Wednesday, September 1, 2021


EMSB reps, Tony and Randi from the Directors Showband and students at St. Monica.

BACK TO SCHOOL:  Students and staff   returned to class on August 31.  Each year the EMSB selects a different school as the base for media interviews. St. Monica Elementary School in NDG was the host. Thanks to Principal Silvana Crigna, her staff and students.  

EMSB mascot Bumble gives a high five to a St. Monica student.

EMSB Chair Joe Ortona, Commissioner Joseph Lalla,  members of senior management and mascot Bumble were among those on hand as the buses arrived.

See The Montreal Gazette story

See The Globe and Mail

CityNews Feature

Global TV

CTV News

COVID-19: The EMSB staff are working hard to follow all COVID-19 protocols. Please stay tuned to our website and the special COVID-19 section for frequent updates.

Teachers spread out to listen to lecture.
VACCINE TALK FOR TEACHERS: With Quebec in the midst of a fourth wave of the ongoing pandemic, experts from the CIUSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal spoke with staff at Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard on August 26 to help them navigate the waters of addressing COVID-19 with their students. On hand to address the staff were:  Caroline St-Denis (Director of the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-I'ile de Montréal’s vaccination campaign); Xavier Marchand-Sénécal (Specialist in Infectious Diseases); and Carol Bottger (Santé Publique)  After receiving an update on the current COVID-19 situation in Montreal, the three experts spoke about the availability of vaccines, their safety, how to address vaccine hesitancy, as well as any other questions related to the virus and pandemic.  “The pandemic is constantly evolving, and I was grateful that these three experts were able to join us and address the current situation in Montreal,” said Cristina Celzi, Principal of Laurier Macdonald. “It is our responsibility as educators to have the most up to date information possible for our students.” 

Santé Publique will be visiting schools across Montreal to further address any questions with students directly.  In addition, on September 9, the CIUSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal plans to return to Laurier Macdonald for a second vaccination clinic, a follow up to their June campaign.

Joseph Lalla and Joe Ortona present a gift to Randi Katz and Tony Picciuto.

WELLNESS VIDEO AND ORIGINAL SONG: After students, staff and parents persevered through a very challenging 2020-2021 academic year, the EMSB and The Directors Showband teamed up to bring the community a one-of-a-kind return to class filled with hope and inspiration.  Beginning in April, Randi Katz and Tony Picciuto from the Directors Showband began to write the lyrics for an original song with the intention of highlighting the resilience of the EMSB community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With lyrics in the works, the EMSB sought to ensure that the accompanying music video featured as many students, staff and families as possible. Three families -The Chans   (Bancroft Elementary in the Plateau), the Pisanos   (East Hill Elementary in RDP) and the Chengs (Gardenview Elementary in St. Laurent) -won the opportunity to participate in the in-person filming of the music video. Furthermore, an additional 20 in-school events featured hundreds of students filmed for the final edit. Here is a link to the video:

See The Montreal Gazette feature story on the video.

Listen to Randi and Tony on Virgin Radio with Vinny, Shannon and Adam

ONLINE LEARNING: The EMSB wishes to advise parents that we are actively seeking solutions for students seeking exemptions from regular classroom sessions for medical reasons. This includes some form of online learning. We apologize for the delay. Rest assured that we will provide an update the moment we have news to share. Parents whose children had previously obtained medical exemptions  will be receiving a survey to determine whether they plan to apply for the same option again for this academic year. We urge them to complete the form as soon as possible.

Students prepare to enter the revamped building.

WESTMOUNT PARK: The historic Westmount Park Elementary School facility did reopen for the first day of classes on August 31. The 106-year-old facility at 15 Park Place has been closed for the last two academic years to complete a $20-million project of renovations and repairs. In the interim,   students   were based at the former St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard (Westmount Park South Campus) and Marymount Academy International in NDG (Westmount Park North Campus).  Stay tuned for more information about a more formal ceremony to inaugurate the building.

BILL 96 RESOLUTION: The EMSB Council of Commissioners has adopted a resolution calling on  the Quebec government to withdraw Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec, in its present form. In addition the EMSB has called on the federal government to refer Bill 96 to the Supreme Court of Canada for a ruling on its legality.Bill 96 contains over 200 amendments, in more than 100 pages, to Quebec’s existing language legislation including vast search and seizure measures, restrictions on who is entitled to receive government services in the language of their choice, a cap on English CEGEP enrolment, and a narrowed definition of who qualifies as a member of Quebec’s English-speaking community. A major concern for the Quebec English School Boards Association and the  EMSB is a limit to three years for certificates for the children of foreign nationals to study in English.

ELECTIONS: The EMSB will hold an election for commissioner for Ward 3  in the Westmount-Sud Ouest area on Sunday, September 26. Advance polling will be available on Sunday, September 19. When nominations closed for school board elections on September 27, 2020, the office  of chair and nine of the 10 available positions for commissioners were won by acclamation. The election for Ward 3 was scheduled for November 1, 2020 and then postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The candidates for Ward 3 are Julien Feldman (Team Ortona), Irwin Rapoport and Thomas Rolain.  Voting on September 26 will take place from 10 am to 8 pm  at Westmount High School, Roslyn Elementary School, St, Gabriel Elementary School and Options Alternative High School. For advance polls, voting will be held  from Noon to 1 pm at Westmount High. For complete information go to

EDUCATION AND CAREER FAIR: The 21st annual EMSB Education and Career Fair will take place virtually this year on Wednesday, October 20 launch.  Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. and RBC Royal Bank are once again the event’s title sponsors.  The Education  and Career Fair represents a good opportunity for students and their parents to look towards post-secondary education options. This event is coordinated by the EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services Sector and Student and Educational Services Departments. The main objective is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them. By logging on to, students and parents will have the opportunity to visit virtual information booths from English vocational centres, CEGEPS, universities and some private business colleges.  There will also be live chat sessions with exhibitors and educational professionals.   
Mel Pololos

PERSONNEL ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Good luck to Mel Pololos, manager in Information Technology  for Infrastructure Operations. After 40 years with the PSBGM and the EMSB he will retire at the end of August. Mel began his career at the PSBGM in the same department at the age of 17. 

NEW ADG: EMSB Director General Nicholas Katalifos has announced the appointment of Pelagia Nickoletopoulos as the new Assistant Director General, Education and Innovation. Ms. Nickoletopoulos has been with the EMSB and its predecessor, the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, for 30 years. Since 2015 she has served as a Regional/Sector Director. Prior to that she was a school principal, vice-principal and teacher. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the Université de Montréal. Ms. Nickoletopoulos succeeds Evelyne Alfonsi, who will continue to play an important role at the   EMSB as a Hors Cadre/Senior Executive Advisor. Mr. Katalifos noted that the EMSB is fortunate to have someone with Ms. Nickoletopoulos’ wealth of experience.  She will oversee important dossiers such as education and student services, transportation, registration, nutrition and food services and the Board’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

DG’S MESSAGE: For a link to the Director General’s Message, click here

POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the repercussions for students, a mental health library will be established at each elementary and high school within the English Montreal School Board community. At the elementary level, storybooks that can teach valuable socio-emotional lessons have been purchased and will be delivered within the next few days. Teachers and school staff at the elementary level will be able to borrow these books and use them as part of their lessons, with links to lesson plans provided for each book.  At the high school level, the school’s guidance counsellor will have a set of exercise books that they can share/use with students as needed in order to help address the mental health needs of students. A mental health network is being established for the EMSB community. The Mental Health Resource Center will be offering workshops, information packages, and other services, to address the needs for building capacity in school staff regarding mental health. With all of these tools in place we hope to support our students in building their mental health, and to more efficiently identify and address school needs regarding mental health. 

Libby Amato

ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTS:  A number of new in-school administrative appointments have been made for the 2021-22 academic year. Principals: Myrianne Lusignan, Bancroft and MIND  (previously assistant director, Educational Services);  Jimmy Giannacopoulos, Shadd Health & Business Centre (previously, St. Laurent Adult Education Centre);  Ann Marie Matheson, High School of Montreal Adult Centre (previously Special Advisor to the Director General);  Harry Michalopoulos, Wagar Adult Education Centre (previously High School of Montreal Adult Centre); Otis Delaney, Cedarcrest Elementary (previously John F. Kennedy High School); Libby Amato, John F. Kennedy High School (previously East Hill Elementary); Steven Rebelo, East Hill (previously Gerald McShane); Elena Zervas, Gardenview (previously Cedarcrest);  Christina Chilelli, Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary (previously on leave); Joseph Vitantonio, FACE School (previously assistant director of Human Resources, Support Staff);  David Lee, Gerald McShane (previously on leave).

For  Vice-Principals: Antonella Russo, St. Pius X Career Centre (currently at the same school); Michael Creamer, Willingdon (previously at Royal West);  Ivan Spilak, Laurier Macdonald High School (previously Leonard Da Vinci Academy); Isabella Gagnier, Shadd (previously there interim); Véronique Carrié, St. Laurent Adult Education Centre (previously Laurier Macdonald); Jessica Monti, Pierre de Coubertin (previously on mat leave); Peter McKelvie, LaurenHill Academy (previously Vincent Massey Collegiate); Sam Servello, Royal Vale School (previously Interim Principal at Elizabeth Ballantyne);  Mireille Tehbelian,  Roslyn (previously a teacher at LaurenHill);  Holly Kusiewicz, Vincent Massey Collegiate (previously Westmount Park Elementary);  Gaetano Sifoni, Westmount High (previously interim principal at Gardenview); Real Heppelle, Rosemount Technology Centre (previously vice-principal, Virtual Learning); Laetitia Kachmar, Leonardo Da Vinci (previously, teacher at Westmount High School).  Marilyn Ramlakhan becomes assistant director of Human Resources, support staff.  She was previously the Principal of FACE School.

EMSB EXPRESS: The latest edition of the EMSB Express has been published. It features stories on a MIND High School project, popular EMSB Quiz (with prizes available), teachers of distinction, and a special section on our volunteers, news from Adult Education and Vocational Services and more. You can read the electronic edition here.  

HIGH SCHOOL GUIDE: The EMSB has released its new high school guide. It provides the highlights of all 15 of its mainstream schools in its secondary  network. Grade 5 and 6 students and their families can peruse the EMSB High School Guide and learn about what makes each school unique.  The west sector schools span the areas of St. Henri (James Lyng High School), Cote St. Luc (John Grant High School), Ville St. Laurent (LaurenHill Academy), Montreal West (Royal West Academy), NDG (Royal Vale School and Marymount Academy International) and Westmount (Westmount High School). Schools in the east sector include FACE School in the downtown area, John F. Kennedy High School in Villeray/St. Michel, Laurier Macdonald in St. Leonard, Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North, LINKS High School in Ahuntsic, MIND High School in the Plateau, Rosemount High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount/La Petite Patrie.  Social media links and public transportation options are also provided. You can view the guide here.

LIST OF SCHOOLS: For a complete listing of our schools and in-school administrators click here

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES:  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, EMSB schools will once again present virtual open houses this fall. Stay tuned to   Watch and listen for our TV and Radio commercials on  CTV, CJAD and Virgin Radio.

Lionel Perez, Ensemble Montreal candidate for Mayor of CDN/NDG;  Fatima Susbilla, Coronation School Secretary, Andrea Borod, Commissioner  Ellie Israel and Ensemble Montreal candidate for Snowdon Sonny Moroz.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES DONATION:  Andrea Borod, the founder of both Book Dumpling and Book Dumpling Tutors, raised funds for a back-to-school school supply drive. Based on the needs of different schools, including Carlyle, Saint Raphael, Coronation, and Dunrae Gardens, she went and bought brand-new school supplies with the support of her generous platform.  In addition, she offers pro-bono tutoring for kids who need it throughout the school year. She will be distributing resources again in January and is continuing her efforts for the month of September. She also runs a successful toy drive in December, and a successful book drive in March which has built libraries for different organizations in need around the city.  For more details log on to 

ABEE APPOINTMENT: Former EMSB Social Studies Consultant Tino Bordonaro has been  appointed by Education Minister Jean-François Roberge as Chair of the Advisory Board on English Education (ABEE). The mandate of ABEE is to advise the Minister of Education on all matters affecting the educational services offered in English schools. Mr. Bordonaro retired from the EMSB in December 2019 and has been teaching at McGill. 

Maya Doughan, Carmen Nicolas, Pela Nickoletopoulos, Michael Creamer, Joseph Lalla, Joe Ortona and Nicholas Katalifos at the RESPECT campaign launch.

RESPECT CAMPAIGN: While Aretha Franklin might have said it best, Willingdon Elementary School in N.D.G. is reinventing RESPECT by launching a year-long campaign celebrating diversity.  It was officially launched on August 25 at Willingdon Senior Campus, with monthly themes   In addition, guest speakers will be invited to address students each month. Furthermore, to ensure that the themes are maintained at home, the Willingdon administration will also solicit Tell Your Story videos from the community and disseminate them in weekly emails. See our detailed press release.

See this CTV report.  

THE EMSB PODCAST: Broadcaster Mark Bergman, who is part of The Beat 92.5 FM Morning Show, is now the official host of the EMSB Podcast. Mark succeeds Suzanne Desautels. He is also available to schools to teach podcasting and social media. Last year he did so with Carlyle Elementary School in TMR and John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel. Dino Sisto will return to host the East End Podcast. "I'm happy that schools are looking at new media as a way to engage students,” said Mark. “ I'm available to help out at other schools, if they're into it."

EMSB ON INDIGENOUS HISTORY: In order to honour the indigenous history of Quebec and Canada, in June, the EMSB's Council of Commissioners recently adopted multiple resolutions aimed at further increasing awareness and understanding of the history, realities, and perspectives of Indigenous people in the classroom. “It is an important step, one which has been long overdue,” said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. “This moment of reflection serves as a reminder that there were Indigenous people on our territory before the European settlers arrived. This land was never ceded away.”

The Council of Commissioners vowed to provide age-appropriate resources for students, as well as professional development opportunities for staff. Currently, the EMSB is working to bring together stakeholders, university faculty, as well as members and leaders of local Indigenous communities as a means of achieving deeper learning. Furthermore, the EMSB has committed to create and adopt an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement that encourages reflection and accountability, as well as to honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The 94 Calls to Action, as outlined in a June 2015 report, seek to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.”  See the full press release.

