th of October, Nesbitt and Honore Mercier will have the students dress up as their favourite Canadian Hero or Superhero in honour of Terry Fox. 

PEACE, HONOUR AND COMMEMORATION:  September 13, 2020, marked six months since the school system temporarily closed. A committee of SCAs (Vince Lacroce, Rocco Speranza and  Paolo Ruscito), have started a program entitled Peace, Honour, and Commemoration. It focuses on this challenging time in our history, and aims to unite the EMSB family and communities by starting the process of healing, while honouring those who passed, served, and continue to serve on the front lines. Lessons on heroes, peace, self-care, wellbeing, and visits by first responders have started. Lessons and visits provide an opportunity for education, acknowledgement, and expression of gratitude to those who are serving and keeping our community safe and healthy. Students will have a chance to hear first-hand stories and present thank you cards. Two awards have also been created to be presented to students and staff at participating schools who display kindness, promote peace, and persevere in the face of difficulty. Nominations will be made by teachers and students.  

A student attends to her art.
A BRUSH OF INSPIRATION: Rosemount High School, Perspectives I & II High Schools, and Nesbitt Elementary are embarking upon a new program called “A Brush of Inspiration.” This first ever initiative will be coordinated by the Art, English, French, and Resource Departments of each school alongside Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce. Students will be creating beautiful paintings inspired by their favourite artists that will be donated to local Montreal senior centers (CHSLD Dante, CHSLD St. Michel Almage Senior Citizen Center) and local hospitals (The Jewish General Hospital, The Montreal Children’s Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital). The artwork will include personalized letters of thanks to all frontline workers and well wishes of support to seniors, many of whom may be living in isolation. “During these very difficult times of isolation and quarantine, it is important for us to provide opportunities that cultivate human interaction and connectedness,” says Lacroce. “We all know that comforting feeling when we are being physically embraced by another human being. Human connection is so important in maintaining our overall emotional and physical health, and now more than ever we need to find the means to develop opportunities for us to stay connected with our extended community when we can’t be physically connected. We are all in this together!” The students’ artwork will be displayed in prominent areas of the hospital and in senior centers (individual rooms and hallways) during the month of  November. Staff and students will also have an opportunity to have a virtual meet and greet with the recipients of the schools’ donations in mid-November.

STRONG TOGETHER: Students at Honore Mercier, Nesbitt and Rosemount High School will be launching a series of motivational short films called “Strong Together” that will be sent out to frontline workers and CHSLDs in the community. The videos will be produced and edited by Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce. Honore Mercier Elementary, under the guidance of Music Specialist Veronica Graniero will be paying tribute to the animation smash hit Sing   and Nesbitt Elementary will be coming together with the support of Music Specialist Caroline Derome to perform the music of DreamWorks Animation film Trolls 2. Rosemount High School will be the first to launch their “Strong Together” film with the incredible and talented Daniela Dos Santos, Secondary IV student, as she performs her rendition of “Control,” by Zoe Wees. A special thank you to DJ Gary Crash who helped edit the music. Watch the full video by clicking on this link.  “We wanted to use the voices of our students to show our support to the courageous and dedicated team of professionals who do what they do every day to keep us safe," said Mr. Lacroce. "No words can express our gratitude for their continued commitment to your craft and our community." The videos will be sent out soon in line with the SCA monthly virtue of Gratitude. 

The Gratitude Tree

GRATITUDE GROWS AT BANCROFT: A new tree has started to grow in Bancroft Elementary School's main entrance and they call it the Bancroft Family Tree. This  will change with and according to the seasons, displaying the various monthly themes being covered by the Spiritual and Community Animation Service. For the month of October, as it is autumn, the leaves changed color, and illuminated the virtue of Gratitude. Following a school-wide lesson on the virtue of gratitude (what it is, the benefits of gratitude, and how to practice it on a daily basis) students chose what they were grateful for and either wrote or drew their expression of gratitude on their leaf. Responses ranged from hugs, love, and family to sanitation workers and farmers, and from their individual strengths, abilities, and values, to COVID-19 masks.  

THE POWER OF ONE: At LINKS High School, the inspirational Steven Atme (right) recently teamed up with SCA Rocco Speranza to embark upon a series of classroom and school visits as part of their The Power of One Mystery Machine Tour. The aim is to inspire students and youth on how their “power of one” can change their lives and the lives of those around them. The presentations talk about the healing power and potential of music in connection with Steven’s new song, “Like a Rising Phoenix.”  The presentation also encourages students to follow their dreams and engages students in a discussion about some of the “Mysteries of the Universe” (the title of another one of Mr. Atme’s songs). Students have a great time singing along as Steven plays for them. If interested in ordering a copy of the DVD, “The Power of One,” the new movie Mr. Atme helped produce in which he and five friends, also living with autism and Asperger’s, share their accomplishments and encourage everybody to never give up and follow their dreams, please contact Mr. Speranza at

ORANGE SHIRT DAY: September 30 was Orange Shirt Day, an annual event that was created in 2013 to increase awareness about the history of the Indian Residential School System in Canada, honor the Indigenous children who were sent away, and open space for discussion about the lasting impacts of this system on Indigenous families and communities. In collaboration with Indigenous community members and EMSB colleagues, the SCA Service is working to provide more robust programming in our schools in connection with Orange Shirt Day and to increase awareness of Indigenous history and culture more broadly. 

