Wednesday, May 1, 2024


Bernard Praw, Samantha Patel,  Vanessa Chimienti and Mariasabrina Mangione and Aalia Adam are thanked by the EMSB DG, ADGS and Council of Commissioners. (Marcie Richstone Photo)

VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION: On the occasion of National Volunteer Week,  which was marked April 21 to 27 at schools and centres, the English Montreal School Board held a special  reception and ceremony to honour three Volunteers of Distinction, as well as the presentation of the first Lifetime Achievement Award. Held at the St. Pius X Career Centre in Ahuntsic on April 30, the honourees, their families, EMSB commissioners and management and Parents Committee executive members were treated to a delicious buffet dinner catered by the culinary students  followed by an awards ceremony, which was live streamed and can be seen by clicking  here. It starts at the 5:05 mark.  Aalia Adam, news anchor  for  Global Montreal, served as the emcee. The Volunteers of Distinction were   Samantha Patel from Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc and Vanessa Chimienti and Mariasabrina Mangione from John Caboto Academy in Ahuntsic. EMSB Chair Joe Ortona was delighted to present the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Bernard Praw. Mr. Praw volunteered as a parent of three EMSB students and then went on to serve as a commissioner for 29 years. During this time he helped establish the English Montreal Student Advisory Committee (EMSAC). For the complete press release please go here.

Maria Caldarella is congratulated for her honor. 

PRINCIPALS DAY: On the occasion of National Principal’s Day on   May 1, the EMSB  recognized Maria Caldarella from LINKS High School in Ahuntsic. Ms. Caldarella was recently nominated for a Canadian Association of Principals (CAP) Award. Her leadership has earned her the admiration of staff, students and parents at LINKS, which caters to a special needs population.  “Her approach, from the moment she stepped into our school, has been to explore the culture of the school and cultivate an atmosphere of cohesion, respect, kindness and support for one another, says teacher  Gail Bernstein,  who nominated her for the CAP Award.   

Ms. Caldarella  stated that this award is shared with all in-school administrators.

Ms. Caldarella began her professional career as  Registered Nurse specializing in obstetrics at the St. Mary’s Hospital. She regularly shares her stories of bringing life into this world and caring for her patients with such emotion and pride, naturally imparting the value of commitment, teamwork, sense of belonging, patience and support for one another. From an RN, she  moved on to become a  healthcare teacher and vocational education counsellor at the EMSB’s Shadd Health and Business Centre before arriving at LINKS. For the complete press release click here.

The EMSB stands strongly against Bill 21.

BILL 21: The EMSB intends to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal in the case of Bill 21, An Act respecting the laicity of the State. On April 10 the Council of Commissioners voted to mandate the law firm, Power Law, to file on its behalf an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and, if granted, an appeal of the Québec Court of Appeal’s judgment of February 29, 2024 on Bill 21. The EMSB is challenging provisions of Bill 21 on the basis that they violate minority language education rights under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as gender equality, protected under Section 28 of the Charter. Previously, the EMSB had successfully argued before the Québec Superior Court that Bill 21 violated the section 23 right to management and control, by preventing English-language school boards from hiring teachers wearing religious symbols. That was struck down by the Québec Court of Appeal.  “We maintain our original position that Bill 21 conflicts with our values and our mission and with those of all Quebecers as expressed in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms,” said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. “Its very adoption was contrary to our societal goal of promoting our peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic Quebec."  

 See our full press release

BILL 96: The EMSB is very pleased with a Québec Superior Court decision that provides a partial stay of provisions of Bill 96 and the Charter of the French Language. This ruling also benefits other English language boards and the Quebec English School Boards Association. Mr.  Ortona notes that the Superior Court stayed parts of the law that would require English school boards to communicate exclusively in French when writing with key institutions of the English-speaking community, such as the Quebec English School Boards Association or the English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec.  The EMSB had challenged the application of amendments to the Charter of the French Language adopted in 2002 that the government only brought into force in June 2023, without any consultation of the English-language community. With respect to the Bill 96 provisions that were not stayed by the Superior Court, Mr. Ortona noted that the effect of the judge’s reasons is that the status quo will generally be maintained until there is a judgment on the constitutionality of Bill 96. He added that the EMSB can continue to use English exclusively in many situations, “which is good news.”  The EMSB and its legal team continue to analyze the judgment. In the ruling, the court concluded that the term “school service centres” in legislation applies to English-language school boards, despite the fact that Bill 40 does not apply to English-language school boards and that English-language school boards are not school service centres. The Council of Commissioners will have to decide whether to appeal this part of the ruling. 

See the press release

The EMSB is proud of its academic success.

SUCCESS RATE: The  EMSB is pleased to announce its continued achievement of the highest graduation success rate in the province According to the latest statistics from the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec, in 2022, the board's graduation rate stands at an impressive 92.7 percent, marking a slight increase from 91.6 percent in 2021. While the majority of students graduated within five years, it's noteworthy that the Ministry allows for a two-year extension to ensure students have ample opportunities to earn their diplomas or obtain their initial qualifications. Currently, the EMSB’s six-year cohort boasts a remarkable success rate of 94.8 percent. The province-wide Success Rate, which includes both public and private school results, stands at 84.1 percent. Broken down further, the public system’s average is 81.6 percent while for private sector the number is 94 percent. 

Please read our complete press release and charts comparing the EMSB’s standing compared to other public schools and the private system here 

Anubhab and Srijith

ROYAL WEST SCIENCE:  Twenty-three exhibitors represented the Educational Alliance for Science & Technology (EAST) at the 45th edition of the Hydro-Québec Super Expo-sciences, Quebec final from April 19 to 21, at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal. From the EMSB, Anubhab Bhowmick and Srijith Pradeep Kumar of Royal West Academy in Montreal West  competed with their project about a SmartFlow Traffic System. They received the Minister of Transport and Sustainability Award  and received a prize of $1500.  The students previously competed at EAST’s Hydro-Québec Expo-Sciences, regional final at Laval Senior Academy. Over the course of three days, 1,000 visitors discovered the scientific projects of young people from various schools in the region. The public had the opportunity to meet 131 exhibitors across 83 projects who were particularly proud to present their projects. Please see our press release for more

Matheson on the Zoom call.

MIKE MATHESON WEBINAR: A number of EMSB schools participated in a fabulous Champions for Life webinar featuring Montreal Canadiens defenceman Mike Matheson which focused on the theme of perseverance.  Keith McKoy, who was Matheson’s teacher when he attended John Rennie High School in Pointe-Claire, moderated the session. Matheson said he is one of the lucky few, having lived a dream to play for his hometown Canadiens. He pursued his education first, getting his degree in psychology at Boston College while playing elite hockey there and getting drafted in the NHL. “I knew that ultimately, you know, I'd be lucky to play a few years in the NHL if that and knew that it wouldn't necessarily last forever,” he said. “And so I wanted to make sure that I had a great backup plan, for when that ultimately came to an end. And so that's why it was important to continue working hard at my degree at Boston College which I ended up finishing. 

You can watch it all here

Danny Maciocia displays the Grey Cup at his former school.

MACIOCA RETURNS:  Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia returned to his former high school, Laurier Macdonald in St. Léonard on April 3, 2024 with the Grey Cup trophy. He was introduced by Principal Cristina Celzi and Physical Education teacher Andy D'Alessandro, an old friend of Mr. Maciocia’s. Montreal Gazette football reporter Herb Zurkowsky moderated the program, asking Mr. Maciocia some questions and then opening the floor to students. Everyone who wanted to then got to pose with the Grey Cup. Mr. Maciocia graduated from Laurier Macdonald in 1984. He speaks three languages fluently – English, French and Italian. His message was succinct and simple — chase your dreams and don’t let anyone attempt to dissuade you. “Be where your feet are at,” he said. “Sometimes you have a tendency to look into the future but get lost with where you’re at. Be committed and have some consistency to it, because there’s no start without commitment. And there’s no end without consistency. You can’t be consistent for a week or two. Don’t chase money.  If you’re good at something, money will find you. Enjoy the journey we call life. We only have the opportunity to do it once. Enjoy these years because you don’t have to be a grown-up now with responsibilities. You’re only 15, 16 once in your life. Enjoy these great years.”

You can read the complete Gazette story here 

Jordan Harris  with staff and students, including Bruins fans Marco Gagliardi and Chris Lecouffe.  

HABS DEFENCEMAN AT WESTMOUNT PARK: Canadiens defenceman Jordan Harris, 23, visited Westmount Park Elementary School last week. He responded to questions from students, played a game of floor hockey, signed many autographs and posed for photos. Mr. Harris just completed his second full season with the Habs. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in Business Administration and he shared with students the importance of completing one’s education. Growing up in a biracial Jewish family, Harris said this taught him to treat people decently. "It  helped me a lot in terms of building relationships,” he said. He also hopes his personal example can inspire other kids to see a future for themselves in professional hockey. Harris is a member of the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, which works to make the sport more diverse. 

Harris signs autographs.

A native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, a city on the border with New Hampshire, Mr. Harris didn’t always know the extent of his Jewish roots. His father Peter, himself a former hockey player who was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1986 but did not make it to the NHL, is Jewish and half Black. The younger Harris explained that his father was adopted from a Jewish orphanage. His mother, who is white, is not Jewish. Many students wore Canadiens jerseys. There was a long lineup for autographs, but Mr. Harris stayed until each one was signed.

FRED FOX INSPIRES: During the Terry Fox Assembly, the students had the privilege of hearing from Terry's older brother, Fred Fox. He shared inspiring stories about Terry's life and motivated the students with his drive and determination. Westmount Park Elementary has been recognized as one of the top schools in Canada for the amount raised for cancer research this year. The students raised an impressive $6,580, contributing to a cumulative total of over $55,000 raised in the last 25 years. It's a testament to the dedication and generosity of their school community. As part of the assembly, there was a reenactment of the ice bucket challenge with Fred Fox, replacing ice with confetti for a fun twist! Also at the school there was an Inuit Performance assembly. A group came to perform songs and dances that showcased the rich cultural heritage of the Inuit community. One of the performances was "Bringing back the sun," a dance performed exclusively by women which originates from the Northwest Territories. They also had the "Polar Bear Dance," a song performed by men to symbolize the strength of the marine mammals. (submitted by student communications intern Rachel Campbell).

Inuit post-sec students from Nunavik performing at Westmount Park.

