Wednesday, January 27, 2016


KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION: The EMSB has announced that Kindergarten Registration Week for the 2016-2017 academic year will take place from Monday, February 1 to Friday, February 5. If one child from a family is already enrolled in a particular school, sibling registration period is taking place this week.

Parents are asked to register at the EMSB elementary school nearest their residence offering the French program of their choice. For more information please call (514) 483-7200, extension EMSB (3672) or log on to 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. As a result of language legislation, this criteria excludes studies completed in the Quebec Private School system.

See our TV commercial on Global TV, featuring Camille Ross and students from Bancroft Elementary School.

Here is our CTV commercial
Paul Kettner

RADIO COMMERCIALS: To listen to our many radio commercials and live reports from Dante on CJAD, click here. We also have the entire edition of CBC Radio Noon here from January 22, featuring literacy consultant Paul Kettner as a special guest. You can fast forward the news to listen to show. Paul and French language consultant Anik Malefant will be on Global TV's Focus Montreal on Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and midnight.

LITERACY CAMPAIGN: On the eve of Kindergarten Registration Week, the EMSB formally launched a campaign highlighting its successful balanced literacy initiative. In order to emphasize the importance of reading, the EMSB welcomed a number of well-known personalities to Dante Elementary School in St. Léonard to read to the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. They included  the wives of three members of the Montreal Canadiens (Angela Price, Alyssa Flynn and Larissa Gilbert), St. Leonard Mayor Michel Bissonnette, Olympic snowboarder Caroline Calvé,  Montreal Alouettes players Martin Bedard and Marc-Olivier Brouillette, two cheerleaders, Grey Cup Champion and current Université de Montreal Carabins Head Coach, as well as Dante graduate Danny Maciocia, Cameron Porter of  the Montreal ImpactEMSB grad and La Voix finalist, Angelike Falbo and several media personalities. The latter group included Montreal Gazette editor Lucinda Chodan, Global TV Station Manager Karen Macdonald, CTV anchor Paul Karwatsky, Dante grad and Breakfast Television reporter Laura Casella and CJAD 800's Dave Kaufman.
A nice gathering of guest readers and EMSB officials before the press conference.
Click here for our photo album:

Here is some TV coverage:

Breakfast Television, Global TV, CTV and RDS.

As well as click here for EMSBTV coverage.

Watch this video to hear from our celebrities about their favourite books and watch this video for highlights from our press conference!

We will also be featured on an upcoming edition of the highly rated 24CH.

RATES ON THE RISE: EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini notes that literacy rates continue to climb six years after a considerable investment was made in an effort to ensure that 90 percent of students would be reading at level by the time they graduate from elementary school. Ms. Mancini announced that this program will now be expanded to certain high schools as a pilot project. Close to $2 million has been dedicated to the balanced literacy initiative in both English and French since
Angela Mancini with Larissa Gilbert, Alyssa Flynn, Angela Price and students.
2009-2010. Results from standardized testing done last spring of the second cohort of students -those who were in Kindergarten when the balanced literacy plan was launched and who are now in Grade 6 - showed a 19 percent  increase in the number of students reading at level. The goal of 90 percent of the cohort (1,500 students) reading at or above level was attained by the end of Grade 5. To gain an appreciation of the strength of these results, it is important to note that the average percentage of students at level across the country at any given grade is approximately 78 percent.  For this campaign the EMSB has adopted the slogan proclaimed more than a century ago by Margaret Fuller, an American journalist and the first woman allowed use of the Harvard College Library: “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Click here for the press release.

Laura Casella reads at her former elementary school.
DANTE READS: The board-wide implementation of balanced literacy at the EMSB is showing positive results as students demonstrate solid learning and growing excitement in regard to reading and writing. Dante is one of the success stories of the balanced literacy initiative. For the past five years, teachers at this school have implemented “The Daily 5,” an organizational framework in which students practice reading, writing, and working alongside their classmates. By engaging in a series of literacy-related tasks—whether they be interactive word games or writing activities—students rotate to different thematic stations where they practice various important aspects of their literacy skills in authentic ways. Students also benefit by regularly conferencing with their teacher who targets instruction and provides feedback about each student’s specific learning needs.  “Dante has been one of the EMSB pilot schools for the balanced literacy initiative. Because it has been working so well for us, the outcome has been very positive,” said Principal Daniela Lattanzio.  Click here for the press release.

A TEACHER’S SUCCESS STORY: The story of Dante Elementary School and the implementation of balanced literacy, which seeks to create a differentiated learning environment and provide more individualized feedback to students, is a great success.  However, one of the program’s most enthusiastic supporters – Grade 3 teacher Elaine Frenette – started out as one of its biggest doubters. “When I first heard about balanced literacy, and the Daily 5 framework to put it in into place, I already had a lot on my plate as a teacher,” said Ms. Frenette. “As I began to find out what it was all about I began to feel quite overwhelmed. I was becoming concerned about the fact that this new approach to literacy instruction might put even more on my plate, which meant spending more nights and weekends preparing the work.”
Emcee Christine Denommee interviews Elaine Frenette.

Feeling frustrated, Ms. Frenette even contemplated leaving the teaching profession. When she began to read and understand how balanced literacy – through The Daily 5 framework – was to be actually implemented, Ms. Frenette’s perception of it began to change for the better.  Ms. Frenette admits she likes how the Daily 5 framework gives her the opportunity to deal with her students on a more individualized, one-on-one basis. She now better understands each student’s needs when it comes to learning how to read and write; and unlike what she originally feared about the program, it gives her plenty of time to focus on the many other aspects of her job. As well, it gives her students a sense of independence. See Press Release

FAMILY LITERACY DAY: Wednesday January 27 was Family Literacy Day across Canada. City's Breakfast Television attended the  EMSB  press conference and filed a series of reports on their January 27 broadcast, with Catherine Verdon-Diamond.

BILL 86 MEETING:  EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini welcomed over 200 governing board parents and staff to a special information meeting on January 6 about draft Bill 86: An Act to modify the organization and governance of school boards The EMSB Council has denounced Bill 86 which, if adopted, will restructure the province’s school boards by limiting the public’s right to vote for school board commissioners.  Guest speakers at the meeting were former Liberal Member of Parliament Marlene Jennings, Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) Director General Sylvia Martin and constitutional lawyer Michael Bergman.
EMSB officials welcome guests to the Bill 86 meeting.

Ms. Jennings recently chaired an Election System Study Panel commissioned by four community organizations to study ways to reform school board elections while maintaining anglophone constitutional rights.  Mr. Bergman who specializes in the constitutional rights of minority groups represents the Quebec English School Boards Association.  Ms. Martin-Laforge, works as the Executive Director of the QCGN which is a non-profit organization linking 47 English-language community groups across Quebec.  “I was really pleased by the turnout,” said Ms. Mancini, “but I was not surprised. Our school board is very much supported by its community and their presence in such great number at the information session reaffirmed the support I know exists.”

Over the course of an in-depth two hour session the veil of draft Bill 86 was lifted and the fundamental truth was revealed. Mr. Bergman noted that parents would not be in-charge of their school board and that the Minister of Education would have the power to veto council decisions, over school board territories and whether or not to close or merge schools.  “Bill 86 gives the Minister of Education the power to control and manage all of the resources of the school board,” Mr. Bergman warned. “He would also have authority over the Director General.” See the full press release.

MEETING UNIONS: The EMSB recently invited all union and management associations to contribute to the preparation of the brief.   Ms. Mancini and Vice-Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco invited representatives from the four unions and three management associations to a meeting.   The purpose  was to gather input on what should be included in the EMSB’s Brief to Education Minister François Blais regarding Bill 86, which proposes a re-structuring of school board governance that limits the public’s right to vote for commissioners.    

“We have made it clear from the start that the position we intend to put forward is not solely that of the elected Council of Commissioners,” stated Ms. Mancini.  “We want our Brief to reflect a common and collective vision. It is important that we represent the views of all of our stakeholders - our parents, unionized employees and management staff.” 

