Sunday, September 27, 2020


Joe Ortona
CHAIR AND NINE COMMISSIONERS ACCLAIMED: Nominations closed on Sunday, September 27 for EMSB elections. Joe Ortona has been acclaimed as chair,  as have nine of the 10 available positions for commissioner: the only election will occur in Ward 3 (Westmount/Sud Ouest) between Julien Feldman (Team Ortona) and Irwin Rapoport (Independent). The candidates  acclaimed as commissioners are listed in this press release.

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS: As a result of the Court of Appeal of Quebec's decision to suspend Bill 40 until the Superior Court of Quebec rules on the case,  elections for Chair and 10 members of the Council of Commissioners were put back in place. For more details please go to the school board elections section on our website.

BILL 40:   EMSB Acting Chair Joe Ortona expressed  his strong satisfaction over the decision  by the Court of Appeal of Quebec to suspend Bill 40 until the Superior Court of Quebec hears the case beginning in November. Among other changes, Bill 40 would have transformed English-language school boards into school service centres. Speaking on behalf of the Council of Commissioners, Mr. Ortona cited this part of the ruling which painted a very clear picture: “Given that the changes in school governance resulting from Bill 40 appear, at first glance at least, to withdraw powers of management and control from the English school boards and limit the eligibility of the members of the official language minority of Quebec for elected positions in the new school service centres, in this case the public interest leans in favour of protecting the rights of the official linguistic minority rather than implementing Bill 40 in the English educational sector, at least until there is a judgment on the merits.”

“This is the third time the government has defended this bill in the courts, and they have lost every round,” Mr. Ortona maintains. “It is my hope that the Government works constructively in the interests of the children's education, especially in a pandemic, rather than to keep imposing what we consider to be an unconstitutional law. It was ill-advised to appeal this decision in the first place, and it would be just as ill-advised to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. We, the EMSB, will continue to represent the English minority and defend the fundamental freedoms of all Quebecers, the English-speaking community, religious minorities and others.” See the full press release here 

A flyer that promoted LaurenHill's Virtual Open House

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES:   With the COVID-19 pandemic ushering in a host of changes in the education system, beginning on September 15, prospective EMSB students and parents began to experience a new first: virtual open houses. With Royal West Academy in Montreal West kicking off EMSB Open House season, prospective students and parents  have the opportunity to visit any EMSB school from the comfort of their home or office. Royal West launched this  student-produced video that introduces some of the features of the school.  This video has been posted on their website, and shared through social media outlets.  Also, prospective parents can complete an online form in order to ask questions to the staff – the questions will be compiled, answered and posted online as a Q&A document.  LaurenHill Academy streamed their open house live.    

From personal appointments, booked through applications embedded in school websites, to virtual school tours and even live broadcasts with administrators and teachers streamed to social media, the EMSB is using creative ways to ensure that this critical component of the educational journey is not lost due to COVID-19. For a full list of EMSB Open Houses, please visit this link.   Stay tuned for more information.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION FAIR: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20th annual EMSB Education Fair (formerly the Career Fair) will take place virtually this year toward the end of October.  Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank are once again the event’s title sponsors.  The Education Fair represents a good opportunity for students and their parents to look towards post-secondary education options. This program is coordinated by the EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services and the Student Services Departments. The main objective is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them. Stay tuned here for more details regarding programming. Students will then have the chance to visit virtual information booths from English vocational centres, CEGEPS, universities and some private business colleges.  There will be a video describing the steps that must be taken to apply for CEGEP and another featuring present-day vocational students sharing their positive experiences.   Info:

VIRTUAL SCHOOL: The EMSB’s newly established Virtual School is offered to students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 11, who have qualified for exemptions and will not be returning to their regular schools this school year. In a context outside of the COVID-19 global pandemic, these students would have attended one of the EMSB’s other schools.   The dedicated, experienced, and certified staff includes an administration, preschool, elementary, and secondary level teachers as well as support staff including childcare workers, behaviour technicians and professionals (psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, etc.). The Virtual School will also rely on the experience and expertise of specialists, professionals in education, and educational consultants. The students will be paired with a teacher who will accompany them during the 2020-2021 academic year. Finally, Student Services and Educational Services will assist the school team to facilitate the educational progress of the students of the Virtual School.   See this report on CBC TV.

THE FACES OF THE FRONTLINES:    Inspired by the devastation of the Coronavirus, Spiritual Community Animator  (SCA) Vince Lacroce is launching a new educational program that will take a closer look  inside the world of this pandemic. “The Faces of the Frontlines” program is a partnership with local Montreal frontline workers, nurses and doctors, and  the SCA Service to help facilitate interactive presentations in both elementary and high schools of the EMSB. 

A nurse with a student at Nesbitt School.  

These 30 to 45 minute sessions will consist of candid first hand experiences of life inside the frontlines of this pandemic, interactive activities and scenarios, safety and best practices to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The program is running throughout the month of September to acknowledge the tireless hours and endless sacrifices of local Montrealers in our community.  

SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE: Inspired by the new normal, Spiritual Community Animators Vince Lacroce, Linda Luca, Joseph Monachino and Jagdeep Trehin have developed a Self-Care and Awareness campaign geared towards primary and secondary school students. The self-care program will discuss the importance of daily self-care, and help students develop coping strategies and tools that support their well-being. “The need for self-care is extremely important during these difficult times," said Mr. Lacroce. "The lessons and coping strategies provided are beneficial for both adults and students. We all need to assess and take care of our well-being in order to be a support for others. The program will be both virtual and classroom-based and will run throughout the month of September. It is available to be implemented by the Spiritual and Community Animator in each school."

Sebastian Villani  
VETERAN TEACHER RETIRES:  Sebastian Villani doesn’t seem like a man on the doorstep of retirement. After 47 years as a teacher, his interest and passion for the calling seem just as ripe as someone starting out. However, after almost a half century and some 15,000 students later, he’s hanging up his skates.  

Mr. Villani’s career started when he was just 22 at a Catholic English Junior High School in St. Leonard, and ended recently at the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB)  Laurier Macdonald High School, where he had been teaching for the last 33 years.  See the full article here.

TEACHER INTEGRATES TECHNOLOGY INTO LESSONS: Nahal Derayeh, better known to parents and children as Madame Nahal, is a French kindergarten teacher at Dante Elementary School in St. Léonard who has been teaching at the EMSB for 18 years. Over the past four years she has been innovatively integrating technology into her teaching.  By using YouTube videos she records of herself in the classroom and on a private Facebook group called “Mme Nahal et Ses Amies,” she manages to stay connected to parents and children in and out of the classroom.  

Madame Nahal  

It started four years ago when Mme. Derayeh attended an EMSB workshop to learn new skills on how to integrate technology into her teaching because she felt that she was not “tech savvy.” She said she was inspired to use the Facebook medium to communicate with parents because that is what she uses to feel close to her friends and family. So far, she never had a parent who did not want to participate, and her Facebook groups have been a huge success, increasing her popularity with parents and students alike. “As a working mom of four children, I always wanted to see what is going on when my children are at school, wishing I could be a  fly on the wall," she said.  "I felt like I was missing an important part of their life because they spend so much time at school.  I saw a Facebook group as an opportunity to help parents feel connected with their children even when they are at school and to help parents and children with homework." Please read Ivana Bahdo's complete interview with her here.

SOMETHING NEON AWARD: When COVID hit, Something Neon was founded in Montreal by husband and wife, Daniel and Lauren, decided to create reusable masks and used a proceed of their sales to provide masks to frontline workers. Fast forward six months ....a week before students were returning to school, Donna Friedman-Perlin, a teacher at Bancroft heard that Something Neon wanted to provide their masks to educators. 

Donna Friedman- Perlin and team model the masks.  

Donna thought who better to benefit from these masks then her and her co-workers at Bancroft. She reached out to them and they were happy to provide their unique colourful masks to Bancroft staff! Thank you to Something Neon for helping to keep the staff at Bancroft safe and stylish!

DIRECTOR GENERAL SEARCHMs. Jennings  announced that Mandrake, an executive search firm, has been awarded a mandate to lead the recruitment process for the new Director General of the EMSB. The position has been held on an interim basis by Evelyne Alfonsi since August 13, 2020 when former Director General Ann Marie Matheson stepped down from the position. See the full article here, including the names of those serving on the selection committee. 