INDIGENOUS STUDENTS SUPPORT: The EMSB has engaged an education professional to serve as a project development officer to provide Indigenous Students Support. Dr. Jimena Marquez began her work in January under the auspices of the Student Services Department. Dr. Marquez was born and raised in Mexico City. As a teenager, she travelled to the Sierra Madre and encountered the Wixárika people, an indigenous people of Mexico living in remote villages; this “had a huge impact on me” she said, “and unknowingly set me on my career path.”   In 1998, Dr. Marquez moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at McGill. Following her interest in Indigenous peoples, this led her to do research in anthropology and to earn her master’s in science in Anthropology from the Université de Montréal. Later, she got her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Societies, Languages and Cultures from the University of Ottawa. After having worked as a professor of anthropology at John Abbott College for more than 10 years and as Faculty Lecturer at McGill University for the Indigenous Studies Program, Dr. Marquez was intrigued by the challenge of this unprecedented position at the EMSB. Besides serving as a point of contact for Indigenous students enrolled at the EMSB, Dr. Marquez collaborates with the team of spiritual community animators. 

 See our press release  

Sam Ojeda performs.

INDIGENOUS ARTIST:   As part of an effort to increase education and awareness of Indigenous people and cultures, Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas invited Sam Ojeda for performances at Dante Elementary and Rosemount High on April 15 and 16  respectively. Mr. Ojeda is a storyteller, educator, pow-wow dancer, drummer, and singer. He shared with the students his deep respect and love of the Native American way of life as he aims to encourage students to live with respect and love for Mother Earth.

Mr. Brochu and two of his students.

LAURENHILL VERNISSAGE: The LaurenHill Academy community came together recently to celebrate the incredible talent and hard work of Roch Brochu's senior students at the vernissage in collaboration with Raison d'art! Students their hearts into Project X, a digital arts project, through a series of workshops covering vital topics like healthy relationships, inclusivity, sexuality, and art & media literacy. The privilege of incorporating technology into their artwork allowed our students to explore creativity in new ways and powerful messages of empowerment and self-expression.

LHA’s collective effort showcased the school’s commitment to physical fitness.

THE COURSE ST. LAURENT: On a cold April Morning, LaurenHill  displayed unity and athleticism as members of the school community participated in the Course Saint-Laurent 2024 5K race. With 18 spirited participants comprising of students, staff, and parents, the school's presence was felt throughout the racecourse, with cheers of collaboration and determination. More than just a race, this event served as a fundraiser for the Track and Field of Club Saint-Laurent. LHA’s collective effort showcased the school’s commitment to physical fitness. The school's triumphant presence in the Course Saint-Laurent 2024 stands as a testament to the unwavering spirit of athleticism at LHA!

VOICES OF OLYMPIA: For a fourth consecutive year, participants of  The  Voices of Olympia Canada (VOOC) School Competition  presented their work  in mid-March at the Civil Society Forum NGO-CSW-68  during the Sixty-Eighth Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN-CSW-68).  Discussion at VOOC’s three round tables explored youth lead solutions that addressed intersections of: Feminization of Poverty with health, education, gender-based violence, and biased economic policies and practices. There were four teams from the EMSB.  The 13 presenters were selected by each of the 13 VOOC School competition teams. From the EMSB they were: Beatrice Agudelo-Restrepo (Marymount Academy International), Sonya-Liboria Bastiaans (Laurier Macdonald High School), Yedda Blanco Caruzzo (Royal West Academy) and Sae Ah Park (Royal West Academy). Voices of Olympia Canada (VOOC) is a global citizenship learning - based initiative.  

Go to the 50 minute mark to see Yedda’s impressive presentation  

Also go to the  50 minute mark here 

JORDYN SUGAR BACK AT EDINBURGH:  The staff and students at Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West were thrilled to welcome back former student Jordyn Sugar for a visit. Now a rising pop star, she spoke about her career, performed two songs, signed an endless array of autographs, played the drums, helped with an Earth Day cleanup and even shot some hoops in the schoolyard. The students were overwhelmed with excitement, lining up for autographs and promising to follow her on social media – in fact some already were. 

Jordyn Sugar with students, staff and some of her former teachers.

It was a nice opportunity for the 20 year old to reconnect with some of her former teachers.  Jordyn will next visit Willingdon  in NDG June 4 and Leonardo Da Vinci Academy in RDP. Other schools in interested in becoming part of the EMSB “Sugar Rush” tour let us know at    Jordyn wants to spread the message of empowered pop and “being good in your shoes.”  Go to 

See the CTV report

Here is Jordyn playing drums at the school via Instagram

Here is Jordyn singing to the students

Feeling zen!

YOGA AT CEDARCREST: If you're wondering why students and parents at Cedarcrest Elementary School have been quite zen recently, it's due to Ms. Danna and her recent mindfulness workshop. Under her guidance, Kindergarten students, alongside some parents, worked on their breathing and stretching. Yoga and meditation complement the EMSB’s physical education program as additional ways that the EMSB continuously promotes a healthy lifestyle in our youth sector. 

The Chorale is set to perform.

SPRING CONCERT: The EMSB Chorale will present its annual Spring Gala Concert on Sat.  May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Oscar Peterson Hall, 7141 Sherbrooke St. W. Accompanied by Anne-Marie Denoncourt on piano, as well as by a string quartet and percussionist Kristie Ibrahim, the 90 members of the choir will sing works by Lionel Bart, Bock & Harnick, Eleanor Daley, Bob Dylan, Greg Gilpin, Billy Joel, Francisco Nuñez, Jacques Offenbach, Randall Thompson and Gilles Vigneault. One of the highlights of the evening will be the Quebec premiere of Respira by Stephen Eisenhauer. The choir is under the direction of Artistic Director Patricia Abbott and Associate Conductor Marie-Éve Arseneau. Tickets are available from choir members and at the door the night of the concert. Tickets: $20 /adults,  $15  students and $10 /children 12 and under. Info and reservations : 514-483-7200 ext. 7234 or write to

Students and their parents convene at the FPSPI.

GIFTED STUDENTS: The English Montreal School Board hosted its first Canadian Affiliate Bowl of the Future Problem-Solving Program International (FPSPI) on Saturday, April 20 at the LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus in St. Laurent.  Over the past few months, many EMSB students worked tirelessly and diligently as they engaged in the Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) enrichment program across various schools.  Throughout their engagement, student participants have actively researched and applied a six-step creative problem-solving process as they resolved Future Problems connected to the topics of tourism, urbanization, and Antarctica. Those who qualified for the Affiliate Bowl developed a plan with creative and viable solutions for a future scene on Autonomous Transportation. Creativity research pioneer, Dr. Ellis Paul Torrance, created future problem solving (FPS) in 1974 to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills, encourage students to develop a vision for the future, and prepare students for leadership roles.  “As we go through the six-step problem solving, we get to think inside the box, outside the box, with the box, and even in entirely new boxes” said Secondary IV Royal West Academy student Sumin Woo. “Creativity is valued, with no idea necessarily being a bad one. The passion and unique ideas generated by these talented learners is no doubt inspiring.” (Submitted by Vincenzo Paolella, Secondary V Laurier Macdonald student). You can see the more detailed story here.

David Heurtel, Darlene Kehayan, Paul Karpontinis and the EMSAC team.

EMSAC UPDATE: Recently, former Liberal MNA and cabinet minister David Heurtel visited the students of the English Montreal Student Advisory Committee (EMSAC) during their monthly meeting at FACE. Mr. Heurtel engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on local and provincial issues as well as encouraged them to continue their involvement in student government and how to remain engaged after graduation.  

Joe Ortona applauds the two students.

Also at the last Council of Commissioners meeting EMSAC reps Vincenzo  Paolella and Dennis Klapsis presented a resolution against Bill 21.

Students convened in large numbers.

LEADERSHIP CAMP: The EMSB’s annual Leadership Camp was held from April 24 to 26 at Camp Papillion in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez. 

Students divided up into colours, with organizers pictured in pink and animators in green

This student organized & animated camp allowed student leaders from across the EMSB to work on their team building skills, which can help encourage and inspire them to be more involved in student life at their schools. It also provides students with a wonderful opportunity to meet individuals who share similar interests. Leadership Camps have been organized at the EMSB for the past 25 years (with the exception of the COVID lockdown periods), and before that with the former PSBGM. (Submitted by Vincenzo  Paolella, Secondary V Laurier Macdonald student).  

Photo Credit: Eva Del Balso, Secondary V Student, Lester B. Pearson High School

Max Carreira Rafael and Izaak Wolfson Trudeau.

CARIBOU MATH: Dunrae Gardens Elementary School in TRM is very proud of all the students who participated in the Caribou International Math Competition in April. Special congratulations go to Izaak Wolfson Trudeau and Max Carreira Rafael (Grade 2),  who ranked first at the school board level, at the provincial and national  (1,072 competitors) and finally at the international level (2,217 competitors). The school also wishes to thank Ms. Birlean and Sarah Lubbe, who helps implement the Caribou Math Contest.  

LDVA students take to the catwalk.

HOPE AND LOVE AT LDVA:  For those suffering from cancer, hope and love are the two strongest emotions that one needs to persevere – and these emotions are the theme of Leonardo Da Vinci Academy’s annual fashion show fundraiser for the Montreal Neurological Institute, which took place last month. For the LDVA family, this year’s fashion show was truly one of celebration, as teacher Daniel Gaudette, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2021 is back at work full time and in full remission. To provide the perfect setting, the gym was transformed to feature a full runway and 30 screens for the over 175 models: 120 students, 15 alumni and 40 staff members participating.  Additionally, over 60 sponsors as well as the Laurier Macdonald Career Centre stepped up to donate funds, goods and time to ensure this event is a tremendous success.

Emma Valente and Sophie Béliveau.

STARS ON ICE:  Secondary IV students from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, Emma Valente  and Sophie Béliveau, along with their team, Les Suprêmes Novice,  brought home gold and are  Canadian champions for the second year in a row.   Meanwhile, two  recent graduates, Emilie Béliveau and Alexandra Bourdages (class of 2023), from VMC and LMAC respectively, are not only Canadian champions with les Suprêmes Junior, but also recently brought home the gold at the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Neufchâtel, Switzerland. Both girls attend Vanier College and are part of the sport alliance program. 

D'Alete, Scalia and Gangi.

MELROSE RESTO:  In 2012 Jimmy Scalia and Steve D’Alete opened Melrose Resto on St. Laurent Blvd. in Little Italy. It is a cozy little spot that seats 70 people, plus 20 more on a seasonal terrace. Heading the kitchen is Alessandro Gangi. The three are each EMSB graduates from the East End. Twice a week (and sometimes three) Melrose Resto teams up with Sid Khullar’s Montreal Comedy Club, which puts on standup comedy shows at about 20 venues in and around the city. Khullar is the brother of the already legendary Sugar Sammy, who sometimes makes surprise appearances at his programs. Melrose Resto has developed a good following of regular customers. But there are always newcomers discovering the place, as well as tourists. They also make the venue available for private events.  Melrose Resto is located at 6548 Boulevard Saint-Laurent.   For more go here for a story and here for their website.

Joe Ortona, Heidi Berger, Marcy Bruck and Julien Feldman.