The parties invited to meet with the Chairman were: Montreal Teachers` Association (MTA); Association professionnelle du personnel administrative (APPA/CSN); Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels du Milieu de l`Éducation de Montréal (SPPMEM); Féderation des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ); Association of English Montreal Board Administrators (AEMBA); Association of Montreal School Administrators (AMSA); and Association Québécoise des Cadres scolaires (AQCS).

“We are delighted by the fact that the vast majority of our school governing boards have already met to pronounce themselves on Bill 86,” said Ms. Mancini. “The Governing Boards are not in favor of Bill 86.   Their resolutions speak for themselves.  There is absolutely no valid reason for the government to change the electoral system in the midst of a democratically established mandate. Our Brief will reflect what our community thinks.”

BILL 86 HEARINGS: Ms. Mancini says that she is pleased with the decision that will enable the largest English and French boards in the province to present briefs at the upcoming hearings on Bill 86.    Neither the EMSB nor the Commission scolaire de Montréal were included on the initial list of more than 50 organizations invited to present to the government.

“It is only respectful to have the largest boards for the English and French communities of Quebec make formal presentations at these hearings,” Ms. Mancini. “I certainly hope that the Minister of Education will listen to what we have to say.”

Ms. Mancini said that she wishes to thank those Members of the Quebec National Assembly who spoke up in favor of the two boards being allowed to be present at the hearings. The EMSB presentation will take place on Tuesday, February 16 at 4:15 p.m. Click here for a CTV report.

Roma Medwid
ROMA MEDWID THANKED: The EMSB Council of Commissioners adopted a resolution of tribute to Roma Medwid, who during her distinguished career of four decades served as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, assistant director of Pedagogical Services, regional director and deputy director general. She retired in December and is now working for the Learning Partnership.

ANNUAL REPORT: The 2014-2015 EMSB Annual Report is available for viewing online. The English version is here and the French version is here.

PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: Article 220 of the Education Act requires each school board to report on its partnership agreement in its annual report. The EMSB Partnership Agreement Annual Report informs all of its stakeholders in its territory an account of the implementation of its strategic plan and the results obtained with regard to the goals and measurable objectives set out in the partnership agreement that was entered into with the Minister of Education on July 1, 2010.

A scene from the last EMSB Career Fair.
The annual report informs the reader of the board’s objectives and targets set, the context as to why they were set, the results obtained, the board’s interpretation of the results, and the adjustments or corrective strategies to be implemented as a consequence of the results. The report also analyzes the degree of success of the strategies employed and their contribution to the attainment of the objectives. This allows the Board to identify strategies that are less effective and need to be modified or discontinued. Where there is insufficient progress, the board re-examines once again its educational and organizational practices and determine what new strategies should be developed to increase student success.  The full content of the partnership agreement appears in the annual report link.

NEW EXECUTIVE CHAIR: Commissioner James Kromida has been elected as the new chairman of the EMSB Executive Committee. The late Syd Wise previously held this post. He passed away in November. Rosario Ortona is the new vice-chair of that committee. Bernard Praw, who succeeded Dr. Wise as the commissioner for Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead,  will be the vice-chair of the Human Resources and Education Committees and the representative at the Quebec English School Boards Association.

LONG RANGE PLANNING: The Central Parents Committee and the governing boards of Rosemount High School and John F. Kennedy High School are being asked to submit their views by March 15 on proposals by the EMSB Long Range Planning Committee to use some available space to address needs in the adult sector.

Rosemount Technology Centre Cabinetmaking in action.
Rosemount Technology Centre (RTC) is utilizing all existing classroom space at the main campus, where they cohabitate with Rosemount High School. They also use the Curtis George Campus in Montreal North, premises they share with the Galileo Adult Centre. RTC requires additional space to meet the growing demand for courses in  computer graphics, industrial drafting, electromechanics and cabinetmaking. This adds up to a minimum of eight classrooms on the second and third floors of the high school.

Meanwhile, the John F. Kennedy Adult Education Centre (JFKAEC) is also utilizing all of its available classroom space in the building it shares with the high school and needs 12 additional classrooms, the game room located on the main floor, the dance room located on the ground floor  and the second auditorium located on ground floor near the parking lot. The  school offers courses in academics and Common Core Basic English. JFKAEC wishes to expand its program offerings within the Social Integration Services (SIS), Social and Vocational Integration Services (SVIS ), language courses for international students and provide a point of service  for  a  program for adults aged 21 and over with physical disabilities. SIS is specifically designed to help adults acquire the necessary skills to be able to integrate and participate in society to their fullest potential. The aim of SIVS is to teach vocational skills and work  preparation skills to students with mild intellectual and learning disabilities and the opportunity to integrate into competitive  employment in the community and to facilitate their transition with continuing support.

OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL: Marylene Perron, the principal of the English Montreal School Board’s Parkdale Elementary School in St. Laurent, is the only Quebecer to have been selected as one of  The Learning Partnership’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals™  The program recognizes the
Marylene Perron
unique and vital contributions of principals in publicly funded schools. This year, 40 principals representing every province and territory were chosen by a national selection committee on the basis of their exceptional contributions to their respective schools and communities.  Ms. Perron will receive her award at the annual Outstanding Principals Gala on February 23 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto. The winners also benefit from an exclusive five-day executive leadership training program at one of Canada’s top business schools, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The program will introduce them to leadership and management practices presented by business, government and education leaders as well as Rotman instructors. They also benefit from a “Changing World of Work” day where they learn about today’s workforce from business leaders.

CARNEGIE HALL BOUND:   Devon Packer, a Grade 5 student at Royal Vale School in NDG, won first place in the International Crescendo Competition.  He will be playing piano at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 30 as part of the Winner's Recital. “This child is amazingly talented; a genius in music,” says Principal Nathalie Lacroix-Maillette. "You have to hear him play piano and the trombone with the band." 
Devon Packer

Devon's mother, Paulana Layman, said her son started to play the piano at the age of four. He studies piano and composition at the McGill Conservatory of Music. His goal is to become a composer/conductor/pianist.   Devon has been winning music competitions since the age of six, and has performed both solo and with orchestra, at Oscar Peterson Hall, the Place des Arts and next of course, Carnegie Hall. He had his first composition published last year at the Canadian Music Centre called "The Fantastical World of Camelot."  Watch this report from City’s Breakfast TV and here is another from CTV.

ROYAL VALE HOCKEY: Communications student intern Gregory Caltabanis has written a blog on our page about Royal Vale's successful hockey program.   Over a decade ago, Royal Vale physical education teacher Norman Katz created a hockey program with the goal of promoting health and activity. “These programs are typically found in high schools therefore it was unique initiative,” said Katz. Read the entire story here.

Malik Shaheed (left) at Cedarcrest.
ANTI-BULLYING:  Westmount High School grad Malik Shaheed has been facilitating anti-bullying workshops via his Youth Stars Foundation ( Most recently he was at Royal Vale School in NDG and Cedarcrest in St. Laurent. For more details email , call 514-800-9746 or log on to You can also learn more about their March Break camp.

EXTRA-CURRICULARS RETURN: The EMSB is pleased with news that agreements in principle have been reached between its unions and the Quebec government and that the ban on extra-curricular activities will be lifted.   EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini said she welcomes a return to normalcy. “I commend all parties for coming together,” said Ms. Mancini. “As the parent of a high school student, I know what a hardship it was not to have those extra-curricular activities in place. We value the work done by all of our employees and know that all parties concerned are delighted we can get back our regular routines of athletic competitions, field trips, school plays and many other activities.” See this CTV report from Westmount High School.

