Tuesday, October 3, 2023


EDUCATION AND CAREER FAIR: More than 2,000  Secondary V students will attend the 23rd  annual English Montreal School Board Education and  Career Fair on Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday,  October 26 at St. Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic (9955 Papineau).  Jack Dym of Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd is the event’s title sponsor.  Several on air personalities from the media will be on hand to talk to students about careers in this field and serve as guest emcees. 

From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on October 25, the Education and Career Fair will be open to the community-at-large. Organizers note that this is a good opportunity for parents to attend with their children (Grades 9, 10 and 11) as they look towards post-secondary education options in a one-stop shopping experience. There is no charge and free parking.   Mario Argiropoulos from EMSB Adult Education and Vocational Services is the  Education and Career Fair chair. The Student Services and AEVS Departments of the EMSB coordinate this program.   The main objective is to provide students with an in-depth exposure to the various educational opportunities available to them.  All students will take part in a brief general information session in the St. Pius X auditorium. Students will then have the chance to visit the various exhibition/information booths staffed by representatives from English vocational centres,  CEGEPS, universities and some private business colleges.

MEDIA LITERACY WEEK:  Media Literacy Week (MLW) is an annual event promoting digital media literacy across Canada, taking place each October. Schools, libraries, museums and community groups organize events and activities throughout the week. Media Literacy Week 2023 takes place October 23 to 27. This year they are also bringing back Digital Citizen Day on October 25. Organizers invite schools to join them to encourage everyone in Canada to spread positivity online. Engage on social media using #DigitalCitizenDay on October 25 to share how you use online tools for good and help make our online world a better place! Positive ways to engage online as a digital citizen can include:   pushing back against hate and prejudice online and reporting it; sharing a kind or positive comment ; sending a funny message to brighten someone’s day; making your voice heard about an issue you care about (in a constructive way); amplifying marginalized voices; checking reputable sources before sharing info; and Respecting other people’s privacy when sharing things online. Info: www.mediasmarts.ca

BILL 40 APPEAL:   EMSB Chair Joe Ortona has weighed in on the Quebec government’s decision to appeal the ruling on Bill 40 which struck down most of the legislation and kept the province’s nine English school boards intact. The government has appealed the decision.

Listen to Mr. Ortona on CJAD

Read Mr. Ortona’s opinion piece in The Gazette

QESBA NOMINATION: Mr. Ortona has been nominated to serve as the next president of the Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA). This would be for a two year term.

QPAT CONFERENCE:  The annual Quebec Provincial Teachers Conference (QPAT) takes place at Hotel Bonaventure October 12 and 13. Please come by and visit the EMSB information table.

CACE CONFERENCE: The EMSB Marketing and Communications Department will be represented at the annual Canadian Association of Communicators in Education (CACE) Conference being held in Monteal October 27 to 29. This program gathers communications professionals from the education field from across the country.

Nick Katalifos, Alejandra Zaga Mendez and Joe Ortona.

POLITICAL ACTION: Recently, Mr. Ortona and Director General Nick Katalifos had the opportunity to meet with Alejandra Zaga Mendez,  Québec solidaire MNA   for Verdun and critic for relations with English-speaking Quebecers. This meeting was part of the EMSB’s ongoing outreach to elected officials to ensure that the concerns of the anglophone community of Quebec remain a priority at the local, provincial and federal levels of government. Discussed were how the opposition parties can help expedite the approval process for the 400 children awaiting receipt of their English eligibility certificates, the EMSB’s very successful French curriculum as well the ongoing efforts by the EMSB to safeguard anglophone rights to education and services.

Pamela Pagano (back centre) is surrounded by St. Leonard primary school administrators, Commissioners Maria Corsi and Mario Pietrangelo and students.

PAGANO JOINS TEAM: The EMSB is thrilled to welcome EMSB alumna and former City News Montreal journalist Pamela Pagano to our Marketing and Communications team. Pamela’s primary role is to work with students at Pierre de Coubertin, Dante and Honoré Mercier elementary schools in St. Léonard  to enhance their media literacy via unique projects such as podcasts, packaged video reports and more. Pamela will also have the opportunity to highlight other events and activities at these schools and throughout the east end. Pamela attended the former General Vanier Elementary School and Laurier Macdonald High School.

Sarah Segal-Lazar

ROYAL WEST GRADS:  Royal West Academy in Montreal West grad Sarah Segal-Lazar is back with her new album Valleys. Produced by Matthew Barber, the album is a soulful Americana tapestry of life's highs and lows. With nods to nostalgic country and riffs that will have you coming back again and again, Valleys is bound to soon be a contemporary folk-country favourite. Stream Valleys wherever you get your music: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/sarahsegallazar/valleys.... La Presse Newspaper recently devoted an article   commending some anglophone students on reading in French at John Abbott College.  Magali Shimotakahara and Anna Molins are Royal West Academy grads. “It is not often anglos get praised in French media,” remarked Royal West Principal Tony Pita. You can read the article here: https://lp.ca/2hf5aJ?sharing=true ….  Royal West and Roslyn grad Sandra Primiano, a psychologist and vice-president of research, quality and clinical practice for  Homewood Health, was interviewed on Global Television about back to school anxiety. Homewood Health is the Canadian leader in mental health and addiction services.  Info:  https://homewoodhealth.com/corporate    Here is the link.