While larger activities have been put on hold due to public safety concerns and the counsel of Indigenous community members to start with the education of teachers and school staff first, some initial steps are being taken in the schools. At Willingdon Elementary School, SCA Linda Luca offered classroom presentations about Orange Shirt Day and the history of residential schools. The presentations were well received by students, teachers, and staff, who were grateful to learn about this under acknowledged and important subject. We note that this is only a small and initial step in a long process of reconciliation in our schools. However, as Ms. Luca notes, “when we know better, we do better.”  In an effort to expand access to resources to educate our community about Orange Shirt Day and the residential school experience, EMSB librarians also added an “Orange Shirt Day” eBook collection to our EMSB Virtual Library, accessible to all students and teachers with their EMSB account, which accompanies the K-6 Curriculum from the Orange Shirt Day Society. You can find some information here

LIFTING SPIRITS: Students from the Competency-Based Approach to Social Participation (CASP) class at L.I.N.K.S High School in Ahuntsic started an initiative to help lift spirits up during this time through the power of art. The focus of the CASP program is to help students with special needs develop skillsets for social participation and self-determined behaviours through competency-based teaching. Inspired by the interactive wing murals found in street art, CASP homeroom teacher Loredana Scotto, decided to lead her students in recreating that style of art within the school. Classroom attendants Evan Lichty and Aude Rioland also helped guide students throughout the activity. Students followed a rainbow colour theme through colouring mandala stencils as well as ripping and crumpling coloured paper to create the shape of butterfly wings onto the bulletin board outside of their classroom. The project was part of the students’ art class as well as life skills class, as the focus around the installation was to encourage positive self-image and determination. Every day, the CASP class reads and analyzes an inspirational quote to start their day on a positive note. Through the interactive art installation, they were able to create their own set of inspirational words. The students brainstormed together and came up with the hashtags #FlyStrong and #Don’tbeafraid as a way to not only promote bravery, but also encourage others to “fly” towards their goals. The hashtags were also created to help spread the message outwards into the community through social media. Students and staff of L.I.N.K.S High School enjoyed posing in front of the mural with raised arms, displaying their own strength and freedom. The CASP class was happy to see their initiative brighten the students’ and staff members’ day and hope that it will continue to help others not be afraid to “spread their wings”!  Featured in the photos are the CASP students along with Ms. Loredana, Mr. Evan and Ms. Aude posing in front of the #FLYSTRONG initiative mural.

The lecture had proper social distancing.

RIDE WITH CONFIDENCE: STM Inspectors, L.I.N.K.S. High School staff, Principal. Maria Caldarella and Spiritual Care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator Rocco Speranza teamed up to present The Ride with Confidence program. The interactive presentation covers How to have and don’ts while taking public transportation. The program aims to make students knowledgeable  and independent public transportation users by teaching them how to read the STM maps, bus schedule and more.   

A student gets ready to enjoy his pancakes.

THANKSGIVING DAY PANCAKES: With the hard work from Mr. Speranza and the local McDonald’s on Sauve and Papineau, L.I.N.K.S. staff and students were treated to breakfast pancakes, all in the in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  In return, to show their gratitude, students and staff took time to make and write personalized thank you cards treating them to pancakes was the least Mr. Speranza could to do. They have welcomed him into their school community since August.  Sharing a meal during this challenging times created a sense of connection and community.

SPORTS-ÉTUDES AT PEARSON:  Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North has offered its high-level Sport-études program since 2003, in conjunction with various provincial sports federations. Student-athletes train five days a week for a minimum of 15 combined hours under the program, as per federation guidelines. It is recognized by the ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) and is the only school within the EMSB to offer such a program. It affords student-athletes the opportunity to combine academics with their passion for one of a long list of athletic disciplines, including baseball, boxing, cheerleading, dance, figure skating, hockey, judo, kickboxing, soccer, speed skating, swimming, taekwondo, & track and field.

Prior to being accepted into the Sport-études program, student-athletes must be recognized by one of the school’s sport partners and meet provincial standards. In the case of soccer and hockey players, they must try out to make their respective sports. From there, an application to Lester B. Pearson’s Sport-études program is submitted, where academics are then taken into account. There were changes in the school’s open house this year. A virtual open house was held in late September, as opposed to a traditional in-person showcase of the building. Nevertheless, Coordinator Casey  Gagné says prospective student-athletes “got a good sense of the program and the people here” via the Virtual Tour online. He also says many local elementary school children, in both grades five and six, were visited last year by students and members of the administration to discuss the program. Online registration for the 2021-2022 Sport-études program is ongoing. The deadline for incoming Grade 7 student-athlete applications was October 15, 2020. Applications for those entering Grades 8 to 11 are due by January 31, 2021. For additional information, contact Casey Gagné at (514) 328-4442 extension 6 or via email at See our full story

LDVA GETS RECOGNITION: Last February’s Leonardo Da Vinci Academy Fashion Show, benefiting the Montreal Neurological Institute, was featured in: Philanthropy Changes Lives Impact of Giving report.  They raised $10,700. Associate Director of Annual Giving Ross Aitken stated: “On behalf of all those whose lives will be bettered through your generosity, thank you for believing in The Neuro and for playing an essential role in transforming brain research and patient care.” You can see the latest Impact of Giving report by visiting: 

MISS TEENAGE QUEBEC:  Clara Chemtov, a graduate of Willingdon Elementary School and Royal West Academy,  was crowned Miss Teenage Quebec last fall. She recently returned from Toronto where she competed in the Miss Teenage Canada event. After an intense week of photo and video shoots, interviews, rehearsals, preliminary judging, and activities, she came in first place in the category of social media.  The  18-year-old successfully recovered from an eating disorder. She authored a number of  education  awareness articles,  blogs and aired live-streams. In addition she  placed first in talent for her dance performance. “As an aspiring professional dancer, this is incredibly meaningful to me,” she said.   She presently attends CEGEP St. Laurent.   See her COVID-19 safety message.  

ALOUETTES GM: Each week the EMSB introduces you to a new  COVID-19 Safety Ambassador. Most recently we had  this message  from Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Macioca.