The social media team at LaurenHill.
MARKETING THEIR SCHOOL: LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent has assembled a group of students who are interested in marketing their school through social media.  A sub-committee of that group has branched off and has created LHA Now, a group dedicated to creating and posting videos on the school’s YouTube channel.  The topics of the videos will span from coverage of school events, interviews with teachers, ECAs and more.  The most recent release is about the myth of a secret pool at the Senior Campus.  This student-led initiative is allowing them to take ownership and pride in their school as they are showcasing the students and staff in a funny, quirky and positive way.  Please take the two minutes needed to watch the episode on the secret pool on their channel right here.

Sarah Howard and Pascale Finet.
CROSS CURRICULAR PROJECT: Teachers Sarah Howard and Pascale Finet are working together on a cross curricular STEM project that has seen them qualify as semi-finalists in the Samsung Canada’s "Solve for Tomorrow’ Challenge."  Of more than 700 applicants, 55 schools were chosen as semi-finalists across Canada.  The project entails the development of an App to help gamify sleep in order to track good sleep habits and correlation with improved memory, attentiveness and ultimately higher grades.  The prize from Samsung for being a semi-finalist is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S and a Samsung NX 3000 video camera.  As students continue to work on the project, the next step of the Challenge is to create a one minute video demonstrating the process and results.  To view the full news release from Samsung, click here.

TOBACCO AND HEALTH:  The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health wants all Quebec teenagers to stop smoking in the next 10 years. Here is a CTV report with comments from students at Marymount Academy International, which has a youth coalition against smoking.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: EMSB schools will mark Black History Month in a number of ways. Nesbitt  Elementary School  in Rosemount and Rosemount High School will have special events on February 11 and 17 respectively.  These programs will be geared towards moving  students to a new level of self-awareness by making positive changes in the community and highlighting the beautiful traditions and role models of the Black Community. Nesbitt has invited   Citizenship Judge Veronica Mae Johnson, who will be speaking about the importance of having a dream and uniting people. She will be joined by dancer  Justin Jackson, the Coronation Elementary School Steel Pan Band  and members  from L’Academie De Danse de Montréal.  Rosemount High has invited Global TV`s Elysia Bryan-Baynes, Justin Jackson, the Coronation Elementary School Steel Pan Band  and L’Academie de Danse de Montreal.
McSHANE CARES: Before the holiday break, Gerald McShane Elementary School in Montreal North donated 26 frozen turkeys to The Lighthouse, a community restaurant and food bank caring for the people by providing them with meals and food. It is a place where people can feed both body and spirit.  The turkeys were distributed to local families in need.  Following the holiday break, Grade 6 students from Gerald McShane, their head of Daycare, Mrs. Clementina, and their Spiritual Care Community Animator, Rocco Speranza, assisted with the distribution of food and clothing at The Lighthouse.  "By volunteering their time, the students acquired respect for others, themselves, became empathetic and grew in community spirit making them better citizens," said Principal Christina Chilelli. "They learned the importance of coming together as a community to provide aid, joy and comfort to those who need it, especially children.  It was a wonderful example of children helping children!  Students valued their volunteer experience and really felt a great a sense of making a difference by giving back to their community an putting their best foot forward."

A REAL BLESSING: Just in time for the holidays, students from a number of EMSB schools spent their final afternoon before winter break preparing over 300 meals for local missions.  Under the watchful eye of Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza, Knights of Columbus Council 14683 members and 50 parent volunteers came together with the students to continue the annual tradition of preparing sandwiches, pasta, salad and desserts for the homeless. The tradition has blossomed since it began eight years ago with a simple act of kindness by five-year old Gerald McShane student Annalyssa De Genova. 

In advance of Christmas 2008, Annalyssa and her father, Febo De Genova, were shopping downtown and about to have lunch when she noticed two men sitting on the street asking for something to eat. Concerned that they would not be eating a lunch too, her father explained that they were homeless and in need. With a simple act of compassion and empathy, Annalyssa offered to give them her sandwich. Her father had a different idea and he purchased lunch for both men. Eight years later, Annalyssa’s inspiration has led to a coordinated effort and has grown into a wonderful community event that truly puts into action charity, unity, and hope.

WESTMOUNT PHYS ED: For those who enjoy seeing a vision in action, getting to know the Westmount High School Physical Education and Health (PEH) program will serve you well. The program, in fact, takes it missions directly from the pages of the Quebec Education Program’s Introductory to the Secondary Cycle II Physical Education Program which states: “Therefore, upon completion of the program, students will have developed the tools they will need throughout their lives to feel well, to be physically and mentally healthy, to feel good about themselves and to live in harmony with others.”
Westmount High is physically fit.

Program innovation began several years ago, as Westmount brainstormed some solutions to the challenge faced by the PEH teachers to cover all course content within the subject-time allocated to the course at the Secondary level. A proposal was put forward and ultimately adopted to increase PEH from two periods on a nine-day cycle to three at the Cycle I (Grade 7 and 8) level. A health classroom was created, as well as an additional period. This allowed for Competency 3 (Adopts an Active Healthy Lifestyle) to be covered in a more thorough and meaningful way for students. The PEH department observed a difference with this increase in subject time in that students leave Cycle I with a more solid foundation of important health-related knowledge that serves them in their daily management of their health and well-being.  See this very detailed backgrounder press release drafted by EMSB Physical Education and Health Consultant Katherine Baker.

INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY EXPERIENCE: Two international students from the EMSB, one from China and the other from Libya, had the opportunity to see their first ever professional hockey game on January 6, when the Canadiens hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre. Manqi Liang and Monder Alzidani are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Marymount Academy International in NDG in Grades 10 and 11 respectively. Both students admitted that they never followed hockey in their respective native countries because it was a sport that was never popular nor regularly played there. However, after they saw for the first time the fast-paced excitement that goes with an NHL hockey game, which the Canadiens won by a score of 2-1, they quickly became fans of the team, and would like to go to more Habs games at the Bell Centre in the future.
Mike Cohen, Monder Alzidani,  Brian Wilde, Manqi Liang and Michael Bunn.

“I loved watching the power plays,” said Monder. “I like the team in general, but a lot of people tell me that P.K. Subban is its best player.” Added Manqi: “The loud spirit of the fans was amazing. I was also amazed by how large the Bell Centre is; I have never seen a sports arena like this before.” The two students attended the game with their teacher Michael Bunn courtesy of CTV Montreal, which provided the tickets in the Club Desjardins section. Before the game, Manqi, Monder and Mr. Bunn got the chance to personally meet CTV News sportscaster Brian Wilde, and watched him do one of his live pre-game reports for the 6 o’clock newscast. See the full press release.

Anthony Duclair and Terrence Quinn.
MR. QUINN IN ARIZONA: During a recent trip over the Christmas holidays to Phoenix, Arizona, Terrence Quinn, former Lester B. Pearson High School Principal, attended an Arizona Coyotes hockey game with his wife Maggie Aboud (FinancialServices, EMSB). Mr. Quinn was at the game to watch one of his former students of the Lester B. Pearson Sport-Études hockey program and present day player for the Coyotes, Anthony Duclair. Anthony had a great game and was responsible for setting up the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders.

DIVING CHAMP: With 2016 being an Olympic year, Lester B. Pearson High School Sport-Études student and championship diver Tereza Vithoulkas is as focused as ever. ereza, an Honour Roll student, maintains an 86 percent overall average while competing at an elite level. Recently, Teresa competed at the Senior National Diving Championships in Saskatoon and will soon travel to China for further training. While she may not be representing Canada this summer, her fellow divers are undoubtedly saving a spot for her come the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
One fine diver.
VICE-PRINCIPALS: The EMSB is currently seeking applications for professionals interested in becoming a vice-principal of a school or centre. Eligible candidates are invited to an information session on Monday, February 1 at the EMSB Administration Building (6000 Fielding) in N.D.G. A panel of current administrators in both the youth and adult sectors will be on hand to provide insightful information as to the responsibilities and day-to-day life of an administrator. Applicants must possess, amongst others, the following: a Bachelor’s Degree in education or an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, certifying a minimum three-year university program;   years of relevant experience in a teaching or a non-teaching professional position; a permanent teaching license issued by the Ministry of Education; and a university graduate program with a minimum of 30 credits in administration. A minimum of six credits must have been acquired prior to the first appointment.   Info: 514-483-7200, ext. 7279.  