EMSB EXPRESS: The fall edition of the EMSB Express Newspaper has been published. It includes an overview of high school open houses, messages from the Director General and Chair, the youth sector calendar, a special section recognizing volunteers, another special section on “gifted and exceptional” learners, sports and more. You can read it here or ask for hard copy at a school, centre or one of our drop off points. It is still not too late to enter the quiz and be eligible to win prizes. Click here

OPEN HOUSE SEASON: Most EMSB primary and secondary schools are  holding open houses this fall. Please go to www.emsbopenhouses.com for all of the details. Please log on to www.emsbopenhouses.com for all of the dates. See our CTV Commercial here

The Inspirations team was present at the Giant Steps Autism Resource Fair.

INSPIRATIONS NEWS:  Inspirations Newspaper continues to serve the community with “inspiring” and important stories related to special needs and mental health. You can see more here

Rob Lutes at LaurenHill.

ROB LUTES VISIT:  Award winning Pointe-Claire recording artist Rob Lutes visited LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus in St. Laurent this week to present his blues history and songwriting workshops to a number of classes taught by Sandy Kocoris. Mr. Lutes has given songwriting, creativity and music history workshops to students, community groups and seniors for more than 20 years. He offers a range of different sessions that inspire creativity and excite interest in the fascinating history of popular music.  For Quebec educators, there is funding available for Rob's workshops through the government repertoire or through the English Language Arts Network's Artists Inspire grant program.  With a brief, fun and informative introduction to the fascinating history of the blues, as well as an interactive songwriting exercise and performance afterwards,  this workshop certainly grabbed the attention of the Secondary I and II students at LaurenHill. This was an enjoyable, inspiring participatory activity where students learn about the blues and collectively write a song in the blues tradition. Where did the blues originate from? Mr. Lutes made the link to slavery and provided a fascinating background. “The slaves,” he explained, “kept their history via songs.” For the second workshop, Mr. Lutes brought students on a journey through the creative process, offering ideas and techniques that can be applied to any creative endeavor. He then acted as co-writer with each student, setting music to their own newly written lyrics as they experience the trial and error process that is at the birth of every song. Since the release of his first album Gravity in 2000, Mr. Lutes has steadily built a collection of exquisite songs that inhabit the intersection of blues, folk, Americana, and the contemporary singer-songwriter genre. As skilled delivering a Piedmont blues classic as he is performing his own acclaimed original songs, his masterful fingerstyle guitar work and soulful voice bring an unmistakable intensity to his live performances. Follow Lutes on Spotify and via  https://roblutes.com.

ANTI-BULLYING BOOK: Two  teachers from John Caboto Academy in Ahuntsic, Jessica Attardo and Joseph Romano, have collaborated and wrote an anti-bullying children’s series  They use the school’s mascot (Shark) to sensitize children about bullying and focus on being kind to one another and promote acceptance.  The storyline revolves around  Little Fin Academy. Here, the  little fins have embarked upon a very special journey: they are going to learn how to bike ride! The fins quickly learn that bike riding takes patience and perseverance and that it is not right to make fun of anyone for not being able to do so. It is available here on Amazon.

Sarah Fogg, Joe Ortona, Ann Marguet, Eliane Goldstein and Andrew D'Anna.

HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Last year the EMSB obtained a one-time Nova grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal to undertake a Holocaust education program. Because of  this funding, many school trips were arranged to the Montreal Holocaust Museum with survivors as guest speakers as well as a number of school-based programs. Thanks to the generosity of some new donors, the EMSB will be able to run a program again this year. More notably, young Montreal businessman Henry Zavriyev has made a special allocation for five East End high schools: Laurier Macdonald, Lester B. Pearson, Rosemount, Vincent Massey and John F. Kennedy.  On September 26, members of the Council of Commissioners attended a professional development session facilitated by  Anne Marguet, Coordinator of Education, Montreal Holocaust Museum and their communications director Sarah Fogg. Also in attendance was Social Sciences Consultant  Andrew D’Anna and Holocaust Education Podcast co-host  Eliane Goldstein, the latter a student at Westmount High.

NEW PODCAST: Listen to our latest podcast with Spiritual Animator Samantha Smith and St. Monica Elementary School teacher Sandra Banon who talk about their experience at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel last summer. Click here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2046819/13666804 

COMPULSORY HOLOCAUST  EDUCATION: In the wake of the province of Ontario  introducing mandatory Holocaust learning for the first time in elementary schools this fall, the EMSB has adopted a resolution calling for the Quebec government to do the same.

The complete resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS the Holocaust marked the state-sponsored persecution and mass murder of millions of European Jews, Romani people, the intellectually disabled, political dissidents and homosexuals by the German Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945;

WHEREAS the province of Ontario has introduced mandatory Holocaust learning for the first time in elementary schools this fall;

WHEREAS studies show that when Holocaust education is provided, hate crimes and incidents against Jews decrease significantly;

WHEREAS B’nai Brith Canada states that making Holocaust education mandatory reduces hate incidents targeting other racial and religious minorities;

WHEREAS in 2022, B’nai Brith Canada documented 722 antisemitic incidents in Quebec;

WHEREAS a 2020 survey by Echoes and Reflection, a prominent American program that equips educators for effective instruction of the Holocaust,  found that those who received Holocaust education are more tolerant and more comfortable with people of a different race or sexual orientation than those who did not;

WHEREAS the EMSB has initiated its own Holocaust Education Program, including guest speakers and visits to the Montreal Holocaust Museum; 

WHEREAS  as Holocaust survivors  age and pass away, it is more important than ever that the education system play an increasingly important role;

WHEREAS as the present-day History curriculum in public high schools allows for  some opportunities to discuss the Holocaust;

WHEREAS The Foundation for Genocide Education has produced a  pedagogical guide  entitled "Teaching about Genocide,”  allowing Quebec teachers to become  the first in the country to have access to such an educational tool to support them in the sometimes difficult and challenging task of studying genocides in the classroom.

