Tuesday, October 27, 2015


EMSB RECORDS SURPLUS: The EMSB deposited their 2014-2015 Audited Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2015 at the October 28, 2015 Council meeting. The Financial Statements reflect total revenues of $299.2 million and total expenditures of $293.9 million, resulting in an excess of revenues over  expenditures of $5.3 million. The accumulated operating surplus at June 30, 2015 is $50.4 million.

SUCCESS RATE: For the second year in a row the EMSB has recorded the highest success (graduation) rate in the entire province of Quebec among public school boards, figures released by The Ministère de l’Education, de l'Enseignement supérieur ET de la Recherche (MEESR) show. The 87.9 percent mark is based on a seven year cohort, meaning it followed the progression of students from 2007 to their graduating year in 2014. It is in line with last year’s total of 87.8 percent. As EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini points out, this is all the more impressive given the fact the province-wide graduation rate is 77.7 percent,” stated EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini.  In its Partnership Agreement with the Ministry, the EMSB had a goal of 86 percent for the graduating class of 2014 and 88 percent for 2020. “We have surpassed that target and have almost reached our 2020 objective,” EMSB Director of Educational and Technology Services Sandra Furfaro said with pride.    Please see the press release

The late Syd Wise.
MOURNING SYD WISE: The EMSB is mourning the passing of long-time Commissioner Dr. Syd Wise. He served as a school commissioner for Côte Saint-Luc for 21 years, having first being elected in 1994. In the last election of November 2, 2014 his ward was expanded to include Hampstead. Dr. Wise, who was 79, began his teaching career in the 1960’s with the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. After having taught for seven years, he served as principal of Mount Royal, Malcolm Campbell, Outremont and Wagar High Schools. He also served as president of the Montreal Association of School Administrators (MASA). In addition, he held administrative posts in other educational institutions: Education Director of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Principal of Yeshiva Godola Secular High School and as Director of a work program, for students of the Montreal Association for the Blind.  For one term, prior to becoming a school commissioner, he served as councillor for the City of Montreal. He recently returned to his first passion, teaching, as a lecturer at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and McGill University.

Following last year’s vote, Dr. Wise was elected by his peers to become Chairman of the Executive Committee. “Syd had a most distinguished past in the educational system,” said Ms. Mancini.  “As a teacher, principal and school commissioner he was always there to stick up for the rights of students and educators.  In 1998, when school boards were reorganized along linguistic lines from religious, Syd played an important role in getting a significant voter turnout in those elections. He later oversaw a Focus Committee that looked at what type of new programs could be implemented at the EMSB, making a tour of different schools to hear what suggestions were out there. Under his leadership, programs were created to bring Jewish and non-Jewish students together to learn about each other’s culture. When the Parti Québecois tried to push through its Charter of Values, Syd stepped forward and played a leading role in the EMSB’s position against the legislation which never passed.” He was married to Cecile for 52 years. They had two children and six grandchildren.

Please see this tribute by Liberal MNA for D'Arcy McGee David Birnbaum.

BY-ELECTION: Official notice has been given for a by-election to take place on Sunday, December 13 in Côte Saint-Luc-Hampstead to fill the position of commissioner left vacant by Dr. Wise`s passing.

GOVERNING BOARD MEETING: EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini and Director General Ann Marie Matheson are very pleased with the feedback they are getting about the special meeting they hosted with governing board parents on October 6. Just under 100 Governing Board parents from primary and secondary schools across the territory attended a meeting at the EMSB head office on Fielding Avenue in NDG. Ms. Matheson extended the invitation to all Governing Parents in order to meet and thank them for their contributions, to introduce herself and members of the EMSB team and to consult parents on the reorganization of the regional parents’ committees now that the EMSB has two regions – east and west. Also on the agenda was a brief overview of the basic operations of the governing boards and the partnerships between outside organizations and our schools. Ms.  Matheson gave the parents a brief overview of the structure of the regions since 1998 following the amalgamation of the school boards.  The parents were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on both the re-structuring of the regions and on any other topic of their choice.

A majority of the parents in attendance explained that the needs of the students far outweigh any concerns expressed regarding the reorganization of the parent committees.  “The feedback that we got is that parents primarily value the contributions made in the best interest of the students,” said Ms. Mancini. “Good teaching and learning circumstances are at the forefront of what parents want.  The number and structure of regional parents’ committees seemed far less important.”

CPC SURVEY:  The results of the recent Central Parents Committee (CPC) survey have been called into question after major flaws were exposed in the way the tabulation and interpretation of the data was done. At the September Council of Commissioners meeting, the statistic that 69.3 percent of respondents do not believe that commissioners value the opinion of parent was called into question and categorized as “misleading,” by EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini.  “In scientific terms, [the CPC] smudged the numbers,” said Ms. Mancini. “They have led the public to believe that 69.3 percent of our parents did not agree that commissioners should exist, but in reality, this number is only 46.2 percent and the question asked is on whether the parents believe their opinion is valued not do you believe that commissioners should exist.  If using the neutral votes to bolster your numbers is not smudging information, I do not know what is. I question all the results and I hope the public questions the entire integrity of this report."

OUR NEW PRIME MINISTER: The EMSB wishes to congratulate our newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. His riding of Papineau encompasses John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel and Sinclair Laird Elementary School in Park Extension.  He has visited both schools on a number of occasions.

Justin Trudeau, shown here during a visit 
MOCK ELECTION: Channeling the voters of NDG-Westmount, students at Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West overwhelmingly elected Marc Garneau in their recent mock election. After hearing from and asking questions to candidates from the four major political parties: Garneau (Liberal), James Hughes (NDP), Robert Libman (Conservative) and Melissa Wheeler (Green Party), students in Grades 5 and 6 were able to cast their own ballots, courtesy of Civix Canada. Organized by teacher Jean-Michel Brunet, students received ballots and secretly voted, much like their parents did on October 19. Garneau was elected by an overwhelming majority with 60 votes. Hughes came in a distant second place with 18 votes.  

LESTER  B PEARSON COMMERCIAL:  Congratulations to students and staff at Lester B. Pearson High School who  shot this commercial and another video showing a student tour. There was also this one for student placement tests.

PEARSON CAFÉ: Student Council at Lester B. Pearson High School is proud to unveil the new Pearson Café, a new student hang-out months in the making. The lounge is an additional safe space that will be made available to students and was the brainchild of Student Council, the Safe School team and the Lunch Hour Improvement Committee. Members of Student Council have been working on the room since June, emptying old underused space of all of its furniture and items that were being stored, painting, cleaning, decorating, acquiring furnishings and finally painting the large banner on the outside wall. All students will be welcome to dine in the café during lunch and it is hoped this will become the new permanent home to the coffee houses. The room was made possible through generous contributions by PPO, staff members, Student Council fundraising and a donation by JFK Concrete. 

WEB SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS: New school websites are now being built using a responsive platform that will change layouts depending on screen size from mobile to desktop.   The new designs feature EMSB news, community and calendar feeds.  Each new website will include a Library microsite that has all the links and information of the EMSB Virtual Library.   Designs for Royal Vale, Dunrae Gardens, LINKS and John Grant have been completed.  Websites coming soon will be Bancroft, Honoré Mercier, Edinburgh and Rosemount. Schools are urged to update their website regularly with pertinent information, School Webmaster Andrea Di Tomaso is available to help with updates and to answer your questions.

LAURENHILL SOCCER STAR:  LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent is proud of the success of Nicolas Estevez-Perez, who competed in the Canadian National Soccer Championships for his local
Nicolas Estevez-Perez
club Panellinios SC, representing Quebec.  They finished third in the country. Nicholas has been an integral part of his team which claimed the championship of the U16 LSEQ AAA league, the highest level of youth soccer in the province.  The U16 National competition took place in Surrey, BC from October 6 to 12.

PLAY IT FAIR:  This school year, in four EMSB B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycares, 22 Secondary IV students from Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) in Rosemount will be participating in the Supporting Children as Leaders through Play it Fair Program. The program is spearheaded by the B.A.S.E. Daycare program, the EMSB Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service and Equitas–the International Centre for Human Rights Education. Equitas received a $30,000 from the Canada Post Community Foundation to put into place this exciting new project. More than 200 children aged five to 12 participated in the B.A.S.E. afterschool programs at four elementary schools – Dante, Gerald McShane , Michelangelo and Pierre Elliott Trudeau  – will take part in weekly Play it Fair! activities run by the 22 VMC students. The high school students received a two-hour training in the Play it Fair! curriculum in order to facilitate the rights and values activities with the daycare students and were also provided with a detailed outline to guide them. The hours spent running the programs in the B.A.S.E. daycares will count towards the VMC students’ community service hours. See the press release.