HOOKED ON SCHOOL WEEK: James Lyng High School in St. Henri has been chosen to host the 2016 launch of Les Journées de Perseverance Scolaire (Hooked on School) for the Region of Montreal. This will take place on Monday, February 15 (9 a.m.). A wide array of programming is scheduled at EMSB schools. Lester B. Pearson High School has a number of events planned. On February 10,  Leo Barbe, an award winning speaker and activist, will address Grades 9 through 11. students bout perseverance, motivation, positive self-talk, emotional intelligence, positive choices and leadership. 

ALTERNATIVE AND YOUTH SECTORS UNITE: Under the umbrella of the Student Services Department, the EMSB has initiated a pilot project intended to build a relationship between the alternative and youth sectors aiming at promoting self-esteem, empathy and personal growth amongst all students involved. Standing Tall: Walking Towards a Better Tomorrow is built around students from the EMSB’s Alternative system, working with students primarily with special needs in the youth sector. The first part of this initiative features Noah Davidson, a Secondary V student from Perspectives II High School in St. Michel, working with students from Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou and Nesbitt School in Rosemount. Organized by Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce and Autism Spectrum Disorders Consultant Tania Piperni, the program will allow for Davidson to assist the school behaviour technicians and child care workers in working with students on such things as team building skills, social skills, and peer mediation. Davidson will be present in the classroom under the guidance of childcare workers and behaviour technicians as well as during unstructured times such as recess and lunch. Continued educational resources and mentorship will be provided for Davidson from the Student Services department in order to help facilitate more activities with the students. At Dalkeith Elementary School,  Davidson will be working with childcare workers Kyle Stanley and Anna Maria Di Maulo and at Nesbitt School he will be paired with Bob Plunkett.

SNOWBOARDER TEARS IT UP: Perspectives I High School welcomed Canadian Olympic snowboarder Caroline Calvé to speak to students and staff recently.  She is not only the first, but also the only Canadian woman to win a World Alpine Snowboarding competition. She was a member of the Canadian snowboarding team in the 2010 Vancouver and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Speaking to an interested group of students, she explained her unusual strategy.  She began as an athlete early on, doing Alpine skiing and continued that until age 22, when she began snowboarding, and found her true passion.  “Do you have a dream, a passion?” she asked, going on to say that when you love what you do, you forget about everything else, and nothing else bothers you.
Caroline Calvé

Caroline overcame her fears and developed a plan for herself. She made a list of things that she had to do to evolve and become better, knowing that she would have to face having good and bad days. Then came a real setback - a knee injury.  This was a pivotal point in her career.   It was a life lesson, and it made her go forward instead of ending her life as a competitive athlete. She searched for a strategy.  Her dog, Enzo, motivated her training.  Enzo was her companion for long-distance runs. She encouraged the Perspectives I students to look for who could be on their team (parents, teachers, others?) and also to believe in themselves. “We all have the potential to be great!”  According to Caroline, medals are not the indication of being a champion but your attitude is!  The message of doing one’s best every day clearly came through. Perspectives I was honoured to have her come and talk and share her story with us.

SHAKE IT OFF: Echoing their inner Taylor Swift, a number of East End schools are incorporating innovative programs intended to promote healthy eating habits and lifestyles. 
Getting into the project.

At Perspectives I , students began the New Year by learning how to make healthy fruit and vegetable shakes, ensuring it becomes a part of their regular diet. As students experiment and create recipes, their ideas will be catalogued and fill the contents of a cookbook entitled “U Hungry?” The book will be tailored to students interested in simple, tasty and healthy food, as well as to inspire them to continue this lifestyle at home. At school, the shakes will be complemented with healthy snacks. For the athletes at Rosemount High School, their performance is squarely dependent on their energy levels, and for that reason the school is testing out the Awake with a Shake program.   Staff members will be creating healthy shakes for their athletes consisting of ingredients such as spinach, kale, flaxseed and fruit in order to provide the much needed energy boost before or after competition. In concert with the new diet, the Physical Education department will be monitoring the energy levels of preselected athletes and will continue to promote the importance of healthy eating. At the culmination of the program, a certified yoga instructor will host a class for students and reinforce the ideas of reflection, proper diet, and exercise.

At the elementary level, students at Dalkeith in Anjou and Nesbitt in Rosemount will also participate in a similar program to the athletes at Rosemount High School. Cycle 2 and 3 classes will start their days with healthy fruit and vegetable shakes. Their program will also wrap up with a class from a certified yoga instructor. A number of individuals are working together to ensure the success of these programs. Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce is overseeing the initiatives along with: Barbara White, Frank Caracciolo and Elisa Ruffini (Perspectives I); the administration and Physical Education department (Rosemount High School); John Wright and Patty Smyth (Dalkeith); and Antoniette Scrocca (Nesbitt)

ANIMAL INTERNSHIP: The Dogue Shop is an animal behaviour teaching and training facility on the South-West side of the Plateau Mont-Royal borough. The owner,  Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, also conducts animal-assisted therapy programs in various high schools. Her unique and innovative facility employs dogs and rats. Mme. Dufresne-Cyr also likes to get involved in the community, thus, she takes interns from Perspectives I and II for a period of three months. The internship is a fun and highly interactive program which teaches students science based training techniques and allows teens to practice their newly acquired skills. Last fall, Gaby worked with a young man named Steven Giliberti, from Perspectives II. Steven is a very mature student who learned the ropes very quickly. He was able to train the Dogue Shop's resident dog Albear and the animal-assisted therapy rat colony. Steven also assisted Gaby in her daily tasks which included conducting a rat animal-assisted therapy program at Focus, another EMSB school. Teens helping teens work with animals is, in Mme. Defense-Cyr's opinion "The exemplary model of social learning." Steven was able to fit in and facilitate communication and interactions between staff, animals, and Dogue Shop volunteers. Gaby concluded, "Internships offered at Perspectives I and II are essential components of learning and are great assets for students. I believe the continuously growing workforce feels confused and lost; consequently, getting to see in advance what a job has to offer is worth a lifetime of searching, even if it's to say, I definitely don't want to do that for the rest of my life."  Perspectives I and II are lucky to have her on board!!
LACROCE AWARDED: In recognition of his efforts connecting the Canadian Armed Forces to EMSB students, Spiritual and Community Animator Vince Lacroce was recently awarded the Honourary Colonel's Commendation and Coin. Lacroce follows in the footsteps of Rocco Speranza, another Spiritual and Community Animator  who received the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2015
Vince Lacroce and Richard W. Pound.
The Honourary Colonel's Commendation and Coin is one of the highest awards emanating from the Grenadier Guards and is rarely bestowed to a civilian. It was conferred to Lacroce by Richard W. Pound, Companion of the Order of Canada and current Chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services.  “On behalf of the Canadian Grenadier Guards, I would like to thank Vince Lacroce for the work he has done over the past 12 years,” said Sergeant Marco Mastantuono. “He helped our regiment achieve one of our missions which is to become more involved in the local community.” See the full press release.

SING MONTREAL CHANTÉ:  Following several months of hard work, 10 students from St. Gabriel Elementary School in Pointe St. Charles joined 150 students from eight Montreal elementary schools to perform at a recent concert for Sing Montréal Chante.  The young chorists sang in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Latin and Maori accompanied by an orchestra much to the delight of the audience of 600. Info:

STONE SOUP AT PARKDALE: Under the watchful eye of Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas, Grade 1 students at Parkdale Elementary School in St. Laurent came together to learn the valuable lesson behind the fabled  Stone Soup. As the fable goes, travellers came upon a village with an empty cooking pot. Unfortunately, none of the villagers were willing to share any of their food, so the travellers filled their pot with water and a large stone. Very quickly, the villagers grew curious about what was being cooked, and the travellers responded by saying it was stone soup, which is delicious, but is still missing some ingredients. Each passing villager was told the same story and each offered an ingredient to finish the soup. Finally, after enough villagers parted with enough ingredients, the delicious soup was ready to eat and be shared amongst everybody. As the students at Parkdale listened to the old fable, they participated by channeling their inner villager: chopping, slicing and dicing vegetables into a large pot, thereby making their own stone soup.  “The students loved the activity as they quickly learned that by working together, with everyone contributing what they can and with everyone helping each other, a greater good is achieved,” said Ms. Poullas. “We can all make a difference.”

