Wednesday, October 24, 2018


A large happy group celebrates 50 years.
 HONORÉ MERCIER   MARK 50 YEARS:  The world was a much different place when Honoré Mercier Elementary School opened its doors in St. Leonard in 1968. Half a century later, on October 17, alumni joined with current students and staff to mark the milestone anniversary and the impact the school has had on the community.  A special assembly was held featuring distinguished guests and presentations from all grade levels. 

Sonia Marotta, Patricia Lattanzio, Domenic Prioletta, Renzo Orsi, Frank Verrillo, Christina Vogas, Donna Manos and Connie Primiano.
Following the assembly, a commemorative plaque was unveiled. Principal Sonia Marotta and Vice Principal Maya Doughan welcomed  past principals Donna Manos, Frank Verillo,  Domenic Prioletta,  Connie Primiano, Renzo Orsi, as well as Christina Voggas (vice-principal presently on maternity leave)  for the occasion. The EMS Bee mascot Bumble was also on hand for the affair and she got a warm welcome. Commissioner and City Councillor for St. Leonard  Patricia Lattanzio and Regional Director John Pevec represented the board.

Vice Principal Maya Doughan and her two students take part in the ceremonial faceoff.
ARCTIC HOCKEY GAME EXPERIENCE:  The October 10 home game of the Montreal North Arctic vs the Lac St. Louis Revolution was a special night for many students from Honoré-Mercier School who were in attendance. Vice-Principal Maya Doughan performed the ceremonial opening faceoff. Students Andrea Dicenza and Victoria Frenza sang the national anthem. See their performance here. The Arctic players visit East End schools during the season and talk about the importance of staying in school. Team owners Lina Di Giovanni and Joe Perretta give thousands of tickets a year to EMSB students. The EMSB logo is on the team jersey. Students had a great time at the game. The Arctic will next visit Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School on November 5. Their students will be at the November 21 game.

NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROPOSED:With West End elementary schools bursting at the seams in terms of enrolment, the EMSB plans to open a brand new Français Plus primary school at 4850 Coronation Avenue in NDG for the 2019-20 academic year. The specific over-crowding of immersion schools in this area extends to Edinburgh in Montreal West, Merton in Côte Saint-Luc and Willingdon in NDG. In order to accommodate the new school, the EMSB Long Range Planning Committee is recommending that two alternative high schools – Focus and Outreach – have their population relocate to the James Lyng High School facility in St. Henri. The latter presently has a lease with Centennial College, which concludes on June 30, 2019. This proposal will now go out for consultation and be brought back to a special board meeting to be scheduled in early January 2019.

RELOCATION OF WESTMOUNT PARK FOR TWO YEARS: Westmount Park Elementary School will undergo major renovations. Due to the scope of the $12.5 million project, this will require that the entire school population to be  relocated for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.
The EMSB  Council of Commissioners has accepted a recommendation from the Long Range Planning Committee to relocate the more than 700 students into two buildings, Marymount Academy International in NDG and the former St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard. Both sites would have  Pre-K to Grade 6 levels.   This proposal will now go out for consultation and be brought back to a special board meeting to be scheduled in early January 2019. 

EMSB OPEN HOUSES: Open House season is well underway at the EMSB primary and secondary schools. Please see for all of the dates.

RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS:  In response to the new CAQ government’s plans to  proceed ahead with a law prohibiting public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols, EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini has issued the following statement. “We have been down this road before with the  former Parti Québecois government and its proposed Charter of Values in the winter of 2014 and we opposed it strongly. The EMSB wishes to convey how, as an educational institution which fosters respect among our students, we can in no way support this type of legislation which violates the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. If enacted, this kind of legislation will force individuals  to choose between government employment and a desire to wear religious apparel. It is a personal choice to wear such apparel.    The EMSB values the diversity of our students and staff, and respects their personal and religious rights which are guaranteed both by the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights. We cannot be party to a proposed legislation which, if passed, runs contrary to what we teach our students insofar as tolerance and respect of individual rights and religious freedoms are concerned.”

Furheen Ahmed, a teacher at Westmount High School presently on maternity leave, was a regular spokesperson for the EMSB in 2014. She did so again in this interview with CTV

Here is a report from CBC at Hampstead School. 
Westmount High School teachers on Global TV protesting the potential law.

NEW PARENT COMMISSIONERS:  The four parent commissioners who will sit on the EMSB Council for the next two years are: Pietro Mercuri, Elementary; Norm Gharibian, Secondary;
Andrew Ross and Pietro Mercuri
Mubeenah Mughal, ACSES  and  Andrew Ross. 

PARENT CONFERENCE:  The annual EMSB Parent Conference will take place on Sat. Nov. 17 (8:45 am to 3:35 pm) at the St. Laurent Adult Education Centre (2405 Place Lafortune West). Register now while  there is still space available at Take part in a a free day of workshops to help parents with some of their biggest challenges: their kids! Workshop topics include: Understanding the new Sexual Education program;What you need to know about cannabis & teens; Helping your child through anxiety & stress; Dealing with bullying; How to make literacy fun for children Pre-K to Grade 2; Navigating kindergarten entry for special needs kids; Concrete strategies to bring you closer to your child; and many others! Free breakfast & lunch! Info: or Brigida Sellato at 514-483-7200 ext. 7242. See the press release.

Larah Bross and Jimmy Rennie hand out bagels to Options students.
BAGEL ENTREPRENEUR HAD OPTIONS: Thirteen years ago Larah Bross moved to Edinburgh, Scotland with her partner Marc Millar, whom she met working on a cruise ship.  Last year Larah decided to open Bross Bagels ( in Portabello. It was a success from day one. On   October 22 she visited her former high school, Options in Ville Émard   to share her entrepreneurial spirit with students. Larah and the  students got a surprise delivery from Ville Émard Bagels and owner Jimmy Rennie, a graduate of James Lyng High School in nearby St. Henri “Bagels have never been a thing in Scotland until now,” she said. “We have lines down the block on the weekends and people travelling from miles away to get their freshly baked, organic, Montreal style bagels.

