The April Fool`s joke was on Erik Olsthoorn, principal at Dorval Elementary - and a Maple Leaf`s fan
Even Erik Olsthoorn, principal at Dorval Elementary, admits he should have seen it coming.
After all, how can you expect students, parents and staff at the school to let April Fool’s Day pass without pranking the principal who is an avowed Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
“It started with my … office decorated in Montreal Canadiens paraphernalia,” said Olsthoorn. “Then I saw the staff in their Canadiens’ jerseys, and before I knew it, the students and even parents had them on.”
Olsthoorn said that he knows of at least one other Leafs fan at the school who proudly wore his Leafs jersey.
“So I didn’t feel alone,” Olsthoorn said adding that while his best friend is also a Leafs fan, his wife and son are huge fans of the Montreal Canadiens.
“They were cracking up,” he said noting that a staff member at the school provided him with a Montreal Canadiens’ team shirt and hat, which he did happily wear.
“After all, it’s all in good fun,” he said adding that now that the Leafs are out of the playoffs, he will cheer for the Habs.
As for the organizers of the April Fool’s Day prank, all Debbie Cleary, administrative assistant at the school, and Phys. Ed. Teacher Cheryl King had to say was :”GO HABS GO! … Mr. O”
Two reading competitions coming up at the LBPSB: The Battle of the Books - Final and Ultimate Battle versions - and Qui lira, vaincra!
It's not often that any high school event gets listed in a city-wide literary festival and attracts radio personalities and an award-winning author.
But that’s exactly what has happened with the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Battle of the Books.
Blue Metropolis, Montreal’s International Literary Festival, has included the LBPSB’s Ultimate Battle of the Books in its events list for this year’s festival.
Battle of the Books is a competition at which teams from different high schools compete against each other to see who knows their books best. Students reply to questions in both regular and lightning rounds from 14 books selected earlier in the school year.
On April 16, the increasingly popular Battle of the Books – Final Battle – takes place at the school board, involving students from grades 7 to 10.
CBC Homerun host Sue Smith will be the special guest moderator at the April 16 event.
And one week later, on April 23, the Ultimate Battle of the Books, which pits the LBPSB winners against teams from the Quebec Association of Independent Schools and – for the first time, the English Montreal School Board - takes place at 7 p.m. at the LBPSB.
CJAD’s Trudie Mason and author Monique Polak - whose book, Straight Punch, is one of the 14 books read for this year’s competition - will be special guest moderators at the April 23 Ultimate Battle of the Books.
Last year, the first-ever Ultimate Battle of the Books ended in victory for Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School over Selwyn House.
Battle of the Books is organized by LBPSB high school librarians and supported by the board’s Educational Services and Technology Department.
The Battle of the Books isn't the only reading competition going on at the LBPSB.
For the first time this year, the Lester B. Pearson School Board is hosting Qui lira, vaincra! Junior, a competition promoting reading in French involving three elementary schools representing each region in the school board.
“Cycle 3 French teachers were invited to participate by encouraging some of their students to work in a collaborative way, by reading a total of 13 books.” said LBPSB pedagogical consultant, Heather-Anne Denton.
“This competition is similar to the Battle of the Books, with a few adjustments tailored to our elementary French Second language clientele,” she said. “We … felt there was a need to highlight French in a fun, positive way, all while showcasing how enthusiastic our students and teachers become when they have an opportunity to show what they can do.”
The Qui lira, vaincra! Junior finale takes place April 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the LBPSB head office, located at 1925 Brookdale Ave. in Dorval.
For more information about Qui lira, vaincra! Junior, contact Heather-Anne Denton at email@example.com or by phone at 514-422-3000, ext 32638
The Book Cafe is a lovely place to read for students in Lynn Dallaire`s Cycle 2 class at St Lawrence Academy
In a little corner off of Lynn Dallaire’s Cycle 2 homeroom at St. Lawrence Academy Sr., there’s a spot that looks like a scene from An American in Paris.
But instead of a backdrop for a musical, this is The Book Café, and it comes with a metal rack full of books, a miniature Eiffel Tower, a trompe l’oeil curtained window and a small table an two chairs, complete with a checkered table cloth.
It’s a place just outside the classroom where students get to go when they’ve earned a reward to take some time off for reading any book they choose off the book rack.
“It’s a great motivator,” Dallaire said last week as she and Alix Adrien, principal at the school located in the Lasalle borough, took a little time off for a quick read and photo op. She said A Fairy Tale Castle reading spot will soon be set up in her classroom which already has an electric fireplace and spot for hot chocolate for those days when it’s too cold to go out for recess. “And one day, I hope to be able to set up an African theme!”
Dallaire said she sets up an Adirondack scene reading nook - complete with the famous chairs and a few birch logs - at the beginning of the school year and changes after the Christmas holidays to the Paris Book Café.
“Because I’ve never been there!” said Dallaire.
Stewart Hall hosts John Rennie student art exhibition called Where Does the Spirit Live
A student art exhibition called Where Does the Spirit Live is ongoing until April 26 at Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire.
After studying issues facing Native peoples – including loss of identify - students in a grade 9 art class at John Rennie High School were asked to represent their own identities by painting on drum-shaped panels.
The results, which showed sensitivity as well as creativity, are on display in the kids corner on the second floor of the art gallery.
Stewart Hall is located at 176 Bord du Lac in Pointe Claire. For more information, call Suzanne Simatos at 514-297-6180.
Sisters Jane and Isabel Szollosy, the LBPSB students who founded Sparkes of Hope, receive Governor General`s Caring Canadians awards
Jane and Isabel Szollosy received one of the country’s top honours earlier this week when they were among a dozen students from across Quebec who received the Governor-General’s Caring Canadians Awards.
The sisters - Jane is 11 years old and a student at Dorset Elementary and Isabel is 13 and studies at Beaconsfield High School - were bestowed with the awards as recognition for the Sparkes of Hope organization they founded which helps 182 young Haitians in the Dominican Republic attend the Collège Amélioration Jeunesse through Youth Upliftment International.
They received the Caring Canadians Awards from Craig Kielburger – who co-founded Free the Children with his brother Marc - at the Evening of Champions held March 22 in downtown Montreal.