MUSICAL SHOWOFF: The producers of Musical Show Off have announced plans for their sixth season, showcasing   Montreal’s best young triple threat talent, with the 2016 grand finale set for June 26 at the beautiful Rialto Theatre.   Many EMSB students take part in this program. Musical Show Off is a marketing partner of the EMSB.

Musical Show Off, presented by Productions Broncon Inc., has grown to become one of the most sought after musical competitions in the city for boys and girls aged eight to 17.  Musical Show Off was created in 2010 by two best friends who wanted to give kids and teens and opportunity to perform in a musical production live on stage in front of a sellout audience.  Those interested in participating must first register online at  “Our panel of judges are back this year, with new faces to deliver new ways of guiding and mentoring the young stars into becoming better storytellers on stage,” said Bronwen Lloyd-Hughes, one half of Productions Broncon Inc. and a former teacher at LaurenHill Academy. “Casting agents, agents and recognized people in the entertainment industry are always invited to come watch this competition in search of talent for their upcoming contracts.”

Added Connie Rotella, the other half of the team: “Our mission is to train and mentor these young talented kids who are so passionate for singing, dancing and acting on stage while giving them a taste of Broadway here in Montreal.”

The senior category, comprised of 11 to 17 year olds, will once again be split into four teams and receive a total of 24 hours of coaching before they compete against each other live on stage for the chance to win Musical Show Off.   In addition to these four outstanding teams, there will be a group of “Rising Star Juniors,” aged eight to 10 years old who will perform on the big stage as well.  Rehearsals begin on Sunday, May 8 2016. To celebrate this sixth season,   Lloyd-Hughes and Rotella have decided to hold an event called “Talent Spot” where all young talent will be able to taste the experience of Musical Show Off.  An evening filled with networking and collaboration between young artists and professionals.   The “Talent Spot” event will be held on Sunday, January 31st (6-8 p.m.)  at Danse 123 (7927 Newman Boulevard) in LaSalle.  You can reserve your spot by calling 514-887-9555 or by e-mail For more information log on See this video.

Tea with Nana.
TEA WITH NANA:  Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount’s “Tea with Nana” took place recently. Thirty grandmothers were honoured by their Grade 6 French Immersion grandchildren. While sipping their tea, these important women were entertained by their grandchildren who spoke about the precious time they share together painting, cooking and reading. An inter-generational recipe book was compiled and given to each guest as a gift to commemorate an afternoon of tea, tears and treasured moments. 

CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Cultures from around the world were on display at Cedarcrest Elementary School in St. Laurent as students put on a multi-cultural fashion show. Under the eye of Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas, along with Principal Nadia Sammarco and Child Care worker Victoria LaStarza, the Multicultural Fashion Show was a mosaic of color and tradition as students shared costumes of their cultural background.  The audience was taken around the world with exiting performances that included beautiful traditional and contemporary attire that represented over 20 countries. Students recognized what we can all share; a respect and understanding of each other and of all cultures. 

ARBRE DE JOIE: Nearly 500 brand-new presents have been bought, wrapped and are en route to
Pierre de Coubertin does some packing.
hundreds of children, courtesy of the families and staff from Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Leonard.  Dubbed “Arbre de Joie,” the initiative is based on the novel with the same title. Started two years ago by a group of teachers, the program allows for the opportunity to provide a special Christmas filled with joy and happiness to children who are less fortunate.  In order for beneficiaries to remain completely anonymous, those who would like to participate simply receive an ornament with a child’s identification number, first name, age and gender. The gifts are then brought to Pierre de Coubertin where they are wrapped and prepared for delivery. All the presents are brought to a local school, where each student receives at least one gift. 

“With the utmost and overwhelming participation and generosity from the Pierre de Coubertin School family and with the help of the Arbre de Joie Committee, this program has been a wonderful success,” said Vanessa Racz, a Child Care Worker at Pierre de Coubertin.

In addition to “Arbre de Joie,” the Pierre de Coubertin community collects year-round new and slightly used toys, clothing, and any other items that are clean and in good condition. These items are donated to various organizations during the holiday season through the CTV Montreal Spirit of Giving campaign. Throughout the rest of the year, they are donated to nearby churches and schools, Entraide Marie Clarac and Renaissance. In turn, these organizations distribute the items to the families in need within the community.

SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDY THE HOLOCAUST IN ISRAEL: Teachers in the youth and adult sectors and spiritual guidance and community involvement animators can still apply for three week all expenses paid scholarships to take part in the 2016 Yad Vashem International Seminar for Educators in Jerusalem, Israel July 3 to 21. As part of the Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators Program, participants will take part in a professional development program under the direction of the Faculty of the Yad Vashem Seminars for Educators from Abroad, International School for Holocaust Studies. The goal of the program is to provide professional development activities to teachers for teaching about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism to students in the youth Sector. Each recipient will be asked to create at least one teaching unit or module developed within the context learned.  Complete CVs and Yad Vashem's application form must be submitted by March 31, 2016.  All of the information teachers need to apply is here.

Our Lady of  Pompei students with their UN project.
SAVE THE PLANET: In view of the United Nations Conference in Paris last December, fifth grade students at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic want to help change the world one design at a time. As such, they have illustrated their ideas for the future of the planet. Many causes were referred to. You can see the designs on this site- The students are proud of their participation in this program aimed at saving the planet.  They hope their designs will send a clear message to leaders in society about the changes necessary in terms of the climate and biodiversity.
John Paul I students at last year's Science Fair.
REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR: The annual Hydro-Québec Montreal Regional Science & Technology Fair will take place Sunday, March 13, through Tuesday, March 15, on the downtown  
campus of Concordia University. Organized by Educational Alliance for Science & Technology (EAST), this is the second of three consecutive years that the Fair will be hosted at Concordia. During this one-of-a-kind competition, budding scientists aged 13 to 20 will be presenting to visitors scientific projects that bring out passion in them, proving that science and technology can be interesting and accessible. Graham Carr, Concordia’s Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies,  is urging students, teachers and all of those individuals interested in science and technology to bookmark these dates. “There is no admission charge and so many fabulous projects to see,” said Mr. Carr. “Over the years our students have gone on to win significant prizes at the provincial, national and international levels.”

SUCCESSFUL BOOK:  Le Temps des Fleurs le Temps des Neiges, a musical and writing project which has involved 200 students from a number of EMSB schools, made it to the top 100 of the best books in Quebec for 2015. Here is a story from Le Devoir.

JELLYFISH PROJECT: As organizations continue to develop innovative ways to inspire students to take an interest in the environment, students at John Paul I Junior High School were rocking and learning when the innovative Jellyfish Project stopped off in St. Leonard on   January 18.  The Jellyfish Project is a not-for-profit, non-partisan educational initiative focused on generating awareness among youth about the declining health of our world’s oceans, climate change and our environment at large. Established in 2013, the program involves a musical performance by a rock band which is followed by a dynamic presentation on ocean sustainability. To date, over 58,000 students at 110 different schools across Canada and the United States have experienced the Jellyfish Project. For more information, visit:

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 here for a direct link to the Communications ePortal site. 