ANTI-RACISM STAND: The EMSB has adopted a resolution, denouncing any form of racism of discrimination  and supports its schools and centres in their efforts to educate students within a caring, safe and inclusive learning community.  Recent tragic events in North America have confirmed the need to acknowledge and address the presence of systemic racism and other forms of discrimination in Canada. “We  condemn racism in any form,” stated EMSB Trustee Marlene Jennings. “Recent racist incidents documented in Quebec require us to re-examine our responsibility, as part of the educational community  for the prevention and intolerance of discrimination in all of our schools, centres and head office.”

Ms. Jennings noted that the public education system should offer an inclusionary curriculum for all. ‘The EMSB believes in the respect and dignity of all individuals,’ she said. “No individual or group should be made to live in fear or should be excluded from society.” The  resolution also states  that the Ministry of Education should develop and mandate a provincial task force to examine systemic racism in the education network and make recommendations on the changes needed to combat systemic racism. Such a task force should include representatives of the diverse communities.

John Grant students in the great outdoors.  

OUTDOOR LEARNING: In the early going of this very different academic year, many teachers have taken their classes outdoors. Carla Toffoli has been taking her gym classes outdoors for healthy activities  at John Grant High School in Côte Saint-Luc. Everyone participates while respecting physical distancing.  Her students are working up a sweat and are learning great exercises they can do to stay fit.

The Dalkeith math project.  

MATH ABOUT ME: At Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou, Back to school coincided with the "Math About Me" activity! The cycle two students completed their "All About Mathematical Me" activity. They discovered the place that numbers have in their world. They had so much fun describing themselves using math. Great job cycle two!!

Marilyn  Ramlakhan
ADMIN APPOINTMENTS: The English  sector of  FACE School  has its first  principal in Marilyn Ramlakhan, previously the vice-principal at James Lyng High School. Jennifer Harriet remains as vice-principal. Andrea Dillon, a teacher at Royal West Academy, is now interim vp at James Lyng;  Peter McKelvie, a physical education teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate, is now the interim vp there.

INFRASTRUCTURE TALKS: Following the  publication of a number of media reports that speculated on infrastructure projects involving its schools, EMSB Trustee Marlene  Jennings   insisted on addressing the situation and clarifying specific information. “In compliance with its role and responsibilities, the EMSB regularly participates in formal, as well as informal, discussions with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) and with other school service centres on the Island of Montreal regarding future infrastructure needs. These discussions include investments in the maintenance and renovation of existing buildings, construction of new schools and other challenges associated with demographic changes in Montreal. Over the last year, the EMSB has held these types of discussions on an exploratory basis with public service members of the MEES along with representatives of the Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île as well as those of the Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys. We want to make it clear that various scenarios involving many existing and projected schools were discussed. Although it was considered, the ideas were never sufficiently feasible nor relevant enough to warrant holding talks with members of the EMSB Long Range Planning Committee or with any of the governing boards of one of our schools.”

For the full statement click here  

Here is a report from Global TV  

Psychologist Cheryl Wiltzer did a number of interviews on the first day of school.

THE CURRENT:  The team from CBC National Radio’s The Current came to Montreal for the first day of school and, based at Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau, filed this excellent 20 minute feature. EMSB teachers, psychologist Cheryl Wiltzer and Interim Director General Evelyne Alfonsi were among those quoted. You can listen to it here

COVID-19 INFORMATION: The EMSB continues to publish its special COVID-19 newsletter.  Four editions have already come up and plans call for uch updates to continue. They are posted on the EMSB website and sent out via School Messenger to all stakeholders.  There is also a comprehensive FAQ section, updated daily. 

FAQ SECTION UPDATED DAILY:  As parents, we understand that you have many questions/concerns and that this is a period of uncertainty. Rest assured that we are preparing to reopen our schools and doing everything possible to make sure your children are safe while attending school.  Although there will be differences in the organization of each school based on their own realities, the general planning and organization must respect the directives from the Ministry of Education. Please stay up to date with our comprehensive FAQ section.

Lots of colour at Sinclair Laird.  

WEAR YOUR GRADE COLOURS:  It has been an excellent start at Sinclair Laird  Elementary School in Park Extension, especially for  students.  Opening day featured  a "Wear Your Grade Colours" t-shirt day in order to celebrate. The school was filled with bright colours, balloons, and smiles all around.

Gerald McShane B.A.S.E. Daycare educator Candida Di Zazzo assists a pre-kindergarten student with washing his hands.

B.A.S.E. TEAM VISITS DAYCARES: In an effort to address the new challenges brought on by COVID-19 and to support the approximately 240 daycare staff members during their new reality, members of the B.A.S.E. Daycare Team are visiting the EMSB’s 28 daycares over a period of three weeks (September 21 to October 9, 2020).  Daycare Manager  Teresa Federico and Daycare Project Development Officers Jennifer De Freitas and Melina Trimarchi are performing the daycare visits. The purpose of the visits are twofold: to discuss and complete a COVID-19 Preventive Measures Checklist with the daycare technicians and to see firsthand how the daycares are operating with the new preventive measures. Checklists from the 28 daycares will then be compiled to determine what complementary actions can be put in place to provide additional support to the daycare staff and children. 

A scene from last year's event at John Caboto.

TERRY FOX RUNS AT 40: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, and many schools are creating innovative, fun and safe ways to continue the legacy of the great Canadian. Fundraising takes place online, but the actual physical event is being played out in different and interesting ways at the English Montreal School Board. The official date for the Terry Fox Foundation school run across Canada is September 30, but schools are having their events at different times during the fall. Among the elementary schools which have a strong annual Terry Fox Run tradition is Roslyn Elementary School. This year, it will continue to be a school-wide event with all students running for 10 minutes, in their classroom bubbles, around their schoolyard at staggered times on October 6 and 7.  A brand-new initiative – the “40 for 40 Virtual Walk of Hope” – will unfold at Rosemount High School, Perspectives I and II  Alternative High Schools in St. Michel,  Nesbitt in Rosemount   and Honoré Mercier Elementary in St. Léonard. It takes place over a month, starting September 28.  Please read our more detailed story here.

BEAVER TAILS AND PIZZA: Students and staff at L.I.N.K.S. High School in Ahuntsic, and Edward Murphy School in Mercier Ouest, marked the return to school with delicious beaver tails and Mediterranean style pizza made on the spot from an authentic wood burning pizza oven. Chef Robert’s and Chef's Ken’s award-winning pizza made everyone’s day. Students and staff enjoyed spending time together and reconnecting outdoors. Thank you to Principals Ms. Caldarella & Ms. Delis, and their teams for the wonderful welcome back.

ARMY OF MASKS: The Army of Masks is an amazing army of volunteers of all ages who are giving their time to fight COVID-19. Since March 20, armed only with cotton fabrics, needles and thread, compassion and kindness, hundreds of local sewers across Canada are helping in the battle against COVID-19 by creating reusable masks for those in need. Mr. Speranza heard about this group after learning that students and communities that he serves could not obtain face coverings. After making a request, a local volunteer named Andrea contacted him. The conversation was uplifting. She told him that children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, experienced and novice sewers, were working together to sew masks for their community. With the price of PPEs skyrocketing and in short supply, this group is a life saver. Due to high demand and limited volunteers the group was struggling to keep up with the requests they were receiving. They have now expanded the army and staff and students at several EMSB schools have joined in the effort. If you would like to join, contact Mr.   Speranza  at Anybody who can cut with scissors can participate!

CN RAIL SAFETY: Constable Andre from the Canadian National Police Service teamed up with Mr.   Speranza, in order to launch Rail Safety Week.  Starting on Sept 21,  Constable Andre will be visiting with students from L.I.N.K.S. High School and virtually with students at Edward Murphy, East Hill, and JFK. His message is clear, “See Tracks, Think Trains.” The interactive safety workshops aim to remind students and adults about the importance of changing their train of thought and being more aware and alert around trains, train tracks, and platforms. One of the growing distractions around tracks is the increased headphone use and people being on their mobile devices (some wanting to take that perfect selfie). As the coming years will see an increase in the number of passenger trains in service, providing students with these workshops offers a timely reminder about train and rail safety.

