Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Laura Saragosa accepts her award.
VOLUNTEER NIGHT: The annual EMSB Parent Volunteer Appreciation Evening took place on April 17 at the Renaissance Centre in Anjou. This year’s event was being held to commemorate National Volunteer Week (April 15 to 22) under the theme of Volunteers – Heart of our Community.    Joseph Perretta, his wife Lina Di Giovanni and their daughter Alexia, received the   EMSB Volunteer Ambassadors of the Year Award. The family owns the Montreal North Arctic Junior AAA hockey team. Players visit schools regularly to push the stay in school message and take part in scrimmages. They give thousands of tickets out to schools each season. Lina was a longtime parent volunteer at the EMSB.  The Volunteer of Distinction was Laura Saragosa from Edward Murphy Elementary School in Hochelaga Maisonneuve.   The 2018 Parent Volunteer Appreciation Evening was held in memory of Janice Lacroix, a beloved former communications consultant at the EMSB who first helped establish this event 17 years ago. She passed away last fall after a brief illness.

Ann Marie Matheson, Joe Perretta,Lina Di Giovanni, Alexia Perretta and Angela Mancini. 
Time and space do not allow the EMSB to honour all of its nearly 1,500 volunteers in person. Therefore, only those individuals who have volunteered for more than five years attend the reception, representing some 500 people. However, several thousand copies of a commemorative program book will be distributed to each school.  The emcees for the evening will   Global News reporter Elysia Bryan Baynes, a graduate of Royal West Academy in Montreal West and EMSB Communications and Marketing Specialist Michael Cohen.  For the ninth consecutive year, La Capitale was the title sponsor for this event. Please see the full press release.

For all of our photos from that evening click here.

See this clip from Global TV on Laura Saragosa.

See this clip from Global TV  with Lina Di Giovanni.

Nicholas Katalifos
ADMINISTRATIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS: Two principals, Michael Cristofaro (Westmount High School) and Jacques Monfette (Wagar Adult Education Centre in Côte Saint-Luc), have announced they will retire as of July 1, 2018. Their successors will be Robert DiMarco (presently at Westmount Park Elementary School) and Nicholas Katalifos (presently at Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount) respectively. More appointments will be announced at the end of May.

WALKING FOR  WATER: While access to water is not an issue in Montreal, on Friday, April 27 (1:15 pm) at Parc Maisonneuve (4601 Sherbrooke East), students from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount will simulate what countless people in developing nations have to undergo on a daily basis in order to provide drinking water for their families.  In order to simulate the conditions, students will walk five kilometers around Parc Maisonneuve with either four textbooks or filled bottles of water in their backpacks. The walk is expected to last one hour.  The Vincent Massey Collegiate House Council is encouraging donations of $25, as this represents the amount needed to provide a child clean water for his or her life.  The school has already raised over $3,500 to provide for over 100 families. Donations are being accepted online at

EMSB PARENT CONFERENCE: Children and teens face a wide variety of issues and parents often struggle with how best to help their children. That’s why the EMSB Parents Committee is holding its second  Parents Conference. The free event will offer a series of workshops on Saturday, May 5 (8:45 am to 2:15 am) at the Grande Prairies Vocational Centre ( 6065 boulevard des Grandes-Prairies) in Saint- Leonard  that aim to help parents with some of the toughest parenting questions. Workshop topics include helping kids through anxiety and stress, dealing with bullying, getting through homework, cannabis and how to talk to your kids about the new laws, navigating the educational and healthcare system for those with special needs children and helping your child become an effective public speaker.  For a complete list of sessions with availability see our full press release here. Questions? or Brigida Sellato, 514-483-7200 ext. 7242.

In-school administrators congratulate Joseph Vitantonio.
OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL: Joseph Vitantonio, the Principal of Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North, was one of  40 exceptional educators from across the country to be recognized as Canada’s Outstanding Principals of 2018.  Now celebrating its 14th year, The Learning Partnership’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals program recognizes the unique and vital contributions of principals in publicly funded schools. The 40 principals, nominated by parents, colleagues and community members, and chosen by a national selection committee, are being celebrated for demonstrating innovation, leadership and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities within their school communities. They were awarded for their accomplishments at the annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals gala on February 27 in Toronto. More recently, Mr. Vitantonio was congratulated by his fellow in-school administrators at head office.

Sec IV winners are congratulated.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: Forty-nine high school students took part in the annual EMSB Public Speaking Competition, held April 10 and 12 at Royal Vale High School in NDG.  The competition was organized by the EMSB’s Educational and Technology Services (ETS) Division. Using their developed skills and talents in how to speak in front of a large group of people, the Secondary I and II participants spoke about stories that dealt with situations that affected them personally, while the Secondary III, IV and V students delivered persuasive speeches on topics of social and political importance, such as feminism, the minimum wage, education, and preventing teen suicide. After careful deliberation, the team of judges handed out prizes.   For the complete press release and a list of the winners click here.

Tina Zwang and ECA Coordinator Sadia DiPietro.
MERIT AWARD: Congratulations to   Grade 9 Royal West Academy student Tina Zhang, winner of a 2018 Merit Award offered by the Women's Canadian Club of Montreal.  The award is given to a deserving student aged 14 to 17 who excels academically and socially,  exhibits outstanding school and community involvement and shows leadership ability. Tina was awarded a week at Encounters with Canada, the country's largest youth forum. During the 2018-2019 academic year, she will join 140 other students from across Canada for a week in Ottawa. She will take part in exciting workshops, presentations and outings that will help her learn more about her country, develop her leadership skills, and explore possible future careers.  She will choose from among a variety of different theme weeks, including Science and Technology, Communications amd Social Media, Medicine, Law, Business & Entrepreneurship Ecology, Sports, Global Affairs and so much more. Visit for more information on this exciting once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

ROYAL WEST GRAD RECOGNIZED Sam Roe, who is 21 years old and graduated from Royal West Academy, is now a student at Queens University in Kingston.  At the moment he is spending six   months in Paris at the Sorbonne. He recently received a Commendation from the Kingston Police Department and the medal for bravery from the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario. In February of 2016, Sam, then aged 19 at great risk to himself, dove into a frigid and dangerous river to try to rescue the driver of a car which was sinking rapidly. He saved the driver’s life.

Jeffrey Ha and his parents are congratulated.
POETRY WINNER: The Bureau de la présidence du conseil de ville, and Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie partnered with Montreal school boards in order to launch their fourth annual poetry writing competition, 12 Poèmes pour Montréal. Open to Secondary IV and V students, this year’s themewas Montréal, mon quotidian. The objective of the competition was to establish a link between
the City of Montreal and its young people in order to increase their sense of belonging through
poetry. The 12 finalists and their poems were revealed on March 14 in the Hall of Honour at Montreal’s City Hall. Among the 12 finalists were Jeffrey Ha from Westmount High School with his poem Life of a Montrealer II and Emily Morris from LaurenHill Academy with her poem When Winter Hits in Montreal. In addition to having their work exhibited at City Hall, Jeffrey and Emily gave a wonderful interview during CBC Montreal’s Homerun segment. From among the 12 finalist, Jeffrey Ha’s poem was selected as the overall winning poem and he ad the honor of reading his work at the start of a City Council meeting on March 26. Jeffrey read his poem at the April 25 Council of Commissioners meeting.

CONDOLENCES:The EMSB  wishes to extend its condolences to the family of Paul Lamoureux, the Director General of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board. He passed away this week after  battling an aggressive form of cancer for the past few months. The school board, as well as the entire education system has lost a visionary, a leader like no other, and an overall remarkable human being who was appreciated, respected and valued by everybody who ever knew him.

MACKAY CENTRE CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Construction on the state-of-the-art facility for the Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools in NDG continues to progress smoothly and on schedule. The facility is being built on land located on Terrebonne Street, between Benny and Madison Avenues, in NDG.  To date, construction is approximately 60 percent complete. The construction remains on schedule for a delivery date for the middle of August. A highly anticipated visit with the staff will start to take place on April 30.
Sylvia  Lo Bianco and Alan Maislin.
HEALTH SUMMIT: EMSB Vice-Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco represented the chairman at the annual Summit of Elected Officials at the Jewish General Hospital, where the focus was on the Integration of Health and Social Services in the Community.   Representatives from municipal, provincial and federal governments were invited, as well as the EMSB. It was hosted by the CIUSS West Central Montreal, which oversees nine health and social services institutions in the West End including the MAB Mackay Centre. President and CEO Dr.  Dr Lawrence Rosenberg and Chairman of the Board Alan Maislin gave opening remarks.  There were then updates provided on    the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers, the Integration of Front Line Services: CLSC, Family Medicine Groups (GMF),  super-clinics and rehabilitation as well as the  Support Program for the Autonomy of Seniors (SAPA): The User’s Trajectory.

