Thursday, August 28, 2014


THE NEW LOOK FOCUS:Welcome to our revamped newsletter, known since its inception as the Fielding Focus. We are now the EMSB Focus and this publication is produced in a blog format, meaning it can be updated with ease. Please share your feedback with us as the format will be adjusted in the weeks and months ahead. The goal of the Focus will remain to keep our many readers informed about the activities of the EMSB. Please take the time to click on the links of many of the items as this will enable you to read more about the subject in question. We look forward to your comments as more changes will be coming. I wish to thank our webmaster and graphic artist Yibing Shen for her assistance.
 -Mike Cohen, Editor

BACK TO SCHOOL: Students of the EMSB’s primary and secondary institutions will return to class on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. Kindergarten children must be five years of age on or before September 30, 2014 while Grade 1 (Cycle 1) students must be six years old on or before the same date.   Registration for those not previously enrolled will begin on Monday, August 11 for elementary and secondary schools. Parents are asked to call the school in their neighbourhood to make an appointment. Parents are urged to consult the Board’s website at, which also contains information about the successful adult education and vocational training programs. E-mail inquiries can be sent to or you can call 514- 483-7200.

These students are ready for the academic year.
All pupils registering for the first time are required to provide a birth certificate and vaccination records to the school the child will be attending. Parents will be asked to fill out forms which will allow the school to apply for the certificate of eligibility for English schooling. Under the Charter of the French Language, a certificate of eligibility is generally granted to children who did the majority of their elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada; whose mother or father did the majority of his/her elementary studies in English in Canada or whose brother or sister did the majority of his/her elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada. Please note that as a result of Bill 104, this criteria excludes studies completed in the Quebec Private School system. 

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS: The next school board elections will take place on November 2, 2014. In the case of the EMSB, voting will take place for a chairman and 10 commissioners. You can see the precise electoral divisions here.    We are encouraging all voters who may be on the French school board electoral list who wish to be transferred to the English list to fill out and submit this form. This is an appeal to our parents to help us get their relatives, friends and children over 18, on the EMSB Electoral List. 

Quebec automatically places citizens on the French school voters list by default, once the youngest child in a household completes school or at the age of  18.  It therefore goes without saying that most voters probably do not realize that if their child was no longer in the English public system the last seven years then they (and their kids who are of voting age) are not only on the   French voters list, but unless they get this changed  their school taxes will also go to the local French school board. Needless to say that those individuals without children in the English public school system are not on the list unless they were in fact registered to do so in 2007. You can call 1 888 353-2846 to find out. Have your medicare care card handy. We have a form to transfer your name to the English list posted on our website. It must either be mailed or brought to the EMSB Administration Building in person as an original signature is required. Here is the link.

EMSB IN THE MEDIA: The EMSB would like to point readers to the media clippings section of our website where we provide links to newspaper articles about our  Board or relevant to the local education system. You can click here to access all of the links.  

EMSB TV AND RADIO GUIDE: The EMSB  posts links to television and radio reports, as well as videos produced in-house on our website. We have dedicated sections for EMSB TV, hosted by Vimeo. We now have sections for EMSB TV Coverage,  EMSB VideosEMSB Archived Videos and EMSB School Projects. In order to access EMSB Radio click here.    

Some recent interview links:

Angela Mancini on City’s Breakfast TV 
Robert Stocker and Nicholas Katalifos on library book purchases 
Donna Manos and Ginette Sauvé-Frankel on library book purchases 
Raizel Candib and Syd Wise on library book purchases

Our Marketing Ambassadors.
CTV HIGH SCHOOL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN:The EMSB has unveiled an unprecedented television advertising campaign on CTV for the high school sector. Five commercials will begin running September 2 for a one-month period featuring students grouped by schools. Royal West (Matthew Almengo-Raymond) and Vincent Massey (Beatrice Dupont);John Paul I (Jason Carnevale) Laurier Macdonald (Divya Aery)   and Marymount  Academy International (Alexandra Sarmiento); John F. Kennedy (Veronica Melo Martins)  and Lester B. Pearson (Justin Terassi); Rosemount (Vanessa Aparicio),   FACE (Yocoyani Badillo-Amberg), James Lyng (Iyanla Simmons); Westmount (Chiara Everett), LaurenHill (Sarah Vacante)  and Royal Vale  (Joshua Adam Werber).Most of these students (pictured) attended the last meeting of the Council of Commissioners to see the commercials for the first time and receive certificates as EMSB marketing ambassadors. You can see the commercials by clicking  here.