IT WAS MOVED BY Joe Ortona, Jamie Fabian, Ellie Israel and   Julien Feldman THAT  the English Montreal School Board call upon Quebec’s Ministry of Education  to make Holocaust education compulsory in elementary and high schools and that the Ministry consults the Ontario curriculum and mandate the Conseil Supérieur de l'Éducation and other stakeholders to determine how best to introduce this new curriculum and ensure teacher training.

Joe Ortona, Principal Jim Daskalakis, staff and students express appreciation.

TOTE BAGS DONATION:  Thanks to a generous donation from the employees of SAP, students from St. Gabriel School in Pointe St. Charles were given all the school supplies they needed to begin the year on the right foot. Employees from SAP packed 100 unique kits which included materials for students to use in the classroom and lunchroom. Packed in a reusable tote bag, students received: a lunch box, a meal container, reusable utensils reusable straws, a straw cleaner, and a water bottle. For the classroom, they received an eco-co-pen, labels, six small notebooks, permanent markers, pencils, stencils and coloured paper. 

CONCOURS D'ART ORATOIRE: Are you  a student wishing to learn French as a second (or even third) language?  Don’t miss this chance to meet peers from across the province, get free lunch, and win prizes! It is said that one of our biggest fears is public speaking. And what’s the best way to get over our fears and become more resilient and confident? By facing them head-on! The Concours d’art oratoire is a public-speaking competition for high school students who are learning French as a second language. Students are tasked with writing and presenting an original three to five-minute-long speech in French on a topic of their choice. Register in April and  participate in May 2024! Learn more and register here

BOOK LAUNCH: Two moms of students from Willingdon Elementary School (5870 Terrebonne) in NDG will present and read from their new children’s book on Monday, October 23 (11 am) on the occasion of Canadian School Library Day. Veronica Santaguida is the author while Veronika Gruntovskaya  serves as the illustrator. Ms. Santaguida  has two children at the schools, one in Kindergarten and another in Grade 3. Ms. Gruntovskaya also has two student pupils in grades 1 and 4, with one more on the way. You  can purchase the book on  Amazon.

Norman Katz, Sergio Momesso, Pat Hickey and students.

TERRY FOX RUNS: EMSB schools were busy taking part in the Terry Fox Run this month. At Royal Vale School in NDG, former NHLer Sergio Momesso was a special guest as $8,000 was raised for cancer research. Momesso attended St. Monica Elementary School in NDG and Marymount.

Everyone enjoys the Senior Sunset.

SENIOR SUNSET: Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North hosted a Senior Sunset on September 18 to usher in the final year of secondary education for graduating students. There was a two hour celebration with music provided by a live DJ, a BeaverTails sweet treat, as  students celebrated under the setting sun on picnic blankets, playing frisbee, soccer and football. It is  hoped that this is the start of a yearlong celebration of the class of 2024! 

The day-long hackathon/buildathon was a big success.

MAKERS MAKING CHANGE:   In support of Montreal’s special needs community, on September 28, the Grade 5 and 6 students at Edinburgh School   in Montreal West teamed up with McGill University for a day-long hackathon/buildathon with the goal of creating and donating assistive devices for people with disabilities. The age-appropriate event, called Makers Making Change,  allowed the students to learn about disability and assistive technology, while heightening their awareness and understanding of people with disabilities and serving their community at the same time.  Throughout the day, the students created assistive devices for people with disabilities while incorporating the principles of design thinking, using 3D modeling (CAD) software, and 3D printing.  Past Makers Making Change events across Canada have led to a series of adapted toys, braille calculators as well as various devices that make it easier for individuals to grip pens, pencils and markers. 

ROSEMOUNT HIGH GOES WWE: Rosemount High School will hold its convocation on Nov. 2 (7 pm). Wrestling legend an anti-bullying advocate Jacques Rougeau will be the guest speaker.

YOUTH STARS: The Youth Stars Kids basketball program focuses on developing basic skills for beginners and intermediate basketball players  between the ages of  six to 12 years old. It is a 10 week program , for boys and girls  that also includes a jersey. The program takes place on Saturday and Sundays  at LCC in NDG  for fun and games. Register now at youthstars.org. 

Embracing the global spirit of peace.

SYMBOLS OF PEACE: In a demonstration of unity, compassion, and hope, Grades 5 and 6 students at Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount have embarked upon a remarkable project to create peace cranes and pen heartfelt words of support, embracing the global spirit of peace. The project was organized by Annie Cacchiotti, Corina Micheletti and Adriana Di Benedetto, teachers at Nesbitt Elementary, along with Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce. It aims to foster understanding and empathy among students while commemorating the International Day of Peace. The students of Nesbitt have been diligently crafting peace cranes, a symbol of peace and healing in many cultures worldwide. “It’s inspiring to see our young students come together with our staff members to celebrate peace and diversity, reminding us of all of the power of unity in creating a more peaceful world.” says Mr. Lacroce. “Students have been putting their thoughts and feelings into words, writing messages of support, unity, and peace in multiple languages. These heartfelt messages serve as a reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness can contribute to a more harmonious world and will be placed on Nesbitt’s Nurturing Tree in the main entrance of the school.”

It was all about team-building for these students.

A BETTER ME: During the month of September, Mr. Lacroce worked on an outdoor team-building welcoming workshop for cycles 2 and 3 students at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary in St. Leonard, Nesbitt and Leonardo Da Vinci Academy in RDP called "A Better Me!" This fun-filled educational workshop was packed with games and exercises enabling students to gain a deeper understanding of teamwork, empathy, resilience, and improved communication skills. “Our aim was to create an environment where students could not only have fun but also learn essential life skills. By integrating values into these team-building exercises, we hope to inspire them to become accepting, compassionate, responsible, and confident individuals," says Mr. Lacroce. 