Matthew  Ross from B'nai Brith, Liem Yip, Principal Angela Vaudry and teacher Gloria Koyounian.

DIVERSE MINDS WINNERS: Two students at Royal West Academy in Montreal West were big winners in B’nai Brith Canada’s 2020 Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition in Montreal. The English first-place co-winners were Grade 10 Royal West students Liem Yip and Gabriel Morin.  They co-authored The Eggnapper, a book about the need to be kind and understanding to people and refrain from making assumptions about others. The winning books, selected by a panel of celebrity judges, have been professionally published and are slated to be distributed free of charge to elementary schools and public libraries in Montreal. 

You can view the book here.

"Every student who participated in this contest is a winner in my book,” said Adriana Glikman, National Program Coordinator of B’nai Brith Canada. “We were thrilled to see so much talent in the Greater Montreal Area and we are excited about what the future holds in store for this very important writing competition.”

The students received cheques of $500 each as did the school and teacher Gloria Koyounian. Last month there was a virtual presentation of the winners. You can see it here

For more details click here.    

GRATITUDE AND  APPRECIATION: In the Spirit of Thanksgiving and the Season of Attitude of Gratitude, the John F. Kennedy High School administration took time to thank its shining Knights (staff and students) for their hard work and dedication during the first wave of the pandemic. Their service, perseverance, and commitment were highlighted. From their teachers, to caretaking staff, and cafeteria services, many working or volunteering during the school closures of 2020 In brief Vice Principal Vito Guerriero worked in school emergency daycares, ensuring all ran smoothly as possible. Ms. Jennifer from Cafeteria Services volunteered her time at a local food kitchen preparing thousands of meals Science teacher  Natalie Cloutier volunteered her time at a local CHSLD, keeping seniors in good company. Caretaking staff worked in school and emergency daycares.  Finally, two students; Massimo Trocchia  and Julian Jose Nunez continued working at their local grocery store in St Laurent, stocking shelves while keeping up with their online academics. Principal Otis Delaney will be presenting monthly, certificates to students and staff who display service, perseverance and commitment to their school and community.

Making the poppies
THE POPPY CAMPAIGN: John F. Kennedy High School Principal Otis Delaney, administration, staff, and students have aimed high and partner up with the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) in order to aid them with the annual Poppy Campaign.  Code red restraints have closed legion branches across the Montreal and Quebec regions threatening to limit much needed funds for deserving veterans.  Students will be counting, sorting, packing, and mailing hundreds of poppies and poppy stickers to various organizations schools, and community groups. If you would like to support the RCL Legion and our veterans, you can contact SCA Speranza  at 

HOPE THROUGH ART: Grade 4 students at Royal Vale School in NDG's have been spreading hope through art. This time they drew pictures of dandelions spreading symbols and messages of hope. Their artwork is entitled “Les Pissenlits d'espoir.”  

With time, more hopeful days will return. “For now, we are reflecting on how we can stay strong, kind and positive,” said teacher Nathalie Malhamé.

Devon Parker
YOUNG PIANIST: Royal Vale’s Devon Parker, 14, (presently part of the Virtual School), won  a top 10 spot in a prestigious international music composition award: The Commonwealth Composition Challenge 2020. Three awards will be presented and you can vote for the composer you feel should win the CICA Audience.  See this video.

DANTE TEACHER FEATURED ON TV: Nahal Derayeh, better known to parents and children as Madame Nahal, is a French kindergarten teacher at Dante Elementary School in St. Léonard, who has been teaching at the EMSB for 18 years. Over the past four years she has been innovatively integrating technology into her teaching.  By using YouTube videos she records of herself in the classroom and a private Facebook group called  “Mme Nahal et Ses Amies,” she manages to stay connected to parents and children in and out of the classroom. She was interviewed here by Global TV on World Teachers Day and here by CityNews.

WILLINGDON KIDS TALK HALLOWEEN: Two Grade 6 students, Quinn Abou-Fadel and Quincy Philippas, from Willingdon Elementary School in NDG were on CBC Radio Noon with Shawn Apel to talk about whether kids will be going trick or treating for Halloween. You can fast forward to the 9:35 minute mark to hear them.

DIGITAL 2PLAY: Geordie Theatre's Digital 2Play Tour is LIVE! Geordie Theatre is equipped to broadcast live shows for students across Canada and beyond! All you need is an internet connection to bring theatre back to your classroom. The most important thing for us is ensuring that we can bring joy back to your students in every way we can. Contact: Geordie provides an easy way to give students the joy of live performance again, from anywhere. Students are able to interact directly with the cast live after every performance. Access to detailed lesson plans covering topics ranging from self-identity and body image to tradition and storytelling is included! Geordie can broadcast to individual classrooms, preserving student safety.

YOUTHEATRE: Youtheatre is launching a groundbreaking online portal that will offer some of its most exciting productions for young audiences, reimagined in a digital format and accessible online. For the past 10 years, Youtheatre has pushed the limits of theatre for young audiences by exploring new technologies both on and off the stage. I speak with General Manager Simon A. Abou-Fadel and Co-Artistic Director Jeremy Segal. Moving beyond static archival recordings, YouDigital brings the magic of live performance to the screen in an innovative new hybrid form that dynamically incorporates the camera into the staging. Filmed with a mobile camera in a single take, these digital adaptations provide a fascinating new point of view through the eyes of the characters while preserving the liveliness of the theatrical experience. They come with an insightful teaching toolkit, roundtable discussion with the artists, backstage tour of the set, Youtheatre’s signature study guide and an opportunity for live-streamed talk backs with creative team. For both distance learners as well as schools outside of urban centres, the flexible access of YouDigital is an opportunity to bring young audiences in on the magic of theatre. Contact Hanna Nes at or join Youtheatre’s newsletter for more information!