CALVILLO VISITS: Montreal Alouettes legend, three-time Grey Cup Champion and current quarterbacks coach for the Toronto Argonauts Anthony Calvillo put down his clipboard and participated in Fitness Fun Day at St. Dorothy Elementary School   in St. Michel recently. The program, organized by Physical Education teacher Joseph Romano and Spiritual and Community Animator Aaron Durocher, coincided with World Health Day and brought together students, parents, and staff members in order to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It featured a complimentary healthy breakfast, yoga, CrossFit, various team sports and other exercises. In addition to speaking to students about physical fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle, Calvillo participated in various activities with the students throughout the morning.  See the video from the event.  

BURGUNDY AWARDS GALA: Westmount High School Secondary V student Brianna Haikalis  was one of many EMSB students feted at the Little Burgundy Coalition’s “Burgundy Awards” gala! Each year the Little Burgundy Coalition’s Youth Committee hosts a gala to celebrate neighbourhood students who are having a positive impact in their school community. This year,  Guidance  Counsellors  Karen Allen and Mandy Moreno  nominated Brianna   (pictured with WHS teacher Trudy Fairservice receiving her award). Throughout her high school career, Brianna has been a dependable student and a true role model for her peers.  

ROBOCUP JUNIOR: The RoboCup Junior Quebec 2018 qualifying games at Rosemount High School April 13 and 14 included 71 teams involving a total of 317 participants. The expression "qualifying games" was used because successful teams may now be eligible to compete at the RoboCup 2018 Montreal games in June. This RoboCup Junior competition included the basic three official RoboCup sub-leagues at both the Primary and Secondary level: Soccer, Rescue, On Stage, and one more which was introduced this year, Robo Party - challenges for beginners.

Students show their enthusiasm at RoboCup Junior.
The teams from came from 19 primary and secondary schools, measuring their energies and skills by competing with like-minded teams while acquiring knowledge and inspiration through the interaction.
A proud group from Cedarcrest.
Cedarcrest Elementary School was among a number of EMSB representatives. Teachers Taylor Made and Linda  Batzios brought 21 students who competed against more than 30 schools. Cedarcrest took third place in the On Stage Competition “Rockin Robots” second  in soccer and first  Rescue Line!  Principal Civita Tudino was thanked for her constant support and encouragement, as was the Home and School. The students participated in the programming and the building of their robots. This learning enhanced collaboration, teamwork and good sportsmanship See more photos here.

Niraj Dayanandan is headed to Ottawa.
EAST LAUDS SCIENCE WINNERS: The Educational Alliance for Science & Technology (EAST) wishes to congratulate three students from Royal West Academy for their recent extraordinary accomplishments.   Allison Engo won a gold medal at the Super Expo Science Fair in Shawinigan. She will now proceed to the  Canada-wide Science Fair at Carleton University in Ottawa May 13 to 18, as will Niraj Dayanandan who won a bursary from École Polytechnique.  Athavan Thambimuthu placed high in the  annual Hydro-Québec Montreal Regional Science & Technology Fair   at Concordia University and qualified to go directly to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Pittsburgh may 13 to 18, a program of Society for Science & the Public (the Society). This is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. EAST is a not for profit organization, has been organizing science and technology activities, for students in the Anglophone community since 2001. Each year, hundreds of students from the elementary, high school and CEGEP levels, participate in the EAST annual events such as the  Robo Junior, Montreal Regional Science & Technology Fair (MRSTF) and CRC Robotics for seniors high school students.“EAST provides our students with the opportunity to shine both at the local level and on the international stage,” said EAST President Agostino Porchetta. “ Bravo to all the winners.” See the full press release.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau students scored significant victories.
TRUDEAU TOPS ROBOTICS: The 16th annual Robotics Competition organized by EAST took place  at Vanier College in St. Laurent recently. The team from  Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Rosemount  finished first among primary schools. In the Triathlon, Adriana Borrelli and Mikayla Fidanza took home the silver medal. In Save Metropolis, Andy Zimmerman and Gamuchirai Mutsago won gold. Sarah Amaidia, Sarah Mecheri and Solana Barbosa-Euvrard took home bronze  in Football. Finally, in Creative PerformanceCharlotte Renaud, Çatalkaram Hatt Sustam, Alessandro Chiby, John Wang and Raphaël Sutherland-Ortega won gold.

Fred Fox (second from the left) at Willingdon.
FRED FOX VISITS WILLINGDON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: April 12  marked the 38th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, when the late Terry Fox’ embarked on his cross-Canada journey with the help of his best friend Doug Alward to raise funds for cancer research. Terry had wanted to raise a dollar for every Canadian, a goal he managed to achieve before he passed away. In honour of the occasion, Fred Fox, Terry’s older brother, paid the students of Willingdon Elementary School in NDG a visit. He began the presentation by recounting fond memories of his brother and himself when they were children. Fred recalled how Terry was always determined, even as a child and when he lost his leg to cancer. “Terry wasn’t afraid to fail,” Fred said proudly. Their parents had taught them at an early age the importance of working hard, respecting other people, having good manners, and finishing what they start. “Finish what you start” became one of Terry’s mottos, leading him to achieve great things in his short life. Today, Terry’s spirit continue to live on through people like Fred Fox, who visits schools around Canada every year, as he continues to carry the torch his brother had lit all those years ago. “Terry showed us that one person can make a difference,” Fred said. In thanks for all the successful fundraising initiatives the school had done for the Terry Fox Foundation, Willingdon Elementary School was presented with a book about Terry Fox for its school library. Sariah Gittens, who was one of the students who had raised the most in funds in Willingdon’s 2016 Terry Fox Run, accepted the honour. A special thanks was also given to physical education teacher Lara Belinsky for all her efforts as a volunteer organizer for the Terry Fox Run. (Reported on by Ishini Fernando).

Students belt out their tunes.
KIDS FOR KIDS CONCERT: On Thursday, April 19, Willingdon  held their Kids for Kids concert, which was broadcast live for patients of the Montreal Children’s Hospital on the school’s Facebook page. “This is an idea I had last year, and I’m very happy my dream came true with the help and support of our school and community,” said  Nick Batzios, the head of Music at Willingdon. “Music inspires hope, courage, and joy, and we want the children at the hospital to know that we are thinking of them." Willingdon students delivered a spectacular show, complete with duet, solo, recorder, and piano performances. The Spring Concert included a variety of songs such as “L’Oiseau Et L’Enfant”, which the students had sung with Principal Carmen Nicolas, “Les Enfants De La Terre” and “Thunder” among others. Director of Special Events Marie-Claude Baribeau, who attended the show to represent the hospital, thanked the Willingdon community for the memorable show, as well as for participating in the Toonie Challenge. Before the event, Willingdon had raised $2,111, but with last minute fundraising efforts during the concert, a total of $2,508 was achieved, which will go into sponsoring an entire purchase of a state-of-the-art feeding device for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Chuck Hughes holds up a large thank you card.
CHUCK HUGHES VISITS: World renowned chef Chuck Hughes visited Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau recently to mark the end of Nutrition Month. On the menu were fresh fruit smoothies with the Grade 2 students   of  Donna Perlin and  Cynthia Arzoumanian  and ratatouille with the kindergarten students.  

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 7 to 11), students with their teachers are being challenged to produce a short video (not more than five minutes) featuring interviews with individuals from the EMSB community. These interviews should center on how these individuals work on self-acceptance and it can be inspired by the Humans of New York series. All entries are to be submitted by email to Catia Ambrosi at: The deadline for entries is Monday May 7.

Students are attentive at Community Day.
COMMUNITY DAY: Recently, Marymount Academy International hosted its first annual Community Day. This event was organized with the goal of highlighting the good work that non-profit organizations do in our communities, as well as to inspire students to want to get involved in their communities. Joining Marymount students were Grade 6 students from seven elementary schools: Parkdale, St. Monica, Westmount Park, St. Gabriel, Cedarcrest, Elizabeth Ballantyne and Coronation.  In addition to team building activities, a catered lunch and a school-wide IB themed scavenger hunt, students also heard from guest speakers like: James Barrington, community chef at the NDG Food Depot, Anna-Maria Macone ABA therapist from the PAMA Foundation, as well as Monique Barling, Volunteer Department Coordinator from Tyndale St-George.  “It’s always wonderful to talk about what we do and bring awareness about our organization but it's especially wonderful to talk to young kids who have their whole life ahead of them and the power to make a difference,” said Anna-Maria Macone, PAMA Foundation. Marymount Academy International hopes to continue this event as an annual tradition and have even more schools involved in the future.