Larah and Jimmy chat with students.
“Growing up I would leave the city every summer for sleep away camp and I was one of the lucky campers that got sent packages – sometimes they had bagels in them. While kids from the other provinces hid their chocolate bars and popping candy under their pillows, I snuck out behind the tent to feast on my sesame covered, golden ring of love. Now living more than 3,000 miles from my home town for the last 11 years has made has made my old summer care packages impossible, so I’ve had to rely on my yearly trips and any visitors who are willing to give up luggage space to feed my inner emptiness. The last time my sister came in she managed to smuggle two and a half dozen in between her clothing. I kissed each bag before placing them in different compartments of david the freezer – one behind the peas for emergencies only. So instead of living here for another 11 years and complaining about the lack of bagels this country has to offer – I decided to do something about it.”

Head Teacher Lino Pietrantonio and his students very much enjoyed and appreciated the visit. They asked Larah and Jimmy a lot of questions. Jimmy said that Ville Émard Bagels plans to become more involved with the school as his business will be expanding. Larah just opened her second shop in Scotland and a third is on its way. 

Students take part in an auditorium session.
CAREER FAIR A SUCCESS: More than 2,000  Secondary V students  attended the 18th annual EMSB  Career Fair on  October 17 and  18 at St. Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic.  Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank were the event’s title sponsors.  Several on air personalities from the media were on hand to talk to students about careers in this field and serve as guest emcees: Catherine Verdon-Diamond from Breakfast TV, Christine Long from CTV, Shaun McMahon from The Beat 92.5 FM,  Travis Todd from Global TV and Sabrina Marandola from CBC. 
Rosemount High grad Minhajul Mannan talks to students.
Two RBC Olympic athletes were on hand to talk to students: Jacqueline Simoneau, a two-time Pan American Gold medal winner who placed seventh in her first Olympics at the Rio 2016 Games in Synchronized Swimming; and Sandrine Mainville, one of Canada’s most reliable relay swimmers, who won a bronze medal in Rio and a gold and silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games. On October 17, the Career Fair was open to the community-at-large and there was a record turnout.  Harriet Cohen from EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services is the Career Fair chairperson. The Student Services and AEVS Departments of the EMSB coordinate this program.
LMC Career Centre student Rachel Merovitz shows her new talent.
Ms. Cohen notes that the main objective of the Career Fair is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them.  All students took part in a brief general information session in the St. Pius X auditorium. Students then had the chance to visit the various exhibition/information booths staffed by representatives from English vocational centres, CEGEPS, universities,   some private business colleges, the army, the Montreal Police, Montreal Fire Department and the Surete du Québec.

See these links for coverage.

COMMITMENT TO SUCCESS: The EMSB’s Commitment to Success Plan (2018-2022) approved by the MEES, came into effect on July 1, 2018. The objective of the EMSB’s Commitment-to-Success Plan is to provide a comprehensive portrait of our situation with input from all stakeholders. Ultimately, the document  provides a focus of direction and subsequent provision of support in order to assure the continued academic success of all our students in both the youth and adult sectors.

Planning the seeds for good animal welfare.
PET THERAPY AT ST. GABRIEL: The SEEDS students at St. Gabriel Elementary School in Pointe St. Charles have been learning about compassion and love by caring for animals. Students participated in pet therapy with The Caring Paws Program, learned about the importance of honey bees and extracted honey from our hive with the help of Alevole, and are responsible for our school dove named “Snowy.”  

Staff at the EMSB Mental Health Awareness kiosk.
MENTAL HEALTH FAIR:  Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard hosted a special two-day  Mental Health Fair  on   October 2 and   3, reaching out to students and parents at the Mental Health Fair. The East Island Network for English Language Services (REISA) co-hosted the event for   students from five other East End high schools:  John Paul I in St. Léonard,  Rosemount and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, Lester B Pearson in Montreal North,  and John F Kennedy in St. Michel. There was also be an evening session for parents on October 2, with EMSB psychologist Despina Vassiliou as the presenter. There is no admission charge. Over 1,000 students will be able to benefit from resources that will be on display. An EMSB psychologist will also be in attendance. The goal is very straight-forward: dealing with, and talking about, mental health. Among the groups taking part are the YWCA, YMCA, La Maison des Jeunes de St-Léonard and the Kids Help Line.  One in five students will develop mental illness; 20 per cent of people with mental illness have a re-occurring substance abuse problem; 40 per cent of parents wouldn't tell anyone about their child's mental illness; about half of those who suffer from mental illness have never seen a doctor about it.  But, 80 per cent of those who seek help are able to get back to their regular activities and live a fulfilling life.  

SEXUAL EDUCATION: The process to introduce Sexuality Education to the curriculum at the EMSB is well underway, notes Chairman Angela Mancini. EMSB Pedagogical Consultant Jamie Quinn is touring all primary and secondary schools to work with the respective administrators to determine in which subject areas the different themes will be taught. All school boards across Quebec
Jamie Quinn
have started to implement the Sexuality Education program this year.  As Ms. Mancini notes, the reasons for providing sexuality education 40 years ago are still valid today: to gain knowledge of the human body, combat gender stereotypes, educate students to help prevent sexual assault, understand puberty, reflect on romantic experiences, and prevent sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI’s).  In addition, today there are other concerns such as the pervasiveness of messages about sexuality in the media, easy access to pornography, sexting, and increased rates of STBBI’s.  The program and materials were created by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, UNESCO, sexologists, and other professionals and then tailored to the psycho- sexual development of children and youth.  Sexuality Education is to be provided to all students in Quebec in the 2018-19 academic year for five to 15 hours per year, per grade level. The Ministry program uses the most appropriate educational approach, known as comprehensive sexuality education.  The program is scientifically accurate, incremental, age and developmentally appropriate, curriculum based, comprehensive, and builds on and promotes an understanding of universal human rights of children and young people. Comprehensive sexuality education enables young people to protect their health, well-being, and dignity.  This fall, each EMSB school, together with a team made up of the principal, teachers, spiritual animator, guidance counselor, psychologist, school nurse, and social worker will discuss the details regarding the implementation and delivery of the program. Training sessions and preparatory workshops will be offered for all those involved in the program. 

See the full press release.