BREAKFAST TV AT ST. GABE’S: For the first day of school, City’s Breakfast Television will report live from St. Gabriel Elementary School in Pointe St. Charles between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Principal Jim Daskalakis has added an entirely new arts component to the school in recent years. This has resulted in a boost in enrolment. City’s Wilder Weir will talk to students and staff.

CJAD TO BE LIVE FROM WESTMOUNT PARK SCHOOL: The Andrew Carter Morning Show will broadcast live from Westmount Park Elementary School on Tuesday, September 2 from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to mark the first day of classes.

THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: Stay tuned for more information as the EMSB dives into the  ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Chairman Angela Mancini will be making a special announcement to this effect next week.

NEW SECRETARY GENERAL: The EMSB has announced  the appointment of Nathalie Lauzière as its new Secretary General. Ms. Lauzière, most recently the Director of Legal Services and town clerk in Hampstead,  succeeds Joanne Bisbikos. She has retired following an extraordinary 51 year career with the EMSB and the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. Ms. Lauzière  obtained her law degree from the Université de Laval in 1994 and is a member of the Quebec Bar. She has  worked for the Town of Hampstead since 2009.  Previously she served as Director General for the Deux Montagnes area municipality of Sainte-Placide,   Director of Legal Services and Human Resources for the construction materials firm Materiaux Kott and as a lawyer for the  St. Jerome-based law firm Leonard & Lauziere. As the EMSB’s new Secretary General,  she  will also oversee the  EMSB Archives, Translation and Communications divisions.

Ms. Bisbikos served as Secretary General/Director of Archives since 1992, first for the PSBGM and then for the EMSB since its establishment in 1998. Ms. Bisbikos began her career in the field of education in 1962, when she was first hired by the PSBGM, and worked in a number of support staff positions. This included  School Social Work and Attendance, Personnel, Regional Offices, Pupil Transportation and Registration Services. “It has been an honour and a privilege to have spent my entire working career with the PSBGM and the EMSB,” said Ms. Bisbikos. “It is a career that I have thoroughly enjoyed since I have worked with so many wonderful people, many of whom I am still in touch with.”

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: On August 14 and 15, a committee headed by Director of Information Technology Luigi Di Filippo presented a productive series of workshops for  administrators at the school and head office levels. Following a keynote address by  motivational speaker Randy Taylor, a former broadcaster, there were sessions about AEVS programs, bullying, computer security, dietary information, psychological harassment, e-books, the EMSB Employee Assistance Program, daycare, staff councils, schoolyard gardens, drop-outs, homework, social media, the digital classroom, smart technologies, Windows in the classroom, mental illness, the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud, iPad use, CSST, enriched learning experiences,  literacy instruction, math, sex education, youth protection and inner-city data. “These workshops serve  two purposes,” commented EMSB Director General Robert Stocker. “One is to provide topics as food for thought. The second purpose is to allow (our administrators) time to think  because the challenges that we face together require us to inquire, assess, and reflect in order to create and innovate.”
DIRECTOR GENERAL ROBERT STOCKER’S  MESSAGE: Over the years there has been an underlying trend in the content of my beginning of the school year addresses. A recurring theme is the variety of challenges that have accumulated over the years- requiring us to be more creative, more adaptive and more resilient.