“He did make a joke about the pitfalls of working with siblings,” the girls’ mother, Rhiannon, said in a telephone interview.
He asked them “what’s it like working with siblings” and Jane responded “it’s good” and he replied, “I know because I work with my brother.”
But as happy as the award – and the joke - made them, what the sisters really had on their minds was their latest project, the Sparkes of Hope Summer Camp which allows 75 of the most impoverished children aged 4 to 17 at the school to attend summer camp instead of being forced to work all summer or left at home unsupervised.
“At the moment, we’re fundraising for the camp,” said Rhiannon. The goal for this year’s camp is $6,000.
So far, $1,900 has been raised for the project.
Last year, the girls, their parents and five volunteers spent two weeks at the first-ever Sparkes of Hope Summer Camp, helping with English lessons, doing arts and crafts and going on field trips.
“It’s very much like a day camp,” said Jane. “It was truly a life-changing experience.”
Rhiannon said the camp gives the children an opportunity to do things they’ve never done before.
“Believe it or not, many of these children had never been to the beach,” said Rhiannon. “It’s not something on their agenda when they are living for survival each day.”
“We are already working hard with our partners to make the camp even bigger and better than our first year,” she said. “Our students will receive English lessons, arts and crafts activities, and field trips and… we will be providing a daily meal, an education, tons of friendship and a chance to be a kid!”
Kate Bateman said it costs about $100 to send a child to the camp for two weeks.
“We are hoping to welcome a minimum of 60 campers depending on funds raised,” said Isabel, noting that all money raised goes directly towards funding the camp and is benefited solely by the kids.
These days, Jane and Isabel are combining their schoolwork with fundraising and touring various schools, speaking to their fellow students about their project and how every person, no matter how young or old, can create change in any field they choose.
“We get such amazingly positive receptions when we visit schools and Girl Guide groups.” said Isabel. “Kids really do want to create change and sometimes they just need a little support and encouragement to get started.”
The Sparkes of Hope Summer Camp was launched in May of last year but the sisters’ story really began in November of 2013 when they met Kate Bateman, founder of Youth Upliftment International which runs the Collège Amélioration Jeunesse in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
The school educates Haitian students, many of whom are orphans, restaveks - children who are sent out to work and live elsewhere a domestic servants – and street children who live under impoverished conditions.
So moved were they by the work Bateman was doing at the Collège Amélioration Jeunesse that Jane and Isabel decided to raise awareness and funds for the school by knitting and selling dishcloths - their grandmother Shirley Sparkes had taught them to knit - and returning empty cans and bottles.
In five months, they donated $2 886.40 to the school lunch program,” according to the Sparkes of Hope website. As well, in 2013 Sparkes of Hope shipped – at the family’s expense - two Barrels of Fun filled with peanut butter, books, toys, games and puzzles collected from friends, family and the community, to the school.
In August 2014, the sisters raised enough money to purchase a brand new and much-needed refrigerator for the school. As well, Jane and Isabel held food drives and collected school supplies which allowed them to ship eight barrels to the school this fall.
Sparkes of Hope celebrated its one year anniversary on November 29, 2014.
“We are continuing our commitment in supporting Kate Bateman and Youth Upliftment International, “ said Jane. “This past year we have been able to donate over $10,500 to the school and we have single handedly returned over 30,000 refundable bottles and cans!”
“We are so grateful to all the people who have supported us and shared our message.” said Jane.
“This is not something that we could have done alone and we appreciate every person who has helped us in our journey” added Isabel.
A school assembly was held at Beacon Hill Elementary School on Friday, February 20th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our Canadian flag.
Grade 5 students - with the guidance of the drama teacher Andrea Ward, reenacted some key moments in history in which famous Canadians shined - first Canadian women in space, summit series with Paul Henderson, to name a few -
as well as historical moments that culminated with the choice of the Maple Leaf for our National flag on February 15, 1965.
The assembly ended with the signing of the National Anthem led by music teacher, John Burgess.
St Lawrence Academy students commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March
Students from St. Lawrence Academy Sr. and Jr. took to the streets Wednesday (March 25) but it wasn’t a protest march – it was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, a turning point in American history.
“This march is not meant to be political, but to celebrate the occasion and to teach our students that a collective action can be used to advocate for change,” said Alix Adrien, principal at St. Lawrence Academy Sr. which is located in the LaSalle borough.
Students, parents, school officials and members of the Lester B. Pearson School Board – some carrying banners and signs, some singing freedom songs from the era – marched from St. Lawrence Academy Sr. on Rancourt St. in the LaSalle borough to St. Lawrence Academy Jr. on David-Boyer St. and then back again.
“I came to support this because it is a wonderful opportunity for my children to experience being part of a cause – and to experience the history of a very important event,” said Gail Brathwaite, whose daughter, Miquela – a grade 4 student at St. Lawrence – took part in the march.
Police had closed off the streets and accompanied the colourful procession of more than 500 people.
Student leadersTaymond Alexander, Aisha Mir, Jayden Joseph McLeish and Holly Patricio addressed the crowd about the history of the event 50 years ago and to say that the battle against injustice and discrimination in all shapes and sizes – and even over such issues as the environment - must continue.
On March 25, 1965, thousands of non-violent demonstrators – led by Martin Luther King – arrived at the capitol steps in Montgomery, Alabama following a five-day march from Selma to campaign for voting rights; although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination in voting on the basis of race, attempts to register black voters had met with resistance in many southern states.
The march in 1965 was made more powerful because earlier that month – on March 7 to be exact – six hundred people, mostly African-American men and women, were attacked by state troopers and mounted deputies when they attempted to march peacefully from Selma to Montgomery.
The event came to be known as Bloody Sunday.
On March 21, 1965 thousands of people from all over the United States once again left Selma for Montgomery, this time guarded by army and national guard units ordered by then-President Lyndon Johnson.
Four days later, standing on the steps of the state capital, King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes.’’ Five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights act of 1965 which is considered to be one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation in the United States.
Lester B. person School Board Chairman Suanne Stein Day congratulated the students for taking part in their commemorative march and talked about what equality really means.