Participants at their sendoff for Spirit Quest.
SPIRIT QUEST: Understanding and compassion were the focus of the fourth annual Spirit Quest on Thursday, April 19 as students and Spiritual and Community Animators (SCA) embarked upon a daylong journey to develop their spiritual awareness.  Teams representing 12 schools visit sacred sites and gained an understanding of others and perform acts of community service. One of the goals of the SCA service is to facilitate and encourage students to put into action their best self, and express their own positive virtues and character traits. This is the “Virtues Program” delivered by the SCA service that is the foundation of the EMSB/SCA Spirit Quest, representing a journey to deeper self-understanding. The fourth Spirit Quest   involved 12 schools: FOCUS High School in NDG, John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel, John Paul High School and Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard, Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North, Lauren Hill Academy in St. Laurent, Marymount Academy International and Royal Vale School in N.D.G, Rosemount High School, Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount and Westmount High School. See this photo album.

VMC students prepare for a volunteer task in Costa Rica.
VMC TRIP:  Vincent Massey Collegiate students recently travelled to Costa Rica. The objective was to give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture and landscape unlike their own. Once there, in the spirit of community service, students volunteer their time and put their leadership skills to use through various activities such as:  leading English language activities for underprivileged children at a primary school, painting or repairing a community area, organizing impromptu sports’ match-ups with local youth and helping out with feedings and nap times, repairing infrastructure at a wildlife rescue co-op, conservation of the spring waters by planting trees. “I couldn’t be prouder of our incredibly generous, compassionate, and hardworking group of students,” said teacher Cassandra Bauco. “They raised over $4,000 to purchase much needed supplies for the less fortunate, enthusiastically going out to personally spend it all and deliver it in San José.

Left to Right: Ms. Jessica Monti ,  John Couch (Vice President of Education at Apple), . Sabrina Gagliardi  amd Cassandra Bauco.
CONFERENCE IN SALT LAKE:   Rosemount High School interim vice-principal  Jessica Monti, Ms. Bauco and her VMC teaching colleague Sabrina Gagliardi attended the UCET (Utah Coalition for Educational Technology) annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah March 22 and 23.  This year the focus was on the human side of technology and how it can help   build relationships, engage students in collaboration and take student innovations and ideas to the next level. The EMSB reps    got the chance to meet the keynote speaker, Vice President of Education at Apple John Couch, a fascinating visionary to say the least. Having met Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple, he shared that "Jobs saw technology as an amplifier for our intellect”… comparing computing to a bicycle, referencing its power to augment humans' natural abilities.

Patrice Brisebois (back row middle) is welcomed to JFK.
FORMER HAB AT JFKPatrice Brisebois dazzled fans for 18 years on the ice and as an ambassador for Skate To Great, he recently did the same for some lucky students at John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel. Brisebois was on hand at JFK to launch the foundation’s new campaign in Montreal, which encourages individuals to donate used skates and equipment which will be passed on to local youth. A number of JFK students are already beneficiaries from the Skate to Great program, having hit the ice for the very first time in their lives this past winter. The hockey program at JFK is facilitated by Hockey 4 Youth, a local organization that encourages kids to learn the fundamentals of the game. While most of the ice has melted for this season, Brisebois said he would return to JFK next winter to give the students a lesson and hopefully fuel their fire and passion for Canada’s game.

Gardenview students showcase their healthy foods.

GARDENVIEW SNACKS:  For the second year in a row, Grade 6 students at Gardenview Elementary School in St. Laurent hosted “Snack for Charity Day.” Using healthy food donated by businesses in the area: Costco, Adonis, Maxi, Mourelatos, Walmart and IGA, students sold the snacks to their peers in Grades 5 and 6 to raise funds for AMI-Québec. Throughout the year, the students were taught about maintaining both a healthy mind and body and AMI-Québec was a natural partner for this project.  See this great video, hosted by Gardenview student  Zachary.

Pierre de Coubertin students get moving.

WE MOVE WEEK: Students at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Léonard began April with We Move Week, an initiative where students learn the importance of moving and being physical. Working with One Life Health, all the students in the school experienced unique activities such as Active Acting and Motivational Music, designed to ensure they are engaging in fun and exciting physical activities, unbeknownst to them. Students also spent some time with specialized instructors, discussing ways they can be active for 60 minutes a day outside of school. 

JUMP ROPE FOR HEART:   Former Montreal Impact soccer players   Freddy Moojen and Antonio Ribeiro were special guests at the annual Jump Rope for Heart event at Royal Vale School in NDG    on April 20, which brought in nearly $20,000. Over the last 14 years Royal Vale has now raised close to $300,000. For the three years they have been first in Quebec among schools in fundraising for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Moojen and Ribeiro will present their  seventh annual College Soccer Combine  over the course of two weekends, May 26 and 27 (for males) and June 2 and 3 (for females), at Grier Park in Pierrefonds, offering elite male and female players the opportunity to walk away with lucrative scholarship opportunities.     For more information log on to or call 514-885-2141. See press release.

SOCK DRIVE:  Royal Vale will be having a sock drive through May 8. Chris Costello from the Toe2Toe organization ( attended the launch this event. He noted that this is the best time of year to have a sock drive, due to warmer weather and fewer donations. Royal Vale Vice Principal Eugenia Carystios is encouraging other schools to follow this lead.

Celebrating citizenship.
CITIZENSHIP FEAST:  Royal Vale proudly hosted a Citizenship Ceremony, warmly welcoming 50 of Canada’s newest citizens. In preparation for this ceremony, Grade 5 students explored the meaning of citizenship, rights and responsibilities, and their own family’s cultural history, with the help of spiritual animator Paolo Ruscito and their teachers Wendy Cryer-Frank, Nathalie Malhamé and Aaron Prosser. They had the chance to witness a swearing-in ceremony and to congratulate the new citizens with bookmarks they created, representing their vision of Canada. As part of their year-long project, The Global Citizens of Kindness, the Royal Vale Grade 5 students also teamed up with Royal Vale Student Life and teacher Stella Halaris to welcome the new citizens with recipes from the many cultures represented at Royal Vale. Principal Nathalie Lacroix-Maillette and Vice-Principal Eugenia Carystios welcomed special guests Barbara Seal, Kettly Guerrier, Sue Montgomery, Margaret Guest, and Commissioner Joseph Lalla to this exciting event.

RETURN OF THE BALLOON: Thursday, February 15 was a very special day for the Kindergarten students in Room 19 at Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West as they celebrated the 100th day of school! This long awaited and highly anticipated day was finally here! Everyone dressed up in their 100th day decorated shirts and 100th day hats and added some Froot Loops necklaces. They paraded around singing 100th day songs and parents joined in. The day ended with a big celebration cake and they all sang “Happy 100 Days to Us”!  There was one last activity before bidding goodbye to the moms and dads outside.  Everyone received   a balloon that said “100” and had a little tag attached.  These balloons were released in honour of the special day. The little tag explained that the children of Room 19 from EBS were celebrating the 100th day of school.

  Miss Sharon, Miss Alison and Miss Farah from Room 19, along with Naya Koussa and her Sports & Recreation team from Pointe Aux Trembles City Hall, and their mascot - Confetti.
There was also a request to anyone who might find the balloon to contact the teacher, and an e-mail address was cleverly included.   Approximately one hour after the balloons were released, teacher Sharon Friedmann received an email. It was from a very excited young woman who works at the borough hall in Pointe-Aux-Trembles! The balloon had travelled over 25 km in one hour!   Her name was Naya and she visited EBS on March 13 along with several of her team members, and their mascot, CONFETTI!  Naya showed everyone the distance between the school and the Pointe-Aux-Trembles building to show how really far the balloon had travelled.  Each student wrote and illustrated a page about the trip of the yellow balloon. A book was created and sent to Naya and her team to thank them for bringing over treats and for a special memory.

A family enjoys the Fair.
FUN FOR ALL AT THE FUN FOR ALL FAIR: It was all smiles as Inspirations  Newspaper welcomed well over 100 families  to the Fun For All Fair at LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus on Saturday, April 14. Sponsored by Make It Matter and chaired by Inspirations Coordinator of Educational Outreach Linda Mahler, guests from across the Greater Montreal area experienced over 30 adapted and inclusive recreational activities at our exhibitors’ play stations. The hits of the afternoon were wheelchair basketball and boccia, adapted tennis, cheerleading, martial arts, dance, and music. Children experimented with science, created beautiful arts and crafts, and enjoyed snacks donated by a multitude of sponsors. We extend a very special thank you to teacher extraordinaire Andrew Adams and the amazing LaurenHill Junior Campus students who volunteered their time to make this event a great success. Also, thanks to Regional Director Pela Nickoletopoulos and LaurenHill administrative staff for all of their support. Fun was had by people of all ages and abilities!