GENOCIDE EDUCATION: EMSB Chair Joe Ortona and Commissioner Julien Feldman met with Heidi Berger and Marcy Bruck from the Foundation of Genocide Education. Its mission is to collaborate with governments and educational experts to ensure that the history of genocide and the steps leading to it are taught in high schools across Canada and the United States. Representatives from organizations  continue to speak at EMSB schools. The EMSB has already adopted resolutions calling for mandatory education related to the Holocaust and genocide. The Foundation was the driving force behind the Quebec Education Ministry’s initiative to create a universal guide on teaching genocide. Ms. Berger is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. This educational tool features case studies of nine significant 20th century genocides, including the First Nations genocide, definitions of the stages leading to genocide, along with customizable teaching plans and reference materials. The interactive guide is now available in French  and English online in every high school across Quebec, reaching over 310 000 students in 800 schools. No other resource has achieved such a widespread educational impact on the study of genocide. Educators from across Canada are eager to review this unique educational tool and bring it to their classrooms. For more information go to 

Naomi Tencer with students.

PRESENTATION AT ROSEMOUNT HIGH SCHOOL: On, April 9 Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas invited Noami Tencer, for a special presentation about the Holocaust and genocide for selected Grade 10 and11 students. Ms. Tencer is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor of  concentration camps and a death March. She is a member of a team of children of genocide survivors from the Foundation For Genocide Education who believe that  history is best learned by listening to the stories of those who lived through it. Students gained a better understanding of the past while learning the importance of  building a more inclusive Canada. 

SCHOOL VISITS:  Besides Rosemount High School, representatives from the Foundation have also spoken at the following schools this year: MIND, Marymount, Royal Vale and LaurenHill. The Foundation for Genocide Education offers teachers its school presentation program, suitable for Grades 9 to 11 students. These interactive presentations are given by children or grandchildren of survivors of genocide, including the Holocaust, the First Nations genocide, the Armenian genocide and the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The presentations feature a 50-minute blend of video clips of a survivor’s testimonial with live explanations from the presenter that tie everything together into a cohesive and compelling story. A connection is made between past and present-day events, and advocates for education to prevent future genocides. The presentations are suitable for various classes, including history, ethics and languages. History is best told through storytelling, with first-hand accounts being an invaluable resource for educators. These gripping and powerful testimonial presentations allow students to dive into the past, further understand genocides, and develop their compassion for others.

HOLOCAUST CENTRE VISIT: The Grade 8 IB students from Marymount Academy International, under the leadership of Marie Francis had an enlightening and immersive experience at the Montreal Holocaust Museum Wednesday April 10.   The students started the morning with a guided tour of the permanent exhibition.  They asked reflective and thought provoking questions throughout the visit.  After, there was time for a quick snack and reflection, before the students went on to their next educational workshop "Life in Hiding".  In this workshop, students discovered Eva Kuper’s story. Eva was born in Warsaw in 1940, shortly after the Nazi invasion of Poland. A few months after her birth, her family was confined to the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. After her mother was deported, Eva and her father managed to escape from the ghetto. They survived the war in hiding. Through watching a video excerpt of Eva’s testimony and interacting with reproductions of artefacts that belonged to children and teenagers who survived the Holocaust in hiding, students discovered what life was like for them under the Nazi Occupation and reflected on the difficult choices they had to make.

VMC students at the Holocaust Museum.

HOLOCAUST AND EDUCATIONAL TOURS:   All Grade 8 students at Vincent Massey Collegiate embarked on a historical and Holocaust educational outing organized by Spiritual and Community Animator Veronica D’Agata, in collaboration with teacher Lev Berner. The students had the opportunity to visit the Montreal Holocaust Museum to learn the history of the Holocaust, all while reflecting on the destruction caused by prejudice, racism, and antisemitism. In addition to exploring the permanent exhibit, students participated in a workshop called “Life in Hiding”, where they discovered Eva Kuper’s story. It was a very moving and inspiring visit.  The students also visited the Pointe à Callière museum to discover the history of Montreal and its birthplace, Fort Ville-Marie, as they encountered ruins and artifacts left behind by various peoples who have occupied the site over the years. Overall, it was a very interesting and interactive experience.

JEWISH AND ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH: May is both Canadian Jewish Heritage and Asian Heritage  Month.

VMC SACRED SITES TOUR:  Over the course of two days, all Grade 7 students at Vincent Massey Collegiate embarked on a sacred sites tour organized by Spiritual and Community Animator Veronica D’Agata. The students had the opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple (Rigpe Dorje Montreal), a Hindu temple (Hindu Mission of Canada), a Jewish synagogue (Temple Emanu El Beth Sholom), and a Muslim community centre and mosque (Centre Communautaire Laurentien). The objective of the trip was to learn about the faiths and traditions associated with each site in order to promote respect and understanding of the cultural diversity of our world. It was an enriching experience had by all!

WE CARE CLUB: Members of the We Care Club at Vincent Massey Collegiate, led by Ms. D’Agata, visited the CHSLD Dante to conduct art activities with the seniors. Intergenerational programs build community, bring people together, and increases mutual respect and understanding. Students truly enjoyed the experience, and more groups are scheduled to participate in May.

NEW SCHOOL PLANNED FOR NESBITT BUILDING: The EMSB has launched a consultation process in order to open a  new school for students with different disabilities. It is being proposed that the school be housed in the Nesbitt Elementary School facility in Rosemount for the 2025-26 academic year and coincide with the closure of St. Raphael Elementary School in Park Extension. Over  the last five years, the EMSB has opened numerous self-contained classes to address the needs of our students with specialized needs in mainstream schools.   This has caused overcrowding in some schools and extended resources across the system. Furthermore, as the EMSB has  a limited number of self-contained classrooms due to the lack of space,  students with complex needs are often placed in  regular classes.   Some students need the type of specialized services that self-contained classes in regular schools cannot offer.  St. Raphael School presently welcomes students with severe socio-emotional and behavioral difficulties. Its success is measured by the fact that it is at full capacity with a waiting list. Due to the increased number of referrals to the EMSB, a location is needed to accommodate   students with severe behavioral difficulties. It will serve two types of clienteles: neurotypical  students with severe behavioral difficulties as well as neurodivergent  students with severe behavioral difficulties and will provide specialized resources and space to address the needs of both groups.

The Cedarcrest team at RCJ.

ROBOTICS: While the Stanley Cup might not be returning to Montreal this spring, for STEAM-inclined students, the coveted RoboCup was up for grabs this April 19 and 20 at Royal Vale School in NDG.  The annual RoboCup Junior (RCJ) competition provides elementary and secondary-aged students the opportunity to compete against their peers in four unique challenges: Soccer, RoboParty, Rescue and OnStage.  Prior to the competition, students spend the year learning the ins-and-outs of basic computer science and robot building. Their skills are put to the test each spring as the programmed robots compete against each other, with the ultimate local Robotics prize on the line. Host Royal  Vale,  LaurenHill Academy,  Vincent Massey Collegiate, Leonardo Da Vinci Academy, Our Lady of Pompei, Pierre de Coubertin and Cedarcrest all did exceptionally well. Vincent Massey Collegiate earned a place at the international competition in the Netherlands. 

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School.

KRYPTIK 2024: Students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School  in Rosemount took home lots of hardware at the Kryptik 2024 competition, including the overall championship! In total, PET students earned eight different awards. Krpytik is an exciting multidisciplinary competition bridging robotics, languages, arts, and multimedia. Elementary schools from across Quebec compete in this annual competition which works to bring robotics to life.

Anthony Calvillo got a hero's welcome at Royal Vale.

JUMP ROPE FOR HEART: Montreal Alouettes Hall of Fame quarterback  Anthony Calvillo was a special guest at Royal Vale’s Jump Rope for a Heart . The program has been promoting kids’ heart and brain health across Canada for more than 40 years! Through Jump Rope for Heart, kids learn the importance of getting active and practicing healthy habits to build a foundation for a healthy life, while helping to fundraise to fund critical heart disease and stroke research that saves lives. A total of  $10,572 was raised.

Maëva Robillard with her Principal Christina Chilelli and Commissioner Mario Bentrovato is  congratulated by Chair Ortona, the Director General and the two ADGs.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH: Grade 5 student, Maëva Robillard, from Edward Murphy  Elementary School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is a determined athlete and student. As a member of L’equipe Provinciale au Club Rythmi Gym, Maëva began taking lessons in artistic gymnastics when she was just two years old. At 11 years old, she has moved onto rhythmic gymnastics, where she hopes to continue competing in various gymnastics events with a focus on her performance skills. As a testament to her training and success, Maëva was selected to represent Quebec in the Trillium Gymnastics Competition held in Toronto earlier this winter. In school, Maëva is also celebrated for her focus and determination. She is a cooperative student and is always willing to help others. She actively participates in school wide activities and proudly represents the values of Edward Murphy School.

Author Gillian Sze with the students.

FIRST BOOK CANADA: Recently, Grade 1 to 3 students at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic were treated to a visit from author Gillian Sze, courtesy of First Book Canada and the Bank of Montreal. Gillian shared with students her journey to becoming an author before captivating them by reading her book The Night is Deep and Wide. Also on hand were volunteers from the Bank of Montreal, who joined the fun by reading Gillian’s other book, When Sunlight Tiptoes, to smaller groups in the classroom. As a gift for all in attendance, the children received free books to ensure that the storytelling could continue at home. First Book Canada is committed to advancing education equity for children from low income families and historically marginalized communities. They emphasize the importance of cultivating an at-home library as a valuable source of inspiration and knowledge for every child. 

Getting in the groove.

OLP IN THE GROOVE: The students at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic were in the groove April 11 at the Spring Concert. Music  teacher Eugen Negrii produced the  incredible show. The student performances were outstanding. 

Students presented incredible shows of talent. 

STORYTELLING: Another successful year or storytelling is in the books at the EMSB for Grades 5 and 6 students who follow a five step storybuilding process supported by EMSB teachers, resources and videos. First they play with stories, then they pitch a few lively stories to their peers, pick one and plan it out, practice like crazy and perform it in front of an audience.  Two students from each participating school are chosen to represent their schools at the east or west storytelling festivals, one telling a story in French and the other in English. The west sector festival, on April 5 was an incredible show of talent and diversity. Students from Dunrae Gardens, Edinburgh, Elizabeth Ballantyne, FACE, Gardenview, Hampstead, Mackay, Merton, Roslyn, Royal Vale, St. Gabriel and Willingdon shared personal stories about attacking birds, mystery sea creatures, chocolate milk, strange nights, unforgettable days and overcoming disasters and adversity. The audience laughed, cheered, gasped and cried, and left the event feeling uplifted by the talent, and touched by the interconnectedness that storytelling creates.