It certainly is easy to identify those challenges. Here are just a few:
  • More accountability to our government for improved success rates and safe schools; 
  • Greater expectations from our parental community; 
  • A series of funding cutbacks that seem to have become the norm (for the current year, our funding was cut by  $3.6 million); 
  • Declining enrolment in our youth sector; 
  • Taxpayers reaching a saturation point in their capacity to assume a higher tax burden; 
  • An increasingly critical perspective adopted by the media on what constitutes reasonable spending by school boards and other publicly-funded entities; 
  • A new provincial government attempting to prescribe bitter medicine to heal a fiscally-weak patient (medical terminology is appropriate when we have three physicians now overseeing most of this province’s spending !); 
  • Looming school board elections – a litmus test for how electors perceive the importance of school boards, as well the capacity of candidates to identify and debate crucial issues about public education in Quebec. 
LBPHS on the links.
SCHOOLS GET IN GEAR: While students will only be hitting the books as of September 2, the majority of in-school staff have already returned, and for a number of administrators, these precious few days before the students arrive marks the perfect time to begin developing the sense of community that is prevalent in EMSB schools.  On Tuesday, August 26 teachers and staff from Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North spent the day at le Club de Golf Métropolitain in Anjou. After a team breakfast with Deputy Director General Paola Minaci, the staff continued the morning with a group lesson on the driving range, allowing them to try out their new techniques together. After lunch, the experienced golfers teamed up and played a round together. On Wednesday, August 27, the four St. Laurent schools, LaurenHill Academy, Gardenview Elementary, Cedarcrest Elementary and Parkdale Elementary participated in a joint venture to welcome the new year. Sylvain Boudreau, acclaimed motivational speaker, was invited to share his views on how our attitude can directly impact our personal and professional success. Mr. Boudreau reminded his audience about the importance of taking care of ourselves, to have fun, to be proud of our good work, and to be kind and professional. He also pointed out that good efforts always yield positive results. Sylvain Boudreau delivered his message with enthusiasm, passion and humor. Following the presentation, the participants were invited to a wine and cheese reception. Teachers and staff had the opportunity to mingle and become better acquainted with colleagues from neighboring schools. The event was a resounding success and future endeavors involving the St. Laurent schools are in the works. On Thursday, August 28,  Willingdon School in N.D.G. (5870 Terrebonne) will host all teachers, lunch monitors and extended day care staff in a social skills program workshop training session.  In response to Bill 56, Willingdon piloted a 
The four St. Laurent Principals and DDG Roma Medwid.
project last year: Dovetail: The Toolbox Project.  It is a preventative social skills program that provides students with tools to help them deal with anger, frustration and conflict, amongst other issues. Teachers will undergo the training session from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium with the goal of ensuring that everyone who deals with our students understands the program and uses the same "language" when disciplining students or dealing with situations of conflict. As well as reduces the need to “react” to bullying.  

TEACHERS GAIN NEW EXPERIENCE: Every teacher within the EMSB has a story worthy of reciting. After a hectic summer of graduate summer courses and furthering our education, teachers Lisa Trotto and Liana Rizzuto  wish to share theirs. The two have known each other since they were teenagers. In fact, they  actually met when they both attended John Paul I  Junior High School.  They completed their undergraduate degrees in Education together and have now ventured into the Educational Leadership program at McGill University.  Lisa has  been a teacher within the EMSB for four years, starting off in the youth sector and more recently teaching in the adult sector at Galileo. Liana has worked in the
Lisa Trotto and Liana Rizzuto
youth sector for the past four years as well; her most recent teaching contract was at F.A.C.E. Although summertime is typically a period when teachers get to relax and take some much deserved time off, for us, factoring in leisure time did not fit into their schedules. Summer courses took up the vast part of their vacation and they spent a large portion of the summer on professional development and a course on Emerging Technologies for Educational Change. For their final project they created a tutorial for website building using Weebly. This website builder is the perfect tool for any teacher who has plans on creating a classroom website in the near future.  You can read all about here.

THE EMSB EXPRESS: The fall 2014 edition of the EMSB Express newspaper is online. Hard copies will soon be distributed to schools and be available at different drop off points in our territory. The paper includes messages from Chairman Angela Mancini and Director General Robert Stocker, a datebook of noteworthy events, a quiz with Montreal Alouettes tickets and Cineplex passes up for grabs, a four page section on Volunteer Appreciation evening, a new High School Confidential feature and listings of high school open houses. You can access the online edition here.

MULTICULTURAL DATEBOOK: The EMSB has published its Multicultural Datebook online.It can be downloaded to your desktop and printed from here. This is a booklet version of our wall calendar, which is also online.