There were plenty of questions for the STM officials.

ON BOARD WITH THE STM: Montreal Société De Transport De Montréal (STM) Inspectors, Sinclair Laird and St. Raphael Elementary school staff and admin, together with Spiritual and Community Animator Rocco Speranza, teamed up to present All on Board with the STM program to cycle three students. The interactive presentation covered the “How-to” of using the environmentally friendly public transportation.  Providing hands-on experience helps teach students how to navigate the STM transit system safely and with ease. Students were shown how to read STM maps, bus schedules, use safety equipment and more. The visit with the inspectors included a ride along on the STM Blue line.  “Providing the students with the necessary skills to make them independent is important for the school and community. A great time was had by all,” noted Mr. Speranza. 

BENEVA ADVICE:  Every year, hundreds of thousands of Quebec residents have legal issues: medical errors, workplace harassment, identity theft or looking after an incapacitated relative. These situations can put you into financial trouble. Find out how Beneva can protect you with legal access insurance.  There are three good reasons why you should get legal access insurance. Invest a little to reap a lot of coverage Legal access insurance, which is available at an affordable rate (about $1 per week), and is recommended by the Barreau du Québec, provides you with financial support and valuable guidance. It includes reimbursement of a portion of the fees required to defend your rights or cover lawyer’s or notary’s fees. Legal access insurance claims won’t cause your insurance premiums to increase. It protects your spouse and children (if they live in your household) at no extra cost.

Avoid many legal problems. Lawyer, expert witness or arbitration costs can all play havoc with a budget. That’s why many legal access insurance policies cover various issues that might affect you one day in various legal domains such as consumer issues, property  damage  and work related issues such as psychological harassment. Get support for specific situations. Legal access insurance is versatile and can also be used preventively in specific cases. Think about having to do a protection mandate or a will: legal access insurance will reimburse a portion of the notary’s fees. After a separation, it can also assume a portion of the charges for family mediation sessions that are not covered by the government.  Info: www.beneva.ca

Orange Shirt Day  and Truth and Reconciliation Events and Activities

It was all about Hoops.

HOOP DANCE WORKSHOP: In honor of The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Spiritual Community Animator Veronica D’Agata organized an interactive hoop dance workshop for the students at John Caboto Academy in Ahuntsic, Michelangelo International in RDP  and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary in Rosemount. The dancer, Marie-Celine Einish, is originally from the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. She grew up in the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, where she learned about Cree traditions, language, and teachings that still connect her to the land of Eeyou Istchee. In this workshop, she taught the students how to execute basic dance steps, while also sharing information about the regalia, history, and ceremony behind this traditional storytelling art form. 

In addition to this wonderful workshop, Ms. D’Agata visited classes throughout the month to discuss the theme of “Indigenous Cultures and Traditions,” tying into Orange Shirt Day. The presentation focused primarily on learning about diverse Indigenous Peoples and some of their cultural traditions, as well as how these traditions were forcibly removed from their identity through residential schooling.

At Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, a weekly trivia quiz (Kahoot) created by Ms. D’Agata, was given as each homeroom was tested on their knowledge of Indigenous cultures. A video and moment of reflection was given about Orange Shirt Day, as students try to understand the intergenerational trauma that the residential school system left behind. 

A good "Perspective" on a Pow Wow.

POW WOWS: Recently, students from Perspectives I  Alternative High School in St. Michel attended an Indigenous Pow Wow event organized by Concordia University.  The Pow Wow event served as a platform for fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among the young minds of Perspectives High School. Students had the privilege of witnessing traditional dances, including the jingle dress dance, fancy dance, and traditional Pow Wow dances. This outing was organized by Mr. LacrocePerspectives High School Students Immerse Themselves in Indigenous Culture at Otsenhákta Student Centre's Pow Wow at Concordia University

Meanwhile, students from MIND, FACE and LaurenHill Academy attended the 22nd Annual Pow Wow hosted by the First Peoples’ House at McGill. Students and teachers enjoyed dancing and drumming, traditional bison stew with Bannock, as well as stopping at different tables and displays of various organizations across the island of Tiohtia:ke (Montreal) that support and teach the languages and cultures of the diverse Indigenous populations of Turtle Island (Canada). This community outing was organized by Spiritual and Community Animator  Elizabeth Pellicone.

An RWA student reflects.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION WEEK AT RWA: On September 21, International Peace Day, students at Royal West Academy launched Truth and Reconciliation Week. In the days that followed, students continued to reflect, learn, and engage in dialogue for Truth and Reconciliation, through a number of  activities. Students were invited to join their SCA Jag Trehin for an opening ceremony and land acknowledgement, followed by a Peace Walk in the local community.  The purpose of this walk was to raise awareness on discrimination and injustice, and to encourage students to speak up for peace, truth and reconciliation.   A display for Truth and Reconciliation lines the main foyer of RWA. After reading about Truth and Reconciliation and ways to be an ally to Indigenous Peoples, the school community will be sharing their thoughts of hope, love, and peace as they tie orange ribbons to our circles of community and equality.  Their ribbons of hope are a sign of the school community's commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.

A beautiful Friendship Quilt.