This year’s east sector festival was sadly snowed out on April 4 and had to be rescheduled for the 9th. Students from Bancroft, Dalkeith, East Hill, Edward Murphy, Gerald McShane, Honoré  Mercier, John Caboto, Leonardo Da Vinci, Nesbitt, Our Lady Of Pompei and Pierre de Coubertin gathered at Honore Mercier to tell even more tales about evil squirrels, disappearing sisters, crazy aunties and dangerous situations. The storytelling festival is organized and run each year by English and French consultants from the Educational Services Department. Julie Tytler, Elementary ELA Consultant, says it’s her favorite annual event,  Looking out at the audience while a student is sharing a personal story, you can see everyone leaning in, listening, experiencing the emotions that are being shared. It’s incredible. And these students are only 11 or 12 years old.”

Presenters from the East showcase their certificates.

Here are the students who participated: Bancroft,  Jolène Kerrigan; Dalkeith,  Lana Anderson; East Hill, Luca Breault and Michele D’Alessio; Edward Murphy,  Roman Ursino and  Sierra De Marco; Gerald McShane, Teresa Piccirilli and  Alessio Munno; Honoré Mercier, Emma Triassi and Jonathan Girard; John Caboto, Gianmarco Di Zazzo and  Stella Proctor; Leonardo Da Vinci,  Alicio Guerrero and Giulia Raineri; Nesbitt, Trentson St Fleur and Kiana Calitri; Our Lady of Pompei,  Corentino Corso Masone and Damien Custodio; Pierre de Coubertin, Flavia Fazioli and  Fabrizio Nardi; Dunrae Gardens, Chiara De Cesaris, and Matias Batista; Edinburgh Mayumi Collao and  Éloïse Thibault; Elizabeth Ballantyne, Khushali Chapparam; FACE,  Ayla Jahani, Lucas  and Simon-Padilla; Gardenview,  Emmanuel Diplarakis and Jaks Birakderian; Hampstead,  Lola McRae and Aahana Chowdhury; Mackay  Centre, Atlas Dunlevy; Merton,  Riley Germano and Olivia Cohen; Roslyn, Heidi Church and Taylor Wiseman; Royal Vale,  Elin Wallin and Sara Wallin; St. Gabriel, Maryam Elena Ghassemi and Henry Burridge; St. Monica,  Bagath Kichu; and Willingdon Aoife Follett and Karl Muller. 

BATTLE OF THE BOOKS: Every year, all EMSB high schools are invited to take part in “The Battle of the Books” (or “BoB” as it is affectionately known as by its participants); a quiz-show style competition where questions are based upon 12 pre-selected Young Adult novels that teams in each school read over the course of the school year. BoB allows students to explore a variety of literary genres while simultaneously developing teamwork skills. Royal West Academy in Montreal West reached the finale. Please read the full report here.

Stella Halaris,  Mataijah Jackson-Wynter- RV with her family, Otis Delaney, Lieutenant Governor Manon Jeannotte, Demetrios Giannacopoulos.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AWARDS: Four EMSB students were selected as recipients for the Lieutenant Governor Awards at a ceremony in Laval on April 20.

Darlene Kehyayan. Liboria Amato, Mohamed Younes, Manon Jeannotte, Sara D’Amico and Franca Cristiano.   

Quebec Lieutenant Governor Manon Jeannotte was on hand to make the presentation to George Vogas from LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, Mataijah Jackson-Wynter from Royal Vale in NDG,  Sara D’Amico from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount and Mohamed Younes from John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel. Regional Directors Jimmy Giannacopoulos and Darlene  Kehyayan were also in attendance as were Principals Otis Delaney (Royal Vale), Franca Cristiano (VMC), Liboria Amato (JFK) and teacher  Stella  Halaris (Royal Vale).

Dimitris Ilias with students from Carlyle, Cedarcrest and Gardenview. 

A MUSICAL ADVENTURE: The Adventures of Eva the Louse, a musical project that weaves together the talents of 175 students from 13 EMSB schools and the EMSB Chorale, is off and running. This ambitious, multi-level educational and artistic initiative is led by opera singers and choir conductors Dimitris Ilias and Maria Diamantis, founders of Chroma Musika (Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Eurokids Festival). Students from the following schools participated in two days of recordings at the Oscar Peterson Hall at Concordia: Cedarcrest, Gardenview, Nesbitt, Carlyle,  Honoré Mercier, Pierre de Coubertin, Elizabeth Ballantyne,  Roslyn, Royal Vale, Willingdon, St-Gabriel, St. Monica  and Edinburgh. The EMSB Chorale participated as well. The plan is to release an illustrated book and CD of the children's singing along with the 40-piece orchestra on October 30, 2024.

See this CTV report 

Watch CityNews Montreal

The late Eddy Nolan.

RIP EDDY NOLAN:  The Roslyn Elementary School community came together  April 12  to honor Eddy Nolan, who impacted thousands of students through his dedication to the Terry Fox Foundation, while working as an EMSB caretaker. Mr. Nolan, who worked at Roslyn School for 13 years, spearheaded the school’s annual Terry Fox Run in the fall and raised an estimated $250,000. Although he worked with other EMSB schools during his career, he always felt a strong connection to Roslyn, returning in the fall to wave the Terry Fox flag and spread Terry’s message of hope. Students and parents honoured  Nolan   with a symbolic walk and run, beginning in the school yard and then around the school. That day Mr. Nolan, who was battling throat cancer, requested a medically assisted death  on the 44-year anniversary of the beginning of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.

See this report

See this wonderful coverage in the Westmount Independant Newspaper

St. Gabriel students serve food at the cocktail.

SHARE THE WARMTH:   In the winter of 1989, three Montreal women were inspired to collect warm clothing and food for the homeless. The response was overwhelming and they were flooded with calls: people wanted to volunteer, donate, and help with deliveries. That marked the establishment of Share the Warmth. By 1991 a headquarters was born in Pointe St. Charles  where the team collected and distributed clothing and food to the homeless on the streets, at drop-in centres and in shelters. Today, the second-hand boutique welcomes over 200 shoppers every week. A food bank soon followed and then  school  and youth programs, including everything from music and cooking to simple lessons in French for the anglos on board. The organization’s Hope of our Youth' Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction took place recently at their Fortune Street home. The  evening was dedicated to celebrating incredible donors, community, businesses, and partners!  Guests enjoyed signature cocktails, delectable cuisine, and a captivating silent auction showcasing generously donated items from local businesses and supporters. The funds raised during this event will play a pivotal role in sustaining and expanding Share the Warmth's youth food, arts, and specialized educational programming.     Among the volunteers were some students from nearby St. Gabriel Elementary School who are part of the cooking program.

Dan Laxer with Vice Principal Mario Benvenuto and Principal Dina Vourdousis.

CARLYLE TEAM: Veteran broadcaster Dan Laxer has joined the team at Carlyle Elementary School in TMR to lead a new media program. The school also greeted recently Murielle Cohen, noted for developing murals across the world. She will work on one for Carlyle. In addition, she has gained notice for sketching portraits of individuals in 30 seconds and spent one day doing so for delighted students.

A student showcases a nice poster at the Party for Humanity.

MACKAY PARTY FOR HUMANITY: Throughout April the Mackay Centre School  celebrated diversity and humanity through various activities (assemblies, a Hands of Identity mural, readings of books, poster making etc.) The goal was to highlight and teach students about differences and similarities in who we all are as humans. The music therapist  compiled a multicultural playlist from song recommendations from the beautiful cultures in their school. On April 26 the students and staff received their HUMANITY bracelets and  they continued to spread the message as they all danced and listened to music from around the world.  There were   decorations and posters made by the students.   

Braxton shows a photo of Tyson as he gets his hair cut.

IN HONOR OF TYSON: Gardenview  Elementary School in St. Laurent launched its inaugural Leucan Shaved Head challenge in honor of Tyson, the younger sibling of a Kindergarten student, Braxton. Tyson, known for his lively spirit and infectious humor, received a diagnosis of stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer in March 2022 at just 25 months old. He battled fiercely for a period of 18 months before  passing away in September 2023 after a second relapse of the disease. The school’s heartfelt appreciation goes out to  volunteers Micah, Braxton, Ms. Turin, Mr. Schwartz (whose son is in Grade 4), Mr. Ionno (whose daughter is in Kindergarten), and Ms. Andrea, Gardenview's school secretary for their brave decision to shave their heads.  The school would also like to express its gratitude to Laurier Macdonald Career Centre Principal Anna Maria Borsellino and Vice-Principal Real Heppelle, along with their team, for generously providing their hairdressing services. The  campaign successfully raised $11,175. This will allow Leucan to fund research protocols for children with cancer so that they have access to the best treatments in the world. It also allows the  association to support bereaved families in offering them services adapted to their reality, ensuring a personalized follow-up to every family going through this loss to assess their needs and lend a compassionate ear.

FRANCINE JARRY: Musician Francine Jarry is offering her service to work with classes in music at no charge. Here is a report on CityNews about her.

Perspectives students mentor the young children.

BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL:  Perspectives I and II Alternative High School students have joined forces with Nesbitt Elementary and Pierre de Coubertin in a collaborative effort led by Spiritual and Community Animator Vince Lacroce. The “Be your own kind of Beautiful” campaign aims to empower students with the tools and resources to cultivate a healthy relationship with their bodies and foster a culture of self-acceptance and confidence.  Recognizing the importance of instilling positive body image from an early age, the students at Perspectives have taken the lead in designing and implementing a comprehensive campaign tailored to the unique needs of elementary school students. With dedication, and drawing upon their creativity and empathy, these high schoolers have developed engaging workshops, interactive activities, and informative materials to address common body image challenges faced by young children. “We are thrilled to partner with Nesbitt Elementary and Pierre de Coubertin to address this important issue,” said  Mr. Lacroce. “By working together, we can empower young students to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies and cultivate a sense of confidence and self-worth that will serve them throughout their lives.”

Yoga at PDC.

BUILD AND BREATHE:   In the spirit of promoting mental health and well-being, Leonardo da Vinci Academy and Pierre de Coubertin Elementary organized a full day of yoga activities for students called “Build & Breathe” on April 15 and 18.   The “Build & Breathe” yoga day introduced students to the numerous benefits of yoga, including stress relief, improved concentration, and overall physical fitness. Over 135 students participated in these voluntary sessions which were led by Mr. Lacroce. He has over 20 years of experience in leading yoga and mindfulness practices with youth. The event included dynamic yoga poses combined with breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and interactive games to keep students engaged throughout the sessions. With an emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility, students of all fitness levels and abilities were encouraged to participate and discover the joy and benefits of yoga. In addition to yoga sessions, educational workshops were offered on topics such as nutrition, mindfulness, and stress management, empowering students with valuable tools for maintaining a balanced lifestyle. The sessions culminated with a presentation of Lululemon yoga mats and gift certificates from local sports stores in the community to students in both Cycle 2 and 3 who embody the spirit of yoga through their positive attitude and actions, and who show effort, perseverance, attentiveness, and concentration, as well as growth during their yoga sessions.“At Leonardo da Vinci Academy and Pierre de Coubertin Elementary, we recognize the importance of holistic education, which includes nurturing the physical and mental well-being of our students,” said Mr. Lacroce. “The students have indicated that their concentration levels and their ability to manage their emotions have improved and they are very eager to learn more”.  The program will continue to the end of the school year and will include outdoors sessions in the neighbouring parks."