Listen to this podcast for more about their new show, Pandora

TEEN SONGWRITING COMPETITION: After 2019’s successful Teen Songwriting Competition, Overture with the Arts (OWTA) is pleased to announce their second annual  program. Open to youth aged 13 to 18 who write original songs, the competition will give aspiring young songwriters a platform to showcase their original music to a live audience. This year, OWTA is doing a live stream of the full showcase to ensure the safety of all participants and viewers. Interested applicants must live in Montreal or its surrounding boroughs and are invited to submit a YouTube video of themselves or their duo performing one original song. To be eligible, applicants must be between at least 13 and under 19 by the November 13  submission deadline. There is no charge to submit an application.  Leading up to the November 28 live stream competition participants will have the opportunity to take part in several songwriting workshops. These free workshops will be held over six Saturdays in a row starting October 17 to November 21 using Zoom.   Visit the OWTA website to apply and to learn more about the Teen Songwriting Competition. You can also watch a video of last year's winner, 15-year-old Billie Du Page from TMR:  Info:

OCTOBER CRISIS: Je Me Souviens (JMS), a Canada company educational program created in collaboration with the Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) Foundation and le Royal 22ieme Régiment (R22eR), has launched “The October Crisis 1970,” a virtual exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of a controversial period in Canadian history. The October Crisis refers to events that took place in Quebec in the autumn of 1970. It was the culmination of terrorist attacks by the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), a militant Québec independence movement, that started in 1963. In October 1970, FLQ members kidnapped British trade commissioner James Cross, and kidnapped and killed Québec Minister of Immigration and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. In response, the federal government invoked the War Measures Act and mobilized the Canadian Armed Forces. It was the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act in Canadian history. Based on the Quebec Ministry of Education curriculum,      “The October Crisis 1970” is an interactive exhibition intended primarily as a resource for high school teachers and students. It is being used at Westmount High School by history  teacher Chantal Clabrough. Info:   

CONNECTING THE DOTS: From acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker Noemi Weis comes CONNECTING THE DOTS, the first feature documentary of its kind where youth take on the subject of mental health, globally, in their own words. Audiences will have the chance to see the film for the first time during a Virtual Global Community Screening followed by a youth-led panel discussion on November 19, 2020 at 3 pm to 5 pm EST. To register, visit here. You can view the trailer here.    

“Connecting the Dots comes to the world at a time when mental health universally has reached a boiling point,” said director Weis. “Under the present situation of COVID-19, atop of growing unrest surrounding systemic racism, sexual orientation and gender discrimination, just to mention a few, makes this film not only timely, but also urgent.” 

In this raw and intimate film, youth talk openly about their experiences living with mental health. You will hear heart-felt poignant stories of lived experiences in a way you have never seen or heard before. And through all the darkness there lies hope that is truly inspiring. 

A MUSIC EXPERINCE: A new  online learning platform connects Canada's  "SuperStars" with students in their homes' safe space. At the touch of a button, youth aged 10 to 24 can access live celebrities from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Canada's Master Chefs, and some of Canada’s top artists to engage, excite and empower them. The program includes learning music live alongside Jonathan Crow, Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as  Art, Drama, Finance 101, Culinary adventures with Master Chef Didier Leroy  and more. Along with their child, parents, go on our website and choose an arts-based program to participate in. For $30a session based on eight or twelve sessions, children become part of a fantastic, engaging community of like-minded friends. Info:


Galileo students in the kitchen.

The return to school amidst a global pandemic is riddled with unanswered questions, uncertainties and anxiety. At Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North, special needs learners were pulled from the classroom mid-March and quickly adapted to learning in a virtual classroom setting. Adaptation was certainly at the forefront for Galileo staff and students.  As teachers Lisa Trotto and Felicia Nardolillo note in an article published on the Inspirations Newspaper website, close to 150 Social Integration Services (SIS) students are back at school doing what they love – learning and growing together. Only a small group of students with underlying health issues have not returned to the classroom just yet. Luckily, they can join us virtually and while they are not physically present in the classroom, they still feel a sense of belonging through the online platforms that keep us connected. The Sociovocational Integration Services (SVIS) program has welcomed back 42 students who are eager to get back into the workforce. SIS and SVIS students have been doing an incredible job following the new school rules. Mask and visor-wearing along with daily temperature checks, regular hand washing, and sanitizing have become part of our routine. Classes have been modified and the SIS students remain in their classroom “bubbles.”  See the full article.

Shadd students in training.

GRADUATING ORDERLIES: On the road to becoming orderlies, 160 Shadd students met the incredible challenge of completing a condensed 375-hour course in patient support this past summer at Shadd Health and Business Centre. The students were enrolled in a training program for the Health Care Facility Patient Service Support Skills Training Certificate (STC in English; AEP in French), a precursor to training towards becoming an orderly in the Quebec medical system. Shadd students were divided into eight groups, made up of 20 students each. The first six groups did three weeks of in-school training at the centre starting in mid-June. The second started in early July. Each set then continued on to complete their hands-on training for six weeks at their affiliated CIUSSS, where they would stay on for a minimum of one year, and allows them to work in the CHSLDs under a bursary from the Quebec government. About 95 percent graduated from the Shadd summer program, said Principal Joe Cacchione. The Quebec government launched the Skills Training Certificate in the early summer of 2020 to pump up the numbers of orderly positions in its medical workforce. Please  see this story.