Speaking to grade 2 student Gannen Bryan, Stein Day asked him, as well as the crowd of students, what was different between him and her.
“You’re an adult and he’s not,” came one reply from the crowd. “He’s black and you’re not,” came another. “He’s a boy and you’re a girl,” yet another.
“Despite those differences, we are the same in every way, except for one more thing,” Stein Day told the students. “I’m old and he’s not – and with age comes more privileges, such as staying up late …or when you’re 18, getting the right to vote.
“And that was what the Selma to Montgomery March was all about – that everyone would have the right to vote,” she added.
“What you did today is tell the world that we are equal,” she told the students. “You have the right to go to any school in any city, the right to choose any profession you want, the right to marry whoever you want – and I am so proud of everyone one of you.”
Westwood Sr high school reporters carry on despite loss of local newspaper Read their blog
When the Hudson Gazette closed down, it was a loss to the whole town and region – but it was also a blow to students, family and friends at Westwood Sr. High school because it meant the end of the Westwood Gazette, a page in the weekly newspaper that had been written for more than four years by students at the Hudson high school.
“There was a serious vacuum created when the Hudson Gazette closed down…the paper served as a great venue for students to express their opinions and allow our entire community to see not only what is going on in the school, but a teenage opinion on community events,” said Westwood Sr. teacher, Peter Nield.
The Hudson Gazette, which had changed its name to the Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges, had been publishing weekly since 1919 but simply stopped doing so in October of last year, with no warning or explanation.
“We struggled with what to do next,” Nield said adding that after contacting some of the other local newspapers did not work out, the idea of a blog resurfaced at the suggestion of Ute Wilkinson, the school librarian and now staff editor of the Westwood blog.
And that’s how the Westwood Sr. High School– New & Views blog was created.
“This blog is designed to fill the information vacuum and keep you up to date about Westwood Senior,” according to a column in the new blog which was launched last month (Feb., 2015).
Indeed it does that – and more.
The latest issue includes such topics as a visit to Westwood by Akshay Grover, a Lester B. Pearson School Board student at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School who ran from Montreal to Toronto to raise funds for Childhood Cancer Canada, a hockey fundraiser for ALS at Complexe Sportif Saint-Lazare hosted by Westwood, a visit to Westwood by author Monique Polak, Westwood Model UN delegates, a story about a group of women in India who refer to themselves as the Gulabi Gang which was created to fight domestic violence but which has grown to include all sorts of injustices, the death of Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, Bell’s Let’s Talk day on mental health and illness and actress Emma Watson and International Women’s Day.
The blog posts are written by students, while other news may be provided by school staff. Nield said the students in his journalism homeroom submit several articles per week and added that the blog is updated a few times per week with a new article or two.
Silas Latchem, student editor of the blog, said he is proud of what the students have created.
“It affects us not to have our stories in physical print but I think the blog is a fine replacement,” said Latchem who just returned from Guatemala where he took part in an international development project.
“As long as people read the Westwood blog, I’m happy,” he added.
Beechwood students learn from Montreal Alouettes tackle Josh Bourke
It’s not every day that a member of a professional sports team shows up at your school – so it’s no wonder then that students at Beechwood Elementary were excited when Josh Bourke, tackle for the Montreal Alouettes, dropped by for the Together At School Program.
“Josh gave an engaging presentation on his experiences in school and on his career as a professional football player,” Nicholas Hayter, principal at the Pierrefonds elementary school, said noting that Bourke`s March 11 presentation focused on respect and perseverance.
“He made references to difficult times he had experienced in school and sport.”
Bourke presented Beechwood Values Certificates to students who were rewarded for demonstrating outstanding citizenship.
“The award winners were happy to have their photos taken with Josh,” Hayter said adding that the assembly was followed by a great game of basketball with both the green and blue teams having a mix of students and teachers.
The game was a close one with a score of 16-14 for the green team.
Stimulation Jeunesse pilot project for students with special needs offers relaxation and sensory techniques
Once each week, a group of students with special needs from the Lester B. Pearson School Board are bused to Camp Bosco in Valleyfield where they practice relaxation and sensory techniques that enhance learning.
The ten students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary in Vaudreuil and Edgewater Elementary in Pincourt spend 45 minutes in a multisensory room that is full of sounds, lights, colours, textures and aromas and then 45 minutes in a relaxation room.
"Nothing is more beautifuly than seeing a child with specific needs have a moment of pure well-being," said Noémie Larue, Special Educator of the Youth Stimulation Program at Camp Bosco. “After ten weeks, I am impressed by the fact that a non-verbal child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) … has been interacting with us more and more.
“…each week I notice an evolution in the bond that I have with each of these students,” she added. “I consider myself fortunate to have these privileged moments.”
Called the Stimulation Jeunesse pilot project, the Lester B. Pearson School Board students are the first to be using specialized rooms developed by Camp Bosco and inspired by the Snoezelen approach - a fusion of two Dutch words meaning explore and relax - to provide sessions of multisensory stimulation followed by relaxation.
“This program is having an extremely positive effect on our student participants,” said Lise Aubertin, integration aide at Edgewater. “Not only has the program improved their relationships, concentration, attitude and self-regulation skills, the students also look forward to their weekly outings and rich exchanges with their facilitators.”
Officials at Camp Bosco - which was founded 40 years ago to serve families in the Montérégie community through their camps and outdoor programs - set up the rooms to help promote independence and the well-being of students with special needs as well as for other students who might benefit from an approach which consist of intervening minimally in multisensory and relaxing contexts.
Students rotate between two rooms – a multisensory stimulation room as well as a relaxation room - for two 45-minute sessions guided by a Snoezelen-trained special education technician. There they practice relaxation techniques as well as a range of sensory experiences that enhance learning.
The rooms are equipped with specialized lighting, textured material, different scents, colorful tubes, fiber-optic material, different size and colored patterns and shapes as well as a sound system.
A third room has been built into the sessions at Camp Bosco; when they are not in the stimulation room or relaxation room, the students can play collaboratively in the fun room.