Hanging out with the alpacas.

WOOLY EXCITED FOR EARTH DAY: Spiritual and Community Animator Joseph Monachino planned a special Earth Day activity for Lester B. Pearson’s Allongé class.  In order to make a special connection with nature and celebrate Earth’s amazing diversity, the class visited an alpaca farm.  The students, accompanied by their teacher Maggie Cocco, Mr. Monachino and Charles Prefontaine, the school librarian, were able to walk the alpacas in a forest setting where they not only formed a special connection with one of Earth’s creatures but enjoyed wellness and mental health benefits from the experience as well.  The nature walk was followed by information about the alpacas and sustainability.  Ms. Cocco expressed her enthusiasm saying that her students were spreading “a-pac-a” love on Earth Day and had an “apaca-lutely” amazing experience.

Spirit Quest heads to the grocery store.

SPIRIT QUEST: To celebrate Earth Day, Edward Murphy Elementary School  held its eighth annual Community Spirit Quest entitled “Opening the Doors to our Community” in the Mercier Quest borough.  This annual event is organized by Spiritual and Community Animator Rocco Speranza, with the support of community members and organizations. The day aims to pay tribute to Indigenous Peoples in Canada while encouraging students to reflect and make connections to Mother Earth and the local community. Throughout the day, energetic sixth graders along with their teachers Kim Tomei and Alana Byer deciphered and navigated clues to travel from one location to another using eco-friendly means of transit. While performing acts of community service and acquiring hands on experience, students encountered challenges and activities that were completed using their creative problem-solving skills and strategic thinking.  Students also learned about various community organizations' functions as well as the history and presence of Indigenous peoples in the area, and visited green spaces, historic landmarks, and places of worship.  The Quest allowed students to obtain personal experiences as they made connections with those in need, acquired a sense of community and spirituality, and worked together to strengthen the bonds of the EMS community and connections to Mother Earth.

Figuring out the Kryptic challenge.

ESCAPE ROOM: On Monday, April 22, Earth Day, Pierre de Coubertin Elementary, Leonardo Da Vinci Academy, Nesbitt Elementary, and Perspectives High School debuted their exhilarating educational escape room with an Earth Day focus, called “Kryptik: It was all a dream.” This innovative initiative, inspired by the classic game Clue, engages students in a captivating journey of discovery and problem-solving. Created by Mr. Lacroce in collaboration with Leonardo Da Vinci Academy Day Care Educator Stellana Romeo and Daycare Technician Francesca Muro, Cycle 2 teacher at Nesbitt Elementary Julia Muro, Perspective staff members Stefano Castricato,  Anita Giori, and Adolfo Vasquez, Behavior Technicians at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary Melissa Marsella and Giuliana Terriaca, Kryptik combines elements of mystery, teamwork, and critical thinking to create a dynamic learning environment. “Kryptik offers students a unique opportunity to learn through immersive gameplay,” said Vince Lacroce. “By infusing elements of the beloved game Clue into an educational escape room setting, we aim to ignite students’ curiosity, foster collaboration, and enhance their problem-solving skills.” The creation of Kryptik has been a collaborative endeavor, with educators and staff members from each participating school contributing their insights and expertise to ensure the game’s educational relevance and accessibility to students of all ages and abilities.

Yoga at RHS.

MIND BODY MOVEMENT:  Ms. Poullas, invited Spiritual and Community Animator and certified yoga instructor Puynung Choy to Rosemount High School on April 23 for an introduction to breath work and yoga. By learning postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, the Grade 9 students learned to re-align their energy and become more focused and relaxed. 

Students learn how to work in a  professional kitchen.

A PIUS PERSPECTIVE: On April 5, Perspectives I and II students participated in an interactive hands-on experience working in a professional kitchen at Pius Culinary Institute. The workshop was led by Chef Tony and Chef Sestino and students had an opportunity tour some of the new facilities from Academic Advisors Paolo Della Rocca and Steve Aglitti. The goal of the outing was to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of culinary arts and its various aspects. Following their time at the Pius Culinary Institute, students will be visiting the vibrant Jean-Talon market, where they will explore fresh ingredients and diverse culinary traditions. As the culmination of their culinary journey, students will collaborate on creating a cookbook titled "Breaking Bread." This cookbook will not only showcase the techniques and recipes they have learned but will also feature traditional family favourite recipes contributed by the students themselves. “We are thrilled to provide our students with this enriching culinary experience," said Robert Leclerc, Development Officer at Perspectives I and II High Schools. "This outing not only fosters creativity and collaboration but also encourages a deeper appreciation for food and culture. “The Perspectives I and II High School communities eagerly anticipate the outcomes of this unique culinary journey and look forward to sharing the "Breaking Bread" cookbook with the broader community.” The outing was coordinated by Development Officer Robert Leclerc and supported by Spiritual and Community Animator Vince Lacroce and teacher Stefano Castricato.


Getting serious about mathematics.

JFKAC MATHEMATICS:    Please read our new AEVS blog and a nice feature on the John F. Kennedy Adult Education (JFKAC) mathematics program. The story is written by veteran journalist Terry Haig. The students taking math are part of a community that includes up to 600 students (both night and day) taking various levels of courses at the JFKAEC. Students shooting for a high school diploma are generally divided into three groups: Immigrants, “non-traditional learners  and students who are “upskilling,” (taking specific courses they need to get into a CEGEP). 

Go to this link

ART BY THE WATER: The Art by the Water exhibition   celebrated its 15th year over the weekend. For this edition, the event’s proceeds went  towards The Simon Chang Foundation for Change, where Canadian fashion icon, Simon Chang, will then donate the funds to help create “The Sensory Bin Project.”   The bins will be created by students at Côte Saint-Luc’s Wagar Adult Education Centre — then given to other students within the English Montreal School Board (EMSB). “These are things that children and adults use to help self-regulate their emotions,” said Louise Panet-Raymond, a teacher at Wagar. “This is something that they could go to the back of the class, where the bin will be, with the teacher’s permission, and be able to take out an object and just help them self-regulate, bring them back to a comfortable place emotionally." 

Please go to this CityNews Montreal link 

Checking out the Old Port.

FITNESS AND HEALTH: James Lyng Adult Education Centre in St. Henri is taking learning outside the classroom with the new Fitness and Health class taught by Stuart Chappell.  The goal is to help students become more fit and teach them how they can improve their overall health and wellbeing.  On April 9, they embarked upon an urban walk from their centre along the scenic Lachine Canal to Montreal's historic Old Port. The seven kilometre journey showcased several historical landmarks, including grain silos and canal locks, highlighting Montreal's significance as Canada's foremost industrial hub. Despite the considerable distance, the students bonded and enjoyed themselves throughout the walk. For many, it was their first experience covering such a distance on foot, adding an element of accomplishment to the outing.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS BOCCE: Thirty-eight students from Galileo Adult Education Centre’s  Social Integration and Social Vocational Integration teamed up to learn the necessary skills for playing Bocce. They were instructed by Ms. Luciana, Ms. Lisa, and Ms. Tanya, who received training from Special Olympics Quebec, on the intricacies of the beloved sport. From late February to mid-March, every Wednesday was devoted to teaching the students how to throw, keep score, and develop winning strategies.  Besides the teachers' support, Salvatore and Camillo, two committed Bocce enthusiasts from the Italian community, assisted and shared their love for the sport. Their diligent efforts were put on display at the Special Olympics tournament held on March 27, hosted by McGill University. The students, filled with joy, returned adorned with vibrant ribbons, making it an unforgettable and delightful day for everyone involved!

Communicating with the police.

EQUIPING STUDENTS WITH KNOWLEDGE: Throughout the month of March and April, Constable Anne-Marie Gauvreau from SPVM Montreal North Community Relations partnered with Galileo Adult Education Centre to conduct workshops with over 300 students.  The workshops aimed at educating students on fraud, stranger danger, and social media dangers. These workshops served as a proactive measure to empower students with the tools needed to stay safe both online and offline. The workshop highlighted the topic of fraud, shedding light on the various forms it can take in today's digital world. From phishing emails to fraudulent websites and phone scams, students were educated on the tactics used by fraudsters. Through real-life examples and interactive discussions, students gained a deeper understanding of how to identify warning signs and protect themselves from falling victim to scams.


JOURNÉE DES DIRECTIONS D'ÉCOLE : Dans le cadre de la Journée nationale des directions d'école le 1er mai, la CSEM a rendu hommage à Maria Caldarella de l'école secondaire L.I.N.K.S., à Ahuntsic. Mme Caldarella a récemment été mise en nomination pour le prix de l'Association canadienne des directeurs d'école. Son leadership lui a valu l'admiration du personnel, des élèves ainsi que des parents de l'école L.I.N.K.S., qui dessert une population ayant des besoins particuliers. « Dès son arrivée, elle s’est employée à explorer la culture de l'école et à cultiver un climat de collaboration, de respect, de bienveillance et de soutien mutuel », de s’exclamer l'enseignante Gail Bernstein, qui a soumis la candidature de Mme Caldarella pour le prix de l'Association canadienne des directeurs d'école. Mme Caldarella a entamé sa carrière professionnelle en tant qu'infirmière diplômée spécialisée en obstétrique à l'Hôpital St. Mary. Elle raconte souvent, avec une grande émotion et fierté, comment elle a accueilli en ce monde et pris soin de ses patients, véhiculant tout naturellement l’importance de l'engagement, du travail d'équipe, du sentiment d'appartenance, de la patience et du soutien mutuel. Après avoir été infirmière, elle est devenue enseignante en soins de santé et conseillère en formation professionnelle au Centre de santé et d'études commerciales Shadd de la CSEM, avant de se retrouver à L.I.N.K.S.