OPERATION ROSCO:  Operation R.O.S.C.O was recently launched by SCA Mr. Speranza, ERC teacher Ms. Luciana, and caretaker Mr. Silvino from East Hill School. Operation ROSCO (Rays of Sunshine, Caring and Open-mindedness) aims to spread messages of peace, hope, joy, and thanks to our front-line workers and patients in the Health Sector.  Students and staff at East Hill as well as Royal Vale, St. Gabriel, Gerald McShane, Edward Murphy, LINKS, and JFK are preparing hundreds of cards to be delivered in the coming weeks. It is our hope that the pictures and cards will help brighten their days. The name and project was inspired by a 91-year-old senior citizen who Mr. Speranza had the privilege of spending time with over the summer. He was never able to pronounce Rocco, calling him “Rosco” instead.

HEALTH ASSESSMENT TOOL: The EMSB has implemented  an online Health Assessment Tool  to remind all stakeholders to assess their health daily in regards to COVID-19.  This tool is a questionnaire/form with four questions. It is emailed out to all stakeholders. Please ensure to fill it out. We are introducing a  new program of COVID-19 Safety Ambassadors. Here is our first message from Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather.

MEET  VALERIE: Welcome to Fielding Avenue  Valerie Honig.  She is a new robotics and STEAM consultant, having worked as a science and technology specialist at Gardenview Elementary School in St. Laurent for over 10 years.  She has a special interest in technology, environmental sustainability, and inquiry-based learning.  "While I was fortunate to be a teacher in a wonderful school community, I am thrilled to be part of an inspiring and dedicated team at the Board," she says.

FREE ONLINE TUTORING: Tutoring is back for the fall session! LEARN Quebec's effective and popular program, offered at no charge, provides online homework help and tutoring appointments based on needs identified by parents, students, or schools. Our online tutors are fully qualified Quebec teachers, experienced in tutoring, review and consolidation. They work directly with elementary (grades 2 and up) and secondary students, and their families. You can consult their FAQ page to find answers to common questions:é Registration is open and ongoing. The fall online tutoring session starts October 5. 


PORTES OUVERTES VIRTUELLES: Au nombre des changements entraînés par la pandémie de COVID-19 au sein du réseau de l’éducation, à compter du 15 septembre, les futurs élèves de la CSEM et leurs parents vivront une toute nouvelle expérience : les portes ouvertes virtuelles. L'Académie Royal West de Montréal-Ouest a donné le coup d’envoi à la saison des portes ouvertes à la CSEM. Futurs élèves et parents ont la possibilité de visiter les écoles de leur choix, dans le confort de leur foyer ou au bureau. Royal West a lancé une vidéo réalisée par les élèves où sont mis en lumière certains atouts de l'école. Cette vidéo a été publiée sur le site Web de l’académie et partagée sur les réseaux sociaux. De plus, les parents peuvent remplir un formulaire en ligne afin de poser des questions au personnel – les questions seront compilées, traitées et mises en ligne sous forme de document Foire aux questions. 

Nous vous invitons à visionner la vidéo 

Qu'il s'agisse de rendez-vous personnels fixés au moyen d'applications intégrées aux sites Web des écoles, de visites virtuelles des établissements ou encore de présentations en direct par les directions et les enseignants diffusées sur les médias sociaux, la CSEM redouble d’efforts et de créativité afin de s’assurer que cette importante étape du cheminement scolaire ne soit pas exclue en raison de la COVID 19. Pour la liste complète des journées portes ouvertes à la CSEM, visitez le : D’autres informations suivront.

FOIRE DE L’ÉDUCATION EN MODE VIRTUEL : En raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, la 20e édition annuelle de la Foire de l’éducation à la CSEM (anciennement la Foire des carrières) se tiendra virtuellement cette année, vers la fin du mois d'octobre. Jack Dym de Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. et la Banque Royale RBC sont une fois de plus les commanditaires en titre de l'événement. La Foire de l'éducation est une excellente occasion qui permet aux parents et élèves de se renseigner sur les options postsecondaires. Coordonnée par les Services de l'éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle en collaboration avec les Services aux élèves de la CSEM, cette foire vise principalement à sensibiliser les élèves aux divers programmes d’enseignement qui s’offrent à eux. Restez à l'affût et rendez-vous sur le pour tout savoir sur la programmation. Les élèves auront l’occasion de visiter en mode virtuel les divers kiosques d’information d’établissements anglophones, notamment des centres de formation professionnelle, des cégeps, universités et certains collèges privés. Une vidéo présentera la marche à suivre pour faire une demande au cégep, et une autre mettra en vedette des élèves actuels à la formation professionnelle qui partageront leur expérience positive. 

ÉCOLE VIRTUELLE : L’école virtuelle récemment mise sur pied par la CSEM s’adresse aux élèves du préscolaire à la 5e secondaire qui ont bénéficié d’une exemption et qui ne réintégreront pas leur école habituelle au cours de la présente année scolaire. N’eût été la pandémie actuelle de COVID-19, ces élèves auraient fréquenté l'une des autres écoles de la CSEM. Sonia Marotta a été nommée directrice et est secondée par les directeurs adjoints Jessica Monti et Francesco Magliocca. Le personnel dévoué, expérimenté et compétent regroupe des enseignants du préscolaire, du primaire et du secondaire ainsi que du personnel de soutien, notamment des éducateurs en services de garde, des techniciens en comportement et des professionnels (psychologues, orthophonistes, ergothérapeutes, etc.). L'école virtuelle mettra également à contribution l'expérience et l'expertise de spécialistes, de professionnels en éducation et de conseillers pédagogiques. Les élèves seront jumelés avec un enseignant qui les accompagnera tout au long de l'année scolaire 2020-2021. Enfin, les Services aux élèves et les Services éducatifs assisteront l'équipe-école afin de faciliter la progression scolaire des élèves de l'école virtuelle.

PROGRAMME THE FACES OF THE FRONTLINES: Inspiré par les ravages du coronavirus, l’animateur de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire Vince Lacroce lance un nouveau programme éducatif qui permettra de mieux comprendre cette pandémie. Baptisé The Faces of the Frontlines, ce programme se veut un partenariat entre les services d’animation de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire et des travailleurs de première ligne, des infirmières et des médecins de la grande région de Montréal, afin d’animer des présentations interactives dans les écoles primaires et secondaires de la CSEM. Ces séances d’une durée de 30 à 45 minutes porteront sur des expériences réelles vécues au front en cette période de pandémie, en plus d’offrir des activités et des scénarios interactifs, de rappeler les mesures de sécurité et les meilleures pratiques pour contribuer à ralentir la propagation de la COVID-19. Le programme se déroulera tout au long du mois de septembre afin de souligner les heures inlassables et les sacrifices sans fin des Montréalais et Montréalaises de notre communauté. 

FIN DE PARCOURS POUR UN ENSEIGNANT DE LONGUE DATE: Sebastian Villani ne semble pas mûr pour la retraite. Même après 47 ans à titre d’enseignant, son intérêt et sa passion sont tout aussi fervents qu'un nouveau venu dans la profession. Mais près d’un demi-siècle et 15 000 élèves plus tard, il a décidé de tirer sa révérence.  

Sa carrière a débuté à l'âge de 22 ans dans une école secondaire catholique anglophone de premier cycle à Saint-Léonard, et a pris fin récemment à l'école secondaire Laurier Macdonald de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal, où il a enseigné pendant les 33 dernières années.  

SOMETHING NEON: Lorsque la pandémie de COVID-19 a été déclarée, Something Neon – entreprise fondée à Montréal par le couple Daniel et Lauren – a décidé de confectionner des masques réutilisables et d’utiliser une partie du produit de la vente pour fournir des masques aux travailleurs de première ligne. Six mois plus tard, une semaine avant la rentrée scolaire, 

Donna Friedman-Perlin, enseignante à l’école Bancroft a eu vent que Something Neon fournissait des masques aux enseignants. Elle a tout de suite pensé qu’elle et ses collègues de Bancroft pourraient en profiter. Elle a donc communiqué avec eux et c’est avec plaisir qu’ils ont offert leurs masques uniques et colorés au personnel de l’école Bancroft! Merci à Something Neon de contribuer, avec style, à la sécurité du personnel de Bancroft!