FRIENDSHIP QUILTS: In a heartwarming display of unity and creativity, students from Pierre de Coubertin Elementary, Nesbitt Elementary, and Leonardo Da Vinci Academy, worked to create Friendship Quilts of Peace in honour of Orange Shirt Day. These beautiful quilts will serve as symbols of solidarity and remembrance, with the hope of spreading love and understanding. Orange Shirt Day, observed annually on September 30, is a day to remember and honour the Indigenous children who were taken from their families and placed in residential schools. It is a day to reflect on the past and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all. The Friendship Quilts of Peace initiative was spearheaded by dedicated art specialists from these three remarkable schools: Adriana Di Benedetto from Nesbitt;  at Pierre de Coubertin Claudina Leonora Ocando Pena and Mr. Lacroce have worked tirelessly to bring this heartwarming project to life. At Leonardo Da Vinci Academy all teachers from Pre-K – Grade 6 coordinated the creation of paper quilts with their students.  The quilts, meticulously crafted by the talented young artists, are more than just beautiful pieces of art. They represent a commitment to fostering understanding, empathy, and friendship among students from different backgrounds. It is hoped these quilts will serve as a symbol of hope, reconciliation, and unity. The finished Friendship Quilts of Peace will be lovingly presented to elementary schools in Kahnawake, a gesture that aims to strengthen the bonds of friendship and respect between communities. 

A field trip to Kahnawake.

EXPLORING KAHNAWAKE:  At Edinburgh Elementary this September students focused on Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day.  On September 19, Grade 5 classes had an opportunity to visit Kahnawake with Ms. Trehin. Students were delighted to meet their guide for the day, Mr. Davis, who gave them a tour of the community where he showcased many aspects of daily life in Kahnawake. Students also had an opportunity to explore some history at the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center, and view some cultural artifacts, including the latest addition of a 200-year-old birch canoe. Later in the afternoon, students visited a longhouse and learned more about local traditions and ceremonies.  They even saw and learned about the craft of doll making from corn husks.  Students appreciated learning more about culture, language, art, and history while meeting and engaging with members of the Kahnawake community, just across the river from our school!  

DIVERSITY CARAVAN:  Royal West Academy's Diversity Caravan launched its first trip for the 2023-24 academic year.  With Truth and Reconciliation being the topic for September. students, along with Stephanie Ferland-Turcotte and Spiritual and Community Animator Jag Trehin, visited Kahnawake on September 22.  There they had an opportunity to receive a guided tour, meet and converse with community members from Kahnawake, visit the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center, and participate in a fun-filled lacrosse workshop.

RWA students also visited Kahnawake.

 RWA's Diversity Caravan ECA aims to provide an opportunity for students to learn about, explore, and tour the unique cultures and faiths of the world right here in their own city, Montreal!  With their SCA, students have an opportunity throughout the year to visit cultural and sacred sites from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities to explore diversity firsthand in our community. These experiential opportunities help students develop greater awareness, respect, appreciation, and understanding of the diverse peoples and communities that contribute to the fabric of Quebec and Canadian Society.

Students enjoy their special experience.

TRADITIONS: On Sept. 22, Dunrae Gardens Elementary School in TMR received a three hour workshop with Kawisente, who brought a plethora of sacred items from wampum belts to rattles, drums, medicines, animal skins, native dolls, and more. It was a fruitful educational session about the traditions, symbolism, spirituality and ways of the indigenous community. "The students were so intrigued- the students were still, listening with keen ears, for the entire hour," says SCA Puynung   Choy. "They all had a chance to touch many of the sacred items, and sang songs about the three  sisters -corn, beans and squash)- as well, the staff fortunately had a chance to wear the full body animal skin!"  


Chair Joe Ortona, Estela Lamigo, Chef Derek Curzi, Commissioner Sophie De Vito, DG Nick Katalifos, Principal Alice Sideropoulos.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH: Estela Lamigo, who is enrolled in the  professional cooking program at the St. Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic, is the EMSB Student of the Month for October. She was recognized at the October 3 Council of Commissioners meeting. Estela is a mom and a wife who works full-time during the day and is a punctual evening culinary student at St. Pius X. She is cheerful, energetic and a dedicated student who provides a positive influence for her classmates. Estela excels and masters all topics and techniques which are taught to her.   Over the past four months during the  current service modules she has acquired speed and efficiency while always wanting to learn and experience more.

The Shadd team (with mascot) celebrates their participation in the race.

SHADD SUCCEEDS IN DRAGON BOAT RACE:  A team from the Shadd Health and Business Centre in NDG took part in the  BDO Cedars CanSupport Dragon Boat Race on Saturday,  Sept. 9 at Promenade Pere Marquette in Lachine.    The Shadd/Baton Rouge Firebreathers paddled their hearts out and collected an outstanding amount of $15,000  

“We are all quite proud of our achievement and we are looking at possibly returning next year,” said teacher John Millar. “The goal was to have our students involved in the community and have them participate in team building. I think we did both! We learned a lot about ourselves and we now have a clearer understanding of how to participate in a large scale event.” 

This event is crucial to help raise awareness and much needed funds for Cedars CanSupport, which has, and continues to provide, free psychological, emotional, practical and financial support to cancer patients and their families, one person at a time, for the past 30 years.  

Principal Joe Cacchione  wishes to thank  Dominic Aversa of Baton Rouge  restaurants in Anjou, Laval and Greenfield Park for notes that a generous sponsorship contribution of $5,000.

A Wagar student works on the project.

WAGAR STUDENTS ASSIST SHADD:   Students from the Wagar Adult Education Centre Social Integration Transitions Program, taught by Melanie Shields and Louise Panet-Raymond,  participated in a work stage project at the Shadd  Health and Business Centre.  The Transitions Program introduces students to the world of work and focuses on the skills that students need to acquire, in order to find employment. Students started   on September 11 and completed everything by September 15.  They removed staples and shredded documents from 65 Banker boxes.  The students demonstrated work skills by maintaining a positive attitude, working together as a team, using good communication skills and showing up for work on-time. To end off the week, students got to enjoy a delicious food truck lunch, thanks to  Principal Joe Cacchione.  