REVISIONS TO HISTORY PROGRAM CALLED FOR:  The EMSB has requested immediate revisions to the Ministry of Education’s Secondary III and IV History of Quebec and Canada Program, most notably to further address the historical contributions to Quebec by non-Francophone cultural groups. In addition to June’s resolution, six other resolutions were unanimously adopted by the EMSB Council of Commissioners between 2016 and 2019 advocating for improvements to the provincial history programs. The resolutions also call for the active promotion of zero tolerance policies towards racism and discrimination. “The present content of the curriculum falls woefully short of a fair and balanced presentation of the contributions to the development of Quebec over the centuries by the minority communities, including those of the Anglophones, Allophones, Indigenous, Blacks, Jewish, Italians, Muslim, and other minority groups,” said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. 

To begin to address the deficiencies in the provincial curriculum, the EMSB established a History Experts Committee, which is comprised of three professional historians, as well as the EMSB History Resource Development Committee to independently review the provincial curriculum and student textbooks. The History Experts Committee found multiple shortcomings of the curriculum, particularly when it comes to Black Canadian History, History of Immigrants, History of Indigenous People and Women in History. The Reflections textbooks (Origins to 1840 for Secondary III and 1840 to Our Times for Secondary IV) were also found to be poor translations from its original French editions, containing many historical inaccuracies. To supplement the curriculum, the Committee recommended that additional resources, such as eyewitness accounts as well as visits to libraries, museum. See the press release.

Gaetano Sifoni
RECOGNITION AWARDS: A newly formed Recognition Committee for excellence among EMSB in-school administrators and management handed out its first set of awards. Recognized were Information Technology Services Director Bob Thomas, IT Manager Mel Pololos in Information Technology; Home Schooling Coordinator Gil Abisdris; Westmount High Vice Principal Gaetano Sifoni (previously Interim Principal at Gardenview); Leonardo Da Vinci Academy Principal Nadia Sammarco; Laurier Macdonald Vice Principal Ivan Spilak (previously VP at LDVA); Director of Financial Services Livia Nassivera; and Assistant Director of Human Resources Marilyn Ramlakhan (previously Principal of FACE School). An Honourable Mention was given to the Virtual School team of Anna Sanalitro, Julie René de Cotret, Sabrina Petrocca, Myrianne Lusignan, Jessica Monti, Francesca Magliocco, Christy Tannous and Real Heppelle.

Nur Erdem showcases her work to Michael J. Cohen.

VAN DESIGN:  Webmaster and graphic artist Nur Erdem completed a nice design for one of the EMSB’s new trades vans.

PELO PROGRAM SEEKS TEACHERS:   Teachers are needed for the PELO Hebrew Studies program, which will resume at Royal Vale School in NDG this year Monday through Thursdays from 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm. A Valid Teaching License for Quebec is required.

Hebrew Studies PELO Program is geared to teaching students basic and fundamental Hebrew language skills. Throughout the year, students will hear speakers, attend plays, as well as participate in field trips and/or in-school workshops in order to meet the objectives of the program.  From Grades 1 to 3 teachers will work with the Tal AM program, an enriching and innovative language and heritage program.  Students will learn the Hebrew letters, how to read words, and then short sentences. From Grades 4 to 6, they will use the Shalom Ivrit, Welcome to Modern Hebrew series and further their study of Hebrew by reading short stories and expanding their vocabulary.  They will also work on short projects, including, the Holocaust, famous people (past and present), the history and meaning of holidays, and Israel.

JEWISH STUDIES OFFERED: On October 17, the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA is launching a year-long opportunity for elementary school students grade one through six who do not attend Jewish day school.  This interactive, experiential program will foster a deep sense of Jewish identity amongst its participants by encouraging friendships with other Jewish children, nurturing a connection to the Montreal Jewish community and to Israel, deepening students’ connection to Jewish values, tradition and culture, and providing kids with a basic comfort with the Hebrew language.  Ivri Anochi will run on 22 Sundays between October 17th, 2021 and April 22nd, 2022.  The cost is $265/child, but fees will never be a reason for any family to opt out of participation in this or any of the Y’s other programs. The Y will make it possible for all Jewish families to participate.

“We will use a hands-on, pluralistic approach to Jewish holidays and traditions. Our focus is teaching tradition, culture and values by doing and reflecting,” explains Keren Ludvig, Chief Program and Community Engagement Officer at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA.  “Ivri Anochi students will internalize the Jewish value of chessed (helping others in need) by donating their time as a group to a local Jewish cause, and reflecting back on the way their own participation helped others.  They will learn about Chanukah by exploring the lyrics and tunes of traditional and modern songs.  They will learn about Israeli society by preparing and sharing popular Israeli recipes.  Ivri Anochi is a program that will engage children and make them participants in their learning.  They’ll be excited to come back each week to see what activities they’ll get to try out, what new ideas they’ll get to discuss, and what new aspect of themselves they’ll get to learn about.”     For more information, log on to

AUDIO: Here is an extended EMSB  radio advertisement on the new CFQR 600 AM 

SCIENCE FAIR: Canada-Wide Science Fair, the country’s largest annual youth science, technology, engineering, and mathematics event, will return to the virtual format from May 16 to May 20, 2022. Following the impressive results of its first all-virtual event, held in May, organizers have confirmed that the 2022 edition will feature expanded components such as STEM Expo, Virtual Project Zone and CWSF-TV, but also new programming related to Fredericton and New Brunswick, the host city and province, and an emphasis on the history of the fair.

EDUCATION AND VITALITY FORUM: The Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN) is pleased to announce that its second “Education and Vitality Forum: Supporting English-language minority education in Quebec” will take place Nov. 3, 4 and 5. Issues will include enrolment decline, the need to serve many remote communities, a complex political environment, and the new requirement to transition to online and restricted environments. The Education and Vitality Forum will respond to these issues. Researchers, practitioners, community stakeholders and policy-makers will share and discuss best practices and initiatives that support our diverse communities in these challenging times.  For more about the Forum, please visit the event website and consult the report from the first edition.  It will be online or in person depending upon the public health situation. Registration will open in September. Make sure to check the Forum's website often for more information and updates.  


AEVS VIDEO: See one of our commercials airing on CTV.

HATS OFF TO BAHAR: Congratulations to Bahar Kheirkhahvatani, a student at Rosemount Technology Centre in cabinetmaking, for her recent win in the "Chapeau les Filles, Hats Off to You"

competition! Bahar has been fascinated with woodworking from the early age of 10. She has overcome many obstacles in life to be able to pursue her lifelong dream.  In September 2019, she enrolled at RTC to pursue a Diploma of Vocational Studies in cabinetmaking.  Having thoroughly enjoyed her experience in the program, she has decided to continue her education in Furniture Finishing   to complement what she has already learned. Ultimately, Bahar would like to make bedroom and living room furniture once she has completed her second vocational program.   

GALILEO FEATURED: The program whereby special needs students at the Galileo Adult Education Centre make face shields for the local CIUSSS was reported on Radio- Canada


RENTRÉE SCOLAIRE : Les élèves et le personnel ont effectué un retour en classe le 31 août.  Chaque année, la CSEM choisit une école différente pour la tenue d’entrevues avec les médias. Cette année, c’est à l’école primaire St. Monica à NDG que le tout s’est déroulé. Nous tenons à remercier la directrice, Silvana Crigna, ainsi que les membres du personnel et les élèves.

COVID-19: Le personnel de la CSEM travaille d’arrache-pied afin de respecter tous les protocoles liés à la COVID-19. Nous vous invitons à consulter notre site Web où vous trouverez des mises à jour fréquentes de même que la rubrique Foire aux questions.

LA VACCINATION ET LES ENSEIGNANTS: Alors que le gouvernement provincial continue d’encourager tous les Québécois à recevoir les deux doses du vaccin contre la COVID 19, des experts du CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal se sont adressés aux enseignants de l’école secondaire Laurier Macdonald à Saint-Léonard jeudi dernier dans l’espoir d’atténuer les hésitations face à la vaccination. La CSEM encourage tout son personnel à se faire vacciner contre la COVID-19. « Plus nous serons nombreux à être vaccinés, plus nous nous rapprocherons d’une année scolaire normale », a déclaré le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona.

UNE CHANSON ORIGINALE ET UN VIDÉOCLIP POUR LE BIEN-ÊTRE: Au terme de l’année scolaire 2020-2021 fort difficile au cours de laquelle les élèves, le personnel et les parents ont été appelés à surmonter de nombreux défis, la Commission scolaire English-Montréal (CSEM) et la troupe musicale The Directors Showband ont fait équipe afin d’offrir à la communauté un retour en classe unique sous le signe de l’espoir et de l’inspiration. Dès le mois d’avril, Randi Katz et Tony Picciuto de la troupe The Directors Showband ont entrepris d’écrire les paroles d’une chanson originale destinée à souligner la résilience de la communauté de la CSEM tout au long de la pandémie de COVID 19. Puis, la CSEM a tenu à ce que le vidéoclip qui accompagnerait la chanson mette en scène le plus grand nombre possible d’élèves, de membres du personnel et de familles. Ainsi, trois familles ont été sélectionnées afin de participer en personne au tournage du vidéoclip. Il s’agit de la famille Chan (école primaire Bancroft sur Le Plateau), la famille Pisano (école primaire East Hill à RDP) et la famille Cheng (école primaire Gardenview à Saint-Laurent). En outre, 20 autres activités organisées dans les écoles et auxquelles ont pris part des centaines d’élèves ont été filmées en prévision du montage final. Voici le lien pour visionner le vidéoclip :

ÉCOLE WESTMOUNT PARK: L’école primaire Westmount Park a rouvert ses portes à l’occasion de la rentrée scolaire le 31 août. L’établissement historique de 106 ans situé au 15 Park Place est fermé depuis deux ans en raison de travaux de réfection totalisant 20 millions de dollars. Pendant la fermeture, les élèves ont été relocalisés à l’ancienne école primaire St. John Bosco à Ville-Émard (Westmount Park – Campus sud) et à l’Académie internationale Marymount à NDG (Westmount Park – Campus nord). Les détails concernant une cérémonie plus formelle d’inauguration du bâtiment sont à venir.

FOIRE DE L’ÉDUCATION ET DES CARRIÈRES : La 21e édition annuelle de la Foire de l’éducation et des carrières à la CSEM se tiendra en mode virtuel cette année, le mercredi 20 octobre. Jack Dym de Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd. et la Banque Royale RBC sont de nouveau les commanditaires en titre de l’événement. La Foire de l’éducation constitue une excellente occasion pour 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 éducatifs et 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. En visitant le, parents et 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, des universités et certains collèges privés. Il y aura également des sessions de clavardage en direct avec les représentants d’établissements et les professionnels de l’éducation.   

DÉPART À LA RETRAITE : Mel Pololos, gestionnaire – opérations d’infrastructure aux Services des technologies de l’information a annoncé qu’il prendra sa retraite à la fin août, au terme de 40 années à l’emploi de la CEPGM et de la CSEM. Mel a joint les rangs de la CEPGM à l’âge de 17 ans et a travaillé au sein du même service tout au long de sa carrière.

NOUVELLE DIRECTRICE GÉNÉRALE ADJOINTE: Le directeur général de la CSEM, Nicholas Katalifos, a annoncé la nomination de Pelagia Nickoletopoulos au poste de directrice générale adjointe – Éducation et innovation. Madame Nickoletopoulos cumule 30 années de service à la CSEM et à l’ancienne Commission des écoles protestantes du Grand Montréal. De 2015 à aujourd’hui, elle occupait les fonctions de directrice régionale/de secteur. Auparavant, elle a été directrice d’école, directrice adjointe et enseignante. Elle est titulaire d’une maîtrise en administration scolaire de l’Université de Montréal. Madame Nickoletopoulos succède à Evelyne Alfonsi, qui continuera à jouer un rôle important au sein de la CSEM en tant que hors-cadre/conseillère principale. M. Katalifos a souligné que la CSEM est choyée de pouvoir compter sur la vaste expérience de madame Nickoletopoulos. Elle pilotera des dossiers importants dont l’éducation et les services aux élèves, le transport scolaire, les inscriptions, la nutrition et les services alimentaires, de même que la gestion au sein de la commission scolaire des protocoles relatifs à la pandémie de COVID-19.

NOMINATIONS ADMINISTRATIVES: Un certain nombre de nouvelles nominations administratives dans les écoles ont été annoncées pour l’année scolaire 2021-2022.

Directions: Myrianne Lusignan, Bancroft et MIND (auparavant directrice adjointe, Services éducatifs); Jimmy Giannacopoulos, Centre de santé et d’études commerciales (auparavant au Centre d’éducation des adultes Saint-Laurent); Ann Marie Matheson, Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal (auparavant directrice générale); Harry Michalopoulos, Centre d’éducation des adultes Wagar (auparavant Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal); Otis Delaney, école primaire Cedarcrest (auparavant à l’école secondaire John F. Kennedy); Libby Amato, école secondaire John F. Kennedy (auparavant à l’école primaire East Hill); Steven Rebelo, école primaire East Hill (auparavant à l’école Gerald McShane); Elena Zervas, Gardenview (auparavant à Cedarcrest); Christina Chilelli, école primaire Elizabeth Ballantyne (auparavant en congé); Joseph Vitantonio, école FACE (auparavant directeur adjoint – personnel de soutien aux Ressources humaines); David Lee, Gerald McShane (auparavant en congé).

Directions adjointes: Antonella Russo, Centre de carrières St. Pius X (actuellement à la même école); Michael Creamer, Willingdon (auparavant à Royal West);  Ivan Spilak, école secondaire Laurier Macdonald (auparavant à l’Académie Leonard Da Vinci); Isabella Gagnier, Shadd (auparavant à ce poste par intérim); Véronique Carrié, Centre d’éducation des adultes Saint-Laurent (auparavant à Laurier Macdonald); Jessica Monti, Pierre de Coubertin (auparavant en congé de maternité); Peter McKelvie, Académie LaurenHill (auparavant au Collège Vincent Massey); Sam Servello, école Royal Vale (auparavant directeur par intérim à Elizabeth Ballantyne); Mireille Tehbelian, Roslyn (auparavant enseignante à LaurenHill); Holly Kusiewicz, Collège Vincent Massey (auparavant à l’école primaire Westmount Park); Gaetano Sifoni, Westmount High (auparavant directeur par intérim à Gardenview); Real Heppelle, Centre de technologie Rosemont (auparavant directeur adjoint de l’école virtuelle); Laetitia Kachmar, Leonardo Da Vinci (auparavant enseignante à l’école secondaire Westmount). Marilyn Ramlakhan devient directrice adjointe – personnel de soutien aux Ressources humaines. Elle était auparavant directrice à l’école FACE.