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 Théâtre 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
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 or (514) 483-7200, ext. 7818.  For additional information about Encounters with Canada, go to

AUTHOR AVAILABLE TO SPEAK: Dr. Sima Goel is the author of the mémoir, 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 firsthand 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 memoire 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 Log on to

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 and Schools are encouraged to call Suzanne Gautier-Duff at 514-948-8355 or email

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. Contact: Julie Millette at 514 872-0588 or  

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. For schedule and teacher’s guide, go to For Bookings and inquiries email or call 514-288-1229 x245. Additionally, Centaur hosts the SATURDAY MORNING CHILDREN SERIES for younger siblings!  Fun, affordable family entertainment to awaken the imagination and introduce children to the enchanting world of theatre. On select Saturday mornings throughout the season, young children and their families enjoy affordable and engaging live performances by some of Montreal’s best talent for kids. The Saturday Morning Children’s Series programs local and touring artists. Some are established companies while others are independent, emerging or aspiring professionals. Check out the line up at  Now over 30 years old, Centaur Theatre is proud to present new theatre for young audiences and their families, and is dedicated to continuing its community-minded children’s programming. Ticket Prices: Adults: $8.00 Children: $6.00. Limited Seating Available – book your tickets now! Tickets available by calling 514-288-3161.

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 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 ( 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! For more information, please contact: Liana Wiener at .739.2301 x8331 ( or log on  here. 

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS:  Funkins ( 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

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:      


GALILEO NEW YEAR: On January 13, students and staff from Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North  had a New Year’s Gala to welcome 2016. A dance party featuring a deejay, door prizes and cake were celebrated in the morning and in the evening with groups of students. Given that the school culture at Galileo is composed of 700 students coming from many cultures across the globe and New Year’s is a celebratory event that is familiar to all, cheering in the New Year together imparted a sense of belonging to newcomers and citizens alike. Salsa, Arabic, American, Haitian, Canadian, Italian and Pop music blared through the gymnasium as the light show lit up the dance floor filled with hat-wearing participants dancing and waving glow sticks.   Earlier, in preparation for the festivity, class discussions took place to explore how New Years’ is celebrated around the world. Highlighting the event was the great sense of appreciation that everyone shared for all that they have in Canada; Safety, family values and heartwarming support from their community. A memorable time was had by all and is sure to inspire a New Year filled with excellent health and prosperity for all.   



INSCRIPTION À LA MATERNELLE: La Commission scolaire English-Montréal a annoncé que la semaine d’inscription à l’éducation préscolaire pour 2016-2017 aura lieu du lundi 1er février au vendredi 5 février. Une période d’inscription est prévue la semaine précédente pour les familles qui ont un enfant déjà inscrit dans une école de la commission scolaire.

Les parents sont invités à inscrire leur enfant à l’école primaire de la CSEM qui offre le programme de français de leur choix et qui est située le plus près de chez eux. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez composer le 514-483-7200, poste 3672, ou consulter le site Web de la CSEM au Les parents qui inscrivent leur enfant pour la première fois doivent fournir son acte de naissance et son carnet de vaccination à l’école qu’il fréquentera. Ils devront remplir des formulaires qui permettront à l’école de soumettre une demande de certificat d’admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais. Conformément à la Charte de la langue française, un certificat d’admissibilité sera remis à l’enfant qui reçoit ou a reçu la majorité de son enseignement en anglais dans une école primaire ou secondaire au Canada; à l’enfant dont le père ou la mère a reçu la majorité de son enseignement primaire en anglais au Canada; ou à l’enfant dont le frère ou la sœur a suivi ou suit la majorité de ses études en anglais dans une école primaire ou secondaire au Canada. La Charte exclut l’enseignement reçu dans des écoles privées du Québec.

LECTURE À L’ÉCOLE DANTE: La mise en œuvre de l’initiative de littératie équilibrée dans l’ensemble de la CSEM donne de bons résultats, comme en témoignent les solides apprentissages des élèves et leur enthousiasme croissant en matière de lecture et d’écriture. À l’école primaire Dante à Saint-Léonard, l’initiative connaît un vif succès. Depuis cinq ans, le personnel enseignant y utilise ‘Les 5 au quotidien’, un cadre organisationnel au sein duquel les élèves s’exercent à lire, à écrire et à travailler de concert avec leurs camarades de classe. D’un bloc thématique à une autre dans la classe, ils se livrent à une gamme de tâches liées à la littératie – jeux de mots interactifs ou activités d’écriture –, exerçant ainsi divers aspects importants de leurs compétences en littératie dans des contextes authentiques. Chaque élève bénéficie également de rencontres régulières avec son enseignant qui cible l’enseignement et offre une rétroaction en fonction de ses besoins spécifiques sur le plan de l’apprentissage. « L’école Dante est l’une des écoles de la CSEM à avoir participé à la phase pilote de l’initiative de littératie équilibrée. L’approche a bien fonctionné pour nous, et nous avons obtenu des résultats très positifs, déclare la directrice de l’école, Daniela Lattanzio. Nous avons totalement adhéré à l’approche et aux stratégies d’enseignement des éléments fondamentaux de la littératie qui l’accompagnent, et les avons même perfectionnées, parce que nous y croyons. Ces dernières années, nous avons reçu des visiteurs venus observer l’application du cadre ‘Les 5 au quotidien’, pour ensuite le mettre en œuvre dans leur propre école. » Lire le communiqué:

L’HISTOIRE DE RÉUSSITE D’UNE ENSEIGNANTE: À l’école primaire Dante à Saint-Léonard, la mise en œuvre de l’initiative de littératie équilibrée, qui vise la différenciation pédagogique et la rétroaction individualisée, est un véritable succès. Or, l’une de ses plus ardentes sympathisantes – l’enseignante de 3e année Elaine Frenette – avait au départ de très sérieuses réserves. « Quand j’ai entendu parler de la littératie équilibrée et du cadre ‘Les 5 au quotidien’ pour l’appliquer dans la classe, j’avais déjà beaucoup de pain sur la planche en tant qu’enseignante, dit Mme Frenette. Au fur et à mesure que j’apprenais de quoi il s’agissait, je me sentais dépassée. Je craignais que cette nouvelle approche de l’enseignement de la littératie alourdisse ma tâche et m’oblige à consacrer plus de soirées et de fins de semaine à préparer mon enseignement. »

Envahie par la frustration, elle a même songé à quitter la profession. Or, après avoir lu attentivement et compris les modalités d’application de la littératie équilibrée – au moyen du cadre ‘Les 5 au quotidien’ –, Mme Frenette a vu la chose d’un meilleur oeil. Elle avoue apprécier la possibilité d’interaction individualisée avec ses élèves que lui offre cette approche. Elle comprend mieux les besoins de chacun d’eux sur le plan de l’apprentissage de la lecture et de l’écriture. Contrairement à ce qu’elle craignait, l’approche lui laisse beaucoup de temps pour se consacrer aux nombreux autres aspects de son travail. De plus, elle confère de l’autonomie aux élèves. Lire le communiqué.

ENTENTE DE PARTENARIAT: En vertu de l’article 220 de la Loi sur l’instruction publique, les commissions scolaires doivent intégrer dans leur rapport annuel leur reddition de comptes au titre de la convention de partenariat. Ainsi, la CSEM publie dans son rapport annuel, à l’intention de tous les intervenants sur son territoire, les résultats obtenus en regard de son plan stratégique ainsi que des buts et des objectifs mesurables prévus à la convention de partenariat conclue avec le ministère de l’Éducation le 1er juillet 2010.

Le rapport annuel fait état des objectifs et des cibles établis, du contexte dans lequel ils ont été établis, des résultats obtenus, de l’interprétation que fait la commission scolaire des résultats et des stratégies qu’elle entend mettre en œuvre pour améliorer les résultats insuffisants. Le rapport analyse aussi le degré de réussite des stratégies employées et leur contribution à l’atteinte des objectifs, de sorte que la commission scolaire puisse cerner les stratégies les moins efficaces, les améliorer ou les abandonner. Si les progrès sont insuffisants, la commission scolaire réévalue ses pratiques éducatives et organisationnelles, et détermine les stratégies aptes à accroître la réussite des élèves.