PRISE DE POSITION CONTRE LE RACISME : La CSEM a adopté une résolution afin de dénoncer toute forme de racisme ou de discrimination et de soutenir ses écoles et ses centres dans leurs efforts en vue d’éduquer les élèves dans un cadre d’apprentissage attentionné, sûr et inclusif.  Les récents événements tragiques survenus en Amérique du Nord sont venus confirmer la nécessité de reconnaître et d’aborder la présence du racisme systémique et d’autres formes de discrimination au Canada. « Nous condamnons toute forme de racisme », a déclaré Marlene Jennings, administratrice de la tutelle à la CSEM. Les récents incidents racistes documentés au Québec nous obligent, en tant qu’acteur du milieu de l’éducation, à revoir notre responsabilité à l’égard de la prévention et de l’intolérance face à la discrimination dans toutes nos écoles, nos centres et au centre administratif. »

Madame Jennings a souligné que le système d’éducation publique devrait offrir un programme d’études inclusif pour tous. « La CSEM croit au respect et à la dignité de tous les individus, qu’aucun individu ou groupe ne devrait être contraint de vivre dans la peur ou être exclu de la société », a-t-elle poursuivi. La résolution stipule également que le ministère de l’Éducation devrait mettre sur pied et mandater un groupe de travail provincial pour se pencher sur le racisme systémique dans le réseau de l’éducation et formuler des recommandations sur les changements à apporter afin de combattre le racisme systémique. Un tel groupe de travail devrait inclure des représentants des diverses communautés.

APPRENTISSAGE EN PLEIN AIR: En ce début d’année scolaire exceptionnelle, nombre d’enseignants font de l’enseignement en plein air. Ainsi, à l’école secondaire John Grant de Côte Saint-Luc, Carla Toffoli a décidé de dispenser ses cours d’éducation physique à l’extérieur. Les élèves prennent part à de saines activités tout en respectant la distanciation physique. Ses élèves se donnent à fond et apprennent d’excellents exercices pour garder la forme.

MATH ABOUT ME: À l’école primaire Dalkeith à Anjou, la rentrée a coïncidé avec l’activité Math About Me! Les élèves du deuxième cycle ont complété l’activité All About Mathematical Me. Ils ont découvert la place qu’occupent les nombres dans leur vie. Ils ont eu un plaisir fou à se décrire à l’aide des mathématiques. Bravo à tous!

NOMINATIONS ADMINISTRATIVES : Le secteur anglophone de l'école FACE a sa première directrice en la personne de Marilyn Ramlakhan, auparavant directrice adjointe à l’école secondaire James Lyng. Jennifer Harriet demeure directrice adjointe. Andrea Dillon, enseignante à l’Académie Royal West, est désormais directrice adjointe par intérim à James Lyng; Peter McKelvie, enseignant d'éducation physique au Collège Vincent Massey, y est désormais directeur adjoint par intérim.

DISCUSSIONS ENTOURANT LES INFRASTRUCTURES: À la suite de la parution de certains reportages dans les médias spéculant sur des projets d’infrastructures touchant les écoles de la CSEM, Marlene Jennings, administratrice de la CSEM, a tenu à faire le point et à rectifier certaines informations. Conformément à son rôle et à ses responsabilités, la CSEM participe régulièrement à des discussions formelles et informelles avec le ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES), ainsi qu’avec les autres centres de services scolaires de l’île de Montréal, relativement aux besoins d’avenir en matière d’infrastructures. Ces échanges portent notamment sur les investissements dans l’entretien et la rénovation de bâtiments existants, la construction de nouvelles écoles et les défis liés à l’évolution démographique à Montréal. Au cours de la dernière année, la CSEM a tenu des discussions de cette nature sur une base exploratoire avec des membres de la fonction publique du MEES et des représentants du Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île et du Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys. Nous tenons à être très clairs à l’effet que des scénarios variés visant de nombreuses écoles existantes et projetées ont été évoqués. Bien qu’il ait été considéré de le faire, jamais les échanges n’ont été assez viables ou pertinents pour qu’il y ait lieu de tenir des discussions avec les membres du comité de planification à long terme de la CSEM ou avec l’un ou l’autre des conseils d’établissements de l’une de nos écoles.

Nous vous invitons à lire l’intégral de la déclaration 


THE CURRENT: L’équipe de The Current de la radio nationale CBC s’est rendue à Montréal à l’occasion de la rentrée scolaire et, depuis l’école primaire Bancroft sur le Plateau, a produit cette excellente capsule d’une durée de 20 minutes. Des enseignants de la CSEM, la psychologue  Cheryl Wiltzer et la directrice générale par intérim Evelyne Alfonsi figurent parmi les gens cités. Nous vous invitons à en faire l’écoute 

INFORMATIONS SUR LA COVID-19: La CSEM continue de publier son Infolettre spéciale sur la COVID-19. Trois éditions ont déjà été publiées et d’autres sont à venir. Elles sont affichées sur le site Web de la CSEM et envoyées via School Messenger à tous les partenaires. Une Foire aux questions (FAQ) exhaustive a également vu le jour et est mise à jour quotidiennement.

MISE À JOUR QUOTIDIENNE DE LA FOIRE AUX QUESTIONS (FAQ) : En tant que parents, nous sommes conscients que vous avez de nombreuses questions/préoccupations en cette période d'incertitude. Nous tenons à vous assurer que nous nous préparons à rouvrir nos établissements et que nous faisons tout le nécessaire pour assurer la sécurité de vos enfants à l’école. Bien que l'organisation de chaque école diffère en fonction de sa propre réalité, il n’en demeure pas moins que la planification et l'organisation générales doivent être conformes aux directives du Ministère. Nous vous invitons à consulter régulièrement la section FAQ.

PORTE LES COULEURS DE TON CYCLE: L’école primaire Sinclair Laird de Parc-Extension a connu une excellente rentrée, en particulier les élèves. En effet, dans le cadre de l’activité « Porte les couleurs de ton cycle » organisée le premier jour, les élèves ont pu revêtir un t-shirt aux couleurs de leur cycle et célébrer ce grand jour. Couleurs vives, ballons et sourires étaient au rendez-vous pour l’occasion. 

INITIATIVE D’AUTOPRISE EN CHARGE ET DE BIEN-ÊTRE: Devant la nouvelle normalité, les animateurs de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire Vince Lacroce, Linda Luca, Joseph Monachino et Jagdeep Trehin ont mis sur pied une campagne de sensibilisation sur l’autoprise en charge de la santé destinée aux élèves des écoles primaires et secondaires. Ce programme porte sur l'importance de se prendre en charge au quotidien, contribue à développer des stratégies et des outils d'adaptation, ainsi qu’à créer une harmonie pour le bien-être intérieur. « La nécessité de prendre en charge sa santé est extrêmement importante en ces temps difficiles. Les leçons et les stratégies d'adaptation sont bénéfiques à la fois pour les adultes et les élèves, car nous nous devons d’être en mesure d’évaluer notre bien-être et de soutenir ceux qui pourraient éprouver des difficultés ou être dans le besoin », a déclaré M. Lacroce. « Le programme sera dispensé en mode virtuel ainsi qu’en classe et se déroulera tout au long du mois de septembre. »

OUTIL D’ÉVALUATION EN MATIÈRE DE SANTÉ:  La CSEM a créé un outil d'évaluation de la santé en ligne qui sera envoyé à tous ses partenaires le mercredi matin et le dimanche après-midi afin de leur rappeler d'évaluer quotidiennement leur santé en lien avec la COVID-19.  