CHROMEBOOKS: Education and Technology Services has begun piloting the integration of Chromebooks and Google Apps For Education(GAFE) with eleven teachers in cycle three and high school combined from both the  East and West sectors. This pilot will occur in several subject domains including English Language Arts (ELA), French, Math, Science and ERC. The integration of technology is a priority for the ETS Department. Through this pilot, they hope to see an increase in teacher/student feedback, which based on renowned educational researcher John Hattie, has a great impact on student learning. The pilot also aims to increase student engagement and participation, allow teachers to differentiate the activities for students, and build confidence in learners who struggle academically. The inclusion of this form of technology and environment, opens up the doors to a world of exploration, discovery, collaboration and creativity. ETS has decided to pilot Google Apps for Education in order for students to engage in and develop important 21st century skills. Students will collaborate on a variety of documents inside and out of the classroom. They will be involved in a variety of learning situations in which they will be guided to problem solve and create authentic content, all while learning how to be a positive digital citizen. The digital environment in which this learning occurs is Google Apps for Education; a cloud based software that allows students to access their work from any device connected to the Internet. Google Apps’ diversity and ability to store work on the cloud is what makes school work and homework easily unite. Currently there are over 30 million students worldwide who use Google Apps for Education to enhance their learning and we feel that this pilot project will complement the exciting use of technopedagogy that is currently happening throughout the board.

PEDAGOGICAL LEADERSHIP: On October 21 and 22, the EMSB Education and Technology Services Department hosted a two day training session on pedagogical leadership for the Directors of English Educators Network (DEEN). Over 120 educational consultants, assistant directors and directors from the Quebec English public school system, as well as members from the Ministry of Education came together and received coaching and mentoring from Dr. Robyn Jackson, best-selling author of the book Never Work Harder Than Your Students, on the topic of Giving Effective Feedback to Teachers.  Throughout the two days of active training, the participants were inspired through engaging discussions, shared experiences, open conversations and dialogues.  Another two days of training is being planned for Spring 2016, to complete the effective leadership practice set out by DEEN. 

Dan Laxer
MERTON SCHOOL COMEDY: Merton Elementary School (5554 Robinson Ave.)  in Côte Saint-Luc will hold a Comedy Fundraiser on Thursday, November 5. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the show set to begin at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $15 each.
They can be purchased at the door as they last or via the Home and School Association. Refreshments and snacks will be sold while there will also have raffles and prizes to be won during the evening.  Among the performers are Dan  Laxer, Chris Venditto, Emma Wilkie and Natalie Willet. You can pre-order your tickets at mertonhs@videotron.ca  says Home and School vice-president Samantha Patel.

Hampstead School students enjoy their experience.
HAMPSTEAD HARVEST PARTY: On October 5 2015 Hampstead Daycare hosted a Harvest Party to celebrate the wonderful harvest from the garden this year.  The students who were in the B.A.S.E. Daycare Green Club last year were the ones who planted and maintained the garden all spring. It was only fitting that they were the students who helped serve and give tours of the garden for other students.  There was a bountiful amount of leafy Swiss Chard so Ms. Melina (B.A.S.E. Daycare Extracurricular Advisor) made two dishes with it. First there was a white bean and swiss chard stew with lots of vegetables and then there were swiss chard and cheddar empanadas. There was also a vortex bean and tomato salad, all from the Hampstead garden.  It was a great success! And most importantly the students got to see their garden turn into food for all their friends at Daycare. Thank-you also to daycare educators Ms. Cathy and Ms. Adrienne for all their help!

MINDFULNESS AT EBS: Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West is participating in a Mindfulness Challenge with 10 other schools throughout the continent: The Study, Selwyn House, Hebrew Academy and ECS; Arcola Community School (Saskatchewan); Baden Public School ( Ontario); University School of Milwaukee; and William Penn Charter School (Pennsylvania). This will take place over 30 days and each school is responsible to participate in Mindfulness activities daily. Check out the following blog about the Mindful Challenge:  www.thestudyblogosphere.com/calm.

Getting into the Mindfulness spirit.
The overall aim is to explore the diverse ways of teaching mindfulness within individual classrooms both at EBS the Study, and other schools across the continent, so that students can integrate this practice into their daily activities and become lifelong learners. Short term goal: To explicitly discuss our experiences, both challenges and success at teaching the act of being mindful with a diverse group of professionals, including educators, their students, authors and researchers. As with any other important skills that are taught in schools, be it learning to read, write or engage in critical thinking we, as educators, immerse them in the concept and practice the skill again and again. They then pull back and through a gradual release of responsibility, let students move forward on their own. Through the use of technology they will be able to connect with other professionals educators/authors/researchers that are also looking at how students, our future leaders, our ambassadors of change, can become more mindful/focused/aware of the world around them.

SPECIAL OLYMPIAN: Andrew Perez who competed as a swimmer in the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles recently visited Coronation Elementary School in Côte des Neiges, sharing a
Greeting a special guest.
wonderful message with the students. Andrew encouraged the students to aspire to their dreams and stressed that with hard work, they are capable of success no matter what weaknesses or disabilities they might be faced with. Accompanying Andrew to Coronation was his mother, Cathy Vlahos Perez.  Representing Canada at the World Games, Andrew won two gold medals, one silver medal and finished another race in fourth place. The children of Coronation have a new hero!

OPEN HOUSES: It is Open House season at EMSB primary and secondary schools. The successful television advertising campaign which ran a year ago has been repeated.

Anna Della Rocca (second from the right) is congratulated by Joe Ortona, Joseph Lalla, Sylvia Lo Bianco, Rosario Ortona and Angela Mancini.
RETIREES DINNER: About 102 people attended the annual EMSB Retirees’ Dinner, which took place at the Plaza Volare Reception Hall of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Laurent on October 27, which honoured 78 EMSB employees who served as teachers, administrators, caretakers and maintenance workers, professionals, secretaries and technicians, whose combined years of service to the EMSB totaled an astounding 1,759 years. The retiree with the most years of services was Freda Segal, who retired as a teacher at Royal West Academy in Montreal West after 49 years. EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini, along with EMSB Director Ann-Marie Matheson, commissioners Sylvia Lo Binaco, Joseph Lalla, Joe Ortona and Rosario Ortona, and management from Education Division East, Education Division West, Adult Education and Vocational Services, Material Resources, Human Resources, Financial Services, Pedagogical Services, Office of the Secretariat and Office of the Deputy Director General, awarded the retirees in attendance with a special thank you gifts of  crystal pitchers.  

MARYMOUNT READS: The fourth annual Marymount Reads took place on September 25.  This year celebrated author Allan Stratton spoke about his books, The Curse of the Dream Witch and Borderline and The Dogs, at two sessions. The latter has been nominated for the Ontario Library Association's Red Maple Award. One of his books, Chanda's Secret, has been made into a movie called Life above all.

WALK TO SCHOOL DAY: Continuing what has become an annual tradition, students from Royal Vale School in N.D.G.  participated in International Walk to School Day on   October 7. They were joined by students and staff from Lower Canada College. The walk began at N.D.G. Park (Corner Marcil and St. Antoine). Students, parents and representatives from the school had a police escort as they made their way into school.  Elementary school students in over 40 countries walked to school on this day. Walk to School Day began in 1997 and the success of the campaign has prompted October to be dubbed “International Walk to School” month.  Liberal Member of Parliament and former astronaut Marc Garneau participated, as did Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, School Commissioner Joseph Lalla and Pan-Am Silver medalists Steph Valin and Katrina Monton.  

EMSB officials take part in the ceremonial faceoff.
EMSB/ARCTIC NIGHT: More than 600 members of the EMSB family were on hand at Garon Arena in Montreal North on October 14 when the St. Léonard Arctic of the AAA Quebec Junior Hockey League hosted the Montreal East Rangers. The Arctic have a number of EMSB grads on their roster. Lina Di Giovanni, a long-time EMSB parent volunteer and vice-president/co-owner of the Arctic, is excited about welcoming students and their families to many games this season. She has
Teacher Gisella Scalia  with some of her students from Gerald McShane.
already decided that team uniforms will have an EMSB logo on the shoulder. Her husband, Joe Perretta, is the co-owner and president.  John Paul I  Junior High School students Marina Genovesi, Vanessa-Marie De Angelis, Cheyenne Sky-appleton-Osbourne and Donna Marrone, along with grad and present-day Laurier Macdonald High School student, Julia Tasillo, sang the national anthem at the game.  