EMSB AND THE CANADIAN RED CROSS: Continuing the strong relationship with the Canadian Red Cross, the English Montreal School Board will once again lead the way in bullying prevention by providing specific training for their educators as apart of the Beyond the Hurt Program. In 2013, the EMSB became the first school board in Quebec to fully implement the Beyond the Hurt program, an initiative spearheaded by the Canadian Red Cross and paid for by Canadian Heritage.  The two-day training will take place on Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29 from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the EMSB Administration Building (MacVicar Room). This workshop will be led by Nicolas Nadeau, Senior Coordinator at the Red Cross for RespectED, Violence, Bullying & Abuse Prevention. Nadeau has trained students in the six EMSB high schools whom have already implemented the program: James Lyng in St. Henri; LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent; Marymount Academy and Royal Vale High School in N.D.G., Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount and Westmount High School.  See the full press release.

LAURENHILL'S EXSPERIMENTA 2014: EXSPERIMENTA 2014 is an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art Work by secondary students ages 14 to 19. It is a triennial exhibit being held this year in Tallin, Estonia, in the months of October and November 2014. The theme for this year is, “Exploring Technology Through Art and Science.” Ninety students participated from the secondary four classes of Sharon Erskine and her student teacher Saraid Wilson in the making of Cinemagraphs, combining all three aspects of the theme. There were many challenges, the first being to develop a scientific experiment, then apply an artistic component and lastly to learn Photoshop Video Editing. Students were advised they would work in groups no larger than three. Principal Claude Dansereau is very proud of his students and teachers that were selected as the only school from Quebec.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER PRESENTATION: Pat Mirenda, Ph.D., BCBA-D, professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, presented to professionals in the Student Services Department at the EMSB this week. The topic discussed was Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Problem Behaviour. It provided participants with an overview of processes for conducting functional behaviour assessments and designing positive behaviour support plans for individuals with autism spectrum disorders who engage in problem behaviour. Through a variety of concrete examples and case studies, participants learned how to identify antecedent events, maintain consequences, and the function of problem behaviours.  Dr. Mirenda, using a great sense of humour throughout the day-long workshop, ended with a discussion on how to design multi-component behaviour support plans based on assessments, using a variety of strategies appropriate to a school setting. This presentation was made possible due to collaboration between the EMSB Student Services Department and Dr. Mayada Elsabbagh, assistant professor in psychiatry at McGill University working directly with the ASD Clinic at the Montreal Children's Hospital. This partnership was sponsored by the Donald Cohen Research, Practice and Policy Series as well as the Autism Research Training Program.  The EMSB looks forward to similar collaborations in the near future.

ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTSThere are a number of in-school administrative appointments for 2014-2015. New principals (former posts in brackets) are: Anna Sanalitro (vp at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent), Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Rosemount; Sandra Léveillé (vp at Gardenview in St. Laurent), St. Dorothy Elementary School in St. Michel; Elizabeth Lagodich (interim principal at Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount), Marymount Academy International; Nick Katalifos (principal at Pierre de Coubertin in St. Léonard), Roslyn;  Ida Pisano, pictured (principal at Dante), Pierre de Coubertin; Daniela Lattanzio (principal at Westmount Park), Dante in St. Léonard; Robert Di Marco (principal at St. Raphael), Westmount Park;  Derrek Cauchi (vice-principal at Westmount High), James Lyng High School in St. Henri; Joseph Schembri (vice-principal at Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard), General Vanier;  Gail Callendar (principal of Elizabeth Ballantyne), St. Raphael and Montreal Children’s Hospital; Otis Delaney (interim principal at Elizabeth Ballantyne) principal of the same school; Sonia Marotta (vice-principal at Pierre de Coubertin), Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West (interim) and Rick  David, John F. Kennedy Adult Centre (interim principal).  New vice-principals (previous post in brackets) are: Patrizia Tummillo, Westmount High School, (interim vp); Karine Arakelian, Westmount High School (assistant to the principal, Ecole Notre-Dame De Nareg in Laval); Cristina Celzi  (interim vice-principal at Royal Vale School,) becomes permanent; Despina Michakis (teacher at Coronation), LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent; Marsha Excellent (teacher at East Hill), LaurenHill; Chantal Juhasz (teacher at Westmount High), Royal West Academy; Alain Belair (teacher at St. Pius X) to the same Centre; Maria Savignano, John F. Kennedy Adult Centre (interim at same school); Vincenzo Timpano, Royal Vale School (vice-principal at Lester B. Pearson High School); Clorinda Antonacci, Lester B. Pearson High School (interim vice-principal  at the same school); Nicholas Romano, Laurier Macdonald High School (interim vice-principal at the same school); Miranda Serrecchia, Laurier Macdonald High School (teacher at Lester B. Pearson High School); Panorea Limperopoulos,Gardenview (vice-principal, Willingdon Elementary School);  Real Heppelle,  East Hill (teacher at Honoré-Mercier);  Nadine Pomilio, High School of Montreal Adult Education Centre in the Plateau  (mathematics consultant for the EMSB); Giuseppe (Joe) Cacchione,  Adult Education Centre (vice-principal at Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île) and Tina Spiridigliozzi, Rosemount Technology Centre (principal,  Roslyn Elementary School).