STATUT DES ÉLECTIONS ET LOI 40: Le président par intérim de la CSEM, M. Joe Ortona, a exprimé sa grande satisfaction devant la décision rendue par la Cour d’appel du Québec de suspendre l’application de la loi 40 jusqu’à ce que la Cour supérieure du Québec entende la cause en novembre. Entre autres changements, la loi 40 aurait transformé les commissions scolaires anglophones en centres de services scolaires. S’exprimant au nom du conseil des commissaires, M. Ortona a cité cet extrait du jugement qui dépeint clairement la situation : « Puisque les changements dans la gouvernance scolaire institués par la Loi 40 semblent, à première vue du moins, retirer des pouvoirs de gestion et de contrôle aux commissions scolaires anglophones et restreindre l’éligibilité des membres de la minorité linguistique officielle du Québec aux postes électifs des nouveaux centres de services scolaires, l’intérêt public penche dans ce cas-ci en faveur de la protection des droits de la minorité linguistique officielle plutôt qu’en faveur de la mise en œuvre de la Loi 40 dans le secteur éducatif anglophone, du moins jusqu’à ce qu’une décision sur le fond de l’affaire soit rendue. » 

« C'est la troisième fois que le gouvernement défend cette loi devant les tribunaux, sans jamais avoir eu gain de cause », de souligner M. Ortona. « J'ose espérer que le gouvernement travaille de manière constructive dans l'intérêt de l'éducation des enfants, tout particulièrement en période de pandémie, plutôt que de continuer à imposer ce que nous considérons être une loi anticonstitutionnelle. Il était mal avisé d’en appeler de cette décision en premier lieu, et il serait tout aussi mal avisé d’interjeter appel devant la Cour suprême du Canada. Nous, à la CSEM, continuerons à représenter la minorité anglophone et à défendre les libertés fondamentales de l’ensemble des Québécois, de la communauté anglophone, des minorités religieuses et autres. » Info ici.

Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 29 octobre. La date limite pour soumettre vos articles est fixée au 26 octobre.

The next Focus newsletter will be on October 29.  Deadline for submissions is October 21, 2020

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


COVID-19 INFORMATION: The EMSB has launched a special COVID-19 newsletter.  Three editions have already come up and plans call for regular such updates to continue. They are posted on the EMSB website and sent out via School Messenger to all stakeholders.  There is also a comprehensive FAQ section, updated daily.

Please click here for a link to the latest newsletter  

Our dedicated staff.  

PPE FOR SCHOOLS & CENTRES: In just five working days a team of five people, with help from Field Services, sorted thousands of boxes of personal protective equipment to be shipped to all of  schools and centres across Montreal.  Over 21, 000 masks, 21,000 visors, 4,000 gowns, 4,000 sanitizer bottles, 200 dispensers and 200 Plexiglas safety screens have been sent to protect teachers, professionals and support staff.   The EMSB would like to thank its Material Resources PPE team for their amazing and efficient work, Field Services and the administration of Royal Vale School for the use of their facilities and their help.

FAQ SECTION UPDATED DAILY:  We understand that parents have many questions/concerns and that this is a period of uncertainty. Rest assured that we are doing everything possible to make sure your children are safe while attending school.  Although there will be differences in the organization of each school based on their own realities, the general planning and organization must respect the directives from the Ministry of Education. Please stay up to date with our comprehensive FAQ section.

VIDEO OF MEETING: Please see this video from our August 31 Board meeting  where questions related to exemptions. home schooling and other matters are explained at the beginning. 

BACK TO SCHOOL: Students of the EMSB’s primary and secondary institutions returned to class on Monday, August 31, 2020.  Kindergarten children must be five years of age on or before September 30, 2020 while Grade 1 (Cycle 1) students must be six years old on or before the same date.     The EMSB serves more than 40,000 students at 34 elementary schools, 15 secondary schools, eight alternative outreach  high schools, seven social affairs institutions and nine adult and vocational centres.   All pupils registering for the first time are required to provide a birth certificate and vaccination records to the school the child will be attending. Parents will be asked to fill out forms which will allow the school to apply for the  certificate of eligibility for English schooling. Under the Charter of the French Language, a certificate of eligibility is generally granted to children who did the majority of their elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada; whose mother or father did the majority of his/her  elementary studies in English in  Canada or whose brother or sister did  the majority of his/her elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada. Please note that as a result of Quebec law, this criteria excludes studies completed in the Quebec Private School system.

Marlene Jennings, Evelyne Alfonsi and  Benoît Duhême with some Bancroft students.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Historic Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau, which is 104 years old, served as the media centre for the first day of classes at the EMSB on August 31. EMSB Trustee Marlene Jennings, Interim Director General Evelyne Alfonsi, Assistant Director General Benoit Duheme and Interim Assistant Director of Educational Services Myrianne Lusignan were among those on hand to greet the students. When Principal Dorothy Ostrowicz arrived a decade ago, there were 150 students and the school was on a list being considered for closure. Enrolment is now close to 400. The building also houses MIND (Moving in New Directions) High School.

See our video by Daniel Smajovits  as he goes into teacher Donna Friedman-Perlin's classroom.

Montreal Gazette Story

CTV  Montreal Report

Willingdon teacher Kathleen Usher on CBC News Network

Global TV Report

Global Morning News Live

CBC TV Reports

CBC Behind The Scenes at Bancroft

Psychologist Cheryl Wiltzer on CBC News Network

City News Montreal Report

Matt Galloway, host of the CBC National Radio Show The Current, was on site with his crew to produce a documentary about the start of this very different school year.  It will air on September 8 at 8:30 am on CBC Radio One 88.5 FM.

CHANGES TO ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE: At a public board meeting August 31, under the leadership of EMSB Trustee Marlene Jennings, a resolution was adopted approving important changes to the administrative organizational structure of the English Montreal School Board. ‘’Today’s announcement is the result of a 10-month process of in-depth analysis, benchmarking, consultations and planning completed with the external support of our consultants,” said Ms. Jennings. “Our objectives are to modernize EMSB’s administrative structure, implement stronger governance and management practices at the board, while maximizing the support of EMSB head office towards schools and centres – to the direct benefit of all students.’’ For all of the details please see our announcement.

Francesca Magliocco
Jessica Monti  

: The EMSB has announced the establishment of a Virtual School for the 2020-21 academic year, which will be available for students from preschool to secondary V who qualify for online learning if they, or a household member, have a health condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19. Presently, approximately 400 students have enrolled, or are in the process of completing enrollment. This accounts for nearly one percent of the EMSB’s total student population. The Virtual School will be led by two Administrators, Jessica Monti, presently the Vice-Principal at East Hill, and Francesc Magliocco. presently the Vice-Principal at Vincent Massey Collegiate. In addition to a teaching staff, there will also be a team of professionals and special needs consultants to support students.  Please see the press release.

SEE OUR NEW HIGH SCHOOL GUIDE: Starting  to  explore  secondary  school  options  can  begin  as  early  as  Grade  5,  but  it   doesn’t have to be daunting. The earlier you know about all of your options, the better  equipped you’ll be to make the right choice when admission dates come around. We have prepared a special high school guide for parents starting their approach into the world of sec- ondary education. Here you will find a snapshot of what each of our mainstream high  schools has to offer: What are the programs they excel in? What sets them apart? What  are their extra-curricular activities that go such a long way in enriching the life of a high  school student? The important dates, including open houses, admissions applications  and placement exams, are listed for each school so you can mark these into your calendar. You can acess our guide here  

Dr. Christopher Labos  

COVID-19 has changed everything for everyone: there are so many questions on how to get our children back to school and how to keep everyone as healthy as possible. To answer these questions and to give parents the best current advice available, three doctors joined the EMSB podcast: Gerald Fried, Professor of Surgery at McGill, MUHC Surgeon and Associate Dean Education Technology & Innovation; Dr. Debbie Schwarcz, ER physician at Lachine Hospital and Family Practitioner at Santé Mont Royal; and Dr. Christopher Labos, Cardiologist and Epidemiologist. Dr. Schwarcz is a parent at Merton School; Dr. Fried attended Hampstead School as a child; Dr. Labos is a grad of LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent. You can listen to it here.

GLOBAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The EMSB had this Public Service Announcement running on Global TV in August. We extend our best wishes to Jamie Orchard, who is no longer with Global. Jamie is not only an EMSB parent, but she has co-hosted our annual Volunteer Appreciation evenings.

EXPRESS NEWPAPER: The fall edition of the EMSB Express Newspaper is being distributed to schools and centres this week. It features special sections on our libraries and volunteers, the winners of our teacher appreciation awards, the story of a remarkable teacher who retired after 60 years of service and much more. You can read it online here.