PROJECT M: The Wagar Adult Education Centre in Côte Saint-Luc received excellent exposure in Project M, a series of captivating video vignettes dedicated to spotlighting the extraordinary work of present and future special needs educators. The mission with Project M is to challenge and dispel gender stereotypes while inspiring a greater number of male role models to embrace this invaluable profession.   Special education teachers Elias Tambe  and Samuel Black  are the Wagar reps profiled, as well as some of their students. The aim of Projet M is clear: to break down gender stereotypes and encourage more men to enter this crucial profession. Elias is described as “ the generous heart of special education at Wagar.”   Samuel is described as “ the special educator in the ‘From Garden to Table’ horticulture program at Wagar.   Go to the 2:19 mark to view it here.

SKILLS/COMPÉTENCES CANADA: The EMSB will partner with Skills Compétences Canada for a   special event on Tuesday, November 7. Students will be invited to participate in hands-on workshops/activities from the various vocational training sectors as well as tour the Rosemount Technology Centre Cabinetmaking and Furniture Finishing facilities, which are based at the John F. Kennedy Adult Education Centre.  The mandate of  Skills Compétences Canada  is to advance the engagement of youth and their communities in skilled trade and technology careers using a pan-Canadian approach. Info:  https://www.skillscompetencescanada.com/en/program/national-skilled-trade-and-technology-week/

The Hairdressing Program is showcased at the Open House.

LMAC OPEN HOUSE: The Laurier Macdonald Career Centre in St. Leonard held a successful open house on September 21. 

Behind the scenes at the automechanics program.

Over $8000 in door prizes were drawn. There was live music, fresh popcorn, along with food and drinks.  

There were lots of treats at Galileo.

GALILEO’S WELCOME BACK:  Students from the Galileo Adult Education Centre in  Montreal North  enjoyed a sweet welcome back event with treats from Montreal’s famous Beaver Tails.  Close to 500 students and staff members reconnected  and created new friendships. Smiles were plenty and good times were had by all!    

Commissioner Pietro Mercuri (second from the left) was one of the tournament organizers.

GOLF 4 CAUSE:  The third  annual Golf 4 Cause Tournament took place on Saturday, September 9  at the beautiful Piedmont club. This year's tournament supported Galileo Adult Centre, Le Phare, Enfants et Familles and Second Chance Cafe. Info: https://www.friends4cause.org/products/golf-4-cause-2023                

Wagar students with Na'kuset.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION: Students from the Wagar Adult Education Centre attended  a  special ceremony honouring Indigenous leader Na’kuset on September 28 when she was inducted into the Côte Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway. It was held on the eve of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Meanwhile, students at Galileo Adult Education Centre commemorated the day by participating in various learning opportunities such as a virtual dialogue with Chief Harry Rice, a prominent leader within the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, organized by Vince Lacroce, spiritual and community animator.  Students also explored indigenous art which was displayed during a neighborhood walk.  Donations were also collected for a local charity, the Montreal Indigenous Community Network. 

BENEVA: L’assurance protection juridique de Beneva vous donne les moyens de faire valoir vos droits à moindre coût, en offrant la possibilité d’être accompagné par un avocat lorsque la situation l’exige. Cette protection peut même inclure les frais de défense ou de conseil. Bref, c’est un investissement plein de bon jugement. Info ici


FOIRE DE L'ÉDUCATION ET DES CARRIÈRES : Plus de 2 000 élèves de 5e secondaire participeront à la 23e édition annuelle de la Foire de l'éducation et des carrières de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal, les mercredi 25 et jeudi 26 octobre, au Centre de carrières St. Pius X, à Ahuntsic (9955, avenue Papineau).  Jack Dym de Pipe and Piling Supplies Ltd est le commanditaire en titre de l'événement. Plusieurs personnalités des médias seront sur place pour renseigner les élèves sur les carrières dans ce domaine et agiront à titre de maître de cérémonie. La foire de l'éducation et des carrières sera ouverte à l'ensemble de la communauté de 18 h à 20 h 30 le 25 octobre. Les organisateurs tiennent à souligner qu'il s'agit d'une bonne occasion pour parents et élèves (3e, 4e et 5e secondaire) de se renseigner sur les options d'études postsecondaires. L'admission et le stationnement sont gratuits. Mario Argiropoulos du Service de l'éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle (EAFP) de la CSEM présidera la Foire de l'éducation et des carrières. Coordonnée par l'EAFP en collaboration avec les Services aux élèves de la CSEM, cette foire vise principalement à sensibiliser les élèves aux nombreux programmes d'enseignement qui s'offrent à eux. Tous les élèves assisteront à une brève séance d'information générale dans l'auditorium de St. Pius X. Ils auront ensuite la possibilité de visiter les divers kiosques d'exposition/d'information afin de s'entretenir avec des représentants d'établissements d'enseignement anglophones notamment des centres de formation professionnelle, des cégeps, des universités et quelques écoles de gestion privées.