TEACHER INTERVIEWED:  Anna Panunto is a teacher at the High School of Montreal Adult Education Centre of the EMSB. She was recently interviewed by a Syrian journalist. It will   be translated in Arabic and published in the near future in an Arabic press. The purpose of this article is to shed light on newcomers - to help them understand a little bit about the North American mentality here and what to expect in a way, from their learning process. It will prove to be useful information. In her passionate world filled with  talent and determination, she has brightened her star to illuminate others by teaching and writing. Please see the full story here


CONSEIL DE LA CSE:  Le gouvernement du Québec a émis un décret qui reporte indéfiniment la tenue des élections scolaires en zones rouges prévues le 1er novembre en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19. À la CSEM, le nouveau président Joe Ortona et neuf des dix commissaires ont déjà été élus par acclamation. En vertu du décret administratif 1039-2020 et de l'article 79 de la Loi sur les élections scolaires, ils entreront automatiquement en fonction le 6 novembre prochain. L'élection d’un commissaire dans la circonscription 3 (Westmount – Sud Ouest) a donc été suspendue. Par ailleurs, les activités du bureau de révision sont interrompues et reprendront lorsqu'une nouvelle date sera annoncée. Les personnes qui avaient été autorisées à voter par correspondance seront contactées lorsque le processus électoral reprendra. Conformément à l'article 160 de la Loi sur les élections scolaires, les personnes qui occupaient ces fonctions au moment de l'avis d'élection (le 18 septembre) demeureront en fonction jusqu'à la tenue d'une élection. Ainsi, le commissaire Julien Feldman continuera à représenter la circonscription 3. La première réunion du conseil se tiendra le mercredi 11 novembre.

LA MISE SOUS TUTELLE TIRE À SA FIN : Le mandat de Marlene Jennings, administratrice de la tutelle à la CSEM, se terminera le 6 novembre. Voici un article publié dans le quotidien The Gazette :

NOMINATIONS ADMINISTRATIVES: Christy Tannous a été nommée directrice de l’école virtuelle de la CSEM et Réal Heppelle, directeur adjoint. Jody Cayer est désormais directrice adjointe par intérim à Royal West.

LE POINT SUR L'ÉCOLE VIRTUELLE: Dans une communication adressée aux parents, Mme Tannous et M. Heppelle se sont dit confiants que leur expérience acquise dans diverses écoles de la CSEM, conjuguée à leur savoir-faire en matière d'intégration des technologies innovatrices, aidera les enfants à traverser cette période difficile. Leur vision commune pour l'école virtuelle consiste à créer une communauté d'apprenants axés sur l'engagement et la connexion ».  Pour rester au fait de tout ce qui se passe à l'école virtuelle, des plates-formes de médias sociaux ont été lancées sur Facebook, Twitter et Instagram.

TAUX DE RÉUSSITE : La CSEM a surpassé son propre niveau record de l’an dernier, affichant un taux de diplomation et de qualification de 92,5 %, soit le plus élevé parmi les commissions scolaires publiques à la grandeur du Québec, basé sur une cohorte de sept ans. Ces chiffres ont été publiés par le ministère de l'Éducation du Québec (MEQ). Bien que la majorité des élèves aient obtenu leur diplôme au bout de cinq ans, le Ministère autorise le suivi de chaque cohorte pendant deux années supplémentaires afin de s’assurer que les élèves ont toutes les chances d'obtenir un diplôme ou une première qualification. En plus d’afficher le plus haut taux de réussite de la province, la CSEM arrive également au premier rang dans le réseau public et parmi toutes les commissions scolaires anglophones. Le taux de réussite à l’échelle provinciale, qui tient compte des résultats des écoles publiques et privées, est demeuré stable en 2019, s’établissant à 81,8 %. 

MASQUE OBLIGATOIRE AU SECONDAIRE : Le port du masque est désormais obligatoire pour les élèves du secondaire, et ce, tant à l’intérieur qu’à l’extérieur de la classe.

RESPECT DES DROITS DES AÎNÉS : À l'école primaire Carlyle de Ville Mont-Royal, la classe de 5C de Madame Jessica a récemment tenu une activité sur les droits de la personne dans le cadre du programme BI. Devant la vulnérabilité des personnes âgées face à la COVID-19 et les conditions de vie dans certaines résidences de soins, les élèves ont été choqués. Ils ont donc créé des mini-banderoles afin de prôner le respect et les droits des aînés. Puynung Choy, animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire, a déclaré que les élèves ont compris que la situation décrite constitue une violation de certains droits fondamentaux de la personne et ils ont vu la nécessité de veiller à ce que toutes les personnes âgées reçoivent des soins adéquats. En guise de prélude à la Journée internationale des aînés, les élèves y sont allés d’une déclaration selon laquelle toute personne mérite à juste titre la même qualité de vie que les autres, y compris nos aînés.

CAMPAGNE DU COQUELICOT : Le directeur de l’école secondaire John F. Kennedy, Otis Delaney, la direction, le personnel et les élèves ont visé haut et ont conclu un partenariat avec la Légion royale canadienne (LRC) afin de lui venir en aide à l’occasion de la campagne annuelle du coquelicot. Les restrictions imposées dans le contexte du niveau d’alerte rouge ont entraîné la fermeture des filiales de la Légion à Montréal et à Québec, ce qui risque d’avoir un impact sur la collecte de fonds dont ont grandement besoin nos vétérans méritants. Les élèves procéderont au décompte, au tri, à l’emballage et à l’envoi de centaines de coquelicots et d'autocollants à divers organisations, écoles et groupes communautaires. Si vous souhaitez appuyer la LRC et nos vétérans, contactez M. Speranza, animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire, à