WORKING WITH THE BEAT ON ANTI-BULLYING: The EMSB, via Violence Prevention Officer Daphna Leibovici, is working with The Beat 92.5 FM on a  new anti-bullying initiative. 

Testimonials from on air announcers

As a community driven station, The Beat 92.5 supports initiatives for positive change. Bullying is a serious problem that transcends all social boundaries. Each of the announcers has a different perspective on bullying; some were victims, some were bystanders, and some were even bullies themselves!  Everyone is affected by bullying in one way or another. 

The record holder.
VMC HELPS SET GUINNESS WORLD RECORD:  On October 5, Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) students, their teachers (Mr. Lapointe, Mr. Chen, Mr. Rosa, Mrs. Dufort, Mrs. Carola, Mrs. Gagliardi, Mr. Bakos, Mrs. Carola, Mrs. Gervasi and Spiritual and Community Animator Rocco Speranza) took part in Courchesne Larose’s 100th anniversary celebration and project: La Grande Coupe! This project aimed to feed Montreal’s needy, while attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the largest fruit salad prepared in one sitting. In order to accomplish that feat, the salad had to weight at least 20 000 pounds. After hours of preparation and hard work, the fruit salad came in at 22 400 pounds, a new World Record! It was then distributed to community based organization thanks to Moisson Montreal and La Table des Chefs. This project tied in with VMC’s stated mission, to serve their community.  

Raptors legend Williams with some  students.
RAPTOR AT WESTMOUNT: With Toronto Raptors legend Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams leading the charge, Westmount High School hosted Hoops & Loops recently, a basketball-themed coding event. The afternoon of interactive coding activities was organized by Kids Code Jeunesse along with NBA Cares and the Toronto Raptors in order to increase the awareness of code in non-STEAM fields. 

GREAT SHAKEOUT:  Westmount Park Elementary School participated in the Great ShakeOut (international event) recently. Fire Prevention agents visited all classes beforehand and explained the drop-cover-hold protocol in case of an earthquake.  Students also had the opportunity to visit a fire simulator truck and learn what to do if caught in a building on fire 

HALLOWEEN EXCITEMENT: Global TV’s Kim Sullivan will broadcast live from Edinburgh Elementary School on October 31, Halloween morning while Catherine Verdon Diamond of Breakfast TV will be at Carlyle in TMR.

ALOUETTES TICKETS WINNER:  Via a contest in the fall edition of the EMSB Express Newspaper, Grade 4 Edinburgh Elementary School student Christian Lim-Wilson won four tickets to a recent Alouettes football game at McGill’s Molson Stadium.  Christian came with his parents and a friend The family made a donation to the Purolator Blitz Against Hunger  and got to take this  photo with the Grey Cup.
Hanging with the Alouettes.
FLAG FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE:  Royal Vale was the only representative from the EMSB and one of only three school teams at a  tournament where the winning squadwould win an all-expenses paid trip to Edmonton for the Grey Cup in November. Royal Vale  made it to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual champs.   There were 13 teams participating, most of which were all-star communitys squads. Royal Vale finished with a 4-1 record   winning their division before losing in the semi-final. Shown in the photo,  our Royal Vale players along with 3  Monteal Alouettes players on hand. Physical Education and Health teacher Norman Katz wishes to thank Grade five teacher Aaron Prosser and parent Carlo Galli for their assistance. “This was an amazing opportunity and experience for our talented athletes at Royal Vale,” he said. “They deserve a big congratulations for their behavior and performance.”

KIM ST. PIERRE JOINS FOX RUN: On a sunny autumn morning, three-time Olympic hockey champion Kim St-Pierre joined nearly 1,000 students from Royal Vale School in N.D.G. for their annual Terry Fox Run, one of the largest in the city. The students were thrilled to have an opportunity to meet a Canadian legend like St-Pierre on a day that they were honouring another Canadian hero in Terry Fox. “It's really about all of us being together and really celebrating someone who did so much for our country and for cancer research,” said Nathalie Lacroix-Mailette, Principal of Royal Vale School. “All of our students are walking in honour of someone and realize the importance of the event; they brought money to school, a loonie or a toonie, to help with cancer research." 

Grade 5 student Morgan Davy was walking in honour of her grandmother, a cancer survivor. Asked what she would say to Terry Fox if she could, the 10-year old replied, "Thank you for raising awareness and for running."

For St-Pierre, the mother of two young boys, she did not think twice about attending Royal Vale’s run. "I could not say no; being an athlete, you want to be involved in these kinds of events. If I can give some time and share my passion for being active, but also help raise money for cancer research, I think it's great. I'm very happy to be here today." St. Pierre is now a regional coordinator for BOKS Canada, which offers free resources to elementary schools to ensure kids are active throughout the day.  "Yesterday we enrolled our 1,000th school," St-Pierre said. "So it's very exciting. My territory is all over Quebec so I take care of the schools and I make sure the kids get active for at least 60 minutes a day. I'm just trying to share with kids that they do not need to be an Olympic athlete, but just to commit to an active lifestyle will really help them down the road."

See this EMSB video.

HUMANITY BUS: On Thursday, October 25 (9:50 am), students at Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North (11575 P.M. Favier) will be the first students in Quebec to visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Tour for Humanity Bus.  The Tour for Humanity is a 30-seat state-of-the-art mobile human rights education centre. On board, students will learn about diversity, democracy and Canadian civic rights and responsibilities. The purpose of the Tour for Humanity is to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, empowering them to raise their voices and take action against hate, intolerance and bullying and to promote justice and human rights. Launched in 2013, the Tour for Humanity has visited more than 550 schools across Ontario and provided invaluable lessons on tolerance, human rights and justice to 100,000 students and educators.

GLOBAL CONFERENCE AT LBPHS: Aspiring future leaders will be gathering at Lester B. Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) on Monday,  October 29 (10 am) for the opening ceremonies of the Global YounG7: an initiative that hopes to raise global awareness amongst youth. The program is a simulation of the international Group of Seven (G7) which brings together leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan the United Kingdom and the United States for meetings on a host of issues. Joining LBPHS students will be a delegation of students from Italy who will be in Montreal for a two-week cultural exchange.  Established in Italy, the Global YounG7’s hopes to host events in all G7 countries, with October 29 marking their first international session. In addition to raising global awareness, the Global YounG7 is hoping to create long-lasting relationships among students around the world.