“Project Stimulation provides an enriching and unique experience to explore sensory and relaxation techniques within a Snoezelen framework,” said Susan Scallan, LBPSB special education technician who accompanies the students. “The students’ lives have been enhanced by providing them with the opportunity to nurture and build positive peer and adult relationships in a non-judgmental environment.”
The pilot project is geared towards students who would benefit from small group instruction to develop emotional and social skills. With multi-sensory hands-on experiences, the students are able to learn and practice these skills within an engaging environment.
The project was developed to allow the children to have an experience where they are not told what to do, they are not told what not to do - they are allowed to just be, providing moments at which each child can build on his or her strengths, develop autonomy and freely discover and explore the environment.
Skills learned during these sessions are brought back to the school so that strategies can be implemented with ease in a school setting.
“After 10 weeks of sensory stimulations, today (March 19, 2015) a child with an ASD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had a calm and peaceful moment in the relaxation room without needing my presence by his side…,” said Dominique Pion, Special Educator and coordinator of the Youth Stimulation Program at Camp Bosco.
“He took the opportunity to just enjoy the present moment,” she added. “He came out of the Stimulation room with a different state of mind and behaviour compared to when he arrived at Camp Bosco this morning.”
The 27-week project is fully funded by the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de la Vallée du St. Laurent, Réunir Réussir, and the Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil Soulanges, the regional county municipality.
John Rennie students made a difference - and the national news - in Peru
A group of students from John Rennie high school made the national news earlier this month, but it wasn’t in Montreal or even in Canada.
They were featured on national television in Peru.
“Peruvian National News … found it very interesting that Canadian students had travelled so far to help out,” said Suzanne Simatos, spiritual animator at the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
The 11 volunteer students were in Pomac, Peru from March 1 to 8 , building a playground for the community as well as painting two educational murals on the Pre-K building.
“Having a playground close to a school increases attendance at school in rural areas in developing countries,” Said Simatos, noting that the murals depicted symbols from local anscestry as well as local species of birds.
One of the members of the group, Grade 10 student Nicole Waldie, said she felt very welcomed in Peru.
“We want to thank the people of Pomac for their hospitality and for welcoming us into their homes,”she said. “It was so beautiful to see the local children playing in the playground the very day we finished building it.”
Students at Allion Elementary and St lawrence Academy learned they can make a difference
Students at Allion Elementary and St. Lawrence Academy learned they can make a difference earlier this month when the MP for the LaSalle-Emard riding mentioned them while tabling a petition against the TransCanada Pipeline project and the building of a deep-water port in Cacouna, Quebec.
“Mr. Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of meeting grade six students from the Allion school and St. Lawrence Academy,” New Democratic MP Helene LeBlanc told the House of Commons on March 10.
“The students are very concerned about the dangers facing the beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River,” she said. “They presented me with a petition to that effect, which I am tabling today on their behalf.”
LeBlanc said the students gathered hundreds of signatures from people who are calling on the Government of Canada to impose a moratorium on all the work being done off the coast of Cacouna, in order to protect the belugas and guarantee an intact natural environment for them.
“I am proud of the students at Allion school and St. Lawrence Academy in LaSalle for their commitment to protecting the environment and the St. Lawrence belugas,” she added.
Mary Anne Fyckes - the Spiritual Care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator for the Lester B. Pearson School Board at Allion Elementary, St. Lawrence Academy, Junior and Senior and Verdun Elementary – said that as part of the Free the Children network, students at the schools must become engaged in local areas of concern, not only to raise money but also to affect change where needed.
`They have a great concern for the environment and therefore found it necessary to take a stand on this controversial issue,” she said. “…they decided to collect signatures for an already-established petition being circulated by the local MP`s … and together, the two schools were able to collect approximately 500 signatures during the parent-teacher nights in November, 2014.
“As an organizer, I was happy to see the students actively engaged in affecting change,” she said. “They learned a great deal about the democratic process and how government and corporations may seem to control things but children as young as 11 years can make a difference,” said Fyckes.
In its plans for the Energy East pipeline - which would begin construction in 2016 - the TransCanada Corp. has proposed using existing and new pipelines to span 4,600 kilometers from Alberta and Saskatchewan to terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.
Earlier this year, the Council of Canadians released a report claiming the Energy East Pipeline would affect 961 waterways that have significance for drinking water, treaty rights, fish and wildlife habitat as well as tourism.
The National energy Board has received just over 1,800 applications to participate in hearings for the proposed Energy East Pipeline.
Act Like a Man,a comedy written by John Rennie`s Nicolas Doyon, will be presented April 16 and 17 at the Louise Chalmers Theatre
John Rennie High School Actors’ Studio will present the comedy Act Like A Man on April 16 and 17 at the Louise Chalmers Theatre.
“This comedy, which features a play within a play, has it all: aesthetics, romance, surprises, revenge, cross-dressing and even a little Shakespeare!” according to Nicolas Doyon, program director and playwright.
Act Like A Man is a comedy set during a time when women were not permitted to act.
But this does not stop Princess Cordelia’s chambermaid, Juliet; by hiding behind a moustache and changing her name to Romeo, Juliet earns the privilege of playing the lead role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Things get complicated, especially when Princess Cordelia falls in love with Romeo.
The spring production comedy is a first for Actors’ Studio, using a Black Box Theatre concept.
“The set will be unlike anything I've ever done since joining Actors’ Studio,” said Technical Director Wayne West noting that the stage will be transformed into basic Black Box Theatre with a minimalistic set.
“This centres the focus on the acting, lavish costumes and colourful lighting,” West added.
Act Like a Man will be presented at two evening shows held on April 16 and 17 starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Louise Chalmers Theatre at John Rennie High School. Tickets can be purchased at the door or can also be reserved online at http://www.jrhsactorsstudio.com and picked up the night of the play. Adults $12, Students and Seniors $6.
The Actors Studio program at John Rennie High School was founded in 1999 by Louise Chalmers. The theatre itself was given her name shortly after her retirement in 2009. In this unique program, sixty students from grades nine to eleven are chosen based on their auditions and interviews. They collaborate by working as a team of either actors or technicians, and by participating in two large-scale productions each year. Students in this program are committed and give ten extra-curricular hours per week, while maintaining high English marks. The goal of this program is to provide an interesting and challenging theatrical experience by emphasizing and encouraging a very disciplined but professional work environment.