Taking leaves of absence this year are Angela Vaudry (James Lyng),  Craig Olenik (Marymount) and Leah Auclair (Edinburgh). Retiring are Michelle Stein (principal),  Pierre Elliott Trudeau, pictured), Agostino Porchetta (vice-principal at Rosemount Technology Centre), Sylvia Serchuk (principal, General Vanier) and Jean Alexandre (vice-principal, Royal Vale Elementary).

PERSONNEL: Francesco Crocco has been appointed as Analyst in Planning in Education Division 1. He succeeds Diane Pontikes, who has retired. Mr. Crocco has extensive experience in corporate environments.  He is a certified accountant (CPA,CNA) and has also worked in sales, marketing and financial analysis…Mitchell  Gonzalez (pictured)  has  joined the EMSB as a Personnel Management Consultant for Support Staff and Management. He previously worked at a company called   BackCheck  as a  Human Resources Generalist…Lindsay Libling has been appointed as Personnel Management Consultant – Professionals’ dossier – in replacement of  Carolina Soto,  who is currently on maternity leave.  Ms Libling was an HR Manager at Haivision and an HR Generalist at KnowledgeOne… Claudia Sbrissa and Maria Carystious are new Administration Officers  in Payroll Services (Interim) and Material Resources respectively…Pina Evangelista is a new  Readaptation Officer, Pamela Goldsmith joins the EMSB as a Speech & Language Pathologist and Sissi Séguret  is a new Academic & Vocational Information Counsellor.

WEB SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS UPDATE: Last year the webmaster for schools, Andrea Di Tomaso,  completed new websites for St. Monica School, Hampstead School, Laurier Macdonald High School and St. Dorothy School. She is currently working on websites for Lester B. Pearson, St. Gabriel and Gerald Mc Shane schools.  Also in the works, is a standardized school library section for each elementary and high school which will have information provided by EMSB Librarians and their school counterparts. 

INSPIRATIONS NEWSPAPER: The spring-summer edition of Inspirations Newspaper has been published. This remarkable snapshot of the special needs community has a wide array of wonderful and “inspiring” stories. 

ELIZABETH HIGH WINS AWARDS: Elizabeth High School, which caters to teenage moms, recently won awards both regionally and provincially for their literacy program called the Mother- Child Circle, notes a proud head teacher Louise Chalouh. Based in Ville Émard and part of the EMSB, Elizabeth High is the only English-language school of its kind in Quebec.  It offers a safe learning space for teenage mothers and pregnant teens, with small student-to-teacher ratios and a daycare on-site for children up to 18 months.  The school is affiliated with the non-profit organization, Elizabeth House, where some of the young women live. The goal of the early literacy program is to make the students become comfortable reading, singing and rhyming with their children.  “We believe this program will go a long way in helping the mothers build language and pre-reading skills in their children, thus giving the children an advantage when they start school,” says Ms. Chalouh, noting that the program has two components: a lending library and a story-time circle.  Please see the complete press release.

CANADIAN HISTORY IN THE MAKINGStudents from Edward Murphy Elementary  School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve took part in a very special presentation and assembly at the end of the last school year that is part of Canadian History in the making. The guest of honour was soft spoken Italian  Gino Farnetti Bragaglia. He was joined by his wife, Rita, and a six-person delegation from Italy.   This  was in part the conclusion of a year-long project headed by  Rocco Speranza, Spiritual Care Community Involvement Animator, and supported in part by Sig Giovanna Giordano, presidente e coordinatrice dei Comites in Canada and Vincent Gagnon, French and art teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount.