POLITICS 101:  Elias Makos of Breakfast TV recently  visited Hampstead Elementary School and the class of Tami Brewster. Her students learned about the importance of voting. Here is the link. 

Former Director of Material Resources Daniel Hogue is presented with his gift.
RETIREMENT DINNER: One hundred and twenty-three people attended the annual retirees' dinner, which took place on October 16 at Le Challenger Reception Hall in  St. Laurent. The evening honoured 78 retiring employees of the EMSB who worked as educators, administrators, professionals and support staff, and whose combined years of service to the Board added up to 1,752 years. EMSB Chair Angela Mancini, along with Vice-Chair Joe Ortona, Director General Ann Marie Matheson, Deputy Director General (Administration Division) Benoit Duheme, Deputy Director General (Education Division) Evelyne Alfonsi, several EMSB Commissioners, and senior administrators from Education Division East, Education Division West, Adult Education and Vocational Services, Education & Technology Services, Material Resources, Student Services, Human Resources and School Organization, presented each retiree with a special thank-you gift of a Carberry crystal pitcher with four highball glasses. Some of the longest serving employees honoured that evening were Mario Marazza, who retired as an education counsellor at Wagar Adult Centre in Cote St. Luc after 48 years of service to the board; former Education & Technology Services manager George  Bakakis, who retired after 47 years of service to the board; Rachel Rosenstein, who retired as a teacher at John F. Kennedy Business Centre in Villeray after 45 years of service; and Alana Rubin, who retired as a speech and language pathologist with Student Services after 40 years of service. Here are more photos

FOX VISITS:  Darrell Fox, the brother of the late Terry Fox, visited Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West and Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount recently. At Edinburgh he delivered a powerful and emotional speech recounting “Terry’s Story” to a gymnasium with over 400 students and staff members.   Edinburgh student Avah Pennefather was honored by Darrell.  Avah (pictured with Darrell and Principal Mauro Zampini) has participated in every marathon of hope since birth.  She received a t-shirt worn by Darrel during Terry’s run across Canada.   

MACKAY CENTRE ENDORSEMENTS: See these celebrity endorsements for the new Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools  by rock star Jonas  here and Global TV personality and former Mackay teacher here.

SYMPOSIUM: The Trottier Public Science Symposium theme this year is Minding the Future: Living in a High-Tech World. It will   take place on  Oct. 29 and 30 at 7 pm. The event is free and for everyone, but people are asked to register at 

Grade 6 teacher Feraldine Gras was one of seven who enjoyed a mud bath
MUD, SWEAT AND TEARS: It was mind over mudder at Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount on  October 15   as teachers  honoured their promise to take a mud bath since their students raised $15,000 plus for the Terry Fox Foundation.  The Physical Education department initiated the challenge with the intention of beating the 2017 mark of $13,000. There was no mud-slinging as students, staff and parents climbed towards their common goal.  The event was held in the school’s gym as the mudly crew of teachers and volunteers stood in a pool while pitchers of mud were poured over their heads.

All smiles at Michelangelo.
ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: During its annual Thanksgiving assembly on Tuesday, October 2,  Michelangelo International Elementary School in RDP was reminded about the importance of adopting an attitude of gratitude. Led by Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas, students were asked to reflect on all that they had to be grateful for in their lives. They were also encouraged to show their appreciation to others.

Offering free technology.
FREE TECHNOLOGY FOR SENIORS: Family Home Care, in partnership with Customized Homecare, will join forces with four   EMSB schools to offer free technology training sessions to senior citizens. Funded by the New Horizons Seniors Program, the project is called “Seenagers, Teenagers, and Technology,” and on the local school level, this intergenerational program will be called “Seniors in Cyberspace.” The project will provide students with  an opportunity to connect with their extended community and help provide assistance to those in need. The program will be coordinated by   Ruth Pelletier, Project Coordinator at Seenagers Teenagers & Technology;  Andrew Defour, Executive Director of Customized Health Care; Harry Michalopoulos, Principal of Rosemount Technology Centre; Vince Lacroce, Spiritual Community Animator;   Jessica Ghin, teacher at Perspectives I High School;  and  Tonya Wright, Activity Programmer at Almage Seniors Centre in Anjou. Almage Seniors Centre prides itself on improving the quality of life for seniors by enhancing dignity, supporting their independence, and encouraging their community involvement.

On September 24 , an interactive training session created by Ms.  Pelletier and Mr.  Defour was offered to the participating students to outline the history, values, and parameters of the program. On October 12   and 16  in Rosemount High School’s Spiritual Community Centre, participating students   gathered in small working stations where they were matched with a senior from Almage. Under the guidance of the Spiritual Community Animator, the first session  offered basic computer, tablet and general technology training. This session  culminated with a friendly game of BINGO! The second session of technology training was led by staff volunteers and students from Rosemount Technology Centre. On November 15 and 29, Almage Seniors Centre will be welcoming the students from Perspectives I and II High School to provide in-house training sessions. Designed by Mr.  e Lacroce,  and Ms. Ghin the trainings focused on  tablet use, cell phone use, uploading contacts and downloading applications.

Matt Stern gets a warm greeting.
STERN RETURNS TO RWA: Royal West alumnus and musician Matt Stern (@MattSternMusic) returned to his old high school this week, taking the time to conduct a creative vocal workshop as well as sing a few songs for students in Grades 9 through 11. Stern, who graduated in 2002, currently lives in Victoria, B.C.  To hear his music, please visit: or hear his latest album on Spotfiy.

COMMUNITY DAY: At the beginning of the year, Marymount Academy International in NDG hosted its second annual Community Day. See pictures above.  Grade 6  students from Parkdale School in St. Laurent, St. Monica Elementary School in N.D.G., Westmount Park and Roslyn School in Westmount, Edinburgh and Elizabeth Ballantyne in Montreal West, Coronation School in Cote des Neiges and St. Gabriel School in Pointe St. Charles, all came together for the celebration.  This event was organized with the goal of highlighting the good work that non-profit organizations do in the community as well as to inspire youth to get involved in their communities.  Guest speaker was Anna-Maria Macone from the PAMA Foundation spoke to the students about the foundation’s mission, which is to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) reach their full potential.  Community Day also included team building activities as well as a school wide IB themed scavenger hunt.