AUTISM SPEAKS CANADA MONTREAL WALK: Team Inspirations, EMSB will be walking to raise funds and awareness for autism, and we invite you to join us on May 27! As you may be aware, each year, Autism Speaks Canada (ASC) organizes fundraising and awareness walk events across Canada. The Walks bring the community together while providing an opportunity to make connections and feel the support of donors, sponsors, local media, community partners, and corporate sponsors. This year, Team Inspirations, EMSB is being co-chaired by Alana Goodings and Cynthia Fugnitto, teachers at Edward Murphy Elementary School. Registration is now open. Join our team today and try your hand at raising funds and awareness for autism. If fundraising isn’t your thing, show your support by coming out to enjoy this family-friendly event! Walk dollars raised support access to resources, inclusive programming, services for young adults, community grants, and world-leading research. Register today at Look for Team Inspirations EMSB under the Montreal walk section. For information, contact Alana at or

MONEY FAIR: Similar to a science fair, students from Lester B. Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) in Montreal North traded their beakers and periodic tables for dollars and cents in the final project of the year, which will be on display in the Money Fair Finals on May 2 (12:30 p.m.). In light of the new provincial course on financial education for students in Grade 11, Lester B. Pearson High School partnered with the Canadian Foundation of Economic Education (CFEE) to encourage financial literacy. Students were asked to create an informative project from a list of over 70 different options and present it to their class. Following the in-class presentations, each teacher selected a maximum of two presentations to move on to the final round on May 2, where the top three will be awarded special prizes by the CFEE. Students in Grades 7 through 10 will be invited to view the various projects at 12:50 pm. Judging will commence at 1:50 pm,  with the winners being announced at 2:30 pm.

Students outside the Montreal Holocaust Museum.
SPRING INTO SPIRITUALITY: The Cycle 2 and 3 students from Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount Petite-Patrie have embarked on a spirituality program this spring with Spiritual and Community Animator  Vince Lacroce,  “Spring into Spirituality” is a two week program providing students with the opportunity to embrace the practices, teachings, and traditions of three prominent religious communities in Montreal. The program commenced with the Cycle 3 students learning about Jewish culture and tradition which included a visit to the Montreal Holocaust Museum. The Cycle 2 students visited Master Tai at the Vulture Peak Buddhist Meditation Centre in Hochelaga and learned about the importance of peace, Buddhist rituals, celebrations, and meditation.  The program culminated with an interactive workshop from Ms. Noor Jehan Ghauri, Social Activist for the Islamic Centre of Quebec, who talked about peace, respect and tolerance.

Commissioner Joseph Lalla joins students and the Miss Earth representatives.
EARTH DAY: EMSB schools marked Earth Day. At St. Monica Elementary School in NDG, a wide array of activities are taking place throughout the year as part of their green plan.  The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program is an important collaborator in these many projects. Miss Earth Quebec 2017 Maria Jose Acosta was joined by two other Miss Earth Canada contestants. Romina Avelino and Estela Mitton as special guests at St. Monica. The Miss Earth   pageant is an international environmental event channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness.   Candidates and winners must actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth. Principal Denise Maroun and staff assistant Gelsira Venuta happily greeted the three ladies to the school. They addressed a small assembly, answered questions and then spent a lot of time with the kindergarten students. Maria Jose Accosta, 22, is currently studying law at the Université de Montréal. She speaks Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese. Her goal is to implement a program in Montreal which would require the city to ban plastic bags from stores.  She plans to pursue her studies in Environmental Law at McGill University. Romina Avelino is currently a student at Concordia University, majoring in public affairs and policy studies with a minor in law and society. She has also successfully completed the environmental education training certificate from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 2017.  Her goal is to be a catalyst for change in our everyday behavior and consumption in the hopes of alleviating the burden on our environment.  Estela Mitton grew up in Repentigny. She studied social sciences and communications at CEGEP and plans to pursue a degree in translation at the university level. She loves music and dance.  

RECYCLED MATERIALS: The B.A.S.E. daycare educators at Michelangelo  International Elementary School in RDP worked with students to create a beautiful piece of art (pictured) with recycled materials to honour Earth Day.

TEACHER AWARDS: On the eve of National Teachers’ Day/EMSB Teacher Recognition Day, which falls on May 8, the EMSB will recognize three teachers with special awards from P.F. Chang’s and La Cage Brasserie Sportive. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 2 (10 am) at John Caboto Academy (8955 Meunier) in Ahuntsic and is co-sponsored by City’s Breakfast Television. The EMSB received many nominations for the awards, which fall into three categories: youth sector, adult sector and physical education and health. A representative from PF Chang’s/La Cage Montreal will present $100 gift cards to   teachers Shaun Simon from John Caboto, Lucille Ducol from General Vanier in St. Leonard and Jelena Molter from Pius Business Centre in Ahuntsic. Breakfast TV personalities Catherine Verdon Diamond and Elias Makos will be the emcees.  They will also file a report on National Teachers Day May 8.

IB EXHIBITION: .The Grade 6 Exhibition at Michelangelo International School represents a significant event in a student’s life. It is a time for them to showcase what they have learned and work with their peers in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to problems people face today. Since the month of September, the students have been researching different topics to investigate by  reading books, articles, magazines, newspapers and online web sites. On April 20, Michelangelo`s Grade 6 students presented their exhibition. Their central idea was human survival is connected to the discoveries of the continual natural changes that occur in the universe. The Grade 6 students decided to explore the following topics: floods,   big bang,    collision of galaxies, comets, Super Novae,      Black Holes and    Survival after an Apocalypse,
Tsunamis and Paleontology.

Getting the ``Jump`` on things.
JUMPING INTO SPRING: The students from Rosemount High School experienced a unique workout program on April 9, teaming up with    Bruna Garreffa and    Sonia Petrelli, owners at KangooStyle.  The program was spearheaded by Spiritual Animator Vince Lacroce and physical education teachers Sandra Zagury and   George Spilotakis.  The “Jump into spring” program was modelled after the actions of a Kangaroo; an intense cardiovascular workout that features dance moves, running and jumping. The versatility of a Kangoo workout can incorporate other sports like Volleyball and Basketball within each of its workouts. Students and staff members wore Kangoostyle shoes which combines the stability of a ski boot with the flexibility of adjustable egg-shaped springs. A great time was had by all the participants!  For more information on Kangoo Style, visit:

TRACK AND FIELD: Twenty-six students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School participated in the Rosemont-Petite-Patrie Municipal Track and Field Meet: Préliminaires des Jeux de Montreal recently. Led by Ms. Audrey, PET’s Physical Education and Health teacher, this was the first time the school participated in this weekend event and the first time many of the students participated in a track and field competition.
Indoor track and field fun.

With such a variety of events, Track and Field is a sport with an inclusive edge- it caters to all sorts of different strengths and allows students to discover skills they possess in the area of jumping, throwing and running. To prepare for the meet, students practiced track and field events in physical education classes. Some lunch time training sessions also took place. The young athletes were extremely excited to participate in the meet alongside students from other schools and school boards in Montreal. Overall the competition was a great success, with students enjoying the events throughout the day and beaming with joy as the winners received their ribbons at the end of the competitions.

Students working together.
COLLABORATIVE WOODWORKING: Recently, students from Royal West Academy collaborated with their peers from L.I.N.K.S. High School in Ahuntsic on a special woodworking project. Together, the students made cheeseboards and had the opportunity to learn about traditional hand-tool woodworking techniques and experience some of the therapeutic benefits of working creatively with their hands, including reductions in stress and anxiety and improvements in concentration and self-esteem.  The workshop was coordinated by Royal West Academy alumnus and professional furniture maker Douglas Mackay. For more information about Douglas or his work, please visit:

CHORALE UPDATE: The EMSB Chorale will present its annual Spring Gala Concert, entitled A Musical Bouquet, on Saturday, May 5 (7:30 pm) at Concordia’s Oscar Peterson Concert Hall. The Junior and Senior Chorales, under the direction of Patricia Abbott and assistant conductor Marie-Ève Arseneau, will be accompanied by pianist Anne-Marie Denoncourt, flautist Lucie Bouchard and percussionist Kristie Ibrahim. The choir will present a broad range of musical selections in several languages including works by Georges Bizet, Keith Hampton, Jim Papoulis, Donald Patriquin and John Rutter. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $5 for children 12 and under, and can be reserved by e-mailing Pat Abbott at

The weeks leading up to the Spring Gala have been busy ones for the choir. The Junior Chorale performed on April 14 in En harmonie 4 Kids, an annual fundraising concert for Sun Youth at Mountainside United Church. The Senior Chorale joined other choirs from Montreal and Ottawa for the Earth Hour concert on March 24 at Christ Church Cathedral hosted by the Choeur des enfants de Montréal. Finally, the EMSB Senior Chorale shone once again on April 21 and 22 in two sold-out performances of Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion at St-Pierre-Apôtre Church with Musica Orbium under the direction of Patrick Wedd. The choir was thrilled to be part of this event which featured outstanding soloists, the cream of Montreal’s Early Music instrumentalists and a historical layout of the musical forces. Conductor Patrick Wedd was so enchanted by the sound of the EMSB choristers that he has already invited the Senior Chorale to sing in Musica Orbium’s production of Carmina Burana next season.