EMSB EXPRESS: La plus récente édition de la publication EMSB Express est désormais disponible. Vous y trouverez des articles portant sur un projet à l’école secondaire MIND, le petit quiz CSEM (et des prix intéressants), les enseignants émérites, une section toute spéciale mettant en vedette nos bénévoles, des nouvelles du Service de l’éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle et plus encore. Pour consulter la version électronique : 

RÉPERTOIRE DES ÉCOLES: Pour la liste complète des écoles de la CSEM et des directions d’école, cliquez ici : 

JOURNÉE PORTES OUVERTES VIRTUELLES: En raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, les portes ouvertes des écoles de la CSEM se tiendront de nouveau en mode virtuel à l’automne. Pour en savoir davantage, visitez le 

NOMINATION CELA : Tino Bordonaro, ex-conseiller pédagogique en sciences humaines à la CSEM, a été nommé par le ministre de l’Éducation, Jean-François Roberge, afin de présider la Commission de l’éducation en langue anglaise (CELA) :

CELA a pour mandat de donner des avis au ministre de l’Éducation sur les questions touchant les services éducatifs dans les écoles anglophones. M. Bordonaro a pris sa retraite de la CSEM en décembre 2019 et enseigne depuis à l’Université McGill.

CAMPAGNE SOUS LE SIGNE DU RESPECT: À l’instar de la chanson à succès d’Aretha Franklin, l’école primaire Willingdon de NDG lance une campagne sans précédent intitulée RESPECT qui, tout au long de l’année, célébrera la diversité. Le coup d’envoi de cette campagne a officiellement été donné le 25 août au campus senior de l’école Willingdon, avec l’annonce de thèmes mensuels. De plus, des conférenciers invités s’adresseront aux élèves chaque mois. Et pour assurer une continuité à la maison, la direction de l’école invitera les membres de la communauté à produire des vidéos dans lesquelles ils raconteront leur histoire et elle les partagera lors de l’envoi de courriels hebdomadaires. Nous vous invitons à consulter le communiqué : INSERT LINK TO FRENCH PRESS RELEASE

Nous vous invitons à visionner le reportage de CTV : 

L’HISTOIRE DES PEUPLES AUTOCHTONES: Afin d’honorer l’histoire autochtone du Québec et du Canada, le conseil des commissaires de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal a récemment adopté plusieurs résolutions visant à accroître, dans les salles de classe, la sensibilisation et la compréhension de l’histoire, des réalités et des perspectives des peuples autochtones.

« Il s’agit là d’une démarche importante, attendue depuis fort longtemps », a déclaré le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona. « Ce moment de réflexion permet de rappeler que les peuples autochtones vivaient sur notre territoire avant l’arrivée des colons européens. Ces terres n’ont jamais été cédées ».

Le conseil des commissaires s’est engagé à fournir des ressources adaptées à l’âge des élèves ainsi que des possibilités de perfectionnement professionnel pour le personnel. À l’heure actuelle, la CSEM travaille à réunir les parties prenantes, les facultés universitaires, de même que les membres et les dirigeants des communautés autochtones locales afin de permettre un apprentissage plus approfondi. Qui plus est, la CSEM s’est engagée à rédiger et à adopter une reconnaissance des terres autochtones visant à favoriser la réflexion et la responsabilité, ainsi qu’à honorer les appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et de réconciliation. Les 94 appels à l’action, tels que présentés dans un rapport déposé en juin 2015, ont pour but de « remédier aux séquelles laissées par les pensionnats et de faire avancer le processus de réconciliation canadienne ».

DEMANDE DE RÉVISION DU PROGRAMME D’HISTOIRE : La CSEM a demandé au ministère de l’Éducation que des révisions soient apportées sur-le-champ au programme d’histoire du Québec et du Canada offert en 3e et 4e secondaire, plus particulièrement dans le but de s’attarder davantage à la contribution historique au Québec par les groupes culturels non francophones. Outre la résolution de juin, six autres résolutions ont été adoptées à l’unanimité par le conseil des commissaires de la CSEM entre 2016 et 2019, préconisant des améliorations aux programmes d’histoire au Québec. Ces résolutions appellent également à la promotion active de politiques de tolérance zéro en matière de racisme et de discrimination. 

« Le contenu actuel du curriculum ne permet pas de présenter de façon juste et équilibrée les contributions des communautés minoritaires au développement du Québec au fil des siècles, notamment celles des anglophones, des allophones, des autochtones, des Noirs, des Juifs, des Italiens, des musulmans et d’autres groupes minoritaires », a déclaré le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona.  

Dans un premier temps, pour remédier aux lacunes du programme provincial, la CSEM a créé un « comité d’experts en histoire » formé de trois historiens professionnels, ainsi que le comité de développement des ressources en histoire de la CSEM afin d’examiner de façon indépendante le curriculum et les manuels scolaires au Québec. Le comité d’experts en histoire a constaté de nombreuses lacunes dans le programme d’études, particulièrement en ce qui a trait à l’histoire des Noirs canadiens, l’histoire des immigrants, l’histoire des peuples autochtones et l’histoire des femmes. Les manuels Reflections (Origins to 1840 pour la 3e secondaire et 1840 to Our Times pour la 4e secondaire) se sont révélés de piètres traductions des versions françaises originales et de nombreuses inexactitudes historiques y ont été relevées. En guise de complément au curriculum, le comité a recommandé le recours à des ressources supplémentaires, tels des témoignages ainsi que des visites de bibliothèques et de musées. Nous vous invitons à lire l’intégral du communiqué : 

PRIX DE RECONNAISSANCE : Le comité de reconnaissance nouvellement formé ayant pour mandat de souligner l’excellence des directions d’école et administrateurs à la CSEM a décerné ses premiers prix de reconnaissance. Voici la liste des lauréats : Bob Thomas, directeur, Services des technologies de l’information;  Mel Pololos, gestionnaire – Opérations d’infrastructure, Services des technologies de l’information; Gil Abisdris, coordonnateur, Enseignement à la maison; Gaetano Sifoni, directeur adjoint de l’école secondaire Westmount (auparavant directeur par intérim à Gardenview); Nadia Sammarco, directrice de l’Académie Leonardo Da Vinci; Ivan Spilak, directeur adjoint à Laurier Macdonald (auparavant directeur adjoint à l’Académie Leonardo Da Vinci); Livia Nassivera, directrice, Services financiers; ainsi que Marilyn Ramlakhan, directrice adjointe, Service des ressources humaines (auparavant directrice à l’école FACE). Une mention honorable a été décernée à l’équipe de l’école virtuelle, soit Anna Sanalitro, Julie René de Cotret, Sabrina Petrocca, Myrianne Lusignan, Jessica Monti, Francesca Magliocco, Christy Tannous et Real Heppelle.

CONCEPTION GRAPHIQUE: La webmestre et graphiste, Nur Erdem, a réalisé avec brio la conception graphique sur l’une des fourgonnettes de la CSEM.

RECRUTEMENT D’ENSEIGNANTS POUR LE PROGRAMME PELO: Un appel est lancé aux enseignants qui souhaiteraient se joindre au programme d’études hébraïques PELO. Ce dernier reprendra cette année à l’école Royal Vale à NDG, du lundi au jeudi, de 14 h 45 à 15 h 45. Un brevet d’enseignement valide au Québec est requis.


Le programme d’études hébraïques PELO a pour but d’enseigner aux élèves les compétences de base de la langue hébraïque. Tout au long de l’année, les élèves entendront des conférenciers, assisteront à des pièces de théâtre et prendront part à des sorties éducatives et des ateliers à l’école afin de réaliser les objectifs du programme. De la 1re à la 3e année, les enseignants travailleront avec le programme Tal AM, un programme enrichissant et innovant axé sur l’apprentissage de la langue et la reconnaissance de l’héritage. Les élèves apprendront les lettres hébraïques, puis s’exerceront à lire des mots et des phrases courtes. De la 4e à la 6e année, ils utiliseront la série Shalom Ivrit, Welcome to Modern Hebrew et approfondiront l’étude de l’hébreu par la lecture de courts récits et l’enrichissement de leur vocabulaire. Ils travailleront également sur de courts projets portant notamment sur l’Holocauste, les personnages célèbres (du passé et d’aujourd’hui), l’histoire et la signification des fêtes, et Israël.

ÉTUDES JUIVES OFFERTES : Le 17 octobre, le YM-YWHA Sylvan Adams lance un programme d'un an destiné aux élèves de la première à la sixième année du primaire qui ne fréquentent pas une école juive de jour. Ce programme interactif et expérientiel favorisera un profond sentiment d'identité juive chez ses participants en encourageant les amitiés avec d'autres enfants juifs, en entretenant un lien avec la communauté juive de Montréal et avec Israël, en approfondissant la relation des élèves avec les valeurs, la tradition et la culture juives, et en permettant aux enfants d’acquérir les connaissances de base de la langue hébraïque. Ivri Anochi se déroulera sur 22 dimanches entre le 17 octobre 2021 et le 22 avril 2022. Le coût est de 265 $ par enfant, mais l’acquittement des frais ne sera jamais un frein à la participation d’une famille à ce programme ou à tout autre programme du Y. Le Y fera en sorte que toutes les familles juives puissent y prendre part.

« Nous utiliserons une approche pratique et pluraliste des fêtes et traditions juives. Notre objectif est d'enseigner la tradition, la culture et les valeurs par l'action et la réflexion », explique Keren Ludvig, responsable en chef des programmes et de l'engagement communautaire au YM-YWHA Sylvan Adams. « Les élèves d'Ivri Anochi intérioriseront la valeur juive du chessed (aider ceux qui sont dans le besoin) en donnant de leur temps en groupe à une cause juive locale et en réfléchissant à la manière dont leur propre contribution aura permis d’aider autrui. Ils apprendront ce qu'est Chanukah en explorant les paroles et les mélodies de chansons traditionnelles et modernes. Ils découvriront la société israélienne en préparant et en partageant des recettes israéliennes populaires. Ivri Anochi est un programme qui fera participer les enfants et les rendra acteurs de leur apprentissage. Ils seront enthousiastes à l'idée de revenir chaque semaine pour voir quelles activités les attendent, sur quelles nouvelles idées ils pourront échanger et quel nouvel aspect d'eux-mêmes ils découvriront. »  Pour plus d'informations, visitez le :

EXPO-SCIENCES: L’Expo-sciences pancanadienne, le plus grand événement annuel pour les jeunes dans le domaine des sciences, de la technologie, de l’ingénierie et des mathématiques, se tiendra de nouveau en mode virtuel du 16 au 20 mai 2022. Devant le franc succès remporté lors de son premier événement entièrement virtuel en mai dernier, les organisateurs ont confirmé que l’édition 2022 comportera des volets élargis tels STEM Expo, Virtual Project Zone et CWSF-TV, mais aussi une nouvelle programmation en lien avec Fredericton et le Nouveau-Brunswick, la ville et la province hôtes, en plus de mettre l’accent sur l’histoire de l’Expo-sciences. 

FORUM SUR L’ÉDUCATION ET LA VITALITÉ: Le Réseau de recherche sur les communautés québécoises d’expression anglaise (QUESCREN) est heureux de vous annoncer que la deuxième édition du Forum sur l'éducation et la vitalité : Soutenir l'éducation des minorités de langue anglaise au Québec aura lieu cet automne, du 3 au 5 novembre 2021. Soyez des nôtres et notez ces dates à votre calendrier! À propos du forum : Pour le système d'éducation de langue anglaise du Québec, les événements politiques et la pandémie de la dernière année ont présenté de nouveaux enjeux et mis en lumière des défis de vitalité préexistants. Les enjeux comprennent la baisse des inscriptions, la nécessité de desservir de nombreuses communautés éloignées, un environnement politique complexe et la nouvelle exigence de transition vers des environnements en ligne et restreints. Le Forum sur l'éducation et la vitalité participera aux débats entourant ces questions. Chercheurs, praticiens, intervenants communautaires et décideurs politiques partageront et discuteront des meilleures pratiques et initiatives qui soutiennent nos diverses communautés en ces temps difficiles. L'inscription en ligne débutera en septembre. Pour plus de renseignements, visitez régulièrement le site web du Forum. 


CHAPEAU À BAHAR: Félicitations à Bahar Kheirkhahvatani, élève en ébénisterie au Centre de technologie Rosemont (CTR), qui a récemment remporté les grands honneurs dans le cadre du concours Chapeau, les filles! (Hats Off to You!). Bahar est fascinée par le travail du bois depuis l’âge de 10 ans. Elle a dû surmonter plusieurs obstacles au cours de sa vie pour pouvoir réaliser son rêve de jeunesse. En septembre 2019, elle s’est inscrite au CTR dans l’espoir d’obtenir un diplôme d’études professionnelles en ébénisterie. Ravie de son expérience, elle a décidé d’approfondir sa formation en s’inscrivant au programme de finition de meubles. Lorsqu’elle aura décroché son deuxième diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP), Bahar aimerait fabriquer des meubles de chambre à coucher et de salon.   

GALILEO EN VEDETTE : Radio-Canada a réalisé un reportage qui met en vedette le programme dans le cadre duquel des élèves aux besoins particuliers du Centre d’éducation des adultes Galileo fabriquent des visières de protection pour le CIUSSS local.

 Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 6 octobre. Prière de soumettre vos articles au plus tard le 30 septembre à midi, à

The next Focus will be published on October 6. Deadline for submissions is September 30 at Noon to 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021


BUDGET UPDATE: On June 29, 2021, the Council of Commissioners adopted a balanced budget for the 2021-2022 academic year. As permitted by Budgetary Rules, the EMSB has included in next year’s budget the equivalent of 15 percent of the adjusted June 30, 2020  accumulated surplus.  This will allow the board to benefit from an amount of  $6,388,670 in additional funds.  

BACK TO SCHOOL: Students of the EMSB's primary and secondary institutions will return to class on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Kindergarten children must be five years of age on or before September 30, 2021 while Grade 1 (Cycle 1) students must be six years old on or before the same date.

Students like this look forward to getting back to school.