QPAT PRESENCE: The EMSB will once again have an information table at the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) Convention November 8 and 9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel attached to Complex Desjardins. Come visit us at table number 5.

ROCKET LAUNCH:  The EMSB will be represented at the Laval Rocket American Hockey League game versus the Bellevue Senators on October 31 by the LaurenHill Academy hockey team and coach Shawn Sacco,  Royal West Academy and Lester B. Pearson High School.

 ENCOUNTERS WITH CANADA: The EMSB has confirmed that it will again offer subsidies for 20 students aged 14 to 17 to take part in Encounters with Canada (EWC) this year.  As the Encounters registration fee is now $750, the EMSB has generously increased its subsidy to $375 (half of the registration amount). This means that students using the subsidy will continue to pay only $375 and take part in an exciting week of hands-on workshops, presentations and social, cultural and career exploration activities in Ottawa. This includes transportation, lodging, meals, and activities. The subsidies will, as always, be limited to a maximum of two students per school.  Info:

Leaders from across Canada participate in the Equitas Play if Fair! National Gathering
PLAY IT FAIR: This year, two representatives from the EMSB's B.A.S.E. Daycare Program were invited to attend the Equitas Play it Fair! National Gathering, which was held in Montreal between September 26 and 28. The gathering brought together professionals from across Canada to share insights and perspectives on issues that they consider to be important to children’s healthy development and active participation within their communities. Working groups comprised of representatives from different provinces will collaborate throughout the year to build Community Action Projects that support children’s leadership and community participation with the goal of co-creating a National Community of Practice from coast to coast. 

CHORALE CHEESE SALE: The EMSB Chorale is once again holding its annual fundraising campaign, selling a  delicious selection of cheeses from l’Abbaye de St-Benoit-du-Lac. These lactose-free, vacuum-packed cheeses come in attractive boxes perfect for gift-giving or for your own holiday table. The money raised will go towards buying music scores, concert production, the organization of our music camps, workshops and giving our choristers the opportunity to work with professional musicians. Orders must be received and paid for by November 17. The cheese will arrive December 14.  For anyone who would like to hear the chorale, they will be performing in a free concert on November 18 at 2 p.m. at the Chalet de la Montagne. This will be a joint concert with a choir from FACE School. The annual Holiday Concert will take place Saturday, December 8 at 7 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral downtown (McGill metro). No tickets are required for that one. There will be a collection for the Salvation Army’s campaign to help Montrealers in need.  Info:

Isabelle and Mayra.
SUPPORT ISABELLE DION SUNDAY: Here is a message from Isabelle Dion from the EMSB Human Resources Department:  Please come and support me and  my beautiful friend Mayra who has been living with Lymphoma for many years now in our efforts to raise funds to support Canadians and their loved ones affected by lymphoma. Lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in Canada; the most common cancer in teenagers and young adults ages 15-29; the third most common cancer in kids. Every 45 minutes someone is diagnosed with lymphoma. Lymphoma strikes randomly. There is no known cause. This Sunday, October 28, 2018, we will join other yoga and wellness enthusiasts at Lymphoma Canada’s take it to the mat, The Great Yoga & Meditation Revolution fundraising event.  All participants have the option to join either a 108-minute yoga class or 108-minute meditation workshop.  Your support, in the form of a donation, would be greatly appreciated. We plan to raise as many funds as possible. Please help us reach, and hopefully exceed, our fundraising goal! Please follow the link below my team is The Warriors.

VICTOR PHILLIPS AWARD: Black Theatre Workshop is presently accepting submissions for the Victor Phillips Award (with a value of $, 000) to an artist under the age of 20 who excels both in academics and in the performing arts (theatre, music, dance, spoken word or interdisciplinary arts.)  The student must reside in the Montreal region.  The award recipient will be invited to take part in our 2019 Vision Celebration Gala happening February 2, 2019.  If you know of a student who excels both academically and artistically, make sure to forward them this information or feel free to nominate the student yourself.  For application guidelines and forms, visit  Deadline for submissions by mail or email is November 20, 2018. Info:Christine Rodriguez,

CINEMANIA: The  24th edition of CINEMANIA will take place on Nov. 1 to 11. CINEMANIA 2018 will screen 67 films this year, 50 of which are North American, Canadian or Quebec premieres. While the home base is the majestic Imperial Cinema, where the majority of screenings take place, other venues include the new Cinéma du Musée of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Outremont Theatre, Cinéma du Parc and Cinématheque Québécois.  There will be 35 screenings where personalities directly involved in the productions will be present, another  staple of CINEMANIA. In some cases there are talkbacks with the audience.  La Chute de Sparte (The Fall of Sparta) will appeal to teenage audiences in particular. This is a Quebec made film focusing on a fictitious South Shore high school and one graduating student who achieves a feat which garners the attention of the best-looking girl in school.  The CINEMANIA website ( features detailed summaries of each film with trailers and a complete schedule grid, making it easy to make your selection. Schools are invited to organize field trips to see a film by contacting Eyleen Giolat at  


Celebrating Thanksgiving.
GALILEO FIELD TRIPS: In October all 500 Galileo students partake various celebrations and field trips, enhancing our sense of community and learning.   On October 4, Galileo Basic English evening classes (CCBE)   held their traditional potluck Thanksgiving festivities. Students socially integrated through tasting delicacies prepared by the students for this appreciative celebration. Students showing acceptance for one another and being thankful while learning the English language.  On October 5, students had a magical time picking apples in Oka. A usual tradition in Quebec, our Academic, CCBE and SIS programs were integrating and sharing interesting conversations in the open fields of the apple orchard. Students learned about how apples are harvested, preparing jams and jellies, and the differences between the wide variety of apples and their unique flavors. Riding on the tractors, visiting the mini farm and park enhanced the experience for everyone. On October 18, CCBE students went to visited the Montreal Botanical Gardens. They were mesmerized by the beautiful carefully designed and subtle lighting show of the Magic Lanterns at the Chinese Gardens. At dusk, the pathways through the Gardens of Light turned into mysterious illuminated landscapes inviting everyone to contemplate nature’s marvels. Most importantly students were able to acquire the vocabulary and specific terms related to gardening. The weather offered a summer like glow at sunset and students embraced their experience which, for most, was their first visit to the Botanical Gardens.