Beaconsfield High School teachers Rosemary Hill and Louise Adam are taking part in a GOAL pilot project
A little tweak here, a little tweak there
Beaconsfield High School teachers Rosemary Hill and Louise Adam are taking part in the pilot project of 27 schools that are sharing strategies for introducing compulsory GOAL content into the curriculum. Their enthusiasm is all the more appealing because their feet are planted firmly on the classroom floor.
Every year students create a short film.
Up until they joined the pilot project, Rosemary Hill and Louise Adam weren’t really sure what GOAL was. “When I heard the word ‘GOAL,’ I thought ‘POP,’ ’’ says Rosemary. “Through the pilot, we discovered we’re already incorporating GOAL into our program. GOAL is an awareness—a mind shift—that we need to integrate career and academic awareness into our teaching.”
It can be as simple as tweaking the language teachers use to communicate with students. “In math, we had a situational application that referred to bursaries,” recounts Rosemary. “Some students didn’t know what a bursary was. Before the pilot, I would have said: ‘If you go to university, you can apply for a bursary.’ Now I’d say: ‘If you take vocational training or go to university…’ ”
The teachers recently brought their classes to a workshop on identity given by the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. “Before we went, we asked students to pay attention to the different employment opportunities that exist in a museum,” says Rosemary. “Next time, I would ask the animator to share information about her education and career path.”
In her French class, Louise does a unit on multiple intelligences that incorporates the identity element of GOAL. Among other things, the students write about their multiple intelligences and discover things about themselves that they may not have known before.
Students can try on roles
A visit to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts
The two Cycle One teachers have been partnering for six years. Both teach an enriched program that requires students to participate in an entrepreneurial project. “The projects provide many opportunities to include GOAL and the students are excited to participate,” says Rosemary. “Every year they come up with innovative ways to meet a need within our school or community.”
Louise Adam (left) and Rosemary Hill
She describes one project that arose from a math problem that used golf scores to explain negative numbers. “The kids who didn’t know the scoring system in golf were having trouble grasping the concept. One student suggested building a mini-putt course in the classroom so that everyone could learn to play.”
The opportunity this gave students to try on entrepreneurial roles also allowed them to show others what they were good at. They used various materials including wood and drain pipes to build the course. Students with an inner engineer who loved to create were busy adjusting the angles of the pipes and wood planks to increase the ball’s momentum. One boy also discovered he was really good at recruiting students from other classes to play the course at lunch time. Another student had an aptitude for managing the team and organizing equipment.
Helping kids find their passion
In collaboration with filmmakers from Arpent Films, Louise and Rosemary also involve their students in an annual, bilingual movie-making project. In late fall, each student writes a short script and then, in small groups, they pick one script that they will pitch to the whole class in February. From those pitches, the class selects one script for production.
“It helps us to step back and see the big picture of why kids are in school.”
Students learn about different roles in movie-making that, down the road, could lead to a career path. Some gravitate to the camera; others are interested in costume or makeup. Some want to act and some take care of logistics and feeding the crew on set. GOAL content included, the entire project—with a little tweaking—meets the requirements of the curriculum.
“What we do is cross-curricular,” says Louise. “It helps us to step back and see the big picture of why kids are in school. There is a tendency to teach to exams—and I understand that—but we also need to help kids find their passion, or at least what they are not passionate about.”
A hat for every type of intelligence
“Our classrooms can be very noisy,” adds Rosemary. “There is a lot of communication between students—not just the teacher talking. When you put something in the hands of students, it can be messy. But that’s also when they may be the most engaged.”
It doesn’t have to be perfect
“We didn’t create these projects to accommodate GOAL,” notes Louise. “But being in the pilot project has validated what we are already doing. It’s a matter of fine-tuning how we incorporate these projects into the curriculum to include GOAL content.” Their experience in the pilot has also expanded their sense of their role. Explains Rosemary: “We are conscious that, as teachers, one of our objectives is to help students understand the educational and career pathways available to them.”
When they step outside their comfort zone to try something new, they also know not to expect perfection. “We give ourselves three years to work out the kinks,” says Louise. For teachers new to GOAL, Rosemary offers this advice: “Seriously, it’s not complicated. Start by taking a look at which GOAL elements you are already including. Then consider adding one or two. Keep in mind you don’t have to include them all. Have fun and enjoy exploring the possibilities!”
Mount Pleasant Valentine and birthday cards much appreciated by WWII Veteran and her family
Every year for the past 15 years or so, grade 2 students at Mount Pleasant Elementary make Valentine cards for patients at the Lakeshore General Hospital.
Most years, the students do not hear back from anyone except for hospital officials who thank them for their work.
This year was an exception.
In a letter to the school from Barbara Moffat – whose then 94-year-old mother, Lois, was at the Lakeshore General Hospital - students got to hear first-hand what a difference their little bumblebee Valentines made.
“My mother has been in the hospital for almost a month, and has not been strong enough to get out of bed on her own - she cannot see very much from her bed except for the curtains that separate her from the other patients, and the machines and carts in the hallway,” Moffat wrote to Mount Pleasant Principal Stephanie Hérault.
“When the bright bumblebee appeared on her meal tray, my sister taped it onto the curtain in front of her,” Moffat continued. “Another patient in the room gave her the decoration from his tray, so she now has a pair of bees to entertain her.
“She points at them and comments on how cute they are.”
Mount Pleasant teacher Laurie Hobé said card-making for hospital patients is “a fun way to teach empathy and give back to the community.
“The students really love making these crafts for the patients … and they were thrilled to get a thank-you letter back,” Hobé said.
In reply to Moffat’s letter, Hérault said she was very proud of the students at her Hudson school.
“Thank you for acknowledging what our students have done – they are a great bunch,” Hérault wrote. “I am so happy they are helping your mom. I am very lucky to be working in such a great school.”