ST. HUBERT CONTEST: The Fondation St. Hubert has a contest running until June 3 for students aged five to 11 and 12 to 17 to design a new box to be used for delivery orders at Rotisserie St. Hubert restaurants. Doodle and Do Good is the name of the contest. Up for grabs are a trip via Air Transat at a Hard Rock hotel, your design on the delivery boxes. The theme is My Dream Family Vacation.  Participants are asked to design the location where you would like to enjoy your family vacation. Will it be in the warmth by the ocean or in the cold mountains? Which one of your family members will be present?  Funds raised ($2 per vote) will benefit the St-Hubert Foundation and Opération Enfant Soleil’s missions.  Tax receipts will be issued for $20 or more. There is also a $10  rebate on a $50 purchase at DeSerre for each participant who downloads a drawing: Info:

Getting a great workout in the Vehicube.
THE VEHICUBE: The Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie Vehicube rolled up to Leonardo Da Vinci Academy in R.D.P. recently, helping encourage the students to start the Energy Cubes Challenge, whereas they receive one energy cube for every 15 minutes of physical activity. The Vehicube, which is a 77-foot bus with activities inside such as stationary bikes and interactive games, travels around Quebec throughout the year. In addition to the activities inside the Vehicube, students also participated in Zumba and yoga to further encourage physical fitness.  

DRESSED IN BLUE: The staff and students at Michelangelo Elementary School in RDP dressed in blue on April 3 in support of Autism Awareness Month. A special school assembly was held by Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas to help raise awareness and improve the understanding of autism. The highlight of the assembly was Grade 6 student Nello Valeri, who shared his experience about what life is like living with autism and the challenges he faces on a daily basis. Fundraising activities will take place all month long to help Giant Steps and Autism awareness research.
Deidra Chois, Chelsea Goldwater, Alessandro Gabrielli and Ben Alexander with the high school singers.
FRENCH FOR THE FUTURE: The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Théâtre Marie-Gérin Lajoie  was the venue for the 2018 French for the Future Montreal Local Forum on   April 11. Aimed at promoting bilingualism amongst Canadian youth, the theme of the annual French for The Future Conference was Respect, Culture and Integration into Québécois Society. Approximately 600 students from 11 Montreal high schools from three school boards were present.  Participating EMSB schools were Westmount High School, Royal West Academy in Montreal West, Royal Vale and Marymount Academy in NDG and Laurier Macdonald in St. Léonard.    Charismatic Breakfast TV Montreal personality Catherine Verdon-Diamond, whose mother tongue is French, was the emcee. A featured highlight was French for the Future version of TVA’s La Voix (the French-language answer to NBC’s The Voice). Some young Anglophone singers from Montreal shared their experience performing in French on stage and then placed their chairs facing away from the stage as student singers perform for them. Like the TV show, they only heard their voices and turn around if they wanted them on their team. Chelsea Goldwater, 12, from Royal West Academy appeared on La Voix Junior last fall.  Alessandro Gabrielli, 12, attends  École des Découvreurs in LaSalle. He appeared in the large scale Montreal French production of Mary Poppins last year and most recently sang the national anthems at the New York Nicks game at Madison Square Garden. Two contestants from current season of La Voix took part as well: Ben Alexander, a Royal West grad and Deidra Chois.  EMSB students Kevisha Williams (Royal West), Julia Tasillo and Valerie Fortugno (Laurier Macdonald) and Katie Szamos (Westmount High) got up on the stage.  Here are the reports from Breakfast TV.    For more details log on to

Ben Alexander made it to the quarter-finals of La Voix. He was eliminated after an excellent performance singing Chandelier by Sia. Here is a link.   

Sara Mills does some pottery.
ARTISTS AT MERTON: Students at Merton School were thrilled to have two artists visit this month who gave workshops in their respective fields, thanks to grants from Culture à l’école. Students in Grades 1 to 6 were treated to workshops by “Madame Pop-Up”, aka Kate Battle, where they learned how to design and produce three-dimensional cards and posters using pop-up techniques. The stunning results are on display throughout the school. Students in Grades 1 to 3 also attended workshops led by potters Sara Mills and Michel Viala of Poterie Pluriel Singulier. There, the students learned how to create two types of pinch pots with clay which they painted and decorated. However, the highlight of the workshop was that all children had the opportunity to throw their own clay pot using a potter’s wheel. Teachers and students alike found it an amazing experience to have these artists from the community share their skills and passion with the school.

CODING QUEST: Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount  (6108 8th Avenue) will host a Coding Quest venture on Thursday, May 3 (11 am to 1 pm) working with the didactic menu offered  by the Learning Partnership.  This  program can be integrated in any curriculum. Some 86 students from 15  schools will participate in the Arcade.

SUBSIDIES FOR JEWISH CAMPERS: The Generations Fund Camp Initiative was created to help children in Montreal experience the transformative impact that Jewish overnight camp can provide by offering grants, multi-year subsidies, and incentives to families in our community. The program also offers Capacity Building Initiatives including enrollment grants and Jewish content initiatives. Check out the One Happy Camper first-time camper incentive grant, as well as Federation CJA’s CAMPS Access Grants designed to make Jewish camping experiences accessible to more children in our community.   Federation CJA is committed to increasing the number of children attending Jewish overnight camp so they can enjoy quality experiences and be exposed to Jewish life, values and make connections with other Jewish children. In doing so, we leverage a tremendous opportunity to transform young lives and help secure a vibrant Jewish future. Studies show that children who go to Jewish camp are more likely to become adults who value their heritage, are engaged in their communities, support causes, and take on leadership roles throughout their lives. For all other questions, please contact, or 514.343.3503

AMBASSADORS OF CHANGE:  Prior to the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, more than 200 high school students of varied faiths and cultures, from schools across Canada met with Holocaust Survivors to participate in the Ambassadors of Change program. Survivors shared their first-hand experience of the Shoah and students participate in a discussion regarding the relevance of the Holocaust’s lessons in today’s world and ways they can promote tolerance and inclusion within their own communities. An EMSB delegation travelled to Ottawa.  Daniel Smajovits prepared this video.

Ramin Khodaie and students with municipal officials at City Hall.
YOM HASHOAH AT CITY HALL:  A group of students from Marymount Academy International In NDG represented the EMSB at a Holocaust Remembrance ceremony held at Montreal City Hall on April 12. Ramin Khodaie accompanied his students. He was a recipient of a Riva and Thomas Hecht Scholarship.

SEMINAR ON THE HOLOCAUST:  Registration is now underway for the summer seminar for Canadian educators from June 27 to June 29, 2018 at the Montreal Holocaust Museum, organized in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation. Please feel free to share this information within your network! The training seminar “Teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights in Canada” will answer various questions about teaching difficult subjects, with particular attention to the Holocaust and human rights from a contemporary Canadian perspective. Seminar participants will learn more about the history of the Holocaust and human rights, as well as how to use different pedagogical initiatives and tools to help teach these subjects. Workshops and presentations will address a variety of questions: the historical method of study, critical thinking, analytical judgment, reflection on contemporary world issues and respect for diversity through the lens of Canadian history and curricular needs. Educators interested in participating in the seminar can apply until April 15 by filling out a pre-registration form on the Montreal Holocaust Museum’s website. Scholarships for accommodation and transportation are available to qualified candidates. Places are limited for the seminar; only selected participants will be contacted by the Museum. To learn more, please consult the attached document or contact Ms. Cornélia Strickler, the Museum’s Education Coordinator by email at or by phone at (514) 345-2605, extension 3054.

GREATER MONTREAL DAY: Last May, thousands of students, groups, individuals and local businesses across the island of Montreal and beyond, performed random acts of kindness and posted their good deeds online using #GreaterMontrealDay.The outpouring of kindness gave many of us good reason to smile. On social media #GreaterMontrealDay along with the hashtag #JournéeMTLEnsemble were trending number one in Montreal. Many of the students who took part were from schools within the Quebec English School Boards Association. Two social media postings were chosen at random to each received a $1, 000 donation to the local charity of their choice. One winner, Mrs. Lamothe’s grade 5 class at Edgewater Elementary in Pincourt, baked muffins to hand out to flood people who were evacuated from their homes in the flooding. This year Global wishes to invite schools to be part of the second annual Greater Montreal Day, Thursday May 10. It’s never too early to start planning. For more information you can reach out to your school’s Spiritual Animator. Or follow on social media and keep a look out for the hashtag #GreaterMontrealDay. You can always reach out to Global directly with any questions or suggestions.