Canadian Olympic snowboarder Caroline Calve and Céline Meloche at the RBC table.
CAREER FAIR: The 16th annual EMSB Career Fair took place October 28 at St. Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic for more than 2,000 Secondary IV students. Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank are the event’s title sponsors.  Harriet Cohen from EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services is the Career Fair chairperson. The Student Services and AEVS Departments of the EMSB coordinate this program.  Ms. Cohen notes that the main objective of the Career Fair is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them.  All students took part in a brief   general information session in the St. Pius X auditorium. Students then had the chance to visit the various exhibition/information booths staffed by representatives from English vocational centres, CEGEPS, universities, Air Canada and some private business colleges.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT PROGRAM: See our video where we interview some international students from the EMSB. It is interesting to see how they are adjusting to life in Montreal:

TERRY FOX HERO: Seven year old Avah Penefather is our new hero.  The Edinburgh Elementary School student raised $5,000 from the Terry Fox Run. See what motivated her in this video. You can also see this video on the Nesbitt School run.

ROSEMOUNT REACHES OUT: Student action is at the forefront of a new program at Rosemount High School entitled “Rosemount Reaches Out!” Over the course of the school year, the program will delve into issues on both a local and global level and through education and community involvement; students hope to make a difference.
Students enjoy their experience.
Under the guidance of Vince Lacroce, Spiritual and Community Animator, this project is intended to encourage students to become proactive citizens in their community. To date, over 120 students have enrolled in the program that emphasizes volunteerism, empathy and citizenship.  Recently, students undertook the first initiative in the program, which was establishing a partnership with the Benedict Labre House in Griffintown, an institution that serves as a day centre for the homeless. By working with the organization throughout the year, students will familiarize themselves with the struggles of the estimated 3,000 homeless people in Montreal. As a part of their first visit to the organization, students prepared a full course Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of Frank and Dino Aliments-Sysco and Boucherie AGA.

Events for November and December will focus respectively on stopping racism and examining the causes of the Holocaust and World War II. These activities will be followed by the packing of over 2,000 boxes in collaboration with many EMSB schools and Rosemount Technology Centre for the annual Spirit of Giving campaign.  The initiatives of the EMSB’s Spiritual Animation Program helps students improve the lives of others and make a difference in their community and beyond.

Celebrating at Carlyle.
CARLYLE’S WELCOME BACK: On October 1, a crowd of over 500 people gathered t at Carlyle Elementary School in TMR for their annual Welcome Back celebration. Students, staff, family, and friends participated in fun-filled activities and enjoyed delicious food and refreshments donated by Le Doral, the school’s hot meal provider. Children and adults alike especially appreciated the cotton candy and popcorn!

However, the highlight of the event took place when a giant tow truck drove into the schoolyard, pulling in the ice cream truck! After getting stuck in Laval, the school arranged for the stalled ice cream truck to be towed to Carlyle. The crowd applauded, lines-ups began, and students received their much-anticipated soft ice cream cone! Special guests included EMSB Director General Ann Marie Matheson, Deputy Director General Angelo Marino, Regional Director Pela Nickoletopoulos, Mayor Phillipe Roy and Councillor John Miller.

MEDIA LITERACY WEEK: The 10th anniversary of National Media Literacy Week (http://www.medialiteracyweek.ca) will take place November 2 to 6.  This year’s theme is “Respect in a Digital World,” encouraging young people to be upstanding digital citizens by acting responsibly and ethically in their online environments by respecting themselves, others and the spaces they’re in. This comes at a time when the EMSB Education and Technology Services team of consultants are working with teachers to implement digital citizenship lessons in class.

Some highlights of what is planned includes Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North where the EMSB team of librarians are working on a program whereby students will be asked to find hidden messages in advertisements. Posters will be arranged around the library for students to critique. LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent will focus on internet safety. At East Hill Elementary and Michelangelo International in RDP, students will skype with an expert on animals

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP: The EMSB and Marymount Academy International in NDG took on the theme of Smartphones, Sexting & Social Media; What Parents Need to Know, at a recent evening forum. Dr. Alissa Sklar, an expert on the issue, was the main speaker. With the digital world continuously changing, parents have grown increasingly concerned and had many questions regarding the issue and looked to Dr. Sklar for answers.  

The presentation and discussion dove right into what parents should know when it comes to kids online and how to promote safe, responsible, creative and productive use of the digital age. “Curating a positive digital footprint is extremely important, making sure they build on the good stuff and that there is space for everyone online to produce in a creative positive way,” she said 
Panelists and organizers of the event.
Dr. Sklar wanted to emphasize that not everything online has to be negative. “It is a great way to show what you can do in ways we as kids never had the chance to,” she said.  Dr. Sklar expressed how important it is to open the lines of communication between child and parent, that there is no such thing as privacy online. Anything that is done in a digital format cannot be assumed as private, which most people, especially kids, seem to be unaware of.  Parents on hand found her   extremely knowledgeable and helpful, enabling them to connect their experiences. In addition to her academic and consulting work, Dr. Sklar can also speak to the issue as a mom of three who deals first hand with the digital age at home. “I make sure my kids think before posting things,” she said.  “Mom or dad might see this so I’d better think twice. They know at some point or another I will ask to see their text messages or conversations between friends. Privacy is earned, not given. We want to be able to trust our children to be good digital citizens, but it does not come easy.”

It is clear that it takes persistence, time and energy to ensure a safe online environment. However at the end of the day the EMSB believes it is necessary and worth it in this day and age of parenting in a digital culture.

A scene from last year's Spirit of Giving finale at Marymount.
SPIRIT OF GIVING: In preparation for the holidays, the EMSB will once again be teaming up with the Canadian Armed Forces to support CTV Montreal’s annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign, which brings much needed assistance to the less fortunate throughout Montreal.  In early December, non-perishable food, toys and miscellaneous items, such as soap and cleaning supplies, will be collected, sorted and donated to Share the Warmth, West Island Assistance Fund, Renaissance Montreal, Multicaf, Parc Extension Share Store, Le Bon Dieu Dans La Rue, Batshaw Youth and Family Services and the N.D.G. Food Depot. In all, the combined efforts of the EMSB, its schools and facilities will hopefully generate over 600 boxes of non-perishable food, and over 40,000 toys and miscellaneous items.  Rosemount High School will serve as the main hub for the collection.  Principal Marco Gagliardi and Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce are thrilled to have their facility assume the role of the main hub for the very first time.  Staff and students are Rosemount Technology Centre will also lend a helping hand. Stay tuned for more details.

QPAT CONVENTION: The EMSB will once again have an information table at the annual Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) Convention Nov. 26 and 27 at the Palais des Congrès.

KIDSCON: The EMSB and Inspirations Newspaper had information kiosks at the first ever KidsCon event at Uniprix Stadium. Thousands of parents, with their children, passed through the two-day event and many stopped by to pick up EMSB information material.

PERSPECTIVES PARTNERSHIP: Students from Perspectives I Alternative High School in St. Michel began a new partnership with the Benedict Labre House on October 5, beginning with the preparation of that evening’s dinner service. In addition to a meeting with Star Gale, the community coordinator of the Benedict Labre House, students will be very active with the organization during this academic year. In addition to further involvement at the house, students will also be teaming up with members of Benedict Labre House on a graffiti mural project which will be unveiled in spring 2016. These programs will be facilitated and organized by Vince Lacroce, Spiritual and Community Animator.
Students enjoy their swimming.
SWIM TO SURVIVE: This year, St. Dorothy Elementary School in St. Michel applied and received a grant from "The Swim to Survive Program,"  an activity intended for Cycle 2 students who will be going to the the John F. Kennedy High School swimming facility once a month. There they will receive instruction by a professional on water safety for the first three sessions. The last seven  will be used to practice the water safety skills and practice the necessary movements required to survive an unexpected fall in deep water. It is Principal Sandra Leveille's hope that this program will give her students all of the necessary tools needed to achieve water safety.

GENERAL VANIER DRESS DOWN:  Students from General Vanier Elementary School in St. Léonard held   a dress down day for the benefit of the PKD Foundation of Canada - Montreal Chapter. Its mission is to promote programs of research, advocacy, education, support and awareness in order to discover treatments and a cure for polycystic kidney disease and improve the lives of all it affects. There is no treatment or cure for this hereditary disease that affects 66,000 Canadians.   As mentioned to Vittorio Giordano of Cittadino Canadese, General Vanier has led the way in raising awareness of PKD.  Other schools in St. Léonard are being urged to follow suit.  