Students get educated on recycling.
A LESSON IN RECYCLING: The French SIS (Social Integration Services Program)  class, started following Benoit Lecomte, a French-born long distance swimmer who previously swam across the Atlantic Ocean 20 years ago to raise awareness for cancer and pay tribute to his father.  Despite the fact that he said he would never do that again, on June 5, Mr. Lecomte swam off in the Pacific Ocean from Choshi Japan in the hopes of making it to California.  He estimates his venture will take him approximately 6 months.  The motivation behind his swim this time, is to raise awareness of all the plastic waste and excessive human garbage that pollutes our ocean waters.  

When school started back in September 2018, the class was eagerly intrigued to find out how Mr. Lecomte and his team were doing and   continued to track his movements.  They were taken back by the amount of plastic he found in the ocean, and how it affects us all.  It prompted   an outdoor activity with all SIS classes, where they took a walk outside in their own ‘backyard,’ and looked for plastic items that were littering the parking lot.  In a matter of 15 minutes, they gathered 1 garbage bag full of plastic matter that was recyclable.      They were compelled to contact Éco-Quartier, a non-profit organization that aims to educate the Montreal population in proper recycling methods. Émilie Ould-Acluche met with our SIS students to better educate them on what is recyclable, what is waste, what is compostable, and what should be sent to local Eco-Centers (such as batteries, computers, cell phones).  She made them play a game called waste or recycle whereby students were given an item and they had to determine whether it went in the recycling or the garbage.  It was an eye opener for many   who thought they were recycling appropriately, when in fact, we were not!  


PORTES OUVERTES À LA CSEM: La saison des portes ouvertes est en branle dans les écoles primaires et secondaires de la CSEM. Visitez le pour connaître les dates.

SIGNES RELIGIEUX : Devant l’intention du nouveau gouvernement caquiste d’adopter une loi interdisant aux employés de l’État en position d’autorité de porter des signes religieux, la présidente de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal Angela Mancini a fait la déclaration suivante : « Nous avons déjà vécu la même situation sous le règne du gouvernement du Parti québécois lorsqu’il avait proposé à l’hiver 2014 sa charte des valeurs et nous nous y étions alors farouchement opposés. En tant qu’institution d’enseignement qui préconise le respect parmi ses élèves, la CSEM tient à préciser que nous ne pouvons en aucun cas appuyer une telle loi qui va à l’encontre de la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés de la personne. Si elle est adoptée, cette législation obligera les individus à choisir entre travailler pour l’État ou porter des signes religieux. Le port de tels signes est un choix personnel. La CSEM valorise la diversité de ses élèves et de son personnel, et respecte leurs droits personnels et religieux en vertu de la Charte québécoise et canadienne des droits de la personne. Nous ne pouvons donner notre appui à un projet de loi qui, s’il est sanctionné, sera contraire à ce que nous enseignons à nos élèves en matière de tolérance et de respect des droits individuels de même que des libertés religieuses. »

Furheen Ahmed, enseignante à l’école secondaire Westmount et présentement en congé de maternité, s’est maintes fois faite la porte-parole de la CSEM en 2014 et l’a été de nouveau dans cette entrevue avec CTV :

Voici un reportage de la CBC réalisé à l’école Hampstead :

FOIRE DES CARRIÈRES : Plus de 2 000 élèves de la 5e secondaire ont pris part à la 18e édition annuelle de la Foire des carrières de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal (CSEM) le mercredi 17 octobre et le jeudi 18 octobre au Centre de carrières St. Pius X situé au 9955, avenue Papineau à Ahuntsic. Jack Dym de Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. et la Banque Royale RBC étaient les commanditaires en titre de cet événement. Plusieurs personnalités des médias étaient sur place pour renseigner les élèves sur les carrières dans ce domaine et ont agi à titre de maîtres de cérémonie. Il s’agit notamment de Catherine Verdon-Diamond de Breakfast TV, Christine Long de CTV, Shaun McMahon de The Beat 92.5 FM, Travis Todd de Global TV et Sabrina Marandola de CBC.

Deux athlètes olympiques du programme RBC se sont entretenues avec les élèves : Jacqueline Simoneau, double médaillée d’or des Jeux panaméricains qui s’est classée au 7e rang lors de ses premiers Jeux olympiques à Rio en 2016 en nage synchronisée, et Sandrine Mainville, l’une des meilleures nageuses en relais ayant remporté une médaille de bronze à Rio ainsi que l’or et l’argent aux Jeux panaméricains en 2015. La Foire des carrières ouverte au grand public le 17 octobre a enregistré une participation record. Harriet Cohen du Service de l’éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle (EAFP) préside le comité de la Foire des carrières. Les Services aux élèves et l’EAFP de la CSEM coordonnent ce programme. Mme Cohen souligne que l’objectif principal de la Foire des carrières vise à sensibiliser les élèves aux divers programmes d’enseignement qui s’offrent à eux. Tous les élèves ont assisté à une brève séance d’information générale dans l’auditorium du Centre de carrières St. Pius X. Ils ont ensuite eu l’occasion de visiter les divers kiosques d’information/d’exposition et de s’entretenir avec des représentants des centres de formation professionnelle, des cégeps, universités, de certains collèges privés, des Forces armées canadiennes, du Service de police de Montréal, du Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal et de la Sûreté du Québec.

Consultez ces liens pour visionner les reportages.

PLAN D’ENGAGEMENT VERS LA RÉUSSITE: Le Plan d’engagement vers la réussite de la CSEM (2018-2022), approuvé par le MEES, est entré en vigueur le 1er juillet 2018. Ce plan a pour but de brosser un portrait détaillé de notre situation, avec la collaboration de toutes les parties intéressées. Au final, ce document procure les orientations de même que les objectifs visant à soutenir la réussite éducative continue de tous nos élèves, et ce, tant au secteur des jeunes que des adultes.