SEMAINE DE L'ÉDUCATION AUX MÉDIAS:   La Semaine de l'éducation aux médias est un événement annuel qui vise à promouvoir l'éducation aux médias numériques dans tout le Canada et qui a lieu chaque mois d'octobre. Les écoles, les bibliothèques, les musées et les organismes communautaires organisent des événements et des activités tout au long de la semaine. Cette année, elle se déroulera du 23 au 27 octobre. Les organisateurs de la Journée de la citoyenneté numérique (Digital Citizen Day), qui se tiendra le 25 octobre, invitent les écoles à se joindre à eux pour encourager tout le monde au Canada à répandre la positivité dans le monde numérique. Mobilisez-vous le 25 octobre sur les réseaux sociaux en utilisant #JourneeCitoyenneteNumerique, pour partager la façon dont vous utilisez les outils numériques pour faire le bien et contribuer à rendre notre monde virtuel meilleur! Voici quelques façons positives de réagir en ligne en tant que citoyen numérique : s'opposer à la haine et aux préjugés et les signaler; partager un commentaire gentil ou positif; envoyer un message amusant pour égayer la journée de quelqu'un; faire entendre sa voix sur un sujet qui vous tient à cœur (de manière constructive); amplifier les voix marginalisées; consulter des sources dignes de confiance avant de partager des informations; et respecter la vie privée d'autrui lorsqu'on partage des choses en ligne.  Pour plus d’informations : www.mediasmarts.ca

LOI 40 : Le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona, s'est exprimé sur la décision du gouvernement du Québec de faire appel de la décision relative à la loi 40, qui a annulé la majeure partie de la législation et maintenu intactes les neuf commissions scolaires anglophones de la province. Le gouvernement a fait appel de la décision.

Retrouvez l'article d'opinion de M. Ortona  

EMSB EXPRESS: L'édition d'automne du journal EMSB Express est maintenant disponible. On y retrouve un aperçu des journées portes ouvertes des écoles secondaires, des messages du directeur général et du président, le calendrier du secteur des jeunes, une section spéciale rendant hommage aux bénévoles, une autre section spéciale sur les apprenants « doués et exceptionnels », les sports et bien plus encore. Il est possible d'en faire la lecture ici ou d'en demander une copie papier auprès d'une école, d'un centre ou de l'un de nos points de chute. Il est encore temps de participer au jeu-questionnaire et de courir la chance de gagner des prix.

JOURNÉES PORTES OUVERTES: La plupart des écoles primaires et secondaires de la CSEM organisent des journées portes ouvertes cet automne. Pour plus de détails, rendez-vous sur le site www.emsbopenhouses.com. Les dates des journées portes ouvertes sont disponibles sur le site www.emsbopenhouses.com.

LES NOUVELLES DU JOURNAL INSPIRATIONS:  Le journal Inspirations continue de servir la communauté avec des histoires « inspirantes » et significatives liées aux personnes à besoins particuliers et à la santé mentale. Pour en savoir davantage, rendez-vous à l'adresse suivante : https://inspirationsnews.com/inspirations

LA VISITE DE ROB LUTES :  Rob Lutes, un artiste exécutant primé de Pointe-Claire, a visité cette semaine l'Académie LaurenHill - Campus junior à Saint-Laurent pour présenter ses ateliers sur l'histoire du blues et l'écriture de chansons aux classes de l'enseignante Sandy Kocoris. Depuis plus de 20 ans, M. Lutes donne des ateliers sur l'écriture de chansons, la créativité et l'histoire de la musique à des élèves, à des groupes communautaires et à des personnes âgées. Il propose un éventail de séances qui stimulent la créativité et éveillent l'intérêt pour l'histoire fascinante de la musique populaire.  Pour les éducateurs du Québec, les ateliers de Rob peuvent être financés par le gouvernement ou par le programme de subventions « English Language Arts Network's Artists Inspire grant program. » Cet atelier a certainement retenu l'attention des élèves de 1re et 2e secondaire de LaurenHill, grâce à une brève introduction amusante et informative sur l'histoire fascinante du blues, ainsi qu'à un exercice interactif d'écriture de chansons et à une prestation par la suite.  Cette activité participative agréable et inspirante a permis aux élèves de se familiariser avec le blues et d'écrire collectivement une chanson dans la tradition du blues. D'où vient le blues? M. Lutes a fait le lien avec l'esclavage et a expliqué le contexte fascinant dans lequel le blues a vu le jour. « Les esclaves ont préservé leur histoire par le biais de chansons », a-t-il raconté. Dans le deuxième atelier, M. Lutes a fait voyager les élèves à travers le processus de création, en leur proposant des idées et des techniques qui peuvent être appliquées à n'importe quelle entreprise créative. Il a ensuite joué le rôle de coauteur avec chaque élève, mettant en musique leurs propres paroles nouvellement écrites, alors qu'ils expérimentaient le processus d'essais et d'erreurs qui est à l'origine de chaque chanson. Depuis la sortie de son premier album, intitulé Gravity, en 2000, M. Lutes n'a cessé de composer une collection de chansons exquises qui se situent à l'intersection du blues, du folk, de l'Americana et du genre contemporain auteur-compositeur-interprète. Autant habile à interpréter un classique du Piedmont blues qu'à jouer ses propres chansons très appréciées, son excellent doigté à la guitare et sa voix pleine d'âme confèrent une intensité incomparable à ses spectacles en direct. Retrouvez Lutes sur Spotify et sur https://roblutes.com.

POW WOW: Des élèves de l'école secondaire alternative Perspectives I de Saint-Michel ont récemment assisté à un pow-wow autochtone organisé par l'Université Concordia. Cet événement a permis aux élèves d'explorer la culture, le patrimoine ainsi que de se familiariser avec les traditions autochtones. Cette sortie a été orchestrée par l'animateur de vie spirituelle et d'engagement communautaire Vince Lacroce.