LOI 21: La CSEM a l'intention de demander à la Cour suprême du Canada d’entendre l’appel du jugement concernant la loi 21, Loi sur la laïcité de l'État. Le 10 avril, le conseil des commissaires s’est prononcé en faveur de donner mandat au cabinet d'avocats Power Law de déposer, en son nom, une demande d'autorisation d'appel à la Cour suprême du Canada et, si elle est accordée, un appel du jugement de la Cour d'appel du Québec du 29 février 2024 sur la loi 21. La CSEM conteste certaines dispositions du projet de loi 21, invoquant la violation du droit à l'instruction dans la langue de la minorité en vertu de l'article 23 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés et la violation du droit à l'égalité entre les sexes garanti par l'article 28 de la Charte. Rappelons que la CSEM avait déjà plaidé avec succès devant la Cour supérieure du Québec que la loi 21 violait le droit de gestion et de contrôle prévu à l'article 23, en empêchant les commissions scolaires anglophones d'embaucher du personnel enseignant portant des signes religieux. Cet argument a été rejeté par la Cour d'appel du Québec. « Notre position initiale reste inchangée, à savoir que la loi 21 va à l'encontre de nos valeurs et de notre mission, et de celles de l'ensemble des Québécois et des Québécoises, exprimées dans la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés de la personne », a déclaré le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona. « L’adoption de cette loi s’inscrivait en faux contre notre objectif sociétal, qui est de faire la promotion de la coexistence pacifique au sein d’un Québec pluraliste. »

Consulter l'intégral du communiqué  

Visionner le reportage de CBC  

LOI 96: La CSEM se réjouit de la décision de la Cour supérieure du Québec qui accorde un sursis partiel à l’application de certaines dispositions de la loi 96 et de la Charte de la langue française. Ce jugement profite également aux autres commissions scolaires anglophones et à l'Association des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec. Le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona, souligne que la Cour supérieure sursoit à l'application de certaines dispositions de la loi qui obligeraient les commissions scolaires anglophones à communiquer exclusivement en français dans leurs échanges avec des institutions clés de la communauté d’expression anglaise, telles que l'Association des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec ou encore l'Association des comités de parents anglophones du Québec. La CSEM avait contesté l'application des amendements à la Charte de la langue française adoptés en 2002, que le gouvernement n’a fait entrer en vigueur qu'en juin 2023, sans aucune consultation auprès de la communauté anglophone. En ce qui a trait aux dispositions de la loi 96 non visées par le sursis de la Cour supérieure, M. Ortona souligne que l’effet des motifs du jugement est que le statu quo sera généralement maintenu jusqu'à ce qu’une décision soit rendue sur la constitutionnalité de la loi 96. Il a ajouté que la CSEM peut continuer à utiliser exclusivement l'anglais dans de nombreuses situations, « ce qui est une bonne nouvelle. » La CSEM et son équipe juridique continuent d'examiner le jugement, dans lequel le tribunal a conclu que l'expression « centres de services scolaires » dans la législation s'applique aux commissions scolaires anglophones, bien que la loi 40 ne s'applique pas aux commissions scolaires anglophones et que les commissions scolaires anglophones ne sont pas des centres de services scolaires. Le conseil des commissaires devra décider s'il porte en appel cette partie du jugement. Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral du communiqué 

TAUX DE RÉUSSITE: La CSEM est heureuse d'annoncer que son taux de diplomation demeure le plus élevé de la province. Selon les plus récentes statistiques du ministère de l'Éducation du Québec en 2022, le taux de diplomation à la commission scolaire s’établit à un niveau remarquable de 92,7 %, ce qui représente une légère hausse par rapport au taux de 91,6 % en 2021. Bien que la majorité des élèves aient obtenu leur diplôme au bout de cinq ans, il convient de noter que le Ministère autorise le suivi de chaque cohorte pendant deux années supplémentaires afin de s'assurer que les élèves ont toutes les chances d'obtenir un diplôme ou une première qualification. À l’heure actuelle, la cohorte de six ans de la CSEM affiche un taux de réussite notable de 94,8 %. Le taux de réussite à l'échelle de la province, qui tient compte à la fois des résultats des écoles publiques et privées, atteint 84,1 %, soit une moyenne de 81,6 % dans le réseau public et de 94 % au privé. Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral du communiqué et les tableaux comparatifs du classement de la CSEM par rapport à d'autres écoles publiques et privées.

LA SCIENCE À L'ACADÉMIE ROYAL WEST: Vingt-trois exposants représenteront l'Alliance pour l'enseignement de la science et de la technologie (AEST) dans le cadre de la 45e édition de la Super Expo sciences Hydro-Québec, finale québécoise qui se tiendra du 19 au 21 avril, au Cégep du Vieux Montréal. Deux élèves de la CSEM, soit Anubhab Bhowmick et Srijith Pradeep Kumar de l'Académie Royal West à Montréal-Ouest, seront de la compétition avec leur projet portant sur un système intelligent de circulation routière (SmartFlow Traffic System). Les élèves ont récemment pris part à la finale régionale de l'Expo-sciences Hydro-Québec de l'AEST à l'Académie Laval Senior. Pendant trois jours, 1 000 visiteurs ont pu rencontrer 131 exposants et découvrir 83 projets scientifiques présentés par des jeunes particulièrement fiers provenant de différentes écoles de la région. Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral du communiqué

NOUVELLES DE L’EMSAC: L'ancien député libéral et ministre David Heurtel a rendu visite récemment aux élèves du English Montreal Student Advisory Committee (EMSAC) lors de leur réunion mensuelle à l'école F.A.C.E. Monsieur Heurtel a tenu une vaste discussion sur les enjeux locaux et provinciaux, tout en encourageant les élèves à poursuivre leur engagement au sein de la gouvernance étudiante et à continuer à s'impliquer même après leurs études.

OLYMPES DE LA PAROLE CANADA: Pour la quatrième année consécutive, les participantes au concours scolaire Olympes de la Parole Canada (ODPC) ont présenté le fruit de leur travail à la mi-mars lors du Forum de la société civile NGO-CSW-68, organisé dans le cadre de la soixante-huitième session de la Commission de la condition de la femme des Nations unies (UN-CSW-68). Les discussions autour des trois tables rondes d’ODPC ont porté sur les solutions proposées par les jeunes pour faire face aux : intersections de la féminisation de la pauvreté avec la santé, l'éducation, la violence basée sur le genre, et les politiques et pratiques économiques biaisées. Quatre équipes représentaient la CSEM. Les 13 présentatrices ont été sélectionnées par chacune des 13 équipes de la compétition scolaire d'ODPC. Pour la CSEM, les participantes étaient : Beatrice Agudelo-Restrepo (Académie internationale Marymount), Sonya-Liboria Bastiaans (école secondaire Laurier Macdonald), Yedda Blanco Caruzzo (Académie Royal West) et Sae Ah Park (Académie Royal West). Olympes de la Parole Canada (ODPC) est une initiative de citoyenneté globale axée sur l'apprentissage.  

Pour voir l’impressionnante présentation de Yedda, rendez-vous à la 50e minute  

Ou encore à la 50e minute ici   

WEBINAIRE AVEC MIKE MATHESON: Un certain nombre d'écoles de la CSEM ont participé à un excellent webinaire « Champions pour la vie » mettant en vedette le défenseur des Canadiens de Montréal, Mike Matheson, et ayant pour thème la persévérance. Keith McKoy, qui était l'enseignant de Matheson à l'école secondaire John Rennie à Pointe-Claire, a animé la séance. Matheson s’estime l'un des rares chanceux, ayant réalisé son rêve de jouer pour les Canadiens dans sa ville natale. Il a d'abord poursuivi ses études et obtenu un diplôme en psychologie du Boston College, tout en jouant au hockey au niveau élite et en étant repêché par la LNH. « Je savais pertinemment qu'au bout du compte, si j'avais la chance de jouer quelques années dans la LNH, cela ne durerait pas éternellement », s’est-il exclamé. « Je voulais donc m'assurer de ne pas me retrouver devant rien au moment où ma carrière prendrait fin. C'est pourquoi j’ai continué à travailler très fort pour obtenir mon diplôme du Boston College. » Pour visionner l’intégralité du webinaire  

DU YOGA À L'ÉCOLE CEDARCREST : Si vous vous demandez pourquoi les élèves et les parents de l'école primaire Cedarcrest sont très zen ces derniers temps, c'est grâce à Mme Danna et à son récent atelier sur la pleine conscience. Sous sa supervision, les élèves de la maternelle, ainsi que certains parents, ont travaillé sur la respiration et les étirements. Le yoga et la méditation s’avèrent un complément au programme d'éducation physique de la CSEM et constituent une autre façon pour la CSEM de promouvoir un mode de vie sain au secteur des jeunes.

CONCERT DU PRINTEMP : La chorale de la Commission scolaire English Montréal présentera son concert annuel du printemps le samedi 4 mai prochain à 19 h 30 à la salle Oscar Peterson, située au 7141, rue Sherbrooke Ouest. Accompagnés par Anne-Marie Denoncourt au piano, un quatuor à cordes et la percussionniste Kristie Ibrahim, les 90 membres de la chorale chanteront des œuvres de Lionel Bart, Bock & Harnick, Eleanor Daley, Bob Dylan, Greg Gilpin, Billy Joel, Francisco Nuñez, Jacques Offenbach, Randall Thompson et Gilles Vigneault. L'un des moments forts de la soirée sera l'interprétation, pour la première fois au Québec, de la pièce de Respira de Stephen Eisenhauer. La chorale est sous la direction de Patricia Abbott, directrice artistique, et de Marie-Ève Arseneau, adjointe à la direction. Les billets sont disponibles auprès des membres de la chorale et à la porte le soir du concert. Billets : 20 $/adultes – 15 $/étudiants – 10 $/enfants 12 ans et moins. Info et réservations : 514 483-7200 poste 7234 ou 

ESPOIR ET AMOUR À L'ACADÉMIE LEONARDO DA VINCI : Pour les personnes atteintes d’un cancer, l'espoir et l'amour sont les deux émotions fortes dont elles ont le plus besoin pour persévérer. Ce sont d’ailleurs ces mêmes émotions qui ont inspiré le thème du défilé de mode annuel de l'Académie Leonardo da Vinci au profit de l'Institut neurologique de Montréal, qui s'est déroulé le mois dernier. Pour la grande famille de l'Académie Leonardo da Vinci, le défilé de cette année se voulait une véritable célébration, car l'enseignant Daniel Gaudette, diagnostiqué avec une tumeur au cerveau en 2021, est maintenant de retour à son poste à temps plein et est en pleine rémission. Afin d'offrir une ambiance parfaite, le gymnase a été transformé pour accueillir une passerelle et quelque 30 écrans pour plus de 175 mannequins participants dont 120 élèves, 15 anciens et 40 membres du personnel. Par ailleurs, plus de 60 commanditaires ainsi que le Centre de formation professionnelle Laurier Macdonald ont offert des dons en argent, en produits et en temps pour assurer la réussite de cet événement.