MCGILL AWARDS: Amid the lively chaos of Activities Night, a group of young student leaders arrived at McGill University’s Faculty Club for an evening of celebration in early September. These 22 students were the applicants and winners of the first-ever McGill High School Community Leadership Award. Offered by the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) in partnership with Enrolment Services, this award recognizes the leadership, initiative, and innovation of Grade 10 students in their school and wider communities across Montreal. Four students were awarded the top prize of an Acer laptop for demonstrating excellence in leadership and community engagement. These four students – Nicholas Styres from Kahnawake Survival School, Chloe Polson from Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School, and Cristina Mignacca from Lester B. Pearson High School and Nova Orchid Hagel-Georgeson from FACE School – showed a strong commitment to their communities through leadership in sports, robotics, the performing arts and environmentalism. All of the applicants, however, were outstanding community leaders, and all received prizes thanks to the generous donations from the Montreal Alouettes, McGill Athletics, the McGill Bookstore and the Tomlinson Project. The awards dinner was a chance to celebrate all that they had achieved. “It was such an amazing experience, just getting to apply, and made us realize things about ourselves that we had never seen before,” said Cristina Mignacca. “I know that, for me at least, the mere application process was a confidence booster, because I had never given myself credit for the many things I do in my school.”

LE TEMPS DES FLEURS: A total of 320 Montreal elementary school choristers, a symphonic orchestra and renowned Quebec actor Guy Nadon have collaborated on a children’s book/CD about the ancient Greek myth of Persephone and how the seasons came to be.   Le Temps des Fleurs, le Temps des Neiges is a massive multi-disciplinary project culminating in the creation of a book/CD for children in French, which explores the ancient Greek myth of the Goddess Demeter, her daughter Persephone and the unbreakable bond that exists between a mother and her child.  
Students in rehearsal last year.

The EMSB is represented by six elementary schools:  Gardenview in St. Laurent, Pierre de Coubertin in St. Léonard, Edinburgh in Montreal West, Roslyn in Westmount, Royal Vale in NDG and Sinclair Laird in Park Extension. They are collaborating with École Socrates-Démosthène in Outremont.

The project kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Embassy Plaza in Laval with red carpet event. That will be followed by a formal launch on Wed. Nov. 11 (7 pm) at Victoria Hall in Westmount. On Sunday, Nov. 22 (11:30 am) there will be a presentation at the Salon du Livre de Montréal at the Place Bonaventure.
Written by Canadian children's book author Glen Huser and adapted to French by Jean Antonin Billard and Robert Paquin, the book includes an operatic version of the story on CD, composed by Athens-based Giannis Georgantelis. Brilliantly illustrated by three time Governor General Award winning illustrator Philippe Béha and narrated by Nadon, le Temps des Fleurs, le Temps des Neiges is a collaboration of Panarmonia Atelier Musical with Quebec publishing house Planète Rebelle and Chroma Musika, in partnership with the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal and the Hellenic Congress of Quebec.

The accompanying CD will feature a complete musical version of the book with performances by soloists and the combined choirs of 12 different schools from the EMSB, the Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys and l’École primaire Socrates & Démosthène. The children will be accompanied by the Orchestre Symphonique Pop de Montréal under the direction of Professor Alain Cazes. Net profits from the sales within the school systems will be donated to the participating schools. Project musical directors, Dimitri Ilias and Maria Diamantis, hope the children of the choir gain a better understanding and appreciation for ancient Greek mythology, broaden their horizons coming in contact with great Canadian artists and learn how a professional CD is made — from recording to final mixing, editing and mastering with Concordia Professor and Juno Award Judge, Dr. Mark Corwin. The opportunity to perform alongside a symphonic orchestra is a unique musical experience not available to many. Even more importantly, the children learn the value and rewards that come from teamwork, cooperation, hard work and discipline.

CEDARCREST ON YOUTUBE: Looking for relaxation music videos to promote the return of calm to your students? A teacher of French immersion of the Cedarcrest School offers no less than 19 original videos on YouTube. Indeed, as author composer (piano, instrumental music for relaxation), Sylvie Letendre recorded so far in the studio, a full album of 11 tracks and the first six tracks of a second album, which should be completed shortly. Moreover, the title "For Philippe" was recently distributed to 145 radio stations across Canada! Note that this is Ms. Letendre who takes most of the photos in her videos. She also sometimes uses various artists.

These videos together, in fact, a component of the approach Regalena Melrose, Ph.D. ("Hope and Healing"). Indeed, Ms. Letendre (pictured) uses his music every day during the "60 seconds" during which children watch video images while being imbued with music. After students have been exposed to the audiovisual document, the teacher request, in turn, how they feel, then it's back to the classroom activities, in quiet. Finally, since it has the chance to have a piano in her class, Ms. Letendre also want to achieve the "60 seconds" of Regalena Melrose, directly on the piano, which is very popular with students.

In short, going on YouTube, the chain Sylvie Letendre, you can access the videos and so you, too, to experience this relaxation experience to your students ... But also think of you, dear teachers! 

The kids have a blast at St. Gabriel.
SING MONTREAL: Eleven students from St. Gabriel Elementary School in Pointe St. Charles are participating in a choral singing program called Sing Montréal Chante (SMC), an outreach project created by Andrew Gray, artistic director of Chœur des Enfants de Montréal. Sing Montréal Chante is open to any student that wants to sing, no auditions required and was offered free to schools. SMC tutor Barrett Porter is working with the kids over a period of 12 weeks to prepare them for a concert at Pollack Hall.  Accompanied by professional musicians, the event will feature 180 students from eight elementary schools from across Montréal.  The final concert will take place Tuesday, December 8 (7 p.m.) at Pollack Hall, McGill University. Reservations: info@singmontrealchante.com. 

Students, staff and EMSB reps gather at Parkdale.
PARKDALE ABORETUM: With the sun shining down on Parkdale Elementary School in St. Laurent, students took to their schoolyard recently to inaugurate their new arboretum. While the trees and shrubs will take many years to fully mature, over time, the schoolyard will be home to five areas where students will have the opportunity to learn, play or relax in the shade. The arboretum will complement Parkdale’s outdoor classroom and garden.  For kindergarten students, whom are the youngest children at the school, they had the honour of adopting the first tree: a White Oak. Throughout their time at Parkdale, the students will track the growth of the sapling.  On hand to officially inaugurate the arboretum were Pelagia Nickoletopoulos, Regional Director, West Sector; Athina Galanogeorgos, Assistant Director, Education and Technology Services; James Kromida, Commissioner for St. Laurent; and Elpi Argyrakopoulos, Pedagogical Consultant. The arboretum was made possible as a result of an EMSB Green Grant as well as a partnership with Vert-Cité, whom ensured the planting of over 20 trees and shrubs. Vert-Cité will also oversee the growth of the arboretum alongside generations of Parkdale students.  

Making a racket.
TENNIS WORKSHOP: A group of enthusiastic teachers from Parkdale and Cedarcrest Elementary Schools, EMSB Physical Education and Health Consultant Katherine Baker, community coordinators and instructors from   Saint-Laurent took part in a tennis workshop on October 19. It was hosted by the Parkdale Community Learning Center (CLC). All participants received a detailed guidebook and access to tennis material that will be placed in two neighborhood parks, thanks to a CLC partnership with the borough of Saint-Laurent, the YMCA Saint-Laurent, and funding by Québec en Forme. 

ENCOUNTERS WITH CANADA: Every year, Encounters with Canada - the country’s leading youth forum - welcomes students aged 14 to 17 from across the EMSB. The students join teens from across the country at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa, for an unforgettable week of bilingual workshops, outings and cultural events.  They learn about Canadian institutions, meet accomplished Canadians, explore exciting career options and develop their civic leadership skills. They experience Canada’s diverse culture and heritage, learn about contemporary issues, and explore their own potential.  More than 100,000 students have already lived the experience! Encounters with Canada offers a choice of 13 different themes, each one week long:  Arts & Culture;  Canada Remembers; Democracy & Youth; Experience Canada; First Responders; International Relations; Journalism & Communications; Law & Our Justice System; Medicine & Health; Science & Ecology; Science & Technology; Sports & Fitness; and Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age.