Moffat’s mother is now at the Ste. Anne’s veterans hospital in Ste. Anne de Bellevue - a World War II veteran, she served overseas in 1944-45 as the only dietician in an 1,800-bed army hospital in England.
Moffat said the bumblebee cards from the Mount Pleasant students made a difference in her mother’s life during a very trying time.
“I would like to express my appreciation for this project – the small gesture of spreading a little cheer to people who are confined to a hospital bed touched my heart.”
But the story didn’t end there.
When students received the thank-you letter from Moffat, the grade 2 class got to work again.
“They prepared a large envelope full of hand-made birthday cards for my mother,” said Moffat. “It arrived just in time for her birthday on March 5…”
The birthday cards were taped to the door of her mother’s room all week, said Moffat.
“She is fascinated by them and I was deeply touched by the class’s efforts.”
Circle May 3 for the Pearson Educational Foundation`s Fun Run fundraiser
The second annual Pearson Educational Foundation (PEF) Family Fun Run may be months away – it takes place May 3 at Centennial Park in Dollard des Ormeaux – but organizers are already busy preparing for one of the foundation’s newest fundraisers.
“The Fun Run grew from an idea that a running/walking event would be a good community builder and fundraiser … as well as raise the profile of the Pearson Educational Foundation and all the good work it does,” said Maria De Wolfe, a Fun Run organizer, retired school principal and member PEF’s Board of Directors.
De Wolfe said this year’s event - a 2K and 5K run open to the entire school board community, including family, friends and neighbors - will be a colourful one as the Central Students’ Committee will join in with a tie-dye run.
“It will be spectacular,” she said noting that despite a constant downpour, last year’s event raised valuable funds for the foundation which enables projects not covered by the Quebec Ministry of Education.
Earlier this year PEF announced it was giving out more than $40,000 in grants to Lester B. Pearson schools and centres. The grants cover everything from advanced robotics equipment, funding for a special needs workshop, cooking and science equipment, therapeutic furniture and even glee club uniforms.
De Wolfe said this year’s event promises to be fun, no matter what the weather.
“In 2015, the organizing committee is hoping for participation from as many people as possible,” said De Wolfe. “We do promise you a morning of fun and camaraderie - walk or run, you will be supporting a good cause as well as doing something healthy for yourself and your family.”
Allion Elementary has heart - a lot of heart, in fact
Allion Elementary certainly has a heart – quite a few hearts in fact.
During the month of February, students at the school who were seen carrying out a random act of kindness were awarded with a heart with their name on it posted along the hallway of the school, located in the LaSalle borough.
At an assembly held on Feb. 20, students with the most hearts were rewarded with a gold coin from Principal Carmela Di Iorio’s treasure chest.
The Allion Has Heart activity proved to be so popular with students and staff that it will continue throughout the school year. By the end of the year, the hallway will certainly be covered floor to ceiling with hearts.
The Addams Family at Lindsay Place High School from March 19 to 21
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Addams Family.
Do you remember the lovable and quirky Addams Family?
If you do, you’ll be happy to know they’ll be at the Lindsay Place High School on March 19, 20 and 21. And if you don’t remember them, what a wonderful way to get introduced to Morticia, Gomez and company.
LPHS staff and students have put together a musical that will make you pine for the days when the Addams Family was regularly shown on television.
“Come and meet the entertaining and ghoulish Addams Family: mother Morticia, father Gomez, daughter Wednesday, son Pugsley as well as Grandmama, Uncle Fester and Lurch,” said Lindsay Place High School Principal Dona Bianchi.
The Addams Family will be presented to the public on Thursday, March 19 and Friday March 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee – at 2 p.m. - as well as a 7:30 p.m. evening show on March 21.
The cost is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for students. Lindsay Place High School is located at 111 Broadview Ave. in Pointe Claire.
Tickets will be on sale during the lunch break, from 1:05 to 1:55 p.m., in the main lobby of the school beginning March 10.
Olympic medalist Jessica Hewitt visited Allion Elementary school earlier this month, bringing the silver medal she won at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014. Hewitt, who moved to Montreal following the Sochi Games, spoke to students about the hard work and practice that is needed to succeed in sports and at school. She also visited the grades 3 to 6 classes at the LaSalle borough school to answer questions and sign autographs.
Giller Prize Winner Sean Michaels visits students at Beaconsfield High School
Students in the Senior English Department of Beaconsfield High School got to be part of A Writer’s Journey last week with Sean Michaels, the 2014 Giller Prize winner for his debut novel Us Conductors.
“Sean discussed various aspects of the writing/publishing industry,” said Beacosnfield High School teacher Robert Dan Jutras who, as it happens, is friends with Michaels.
“After Sean won the Giller, I sent him a quick congratulatory email,” Jutras said. “Not expecting a quick response, to my surprise he got back to me within a day or so and had this to say: ‘If you ever think there would be the right space for me to come in and talk to some of your students, I’d love to do that … that kind of thing is really important’.”
Obviously Jutras jumped at the chance for his students.
Michaels spoke to BHS students about his career in journalism, music criticism, blogging and the journey he has taken to achieve his goals.
Winner of the 2014 Giller Prize, Michaels has also written for The Globe and Mail, The Observer, Pitchfork, McSweeney’s, The National Post, The Believer, Brick, The Walrus, Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone, The Montreal Gazette and Resorts and Great Hotels, to name a few. He is also founder of Said the Gramophone, one of the first mp3 blogs, which Time magazine recognized as one of the world’s 25 best blogs. Michael’s other prizes include two National Magazine Awards as well as the Quebec Writers Federation’s Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.
Jutras said Michael’s Feb. 18 visit to the school was a rare chance for students to talk to someone about the life of a writer.
“As an English teacher, I frequently talk about the artist behind the art, how art mirrors life, but rarely do we have such a golden opportunity where students can hear first-hand from an artist, a writer, who is actually able to make a living doing what he loves doing most.”
Colourful castle marks Winter Carnival week at Evergreen Elementary
Like a scene out of the movie Frozen, students at Evergreen Elementary in St. Lazare made a colourful ice castle using food dye and milk cartons to make colored blocks of ice. The castle was built as part of the school’s Winter Carnival week.