MEDIA LITERACY WEEK: MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), has announced that this year’s Media Literacy Week will focus on helping students decipher truth from fiction online. The week, to be held Nov. 5 to 9, will have as its theme “Fact or Fake: Help the World Stop Misinformation in Its Tracks” to highlight the importance of verifying that online information is true, unbiased and relevant. Media Literacy Week, an annual event co-hosted by MediaSmarts and CTF since 2006, highlights the importance of teaching children and teens digital and media literacy skills.   For updates, visit or sign up for the e-bulletin.

EDUCATION WEBSITE: There is a terrific new educational website worth bookmarking: .  For more information  call Rita at 1-888-504-0072 ext 235 or email at or

DRESSES FOR THE PROM: If anyone knows a Secondary V student who needs financial assistance finding a dress for the prom log on to This organization was officially founded in 2014 by a teacher in St. Leonard (St. Exupery - Linda Blouin) who wanted to ensure that Secondary V girls who could not afford to go to prom got everything they needed for free to be able to attend this special milestone at the end of high school. The girls are discreetly approached by their school principals and social workers. Next weekend, hundreds of these girls will attend a free "Boutique" day, where they will get to select their favorite gown, have it altered on-site by volunteer seamstresses and walk away with a complete outfit including the dress, shoes, purse and jewelry.


The Healthy Snack Shack.
GALILEO ADULT EDUCATION CENTRE INAUGURATES HEALTHY SNACK SHACK: We all know how difficult it is for a student of any age to pay attention and learn on an empty stomach. At the Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North, Social Integration Students (SIS) are making sure that everyone is well fed with the inauguration of the Snack Shack. This healthy snack program provides SIS students with practical experience working in a kitchen, and low cost healthy snacks. SIS students shop, prepare the food, cook, serve and sell. This valuable culinary experience builds their confidence and can be transferred into the working world. Every snack created by the students brings a sense of community, and with every bite, you feel the love and feel at home at Galileo. Items on the menu include Jamaican patties, pizza, egg salad sandwiches, muffins, grilled cheese, and chocolatines. Stop by for a healthy, affordable snack every day at 10:30 a.m.! Please see our press release.

Please see  photos.

The performers in action.
SMILE A SUCCESS: At Galileo Adult  Education Centre in Montreal North,   students give staff a million reasons to smile every day!  “A smile is contagious and we were thrilled to have shared this happiness with the parents, friends and special guests during the official staging our musical theatre production,” said Principal Martina Schiavone. Appropriately called “Smile,” the show took place on Friday, April 20 at the Pius Culinary Institute and Business Centre. Audience members enjoyed a buffet prepared by the Pius Culinary students and a show which left everyone with a Smile!
Staff and students raised $7,900 via this project.  These funds will go directly towards covering all costs for a student field trip visit to Ottawa in May. This trip will include a boat cruise, a visit to an Aboriginal museum, a tour of Ottawa, concluding with a nice dinner at an intercontinental restaurant.  See the full press release.


SOIRÉE DES BÉNÉVOLES: La Soirée annuelle d’appréciation des parents bénévoles de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal a eu lieu le 17 avril au Centre Renaissance à Anjou. L’édition de cette année visait à souligner la Semaine nationale de l’action bénévole qui s’est déroulée du 15 au 22 avril sous le thème « Célébrons les valeurs du bénévolat – Renforçons la confiance, la compétence, les liens et la collectivité ». Joseph Perretta, son épouse Lina Di Giovanni et leur fille Alexia ont reçu le prix Ambassadeur bénévole de l’année de la CSEM. La famille est propriétaire de l’équipe de hockey l’Arctic dans la ligue junior AAA. Les joueurs rendent régulièrement visite aux écoles pour véhiculer le message de persévérance scolaire et prendre part à des joutes amicales avec les élèves. Chaque année, la famille donne des milliers de billets de hockey aux écoles. Lina a été parent bénévole à la CSEM pendant de longues années. Pour sa part, Laura Saragosa de l’école primaire Edward Murphy dans Hochelaga-Maisonneuve a été couronnée Bénévole émérite. La Soirée d’appréciation des parents bénévoles 2018 a été organisée en la mémoire de Janice Lacroix, ex-conseillère en communication à la CSEM bien-aimée de tous, qui a contribué à la mise sur pied de cet événement il y a maintenant 17 ans. Janice est décédée l’automne dernier des suites d’une brève maladie. 

Faute de temps et d’espace, la CSEM n’est pas en mesure d’honorer en personne ses quelque 1 500 bénévoles. Par conséquent, seuls ceux qui œuvrent à titre de bénévoles depuis plus de cinq ans ont été conviés à cette réception, soit environ 500 personnes. Toutefois, plusieurs milliers d’exemplaires du programme commémoratif seront distribués dans toutes les écoles. Elysia Bryan Baynes, journaliste à Global News et diplômée de l’Académie Royal West à Montréal-Ouest, ainsi que Michael Cohen, spécialiste en communication et marketing à la CSEM, ont été les maîtres de cérémonie de la soirée. Pour la 9e année consécutive, les Services financiers La Capitale fut le commanditaire principal de l’événement. Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral du communiqué.
Lina :

ART ORATOIRE : Quarante-neuf élèves du secondaire ont pris part au concours annuel d’art oratoire de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal les 10 et 12 avril à l’école secondaire Royal Vale à NDG, organisé par les Services éducatifs et de la technologie (SET) de la CSEM. Forts de leurs solides compétences et talents sur la façon de s’exprimer devant un vaste auditoire, les participants de 1re et 2e secondaires ont parlé de situations qui les touchent personnellement, tandis que ceux de la 3e, 4e et 5e secondaires ont livré des discours persuasifs sur des sujets à caractère social et politique tels le féminisme, le salaire minimum, l’éducation et la prévention du suicide chez les ados. Après mûre délibération, les juges ont attribué les prix. Pour connaître la liste des vainqueurs, cliquez ici.

SOMMET SUR LA SANTÉ: La vice-présidente de la CSEM, Sylvia Lo Bianco, a représenté la présidente lors de l’édition annuelle du Sommet des élus à l’Hôpital général juif où l’accent fut mis sur l’intégration des services de santé et sociaux au sein de la communauté. Des représentants gouvernementaux des paliers municipal, provincial et fédéral ont été invités pour l’occasion, de même que la CSEM. L’événement était organisé par le CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’île-de-Montréal, qui chapeaute neuf établissements de soins de santé et sociaux dans le secteur ouest, notamment le Centre Mackay MAB. Le président-directeur général, Dr Lawrence Rosenberg, et le président du conseil d’administration, Alan Maislin, ont adressé quelques mots de bienvenue. S’en sont suivies des mises à jour sur le Programme régional d’accueil et d’intégration des demandeurs d’asile (PRAIDA); l’intégration des services de première ligne : CLSC, groupes de médecine familiale (GMF), super-cliniques et réadaptation; de même que le soutien à l’autonomie des personnes âgées (SAPA) : La trajectoire de l’usager.

ROBOCUP JUNIOR: Les qualifications RoboCup Junior Québec 2018 qui se sont déroulées à l’école secondaire Rosemont les 13 et 14 avril ont accueilli 71 équipes totalisant 317 participants. Il s’agissait de qualifications puisque les équipes gagnantes seront maintenant admissibles à participer à la compétition RoboCup 2018 qui se tiendra à Montréal en juin ( Dans le cadre de ces qualifications, les trois sous-catégories officielles de base RoboCup, aux niveaux primaire et secondaire, ont été représentées : Soccer, Recherches et sauvetage, OnStage, ainsi qu’une autre catégorie que nous venons d’introduire cette année, soit RoboFête – défis pour débutants. Provenant de 19 écoles primaires et secondaires, les équipes ont pu mesurer leurs compétences et leur dynamisme en affrontant des concurrents animés de la même passion. Cette interaction leur a permis de parfaire leur savoir-faire tout en se laissant inspirer. 

COMPÉTITION ROBOTIQUE : Dans le cadre de la 16e édition de la compétition de robotique organisée par E.A.S.T au Cégep Vanier, l’école Pierre Elliott Trudeau s’est illustrée. Elle a terminé au premier rang des écoles primaires. Dans la catégorie Triathlon, Adriana Borrelli et Mikayla Fidanza ont remporté la médaille d’argent. Lors de l’épreuve Save Metropolis, Andy Zimmerman et Gamuchirai Mutsago ont gagné la médaille d’or. Sarah Amaidia, Sarah Mecheri et Solana Barbosa-Euvrard ont remporté le bronze au Football. Finalement, dans l’épreuve de la Performance créative,  Charlotte Renaud, Çatalkaram Hatt Sustam, Alessandro Chiby, John Wang et Raphaël Sutherland-Ortega ont terminé la compétition avec une médaille d’or.