Encounters with Canada is open to all students aged 14 to 17, and approximately 130 teens from across the country take part each week.  The EMSB offers 20 subsidies each year, with a maximum of two per school.  For more information about this year’s program, subsidies and registration, contact your school’s guidance counsellor or Travis Hall, Pedagogical Consultant, Career Development at thall@emsb.qc.ca or (514) 483-7200, ext. 7818.  For additional information about Encounters with Canada, go to www.ewc-rdc.ca.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:  The EMSB’s second major initiative aimed at bolstering energy efficiency in school buildings continues to move along nicely. This $24.6 million project with energy efficiency experts Énergère is focusing on 17 specific schools and centers.  With work complete on the modernization of more than 20 boiler rooms, work is now proceeding on replacing 25,300 lights. All lighting fixtures will be converted from fluorescent to the latest in LED technology, which will save energy, last longer, and simplify maintenance while maintaining or enhancing lighting levels. This measure alone will account for $9 million of the budget.

Besides projected savings of 40 to 60 percent in energy efficiency, the LED technology offers a better atmosphere. Because of their directional source, these lights produce an instant and maximum light, with grading options. In addition they are completely silent, which reduces noise disturbance caused by certain types of lighting. These advantages will allow students a better concentration, thus creating an environment conductive to learning. With its unrivalled life expectancy up until now, LED technology can function for up to 30 years in a school environment. This requires fat less maintenance than any other technology.  It is also important to note that this type of lighting doesn’t contain mercury, unlike fluorescent tubes nor does it produces any ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In high doses, the latter can be very harmful on human health.

Marymount Before.  
Marymount After.
The replacement of the lighting involves the following schools, with the number of lights in bracklets: Rosemount High School (4,104) Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary School in Rosemount (596); Gerald McShane Elementary School in Montreal North (988 ); Dante  Elementary School (591), John Paul I Junior High School (1,032) and Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard (2,093); Royal West Academy in Montreal West (1,321);  Leonardo  Da Vinci Academy (788 ), Michelangelo International (810) and East Hill Elementary School (896) in RDP;  St Gabriel  Elementary School in Pointe St.  Charles (770); High School of Montreal Adult Education Centre in the Plateau (907); John F. Kennedy  High School in St. Michel (3,632);  Marymount Academy International   (1,795) and Shadd Health and Business Centre in NDG (725);  St Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic  (725); and Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount (963). Work on the lighting began in August and will continue until next April. 

PHOTOS: New photos of the EMSB Board and School Administrators are now on the ePortal.  The photos are filed by alphabetical order as well as by school for ease of use.   Please click below for a direct link to the Communications ePortal site.https://eduemsbqc.sharepoint.com/communications/

If you are an administrator (Principal, Vice-Principal, Manager, Director, Assistant-Director, Officer) and do not have your photo on the portal, please attach a recent photo of you to an e-mail with your full name, title and place of work and I will add you to the directory.Please note that the administrator photos on the OLD INTRANETare no longer up-to-date and should not be used anymore A big thank you to Andrea Di Tomaso who took the photos and edited them.

YOUTH CALENDAR: Here is a link to the 2015-2016 youth calendar

BLACK THEATRE WORKSHOP SCHOOL TOUR: For Black History Month in February, Black Theatre Workshop will present Binti’s Journey, adapted by Marcia Johnson, from the novel The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis, directed by Lynda Hill, in association with Theatre Direct. Binti’s Journey tells the story of Binti Phiri, the young star of a popular Malawi radio program “Gogo’s Family.” After losing her home and family to AIDS and enduring separation from her siblings, 13 year-old Binti finds her way to her Grandmother’s village and discovers a deeper understanding of the power of family and community.  Deborah Ellis’s acclaimed novel for youth addressing the human impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa is brought to life through the power of drama, storytelling, dance and music in an inspiring theatrical production.  “Binti’s Journey is the kind of production that encourages young audiences to crave theatre,” says Now Magazine.  The show is appropriate for ages 11 and up.  On tour from February 1 to 19, 2016.  To book a visit to your school, contact Black Theatre Workshop at 514-932-1104 ext. 228 or email   events@blacktheatreworkshop.ca.
VICTOR PHILLIPS AWARD: Nominations are now open for the Victor Phillips Award, with a cash value of $1,000, presented to a Black youth under the age of 20 who is enrolled in an academic program and who has achieved excellence in performing arts.  The candidate must reside in Montreal.  The application deadline is November 27, 2015.  The award recipient will be announced in January 2016 and receive his/her award at Black Theatre Workshop’s 30th Annual Vision Celebration Gala on Saturday, January 30, 2016.  Please visit http://www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca/season/vision to obtain more information about the awards and to place a nomination.  You may also reach us at 514-932-1104 ext 228 or events@blacktheatreworkshop.ca for more information.

LEUCAN: Former EMSB commissioner, Ginette Sauvé-Frankel, is urging people to raise money for Leucan, which has been supporting cancer-stricken children and their families for 35 years. As a loyal ally of hundreds of families and thousands of members across Quebec, the Association provides specific and personalized services to its members, in addition to funding clinical research. Leucan’s skilled staff developed a cutting edge expertise in the following areas: support and emotional assistance; financial assistance; referral services; massage therapy; hosting in hospital playrooms; socio-recreational activities; school awareness; end-of-life and bereavement follow-up services; support to cured patients; and the Leucan Information Centre. With its many offices, Leucan is present throughout Quebec. Ms. Sauvé-Frankel has shaved her head for the cause and invites people to make a donation for her efforts. You can do so here.  See her photos at https://www.facebook.com/ginette.sauvefrankel.3.

LEARN NEWSLETTER: Check out the Learn Newsletter:

AUTHOR AVAILABLE TO SPEAK: Dr. Sima Goel is the author of the memoir, Fleeing the Hijab: a Jewish Woman’s Escape from Iran, published in March 2014. Her book has been described as inspiring and riveting and she has a valuable lesson to share with students. As the beginning of the new school year is upon us, she is inviting high school teachers who wish to teach their students the importance of freedom of expression, resilience, compassion and empathy from a first hand source. “Mine is a true story - my quest to live a life with freedom of choice—from matters of dress, to education, to political and religious expression –things I dreamed of while a young girl under house arrest in Shiraz,” said Dr.  Goel. “I was challenged to keep my creative soul alive while living under great repression, and I learned what it means to counter despair with the power of the human heart. As a teenager, I faced great dangers after I spontaneously defended a Baha’i classmate, an action that eventually led to my flight across the desert. My memoir is a testament to the human need for freedom of expression and to the power of forgiveness and empathy. In every way, this book is a love story to the free world and will remind the reader of this country’s greatest strength: the right to be the person you were born to be. I do believe that I have an exceptional and unique story to share. I would very much welcome the opportunity to speak with your students. I have already shared my story through a number of different platforms and I have seen people of all ages respond enthusiastically to my message.”

Dr.  Goel notes that this is an election year across North America. She believes it is time for youth to absorb her message in hope that they will realize how truly they are to live in open democracies. She can be reached at drsimagoel@gmail.com. Log on to www.fleeingthehijab.com

KIDS HELP PHONE: Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse, J’écoute has launched a new service for young men aged 14 to 18; a segment that is 31 per cent less likely to discuss mental and emotional health issues than girls, and 36 per cent less likely to talk about suicide and suicide related issues and yet death by suicide among males is four times higher. Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse, J’écoute recognized the need to create a resource to address the unique needs of teen guys and through a youth Advisory Committee and various focus groups conceived BroTalk/Coin des Gars.  With funding from the Movember Foundation, a dedicated online support zone and referral service for teen guys aged 14 to 18 is now available. Designed with young men in mind, the new service aims to improve help seeking behaviour in young men through supports like Live Chat, online resources and interactive tools. Log on to to http://brotalk.ca and  http://coindesgars.ca. Schools are encouraged to call Suzanne Gautier-Duff at 514-948-8355  or email Suzanne.Gautier-Duff@jeunessejecoute.ca.

WORLD PREMATURITY DAY: The Jewish General Hospital is one of the largest birthing centers in the province of Quebec with approximately 4500 deliveries each year. Its world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) cares for about 700 premature babies and ill newborns. The JGH Auxiliary's Tiny Miracle Fund is committed to purchasing vital, life-saving equipment for the NICU. Thanks to our many committed supporters, we have raised awareness as well as over $300K with a goal of $500K. The Tiny Miracle Fund provides a wonderful teaching opportunity for students. It demonstrates the importance of charity, and allows the students to be part of an important global event. Participating schools will be eligible for a NICU nurse visit during the year, where a short presentation and video will be shown. This past year, eight schools participated and organizers look forward to increased involvement.  Please consider the Tiny Miracle Fund for your special class or school wide projects for the 2015-2016 academic year.  November 17marks World Prematurity Day all over the world. This special day can be celebrated in your school, by asking your students to wear purple clothing or a purple accessory and make a $2 donation.  For further information, please call the JGH Auxiliary at 514.340.8216 or email us at thetinymiraclefund@gmail.com.  