COURSE TERRY FOX : Cette année marque le 40e anniversaire du Marathon de l'espoir de Terry Fox et, pour l’occasion, plusieurs écoles de la CSEM mettent de l’avant des façons innovantes, amusantes et sécuritaires de perpétuer l'héritage de ce Canadien légendaire. La collecte de fonds a lieu en ligne, tandis que l'activité physique proprement dite se déroule de multiples façons, toutes plus intéressantes les unes que les autres, dans les écoles participantes. La date officielle de la course de la Fondation Terry Fox à l’échelle du pays est le 30 septembre, mais les écoles de la CSEM organisent leurs propres activités à divers moments cet automne. « Nous sommes parfaitement conscients à quel point les éducateurs sont fort occupés en ces temps difficiles. Tout comme Terry Fox a inspiré les gens en courant le Marathon de l'espoir, les éducateurs nous inspirent à leur façon en trouvant le temps d’amasser des fonds pour la recherche sur le cancer », de dire Peter Sheremeta, directeur provincial de la filiale québécoise de la Fondation Terry Fox. « Cette tradition est bien ancrée au sein des écoles de la CSEM qui, au cours des 40 dernières années, ont recueilli 2 142 965 $ pour le rêve de Terry d'un monde sans cancer ». Pour lire l’intégral de l’article et un résumé de ce que les écoles ont réalisé, visitez le

SPORT-ÉTUDES À L’ÉCOLE PEARSON : L'école secondaire Lester B. Pearson de Montréal-Nord offre un programme sport-études de haut calibre depuis 2003, en collaboration avec diverses fédérations sportives provinciales. Dans le cadre de ce programme, les élèves-athlètes s'entraînent cinq jours par semaine pendant un minimum de 15 heures cumulées, conformément aux exigences de leur fédération. Le programme est reconnu par le ministère de l'Éducation du Québec (MEQ) et Lester B. Pearson est la seule école de la CSEM à offrir un tel programme. Celui-ci offre aux élèves-athlètes la possibilité d’allier les études et leur passion pour l'une des nombreuses disciplines sportives offertes, notamment le baseball, la boxe, la claque (cheerleading), la danse, le patinage artistique, le hockey, le judo, le kickboxing, le soccer, le patinage de vitesse, la natation, le taekwondo et l'athlétisme.

Avant d'être admis dans le programme sport-études, les élèves-athlètes doivent être reconnus par l'un des partenaires sportifs de l'école et satisfaire aux normes provinciales. Par ailleurs, les joueurs de soccer et de hockey doivent se soumettre à des essais dans leur sport respectif, puis présenter une demande au programme sport-études de l’école Lester B. Pearson, qui tiendra compte du dossier scolaire de l’élève. Mentionnons que des changements ont dû être apportés, cette année, à la journée Portes ouvertes de l'école. En effet, une journée Portes ouvertes virtuelle a été organisée à la fin septembre, au lieu de la traditionnelle visite en personne. Malgré tout, M. Gagné affirme que les élèves-athlètes potentiels « ont pu se faire une bonne idée du programme et de toute l’équipe » grâce à la visite virtuelle en ligne. Il ajoute que de nombreux élèves des écoles primaires locales, en cinquième et sixième année, ont reçu l’an dernier la visite d'élèves et de membres de la direction dans le but de leur présenter le programme. Les inscriptions au programme sport-études pour l’année scolaire 2021-2022 sont présentement en cours en ligne. Les élèves-athlètes avaient jusqu’au 15 octobre 2020 pour soumettre une demande d’inscription en 1re secondaire. Quant aux élèves de la 2e à la 5e secondaire, ils doivent transmettre leur demande au plus tard le 31 janvier 2021. Pour plus d'informations, veuillez contacter Casey Gagné au 514 328-4442, poste 6, ou par courriel à Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral de l’article :

GAGNANTS DU CONCOURS LA DIVERSITÉ PARMI NOUS : Deux élèves de l'Académie Royal West de Montréal-Ouest ont remporté le concours d’écriture littéraire La diversité parmi nous (Diverse Minds) de B'nai Brith Canada, tenu à Montréal en 2020. Dans la catégorie création anglaise, les corécipiendaires du premier prix sont Liem Yip et Gabriel Morin, deux élèves de 4e secondaire à Royal West. Ils sont coauteurs de leur livre The Eggnapper, lequel porte sur la nécessité d'être aimable et compréhensif envers les autres et de s'abstenir de porter des jugements. Les livres gagnants, sélectionnés par un jury composé de célébrités, ont été publiés professionnellement et seront distribués gratuitement dans les écoles primaires et les bibliothèques publiques de Montréal. 

« À mon sens, chacun des élèves qui a pris part à ce concours est gagnant », s’est exclamée Adriana Glikman, coordonnatrice du programme national de B'nai Brith Canada. « Nous avons été ravis de voir autant de talents dans la région du Grand Montréal et nous sommes impatients de voir ce que l'avenir réserve à cet important concours d'écriture ».

Les élèves couronnés vainqueurs ont reçu chacun un chèque de 500 $, tout comme leur école et l’enseignante Gloria Koyounian. Pour visionner la présentation virtuelle des gagnants qui a eu lieu le mois dernier, visitez le 

Le concours La Diversité parmi nous vise à encourager la diversité et l’inclusion au Canada par l’entremise de récits et d’illustrations. Cette toute première compétition à Montréal s’est déroulée dans les deux langues officielles. Les élèves du niveau secondaire ont été invités à écrire et à illustrer une histoire destinée aux élèves du primaire, puis à la soumettre pour courir la chance de remporter des prix en argent pour eux-mêmes, leur école et leur enseignant. Chaque soumission a contribué à la promotion unique et créative de ces valeurs fort importantes.    