PRIX DE RECONNAISSANCE: Audrée Anne Dupont et Debbie Adams ont soumis le projet Légendes en jeux au Prix de reconnaissance en lecture. Ce projet allie culture francophone (chansons et légendes québécoises) et technologie. Les prix de reconnaissance en lecture visent à valoriser les projets, issus du milieu scolaire, qui inspirent la passion pour la lecture et favorisent l’utilisation de ressources variées. Mesdames Dupont et Adams auront l'honneur de prendre part à la cérémonie de remise des prix 2018 le 25 mai prochain au Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec. Nous tenons à féliciter nos enseignantes pour cette réalisation remarquable!

FRED FOX REND VISITE À L’ÉCOLE PRIMAIRE WILLINGDON: Le 12 avril dernier marquait le 38e anniversaire du Marathon de l’espoir, date à laquelle le défunt Terry Fox avait entrepris la traversée du Canada avec l’appui de son meilleur ami, Doug Alward, dans le but d’amasser des fonds pour faire avancer la recherche sur le cancer. Terry souhaitait que chaque Canadien fasse don d’un dollar. Il a atteint cet objectif avant de s’éteindre. Pour souligner cet anniversaire, Fred fox, le frère aîné de Terry, a rendu visite aux élèves de l’école primaire Willingdon. Durant son exposé, il a partagé de beaux souvenirs de son frère et de lui-même lorsqu’ils étaient enfants. Fred se souvient de la grande détermination de Terry quand il était tout jeune et même lorsqu’il a perdu sa jambe à la suite du cancer. « Terry n’avait pas peur d’échouer », a fièrement déclaré Fred. Leurs parents leur avaient enseigné dès leur plus jeune âge l’importance de travailler fort, de respecter les autres, d’avoir de bonnes manières et de toujours achever ce qu’ils entreprennent. « Aller jusqu’au bout » est d’ailleurs devenu l’une des devises de Terry, ce qui lui a permis d’accomplir de grandes choses durant sa courte existence. Aujourd’hui, l’esprit de Terry est toujours vivant grâce à des gens tel son frère Fred qui, chaque année, visite des écoles d’un bout à l’autre du Canada pour poursuivre l’œuvre que son frère a entreprise il y a plusieurs décennies. « Terry nous a montré que même une seule personne peut faire une différence », de dire son frère. En guise de remerciement pour toutes les collectes de fonds organisées par Willingdon au profit de la Fondation Terry Fox, l’école s’est vu remettre un livre sur la vie de Terry Fox pour ajouter à sa bibliothèque. Saria Gittens, l’une des élèves ayant amassé le plus d’argent à Willingdon lors de la course Terry Fox en 2016, a accepté cet honneur. Un merci tout spécial a également été adressé à Lara Belinsky, enseignante d’éducation physique, pour tous ses efforts à titre d’organisatrice bénévole de la course Terry Fox.

CHUCK HUGHES DE PASSAGE : Chuck Hughes, chef de renommée mondiale, a récemment rendu visite à l’école primaire Bancroft sur Le Plateau afin de souligner la fin du Mois de la nutrition. Au menu : smoothies aux fruits frais pour les élèves de 3e année et ratatouille pour ceux de la maternelle.

SEMAINE DE LA SANTÉ MENTALE : Dans le cadre de la Semaine de sensibilisation à la santé mentale (du 7 au 11 mai), les élèves et leurs enseignants sont invités à produire une brève vidéo (tout au plus 5 minutes) présentant des entrevues réalisées avec des gens de la grande communauté de la CSEM. Ces entrevues devraient mettre en lumière la manière dont ces individus s’y prennent pour travailler sur l’acceptation de soi et elles peuvent s’inspirer de la série Humans of New York. Tous les projets doivent être soumis par courrier électronique à Catia Ambrosi ( La date limite est fixée au lundi 7 mai 2018.

QUÊTE SPIRITUELLE : La compréhension et la compassion étaient au cœur de la quatrième édition annuelle de la Quête spirituelle qui a eu lieu le jeudi 19 avril. À cette occasion, les élèves et les animateurs de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire (AVSEC) ont entrepris leur périple d’un jour afin de développer une plus grande conscience spirituelle. Des équipes représentant 12 écoles ont visité des sites sacrés, ont appris à comprendre les autres et ont posé des gestes à caractère communautaire. L’un des objectifs des AVSEC vise à aider et à encourager les élèves à se montrer au meilleur d’eux-mêmes et à exprimer leurs propres vertus positives et traits de caractère. Il s’agit du « Programme des vertus ». Ce programme est dispensé par les AVSEC et constitue le fondement de la Quête spirituelle qui se veut une journée vers une meilleure compréhension de soi. Douze écoles ont pris part à cette quatrième Quête spirituelle : l’école secondaire FOCUS à Montréal-Ouest, l’école secondaire John F. Kennedy à Saint-Michel, les écoles secondaires John Paul et Laurier Macdonald à Saint-Léonard, l’école secondaire Lester B. Pearson à Montréal-Nord, l’académie Lauren Hill à Saint-Laurent, l’académie internationale Marymount et l’école Royal Vale à NDG, l’école secondaire Rosemont à Rosemont, le Collège Vincent Massey à Rosemont et l’école secondaire Westmount à Westmount.

COLLATIONS À L’ÉCOLE GARDENVIEW : Pour une deuxième année consécutive, les élèves de la 6e année de l’école primaire Gardenview à Saint-Laurent ont organisé l’activité Snack for Charity Day. Grâce aux généreux dons d’aliments recueillis auprès d’entreprises de la région – Costco, Adonis, Maxi, Mourelatos, Walmart et IGA –, les élèves ont pu vendre des collations à leurs pairs de 5e et 6e années en vue d’amasser des fonds pour l’organisme AMI-Québec. Depuis le début de l’année, les élèves sont sensibilisés à l’importance de maintenir un esprit sain dans un corps sain. La décision de choisir AMI-Québec à titre de partenaire pour ce projet allait donc de soi.

JOURNÉE DE LA TERRE : La CSEM a souligné le Jour de la Terre. À l’école primaire St. Monica à NDG, une foule d’activités sont mises de l’avant tout au long de l’année dans le cadre de son plan vert. Les services de garde B.A.S.E. jouent un rôle important dans ces nombreux projets. L’école St. Monica a accueilli à titre d’invitées de marque Maria Jose Acosta, couronnée Miss Earth Québec 2017, ainsi que deux autres participantes au concours Miss Earth Canada, soit Romina Avelino et Estela Mitton. Le concours Miss Earth est un événement environnemental international qui canalise l'industrie du spectacle de beauté comme un outil efficace pour promouvoir la sensibilisation environnementale. Les concours sont des événements ayant pour raison d'être de faire en sorte que les candidates et gagnantes participent activement à la promotion et la préservation de l’environnement ainsi qu'à la protection de la Terre Mère. C’est avec grand plaisir que la directrice Denise Maroun et l’adjointe du personnel Gelsira Venuta ont accueilli ces trois jeunes femmes à leur école. Elles se sont adressées à un petit groupe, ont répondu aux questions puis ont passé un long moment avec les élèves de la maternelle.

Âgée de 22 ans, Maria Jose Acosta est actuellement étudiante en droit à l’Université de Montréal. Elle parle espagnol, anglais, français, italien et portugais. Elle s’est fixé comme objectif de mettre sur pied à Montréal un programme qui obligerait la ville à bannir l’utilisation des sacs en plastique dans les commerces. Elle envisage de poursuivre ses études en droit environnemental à l’Université McGill. Pour sa part, Romina Avelino étudie présentement à l’Université Concordia dans un programme composé d’une majeure en affaires publiques et analyse des politiques, ainsi que d’une mineure en droit et société. Elle a également réussi le certificat de formation en éducation environnementale du Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE) en 2017.  Elle souhaite être un catalyseur pour favoriser le changement dans notre consommation et nos comportements quotidiens dans l’espoir d’alléger le fardeau qui pèse sur l’environnement. Quant à Estela Mitton, elle a grandi à Repentigny et a étudié les sciences sociales et les communications au cégep. Elle compte poursuivre des études universitaires en traduction. Elle adore la musique et la danse.