BIG CLEANUP: Year after year, Montrealers of all ages are invited to take part in the Big Cleanup. This program helps to beautify public or private places, parks, alleys, sports fields and schoolyards. It involves the community in an eco-responsible project.  Organizers are called upon schools to mobilize massively and get children involved for a successful sixth edition of the Big Cleanup.     The city can provide garbage and recycling bags, garden picks, rakes, brooms or shovels. It can also supply t-shirts for special school draws.   This cool activity is an opportunity to show community leadership, and teach children about garbage and recycling containers. It is great way to take care of the environment and make new friends for the new school year.  See this flyer for how to join.  You must register your Big Cleanup project at least 72 hours in advance to receive your material, organizer’s guide and safety instructions. Info: Julie Millette
514 872-0588 or  julie.millette@ville.montreal.qc.ca  

CENTAUR THEATRE OF TOMORROW PROGRAM:   Centaur Theatre Company announces its Luminous Theatre of Tomorrow (TOT) Program for the 2015-2016 Season.  The TOT program makes live English theatre accessible to High School students at a discounted price. Tickets remain at $16 for another year thanks to our sponsors. Program benefits include a teacher’s guide providing background information, discussion topics and improvisation activities; and talkback sessions following the performances where students meet the cast, voice their comments and ask questions. 

SEGAL CENTRE OFFERS:  The Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Snowdon is committed to giving its audience the most engaging theatre experience possible. For families and students of all ages, they offer a number of public programs for each season free of charge, including their Sunday @ the Segal series, Monday night talkbacks, Study Guides, and behind-the scenes videos and insights on their blog.  Students can attend for up to 50 percent off the price of an adult ticket. Call 514-739-7944 for more information or to reserve, or buy your tickets online at segalcentre.org. In addition, school groups are welcomed for weekday afternoon performances, including reduced ticket prices, private tours, and talkbacks. Log on here or contact Patrick Lloyd-Brennan (plbrennan@segalcentre.org) at 514-739-2301 ext. 8360 for more information.

AFTER-SCHOOL AND CAMP PROGRAMMING: The Segal Centre Academy offers a wide variety of after-school musical theatre training courses. There is Broadway Stars,  Grades 2 to 8, which offers training in classic and contemporary musical theatre;  Young Artists for Young Audiences, (YAYA), Grades 2  to 6 (YAYA Kids) & 7- to 11 (YAYA Teens) which provides musical theatre training from the perspective of Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture; the new Glee Academy - Grades 4 to 8, which gives kids the chance to build their confidence by learning to sing, dance and perform in an environment that’s friendly, supportive and nurturing and also new, Acting Up- grades 2-6, a Sunday morning class that focuses primarily on theatre. All courses run from October 2015-June 2016. Segal Centre Camps include one for SPRING BREAK- February 29 to March 4 and SUMMER CAMP- offered in 2 sessions- July 4 to 15 and August 1 to 12, 2016. Camps are open to kids in Grades 2 to 6.

Registration  is now open! http://www.segalcentre.org/whats-on/academy/courses-for-kids. For more information, please contact: Liana Wiener at .739.2301 x8331 (lwiener@segalcentre.org)

PED DAYS: The Segal Centre Academy is offering  two Ped Day camps on November 26 and 27. Come spend time with their awesome instructors singing, dancing and acting! To register/for more info: Liana Wiener- lwiener@segalcentre.org or 514.739.2301

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS:  Funkins (www.funkins.ca) was a sponsor of the EMSB’s most recent Volunteer Appreciation Evening. They are a leading supplier of customized promotional products.  Call or email Steven Mitchell   at 514-333-9552 or steven@funkins.ca.

SHAKESPEARE SELFIE: The web page for the 2016 CBC "Shakespeare Selfie" writing challenge for students grades 7-9 and 10-12 is live on CBC Books.The writing challenge will take place in April 2016. Here's the link. This page is your destination for everything about the challenge. As we get more details, this page will be updated.The 2016 Shakespeare Selfie is a great way to incorporate current affairs, creative writing and - of course - Shakespeare into the classroom. Info: jennifer.warren@cbc.ca        


PIUS A WINNER:  This story appeared in The Montreal Gazette.

Bison sliders, a recipe from a new bison cookbook prepared by a trio of Montreal culinary students, won  the annual national Cook The Books contest, held  Sept. 20 in Toronto. The prize-winning students, who attend Pius Culinary Institute, defeated nine other teams of would-be chefs, one from Manitoba, and the others from Ontario culinary schools.

The Pius winners display their trophy at the last Council meeting.
“I can’t wait to try their food once they get out on their own,” said contest judge Mairlyn Smith, a Toronto home economist and cookbook author. The threesome – Olivia Bitetto, 22, Miguel Alarcon, 26, and Nicholas Ryan, 26 – took the recipe from Jennifer Bain’s book Buffalo Girl Cooks Bison and turned it into a deep red feast of a dish. Bain, the Toronto Star’s food editor, was impressed by the students’ treatment of her recipe, baking their own buns and adding a dipping sauce of beet juice, marinated red onions and blueberries. They made beet chips, a switch on the usual fries served with burgers, made a goat cheese mousse, and gave the dish some bite with smoked corn and a salad of kohlrabi, fennel and apples.

“They were on their game,” said Bain, impressed that the students used only Quebec ingredients, including freshly ground Quebec bison and goat cheese. “I knew they had done well when the judges practically licked their plates,” she said, adding that the students took her “humble” recipe to a whole new level.

SHADD PRESENTATION: Nechama Surik, one of three EMSB teachers who got the chance to participate in the annual Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators Program last summer at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel, is already applying what she learned in the classroom. In November, media will be invited to see firsthand how she integrated this subject matter in class. The Consul General of Israel for Quebec and the Maritimes Ziv Nevo Kulman will be a special guest.  

Ms. Surik, a native of Israel, teaches nursing at the Shadd Health and Business Centre in NDG. The program she participated in was made possible through the Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship Program. Its goal is to provide professional development activities to teachers for teaching the Holocaust and anti-Semitism to students in the youth sector, and starting this year, in the adult education and vocational sector. As well, each scholarship recipient is asked to create at least one teaching unit or module developed within the context learned. Ms. Surik, who was born in Israel, found the entire experience an eye opener, and wanted to learn more about the Holocaust during her time with the Yad Vashem program, so that she could integrate Holocaust Studies into the health program at Shadd. Principal Roma Medwid said she is very impressed and inspired by the program Ms. Surik has implemented.  


TAUX DE REUSSITE: Pour la deuxième année consécutive, la Commission scolaire English-Montréal a obtenu le plus haut taux de réussite parmi toutes les commissions scolaires publiques du Québec. Les chiffres publiés par le Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) précisent que la note de 87,9 pour cent est basée sur une cohorte de sept ans, ce qui signifie que le progrès des élèves a été suivi de 2007 à 2014. Comme le souligne la présidente de la CSEM, Angela Mancini, ce résultat est d’autant plus impressionnant que le taux de réussite de la province n’est que de 77,7 pour cent. Dans sa Convention de partenariat avec le ministère, la CSEM avait un objectif de 86 pour cent pour la classe de finissants de 2014 et de 88 pour cent pour celle de 2020. « Nous avons surpassé cet objectif et nous avons presque atteint celui de 2020 » déclare avec fierté Sandra Furfaro, directrice des Services éducatifs et de la technologie.

DÉCÈS DE SYD WISE: La CSEM déplore le décès du commissaire de longue date, le Dr Syd Wise. Il a été commissaire de la circonscription de Côte Saint-Luc pendant 21 ans ayant été élu pour la première fois en 1994 et, lors de la dernière élection scolaire du 2 novembre, sa circonscription a été élargie pour inclure Hampstead. Le Dr Wise, qui était âgé de 79 ans, a commencé sa carrière en enseignement en 1960 avec l’ancienne Commission des écoles protestantes du Grand Montréal. Après avoir enseigné pendant sept ans, il a occupé le poste de directeur des écoles secondaires Mont Royal, Malcolm Campbell, Outremont et Wagar. Il a aussi été président de l’AMSA. En outre, il a occupé des postes administratifs dans d’autres établissements d’enseignement : Directeur des services éducatifs du Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, directeur de Yeshiva Godola Secular High School, et directeur d’un programme de stage pour les élèves de l’Association Montréalaise pour les aveugles. Avant son élection au poste de commissaire d’école, il a servi comme conseiller municipal pour la Ville de Montréal pour un mandat d’un an. Il avait récemment repris sa première passion, enseigner, en tant que conférencier à l’Université du Québec à Montréal et à l’Université McGill.