 Registration for those not previously enrolled will begin on Wednesday, August 11 for elementary and secondary schools. Parents are asked to call the school in their neighbourhood to make an appointment. Parents are urged to consult the Board’s website at, which also contains information about the successful adult education and vocational training programs. E-mail inquiries can be sent to  or you can call 514- 483-7200.   The EMSB serves more than 37,000 students at 34 elementary schools, 15 secondary schools, seven alternative outreach high schools, seven social affairs institutions and 10 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.

Schools like Our Lady of Pompei Elementary handed out end of year certificates to some students.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The EMSB was once again in the spotlight as our youth sector wrapped up the most challenging academic year in recent memory. After 41 years in education, CTV was on hand at Bancroft School to document Dorothy Ostrowicz’s final day as a principal. City News paid a visit to Our Lady of Pompei  Elementary School in Ahuntsic,  where both students and teachers reflected on the past year and finally, CBC and CTV wrapped up the day at Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc, where parents watched their children graduate, COVID-style, with a drive-by celebration. 

Here are the links:

Billy Shields live at Westmount 

CTV on Dorothy Ostrowicz retiring and more 

City News report at Our Lady of Pompei 

CBC at Merton 

CTV at Merton

HISTORY CURRICULUMS: When an EMSB study found that there were important gaps in the Secondary III and IV History of Quebec and Canada curriculums, a multi-point project was undertaken to provide our students with a more rounded understanding of their own history. A website available only to those registered in the EMSB system,  represents one of those points. The curriculums – as they are – underrepresent minority populations in the historical narrative. This includes the history of Black Canadians, immigrant Canadians, Indigenous peoples, women, as well as ignoring much of what was occurring outside of Quebec. In an effort to address these gaps, this website  provides teachers with complete lesson plans pertaining to these five underrepresented populations. Arranged by grade level and time period, these lesson plans include slides, activities, extra primary and secondary historical documents, formal evaluations, as well as the academic source the teacher can reference. In this way, this website provides teachers with a resource that is as pertinent and valuable as it is easy-to-use.

Joseph Lalla

REVISION OF PROGRAM REQUESTED: The EMSB is requesting  the Ministry of Education to revise the  Secondary III and Secondary IV History of Quebec and Canada Program. Between 2016 and 2019, the EMSB unanimously adopted six resolutions advocating for improvements to the content, resources, and attention to the historical contributions to Quebec by non-Francophone cultural groups in the History of Quebec and Canada Program. Commissioner Joseph Lalla notes that the present content of the curriculum offered falls woefully short of a fair and balanced presentation of the contributions to the development of Quebec over the centuries by the minority communities including those of the Anglophones, Allophones, Indigenous, Blacks, Jewish, Italians, Muslim, and other minority groups. Furthermore, the approved textbooks Origins to 1840 for Secondary III and 1840 to Our Times for Secondary IV are both weak uninspired translations from the French and contain historical inaccuracies verified and proclaimed by many respected historians in the field. Mr. Lalla stressed that immediate action  needs to be undertaken to provide supplementary e-materials to teachers and students of the Secondary III and Secondary IV History of Quebec and Canada Program that provide a fair and balanced presentation of the contributions to the development of Québec over the centuries by the minority communities including those of the Anglophones, Allophones, Indigenous, Blacks, Jewish, Italians, Muslim, and other minority groups.

VOTE BY MAIL:  The EMSB is urging the Quebec government to allow voting by mail for upcoming school board elections to any person already benefitting from Bill 85, An Act to facilitate the conduct of the   November 7,  2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 85 allows the following persons to vote by mail in the municipal elections of November 7, 2021: individuals residing in a facility maintained by an institution operating a hospital centre, a residential and long-term care centre or a rehabilitation centre or a private seniors’ residence; individuals unable to move about for health reasons; caregivers; individuals isolated due to COVID-19; and if allowed by their municipality, people 70 years of age and older. In the case of the EMSB, an election will take place in  Ward 3 (Westmount-Sud Ouest).

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION: Committed to honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the EMSB is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the history, realities, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in all our educational institutions. At the last Council meeting it was agreed  that  the EMSB will create and adopt an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement that encourages reflection and accountability about our role as an educational institution, and that expresses our commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

Great news for new Pre-K classes.

MORE PRE-K CLASSES: The Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) has authorized the EMSB to open 48 funded Pre-K classes in 2021-2022. Based on the current enrolment numbers and available classroom space, these   classes will be implemented  as follows: Bancroft (3), Carlyle (3), Coronation (1), Dalkeith (1), Dante (2), Dunrae Gardens (3), East Hill (4), Edward Murphy (1), Gerald McShane (2), Hampstead (1), Honoré-Mercier (2), John  Caboto (2), Leonard Da Vinci (3), Mackay Centre(1), Michelangelo (3), Nesbitt (1),Our Lady of  Pompei (1), Parkdale (2), Pierre Elliott Trudeau (3), Pierre de Coubertin (3), Sinclair Laird (1), St. Gabriel (1), St. Monica (2) and Westmount Park (2).

BILL 21: EMSB  Chair Joe Ortona keynoted an Insiders Briefing on Bill 21 via Zoom last week to members of the  Canadian Jewish Community Forum, the Lord Reading Society and the Canadian Hellenic Congress. EMSB Director General Nicholas Katalifos took part as well. Here is a recap

Virtual Learning student Allesia.

VIRTUAL LEARNING SUCCESS: For many students this pandemic school year, EMSB Virtual Learning was a resounding success. Some were enrolled because of their own health considerations, others to minimize risks to a vulnerable family member at home. Complete with its own principal, vice principal, teachers and helpers, the virtual school finished the year with 575 registered students.  Each student would have experienced learning from home in different ways, from different standpoints: physical, emotional and mental. Some come out of it with a preference to in-person school; others thrived in the online school setting and wish it could always be an option. 

“[It was a] dream come true,” said one mother. “Her true self came out,” said another. The experience was “amazing,” said another. “We were grateful for the opportunity,” said a dad.

Please read Kristin McNeill's feature story.

EMSB ON BILL 96:  The EMSB  Council of Commissioners has adopted a resolution calling upon the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) to challenge Bill 96 to the fullest extent of the law. If it becomes law, Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, would make fundamental changes to the provincial’s education system. See our press release.

ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTMENTS:  A number of new in-school administrative appointments have been made for the 2021-22 academic year, effective July 1.

Christina Chilelli
Principals: Myrianne Lusignan, Bancroft and MIND  (currently assistant director, Educational Services);  Jimmy Giannacopoulos Shadd Health & Business Centre ( currently, St. Laurent Adult Education Centre);  Ann Marie Matheson, High School of Montreal Adult Centre (previously Director General);  Harry Michalopoulos, Wagar Adult Education Centre (currently High School of Montreal Adult Centre); Otis Delaney, Cedarcrest Elementary (currently John F. Kennedy High School); Libby Amato, John F. Kennedy High School (currently East Hill Elementary); Steven Rebelo, East Hill (currently Gerald McShane); Elena Zervas, Gardenview (currently Cedarcrest);  Christina Chilelli, Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary (currently on leave); Joseph Vitantonio, FACE School (currently assistant director of Human Resources, Support Staff);  David Lee, Gerald McShane (currently on leave).

For  Vice-Principals: Antonella Russo, St. Pius X Career Centre (currently at the same school); Michael Creamer, Willingdon (currently at Royal West);  Ivan Spilak, Laurier Macdonald High School (currently Leonard Da Vinci Academy); Isabella Gagnier, Shadd (currently there interim); Véronique Carrié, St. Laurent Adult Education Centre ( currently Laurier Macdonald); Jessica Monti, Pierre de Coubertin (currently on mat leave); Peter McKelvie, LaurenHill Academy (currently Vincent Massey Collegiate); Sam Servello, Royal Vale School (currently Principal at Elizabeth Ballantyne);  Mireille Tehbelian,  Roslyn (currently a teacher at LaurenHill);  Holly Kusiewicz, Vincent Massey Collegiate (currently Westmount Park Elementary);  Gaetano Sifoni, Westmount High (currently interim principal at Gardenview); Real Heppelle, Rosemount Technology Centre (currently vice-principal, Virtual Learning); Laetitia Kachmar, Leonardo Da Vinci (currently, teacher at Westmount High School).  Marilyn Ramlakhan becomes assistant director of Human Resources, support staff.  She is presently the Principal of FACE School.

Good luck to Dorothy Ostrowicz (Bancroft and MIND), who is retiring after 41 years of service and Joe Cacchione (Shadd), who is taking a sabbatical. Evelyne Alfonsi is moving on from her current post as Assistant Director General – Education. She will continue to play a critical role as Hors Cadre/Senior Executive Advisor, responsible for several key dossiers.

THE YEAR OF A PRINCIPAL: Rania Delis, the principal of Edward Murphy Elementary School in Hochelaga Maisonneuve, did this wonderful interview on CBC Radio’s Let’s Go program with Sabrina Marandola and spoke about what it was like to cope with COVID-19. Here is the link

ROYAL WEST GRAD SHINES:  Royal West Academy graduate Allison Engo continues to rack up the awards. In a CBC Radio interview, she said that when was in high school she turned her family's bathroom into an incubator where she could breed and study fruit flies. The teenager's unusual hobby, part of a larger scientific experiment, had some unintended consequences.

Allison Engo

"After a while, because of the humidity and the intense heat, the walls started to become mush. So we had to renovate the bathroom," Engo told CBC's Let's Go. While Ms. Engo's project may have caused a bit of emotional and architectural damage, it's also won her a top honour last month at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Her work, which looked at how fruit flies react to antioxidants under stress, took home the Platinum Senior Discovery Award at the virtual event held in May. "I guess it was worth it in the end," said Engo, now 16 and studying at Marianopolis College With this most recent win under her belt, Ms. Engo is confident in her plans to pursue scientific research as a car.” Watch her neat video.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH: Eliane Goldstein, a Secondary I student at Westmount High School, is the EMSB Student of the Month for June.  She was presented with the award by Chair Ortona, Principal Demetra Droutsas , Commissioner Julien Feldman and her parents Eliane  has launched her own podcast called The Effect on Us. Her goal is to teach people of all ages and raise awareness on different subject matters, particularly important and high-profile topics. She has been chosen as the EMSB Student of the Month for June.  “I want people to be more enlightened about these subjects and more open to talking about them,” Eliane says.

Eliane Goldstein is congratulated by Joe Ortona, Demetra Droutsas, Julien Feldman and her parents.

The podcast’s first season will be dedicated to the Holocaust and the effect it has had on people. Eliane interviews different people who were affected by the Holocaust in each episode, whether it be a Holocaust survivor or their children and grandchildren, in order to share their stories. “My favourite part of the process is when I look up the people before their interview and then get to hear about them from themselves,” she explains.  The student’s podcast began as a project for her Bat Mitzvah and was an idea inspired by discussions with her Rabbi and mother. She based her first series on Holocaust survivor Joelle Krolik, who sadly passed before she was able to interview him. Still, Krolik’s story will be featured on the podcast and told by those who knew him.  While The Effect on Us began as a Bat Mitzvah project, Eliane has decided to go beyond this assignment, as she continues to tell people’s stories and delve into uncomfortable conversations. As a lover of listening to stories and learning, Eliane says, “I love the moment of realization, when you realize how amazing the story actually is, the moment where the whole story comes together.” Like her audiences, these moments have impacted Eliane and she hopes to continue learning alongside all of us. To listen to her podcast and go along with her on this journey of exploration and enlightenment click here

Here is a story in The Gazette on Eliane.

TRAGEDY IN LONDON: In the days following the tragic murder in London, Ontario, the EMSB issued the following statement: “As we get set to send our students home to their families for the weekend, we ask that everyone take a moment together to remember the four members of the Afzaal family who were killed in a terrorist attack last Sunday, as well as pray for the quick recovery of 9-year-old Fayez.”

Students get down to exercise.

OPTIONS HONOURS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL VICTIMS: Here is text from a report by CTV’s Christine Long about an initiative taken by the staff and students at Options Alternative High School in Ville Émard.

A Ville Emard alternative high school is used to doing things differently, and they kept to that spirit while honouring children whose remains were found on the site of a former residential school in British Columbia.  On Thursday, Options High School held a special memorial for the 215 children. Getting down and dirty in the school yard, they did 215 burpees, together in unison, to symbolize getting up off the ground for those who couldn’t. The students said they imagined it was a tiny glimpse of the struggle and suffering those young students endured decades ago. “The burpee requires you get down to the ground and then to rise-up and what we want to today, in honouring these 215 children is we want to rise for those forced down, we want to speak for voices that were stolen and we want to change their history, we want it to live on, instead of being buried," said Jason Gannon, a teacher and the event’s co-organizer. “Somebody tried to erase them from history. They were abused, malnourished, starved and buried.”

Gannon came up with this plan with his student, Casey Bossum, whose family is Cree and hails from the James Bay area. Bossum's paternal grandmother was traumatized at a residential school. Although Bossum was shy to tell the story to all his classmates, his father, John, did.  “When I heard about these 215 bodies, I cried right away thinking, 'What if it was my son?'" said John Bossum with tears in his eyes.  

Note: Staff and students will reconvene on July 1 to repeat the exercise.

Attired in orange for a purpose.

McSHANE WEARS ORANGE: To commemorate the tragedy in Kamloops, BC, where the unmarked graves of 250 children from the residential school system were found, Gerald McShane Elementary School in Montreal North, has shown support by wearing orange and “every child matters” stickers.  “We reflect in our growing community garden on the importance of life,” reads a school message. “Our children will get an education. Our children will walk in these shoes for those who did not get a chance. Our children will rise to become a better tomorrow."

EAST HILL vs. DUNRAE GARDENS: Students at East Hill School virtually squared off against their peers from Dunrae Gardens recently in a parliamentary-style debate competition. This initiative was part of a unique enrichment program where participating participate met once a week and received training on how to develop strong persuasive arguments.  

Dunrae Gardens' Debate Team

East Hill Debate Team

A big thumbs up from this FACE student.

STUDENTS GET VACCINATED: The EMSB worked with local CIUSSS offices to coordinate COVID-19 vaccination appointments for students aged 12 to 17. Some school buildings were   identified as vaccination centers for students. Any staff who had yet to receive their first dose were able to do so as well. Some EMSB facilities also opened to the public after regular school hours. In these cases, students aged 12 and 13 who had no consent forms or 12 year olds from nearby elementary schools were able to come as long as they were accompanied by a parent “Everything went very well,”  John Grant High School Principal Jennifer LeHuquet said of her school’s experience. “The team from the CIUSSS was super professional and very kind with our students.  We are all feeling very grateful.  The students had made thank you cards and baked cookies for the nurses and administrative assistants to say thank you.” 