JOURNÉE NATIONALE DES ENSEIGNANTS : La CSEM honorera trois enseignants à qui elle décernera des prix sous forme de cartes-cadeaux chez P.F. Chang’s et La Cage Brasserie sportive. La cérémonie, qui aura lieu le 2 mai dans une école qui reste à déterminer, sera coparrainée par Breakfast Television de City. Elle coïncidera avec la tenue de la Journée nationale des enseignantes et enseignants aux États-Unis. La CSEM a reçu des mises en candidature dans les trois catégories suivantes : secteur des jeunes, secteur de l’éducation des adultes ainsi qu’éducation physique et de la santé. Les gagnants du secteur des jeunes et du secteur de l’éducation des adultes recevront chacun une carte-cadeau d’une valeur de 100 $ chez P.F. Chang’s, tandis qu’une carte-cadeau de 100 $ de La Cage sera remise à l’enseignant d’éducation physique et de la santé.

CONCOURS ST-HUBERT: La Fondation St-Hubert organise jusqu’au 3 juin un concours destiné aux élèves de 5 à 11 ans et de 12 à 17 ans qui consiste à dessiner une nouvelle boîte à être utilisée pour les commandes en livraison dans les Rôtisseries Saint-Hubert. Le gagnant du concours « Dessine-moi une boîte » remportera un voyage sur les ailes d’Air Transat dans un hôtel Hard Rock et verra son dessin sur les boîtes de livraison St-Hubert. Le concours a pour thème « Mon voyage de rêve en famille ». Les participants sont invités à dessiner l’endroit idéal où ils aimeraient passer des vacances en famille. Est-ce sur le bord de la mer au chaud ou dans les montagnes au froid? Quels membres de la famille seraient du voyage? Les fonds amassés (2 $ le vote) seront versés à la Fondation St-Hubert et à Opération Enfant Soleil. Des reçus d’impôt seront émis pour les dons de 20 $ et plus. Chaque participant qui télécharge un dessin profitera également d’une réduction de 10 $ sur un achat de 50 $ à la boutique DeSerres. Pour infos :

PORTER DU BLEU : Le personnel et les élèves de l’école primaire Michelangelo à RDP ont porté du bleu le 3 avril pour appuyer le mois de la sensibilisation à l’autisme. Pour l’occasion, Mary Poullas, animatrice de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire, avait organisé un rassemblement à l’école dans le but de sensibiliser l’auditoire à l’autisme et d’en accroître l’acceptation. Nul doute que le moment marquant fut lorsque Nello Valeri, élève de 6e année, a raconté comment il vit avec l’autisme et les défis auxquels il est confronté sur une base quotidienne. Des activités de collecte de fonds ont eu lieu en avril au profit de l’école À pas de géant et de la recherche sur l’autisme.

LE FRANÇAIS POUR L’AVENIR: Le Théâtre Marie-Gérin Lajoie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) a accueilli le 11 avril l’édition 2018 du forum local de Montréal du Français pour l’avenir. Sous le thème Respect, culture et intégration à la société québécoise, ce forum annuel visait à promouvoir le bilinguisme parmi les jeunes au Canada. Quelque 600 élèves provenant de onze écoles secondaires de la région de Montréal appartenant à trois commissions scolaires étaient présents. Les écoles de la CSEM ayant participé à l’événement sont : l’école secondaire Westmount, l’académie Royal West à Montréal-Ouest, l’école Royal Vale et l’académie Marymount à NDG, ainsi que l’école Laurier Macdonald à Saint-Léonard. À cette occasion, la fort sympathique Catherine Verdon-Diamond de Breakfast TV Montreal, dont la langue maternelle est le français, a agi à titre de maîtresse de cérémonie. L’un des moments forts de la journée fut sans contredit la présentation de la version « Le français pour l’avenir » de l’émission La Voix diffusée sur les ondes de TVA (le pendant francophone de The Voice présenté à NBC). Quelques participants de la communauté anglophone de Montréal ont parlé de l’expérience qu’ils ont vécue lorsqu’ils se sont produits sur scène en français, puis ils ont tourné leurs fauteuils de manière à faire dos à la scène pendant que des élèves interprétaient une chanson. À l’instar de l’émission télévisée, ils entendaient uniquement la voix des chanteurs et devaient retourner leur fauteuil seulement s’ils souhaitaient qu’un d’entre eux se joigne à leur équipe. Âgée de 12 ans, Chelsea Goldwater de l’académie Royal West a participé à La Voix Junior l’automne dernier. Alessandro Gabrielli, âgé lui aussi de 12 ans, fréquente l’école des Découvreurs à LaSalle. Il a pris part à la production montréalaise à grande échelle de Mary Poppins présentée en français l’an dernier et a récemment interprété les hymnes nationaux lors du match des Knicks de New York au Madison Square Garden. Deux participants de la saison actuelle de La Voix étaient également sur place : Ben Alexander, un diplômé de Royal West, et Deidra Chois. Des élèves de la CSEM ont été invités à monter sur scène. Il s’agit de Kevisha  Williams (académie Royal West),  Julia Tasillo et Valerie Fortugno (école Laurier Macdonald) ainsi que Katie Szamos (école secondaire Westmount). Nous vous invitons à visionner le reportage de Breakfast TV : Pour en savoir davantage, visitez le

JOURNÉE MONTRÉAL ENSEMBLE: En mai dernier, des milliers d’élèves, de groupes, d’individus et d’entreprises locales sur l’île de Montréal et ailleurs ont posé des gestes de bonté spontanés et les ont publiés en ligne avec le mot-clic  #JournéeMTLEnsemble. Cet élan de bonté en a fait sourire plus d’un, et avec raison. Sur les réseaux sociaux, les mots-clic #GreaterMontrealDay et #JournéeMTLEnsemble étaient en tête du palmarès à Montréal. Bon nombre d’élèves ayant pris part à cette initiative fréquentaient des écoles de l’Association des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec. Deux messages publiés sur les réseaux sociaux avaient été choisis aléatoirement et pour chacun des auteurs, un don de 1 000 $ avait été versé à l’organisme de bienfaisance local de leur choix. L’un des gagnants, la classe de 5e année de madame Lamothe à l’école primaire Edgewater de Pincourt, avait préparé des muffins qu’ils avaient ensuite offerts aux sinistrés des inondations qui avait été forcés d’évacuer leur résidence. Cette année, Global invite les écoles à participer à cette deuxième édition de la Journée Montréal Ensemble, le jeudi 10 mai. Il n’est jamais trop tôt pour commencer à planifier. Pour en savoir davantage, adressez-vous à l’animateur de vie spirituelle de votre école ou suivez sur les réseaux sociaux et surveillez le mot-clic #JournéeMTLEnsemble. Vous pouvez également communiquer directement avec Global pour toute question ou suggestion, à

SEMAINE ÉDUCATION MÉDIAS : HabiloMédias, le centre canadien d’éducation aux médias et de littératie numérique, et la Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants (FCE) sont heureux d’annoncer que la Semaine éducation médias de cette année aura pour but d’aider les élèves à distinguer le vrai du faux en ligne. La Semaine éducation aux médias, qui se déroulera du 5 au 9 novembre, aura pour thème « Fait ou faux : Aidez le monde à mettre un terme aux fausses informations » afin de souligner l’importance de vérifier que les renseignements en ligne sont véridiques, objectifs et pertinents. La Semaine éducation médias, un événement annuel coanimé par HabiloMédias et la FCE depuis 2006, souligne l’importance d’enseigner aux enfants et aux jeunes des compétences en littératie numérique et médiatique. Pour obtenir des mises à jour, visitez ou inscrivez-vous à l’infolettre.

SITE WEB SUR L’ÉDUCATION : Un nouveau site pédagogique remarquable a vu le jour. Ajoutez-le à vos favoris : Pour en savoir davantage, communiquez avec Rita au 1 888 504-0072, poste 235 ou par courriel à ou


INAUGURATION D’UNE CANTINE SANTÉ AU CENTRE D’ÉDUCATION DES ADULTES GALILEO : Nous savons tous combien il est difficile pour les élèves, quel que soit leur âge, de se concentrer et d’apprendre le ventre vide. Au Centre d’éducation des adultes Galileo à Montréal-Nord, les Services d’intégration sociale (SIS) ont à cœur de bien nourrir leur monde en inaugurant la cantine santé. Ce programme de collations santé offre aux élèves des SIS une expérience pratique en cuisine et des collations santé à petit prix. Les élèves des SIS se chargent des achats, de la préparation des aliments, de la cuisson, du service et de la vente. Cette précieuse expérience culinaire contribue au développement de leur confiance en soi et peut-être transposée sur le marché du travail. En plus de créer un sentiment d’appartenance, chaque collation préparée par les élèves est réconfortante et fait chaud au cœur. Au menu, des pâtés jamaïcains, pizzas, sandwichs aux œufs, muffins, sandwichs grillés au fromage (grilled cheese) et des chocolatines. Venez faire un tour et dégustez une collation saine et abordable tous les jours dès 10 h 30!

The next Focus will be published on  May 23.  Submissions should be made to Michael J. Cohen preferably by e-mail (   by May18   at Noon.

Follow us on:
Facebook: MTL