More than 270 elementary students attended Jr Leadership Day
The 3rd annual Jr. Leadership Day for Cycle 3 elementary school students took place on February 6th, 2015 at Westpark Elementary. Over 270 grades 5 & 6 students from 31 of our LBPSB elementary schools came together for a conference focusing on leadership skills. Once again, a highlight of the conference no doubt was the numerous groups of LBPSB high school student-presenters. They offered sessions touching on a wide variety of topics, connecting high school leadership skills and opportunities and how they are impacted by today's digital world.
Eight of our high schools (BHS, JRHS, Lakeside, Mac High, PCHS, Riverdale, St. Thomas and Westwood Sr.) sent several of their very own leadership students to facilitate all of the break-out sessions during the day. Before the break-out sessions begin, the conference opened with an amazing keynote speaker, Andy Thibodeau (www.andypresentations.com), sharing his insights and reminding students that school is about “learning and having fun”. His goal was to encourage student leaders to find a balance between participating in school activities while trying their best in the classroom.
“Students teaching students” was an important theme and a key factor in the days' success. It was a great opportunity for our high school leaders to seize the chance to connect with so many of our elementary students. The Jr. Leadership Day was an amazing conference that not only helped to promote leadership skills for our elementary learners, but more importantly connected today’s high school leadership students with the leaders of tomorrow.
Let there be music! No, make that Lester Be Music!
NBC may have the Sing Off! featuring voice-only performers, but a group of employees at the Lester B. Pearson School Board make their own acappella music, led by John Le Blanc, an Educational consultant for the LBPSB.
“Directing allows me to teach again and it allows me to apply what I am still learning as a student of choral and acappella singing,” said Le Blanc, who earned a BFA in Music Composition and Arranging from Concordia University and holds a diploma in Education in Music from McGill.
“And as corny as it sounds, I get to see the smiles on people`s faces as they surprise and delight themselves,” he added. “Some show up for the first time with slight trepidation about their ability to sing with other people – but they soon realize we`re a fun, welcoming group that is learning together.”
The group of more than 20 men and women - teachers, technicians, support staff, administrators, as well as many school board retirees and friends – sings mostly secular music that spans a variety of world cultures and music styles from classical, jazz and pop, to sea shanties, madrigals and spirituals.
“Our season runs for half the academic year, starting the third week of January and running to the first week of June,” said Le Blanc who is also director of Aurora Chorealis - a 50-member group of men and women, with full band – and is assistant director of VoiceMale, a 17-member acappella/barbershop group.
As well, Le Blanc is the baritone in Game Day, a barbershop quartet that won the 2014 Mountain Division Championships and is preparing to compete in the North Eastern District in Burlington, VT.
Lester Be Music was founded in the spring of 2008 by Le Blanc with the support of Community Services at the LBPSB. The idea came as part of an initiative to support employee wellness and engagement in the Arts.
Bryden Murray, retired principal at Sherwood Forest Elementary and past president of the Association of retired School Employees, said he, along with friend Chuck Merilees, joined Lester Be Music eight years ago.
“We found ourselves amongst a fun group of great people, some old friends and colleagues … others new,” said Murray who has sung in choirs, off and on, ever since he was a student at John Rennie High School.
Murray said Le Blanc’s energy and knowledge is contagious.
“John Le Blanc is a brilliant director and energy personified!” Murray said. “I learn something from him every week.”
Performance opportunities have varied from year to year but at the very least, the group is invited to sing at the LBPSB Council of Commissioners meeting in late May or June.
Oh, if anyone is wondering how the Lester Be Music name came to be, Le Blanc held a name-giving contest in 2010.
“Names were anonymously suggested and voted on by members,” said Le Blanc. “The member who offered the winning name - a play on words using part of the Lester B. Pearson School Board name to sound like the popular phrase Let There Be Music - won a batch of homemade fudge from me!”
For more information on the Lester Be Music acappella group, contact Le Blanc at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 514-422-3000, local 32634.
Two LBPSB schools and two LBPSB centres get Quebec government subsidies for repairs and upgrades
Francois Ouimet, the MNA for the Marquette riding, went back to school Friday (Feb. 20), visiting Maple Grove Elementary in Lachine.
It wasn’t just a casual visit to the elementary school however.
Ouimet was there to announce a grant of $6.5 million for much-needed renovations at two Lester B. Pearson schools and two LBPSB centres - all in the Marquette riding - including $1.6 million at Maple Grove Elementary.
The money at Maple Grove will be used for the renovation of exterior walls as well as for new windows, new student bathrooms, including handicapped-accessible bathrooms, a handicapped-accessible entryway, a wheelchair platform lift, partial paving of the school yard and floor repairs in some classrooms.
“I am particularly pleased that Maple Grove Elementary school will be part of this project; keeping the school in good condition will make it a better learning environment for students,” Ouimet told LBPSB officials – Maple Grove Principal Maggie Wilkinson, Noel Burke, LBPSB Vice-Chairman and Ward 4 Commissioner, Assistand LBPSB Director General Carol heffernan, LBPSB Regional Director David Meloche, and LBPSB Ward 3 Commissioner Josh Arless - who had gathered at the school for the announcement.
“I’m very much looking forward to returning here to see the changes,” he added.
LBPSB Vice Chairman Noel Burke was pleased with the announcement of subsidies to the four LBPSB buildings.
“The building we are standing in was built in 1954, during the height of the baby boom,” he said. “Some of the school’s students at the time … are now the grandparents of our current students, here and at other LBPSB schools.
“ …and while they may have grown old gracefully, the same cannot be said for the Maple Grove building,” he added. “Take a look around – by this time next year, this building will have a fresh new look and feeling.”
As well as Maple Grove, Ouimet, speaking on behalf of Education, Recreation and Sports Minister Yves Bolduc, announced that to Lakeside Academy in Lachine would receive a grant for the replacement of a water valve and building upgrades. The Pearson Electrotechnology Centre in Lachine was awarded a subsidy for the renovation of exterior walls and the renovation of stairwells. The Marcus Tabachnick International Language Centre in Dorval received asubsidy for the renovation of exterior walls and the electrical system.