City TV  at Laurier Macdonald High School 

Norman Katz and his team.

HOCKEY DU RUE: Congratulations to the students from Royal Vale School in NDG who once again participated in the YM-YWHA’s Hockey du Rue tournament. Coached by Norman Katz, they enjoyed a day of fun competition in the annual tournament. 

Performing via Zoom.

 MUSICAL JOURNEY: “Caesura “is the musical term used to describe a brief silent pause during which metrical time is not counted. For the young musicians studying at the downtown Fine Arts Core Education (FACE) School in Montreal, COVID-19 has meant a caesura during their musical journey. Since December 2019 there have been no live performances or concerts, breaking thus 46 years of musical tradition at FACE. For students in grades 10 and 11 the pause in their musical journey, that begins in Grade 1 and ends in Grade 11, has been particularly painful and many report missing the physical stage and a live audience that have been part of their school life for the last decade.  Spearheaded by Theodora Stathopoulos, one of FACE’s instrumental music teachers, the Caesura project brought together a team of nine instrumental music teachers and 200 Grade 10 and 11 students, from the CSSDM and the EMSB, in six virtual one-hour sessions, via TEAMS, from February to May. During the sessions the students and teachers were joined by writer/journalist Monique Polak and composer/performer Tim Brady who guided the students in their reflections in efforts to chronicle their musical journey by producing poems and prose, and by composing songs and videos.

A virtual e-book, containing samples of the work produced by the 200 students under this project can be viewed here.

Siobhan Kuzak

GRADUATING STUDENT FACES FUTURE: The end of June 2021 marks the beginning of another chapter in the lives for all Grade 11 students in Quebec as they graduate from high school. For  EMSB Grade 11 FACE student Siobhan Kuzak, graduation means leaving the school that she has attended for the last 12 years of her life. "FACE is not for everyone," she says. "It is for students who are more creative in nature, and for students who find interests in the arts. Itis great for exploring one’s artistic abilities if that is something that interests you. It is great for people who are passionate for music, art, theatre, choir, dance. FACE’s most unique feature is that it is a public school that involves students in all art forms. I appreciate this because usually schools that practice music will require you to already play an instrument and schools don’t usually focus on every art form.” You can read the complete interview here.

CARLYLE STUDENTS CREATE A PODCAST: Grade 5 students and teachers were beyond excited to have Beat 92. 5 FM host and podcasting expert Mark Bergman join their class for some sessions on how to create a podcast. Mark taught the class about the basics of podcasting, so that they would be able to create their own show about the Carlyle Elementary outdoor garden. Together with Mark, the class came up with segment ideas, brainstormed on content, interview questions, and more. They prepared and wrote out their show, and the following week, each student got a chance to sit in front on the microphone and record their segment, which Mark edited together into a show, which you can listen to here. "The students were so into it, and excited about recording their very own show" said Mark. "I'm happy that schools are looking at new media as a way to engage students. I'm available to help out at other schools, if they're into it."

MORE ON THE GARDEN: Carlyle formally unveiled the community garden named Leaf Me Alone. The Cycle 3 students have worked very hard to create a garden to save the environment. The garden includes flowers to help bees pollinate, while encouraging the production of local produce. Everything started with the idea to help the environment with the unit “A Green Step Forward.”  They all thought of ideas of how to save the planet. In the end, they collectively decided to create a garden. Next, they used wood as a fence to prevent the balls used during recess to go into the garden. The Cycle 3 students created a plan for building the garden. When the plan was finished, they quickly got to work and used recyclable materials such as bricks and cement slabs to make a path to. The fifth grade students did a phenomenal job researching the best fruits, vegetables and fine herbs to plant. They chose to plant mint, carrots, rhubarb and more!

Ezra Soiferman and Ilana Block were a big hit at Carlyle.

TALKING ABOUT WILDLIFE: On June 3, wildlife photographer and naturopathic doctor Ilana Block and filmmaker/photographer Ezra Soiferman were guests for three classes at Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North and three classes at Carlyle.   Via two separate hour-long zoom sessions, the pair of artists presented their brand new “music photeo” called “The Wildlife - The Walled Life,” which combines Ilana’s spectacular wildlife photography with Ezra’s colourful photos of the many painted animal murals up on walls throughout Montreal. The short video is set to an original song Ezra wrote and they sang together. The music was arranged by Ezra and now grown up Willingdon Elementary graduate Gregg Silver.   Said Soiferman, “What an incredible treat to share our video with the students at these two schools. Their interest in our project and the questions they asked were phenomenal.”  Block added, "Seeing their love of wildlife was wonderful and a great indication of how these students can help to protect these animals. There seems to be a genuine concern for nature and our environment. We just loved the experience of connecting with them!” 

The video can be watched  here and their photography can be explored further at  and  They are available to do this program at other schools when classes resume. Said Carlyle teacher Christina MacDougall about her students:  “They were really intrigued and engaged by the topic and enjoyed their experience. We have since watched the video two more times because they love it so much!”

Chuck Hughes gets a warm welcome.

CHUCK HUGHES STOPS BY : Celebrity chef Chuck Hughes made a well appreciated appearance to Carlyle and spoke to students in the schoolyard. Students prepared by watching mainly his aboriginal cooking show. 

Saving the Bees at Pierre Elliott Trudeau School.

: Over the course of the last several months, Jason Bixby and Valerie Honig, the two designated STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) consultants at the EMSB, have been busy with the rollout of their latest professional development initiative, entitled: “STEAM Team Collaboration & Project Building.”  The purpose of this initiative was to allow time for teachers interested in STEAM to build a Learning and Evaluation Situation (LES) based on the fundamental tenets of STEAM. STEAM LES’s must be developed through collaboration between two or more teachers of the same grade, but of different disciplines.  They are normally grounded in the solving of a real world problem or challenge, and through the employment of a design process.  If this process is correctly employed, a prototype will be built to help illustrate how the problem can be solved.  Research indicates that correct use of the STEAM pedagogical approach will help strengthen a student’s arsenal of 21st century skills, as well as general problem solving abilities.  Added positive features of STEAM include higher levels of engagement and elevated levels of curiosity. This past spring, in total, 12 LES’s were built across 11 of the 19 EMSB STEAM schools.  See the complete story here.

WESTMOUNT PARK UPDATE: The 105-year-old facility at 15 Park Place has been closed for the last two academic years to complete a $20-million project of renovations and repairs. In the interim,  students   have been based at the former St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard (Westmount Park South Campus) and Marymount Academy International in NDG (Westmount Park North Campus).   The refurbished    facility will have modern classrooms, including interactive SMART boards and some will be height adjustable for younger students and their teachers. There will also be flexible seating options, a variety of learning spaces, dedicated music and science rooms and the addition of an elevator and an exterior ramp to make the building more accessible to everyone. In an effort to maintain some of the building’s heritage, the auditorium will be restored with all of its beautiful woodwork while bringing the sprinkler system and emergency exits within that space up to date. The paint will be refreshed, the benches repaired and new heating cabinets installed. This spot has been used in a number of motion pictures over the years. As of this date work on the first three floors are nearly complete. There are still two possible scenarios at this time: students and staff move back into the building for the start of classes or students and staff move back in, with the contractor completing any remaining work on evenings and weekends.

A preview of what the new gym will look like.

The major renovations at Westmount Park include, but are not limited to, roof, interior finishes, accessibility (elevator), mechanical (plumbing, CVAC, sprinklers), electrical (wiring, lights, telecom, fire alarm system, etc.) and exterior (additional accessibility ramp, public utility works, drainage system and foundation waterproofing).  The EMSB will continue to provide frequent updates.   See our press release.

FRENCH IMMERSION:  Roslyn Elementary School was included in this Radio-Canada report that focused on French Immersion

Emma and her mom.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL: This was posted on the Montreal Children’s Hospital Facebook page about Grade 1 Bilingual Virtual Learning student Emma Stivaletta, who is registered at Leonardo Da Vinci Academy.

Today’s a special day for an exceptional young lady. Here’s Emma. On April 11 2019, at only 4 years old, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). For the last two years, she has been visiting us weekly for treatments, and has touched many hearts along the way. This morning, she finally visited us for the last time as a cancer patient. She will be receiving her last chemo at home on Friday.  Now that she is back to her energetic self, Emma likes to swim, run and cook with her mom. Together they sell Italian pasta meals to raise money for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and help save more kids like Emma. We are thankful for meeting this courageous little girl and wish her all the best for the future! 

YOUNG MONTREAL VIDEO FESTIVAL: The first-ever Young Montreal Video Festival took place on June 10. EMSB Virtual School and FACE School were at the forefront of organizing this event with Inlite10 Educational Productions.  The event featured commercials, travel programs, short feature films, great animators and even instructions on how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse!  

A good time was had by all.

All this was done by students from Montreal and throughout Quebec.  To see the event, just click the link!

First place among Secondary V speakers was LaurenHill Academy's Sabrina Morelli, who delivered her speech "Women’s Empowerment: The Nightmare Dressed Like a Daydream" in May. She's seen here with her teacher Michael Strauss.

Forty-five students from nine EMSB high schools presented narrative and persuasive speeches on April 28, May 4 and 5 in the annual public speaking competition. The format this year was a three-day morning event, inviting families and special guests to be the audience via the internet. Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount and Westmount High School were the winningest schools, boasting three finalists each. Royal Vale High School and Marymount Academy International in NDG, LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent and EMSB Virtual Learning each brought in two finalists. Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard and Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North and downtown Montreal’s FACE also took part.  The “Power of Story” was the theme for the Cycle 1 students – and was designed to encourage speeches that would inform, and change heart and minds, explained Anne Beamish, Pedagogical Consultant with the EMSB’s Education Services, and the event’s organizer and host. Cycle 2 students had the task of writing persuasive speeches, under the theme “Words to Change the World.”   For all of the details please see our extended story.

Unveiling the design for the future mascot.

OUR LADY OF POMPEI MASCOT: With a raucous cheer from the students and teachers, led by Grade 6 student Matteo Gubitosa, Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic officially adopted the Phoenix as their new school mascot, which will be accompanied by the poignant slogan, Always Rise Above. The project was spearheaded by the school’s Student Council which led a name and design competition throughout the school. Over the course of three months, students had then opportunity to submit ideas and then vote on the school’s future mascot, with the Phoenix, winning handily. Once the mascot was chosen, students were then asked to submit drawings to inspire the logo, of which Juliette Di Stasio’s design was chosen. 

Bravo to Hampstead School.

MOTION ANIMATION: The Cycle 3 students at Hampstead Elementary School created and directed their very own stop motion animation. The students came up with their own storylines and created their characters out of modelling clay. They also designed vibrant backgrounds for their films. Finally, they directed the animation adding sound, credits and a title. A big thank you to artist Jessie Curell from the ELAN Arts program for the animation workshop and Nicolas Doyon, the arts consultant of EMSB, for their support. Jessie’s professionalism and experience have made this elaborate project such a huge success. Doyon’s art background and classroom visits helped the students use critical thinking skills and problem solving to realize their vision. To wrap up the project, the students had an Animation Festival where they watched all the animations, celebrating all their hard work and creativity. The school’s Artists Inspire Grant experience was made possible by an ELAN Quebec/LEARN partnership for students from Quebec’s English-speaking communities to participate in arts and culture experiences, thanks in part to funding from the Government of Canada. Click here to view the amazing animations created by the students!

LEADERS ON WHEELS: While the pandemic may have changed how the Leaders on Wheels, a group of students that attend the Mackay Centre School’s satellite class at Westmount High School, conduct their annual fundraising campaign, it most certainly did not stop them from working their magic. Under the direction of teacher Rosemarie Sondola, the students and staff prepare their famous spice rubs, triple chocolate brownies and dog treats, and sell them to at school and to new and returning customers. While their outreach was quite limited this year due to pandemic-related restrictions, they still raised $1,545.00 for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation (MCHF) at the McGill University Health Centre. The Leaders have raised over $17,000 since they began fundraising in 2014.

Leaders on Wheels students and staff presented a cheque to the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation and received recognition certificates from OSEEntreprendre at the Mackay Centre School on June 18.

On Friday June 18, the leaders gathered on the grounds of the Mackay Centre School in NDG to present their donation to Marie-Claude Baribeau, director, Special Events and Alessia Di Giorgio, senior advisor, Special Events at the MCHF. Baribeau was impressed by the Leaders’ creativity and their participation in and unwavering dedication to fundraising. “We have a special place in our hearts for the Leaders on Wheels at the Foundation. You don’t come across this type of passion often,” she said. The Leaders were surprised to receive a special certificate from the government-run OSEEntreprendre Challenge that applauded their entrepreneurial spirit, especially during this most challenging year. Signed by Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge, it read: “The flair, boldness, creativity and perseverance you have showed while completing this entrepreneurial project in the unique context of the 2020-21 school year are impressive and inspiring.”

A terrific gift for Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools.

LOVE OF READING: We’re excited to announce that Mackay Centre School and Philip E. Layton School are the recipients of this year’s Indigo Love of Reading Foundation #LiteracyFundGrant. With their help, we’ve been able to provide vital reading resources to our students to ensure every child has access to diverse and enriching books. Watch  the  full video here.  

The CAMP Lift truck arrives on the scene.

CAMP LIFT EXPERIENCE: CAMP Lift is a non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to the academic perseverance of youth attending high school. Thanks in great part to partner REISA, (The East Island Network for English Language Services), they have been leading programs offering awareness and educational activities on healthy lifestyle habits at Laurier Macdonald high school since 2017. Over the years, the team of leaders, including Jonathan Sbrollini, Elvis Grahovic, Will Charbonneau and Alexis Michel Schmitt Cadet, have worked with  students to guide and support them through difficult transitions in their lives. Issues tackled include mental health, addictions, perseverance and anger management. Their aim is to equip the students with the “necessary tools to achieve academic success, by developing a healthy lifestyle and reaching their full potential, to become positive and inspirational influences in their community.”  This year, Laurier Macdonald chose to create two separate CAMP Lift Boys Into Men groups; one for juniors (Sec I & II) and one for seniors (Sec III,IV, V). Jonathan and Will helped the boys explore healthy masculinity vs accepted male stereotypes. They ended this difficult pandemic year by connecting mindfulness, resiliency and community together through rich, artistic expression; this was a great project!