Evelyne Alfonsi  
Ann Marie Matheson   

EMSB DG STEPS DOWN: EMSB Trustee  Marlene Jennings, announced earlier this month that Director General Ann Marie Matheson has resigned, effective August 13, 2020. The Trustee also announced the nomination of Evelyne Alfonsi as Interim Director General. Ms. Alfonsi has 22 years of service at EMSB and presently serves as Assistant Director General – Education. Ms Alfonsi will also continue to fulfill her current role and be fully supported by her seasoned EMSB management team colleagues.  See more here.

Angela Mancini
CHAIRMAN RESIGNS: EMSB Trustee  Marlene Jennings wishes to express her thanks and gratitude to Angela Mancini for her more than 20 years of service to the Council of Commissioners, the last 12 as chairman. In July Ms. Jennings received, from the Secretary General, a signed letter of resignation by Ms. Mancini. Since last November the Council has been under partial trusteeship, but with the right to convene for legal matters. “Angela Mancini devoted more than two decades of her life to the public education system,” said Ms. Jennings. “We thank her for her service and wish her the very best in the future.” Ms. Jennings will not fill the vacancy of chair.  Consequently, according to Section 158 of the School Election Act, Vice-Chair Joe Ortona will exercise the functions and powers of the chair. Ms. Mancini was first elected as an EMSB commissioner in 1998. In 2008 she was elected chair.  

CHANGES AT FACE:  The EMSB has adopted a resolution to approve the establishment of a new Governing Board, as well as creation a new position of School Principal, at FACE (Fine Arts Core Education) School located in downtown Montreal. Marilyn Ramlakhan, formerly VP at James Lyng High School, has been appointed Principal of FACE.

This school has been managed jointly by the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) and the EMSB since 1998. Following the resolution adopted by the EMSB, the two organizations will work jointly to revise the protocol established by the EMSB and the CSSDM with the aim of ensuring the continuity of FACE's unique educational project. It is important to stress that this decision will be made in maintaining the educational services offered to students, while respecting the essential components of the curriculum and the Education Act. The adoption of this resolution would also allow those elected to the EMSB FACE School governing board to be candidate as a member of the new board of directors of a school service center this fall, in the event that the Law amending mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance (Bill 40) was to come into force with regard to English-language school boards in Quebec. Here is the press release.

ST DOROTHY FACILITY: The EMSB and   CSSDM have announced a 24-month lease agreement for the former St. Dorothy Elementary School premises, located at 8961 6th avenue, in the northeast Montreal district of St. Michel. Over the past two years  the EMSB undertook a long-term planning exercise and a wide-ranging consultation focused on the enrolment figures in its schools across the territory. Following this process, EMSB students attending St. Dorothy School were twinned with students from nearby Our Lady of Pompei School, beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year. In this context, the premises of St. Dorothy are made available for the next two years following which the EMSB plans to implement a new educational program for students with special needs. The CSSDM identified that the availability of the St. Dorothy facility met its temporary needs to relocate a portion of the activities of the Sophie-Barat School while major renovations are planned. Here is the press release.

HECHT SCHOLARSHIPS: After 13 successful years of activity and the awarding of 38 scholarships to teachers working in the Quebec public school system, The Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship: Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators is now moving forward in new directions. Many of the teachers who have benefitted from this experience were from the EMSB. As such, the EMSB  intends to touch base with them to see how they have been using what they learned in the curriculum and how they see things going forward. In this video we speak to teachers Donna Friedman-Perlin from Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau; Lev Berner from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount; Audrée Ann Dupont from Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc and Ramin Khodaie from Marymount Academy International in NDG.

STATUS OF ELECTIONS AND BILL 40:  The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) takes note of the decision of Justice Moore of the Québec Court of Appeal to not grant the Government of Quebec’s leave to appeal the August 10 decision by Justice Lussier at this time. Justice Moore deferred a ruling on the permission to appeal to a hearing of the Court of Appeal before a minimum of three Justices, which he scheduled for September 14. In the same decision, Justice Moore also refused to lift the stay granted by Justice Lussier, deferring this issue as well to the September 14 hearing date. The Quebec government had filed a leave to appeal the stay of Bill 40 and furthermore, requested that the Judge immediately reverse the original judgement on the stay.  Given that the implementation of Bill 40 continues to be suspended for English school boards until at least September 14, the QESBA believes that the holding of school elections on November 1 becomes totally impractical. They have asked for a postponement until 2021 and to extend the mandates of current commissioners until those elections are held.  

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES:   Stay tuned to our special website ( for more information on how open houses will be presented at the primary and secondary levels.  Schools will move towards a virtual format.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION FAIR: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20th annual EMSB Education Fair (formerly the Career Fair) will take place virtually this year toward the end of October.  Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank are once again the event’s title sponsors.  The Education Fair represents a good opportunity for students and their parents to look towards post-secondary education options. This program is coordinated by the EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services and the Student Services Departments. The main objective is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them. Stay tuned to /educationfair   for more details regarding programming. Students will then have the chance to visit virtual information booths from English vocational centres, CEGEPS, universities and some private business colleges.  There will be a video describing the steps that must be taken to apply for CEGEP and another featuring present-day vocational students sharing their positive experiences.

Harini Karthik  

EMSB STUDENT AT BOOT CAMP: Ten bright minds from Canada’s science fair community  wrapped up an intensive four-day boot camp to learn more about bringing their innovation to market. Held virtually, from August 11 to 14, the fourth annual YSC-York University STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp allowed students to learn and apply current entrepreneurship best practices to turn their projects into viable businesses. The class of 2020 included 10 ribbon recipients from Youth Science Canada’s first Online STEM Fair, held last April and May. Representing Quebec was Secondary V student  Harini Karthik from LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent. Harini’s project was at first intended to enhance the efficiency of solar panels by working on the material they are made of. To do so, it must be able to minimize friction (or drag) due to fluids, such as water and gases. By experimenting with different morphological structures (patterns at microscopic scale) of natural components, Harini was able to reduce drag significantly (around 83 percent) between springtail (a specific type of insect) and flat surface. “This concept of drag reduction, using biomimetics, could be applied in a wide range of real-world scenarios,” she said. “For instance, COVID-19 spread could be lowered by increasing the elevation of surface by a few micrometers.”

Held exclusively via web conference, the boot camp allowed participating students to meet virtually with fellow entrepreneurs, network with former BEST graduates and experience the process of transforming their science projects into a viable business, supported by BEST faculty and resources at York University from the Lassonde School of Engineering, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business. "This boot camp has provided me an eye-opening opportunity for understanding the applications of my project in the real world and learning about the role of entrepreneurship in science,” said Harini. “I really enjoyed looking at the viable options for converting my project into a business with my teammates and getting suggestions from experts. All ribbon recipients from the 2020 YSC Online STEM Fair, and the 10 projects participating in the STEM Entrepreneurship Boot camp, can be viewed at

Claudia Amato and Jennifer Nozzolillo

STAY SAFE LITTLE ONE: Mothers Claudia Amato and Jennifer Nozzolillo, both graduates of John Paul  I Junior High School (now merged with Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard), teamed up to publish Stay Safe Little One, a 12-page picture book told in rhyme about coping with a pandemic and how to look to the future with hope.  The story was written by Claudia, a mother of three children aged five, eight and 10,  who attend the EMSB’s East Hill Elementary School in Rivière-des-Prairies and illustrated by Jennifer Nozzolillo, also a mom of three   aged two, five and seven, one who attends St. Paul Elementary School in Laval of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board. Ms. Amato describes the first months of sheltering at home back in March as challenging. She was concerned that her children were becoming fearful with all of the news and mixed messages they were hearing. To relieve the stress and make sense of the battery of information, Ms. Amato took pen to paper and scribbled down her thoughts.  Her writing rested idly on her night table for some time until her husband discovered it. He was impressed. With his encouragement, Ms. Amato shared her story with their children. The result was so positive, she began sharing it with a wider circle of family and friends.   For the full story see our website.    