ENTENTE DE PRINCIPE: La CSEM est heureuse que des ententes de principe soient intervenues entre ses syndicats et le gouvernement provincial et que le boycottage des activités parascolaires puisse cesser. Pour la présidente de la CSEM, Angela Mancini, ce retour à la normale est le bienvenu. « Je salue toutes les parties pour leurs efforts concertés, dit Mme Mancini. En tant que mère d’un élève du secondaire, je sais à quel point l’absence d’activités parascolaires était difficile. Nous estimons au plus haut point le travail accompli par l’ensemble de nos employés et savons que toutes les parties en cause sont ravies de retrouver le calendrier normal d’activités, allant des compétitions sportives aux sorties en passant par le théâtre. »

DIRECTIONS ADJOINTES: La Commission scolaire English-Montréal est actuellement à la recherche de candidatures de professionnelles et professionnels qui souhaiteraient assumer la direction adjointe d’une école ou d’un centre. Les candidates et candidats admissibles sont invités à une séance d’information qui aura lieu le lundi 1er février à 16 h 30, dans l’édifice administratif de la CSEM au 6000, rue Fielding, à Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Un groupe de cadres actuellement en poste dans le secteur des jeunes et celui des adultes sera sur place afin de fournir des renseignements éclairés quant aux responsabilités et à la vie quotidienne d’un administrateur scolaire. Les personnes intéressées par ces fonctions doivent notamment être titulaires d’un baccalauréat en éducation ou dans un domaine pertinent attestant d’au moins trois ans d’études universitaires; posséder une expérience pertinente dans un poste de professionnel enseignant ou non enseignant; posséder une autorisation permanente d’enseigner délivrée par le ministère de l’Éducation; et suivre un programme universitaire de deuxième cycle d’au moins 30 crédits en administration, dont au moins six crédits sont obtenus avant la première nomination. Information : 514-483-7200, poste 7279.

JOURNÉES DE LA PERSÉVÉRANCE SCOLAIRE: L’école secondaire James Lyng à Saint-Henri sera l’hôte du lancement des Journées de la persévérance scolaire (Hooked on School) pour la région de Montréal. Le lancement aura lieu le lundi 15 février à 9 h. Une foule d’activités sont prévues dans les écoles de la CSEM pour les JPS.

PROJET CONJOINT DES SECTEURS ALTERNATIF ET DES JEUNES: Sous la gouverne des Services aux élèves, la CSEM a lancé un projet pilote qui vise la participation conjointe des secteurs alternatif et des jeunes à la promotion de l’estime de soi, de l’empathie et de la croissance personnelle chez les élèves. L’initiative Standing Tall: Walking Towards a Better Tomorrow s’appuie sur l’entraide entre des élèves du système alternatif de la CSEM et des élèves, plus particulièrement ceux ayant des besoins particuliers, du secteur des jeunes. Dans le cadre du premier projet mis sur pied, Noah Davidson, un élève de 5e secondaire de l’école Perspectives II à Saint-Michel, travaille avec des élèves des écoles primaires Dalkeith à Anjou et Nesbitt à Rosemont.

Organisé par l’animateur de vie spirituelle et communautaire Vince Lacroce et la spécialiste des troubles du spectre autistique Tania Piperni, le projet permettra à Noah Davidson d’aider les techniciens du comportement et les éducateurs en service de garde à travailler avec les élèves à développer certaines compétences, dont le travail en équipe et la socialisation, ainsi que la médiation par les pairs. Noah sera présent dans la classe sous la supervision des éducateurs en service de garde et des techniciens du comportement, ainsi que durant des périodes non structurées comme la récréation et l’heure du dîner. Les Services aux élèves offriront à Noah des ressources de formation continue et du mentorat afin de l’aider à réaliser de plus en plus d’activités avec les élèves. À l’école primaire Dalkeith, Noah travaillera avec les éducateurs en service de garde Kyle Stanley et Anna Maria Di Maulo, et à l’école primaire Nesbitt avec Bob Plunkett.

UNE SURFEUSE DES NEIGES LIVRE SON MESSAGE: L’école Perspectives I a récemment accueilli la championne olympique canadienne de surf des neiges Caroline Calvé qui s’est adressée aux élèves et au personnel enseignant. Caroline est la première et la seule athlète canadienne de sexe féminin à avoir remporté la Coupe du monde en surf des neiges alpin. Elle était membre de l’équipe canadienne de surf des neiges aux Jeux olympiques de Vancouver en 2010 et de Sotchi en 2014. S’adressant à un groupe d’élèves très attentifs, elle a expliqué sa stratégie, plutôt inhabituelle. Athlète dès son plus jeune âge, elle a fait du ski alpin jusqu’à l'âge de 22 ans, avant de découvrir sa véritable passion, le surf des neiges. « Avez-vous un rêve, une passion? », a-t-elle demandé aux élèves, ajoutant que quand on fait ce qu’on aime, on oublie tout le reste et plus rien ne nous dérange.

Caroline a surmonté ses peurs et s’est établi un plan. Elle a fait une liste de choses qu’elle devait faire pour évoluer et s’améliorer, consciente qu’elle aurait de bonnes et de mauvaises journées. Puis, elle s’est heurtée à un véritable obstacle : une blessure au genou. Ce fut le tournant de sa carrière, une leçon de vie qui l’a motivée à aller de l’avant plutôt qu’à abandonner sa vie d’athlète de compétition. Elle s’est mise à la recherche d’une stratégie. Son chien, Enzo, lui a servi de source de motivation durant ses entraînements. Il l’accompagnait dans ses courses sur longues distances. Elle a encouragé les élèves de l’école Perspectives I à déterminer quelles sont les personnes qui pourraient faire partie de leur équipe (leurs parents, enseignants, d’autres personnes?) et à croire en eux-mêmes. « Nous avons tous le potentiel d’être extraordinaires! »

Selon Caroline, ce ne sont pas les médailles qui font les champions, mais l’attitude! Elle a très bien réussi à faire passer son message, à savoir qu’il faut chaque jour faire de son mieux

SING MONTRÉAL CHANTE: Au terme de plusieurs mois d’efforts soutenus, 10 élèves de l’école primaire Saint-Gabriel à Pointe-Saint-Charles se sont joints à 150 élèves de 8 autres écoles primaires de Montréal afin de se produire en concert dans le cadre du projet Sing Montréal Chante. Les jeunes choristes ont chanté en anglais, en français, en italien, en portugais, en japonais, en latin et en maori, accompagnés par un orchestre, pour le plus grand bonheur de leur public. Information :

JOURNÉES DE LA PERSÉVÉRANCE SCOLAIRE: La sixième édition des Journées de la persévérance scolaire de Montréal (Hooked on School) aura lieu du 15 au 19 février. Cliquez sur pour plus d’information. Martine Legault-Ciccia est la représentante de la CSEM pour ce programme axé sur des activités qui incitent les élèves à persévérer. La CSEM a déjà le taux de réussite (diplomation) le plus élevé parmi les écoles publiques du Québec

ARBRE DE JOIE: Les familles et le personnel de l’école primaire Pierre-de-Coubertin à Saint-Léonard ont acheté et emballé quelque 500 cadeaux destinés à des centaines d’élèves, dans le cadre du projet Arbre de Joie, qui tire son nom du titre d’un roman. Amorcé il y a deux ans par un groupe d’enseignants, le projet vise à offrir joie et bonheur à l’occasion de Noël à des enfants défavorisés. Afin de préserver l’anonymat des bénéficiaires du projet, les enfants qui souhaitent y participer reçoivent un simple accessoire qui porte un numéro d’identification, et leurs prénoms, âge et sexe. Les cadeaux sont apportés à l’école Pierre-de-Coubertin, où ils sont emballés et préparés pour livraison dans les écoles locales où chaque élève participant en reçoit au moins un.