A lot of fun was had by all recording the podcast.

Thanks to funding from Le Bureau d'intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (BINAM), LMAC partner DOD Basketball directed a project wherein students learned how to create podcasts. Award winning director, Amy Miller led the workshops over the course of 10 weeks. Andre Goulet, podcast producer and educator, Boban Chaldovich, documentary video editor, Jadis Dumas, filmmaker and editor, Kristen Brown, Director of Photography, Rachelle Sauvé, community organizer and activist, and Samuel Miriello, media expert, all took turns zooming or visiting our CLC Room to share their tried and true techniques with our students over the course of 10 weeks.  It is anticipated  that the project will grow next year. You can listen to some of the final podcasts

Sheri Cameron showcases her more than 100 medals.

DRAGON BOAT CHAMP: Sheri Cameron, a teacher at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent,   has another claim to fame. She represents Canada worldwide in Dragon Boat Racing and has won more than 100 medals.

MIND  PODCAST:  Listen to our podcast about MIND High School and the special project students engaged in recently. 

New concepts and techniques in mindfulness were explored.

MINDFULNESS AT MIND: MIND High School has teamed up with Danika Swanson from the  Spiritual and Community Animation Service Consultant at the EMSB, to implement a mindfulness program at the school. Through in-class discussion and practice, journal prompts, and ideas for integration, based on the Mindful Schools   curriculum, she has supported them in developing skills to support self awareness and self-regulation. Each week for the past four months, Danika introduced new concepts and techniques to both the staff and students that increase our ability to pay attention to the present moment. Mindfulness approaches have certainly helped during a challenging year and the benefits have been much appreciated. So much so that Danika will pilot a new project next year. MIND is dedicated to making this a part of their daily routine whether during class tests, yoga sessions, or long walks up Mount Royal. 

INSPIRATIONS IS OUT: The Spring / summer 2021 edition of Inspirations Newspaper is here! The edition has a fresh new, easy-to-read design that compliments the informative and inspirational stories it features. Start on page 3 with “In this edition,” which shares a snapshot of each section in the publication and where to find the articles you’d like to read first, be it a new resource, timely advice from one of our EMSB Student Services Department specialists, a Netflix review, or our cover story on Paul Karwatsky: From anchor to autism advocate, written by Tania Piperni, autism spectrum disorder consultant at the EMSB. Get to know our edition sponsor Simon Chang of the Simon Chang Foundation for Change better in “14 fun facts about Simon Chang.” 

Thanks to the following EMSB specialists for sharing their knowledge. This edition includes an inspirational story about Cooper, a student at Philip E. Layton School by Kristin McNeill, freelancer for the Communications and Marketing Division; a recount of parenting and virtual learning by Sarah Lynch, special education consultant and co-coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for the Physically, Intellectually and Multi-Challenged (CoE PIM); Practicing being mindful of our thoughts by Danika Swanson, consultant for the Spiritual and Community Animation service; Tele practice in Speech-Language Pathology Services by Karina Ismail, speech-language pathologist and coordinator at the CoE for Speech and Language Development; an update on the CoE PIM by the Centre’s coordinators; a summary of Galileo Adult Education Centre’s activities by Lisa Trotto and Erica Nicole Onofrio; and an update on John Grant High School’s Walk and Talk for Autism Acceptance event by Jennifer Le Huquet, principal of John Grant High School. In addition, don’t miss Inspirations’ special advisors Nick Katalifos on Horizon 21, a virtual conference that took place on June 11 and 12 that highlighted the success of the first Polaris Enterprise cohort at Wagar Adult Education Centre, and  Joanne Charron on the C.A.R.E. Centre, also located at Wagar. 

Read the edition here . Like Inspirations on Facebook @inspirationsnews. Email to receive  print copies or to pitch a story idea for the Fall 2021 / Winter 2022 edition.

Daniel Gaudette, his wife and former Olympian Nathalie Lambert and staff present a cheque to the Neuro.

SUPPORTING THE NEURO FOR A SPECIAL TEACHER: While the Leonardo Da Vinci Academy community in RDP has worked alongside the Montreal Neurological Institute since 2016, when teacher Daniel Gaudette was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2020, their special relationship instantly became personal. After persevering through his six-month battle, Gaudette made his triumphant return to the school in RDP in June by carrying the Olympic torch to kick off the school’s Neuro Olympic Day.  The special event served as both the school’s annual fundraiser for the hospital and an activity day for the students. A cheque was presented to the Neuro during the closing ceremonies.  Mr. Gaudette, who was named one of the EMSB’s most outstanding teachers in 2020, remains a beloved member of the Leonardo Da Vinci Academy staff. His diagnosis sent shockwaves throughout the community, with students, staff and parents rallying around him throughout his treatment. While still on leave, Gaudette supported the school virtually during the last school year and he plans to return full-time in September.   Since 2016, Leonardo Da Vinci Academy has raised over $35,000 for the Montreal Neurological Institute, including $15, 850 this year. See the CTV report. Donations can be made at:  

Dean Giannarkis

BERNIE BEIGNE: “It’s a no-frills neighborhood donut shop, reminiscent of the old-school Jewish and Greek bakeries of the day,” says Dean Giannarakis, when asked to describe his latest project. Bernie Beigne, an ode to both the street they call home and the name of the building’s former owner, has something for everyone. There are old-school classics, as well as modern and contemporary concoctions featuring everything from Fruit Loops, Kit-Kat chunks, and Oreos. All donuts are fresh, made in-house that very day, and can be seen hanging from the storefront window.   “A good donut is a feel-good food,” says Mr.  Giannarakis, the shop’s head chef. “It’s a guilty pleasure. You can be two years old or 82 years old, everyone leaves with a smile on their face.”

While this may be Mr. Giannarakis’ first foray into the pastry world, he is no stranger to the culinary field. He has spent the better part of his life in restaurant kitchens owned and operated by his father, aunt and uncle, from whom he credits his “old-school work ethic.”

Mr. Giannarakis also points to his time in the professional cooking culinary program at the St. Pius X Career Centre in 2014 as a catalyst behind his love of cooking.  “I honed my skills at Pius,” said Mr. Giannarakis, who also attended Dunrae Gardens Elementary in TMR and Royal West Academy in Montreal West. “It was very structured and professional. I learned all the techniques and the science behind cooking. It opened my eyes.” Bernie Beigne is located at 23 Bernard St. Ouest (corner Clark) in the Mile End. The shop is opened Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 am- 6pm or until supplies last. You can follow them on Instagram at @berniebeigne.  See our full story.

RESCUED  HORSES: AHT Rescue, a registered non-profit charity, located in Vaudreuil-Dorion, provides second chances to our 14 rescued horses. Not only have they provided them with a new home, but a new purpose through our AHT Experience Program.   Former EMSB childcare worker Lori Rubin is among the volunteers. The AHT Experience Program provides equine assisted activities and learning to groups of individuals with mental health, physical or other special needs from community support organizations, learning institutions and select frontline professions. We offer interactions with our rescued horses in a safe, nurturing and stress-free environment. The well-being of teachers   has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the feelings of increased stress, worry and anxiety due to a certain sense of loss of contact with your students, space to connect with your peers, the constant changes in policies and work-life balance have all been affected.

AHT Rescue understands and has seen how equine facilitated activities can play a significant role in alleviating the impact on mental health. Simply being in the company of these large sentient beings, one feels calm, relaxed and in the moment...mindfulness. AHT Rescue is coming forward and is offering their AHT Experience Program to teachers. Their horses and our facilitators are DONATING their time and love in this offer to help those who have given and continue to give so much. It’s our way of saying THANK YOU for everything you have done. If you are a teacher or know of a teacher, who could benefit from our support and would be interested in participating, they would be honoured to setup a time to help give back. Please email Lise Sandstrom at to find out more about our free program and offer. More information about this program can be found at:

PDC’S VIDEO EXPERIENCE:  The Grade 6 students at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Leonard got to create video games for the third year in a row with Youth Fusion.  What better way to engage students of all ages in computer science, especially programming, than by teaching them video games development.  Through creating videogames, the PDC students exercised their creativity, learned to focus, improve leadership, and exercised their critical thinking.  At the 2021 Youth Fusion Gala, Pierre de Coubertin won two awards. Click here.   

Going green at LINKS.

LINKS GOES GREEN:  LINKS High School students in Ahuntsic have grown to appreciate nature and expressed interest in sprucing up their immediate surroundings.  With the mentorship of    Spiritual and Community Animator Rocco Speranza teachers Lauren Costello and Anna Gualtieri, a beautiful space has been created for all students to enjoy.  A dried up weedy area in their schoolyard was calling out to them and they responded by cultivating the soil and removing weeds and rocks.  In their place, perennials and annuals were planted, which will attract our vulnerable bee population as well as birds and butterflies.  Buddy Benches designed and built by our students were added to allow everyone to sit and gaze at this amazing accomplishment.  Mr.  Speranza elaborates: “Getting one’s hands dirty and connecting with nature is very relaxing and therapeutic.  The students are very proud of themselves having learned some very valuable life skills.”  

Celebrating their award.

ENTREPRENERSHIP WINNER: Students in the CASP and DEFIS programs at LINKS High School collaborated to address a very important issue and resulted in winning the local OSEntreprendre competition.  OSEntreprendre is a non-profit organization whose mission is “To foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in order to build a proud, innovative, committed and prosperous Quebec.” Teachers Loredana Scotto and Anna Condo, respectively, agree that it is important to discuss local current events in order for the students to understand what is going on around them.  One particular event touched the students deeply.  Ms. Condo says, “After showing our students the story of Raphael André, who froze to death after being turned away from a homeless shelter due to a COVID outbreak, we collectively decided to delve further into this important issue. It hit so close to home and we knew we had to help in some way.” This led to the creation of LINKS High School Has Your Back Project: Students Caring for the Homeless.” Students assembled personal care drawstring backpack bags with a lot of heart. They included facemasks, hand sanitizers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, thermal blankets, socks, mittens and tissue packets. The students added a personal touch by baking cookies shaped as puzzle pieces, the international symbol for Autism, as a way to represent their own identity.  Inspirational cards designed by the students were also placed in each bag. Ms. Scotto says, “The students wanted to let the recipients know that someone out there cares. We are extremely proud of all their hard work, dedication and most importantly, their compassion for others.” The bags were then donated to the Old Brewery Mission for distribution.

Dante students gather for their mental health day.

NATURE OF NURTURING: Spiritual and Community Animators Vince Lacroce, Joe Monachino, and Mary Poullas teamed up to host the first ever Nature of Nurturing Mental Health Day with Grade 5 students at Dante Elementary school (May 14), Honore Mercier Elementary (June 1) and Pierre de Coubertin (June 3). This initiative was spearheaded by the administration teams of Dante, Honore Mercier  and Pierre De Coubertin Elementary alongside the SCA service. The day-long event included a guided nature walk, the art of kindness workshop, Yoga and mindfulness, and teambuilding and communication activities. Additional support for the Yoga and Mindfulness session at Dante was provided by Co-Director of Camp Lift, Jonathan Sbrollini, and by Danika Swanson, Spiritual and Community Animation Consultant Danika Swanson at Honore Mercier and Pierre de Coubertin. 

Gardenview students participate.

FRIENDSHIP HAS NO AGE STORYTIME:  In honor of Friendship Has No Age Day (Journée québécoise l'amitié n'a pas d'âge) and Quebec Intergenerational Week (Semaine québécoise intergénérationnelle), the Spiritual and Community Animation Service partnered with several community organizations from the West-End Intergenerational Network (WIN) to host Virtual Story Times with Seniors on   May 25. Each 30-minute session included a live reading of a book by a senior volunteer, followed by a brief discussion and animated activity. This opportunity was open to all Pre K- Grade 3 classes on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For classes who were not able to join for the live Storytime, community partner Gay and Grey Montreal produced some wonderful videos of their members reading LGBTQ+ children’s books that were available online after the event, with accompanying activity guides created by Explorations Learning. Follow the link for their recording of And Tango Make Three: A big thanks to all our community partners who made this event possible: Explorations Learning, Gay & Grey Montreal, minibiblioPLUS, NDG YMCA, Contactivity Centre, and The West-End Intergenerational Network for bringing us all together! Check out the CBC featured on one of our Senior Volunteers

Yannick Lupien got a warm greeting.

NESBITT OLYMPIAN: On June 21, Nesbitt Elementary School in  welcomed Canadian Olympian Yannick Lupien as the honorary guest for their mini-Olympic games. This two-part Olympic day included Yannick’s testimonial (both virtually and physically in the school gymnasium), activities centered around perseverance and teamwork, as well as following your dreams, and Olympic inspired games. Yannick participated in the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Olympics. His biggest win came at the 2005 World Aquatic Championships, which took place in Montreal, where he finished 2nd place overall. The Olympic programming was developed by the Physical Education Department, Katia Codipietro and Anthony Farinaccio,  Kindergarten teacher Rosie Fiorito and Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce.

Jake Todaro

STUDENT FEATURED IN LA PRESSE:   Jake Todaro was inspired when his 5th grade teacher, Nina Wong, asked the class to answer the question, "What does home mean to you? "The cross-Canada essay contest for Grades 4, 5 and 6 students was a big deal, as the winners had the opportunity to donate significant amounts of money to their provincial Habitat for Humanity organization. Jake won top honours in his level. A $30,000 donation in his name will help a family create their own home in Montreal. The student from Gardenview School in St. Laurent reflected on his own experience. He wrote a poem about how his parents bought a crumbling house and patiently renovated it, undaunted, into a sanctuary where he is safe and loved. Here is the profile in La Presse.


OFFERING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES:  The summer of 2019 was a trying one for Allyson Deodath. She had two brain aneurysms that ultimately required surgery in July of that same year.  As she recovered from her operation, she was quick to realize that beyond checks to her wound or overall physical health, there was little emotional support offered to her from doctors or therapists. This got her thinking about what others going through hardships of their own may be experiencing.  “My surgery was my wake-up call to act and make a difference,” said Ms. Deodath. “If I don’t give back, I cannot heal completely.”