STARS ON ICE : Emma Valente et Sophie Béliveau, élèves de 4e secondaire du Collège Vincent Massey à Rosemont, ainsi que leur équipe Les Suprêmes – Novice, ont remporté l'or et été couronnées championnes canadiennes pour la deuxième année consécutive. Pendant ce temps, deux diplômées récentes, soit Émilie Béliveau et Alexandra Bourdages (promotion 2023), du Collège Vincent Massey et de LMAC respectivement, sont non seulement championnes canadiennes avec les Suprêmes – Junior, mais elles ont aussi récemment remporté l'or aux Championnats du monde juniors de patinage synchronisé à Neufchâtel, en Suisse. Elles fréquentent toutes deux le Collège Vanier et font partie du programme Sport Alliance.

ÉDUCATION SUR LES GÉNOCIDES : Le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona, et le commissaire Julien Feldman ont rencontré Heidi Berger et Marcy Bruck de la Fondation pour l'étude des génocides. Sa mission est de collaborer avec les gouvernements et les experts en éducation pour s'assurer que l'histoire du génocide et les étapes qui y ont conduit sont enseignées dans les écoles secondaires du Canada et des États-Unis. Des représentants de diverses organisations continuent de prendre la parole dans les écoles de la CSEM. La CSEM a déjà adopté des résolutions demandant de rendre obligatoire l’enseignement de l'Holocauste et des génocides. La Fondation a été à l'origine de l'initiative du ministère de l'Éducation du Québec visant à créer un guide universel sur l'enseignement des génocides. Cet outil pédagogique présente des études de cas sur neuf génocides importants du XXe siècle, dont le génocide culturel de nos Premières Nations, des définitions des étapes menant au génocide, ainsi que des plans d'enseignement et du matériel de référence adaptables. Le guide interactif est maintenant disponible en ligne, en français et en anglais, pour toutes les écoles secondaires du Québec, accessible à plus de 310 000 élèves répartis dans 800 écoles. Aucune autre ressource n'a eu un impact éducatif aussi important sur l'étude des génocides. Les éducateurs d’un bout à l’autre du Canada sont impatients d'examiner cet outil pédagogique unique et de l'utiliser dans leurs classes. Pour de plus amples renseignements : 

VISITES DANS LES ÉCOLES: Des représentants de la Fondation ont pris la parole à l’école secondaire Rosemont, M.I.N.D., Marymount, Royal Vale et LaurenHill. La Fondation pour l'étude des génocides propose aux enseignants son programme de présentations scolaires, adapté aux élèves de la 3e à la 5e secondaire. Ces présentations interactives sont données par des enfants ou des petits-enfants de survivants de génocides, notamment l'Holocauste, le génocide des Premières Nations, le génocide arménien et le génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda. Les présentations comportent 50 minutes de clips vidéo du témoignage d'un survivant et des explications en direct du présentateur pour amalgamer le tout en une histoire cohérente et percutante. Elles créent un lien entre les événements passés et actuels, et prônent l'éducation pour prévenir des génocides futurs. Elles peuvent convenir dans le cadre de différents cours, notamment histoire, éthique et langues. C'est par le récit que l'on raconte le mieux l'histoire, les récits de première main étant une ressource inestimable pour les éducateurs. Ces témoignages saisissants et puissants permettent aux élèves de plonger dans le passé, de mieux comprendre les génocides et de développer de l'empathie envers les autres.

SOUTIEN AUX ÉLÈVES AUTOCHTONES: La CSEM a embauché une professionnelle de l'éducation pour agir à titre d’agente de développement en vue d'apporter un soutien aux élèves autochtones. Dre Jimena Marquez est entrée en fonction en janvier sous la direction des Services aux élèves. Dre Marquez est née et a grandi à Mexico. Adolescente, elle s'est rendue dans la Sierra Madre où elle a rencontré les Wixárikas, un peuple autochtone du Mexique vivant dans des villages reculés. Cette expérience « a eu un impact énorme sur moi et, sans même le savoir, a guidé mon choix de carrière », a-t-elle déclaré. En 1998, Dre Marquez s’est installée à Montréal pour faire des études à l'Université McGill. Elle y a obtenu un baccalauréat ès arts en études religieuses. Son intérêt pour les peuples autochtones l'a amenée à faire de la recherche en anthropologie et à compléter une maîtrise en anthropologie à l'Université de Montréal. Elle a ensuite obtenu un doctorat en éducation (concentration sociétés, langues et cultures) décerné par l'Université d'Ottawa. Après avoir œuvré comme professeure d'anthropologie au Collège John Abbott pendant plus de 10 ans et comme chargée de cours à l'Université McGill au programme d'études autochtones, Dre Marquez a été séduite par le défi que représente ce poste sans précédent au sein de la CSEM. Elle travaille en collaboration avec l'équipe d'animateurs de vie spirituelle et d'engagement communautaire. Nous vous invitons à consulter l’intégral du communiqué.

UNE NOUVELLE ÉCOLE PRÉVUE DANS LE BÂTIMENT NESBITT: La CSEM a lancé un processus de consultation en vue de l'ouverture d'une nouvelle école pour les élèves qui présentent différents troubles. Il est proposé que l'école soit aménagée dans le bâtiment de l'école primaire Nesbitt à Rosemont pour l'année scolaire 2025-2026 et que son ouverture concorde avec la fermeture de l'école primaire St. Raphaël située dans Parc-Extension. Au cours des cinq dernières années, la CSEM a mis sur pied plusieurs classes multidisciplinaires pour répondre aux besoins des élèves ayant des besoins particuliers au sein d’écoles ordinaires, ce qui a provoqué un surpeuplement dans certaines écoles et mis à contribution nos ressources dans l'ensemble du réseau. De plus, comme la CSEM dispose d'un nombre restreint de classes multidisciplinaires en raison du manque d'espace, des élèves ayant des besoins complexes se retrouvent souvent dans des classes ordinaires. Certains élèves requièrent des services spécialisés que les classes multidisciplinaires des écoles ordinaires ne peuvent pas leur offrir. L'école St. Raphaël accueille des élèves présentant de graves troubles socio-affectifs et comportementaux. Le fait que l'école soit à pleine capacité et qu'il y ait une liste d'attente témoigne de son succès. Devant le nombre accru de références dans notre réseau, un emplacement est requis pour accueillir les élèves ayant de graves troubles de comportement. La nouvelle école desservira deux types de clientèle : des élèves neurotypiques ayant des troubles graves de comportement, et des élèves neurodivergents présentant des troubles similaires. Elle fournira des ressources spécialisées et un espace conçu pour répondre aux besoins de ces deux groupes.

L’ART DE CONTER: Une autre année couronnée de succès sur le plan de l’art de conter pour les élèves de 5e et 6e année de la CSEM, qui suivent un processus de création d'histoires en cinq étapes appuyé par les enseignants de la CSEM, des ressources et des vidéos. Dans un premier temps, ils se familiarisent avec des histoires, présentent quelques récits vivants à leurs camarades, en choisissent un et le préparent, répètent à fond, puis offrent leur prestation devant un public. Dans chaque école participante, deux élèves sont choisis pour représenter leur école aux festivals de l’art de conter des secteurs est ou ouest, l'un contant une histoire en français et l'autre, en anglais. Le festival du secteur ouest, qui s'est tenu le 5 avril, a donné lieu à une incroyable démonstration de talent et de créativité. Des élèves des écoles Dunrae Gardens, Edinburgh, Elizabeth Ballantyne, F.A.C.E., Gardenview, Hampstead, Mackay, Merton, Roslyn, Royal Vale, St. Gabriel et Willingdon ont partagé des histoires personnelles portant sur des oiseaux qui attaquent, des créatures marines mystérieuses, du lait au chocolat, des nuits étranges, des journées inoubliables, des épreuves et des désastres surmontés. Durant la prestation, les membres du public ont ri, applaudi, retenu leur souffle et pleuré, et sont repartis enthousiasmés par le talent et touchés par l'interconnexion qui émane de la narration d'histoires.

Cette année, le festival du secteur est a malheureusement dû être annulé en raison de la tempête de neige du 4 avril et a été reporté au 9 avril. Des élèves des écoles Bancroft, Dalkeith, East Hill, Edward Murphy, Gerald McShane, Honoré Mercier, John Caboto, Leonardo da Vinci, Nesbitt, Our Lady Of Pompei et Pierre de Coubertin se sont réunis à Honoré Mercier pour conter encore plus d'histoires sur des écureuils maléfiques, des sœurs qui disparaissent, des tantes excentriques et des situations périlleuses. Le festival de l’art de conter est organisé chaque année par les conseillères et conseillers pédagogiques d'anglais et de français des Services éducatifs. Julie Tytler, conseillère pédagogique en ELA, confie qu'il s'agit de son événement annuel préféré : « Pendant qu'un élève raconte une histoire personnelle, c’est fascinant de voir l’auditoire se pencher, écouter, ressentir les émotions qui sont partagées. C'est tout à fait incroyable. Et ces élèves n'ont que 11 et 12 ans! »

Voici les élèves qui ont participé : Jolène Kerrigan (Bancroft); Lana Anderson (Dalkeith); Luca Breault et Michele D'Alessio (East Hill); Roman Ursino et Sierra De Marco (Edward Murphy); Teresa Piccirilli et Alessio Munno (Gerald McShane); Emma Triassi et Jonathan Girard (Honoré Mercier); Gianmarco Di Zazzo et Stella Proctor (John Caboto); Alicio Guerrero et Giulia Raineri (Leonardo da Vinci); Trentson St Fleur et Kiana Calitri (Nesbitt); Corentino Corso Masone et Damien Custodio (Our Lady of Pompei); Flavia Fazioli et Fabrizio Nardi (Pierre de Coubertin); Chiara De Cesaris et Matias Batista (Dunrae Gardens); Mayumi Collao et Éloïse Thibaulult (Edinburgh); Khushali Chapparam (Elizabeth Ballantyne); Ayla Jahani, Lucas et Simon-Padilla (F.A.C.E.); Emmanuel Diplarakis et Jaks Birakderian (Gardenview); Lola McRae et Aahana Chowdhury (Hampstead); Atlas Dunlevy (Centre Mackay); Riley Germano et Olivia Cohen (Merton); Heidi Church et Taylor Wiseman (Roslyn); Elin Wallin et Sara Wallin (Royal Vale); Maryam Elena Ghassemi et Henry Burridge (St. Gabriel); Bagath Kichu (St. Monica) ainsi que Aoife Follett et Karl Muller (Willingdon).

UNE AVENTURE MUSICALE : The Adventures of Eva the Louse, un projet musical qui réunit les talents de 175 élèves issus de 13 écoles de la CSEM et de la chorale de la CSEM, est en cours de réalisation. Cette initiative éducative et artistique ambitieuse à plusieurs niveaux est dirigée par les chanteurs d'opéra et chefs de chœur Dimitris Ilias et Maria Diamantis, fondateurs de Chroma Musika (Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Assassin's Creed Origins, Eurokids Festival). Les élèves des écoles suivantes ont participé à deux journées d'enregistrement dans la salle Oscar Peterson de l’Université Concordia : Cedarcrest, Gardenview, Nesbitt, Carlyle, Honoré Mercier, Pierre de Coubertin, Elizabeth Ballantyne, Roslyn, Royal Vale, Willingdon, St. Gabriel, St. Monica et Edinburgh. La chorale de la CSEM y a également pris part. Un livre illustré et un CD des chants des enfants accompagnés par l'orchestre de 40 musiciens sont prévus pour le 30 octobre 2024.