CONCOURS D'ART ORATOIRE: Est-ce que vous apprenez le français comme deuxième langue (ou même troisième)?  Une occasion à ne pas manquer de rencontrer des pairs de toute la province, de profiter d'un dîner gratuit et de gagner des prix! Il est dit que l'une de nos plus grandes peurs est de parler en public. Quelle est la meilleure façon de surmonter nos peurs et de devenir plus résilient et confiant ? En l’abordant de front! Le Concours d'art oratoire est un concours destiné aux élèves du secondaire qui apprennent le français en tant que langue seconde. Les élèves ont pour consigne de rédiger et de présenter un discours original en français d'une durée de trois à cinq minutes sur un sujet de leur choix. Les inscriptions peuvent se faire dès le mois d'avril et le concours aura lieu en mai 2024!  

VÉRITÉ ET RÉCONCILIATION : Des élèves du Centre d'éducation des adultes Wagar ont assisté le 28 septembre à une cérémonie spéciale en l'honneur de la dirigeante autochtone Na'kuset, qui a été intronisée sur la Promenade des droits de l'homme de Côte Saint-Luc. Cette cérémonie a eu lieu la veille de la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation.

Parallèlement, les élèves du Centre d'éducation des adultes Galileo ont commémoré cette journée en participant à diverses activités pédagogiques, entre autres un échange virtuel avec le chef Harry Rice, éminent dirigeant du Conseil Mohawk de Kahnawake, organisé par Vince Lacroce, animateur de vie spirituelle et d'engagement communautaire.  Les élèves ont également pu découvrir des œuvres d'art autochtones lors d'une promenade dans le quartier.  Des dons ont également été collectés au profit d'une organisation caritative locale « le Réseau de la communauté autochtone à Montréal. »


SHADD RÉUSSIT LA COURSE DE BATEAUX-DRAGONS: Une équipe du Centre de santé et d'études commerciales Shadd de NDG a participé à la course de bateaux-dragons CanSupport des cèdres BDO, le samedi 9 septembre, à la Promenade Père-Marquette de Lachine. L'équipe « Shadd/Bâton Rouge Firebreathers » a pagayé de tout son cœur et a amassé un montant exceptionnel de 14 230 $. « Nous sommes tous très fiers de notre performance et nous envisageons de participer à nouveau l'année prochaine », a déclaré l'enseignant John Millar, « notre objectif était d'impliquer nos élèves dans la communauté et de leur permettre de renforcer leur esprit d'équipe. Je pense que nous avons accompli les deux! Nous avons beaucoup appris sur nous mêmes et nous avons dorénavant une meilleure compréhension des modalités de participation à un événement de grande envergure ». Cet événement est essentiel pour sensibiliser le public et collecter des fonds indispensables pour le programme CanSupport des cèdres, qui a apporté et continue d'apporter un soutien psychologique, émotionnel, concret et financier aux patients atteints de cancer ainsi qu'à leurs familles, à raison d'une personne à la fois, au cours des 30 dernières années. Le directeur du centre, Joe Cacchione, souhaite remercier Dominic Aversa, des restaurants Bâton Rouge d'Anjou, de Laval et de Greenfield Park, pour son généreux don de 5 000 dollars.

LES ÉLÈVES DE WAGAR PRÊTENT MAIN-FORTE À SHADD: Des élèves du programme d’intégration socioprofessionnelle du Centre d'éducation des adultes Wagar, enseigné par Melanie Shields et Louise Panet-Raymond, ont participé à un projet de stage au Centre de santé et d'études commerciales Shadd.  Le programme d'intégration socioprofessionnelle initie les élèves au monde du travail et met l'accent sur les compétences professionnelles indispensables pour trouver un emploi. Les élèves ont débuté le 11 septembre et ont terminé le 15 septembre. Ils ont retiré les agrafes et déchiqueté des documents de 65 boîtes.  Les élèves ont démontré leurs compétences professionnelles en gardant une attitude positive, en travaillant en équipe, en utilisant des compétences de communication ainsi qu'en se présentant à l'heure au travail. Pour terminer la semaine, les élèves ont pu profiter d'un délicieux dîner au camion-restaurant, offert par le directeur du centre, Joe Cacchione.

De gauche à droite : Joe Cacchione, Ann Marie St. Laurent, Enrico Ali, Jared Horovitch, Tamhid Islam, Jean-Sebastien Lacroix, Ralph Roxas, Melanie Shields. Ils ne figurent pas sur la photo, mais ont participé au projet : Branden Lee, Leo Yang

COMPÉTENCES CANADA : La CSEM s'associe à Compétences Canada pour un événement spécial le mardi 7 novembre. Les élèves seront invités à participer à des ateliers/activités pratiques dans les différents secteurs de la formation professionnelle et à visiter les installations d'ébénisterie et de finition de meubles du Centre de technologie Rosemont, qui se trouvent au Centre d'éducation des adultes John F. Kennedy.  Le mandat de Compétences Canada est de favoriser l'engagement des jeunes et de leurs communautés dans les carrières liées aux métiers spécialisés et à la technologie en utilisant une approche pancanadienne.

Pour en savoir plus : https://www.skillscompetencescanada.com/en/program/national-skilled-trade-and-technology-week/

JOURNÉE PORTES OUVERTES AU CFPLM : Le Centre de carrières Laurier Macdonald de Saint-Léonard a organisé le 21 septembre une journée portes ouvertes qui a été couronnée de succès. Plus de 8 000 $ en prix ont été tirés au sort. Il y avait de la musique, du maïs soufflé, de la nourriture et des boissons.

Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 7 Novembre. Prière de soumettre vos articles au plus tard le 3 Novembre  a à midi. The next edition of the EMSB Focus will be published on November 7.  Deadline for submissions is  November 3 at Noon.

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