TROTTIBUS: The School Organization Department sent a survey with regards to bussing in July asking parents who are eligible for transportation if they will be requiring busing in September. Once all eligible students have received transportation, if there is any available space on the bus  the EMSB will start looking at accommodation requests (younger to oldest). Almost all   parents who are not getting accommodation bussing live less than 1.4 km from their homes.  Trottibus could be a very good alternative. Parents share the responsibility of walking groups of students to school. With the help of Trottibus, they simply have to organize themselves to make it happen. This could be a very good community project that Governing Boards can take on!  Log on to 

Grad Brian Bronfman shared this photo on his Facebook page.  

WESTMOUNT HIGH GRAD EYES WHITE HOUSE: Could a former Westmount High School student  be on her way to the White House? Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden selected California Senator Kamala Harris as his choice for U.S. vice-president in the Nov. 3 election. Harris, 55, is a former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general. Born in Oakland, Calif., Harris moved here with her sister and mother at age 12, graduating from Westmount High School in 1981 before returning to the U.S. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a breast cancer specialist, had moved to Montreal to perform research work at the Jewish General Hospital and teach at McGill University. Upon arriving in Montreal, Harris and younger sister Maya attended the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges school on Côte-des-Neiges Rd. because their mother wanted them to learn French. The only French words the 12-year-old Harris knew when she first arrived came from her ballet class, the San Jose Mercury News reported in a May 2019 story. As Harris wrote in her book: “I used to joke that I felt like a duck, because all day long at our new school I’d be saying, ‘Quoi? Quoi? Quoi?’ ” Here is a video The Gazette did at Westmount High in February 2019.

SOUL ART PROGRAM: This September, in partnership with the EMSB  and Agence Ometz, Friendship Circle (Montreal) will be launching the Soul Studio Art Program and the DeLamie Culinary Arts Program. These two innovative programs are designed to help young adults with special needs gain the necessary skills to earn income using their creative and culinary skills. In addition to vocational training, the programs aim to break stigmas and boundaries by showcasing the valuable abilities of individuals with special needs to the greater community. Created and delivered in partnership with the EMSB, both programs follow the Social Integration Services Program set by the Quebec Ministry of Education. The programs take a holistic approach designed to help students acquire skills that will enable them to integrate and participate in society to their fullest potential, such as problem solving and communication skills, along with personal, social, family and work skills.  Batya Willmott, Director of Development for Friendship circles explains, “Our mission has always been about bridging the gap between young adults with special needs and the broader community. We are delighted to be collaborating with our generous and expert partners as they have allowed us to take our mission even further and help these young adults develop skills that can lead to fulfilling paid work that values their skills and talents. We also see this as a win for art lovers and patrons, as well employers who are recognizing the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace.”

 The Soul Studio Art Program is a visual arts training opportunity for adult artists with special needs and unlike any other in Quebec. Tailored to the creative impulses of each artist, the program offers an environment where students can explore, express and develop their individual artistic vision while learning how to become entrepreneurs by monetizing their artwork in an online environment and how to take a lead role in planning and executing art exhibitions. This program benefits from the generosity of the Nova grant. The DeLamie Culinary Arts Program will prepare students who have mild intellectual and learning disabilities to integrate into employment in the catering industry. Using our onsite professional kitchens, students will gain practical experience in real-world settings, as well as benefit from the soft skills-training they need to secure paid employment. Participants will also have the opportunity to take a paid internship under the leadership of Executive Chef Jeff Finkelstein of Montreal’s Hof Kelsten. Chef Finkelstein is a valued member of the Friendship Circle community having provided his expertise in the design and construction of our new, state-of-the art bakery that will be launching later this Fall. “It’s been an extraordinary joy to share my passion for baking with such an enthusiastic community. I look forward to the delicious creations that we will make together.” says Finkelstein. This program benefits from the generosity of RBC. The programs are free and run from 9 am to 2pm Monday to Friday, from September 2020 until June 2021. Registration is limited to ensure ideal one-on-one attention and a supportive group dynamic.  

Elizabeth Xu
CHAPEAU  LES FILLES: Congratulations to Elizabeth Xu, a student at Rosemount Technology Centre and a  cabinetmaking alumni for her recent win in the Chapeau les Filles, Hats off to you competition! Liz was serious about her participation in her program at RTC, and always used every minute of her day productively.  In addition to regular projects she was often eager to pitch in and participate with supplementary projects or activities. Liz was often leading by example with set ups or difficult operations on machinery that require precision and accuracy, while always keeping safety in mind. Liz was methodical and reflective in her activities and it was evident that she was going to be successful in the Cabinetmaking trade. Although serious about her work, she was easygoing with staff and peers and when combined with her inquisitive nature made for a great learning experience for everyone. Continued Success will follow Liz in her newfound passion.


RENSEIGNEMENTS SUR LA COVID-19 : La CSEM a lancé une infolettre spéciale en lien avec la COVID-19. Nous en sommes déjà à notre troisième édition, et d’autres sont à venir. L’infolettre est publiée sur le site Web de la CSEM et envoyée à tous les intéressés via School Messenger. Elle renferme également une Foire aux questions exhaustive et actualisée quotidiennement.

Pour consulter la plus récente édition, cliquez ici.

MISE À JOUR QUOTIDIENNE DE LA FOIRE AUX QUESTIONS : En tant que parents, nous sommes conscients que vous avez de nombreuses questions/préoccupations en cette période d'incertitude. Nous tenons à vous assurer que nous nous préparons à rouvrir nos établissements et que nous faisons tout le nécessaire pour veiller à la sécurité de vos enfants à l’école. Bien que l'organisation de chaque école diffère en fonction de sa propre réalité, il n’en demeure pas moins que la planification et l'organisation générales doivent refléter les directives du ministère de l’Éducation. Nous vous invitons à consulter régulièrement notre section FAQ pour être bien renseignés.

RENTRÉE SCOLAIRE : Les élèves des écoles primaires et secondaires de la CSEM ont repris le chemin de l’école le lundi 31 août 2020. Les élèves de la maternelle doivent être âgés de 5 ans au plus tard le 30 septembre 2020, tandis que ceux de la 1re année (1er cycle) doivent avoir 6 ans au plus tard à cette même date. La CSEM compte un effectif de plus de 40 000 élèves répartis dans ses 34 écoles primaires, 15 écoles secondaires, 8 écoles secondaires innovatrices, 7 écoles des affaires sociales et 9 centres d’éducation des adultes et de formation professionnelle. Les parents qui inscrivent leur enfant pour la première fois doivent fournir son certificat de naissance et son carnet de vaccination à l’école qu’il fréquentera. De plus, ils devront remplir des formulaires afin de permettre à l’école en question de présenter une demande de déclaration d’admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais. En vertu de la Charte de la langue française, une déclaration d’admissibilité est généralement accordée aux enfants qui ont reçu la majeure partie de leur enseignement primaire ou secondaire en anglais au Canada, dont la mère ou le père a reçu la majorité de son enseignement primaire en anglais au Canada ou ceux dont le frère ou la sœur a reçu la majorité de son enseignement primaire ou secondaire en anglais au Canada. Il est à noter qu’en raison de la législation québécoise, ce critère exclut les études complétées dans une école privée au Québec.

LA DIRECTRICE GÉNÉRALE DE LA CSEM QUITTE SES FONCTIONS : L’administratrice de la CSEM, Marlene Jennings, a annoncé plus tôt ce mois-ci la démission de sa directrice générale, Ann Marie Matheson, avec prise d’effet le 13 août 2020. L’administratrice a également annoncé la nomination d'Evelyne Alfonsi, directrice générale adjointe - Éducation, qui compte 22 années de service à la CSEM, comme directrice générale par intérim. Pendant ce temps, Evelyne continuera également de remplir son rôle actuel et sera pleinement soutenue par ses collègues chevronnés de l'équipe de direction de la CSEM. Pour lire l’intégral de l’article :

DÉMISSION DE LA PRÉSIDENTE : Marlene Jennings, administratrice de la tutelle à la CSEM, tient à exprimer ses remerciements et sa gratitude à Angela Mancini pour plus de 20 ans de service au conseil des commissaires, dont les 12 dernières années en tant que présidente. En juillet, Mme Jennings a reçu de la secrétaire générale une lettre de démission signée par Mme Mancini. Depuis novembre dernier, le conseil est sous tutelle partielle, mais il conserve le droit de se réunir pour des questions juridiques. « Angela Mancini a consacré plus de 20 ans de sa vie au système d’éducation publique », a souligné Mme Jennings. « Nous la remercions pour ses services et lui offrons nos meilleurs vœux de succès pour l’avenir. » 

Mme Jennings ne pourvoira pas le poste vacant à la présidence. Par conséquent, conformément à l’article 158 de la Loi sur les élections scolaires, le vice-président Joe Ortona exercera les fonctions et pouvoirs de la présidence. Mme Mancini a été élue commissaire de la CSEM pour la première fois en 1998. En 2008, elle a été élue présidente.