ÉLEVER LES ESPRITS : Les élèves de la classe des compétences axées sur la participation sociale (CAPS) à l’école secondaire L.I.N.K.S. ont lancé une initiative centrée sur l’art et destinée à remonter le moral en ces temps difficiles. L'objectif du programme CAPS est d'aider les élèves ayant des besoins particuliers à développer des compétences en matière de participation sociale et de comportements autodéterminés grâce à un enseignement basé sur les compétences. Inspirée par les murales interactives de l'art urbain, Loredana Scotto, titulaire d’une classe CAPS, a guidé ses élèves afin de recréer ce style d'art au sein de l'école. Les accompagnateurs Evan Lichty et Aude Rioland ont également encadré les élèves tout au long de l'activité. Sous le thème des couleurs de l’arc-en-ciel, les élèves ont colorié des pochoirs de mandala, déchiré et froissé du papier de couleur dans le but de créer la forme des ailes d’un papillon sur le tableau d'affichage à l'extérieur de leur classe. Ce projet s’inscrivait dans le cours d'art et celui des aptitudes de vie, car l'objectif était d'encourager la détermination ainsi qu’une image de soi positive. Chaque jour, la classe CAPS lit et analyse une citation inspirante pour entamer la journée sur une note positive. Grâce à l'art interactif, ils ont pu créer leur propre répertoire de mots inspirants. Ils ont réfléchi ensemble et ont créé les mots-clics #FlyStrong et #Don'tbeafraid non seulement comme façon de promouvoir la bravoure, mais aussi pour encourager les autres à « s’envoler » vers leurs objectifs. Ces mots-clics ont également pour but de diffuser le message au sein de la communauté par le biais des médias sociaux. Les élèves et le personnel de l’école secondaire L.I.N.K.S. ont bien aimé se faire prendre en photo devant la murale en levant les bras au ciel, ce qui illustre leur propre force et leur liberté. La classe CAPS a été ravie de voir son initiative égayer la journée des élèves et des membres du personnel et espère qu'elle continuera à encourager d'autres personnes à « déployer leurs ailes » sans aucune crainte! On peut voir sur les photos les élèves de la classe CAPS, Mme Loredana, M. Evan et Mme Aude devant la murale #FLYSTRONG.

SE DÉPLACER EN TOUTE CONFIANCE : Des inspecteurs de la STM, des membres du personnel de l’école secondaire L.I.N.K.S., la directrice Maria Caldarella et l’animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire Rocco Speranza ont uni leurs efforts pour lancer le programme Ride with Confidence (Se déplacer en toute confiance). La présentation interactive porte sur ce qu’il faut faire et ne pas faire lorsqu'on utilise le transport en commun. Ce programme a pour but de bien renseigner les élèves et de faire d’eux des utilisateurs autonomes en leur enseignant à lire les cartes de la STM, les horaires d’autobus et plus encore. 

L'ESPOIR PAR LES ARTS : Les élèves de la 4e année de l'école Royal Vale à NDG répandent l'espoir par le biais des arts. Cette fois-ci, ils ont dessiné des pissenlits comme symbole et message d'espoir. Leur œuvre s’intitule « Les Pissenlits d'espoir ». Avec le temps, des jours meilleurs porteurs d’espoir pointeront à l’horizon. « Pour l'instant, nous réfléchissons à la manière dont nous pouvons rester forts, aimables et optimistes », de dire l'enseignante Nathalie Malhamé.

JEUNE PIANISTE : Âgé de 14 ans, Devon Parker élève de Royal Vale (présentement inscrit à l’école virtuelle) s’est classé parmi les 10 premiers lors d’un prestigieux concours international de composition musicale : Commonwealth Composition Challenge 2020. Cliquez ici pour visionner et écouter sa composition. Trois prix seront remis et vous êtes invités à voter pour le compositeur qui, selon vous, mérite le prix CICA Audience.  

COVID-19 ET LES AMBASSADEURS DE LA SÉCURITÉ : Chaque semaine, la CSEM vous présente un nouvel ambassadeur de la sécurité en ces temps de pandémie. Récemment, nous avons publié un message du directeur général des Alouettes de Montréal, Danny Macioca.

UNE ENSEIGNANTE DE DANTE À LA TÉLÉ: Nahal Derayeh, mieux connue des parents et des enfants sous le nom de Madame Nahal, est enseignante d’une classe de maternelle française à l'école primaire Dante de Saint-Léonard. Elle enseigne à la CSEM depuis 18 ans. Au cours des quatre dernières années, elle a intégré de manière innovante la technologie à son enseignement. Grâce à des vidéos YouTube qu’elle réalise en classe et un groupe privé sur Facebook appelé « Madame Nahal et ses amis », elle parvient à rester en contact avec les parents et les enfants tant à l’école qu’à l’extérieur. Elle a été interviewée par Global TV à l'occasion de la Journée mondiale des enseignants. De plus, elle a fait l’objet d’un reportage sur CityNews

DIGITAL 2PLAY : La tournée Digital 2Play du Théâtre Geordie est désormais en ligne! Le Théâtre Geordie est en mesure de diffuser des spectacles en direct pour les élèves partout au Canada et ailleurs! Pour offrir le théâtre en classe, tout ce qu’il vous faut c’est une connexion Internet. Ce qui nous importe le plus c’est de pouvoir redonner de la joie à vos élèves par tous les moyens possibles. Communiquez avec nous à :

Le Théâtre Geordie permet aux élèves de revivre aisément l’expérience de la représentation en direct, et ce, où qu'ils soient. Les élèves peuvent interagir en direct avec la troupe après chaque représentation. L'accès à des plans de cours détaillés portant sur des thèmes qui vont de l'identité personnelle à l'image corporelle, en passant par la tradition et la narration est inclus! La diffusion peut se faire dans des classes individuelles, pour préserver la sécurité des élèves.