Speranza and Giordano had been teaching students about the Italian history and culture for 10 years at East Hill School, Edward Murphy School, and the other schools serviced by the former. Last year they educated the students and brought to life Gino’s story.   The visit to Edward Murphy aimed to further teach the youth about the many negative aspects of war,  the compassion of four Canadian soldiers and their platoon towards a five year old boy and other Italians as they fought to bring democracy back to Italy during World War II. It is important to note that through the ruins and rubble of war, a touching, inspiring and joyful story such as Gino’s unfolded.

BAGEL BREAKFASTThe Generations Foundation, which serves hot meals to students at many schools and arranges for summer camp experiences, will hold its   annual Back to School Bagel-o-thon at St. Viateur Bagel Café ( 5629 Monkland) in NDG on Thursday morning September 18 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. You can pre-order  bagels by calling 514.487-8051 in time for pick before 10 a.m. that day.  

INTRODUCING F.A.C.E.’S: Do you believe in empowering our less advantaged youth to make better choices into adulthood?  We do! That's why F.A.C.E.S.  (Foster a Child to Excel in Society) Inc. is hosting a Fundraising Vendors Fun Fair on Saturday, September 13, 2014 on Center Ice at the iconic and historical Montreal Forum (2313 St. Catherine, corner Atwater).  F.A.C.E.S. is a not-for-profit youth-focused organization based in Montreal. This inaugural event will directly benefit our educational programs which include LifeSkillz, JobSkillz, Entrepreneurship and Mentoring. All are specifically designed to assist participants in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to make better choices as they transition to successfully functioning young adults.  Our free event will be supporting 35 small local businesses and entrepreneurs, featuring a variety of vendors presenting their specialized products, services, artisanal and artistic creations, and where even the kids will be entertained with fun activities.   Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit On Rock Community Services,  The F.A.C.E.S. Fundraising Vendors Fun Fair will also feature local youth entertainment, which will surely assist in attracting many of the shoppers, cegep and university students, local downtown Montreal residents, and tourists walking by.  If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Carole at 514-918-5488 or Charmaine  at 514-242-7707.

WIN TICKETS TO THE ALOUETTES AND IMPACT FROM LA CAPITALE: For the seventh consecutive year, La Capitale Financial Services will be the title sponsor for the annual Volunteer Appreciation evening on April 14. La Capitale Financial Services (, which is a member of La Capitale Financial Group, offers a wide range of products and services that are designed to simplify financial choices for members working in the public and parapublic sectors in over 900 public and parapublic institutions across the province. These services include: personal financial advice; savings, investments and funds; individual life and health insurance; mortgages and personal loans; insurance for automobiles, recreational vehicles, home, travel and legal access; commercial insurance; and group insurance. La Capitale has generously donated  tickets for the Sunday afternoon September 7  Montreal Alouettes  Hamilton Tiger Cats game at Molson Stadium and this Saturday night,  Montreal Impact game at Saputo Stadium. In order to win,  email with the answer to this question: who was last year’s EMSB Volunteer of Distinction?  Only the winning entries will be contacted. Even if you have the correct answer,  if a number of people respond earlier than you then they will qualify first.

GARAGE SALE: The school yard of Venture High School at 1741 de Biencourt in Ville Émard will be the site of a garage sale on Saturday, September 6 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)  Many EMSB staff will have tables and requests for space should be made to Ann Rogers at extension 1206 or 1202.  There is no charge.  Bring a table, chair, lunch and your wares and have fun.   

STRONG NUMBERS: The EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services Department continues to attract  strong numbers to its programs. Last year, there were more than 6,000 ETPs (full -time equivalents). That adds up to more than 17,000 actual students in the AEVS system.  Last year, there were 700 international students, the result of some very successful missions overseas by the AEVS department. Their last trip included some centre administrators.  “We have students from China, South Korea, India,  the Middle East  and South America,” notes AEVS Director Cosmo Della Rocca,  emphasizing that the majority come from China.

NAME CHANGES: Last year the Council of Commissioners approved a plan to move the curriculum of the John F. Kennedy Business Centre in St. Michel to St. Pius X in Ahuntsic. The latter is already the home of a culinary institute. St. Pius X, in return, transferred its adult education programming to JFK.  They are now respectively known as the John F. Kennedy Adult Centre and the St. Pius X Career Centre.