Faisant suite au vote de l’an dernier, le Dr Wise a été élu par ses pairs au poste de président du comité exécutif. « Syd a eu un passé très distingué dans le réseau de l’éducation » déclare Mme Mancini. « En tant qu’enseignant, directeur d’école et commissaire, il a toujours défendu les droits des élèves et des éducateurs. En 1998, lorsque les commissions scolaires ont été réorganisées en commissions scolaires linguistiques, Syd a tenu un rôle important en incitant un grand nombre d’électeurs de voter à ces élections. Il a ensuite supervisé un groupe de travail qui a examiné les types de nouveaux programmes qui pouvaient être mis en œuvre à la CSEM en faisant une tournée de différentes écoles pour entendre leurs suggestions. Sous son leadership, des programmes ont été créés pour rapprocher les élèves juifs et non-juifs afin qu’ils apprennent à connaître leurs cultures mutuelles. Lorsque le Parti Québécois a tenté de faire adopter sa Charte des valeurs, Syd a tenu un rôle déterminant dans la position de la CSEM qui s’opposait à une loi qui n’a jamais été adoptée. » Il a été marié à Cécile pendant 52 ans et ils ont eu deux enfants et six petits-enfants.

RÉUNION DES CONSEILS D’ÉTABLISSEMENT: La présidente de la CSEM, Angela Mancini, et la directrice générale, Ann Marie Matheson, sont très satisfaites des réactions obtenues au sujet de la réunion spéciale qu’elles ont tenu avec les parents des conseils d’établissement le 6 octobre dernier. Près de 100 parents de conseils d’établissement du primaire et du secondaire ont assisté à une réunion au centre administratif de la CSEM. Mme Matheson a invité tous les conseils d’établissement pour les rencontrer et les remercier de leurs contributions, pour aussi se présenter ainsi que les membres de l’équipe de la CSEM et consulter les parents au sujet de la réorganisation des comités régionaux de parents, maintenant que la CSEM a deux secteurs – est et ouest. Aussi, à l’ordre du jour, figurait un bref aperçu du fonctionnement de base des conseils d’établissement et des partenariats entre organismes externes et nos écoles. Mme Matheson a donné aux parents un aperçu de la structure des régions depuis 1998 suite à la réorganisation des commissions scolaires. Les parents ont eu l’occasion de poser des questions et de faire des commentaires sur la restructuration des régions et tout autre sujet de leur choix.

La majorité des parents présents a expliqué que les besoins des élèves dépassaient de loin toutes préoccupations exprimées relatives à la réorganisation des comités de parents. «  La réaction que nous avons obtenue est que les parents accordent principalement de la valeur aux contributions faites dans le meilleur intérêt des élèves » a déclaré Mme Mancini. « Un bon enseignement et les circonstances d’apprentissage sont au premier plan de ce que veulent les parents. Le nombre et la structure des comités régionaux de parents semblaient beaucoup moins importants. »

SONDAGE DU CCP: Les résultats du récent sondage du Comité central de parents (CCP) ont été remis en question après que des erreurs majeures ont été exposées sur la façon de disposer et d’interpréter des données. Lors de la dernière réunion du conseil des commissaires, la statistique qui donne que 69,3 pour cent des répondants ne croient pas que les commissaires accordent une valeur à l’opinion des parents a été remise en question et qualifiée « d’erronée » par la présidente de la CSEM, Angela Mancini. « En termes scientifiques, le CCP a brouillé les chiffres » déclare Mme Mancini. « Ils ont fait croire au public que 69,3 pour cent de nos parents ne pensent pas que les commissaires devraient exister mais, en réalité, ce chiffre n’est que de 46,2 pour cent et la question que l’on se pose est de savoir si les parents pensent que leur opinion compte et pensez-vous que les commissaires devraient exister. L’utilisation des votes neutres pour renforcer vos chiffres  brouille l’information; je remets en question tous les résultats et j’espère que le public questionnera l’entière intégrité de ce rapport.

SOUTIEN WEB POUR LES ÉCOLES: De nouveaux sites Web pour les écoles sont en voie de lancement en utilisant une plate-forme sensible qui changera les dispositions de mobile à ordinateur de bureau, dépendant de la taille de l’écran. Les nouvelles conceptions présentent des nouvelles de la CSEM, de la communauté et des calendriers. Chaque nouveau site web inclura un microsite Bibliothèque  qui contient tous les liens et l’information de la bibliothèque virtuelle de la CSEM. Les conceptions pour Royal Vale, Dunrae Gardens, LINKS et John Grant ont été complétées. Des sites Web seront bientôt installés à Bancroft, Honoré Mercier, Edinburgh et Rosemont. Les écoles sont instamment priées de mettre leur site Web régulièrement à jour avec des informations pertinentes. La webmestre pour les écoles, Andrea Di Tomaso, est disponible pour aider avec les mises à jour et pour répondre à vos questions.

JOURNÉE MARCHONS VERS L’ÉCOLE: Poursuivant ce qui est devenu une tradition annuelle, des élèves de l’école Royal Vale de NDG ont participé, le 7 octobre dernier, à la « Journée internationale Marchons vers l’école ». Ils ont été rejoints par des élèves et le personnel du Collège du Bas Canada. La marche a débuté au parc NDG (coin Marcil et Saint-Antoine). Les élèves, les parents et les représentants de l’école ont eu une escorte policière durant leur marche vers l’école. La Journée Marchons vers l’école a vu ses débuts en 1997 et le succès de la campagne a permis de nommer octobre « Mois international Marchons vers l’école. » Le membre libéral du Parlement et ancien astronaute Marc Garneau, le maire de Côte Saint-Luc, Anthony Housefather, le commissaire Joseph Lalla et les médaillés d’argent olympiques, Steph Valin et Katrina Monton ont participé à la marche.

SEMAINE ÉDUCATION MÉDIAS: Le 10e anniversaire de la Semaine Éducation Médias http://www.medialiteracyweek.ca aura lieu du 2 au 6 novembre. Le thème de cette année est « Respect dans un univers numérique » qui encourage les jeunes à être des citoyens numériques modèles en agissant de façon responsable et éthique dans leur environnement en ligne en se respectant ainsi que les autres et les espaces où ils se trouvent. Cet évènement a lieu alors que l’équipe de conseillers  des Services éducatifs et de la technologie de la CSEM œuvre avec les enseignants pour mettre en place des leçons de citoyenneté numérique en classe.

CITOYENNETÉ NUMÉRIQUE: Le monde numérique évolue constamment et les parents de la CSEM ont été invités à une soirée spéciale, le 13 octobre, à l’Académie internationale Marymount où l’experte reconnue Alissa Sklar, Ph. D. a tenu une session intitulée « Smartphones, Sexting & Social Media : What Parents Need to Know «  La présentation et la discussion avec Sklar ont porté sur ce que les parents devraient savoir en matière de jeunes et de technologie numérique et ce que les parents peuvent faire pour promouvoir une utilisation sécuritaire, responsable, créative et productive de ces outils

« Nos enfants sont des indigènes numériques et ils grandissent dans un monde que nous n’aurions jamais imaginé durant nos propres années à l’école. L’Internet place une série incroyable de ressources à leur disposition, leur permettant de communiquer, de se divertir et de s’informer en tout temps et en tous lieux » déclare Linda Luca, animatrice de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire à l’Académie internationale Marymount. « Cependant, il est vital que l’on apprenne aux enfants d’utiliser la technologie de façon créative et productive mais aussi sécuritaire et responsable.

Alissa Sklar, Ph. D., dirige risk(within)reason un projet de conseils basé à Montréal, axé sur les enfants, la technologie et les comportements à risques. Le Dr Sklar détient un doctorat en communications et études culturelles de l’Université Concordia et elle a œuvré dans le domaine de la prévention de risques pour les adolescents à l’Université McGill. En sus de son travail académique et de consultation, le Dr Sklar est la mère de trois enfants et une écrivaine lauréate ayant un intérêt particulier à l’éducation des enfants et les questions de jeunesse et de technologie numérique.

PARTENARIAT DE PERSPECTIVES: Les élèves de l’école secondaire innovatrice Perspectives I ont entamé, le 5 octobre dernier, un nouveau partenariat avec la Maison Benedict Labre commençant par la préparation du service du diner de cette journée. En sus d’une réunion avec Star Gale, le coordonnateur communautaire de la Maison Benedict Labre, les élèves auront une participation très active avec cet organisme durant l’année scolaire. Les élèves feront aussi équipe avec des membres de la Maison Benedict Labre pour un projet de murale qui sera dévoilée au printemps 2016. Ces programmes seront coordonnés et organisés par Vince Lacroce, animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire.