CONCOURS DE CHANSONS POUR ADOLESCENTS : À la suite du succès remporté par le Concours de chansons pour adolescents de 2019, Overture with the Arts (OWTA) est heureux d'annoncer la tenue de sa deuxième édition annuelle. Destiné aux jeunes de 13 à 18 ans qui composent des chansons originales, ce concours offre aux jeunes auteurs en devenir une plate-forme pour présenter leur musique originale devant un auditoire. Cette année, OWTA diffusera en direct son programme intégral afin d'assurer la sécurité de tous les participants et spectateurs. Les candidats intéressés doivent résider à Montréal ou dans les arrondissements environnants et sont invités à soumettre une vidéo YouTube d'eux-mêmes ou de leur duo interprétant une chanson originale. Pour être admissibles, les candidats devront être âgés entre 13 et 19 ans à la date limite de soumission le 13 novembre. Il n'y a pas de frais pour participer. Les participants pourront prendre part à plusieurs ateliers d'écriture de chansons d’ici la tenue du concours en direct le 28 novembre. Ces ateliers sont gratuits et se dérouleront sur six samedis consécutifs, soit du 17 octobre au 21 novembre, sur la plate-forme Zoom. Rendez-vous sur le site Web de l'OWTA pour vous inscrire et pour en savoir plus sur le concours d'écriture de chansons destiné aux jeunes. Vous pouvez également visionner une vidéo de la gagnante de l'année dernière, Billie Du Page, 15 ans, de Ville Mont-Royal :

CRISE D’OCTOBRE : Programme éducatif de Compagnie Canada créé en collaboration avec la Fondation du Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) et le Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR), Je Me Souviens (JMS) a lancé « La crise d’Octobre de 1970 », une exposition virtuelle qui souligne le 50e anniversaire de cette période controversée dans l’histoire canadienne.

La crise d'Octobre fait référence aux événements qui se sont déroulés au Québec à l'automne 1970. Ce fut le point culminant des attaques terroristes du Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), un mouvement indépendantiste militant du Québec, qui a vu le jour en 1963. En octobre 1970, une cellule du FLQ kidnappe James Cross, diplomate britannique, et enlève et assassine Pierre Laporte, ministre québécois de l'Immigration et du Travail. En réponse, le gouvernement fédéral invoque alors la Loi sur les mesures de guerre pour la première et seule fois en temps de paix dans l’histoire canadienne et mobilise les Forces armées canadiennes. Basée sur le programme du ministère de l’Éducation du Québec, l’exposition interactive « La crise d’octobre de 1970 » se veut principalement une ressource pour les enseignants et les élèves du secondaire. L’enseignante Chantal Clabrough de l’école secondaire Westmount a recours à ce programme. Pour de plus amples renseignements, visitez le


RESPECT DES CONSIGNES À GALILEO: Le retour en classe en contexte de pandémie mondiale s’accompagne de questions sans réponse, d'incertitudes et d'anxiété. Au Centre d'éducation des adultes Galileo de Montréal-Nord, les élèves ayant des besoins particuliers ont vu leurs classes fermer à la mi-mars et ont dû s’adapter rapidement à l'apprentissage en mode virtuel. Le mot d’ordre fut sans contredit l’adaptation aussi bien pour les membres du personnel que les élèves de Galileo. Comme le rapportent les enseignantes Lisa Trotto et Felicia Nardolillo dans un article publié sur le site Web de la publication Inspirations, près de 150 élèves des Services d'intégration sociale (SIS) sont de retour à l'école et font ce qu'ils aiment : apprendre et grandir ensemble. Seul un petit nombre d'élèves ayant des problèmes de santé sous-jacents ne sont pas encore de retour en classe. Heureusement, ils peuvent participer virtuellement et, bien qu'ils ne soient pas physiquement présents en classe, ils éprouvent toujours un sentiment d'appartenance grâce aux plates-formes en ligne qui nous permettent de rester connectés. Le programme des Services d'intégration socioprofessionnelle (SVIS) a accueilli 42 élèves impatients de réintégrer le marché du travail. Les élèves des programmes SIS et SVIS font un travail remarquable en respectant les nouvelles consignes en vigueur à l'école. Le port de masques et de visières, la prise quotidienne de température, le lavage régulier des mains et la désinfection font désormais partie de notre routine. Les classes ont été modifiées et les élèves du programme SIS demeurent dans leur « bulle-classe ». Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral de l'article :

FIN DE LA FORMATION DES PRÉPOSÉS AUX BÉNÉFICIAIRES : En voie de devenir préposés aux bénéficiaires (PAB), 160 élèves de Shadd ont relevé un défi colossal l’été dernier en suivant une formation accélérée de 375 heures en soins d’assistance, offerte au Centre de santé et d’études commerciales Shadd. Ce programme mène à l’attestation d’études professionnelles (AEP) Soutien aux soins d’assistance en établissement de santé, un préalable à l’exercice du métier de préposé aux bénéficiaires dans le réseau de la santé au Québec. Les élèves de Shadd étaient répartis en huit groupes, composés de 20 élèves chacun. Les six premiers groupes ont suivi une formation de trois semaines au centre à partir de la mi-juin. Les autres groupes ont entamé le programme au début du mois de juillet. Tous ont ensuite poursuivi leur formation pratique pendant six semaines au CIUSSS auquel ils ont été affiliés et où ils s’engagent à travailler pendant au moins un an dans un CHSLD. La formation est assortie d’une bourse du gouvernement du Québec. Joe Cacchione, directeur du Centre Shadd, a indiqué qu’environ 95 % de la cohorte a obtenu une attestation à la suite du programme dispensé au cours de l’été. Le gouvernement du Québec a lancé ce programme de formation au début de l'été 2020 afin de recruter des préposés aux bénéficiaires dans le réseau de la santé. Nous vous invitons à lire l’intégral de l’article :

Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 26 novembre. La date limite pour soumettre vos articles est fixée au 20 novembre.

The next Focus will be published on November 26. Deadline for submissions is November 20.