« Grâce à la grande générosité et à la chaleureuse participation de la communauté de l’école Pierre-de-Coubertin, et avec l’aide du comité Arbre de Joie, ce projet est un merveilleux succès », se réjouit Vanessa Racz, éducatrice en service de garde à l’école Pierre-de-Coubertin.

En plus de réaliser le projet Arbre de Joie, la communauté de l’école Pierre-de-Coubertin fait aussi la cueillette de jouets, de vêtements et d’autres articles usagés qui sont propres et en bon état. Ces articles sont donnés à diverses organisations durant le temps des fêtes, dans le cadre de la campagne Spirit of Giving de CTV Montreal. Le reste de l’année, les articles recueillis sont remis à des églises et à des écoles du quartier, à Entraide Marie-Clarac et à Renaissance. Ces organisations les distribuent ensuite aux familles dans le besoin au sein de la communauté

BOURSES POUR L’ÉTUDE DE L’HOLOCAUSTE EN ISRAËL: Les enseignants du secteur des jeunes et du secteur des adultes, ainsi que les animateurs de vie spirituelle et communautaire peuvent poser leur candidature afin de bénéficier d’une bourse qui couvre l’ensemble des frais de participation à l’édition 2016 du séminaire de trois semaines Yad Vashem International Seminar for Educators qui a lieu à Jérusalem, en Israël, du 3 au 21 juillet. Dans le cadre du programme de bourses Riva and Thomas O. Hecht, The Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators, les participants prendront part à un programme de perfectionnement professionnel sous la gouverne de la Faculty of the Yad Vashem Seminars for Educators from Abroad, International School for Holocaust Studies. Le programme a pour but d’offrir des activités de perfectionnement professionnel au personnel enseignant pour l’enseignement de l’holocauste et de l’antisémitisme aux élèves du secteur des jeunes. Chaque participant aura à créer au moins une leçon ou un module qui s’inscrit dans le contexte des apprentissages réalisés. Les personnes intéressées à participer au programme ont jusqu’au 31 mars 2016 pour envoyer leur CV et le formulaire de demande de bourse Yad Vashem dûment rempli. Pour obtenir toute l’information nécessaire, cliquez ici.

FINALE RÉGIONALE D’EXPO-SCIENCES: La finale régionale de Montréal de l’Expo-sciences Hydro-Québec aura lieu du 13 au 15 mars sur le campus du centre-ville de l’Université Concordia. Organisée par l’Alliance pour l’enseignement de la science et de la technologie (AEST), l’Expo-sciences est tenue à l’Université Concordia pour la deuxième année de trois années consécutives. Durant cette compétition exceptionnelle, des scientifiques en herbe âgés de 13 à 20 ans présenteront aux visiteurs des projets scientifiques qui les passionnent, démontrant que la science et la technologie peuvent être à la fois intéressantes et accessibles.

Graham Carr, vice-recteur à la recherche et aux études supérieures de l’Université Concordia, invite les élèves, les enseignants et toutes les personnes qui s’intéressent à la science et à la technologie à inscrire ces dates à leur agenda. « C’est entièrement gratuit et il y a une foule de projets fabuleux à voir, affirme M. Carr. Au fil des ans, nos élèves ont remporté des prix importants à l’échelle provinciale, nationale et internationale. »

CORRIDOR VERT DE MONTRÉAL-NORD: L’arrondissement de Montréal-Nord a signé une importante entente avec la Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’île (CSPI) et la CSEM pour la mise en place d’un projet innovateur de Corridor Vert. Ce projet concerne les zones entre Pascal (nord), Renoir (sud), Rolland (est) et Laurier (ouest). Il est unique par le fait que sur ce petit espace d’un demi-kilomètre se trouvent cinq écoles, deux parcs, un centre/une bibliothèque de communauté culturelle, une aréna et une piscine publique. Plus de 6 000 élèves, parents et enseignants passent journellement par cette zone. Les cinq écoles sont : l’école primaire Gerald McShane, l’école secondaire Lester B. Pearson de la CSEM, l’école secondaire Henri Bourassa, l’école primaire Jules Verne et l’école Adélard-Desrosiers.

L’entente entre les deux commissions scolaires englobe : faire partie d’une discussion de table ronde avec l’arrondissement; participer à la production et à la mise en œuvre d’un portefeuille intégré de projet; définir les besoins d’espaces verts, de développement, de mobilité et de mobilisation; appuyer l’élaboration d’un programme éducatif et un environnement d’animation; collaborer avec les organisations locales qui pourraient être impliquées à divers aspects de ce projet.

RENCONTRES DU CANADA: Chaque année, Rencontres du Canada – le forum jeunesse du pays – accueille des élèves de la CSEM âgés de 14 à 17 ans. Ces élèves se joignent à des adolescents d’à travers le pays au Centre de la jeunesse Terry Fox à Ottawa pour une semaine inoubliable d’ateliers bilingues, de sorties et d’évènements culturels. Ils apprennent à connaître les institutions canadiennes, rencontre des canadiens talentueux, explore des options intéressantes de carrières et développent leurs habiletés de leadership civique. Ils font l’expérience de la diversité de l’héritage et de la culture du Canada, et explorent leur propre potentiel. Plus de 100 000 élèves ont déjà vécu cette expérience! Rencontres du Canada offre un choix de 13 différents thèmes d’une semaine chacun : arts et culture, le Canada se souvient, Démocratie et jeunesse, Expérience Canada, Premiers répondants, Relations internationales, Journalisme et communications, Loi et notre système de justice, Médecine et santé, Sciences et écologie, Sciences et technologie, Sports et forme physique et Vimy : le passage pour l’autonomie du Canada.

Rencontres du Canada est ouvert à tous les élèves âgés de 14 à 17 ans et près de 130 adolescents d’à travers le pays y participent chaque semaine. La CSEM offre 20 subventions chaque année avec un maximum de deux par école. Pour plus de renseignements au sujet du programme de cette année, des subventions et des inscriptions, communiquer avec le conseiller d’orientation de votre école ou Travis Hall, conseiller pédagogique, Développement de carrières à ou téléphoner au 514-483-7200, poste 7818. Pour des renseignements additionnels au sujet de Rencontres du Canada, visitez

JEUNESSE, J’ÉCOUTE: Jeunesse, J’écoute a lancé un nouveau service pour les jeunes gens âgés de 14 à 18 ans; un segment qui est de 31 pour cent moins porté à  discuter de questions de santé mentale et émotive que les filles et 36 pour cent moins porté à parler du 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 pour aborder les besoins uniques des adolescents et, par le biais d’un comité consultatif et de divers groupes de travail, a conçu le Coin des Gars. Avec le financement de la Fondation Movember, une zone en ligne d’aide de soutien et de service d’étude de cas pour les adolescents âgés de 14 à 18 ans est maintenant disponible. Conçu pour les jeunes hommes, le nouveau service vise à améliorer le comportement de recherche d’aide chez les jeunes hommes par le biais de soutien tel que Live Chat, outils de ressources en ligne et interactives : et Les écoles sont encouragées à appeler Suzanne Gautier-Duff au 514-948-8355, ou par courriel

CHANGER LE MONDE: En vu de la conférence des Nations Unies à Paris le 11 décembre 2015, les élèves de cinquième année de l’école Our lady of Pompei ont voulu participer à changer le monde, un dessin à la fois!  Chaque élève a illustré ses aspirations et craintes quant à l’avenir de la planète.  Plusieurs causes ont étés abordées. Ensuite, les dessins ont étés publiés sur le site web Les élèves sont très fiers de leur participation à une si importante cause pour sauver notre planète.  Ils espèrent que leurs dessins ont envoyé un message clair aux dirigeants et aux décideurs de la planète et ouvrir un débat sur les problèmes liés aux changements climatiques et à la biodiversité.

The next Focus will be published on  February 25, 2016  Submissions should be made to Michael J. Cohen preferably by  e-mail ( by February 19 at Noon.

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