ZOOTHÉRAPIE À ST. GABRIEL: Les élèves de la classe SEEDS à l’école primaire St. Gabriel de Pointe-Saint-Charles ont pu apprendre ce qu’est la compassion et l’amour en prenant soin de divers animaux. Grâce au programme de zoothérapie The Caring Paws, les élèves ont été sensibilisés à l’importance des abeilles et ont récolté du miel de notre ruche avec l’aide d’Alevole. Ils sont également responsables de « Snowy », la colombe de l’école.

FOIRE SUR LA SANTÉ MENTALE: L’école secondaire Laurier Macdonald située au 7355, boul. Viau à Saint-Léonard a organisé une foire de deux jours portant sur la santé mentale, les mardi et mercredi 2 et 3 octobre. Le Réseau de l’est de l’île pour les services en anglais (REISA) fut le co organisateur de l’événement pour le compte des élèves de cinq autres écoles secondaires de l’est de l’île : John Paul I à Saint-Léonard, Rosemont et le Collège Vincent Massey à Rosemont; Lester B. Pearson à Montréal-Nord; et John F. Kennedy à Saint-Michel. Une séance en soirée destinée aux parents a été animée par Despina Vassiliou, psychologue à la CSEM. Plus de 1 000 élèves ont pu bénéficier des ressources qui y ont été présentées. Un psychologue de la CSEM était sur place. L’objectif visait à apprivoiser la santé mentale et en parler. Au nombre des organismes participants, mentionnons : le YWCA, le YMCA, la Maison des jeunes de Saint-Léonard et Jeunesse, J’écoute. Un élève sur cinq développera des problèmes de santé mentale; 20 pour cent des personnes atteintes de troubles mentaux sont également aux prises avec un problème de toxicomanie récurrent; 40 pour cent des parents n’en parleraient à personne si leur enfant souffrait d’une maladie mentale; environ la moitié des personnes qui souffrent d’un trouble de santé mentale n’en ont jamais discuté avec un médecin. Or, 80 % de ceux qui vont chercher de l’aide sont en mesure de reprendre leurs activités régulières et de vivre une vie pleinement satisfaisante. Gerry Tullio, intervenant auprès des jeunes, a indiqué que plusieurs éprouvent de la honte ou de l’embarras à demander de l’aide. Il reconnaît qu’il existe encore des préjugés entourant la santé mentale mais que « de plus en plus, on cherche à les éliminer. Nous avons fait beaucoup de progrès, mais il reste encore beaucoup de chemin à faire », a déclaré M. Tullio.

ÉDUCATION SEXUELLE : La présidente de la CSEM Angela Mancini a précisé que le processus d’intégration de l’éducation sexuelle au curriculum des écoles de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal est bien amorcé. Jamie Quinn, conseillère pédagogique à la CSEM, fait actuellement la tournée de toutes les écoles primaires et secondaires en vue de déterminer, conjointement avec les directions d’école, dans quelles matières les divers thèmes seront abordés. L’implantation du programme d’éducation sexuelle est en cours cette année dans toutes les commissions scolaires du Québec. Comme le souligne madame Mancini, les raisons ayant motivé l’enseignement de la sexualité il y a 40 ans sont toujours valables aujourd’hui : apprendre à connaître le corps humain, combattre les stéréotypes sexuels, éduquer les élèves pour prévenir les agressions sexuelles, comprendre ce qui se passe à la puberté, réfléchir aux expériences romantiques et prévenir les infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS). En outre, de nouvelles préoccupations existent aujourd’hui, notamment l’omniprésence de messages à caractère sexuel dans les médias, la facilité d’accès à la pornographie, le phénomène du sextage, et les taux d’ITSS à la hausse. Le programme et le matériel ont été élaborés par le ministère de l’Éducation, en collaboration avec l’Organisation mondiale de la santé, l’UNESCO, des sexologues et autres professionnels, puis adaptés au développement psychosexuel des enfants et des jeunes. L’éducation sexuelle doit être dispensée à tous les élèves au Québec dès l’année scolaire 2018-2019, à raison de 5 à 15 heures par année, pour chacun des niveaux. Le programme du ministère adopte l’approche éducative la mieux appropriée, soit l’éducation sexuelle complète, qui s’avère fiable sur le plan scientifique, progressive, appropriée en fonction de l’âge et du développement, fondée sur le curriculum et exhaustive. Qui plus est, elle est axée sur la compréhension des droits humains universels des enfants et des jeunes. L’éducation sexuelle complète permet aux jeunes de protéger leur santé, leur bien-être et leur dignité.

Cet automne, chaque école de la CSEM, en collaboration avec une équipe composée de la direction, des enseignants, d’un animateur de vie spirituelle, d’un conseiller d’orientation, d’un psychologue, d’une infirmière scolaire et d’un travailleur social, examineront en détail  l’implantation et l’enseignement de ce programme. Des sessions de formation et des ateliers préparatoires seront offerts à tous ceux qui seront appelés à participer à ce programme.

Station radiophonique axée sur la communauté, The Beat 92,5 appuie les initiatives qui visent un changement positif. L’intimidation est un problème grave qui transcende toutes les barrières sociales. Nous voulons contribuer à #changerlhistoire et à outiller les jeunes d’aujourd’hui à faire face à ce problème! Nous contribuons à #changerlhistoire en partageant nos propres histoires. La perspective de chacun de nos annonceurs diffère en ce qui a trait à l’intimidation : certains ont été des victimes, d’autres des spectateurs ou encore des intimidateurs eux-mêmes! L’intimidation touche tout le monde, d’une façon ou d’une autre. Restez à l’affût alors que nous mettrons à jour cette page avec les témoignages de nos annonceurs et l’approche qu’ils ont adoptée pour changer leur histoire! Nous espérons qu’ils sauront inspirer les jeunes d’aujourd’hui et leurs parents pour les convaincre eux aussi de changer leur histoire.