Allyson Deodath 

Ms. Deodath turned her desire to help others into ROAR, a non-profit and government-registered organization she founded in October 2019. ROAR, which stands for Reaching Out and Relating, seeks to educate individuals about mental health and mental well-being.  Ms. Deodath is no stranger to the field of education. She boasts nearly 40 years of teaching experience, dating back to her first job teaching in her native Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 16. She has been with the English Montreal School Board for 18 years, most recently serving as a Basic English teacher at the  High School of Montreal Adult Centre since 2015. Ms. Deodath says ROAR acts an extension of her in-class teaching.  “ROAR is teaching people about acceptance and letting them know it is okay to love yourself,” said Ms.  Deodath.  See this Global TV report on her initiatives.

PIUS  IN DEMAND:   With the return of the restaurant industry, the demand for students at the St. Pius X Culinary Institute in Ahuntsic has been huge. This is not new to Pius. “We are constantly being solicited for our students,” said Vice Principal Alain Belair. “We have a finite number of students to fill this ever growing demand.  We do our best under these strange and difficult times.”  

GALILEO PROFILED ON CTV NEWS:  A group of adult education students with special needs are doing their part to help front line workers by making a piece of vital pandemic-era equipment. The students at the Galileo Adult Education Centre say they get a rush from giving back to those who gave me so much during the pandemic by making protective visors. “It fills my heart full and it makes me happy that I know I'm helping other people that need the protection,” said student Nancy Leopardi . See this CTV report.

 VIRTUAL TOUR: It is finally here. After eight months of videotaping, students and teacher preparations and editing, their much anticipated SIS Galileo Virtual Tour viewing has arrived! This was a huge accomplishment for the school and a team effort which shows the true spirit of Galileo.  “Creating this video was a great experience and will allow everyone to see the amazing learning that goes on within our walls,” says Principal Martina Schiavione. See it here.

MR NICK ON CTV: Last month we told you about Common Core Basic English (CCBE) teacher Nick Galanogeorgos, affectionately known as “Mr. Nick,”  who has created a truly fun way to help his students learn English at the St. Laurent Adult Education Centre.  CTV Montreal News went to visit his class and Rob Lurie filed this terrific report.  On Friday, July 2 (8:40 am) Mr. Nick will be a guest on CJAD's Andrew Carter Show.


RENTRÉE SCOLAIRE : Les élèves du primaire et du secondaire de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal (CSEM) reprendront le chemin de l’école le mardi 31 août 2021. Les enfants de la maternelle devront être âgés de 5 ans au plus tard le 30 septembre 2021, tandis que ceux de la 1re année (1er cycle) devront avoir 6 ans au plus tard à cette même date. Aux niveaux primaire et secondaire, les nouvelles inscriptions auront lieu le mercredi 11 août. Nous invitons les parents à communiquer avec l’école de leur quartier pour prendre rendez-vous. Veuillez consulter le site Web de la Commission au où vous trouverez également de l’information sur nos excellents programmes d’éducation des adultes et de formation professionnelle. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez composer le 514 483-7200 ou adresser un courriel à La CSEM compte plus de 37 000 élèves répartis dans 34 écoles primaires, 15 écoles secondaires, 7 écoles secondaires innovatrices, 7 écoles des affaires sociales et 10 centres d’éducation des adultes et de formation professionnelle.  

Si vous inscrivez votre enfant pour la première fois, vous devrez fournir son certificat de naissance et son carnet de vaccination à l’école qu’il fréquentera. Les parents devront remplir des formulaires afin de permettre à l’école en question de présenter une demande de certificat d’admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais. En vertu de la Charte de la langue française, un certificat d’admissibilité est généralement accordé 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. Veuillez prendre note qu’en raison de la législation qui régit les langues, ce critère exclut les études complétées dans une école privée au Québec.

CURRICULUMS D’HISTOIRE : Lorsqu'une étude de la CSEM a révélé qu'il y avait d'importantes lacunes dans les curriculums d'histoire du Québec et du Canada de la 3e et de la 4e secondaire, un projet en plusieurs volets a été entrepris afin de fournir à nos élèves une compréhension plus complète de leur propre histoire. Ce site Web s’inscrit dans cette démarche. Les curriculums – dans leur forme actuelle – sous-représentent les peuples minoritaires dans le récit historique. Il s’agit notamment de l'histoire des Canadiens noirs, des immigrants canadiens, des peuples autochtones, des femmes et de l’omission en grande partie de ce qui se passait à l'extérieur du Québec. Afin de combler ces lacunes, ce site Web (accessible uniquement par le biais d'un compte CSEM) fournit aux enseignants des plans de cours complets relatifs à ces cinq populations sous-représentées. Classés par niveau scolaire et par période, ces plans de cours comprennent des diapositives, des activités, des documents historiques primaires et secondaires supplémentaires, des évaluations formelles, ainsi que la source académique à laquelle l'enseignant peut se référer. De cette façon, ce site Web fournit aux enseignants une ressource aussi pertinente et précieuse que facile à utiliser. Vous pouvez le consulter à l'adresse suivante : 

AJOUT DE CLASSES DE PRÉMATERNELLE : Le ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) a autorisé la CSEM à mettre en place 48 classes de prématernelle subventionnées en 2021-2022. À la lumière du nombre actuel d’inscriptions et de l’espace disponible, ces classes seront réparties entre les écoles suivantes : Bancroft (3), Carlyle (3), Coronation (1), Dalkeith (1), Dante (2), Dunrae Gardens (3), East Hill (4), Edward Murphy (1), Gerald McShane (2), Hampstead (1), Honoré-Mercier (2), John  Caboto (3), Leonard Da Vinci (3), Centre Mackay (1), Michelangelo (3), Nesbitt (1), Our Lady of Pompei (1), Parkdale (2), Pierre Elliott Trudeau (3), Pierre de Coubertin (3), Sinclair Laird (1), St. Gabriel (1), St. Monica (2) et Westmount Park (2).

 NOMINATIONS ADMINISTRATIVES : De nouvelles nominations administratives  au sein des écoles ont été annoncées pour l’année scolaire 2021-2022, avec prise d’effet le 1er juillet. Directions : Myrianne Lusignan, Bancroft (actuellement directrice adjointe, Services éducatifs);  Jimmy Giannacopoulos, Centre de santé et d’études commerciales Shadd (actuellement au Centre d’éducation des adultes Saint-Laurent); Ann Marie Matheson, Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal (auparavant directrice générale); Harry Michalopoulos, Centre d’éducation des adultes Wagar (actuellement au Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal); Otis Delaney, école primaire Cedarcrest (actuellement à l’école secondaire John F. Kennedy); Libby Amato, école secondaire John F. Kennedy (actuellement à l’école primaire East Hill); Steven Rebelo, East Hill (actuellement à Gerald McShane); Elena Zervas, Gardenview (actuellement à Cedarcrest);  Christina Chilelli, école primaire Elizabeth Ballantyne (actuellement en congé); Joseph Vitantonio, école FACE (actuellement directeur adjoint – personnel de soutien aux Ressources humaines);  David Lee, Gerald McShane (actuellement en congé).

Les nouvelles nominations à titre de directions adjointes sont les suivantes : Antonella Russo, Centre de carrières St. Pius X (actuellement à la même école); Michael Creamer, Willingdon (actuellement à Royal West); Ivan Spilak, école secondaire Laurier Macdonald (actuellement à l’Académie Leonardo Da Vinci); Isabella Gagnier, Shadd (actuellement à ce poste par intérim); Véronique Carrié, Centre d’éducation des adultes Saint-Laurent (actuellement à Laurier Macdonald); Jessica Monti, Pierre de Coubertin (actuellement en congé de maternité); Peter McKelvie, Académie LaurenHill (actuellement au Collège Vincent Massey); Sam Servello, école Royal Vale (actuellement directeur à Elizabeth Ballantyne); Mireille Tehbelian, Roslyn (actuellement enseignante à LaurenHill); Holly Kusiewicz, Collège Vincent Massey (actuellement à l’école primaire Westmount Park); Gaetano Sifoni, Westmount High (actuellement directeur par intérim à Gardenview); Real Heppelle, Centre de technologie Rosemont (actuellement directeur adjoint de l’école virtuelle); Laetitia Kachmar, Leonardo Da Vinci (actuellement enseignante à l’école secondaire Westmount). Marilyn Ramlakhan devient directrice adjointe – personnel de soutien aux Ressources humaines. Elle est actuellement directrice à l’école FACE.

Bonne chance à Dorothy Ostrowicz (Bancroft) qui prend sa retraite après 41 ans de service et à Joe Cacchione (Shadd) qui prend un congé sabbatique.

ÉLÈVE DU MOIS : Eliane Goldstein, élève de 1re secondaire à l’école secondaire Westmount, a lancé son propre balado intitulé The Effect on Us. Elle souhaite ainsi pouvoir renseigner et sensibiliser les personnes de tous âges à des sujets importants et médiatisés. Elle a été couronnée Élève du mois de juin à la CSEM. « Je souhaite que les gens soient plus éclairés sur ces sujets et plus ouverts pour en parler," de dire Eliane.  

La première saison sera consacrée à l’Holocauste et aux répercussions de ce génocide sur les gens. Eliane réalise des entrevues avec des individus qui ont été marqués par l’Holocauste, qu’il s’agisse d’un survivant, de ses enfants ou petits-enfants, afin de partager leur histoire. Ce que je préfère dans ma démarche, c’est lorsque je fais des recherches sur les gens en prévision de l’entrevue et qu’ils me racontent ensuite ce qu’ils ont vécu », explique-t-elle. 

Ce balado a vu le jour dans le cadre de son projet de Bat Mitzvah inspiré par des discussions avec son rabbin et sa mère. Pour sa première série, elle avait choisi de s’entretenir avec Joelle Krolik, survivant de l’Holocauste, qui est malheureusement décédé avant qu’elle n’ait pu l’interviewer. Néanmoins, l’histoire de Joelle sera présentée dans le balado et racontée par ceux et celles qui l’ont connu. Bien que le balado The Effect on Us ait été à la base un projet de Bat Mitzvah, Eliane a décidé de poursuivre l’aventure en continuant à raconter les histoires des gens et à se plonger dans des conversations difficiles. Celle qui adore écouter des histoires et apprendre, a déclaré : « J’adore le moment où on réalise à quel point l’histoire est vraiment incroyable, le moment où tous les éléments de l’histoire s’imbriquent pour former un tout. » Tout comme son auditoire, ces moments ont marqué Eliane et elle espère poursuivre ses apprentissages aux côtés de chacun d’entre nous. Pour écouter son balado et l’accompagner dans sa quête d’exploration et d’inspiration, cliquez ici

TRAGÉDIE DE LONDON : Dans les jours qui ont suivi l’horrible tragédie survenue à London en Ontario, la CSEM a publié la déclaration suivante : « Alors que les élèves se préparent à passer le weekend avec leur famille, nous demandons à chacun de prendre un moment pour honorer la mémoire des quatre membres de la famille Afzaal tués dans une attaque terroriste dimanche dernier, et de prier pour le prompt rétablissement de Fayez âgé de 9 ans. »

OPTIONS HONORE LES VICTIMES D’UN PENSIONNAT AUTOCHTONE : Voici le reportage de Christine Long du réseau CTV :

L’école secondaire Options, une école innovatrice située à Ville-Émard, a l’habitude de faire les choses différemment et c’est dans cet esprit qu’elle a décidé d’honorer les enfants dont les restes ont été retrouvés sur le site d’un ancien pensionnat en Colombie-Britannique. L’école Options a donc organisé jeudi une cérémonie spéciale à la mémoire des 215 enfants. Étendus par terre dans la cour d’école, ils ont fait 215 burpees, ensemble à l’unisson, pour symboliser le fait de se lever debout pour ceux qui ne pouvaient pas le faire. Aux dires des élèves, il s’agissait là d’un bien petit aperçu de la lutte et des souffrances que ces jeunes élèves ont dû endurer il y a des décennies. « Pour faire des burpees, il faut s’allonger au sol et ensuite se relever. Ce que nous voulons faire aujourd’hui pour honorer ces 215 victimes, c’est nous tenir debout pour ceux qui ont été forcés de demeurer au sol, nous voulons prendre la parole pour ceux pour ceux qui ont été obligés de se taire et nous voulons changer leur histoire, nous voulons qu’elle soit racontée plutôt qu’enterrée », de dire Jason Gannon, enseignant et co-organisateur de l’événement. « Quelqu’un a tenté de les effacer de l’histoire. Ils ont été maltraités, mal nourris, affamés et enterrés. »

M. Gannon a élaboré ce projet en compagnie de l’un de ses élèves, Casey Bossum, dont la famille crie est originaire de la région de la Baie James. La grand-mère paternelle de Casey a elle-même été traumatisée dans un pensionnat. Casey étant trop timide pour raconter son histoire devant ses camarades de classe, c’est son père, John, qui a pris la parole. « Lorsque j’ai entendu que 215 corps avaient été retrouvés, j’ai tout de suite pleuré en pensant « Et si c’était mon fils? », a-t-il déclaré, les larmes aux yeux. » Pour consulter l’intégral du reportage et la vidéo, visitez :

VACCINATION DES ÉLÈVES : La CSEM a travaillé en collaboration avec le CIUSSS local afin de coordonner les rendez-vous de vaccination contre la COVID-19 pour les élèves âgés de 12 à 17 ans. Certains bâtiments scolaires ont été désignés comme centres de vaccination pour les élèves. Les membres du personnel qui n’avaient pas encore reçu leur première dose ont également pu se faire vacciner. Qui plus est, des établissements de la CSEM ont été ouverts au public après les heures de classe. Ainsi, les élèves âgés de 12 et 13 ans qui n’avaient pas de formulaire de consentement ou les jeunes de 12 ans des écoles primaires avoisinantes ont pu recevoir le vaccin, à condition d’être accompagnés d’un parent.