SING MONTRÉAL CHANTE: Onze élèves de l’école primaire St. Gabriel de Pointe-Saint-Charles participent à un programme de chant choral intitulé Sing Montréal Chante (SMC),  un projet innovateur créé par Andrew Gray, directeur artistique du Chœur des Enfants de Montréal .Sing Montréal Chante est ouvert à tout élève qui veut chanter, aucune audition requise et est offert gratuitement aux écoles. Le tuteur SMC Barrett Porter travaille avec les élèves pour une période de 12 semaines pour les préparer à un concert qui sera donné à la salle Pollack. Accompagné par des musiciens professionnels, l’évènement mettra en vedette 180 élèves de huit écoles primaires de Montréal. Le concert final aura lieu le mardi 8 décembre (19 h) à la salle Pollack de l’Université McGill. Réservations : info@singmontrealchante.com.

LEUCAN: L’ancienne commissaire de la CSEM, Ginette Sauvé-Frankel, prie instamment des bénévoles à recueillir des fonds pour Leucan qui a soutenu des enfants atteints de cancer ainsi que leurs familles pendant 35 ans. En tant qu’alliée loyale de centaines de familles et de milliers de membres à travers le Québec, l’Association offre des services spécifiques et personnalisés à ses membres en sus de financer la recherche clinique. Le personnel spécialisé de Leucan a développé une expertise de premier point dans les domaines suivants : soutien et aide émotionnelle, soutien financier, service de soumission de cas, massothérapie, activités socio-récréatives, sensibilisation à l’école, services de fin de vie et suivi, soutien aux patients guéris, et le Centre d’information Leucan. L’organisation est présente dans tout le Québec grâce à ses nombreux bureaux. Mme Sauvé-Frankel a rasé ses cheveux pour la cause et invite les citoyens à faire un don pour ses efforts. Vous pouvez le faire à https://www.tetesrasees.com/en/event/alexis-nihon-17-septembre/ginette-sauve-frankel.

ARBORETUM DE PARKDALE: Les élèves de l’école primaire Parkdale de Saint-Laurent ont récemment inauguré leur nouvel arboretum. Bien que la pleine croissance des arbres et des buissons exigera un certain temps, la cour de l’école offrira cinq espaces où les élèves auront l’occasion de jouer, d’apprendre ou de se détendre à l’ombre. L’arboretum sera un complément de la classe en plein air et du jardin. Les enfants de la maternelle qui sont les plus jeunes élèves de l’école ont eu l’honneur d’adopter le premier arbre : un chêne blanc. Tout au long de leur parcours à Parkdale, les élèves suivront la croissance du jeune arbre. Étaient présents à l’inauguration officielle de l’arboretum : Pelagia Nickoletopoulos, directrice régionale – Secteur Ouest, Athina Galanogeorgos, directrice adjointe, Services éducatifs et de la technologie, James Kromida, commissaire pour Saint-Laurent et Elpi Argyrakopoulos, conseillère pédagogique. L’arboretum est le fruit d’une subvention verte de la CSEM ainsi que d’un partenariat avec Vert-Cité, qui a assuré la plantation de plus de 20 arbres et buissons. Vert-Cité supervisera aussi la croissance de l’arboretum avec des générations d’élèves de Parkdale.

JEUNESSE, J’ÉCOUTE: Jeunesse, J’écoute a lancé un nouveau service pour les jeunes hommes âgés de 14 à 18 ans; un segment qui a 31 pour cent moins de chance de discuter de questions émotives et de santé mentale que les filles et 36 pour cent moins porté à parler de suicide et de questions reliées au suicide et, pourtant, le taux de suicide parmi les mâles est quatre fois plus élevé. Jeunesse J’écoute a reconnu le besoin de créer une ressource qui aborderait les besoins uniques des jeunes adolescents par le biais d’un comité consultatif des jeunes et de divers groupes de travail, a conçu le Coin des Gars. Avec un financement de la Fondation Movember, une zone de soutien en ligne et un service de soumission de cas sont disponibles pour les jeunes adolescents âgés de 14 à 18 ans. Conçu pour les jeunes gens, le nouveau service vise à améliorer le comportement d’appel à l’aide des jeunes adolescents, par le biais de soutien tel que des ressources en ligne et des outils interactifs.

JOURNÉE MONDIALE DE LA PRÉMATURITÉ: L’Hôpital général juif est l’un des plus importants centres de naissances de la Province de Québec avec près de 4 500 accouchements chaque année. Son unité de soins intensifs néonatals (USIN) de renommée mondiale s’occupe de près de 700 bébés prématurés et de nouveau-nés malades. Le JGH Auxiliary’s Tiny Miracle Fund est engagé à acquérir un équipement vital et qui peut sauver des vies pour l’unité de soins intensifs néonatals. Grâce à nos nombreux partisans engagés, nous avons relevé la sensibilisation et recueilli plus de 300 000 $ de notre objectif de 500 000 $. Le Tiny Miracle Fund offre une excellente occasion d’apprentissage aux élèves. Il démontre l’importance de la charité et permet aux élèves de participer à un important évènement global. Les écoles participantes seront admissibles à une visite d’une infirmière de l’USIN durant l’année, au cours de laquelle une courte vidéo sera présentée. L’an dernier, huit écoles ont participé et les organisateurs espèrent voir une participation accrue.  Veuillez considérer le Tiny Miracle Fund pour vos projets de classe ou d’école de l’année scolaire 2015-2016. Le 17 novembre souligne la Journée mondiale de la prématurité à travers le monde. Cette journée spéciale peut être célébrée dans votre école en demandant aux élèves de porter des vêtements pourpres ou un accessoire pourpre et faire un don de 2 $. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez appeler les Auxiliaires de l’Hôpital juif, au 514-340-8216 ou adresser un courriel à thetinymiraclefund@gmail.com.

GRAND NETTOYAGE: Année après année, les montréalais de tous âges sont invités à participer au Grand Nettoyage. Ce programme aide à embellir les endroits publics ou privés, les parcs, les allées, les terrains de sport et les cours d’école. Il implique la communauté à un projet éco-responsable. Les organisateurs demandent aux écoles de se mobiliser massivement et de faire participer les enfants à une sixième édition du Grand Nettoyage, La ville peut fournir des sacs de poubelle et de recyclage, des pelles, des râteaux et des balais. Elle peut aussi fournir des t-shirts pour des tirages au niveau de l’école. Cette activité est une occasion de faire preuve de leadership communautaire et d’enseigner aux enfants l’utilité des conteneurs de déchets et de recyclage. C’est une excellente façon de gérer l’environnement et de faire de nouveaux amis pour la nouvelle année scolaire. Consultez ce dépliant sur la façon d’adhérer ---- http://www.emsb.qc.ca/emsb_en/pdf_en/media_en/flyer/2015-08-17-Big%20Cleanup.pdfé. Vous devez vous inscrire au projet Grand Nettoyage au moins 72 heures à l’avance pour recevoir votre matériel, le guide d’organisateur et les instructions de sécurité. Info : Julie Millette 514-872-0588 ou julie.millette@ville.momtreal.qc.ca.


SHADD: Nechama Surik, l’une des trois enseignantes de la CSEM qui a eu l’occasion de participer au programme annuel d’enseignement de l’Holocauste pour les enseignants au Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial en Israël, applique déjà ce qu’elle a appris dans sa classe. En novembre, les médias seront invités à constater comment elle a intégré ce sujet en classe. Le consul général d’Israël pour le Québec et Ziv Nevo Kulman des Maritimes seront présents.

Mme Surik, née en Israël, enseigne les soins infirmiers au Centre d’études commerciales et de santé Shadd. Le programme auquel elle a participé a été accessible par le biais du programme de bourses d’études Riva et Thomas O. Hecht. Son but est d’offrir des activités de perfectionnement professionnel aux enseignants pour enseigner l’Holocauste et l’antisémitisme aux élèves du secteur des jeunes et, à compter de cette année, au secteur de l’éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle. Il est demandé aussi à chaque récipiendaire de bourse d’études de créer au moins une unité d’enseignement ou module développée dans le contexte du sujet appris.

The next edition of the EMSB Focus will be published on November 26, 2015. Deadline for submissions is November 20 at Noon.

No comments:

Post a Comment