DU NOUVEAU À L’ÉCOLE FACE:  La CSEM a adopté une résolution approuvant la création d’un nouveau conseil d’établissement et instituant un nouveau poste de direction à l’école FACE (Formation Artistique au Cœur de l’Éducation), située au centre-ville de Montréal. Cette école est administrée conjointement par le Centre de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) et la CSEM depuis 1998. À la suite de la résolution adoptée par la CSEM, les deux organisations travailleront conjointement à la révision du protocole d’entente établi entre la CSEM et le CSSDM dans le but d’assurer la continuité du projet éducatif unique de FACE. Il est important de souligner que cette décision se réalisera dans le maintien des services éducatifs offerts aux élèves, et dans le respect du régime pédagogique et de la Loi sur l’instruction publique. L'adoption de cette résolution permettrait également aux élus du conseil d’établissement CSEM de l’école FACE de solliciter un poste de membre du nouveau conseil d’administration d’un centre de services scolaire cet automne, dans l’éventualité où la Loi modifiant principalement la Loi sur l’instruction publique relativement à l’organisation et à la gouvernance scolaires (Loi 40) entrerait en vigueur à l’égard des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec. Info ici

ÉCOLE ST. DOROTHY : La CSEM et le CSSDM ont annoncé la conclusion d’une entente de 24 mois pour la location des locaux de l’ancienne école primaire St. Dorothy, située au 8961, 6e Avenue dans le quartier Saint-Michel, dans le nord-est de Montréal. Au cours des deux dernières années, la CSEM a mené un exercice de planification à long terme et une vaste consultation portant notamment sur le seuil de fréquentation de ses écoles sur son territoire. Au terme de cette démarche, les élèves de la CSEM fréquentant l’école St. Dorothy ont été jumelés à ceux de l’école Our Lady of Pompei située à proximité, et ce, dès l’année scolaire 2020-2021. Dans ce contexte, les locaux de l’école St. Dorothy sont disponibles pour les deux prochaines années, période au terme de laquelle la CSEM prévoit implanter une nouvelle offre scolaire pour les élèves aux besoins particuliers. Le CSSDM a identifié que la disponibilité de l’école St. Dorothy répondait à son besoin temporaire de relocalisation d’une partie des activités de l’école Sophie-Barat en raison de travaux majeurs qui y sont prévus. Info ici.

STATUT DES ÉLECTIONS ET LOI 40 : L’Association des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec (ACSAQ) prend acte de la décision du juge Moore de la Cour d’appel du Québec de ne pas accorder pour le moment au gouvernement du Québec l’autorisation d’en appeler de la décision du 10 août rendue par le juge Lussier. Le juge Moore a reporté la décision sur l'autorisation d'interjeter appel à une audience de la Cour d'appel devant un minimum de trois juges, qu'il a fixée au 14 septembre. Dans la même décision, le juge Moore a de plus refusé de lever le sursis accordé par le juge Lussier, reportant également cette question à la date d'audience du 14 septembre. Le gouvernement du Québec avait déposé une demande d'autorisation d'appel du sursis de la loi 40 et, de plus, avait demandé que le juge annule immédiatement le jugement initial sur le sursis. Étant donné que l'application de la loi 40 continue d'être suspendue pour les commissions scolaires anglophones au moins jusqu'au 14 septembre, l'ACSAQ estime que la tenue d'élections scolaires le 1er novembre devient totalement irréalisable. Elle a demandé un report jusqu'en 2021 et la prolongation du mandat des commissaires actuels jusqu'à la tenue de ces élections.  

PORTES OUVERTES VIRTUELLES : Restez à l’affût et consultez notre site Web ( pour tout savoir sur le déroulement des portes ouvertes au primaire et au secondaire, en mode virtuel.

LA FOIRE DE L’ÉDUCATION À LA CSEM EN MODE VIRTUEL : En raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, la 20e édition annuelle de la Foire de l’éducation à la CSEM (anciennement la Foire des carrières) se tiendra virtuellement cette année, vers la fin du mois d'octobre. Jack Dym de Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. et la Banque Royale RBC sont une fois de plus les commanditaires en titre de l'événement. La Foire de l'éducation est une excellente occasion qui permet aux parents et élèves de se renseigner sur les options postsecondaires. Coordonnée par les Services de l'éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle en collaboration avec les Services aux élèves de la CSEM, cette foire vise principalement à sensibiliser les élèves aux divers programmes d’enseignement qui s’offrent à eux. Restez à l'affût et rendez-vous sur le pour tout savoir sur la programmation. Les élèves auront l’occasion de visiter en mode virtuel les divers kiosques d’information d’établissements anglophones, notamment des centres de formation professionnelle, des cégeps, universités et certains collèges privés. Une vidéo présentera la marche à suivre pour faire une demande au cégep, et une autre mettra en vedette des élèves actuels à la formation professionnelle qui partageront leur expérience positive. 

TROTTIBUS : Le Service de l'organisation scolaire a fait parvenir en juillet un sondage concernant le transport scolaire dans lequel on demandait aux parents dont les enfants sont admissibles au transport s'ils souhaitaient se prévaloir de ce service en septembre. Une fois que tous les élèves admissibles auront obtenu une place, s'il reste des places à combler dans l’autobus, la CSEM examinera les demandes de transport de courtoisie (du plus jeune au plus âgé). Presque tous les élèves qui ne se voient pas offrir le transport de courtoisie habitent à moins de 1,4 km de leur domicile. Par conséquent, le Trottibus pourrait s’avérer une très bonne option. Avec Trottibus, les parents partagent la responsabilité d'accompagner des groupes d'élèves à pied à l'école. De plus, ils sont bien encadrés pour démarrer leur Trottibus. Il pourrait s’agir là d’un excellent projet communautaire que les conseils d'établissement pourraient prendre en charge! Visitez le 

UNE DIPLÔMÉE DE L’ÉCOLE SECONDAIRE WESTMOUNT VISE LA MAISON BLANCHE : Une ancienne élève de l’école secondaire Westmount pourrait-elle être en route pour la Maison Blanche? Le candidat démocrate à la présidence Joe Biden a choisi la sénatrice californienne Kamala Harris comme colistière à la vice-présidence des États-Unis en vue de l'élection du 3 novembre. Âgée de 55 ans, Mme Harris a été procureure de San Francisco, puis procureure générale de la Californie. Née à Oakland, en Californie, elle s'est installée ici avec sa sœur et sa mère à l'âge de 12 ans. Elle a obtenu son diplôme de l’école secondaire Westmount en 1981 avant de retourner aux États-Unis. Sa mère, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, spécialiste du cancer du sein, était venue à Montréal pour faire de la recherche à l'Hôpital général juif et enseigner à l'Université McGill. À leur arrivée dans la métropole, Kamala et sa jeune sœur Maya ont fréquenté l'école Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, sur le chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, parce que leur mère voulait qu'elles apprennent le français. Les seuls mots de français que la jeune fille de 12 ans connaissait à son arrivée provenaient de son cours de ballet, rapporte le San Jose Mercury News, dans un article publié en mai 2019. Comme Mme Harris l’a écrit dans son livre : « Je disais en plaisantant que j’avais l’impression d’être comme un canard, parce qu’à longueur de journée, dans notre nouvelle école, je répétais sans cesse : « Quoi? Quoi? Quoi? »

The next Focus Newsletter will be published on September 30. Deadline for submissions is September 25.