« Tout s’est très bien déroulé », de déclarer la directrice de l’école secondaire John Grant à propos de l’expérience vécue à son école. « L’équipe du CIUSSS a fait preuve d’un grand professionnalisme et s’est montrée très aimable avec nos élèves. Nous sommes tous très reconnaissants. Les élèves avaient préparé des cartes de remerciement et cuisiné des biscuits pour remercier les infirmières et le personnel administratif. »

COMPTE RENDU DE L’ÉCOLE WESTMOUNT PARK : L’établissement de 105 ans situé au 15 Park Place est fermé depuis deux ans en raison de travaux de réfection totalisant 20 millions de dollars. Depuis la fermeture, les élèves sont hébergés à l’ancienne école primaire St. John Bosco à Ville-Émard (Westmount Park – Campus sud) et à l’Académie internationale Marymount à NDG (Westmount Park – Campus nord). Les installations rénovées proposeront des salles de classe modernes, notamment des tableaux interactifs SMART dont certains seront réglables en hauteur pour accommoder les plus jeunes élèves et leurs enseignants. On y trouvera également diverses options de sièges, de multiples espaces d’apprentissage, un local dédié à la musique et un autre aux sciences, de même que l’ajout d’un ascenseur et d’une rampe d’accès à l’extérieur afin de rendre le bâtiment plus accessible à tous. Afin de préserver en partie l’héritage du bâtiment, les superbes boiseries de l’auditorium seront restaurées, tandis que le système de gicleurs et les sorties de secours seront mis aux normes. La peinture sera rafraîchie, les sièges seront réparés et de nouvelles unités de chauffage seront installées. Au fil des ans, cet emplacement a été convoité pour le tournage de bon nombre de films. À ce jour, les travaux sur les trois premiers étages sont presque terminés. À l’heure actuelle, les deux scénarios suivants sont envisagés : les élèves et le personnel réintégreront l’établissement dès la rentrée scolaire, ou les élèves et le personnel réintégreront l’établissement alors que l’entrepreneur terminera les travaux restants en soirée et la fin de semaine.

Au nombre des travaux majeurs effectués à l’école Westmount Park, mentionnons la réfection de la toiture, la finition intérieure, l'accessibilité (ascenseur), des travaux d’ordre mécanique (plomberie, CVC, gicleurs) et électrique (câblage, éclairage, télécommunications, système d'alarme-incendie, etc.) ainsi que des travaux à l'extérieur (rampe d'accès supplémentaire, travaux d'utilité publique, système de drainage et imperméabilisation des fondations).

La CSEM continuera à fournir des mises à jour fréquentes.  

INSPIRATIONS : L’édition printemps/été 2021 du magazine Inspirations est arrivée et fait peau neuve! Il est désormais plus facile que jamais de faire la lecture des articles informatifs et inspirants qu’elle renferme. La rubrique In this edition, en page 3, présente un aperçu de chacune des sections du magazine et vous indique où trouver le contenu que vous souhaitez lire en premier, qu’il s’agisse d’une nouvelle ressource, de conseils utiles de la part de l’un des spécialistes des Services aux élèves à la CSEM, d’une critique Netflix ou encore notre article-couverture Paul Karwatsky : From anchor to autism advocate, rédigé par Tania Piperni, conseillère en troubles du spectre de l’autisme à la CSEM. Apprenez à mieux connaître notre commanditaire Simon Chang de la Fondation Simon Chang pour le changement en parcourant la rubrique 14 fun facts about Simon Chang. 

Nous désirons remercier les collaborateurs suivants à la CSEM qui ont accepté de partager leur savoir. Cette édition renferme un article inspirant de Kristin McNeill, rédactrice pigiste à la Division des communications, qui met en vedette Cooper, élève à l’école Philip E. Layton; un récit portant sur le rôle de parent et l’apprentissage virtuel, par Sarah Lunch, conseillère en adaptation scolaire et coordonnatrice du Centre d’excellence pour les personnes souffrant de handicaps physiques, intellectuels et multiples (CoE PIM); Practicing being mindful of our thoughts par Danika Swanson, conseillère au Service d’animation de vie spirituelle et d’engagement communautaire à la CSEM; Telepractice in Speech-Language Pathology Services par Karina Ismail, orthophoniste et coordonnatrice du Centre d’excellence pour le développement de la parole et du langage; une mise à jour du CoE PIM présentée par les coordonnatrices du Centre; un sommaire des activités au Centre d’éducation des adultes Galileo, par Lisa Trotto et Erica Nicole Onofrio; ainsi qu’un résumé de l’événement Walk and Talk for Autism Acceptance à l’école secondaire John Grant préparé par Jennifer Le Huquet, directrice de l’école. En outre, ne manquez pas de lire les collaborateurs spéciaux d’Inspirations : Nick Katalifos au sujet d’Horizon 21, une conférence virtuelle tenue les 11 et 12 juin ayant notamment fait les éloges de la première cohorte Polaris Enterprise au Centre d’éducation des adultes Wagar; ainsi que Joanne Charron à propos du Centre C.A.R.E., également situé à Wagar. 

Nous vous invitons à lire cette édition à Visitez-nous au ou sur Facebook @inspirationsnews. Envoyez un courriel à pour recevoir des exemplaires imprimés ou si vous souhaitez proposer un article pour l’édition automne 2021/hiver 2022.

APPUYER LE NEURO POUR UN ENSEIGNANT BIEN SPÉCIAL: Bien que la communauté de l'Académie Leonardo Da Vinci de RDP collabore avec l'Institut neurologique de Montréal depuis 2016, lorsque l'enseignant Daniel Gaudette a reçu un diagnostic de tumeur au cerveau en décembre 2020, leur relation spéciale est instantanément devenue personnelle. Après avoir persévéré tout au long de son combat de six mois, M. Gaudette a fait un retour triomphal à l'école de RDP en juin en portant le flambeau olympique pour donner le coup d'envoi à la Journée neuro-olympique organisée par l’école. Cet événement spécial se voulait à la fois une collecte de fonds annuelle de l'école au profit de l'hôpital et une journée d'activités pour les élèves. Un chèque a été remis à l’Institut neurologique lors de la cérémonie de clôture. M. Gaudette, qui fut nommé l'un des enseignants les plus remarquables de la CSEM en 2020, est un membre très apprécié du personnel de l'Académie Leonardo Da Vinci. Son diagnostic a provoqué une véritable onde de choc au sein de la communauté. Les élèves, le personnel ainsi que les parents l’ont appuyé durant son traitement. Même s’il est encore en congé, M. Gaudette a soutenu l'école de manière virtuelle pendant l’année scolaire et envisage un retour à temps plein en septembre. Depuis 2016, l’Académie Leonardo Da Vinci a amassé plus de 35 000 $ destinés à l’Institut neurologique de Montréal, dont 15 850 $ cette année. Pour visionner l’intégral du reportage de CTV :

Pour faire un don :

POUR L’AMOUR DE LA LECTURE : C’est avec plaisir que nous vous annonçons que les écoles Mackay et Philip E. Layton sont récipiendaires cette année d’une subvention du Fonds pour la littératie (#LiteracyFundGrant) de la Fondation Indigo pour l’amour de la lecture! Grâce à elle, nous avons été en mesure de procurer aux élèves du matériel de lecture indispensable afin que tous les enfants puissent avoir accès à des livres diversifiés et enrichissants. Pour visionner la vidéo : Merci à la Fondation #IndigoLoveofReading! 

BERNIE BEIGNE : « C’est une beignerie de quartier sans prétention, qui rappelle les boulangeries juives et grecques d’autrefois », s’est exclamé Dean Giannarakis à propos de son tout dernier projet. Bernie Beigne, dont l’appellation se veut une ode à la fois à la rue où la beignerie est située et au nom de l’ancien propriétaire du bâtiment, a de quoi satisfaire tous les goûts. On y trouve de grands classiques, ainsi que des créations modernes et contemporaines garnies de Fruit Loops, de morceaux de Kit Kat et de biscuits OREO. Tous les beignes sont fraîchement préparés sur place, le jour même. On peut les admirer dans la vitrine de la beignerie. « Un bon beigne, c’est réconfortant, de dire M.  Giannarakis, chef cuisinier de la beignerie. C’est un petit plaisir coupable. Que vous ayez 2 ou 82 ans, vous quitterez la beignerie avec un sourire aux lèvres. »

Bien qu’il s’agisse de la première incursion de M. Giannarakis dans l’univers de la pâtisserie, ce dernier n’est pas pour autant étranger au domaine culinaire. En effet, il a passé la majeure partie de sa vie dans la cuisine des restaurants détenus et exploités par son père, sa tante et son oncle, à qui il doit d’ailleurs son « éthique de travail à l’ancienne ».

M. Giannarakis souligne également que son passage en 2014 au Centre de carrières St. Pius X, dans le programme culinaire, a été un catalyseur pour son amour de la cuisine.  « J’ai perfectionné mes compétences à Pius, a déclaré M. Giannarakis, qui a également fréquenté l’école primaire Dunrae Gardens à Ville Mont-Royal et l’Académie Royal West à Montréal-Ouest. Le programme était très structuré et professionnel. J’y ai appris toutes les techniques et la science derrière la cuisine. Ça m’a ouvert les yeux. » Bernie Beigne est située au 23, rue Bernard Ouest (à l’angle de Clark) dans le quartier Mile-End. La beignerie est ouverte du mercredi au dimanche, de 10 h à 18 h, où jusqu’à ce que tous les beignes soient vendus. Suivez Bernie Beigne sur Instagram à @berniebeigne. 

LA PRESSE SOULIGNE LA VICTOIRE D’UN ÉLÈVE DE GARDENVIEW : Jake Todaro s’est senti inspiré lorsque son enseignante de 5e année, Nina Wong, a demandé à la classe de répondre à la question « Que signifie pour vous le mot chez-soi »? Le concours de rédaction pancanadien destiné aux élèves de 4e, 5e et 6e année était très important, car les gagnants avaient la possibilité de faire don d’une somme d’argent considérable à leur organisme provincial Habitat pour l’humanité. Jake a été couronné grand vainqueur à son niveau. Un don de 30 000 $ sera versé en son nom et aidera une famille à créer son propre chez-soi à Montréal. L’élève de l’école Gardenview de Saint-Laurent a réfléchi à sa propre expérience. Il a composé un poème où il raconte comment ses parents ont acheté une maison délabrée et l’ont patiemment rénovée, sans se décourager, pour en faire un sanctuaire où il se sent aimé et en sécurité.

Pour consulter l’intégral de l’article :


SERVICES EN SANTÉ MENTALE : L’été 2019 fut une période éprouvante pour Allyson Deodath. En effet, elle a souffert de deux anévrismes cérébraux qui ont finalement nécessité une intervention chirurgicale en juillet de la même année. Alors qu’elle se remettait de son opération, elle a tôt fait de réaliser qu’au-delà des suivis concernant sa plaie ou sa santé physique en général, elle recevait peu de soutien émotionnel de la part des médecins et des thérapeutes. Son expérience l’a amenée à réfléchir à ce que d’autres personnes traversant des épreuves peuvent vivre. « Mon opération a été un signal d’alarme qui m’a poussée à agir et à faire une différence », de dire Allyson. Si je ne donne pas en retour, ma guérison ne sera pas complète. » 

Madame Deodath a transformé son désir d’aider les autres en fondant ROAR en octobre 2019, un organisme à but non lucratif enregistré auprès du gouvernement. ROAR, qui signifie Reaching Out and Relating, cherche à éduquer les individus sur la santé mentale et le bien-être mental. Madame Deodath n’est pas étrangère au milieu de l’éducation. En effet, elle cumule près de 40 ans d’expérience en enseignement, depuis son premier emploi à l’âge de 16 ans dans son pays natal, Trinité-et-Tobago. Elle travaille à la Commission scolaire English-Montréal depuis 18 ans, et occupe depuis 2015 un poste d’enseignante d’anglais de base au Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal. Madame Deodath affirme que ROAR est le prolongement de son enseignement en classe et « qu’il enseigne aux gens l’acceptation, tout en leur faisant comprendre qu’il n’y a pas de mal à s’aimer soi-même ». 

« Allyson comble les lacunes lorsque des gens sont en attente d’une aide médicale plus poussée », de dire Harry Michalopoulos, directeur du Centre d’éducation des adultes High School of Montreal. « Elle est un exutoire vers lequel nous pouvons orienter quelqu’un aux prises avec certains troubles de santé mentale. »

Pour visionner le reportage réalisé par Global TV :

PIUS EN FORTE DEMANDE : La réouverture du secteur de la restauration a entraîné une énorme demande pour les élèves provenant de l’Institut culinaire St. Pius X d’Ahuntsic. Or, cela n’a rien d’inhabituel pour Pius. « Nos élèves sont constamment sollicités », de dire Alain Bélair, directeur adjoint. « Nous avons un nombre limité d’élèves pour répondre à cette demande toujours croissante. Nous faisons de notre mieux en ces temps difficiles. »  

REPORTAGE DE CTV NEWS SUR GALILEO : Un groupe d’élèves de l’éducation des adultes ayant des besoins particuliers font leur part afin d’aider les travailleurs de première ligne en fabriquant des visières de protection, pièce d’équipement vitale en ces temps de pandémie. Les élèves du Centre d’éducation des adultes Galileo affirment qu’ils éprouvent une grande satisfaction à rendre la pareille à ceux et celles qui leur ont tant donné pendant la pandémie. « J’éprouve une grande joie et je suis heureuse de savoir que j’aide d’autres personnes à assurer leur protection », s’est exclamée l’élève Nancy Leopardi: 

ÉCOLE VIRTUELLE : (Cet article a été publié sur la page Facebook de l’Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants au sujet d’Emma Stivaletta, une élève de l’école virtuelle inscrite en 1re année au programme bilingue.) Aujourd'hui est un jour spécial pour une petite fille exceptionnelle. Il s'agit d'Emma. Le 11 avril 2019, à seulement 4 ans, on lui a diagnostiqué une leucémie lymphoblastique aiguë (LLA). Au cours des deux dernières années, elle s’est rendue chaque semaine à l’Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants pour y recevoir des traitements et a touché de nombreux cœurs en cours de route. Ce matin, elle nous a finalement rendu visite pour la dernière fois en tant que malade du cancer. Elle recevra sa dernière chimio à la maison vendredi. 

Maintenant qu'elle a retrouvé son énergie, Emma aime nager, courir et cuisiner avec sa mère. Ensemble, elles vendent des plats de pâtes italiennes afin de recueillir des fonds pour la Fondation de l'Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants et aider à sauver d'autres enfants comme Emma. Nous sommes reconnaissants d'avoir rencontré cette petite fille courageuse et lui souhaitons tout le meilleur pour le futur!

Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 1er septembre. Prière de soumettre vos articles au plus tard le 26 août à midi, à

The next  edition of the Focus newsletter will appear on September 1, 2021.  Have a great summer!