REPOSE EN PAIX EDDY NOLAN : La communauté de l'école primaire Roslyn s'est réunie le 12 avril pour rendre hommage à Eddy Nolan, qui a marqué des milliers d'élèves par son dévouement à la Fondation Terry Fox, alors qu'il travaillait comme concierge à la CSEM. M. Nolan, qui a travaillé à l’école Roslyn pendant 13 ans, a été le fer de lance de la course annuelle Terry Fox de l'école à l'automne et a permis de récolter environ 250 000 $. Bien qu'il ait travaillé dans d'autres écoles de la CSEM au cours de sa carrière, il a toujours éprouvé un lien étroit avec l’école Roslyn, revenant à l'automne pour brandir le drapeau de Terry Fox et diffuser son message d'espoir. Parents et élèves ont rendu hommage à M. Nolan en organisant une marche et une course symbolique, à partir de la cour de l'école et tout autour de l'établissement. Ce jour-là, M. Nolan, qui luttait contre un cancer de la gorge, a demandé de recevoir l'aide médicale à mourir, à l'occasion du 44e anniversaire du début du Marathon de l'espoir de Terry Fox.

FÊTE POUR L'HUMANITÉ AU CENTRE MACKAY : Tout au long du mois d'avril, le Centre Mackay a célébré la diversité et l'humanité en organisant diverses activités (assemblée, murale Hands of Identity, lecture de livres, création d'affiches, etc.). L'objectif était de mettre en lumière et d’enseigner aux élèves les différences et les similitudes qui nous caractérisent comme êtres humains. La musicothérapeute a compilé une liste de lecture multiculturelle à partir de chansons recommandées par les différents groupes culturels représentés au sein de notre école. Le 26 avril, les élèves et le personnel ont reçu leur bracelet HUMANITY  et ont continué à diffuser le message en dansant et en écoutant de la musique du monde entier. Des décorations et des affiches avaient été réalisées par les élèves pour l’occasion.    

EN L'HONNEUR DE TYSON : L'école primaire Gardenview de Saint-Laurent a organisé un défi têtes rasées le 17 avril. Deux élèves et trois adultes se sont rasé la tête à Gardenview pour rendre hommage à Tyson, le petit frère d’un élève de la maternelle, qui a reçu un premier diagnostic de cancer neuroblastome de stade 4 en mars 2022, à l’âge de 25 mois. Il a lutté pendant 18 mois avant de perdre son combat en septembre 2023 à la suite d'une deuxième rechute de la maladie. L'école a collaboré avec l'équipe du Centre de formation professionnelle LMAC pour le rasage des têtes.   

FRANCINE JARRY : La musicienne Francine Jarry offre ses services gratuitement pour travailler avec des classes de musique. Voici un reportage de CityNews à son sujet 


ENTRAÎNEMENT PHYSIQUE ET SANTÉ : Le Centre d'éducation des adultes James Lyng de Saint-Henri étend l'apprentissage en dehors de la salle de classe avec son nouveau cours sur l'entraînement physique et la santé, dispensé par Stuart Chappell. Ce cours a pour but d'aider les élèves à se maintenir en forme et de leur apprendre à améliorer leur état de santé général et leur bien-être. Le 9 avril 2024, ils ont entrepris une marche en milieu urbain depuis leur centre, en longeant le pittoresque canal de Lachine jusqu'au Vieux-Port, lieu historique de Montréal. Le trajet de 7 kilomètres a permis de découvrir plusieurs sites historiques, notamment des silos à grains et les écluses du canal, soulignant l'importance de Montréal en tant que principal centre industriel au Canada. Malgré la distance considérable, les élèves ont tissé des liens et se sont amusés tout au long de la marche. Pour beaucoup d'entre eux, c'était la première fois qu'ils parcouraient une telle distance à pied, ajoutant du même coup un sentiment d'accomplissement à la sortie.

JEUX OLYMPIQUES SPÉCIAUX - LA PÉTANQUE: Trente-huit élèves des programmes d’intégration sociale et d’intégration socioprofessionnelle du Centre d'éducation des adultes Galileo ont fait équipe pour apprendre les techniques indispensables à la pratique de la pétanque. Mme Luciana, Mme Lisa et Mme Tanya, qui ont reçu une formation des Jeux olympiques spéciaux du Québec, leur ont enseigné les subtilités de ce sport bien-aimé. De la fin février à la mi-mars, tous les mercredis ont été consacrés à enseigner aux élèves comment lancer, compter les points et développer des stratégies gagnantes. Au-delà du soutien des enseignants, Salvatore et Camillo, deux passionnés de pétanque issus de la communauté italienne, ont apporté leur aide et partagé leur amour pour ce sport. Leurs efforts constants ont été mis en valeur lors du tournoi des Jeux olympiques spéciaux qui s'est tenu le 27 mars à l'Université McGill. Débordant de joie, les élèves sont revenus ornés de rubans aux couleurs vibrantes, faisant de cette journée un moment inoubliable et réjouissant pour tous ceux qui y ont pris part!

OUTILLER LES ÉLÈVES : Tout au long du mois de mars et d'avril, l'agente Anne-Marie Gauvreau du Service des relations communautaires du SPVM de Montréal-Nord a collaboré avec le Centre d'éducation des adultes Galileo pour animer des ateliers auprès de plus de 300 élèves. Ces ateliers avaient pour but d’éduquer les élèves sur la fraude, les dangers en lien avec les inconnus et les réseaux sociaux, et se voulaient une mesure préventive visant à donner aux élèves les outils nécessaires pour assurer leur sécurité en ligne et hors ligne. L'atelier a mis l'accent sur la fraude, mettant en lumière les différentes formes qu'elle peut prendre dans le monde numérique d'aujourd'hui. Des courriels hameçons aux sites Web frauduleux en passant par les arnaques téléphoniques, les élèves ont été sensibilisés aux tactiques utilisées par les fraudeurs. Grâce à des exemples concrets et à des discussions interactives, les élèves ont pu mieux comprendre comment identifier les signes précurseurs et se protéger pour éviter d'être victimes d'escroqueries.

ART BY THE WATER : Art by the Water est une exposition d’art annuelle qui se tient au Yacht Club de Beaconsfield et qui offre aux artistes locaux l'occasion d'exposer et de vendre leurs œuvres. Devant le succès retentissant de l'événement inaugural de 2008, qui a accueilli plus de 200 visiteurs et au cours duquel 40 peintures ont trouvé preneurs, la fondatrice Audrey Riley et quelques amis artistes savaient qu'ils devaient continuer. Le week-end du 26 avril, Audrey Riley et son équipe composée de Valerie Szabo, Leslie Portsmouth et Michael Yeomans ont célébré les 15 ans de l’exposition Art by the Water en présentant les œuvres de 15 artistes locaux. « Au départ, nous comptions six artistes et depuis, nous avons ajouté des artistes invités, ce qui nous permet d'accroître l’offre chaque année. Notre quinzième exposition est extrêmement spéciale pour nous et j'éprouve une grande fierté à l'idée d'avoir réussi à organiser une exposition d'art d’envergure, conviviale et populaire », a déclaré M. Riley.

Chaque année, Art by the Water choisit une œuvre de bienfaisance qui touchera les recettes des ventes et des dons reçus lors de l'exposition. Cette année, c'est la Fondation Simon Chang pour le changement (SCFC) qui a été choisie, afin de célébrer les 50 ans de carrière de M. Chang dans l'industrie de la mode. Il y a quelques années, Chang a visité Art by the Water, à la grande surprise de Riley. « Ce fut très spécial de découvrir qu'il était venu nous rendre visite. Plus tard, j'ai pris un exemplaire du journal Inspirations et j'ai lu un article sur lui. J'ai été très intéressée par sa Fondation », a déclaré Mme Riley. « Créer un partenariat avec Simon Chang est très spécial pour nous. Les fonds recueillis serviront à soutenir un projet de création de bacs de jouets sensoriels à grande échelle au Centre d'éducation des adultes Wagar de la CSEM, sous la direction de Louise Panet-Raymond, Melanie Shields et Dominique Forgeard, toutes enseignantes dans le cadre du programme de transition de Wagar. Il s'agit d'une réplique d'un projet de bacs à jouets sensoriels qui a eu lieu il y a deux ans à l'école primaire Parkdale de la CSEM, dirigé par l'enseignante Cynthia Yee et la technicienne en comportement Natalina Melillo. Avec le soutien de la Fondation Simon Chang pour le changement, cette équipe et ses élèves ont créé des bacs de jouets sensoriels pour l'ensemble de l'école. Le succès fut tel que maintenant, grâce à Art by the Water, ce projet sera élargi de manière significative au Centre Wagar. Les bacs de jouets sensoriels renferment une multitude d'objets, dont des balles antistress et du sable cinétique, qui peuvent aider les élèves à s'autoréguler, à se concentrer, à réduire le stress et l’anxiété, à améliorer la motricité fine, la coordination et la dextérité. Ce qui rend cette initiative unique, c'est que les élèves adultes à besoins particuliers ont pour projet de fabriquer les boîtes et de les livrer à diverses écoles primaires de la CSEM vers la fin de l'année 2024. 

CHARPENTERIE : Face à la pénurie de main-d’œuvre dans le secteur de la construction, le ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) a accordé aux commissions scolaires la possibilité d’offrir des programmes supplémentaires à la formation professionnelle. La CSEM vient donc d'ajouter un nouveau programme en charpenterie (AEP – Attestation d’études professionnelles). Cette formation est dispensée sous l'égide du Centre de technologie Rosemont et se tient à l'école secondaire Lester B. Pearson de Montréal-Nord. Cette dernière a d’ailleurs été réaménagée pour répondre aux exigences du programme. À l'heure actuelle, les Services de l’éducation des adultes et de la formation professionnelle (SEAFP) de la CSEM offrent des programmes en mécanique automobile, en ébénisterie, en esthétique, en cuisine professionnelle, en vente et voyage, en secrétariat, en assistance à la personne en établissement et à domicile, en assistance technique en pharmacie, en comptabilité, en infographie, en finition de meubles, et bien plus encore.

Le prochain numéro de Pleins feux sur Fielding sera publié le 28 mai 2024. Prière de soumettre vos articles au plus tard le 24 mai à 

The next Focus newsletter will be published on May 28, 2024. Deadline for submissions is May 24.  Submissions should be sent to