NOUVEAU RECORD GUINNESS POUR LE CVM : Le vendredi 5 octobre 2018, les élèves du Collège Vincent Massey (CVM), leurs enseignants – M. Lapointe, M. Chen, M. Rosa, Mme Dufort, Mme Carola, Mme Gagliardi, M. Bakos, Mme Carola, Mme Gervasi – et l’animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire Rocco Speranza ont pris part au projet et aux célébrations du 100e anniversaire de Courchesne Larose : La Grande Coupe! Ce projet avait pour but de nourrir les plus démunis de la région de Montréal tout en établissant un nouveau record Guinness pour la plus grande salade de fruits jamais préparée. Pour ce faire, la salade se devait de peser au moins 20 000 livres. 

Après des heures de préparation et de travail acharné, la salade de fruits a atteint 22 400 livres, soit un nouveau record mondial! Elle a ensuite été distribuée à des organismes communautaires grâce à Moisson Montréal et La table des chefs. Ce projet cadrait bien avec l’énoncé de mission du CVM, soit de servir la communauté.

KIM ST-PIERRE À LA COURSE TERRY FOX : Par une belle matinée d’automne ensoleillée, Kim St-Pierre - triple médaillée olympique au hockey – a pris part en compagnie de quelque 1 000 élèves de l’école Royal Vale à NDG à la course annuelle Terry Fox, l’une des plus grandes courses à Montréal. Les élèves étaient enthousiastes à l’idée de rencontrer une légende canadienne dans le cadre de cette journée destinée à honorer un autre héros canadien, soit Terry Fox. « L’objectif est de se rassembler et de célébrer Terry Fox qui a tant fait pour notre pays et pour la recherche sur le cancer », a déclaré Nathalie Lacroix-Mailette, directrice à l’école Royal Vale. « Tous nos élèves marchent en l’honneur d’une autre personne et sont conscients de l’importance de cette activité; ils ont apporté de l’argent à l’école, une pièce d’un ou de deux dollars, pour appuyer la recherche sur le cancer. » 

Morgan Davy, élève de 5e année, a marché en l’honneur de sa grand-mère, survivante du cancer. Lorsqu’on lui a demandé ce qu’elle dirait à Terry Fox si elle en avait la chance, la jeune fille âgée de 10 ans a répondu : « Merci de nous avoir sensibilisés à cette maladie et merci d’avoir couru. »
Quant à Kim St-Pierre, mère de deux jeunes garçons, elle n’a pas hésité une seconde à prendre part à la course de Royal Vale. « Je ne pouvais pas refuser. En tant qu’athlète, je souhaite m’impliquer dans ce genre d’activités. Si j’ai l’occasion de donner de mon temps et de partager avec les autres ma passion pour le sport, tout en amassant des fonds pour la recherche sur le cancer, c’est tout à fait génial. Je suis vraiment heureuse d’être ici aujourd’hui. » Kim est aujourd’hui coordonnatrice régionale chez BOKS Canada, qui offre gratuitement des ressources aux écoles primaires pour faire en sorte que les jeunes soient actifs tout au long de la journée. « Hier, nous avons procédé à l’inscription d’une 1 000e école », a-t-elle déclaré. « C’est très excitant. Mon territoire s’étend un peu partout au Québec. Je m’occupe des écoles et je m’assure que les enfants sont actifs pendant au moins 60 minutes par jour. J’enseigne aux enfants qu’il n’est pas nécessaire d’être un athlète olympique, qu’il suffit simplement d’adopter un mode de vie actif qui leur sera bénéfique à long terme. »

SOUPER EN L’HONNEUR DES RETRAITÉS : Cent vingt-trois personnes ont pris part au souper annuel en l’honneur des retraités, le 16 octobre à la Salle de réception Le Challenger à Ville Saint-Laurent. La soirée a permis d’honorer 78 employés retraités de la CSEM qui occupaient des postes d’éducateurs, d’administrateurs, de professionnels et de soutien. Ils totalisent tous ensemble 1 752 années de service. La présidente de la CSEM Angela Mancini, le vice-président Joe Ortona, la directrice générale Ann Marie Matheson, le directeur général adjoint (Administration) Benoît Duhême, la directrice générale adjointe (Éducation) Evelyne Alfonsi, plusieurs commissaires de la CSEM et des cadres supérieurs des divisions est et ouest, du Service de l’éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle, des Services éducatifs et de la technologie, du Service des ressources matérielles, des Services aux élèves, du Service des ressources humaines et de l’Organisation scolaire ont remis à chaque employé retraité un cadeau de remerciement, soit un pichet en cristal Carberry et quatre verres. Au nombre des employés honorés au cours de la soirée et comptant les plus longs états de service, mentionnons Mario Marazza, conseiller pédagogique pendant 48 ans au Centre des adultes Wagar à Côte Saint-Luc; George Bakakis, régisseur des Services éducatifs et de la technologie pendant 47 ans; Rachel Rosenstein, enseignante pendant 45 ans au Centre John F. Kennedy dans Villeray; et Alana Rubin orthophoniste au sein de l’équipe des Services aux élèves pendant 40 ans.

VISITE DE DARRELL FOX : Darrell Fox, le frère du défunt Terry Fox, a récemment rendu visite à l’école primaire Edinburgh à Montréal-Ouest et à l’école primaire Roslyn à Westmount. À Edinburgh, il a livré un discours à la fois puissant et émouvant où il a relaté l’histoire de Terry devant un gymnase où se sont entassés plus de 400 élèves et membres du personnel. Avah Pennefather, élève à l’école Edinburgh, a été honorée par Darrell. Avah a participé à tous les marathons de l’espoir depuis sa naissance. Elle a reçu un t-shirt porté par Darrel lorsque Terry a traversé le Canada à la course.

L’APEQ AU RENDEZ-VOUS : La CSEM aura une fois de plus une table d’information à l’occasion du Congrès annuel de l’Association provinciale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec (APEQ), les 8 et 9 novembre, à l’hôtel Hyatt Regency du Complexe Desjardins. Venez nous rencontrer à la table numéro 5.

The next Focus will be published on   November 29.   Submissions should be made to Michael J. Cohen preferably by e-mail (   by November 23 at Noon.

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