September 2, 2014
First day of classes

September 3,  2014
Special EMSB Council  of Commissioners special meeting re budget

September 8, 2014
World Literacy Day/Grandparents Day

September 21, 2014
International Day of Peace

September 23, 2014
EMSB Council of Commissioners meeting

October 5, 2014
World Teachers Day

October 29 and 30, 2014
EMSB Career Fair
St. Pius X Career Centre

Important Science and Technology Dates

CRC Robotics Competition - February (12-14) - VANIER College

MRSTF - March 29-31- Concordia University
(Montreal Regional Science & Technology Fair)

Super Expo Science Fair - April 15-19 - Gatineau QC       
(Provincial S-Fair)

Junior Robotics Competition - April 24, 25 - John Rennie High S.

CWSF - 2015 - May  9-16 - Fredericton, N.B.
(National S-Fair)

INTEL ISEF - May 10-16 - Pittsbourgh , Pen
(International S-Fair)

  • The top 12 projects at the MRSTF will move on to the  Provincial Fair
  • Some of these twelve projects will qualify to participate at the National Fair
  • Also from the top 12  projects at MRSTF, 3 projects  will be selected to attend the International Fair in the US

La Commission scolaire English-Montréal (CSEM) a annoncé la nomination de Nathalie Lauzière au poste de Secrétaire générale à compter du 4 août 2014.Mme Lauzière, récemment directrice des Services juridiques et greffière de la Ville de Hampstead, succède à Joanne Bisbikos qui a pris sa retraite après une extraordinaire carrière de 51 ans auprès de la CSEM et de l’ancienne Commission des écoles protestantes du Grand Montréal (CEPGM) Mme Lauzière a obtenu une licence en droit de l’université Laval en 1994 et est membre du Barreau du Québec et a travaillé pour la Ville de Hampstead depuis 2009. Elle occupait auparavant les postes de directrice générale de la municipalité de Sainte-Placide dans la région de Deux Montagnes, de directrice des Services juridiques et des Ressources humaines de la firme Matériaux Kott et d’avocate auprès de la firme d’avocats de Saint-Jérôme, Léonard & Lauzière. En tant que Secrétaire générale de la CSEM, elle supervisera aussi les divisions des archives, des traductions et des communications.

« J’arrive directement du monde municipal et j’anticipe avec plaisir de me joindre au secteur de l’éducation » déclare Mme Lauzière. « Avant  d’entrer en fonction, j’ai eu le plaisir de rencontrer plusieurs fois Mme Bisbikos qui est une personne très aimable et serviable. J’espère faire profiter l’organisation, le personnel, les cadres et les administrateurs de mon expertise en encourageant la collaboration et en faisant la promotion de l’efficacité des divers services auxquels je serais impliquée ».

Mme Bisbikos a occupé le poste de Secrétaire générale/Directrice des archives depuis 1992, pour la CEPGM et ensuite la CSEM lorsqu’elle a été établie en 1998. Mme Bisbikos a commencé sa carrière dans le domaine de l’éducation en 1962 et a occupé plusieurs postes de personnel de soutien dont : Service des travailleurs sociaux, Service des ressources humaines, Bureau régional, Service du transport scolaire et des inscriptions.

« Ce fut un honneur et un privilège d’avoir passé toute ma carrière au service de la CEPGM et de la CSEM » déclare Mme Bisbikos. « C’est une carrière que j’ai grandement appréciée en ayant travaillé avec un très grand nombre de personnes admirables. Mes 22 années de Secrétaire générale ont été très satisfaisantes et enrichissantes et elles m’ont beaucoup appris. Il y a eu un grand nombre de changements au cours des années, le principal étant le changement de commission confessionnelle à commission linguistique. J’ai été activement impliquée à la transition au cours de laquelle un conseil provisoire avait été établi pour superviser l’établissement de la nouvelle commission scolaire. Au cours de l’année 1997-1998, des réunions du conseil provisoire ont été tenues dans diverses écoles que nous allions recevoir du secteur catholique et il a été intéressant de rencontrer les administrateurs qui deviendraient nos nouveaux collègues et de voir où étaient situées les écoles. J’ai un très grand nombre de merveilleux souvenirs de mes nombreuses années auprès de la Commission et je tiens à remercier toutes les personnes avec lesquelles j’ai travaillé. »

The next Focus will be published on  September 24. Submissions should be made to Michael J. Cohen preferably by  e-mail ( by September 19, 2014.

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