Ouimet said that for the 2014-2015 school year, $394.5 million is available for projects under the government’s Maintien des Batiments program which covers such things as roof repairs, bringing buildings up to standard, the replacement of doors and windows, improvement of heating systems and washroom renovations.
In a prepared statement, Education Minister Yves Bolduc stated the Quebec government is engaged in a structured approach, allowing it to focus on its primary mandates.
“By doing so, we gain the room to manoeuver to better invest,” he said. “The investments we are making in school infrastructure reflect the seriousness of our government’s fiscal management.”
Three LBPSB high school students awarded Horatio Alger Right Honourable Brian Mulroney Quebec Scholarships
Three students from the Lester B. Pearson School Board were among 19 students province-wide to be awarded $5,000 scholarships as part of the Horatio Alger Right Honourable Brian Mulroney Quebec Scholarship Program.
The students are Brandon J. Kinnear who attends Beaconsfield High School, Hannah D. Fitzsimons and Erin L. Gooding, both of whom attend Macdonald High school in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, a member of the Horatio Alger Association since 2012 and in whose name the Quebec scholarships are awarded, congratulated this year’s winners.
“It warms my heart to see so many young people who, even after having gone through … difficult periods in their lives, work with great determination to pursue their dreams,” Mulroney said in a prepared statement.
“I am extremely proud to support these students on their road to success.”
The Horatio Alger Association offers scholarships to full-time high school students in Quebec who, among other things, have demonstrated integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity, as well as strength of character a good academic record, a commitment to pursue higher education and a desire to contribute to society.
Robert T. Mills, Director General of the LBPSB, congratulated the students.
“We are proud of all our students – and especially proud of those who have faced adversity and won,” Mills said.
Marcus Tabachnick, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association also congratulated the scholarship winners as well as all those who applied for the $5,000 scholarships.
The Association received nearly 3,500 applications in the four provinces in which it currently conducts scholarship programs.
“This year’s scholarship winners are an outstanding group of students who prove that hard work can overcome any obstacle,” said Dominic D'Alessandro, President of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada.
“It is with great pride that the Association helps these future leaders achieve their academic goals.”
The Horatio Alger Association of Canada, the Canadian affiliate of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc., is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles.
Lindsay Place High School students celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag
Social Studies students at Lindsay Place High School celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag by giving out small souvenir flags and stickers to their fellow students. The national flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf flag, was inaugurated on Feb. 15, 1965.
Reading and Riding is going strong at Allion Elementary
There’s nothing like a little R&R to refresh the mind and body.
But at Allion Elementary school, R & R doesn’t stand for rest and recuperation, it stands for Reading and Riding – stationary bikes, that is.
“The bikes calm me down when I feel stressed,” said a grade five student. “I read my flash cards on the bike and it helped me memorize what I needed to learn.”
Grade 5 teacher Karen Shaw said the bikes are a lot of fun.
“We burn off some energy and get refocused before we go back to class.”
The brainchild of Allion’s French Resource Teacher Pamela Anzovino, the R & R project which began Feb. 3. is designed to help students focus and concentrate through the use of stationary bicycles.
“My goal was to put action-based learning in motion and provide our students with an outlet to release bottled-up energy,” she said. “I want students to know that reading can be fun, anytime, anywhere.”
The project is quite simple.
Each teacher at the 342-student school has a pass which gives a student permission to Read and Ride for 10 minutes on one of six stationary bikes set up in front of the school office.
“The pass can be used to reward students who have completed their class work or to allow a student to release some energy or to take a break to clear their mind or to simply to have fun, said Carmela Di Iorio, principal at the school located in the Montreal borough of LaSalle.
“We want to promote reading and associate reading as a fun activity.”
Bus Safety and Bus Driver Appreciation on everyone`s agenda
Bubusse, mascot for the province’s bus carriers’ federation (Federation des transporteurs par autobus du Quebec) was very busy last week (Feb. 12) as he visited St. John Fisher Elementary in Pointe Claire as well as the Lester B. Pearson School Board - all part of the 27th annual province-wide bus safety campaign called M’as-tu vue?/ Did you see me?
Many LBPSB schools celebrated their bus drivers, including Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson where the drivers were surprised with gifts as part of that school’s 13th annual Bus Driver Appreciation Day. As well, the Home and School Association at Edgewater Elementary in Pincourt had a breakfast treat in store for their bus drivers who safely bring students to and from home and school every day.
Registration has begun for the Junior Voyageurs Day summer day camp
Ask any youngster who’s been to the Junior Voyageurs summer day camp, and they’ll most likely tell you they can’t wait to go back. Ask any parent who has sent their child to the Lester B. Pearson School Board day camp, and the odds are that they will agree.
“We were very impressed with the organization, energy, and activities of the camp. This is the first camp ever that our daughter was excited to attend every morning,” said one parent after last year’s session. “She learned a lot and wants to go again next year. Thank you to the whole staff for making it such a great experience! “
And it’s no wonder - with classes such as Junior Chef, WE-DO Robotics, Broadway Bound, Junior Journalists, Space-Bots, World’s Best Games, Super Life-size Comic Strips, Junior Crime Scene Investigators, Treasure West Island and Art is Everywhere, there really is something for everyone.
Registration has begun for the 100 spots available at the camp for students from grades 4 to 7– and for the first time this year, those spots are not limited to LBPSB families.
“The reason we opened registration to non-LBPSB families is simply to show them how amazing our teachers, facilities, resources and staff are – and in so doing, perhaps we encourage them to join us at the LBPSB for the school year too!” said Adrian Geller, camp founder and principal at Margaret Manson Elementary school in Kirkland.
Early registration – that is, before April 1 – costs $485 per child; the cost after April 1 is $510 per child.
The camp runs for 2 weeks, from July 6 - 17, and campers sign up for 2 half-day courses; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In order to maximize learning, classes are kept small, around 12 students per course.
Courses for Summer 2015
• Junior Chef
• Get Surreal!
• Jazzy Jewelry
• Broadway Bound
• WE-DO Robotics
• Junior Journalists
• Treasure West Island
• Space-Bots (LEGO NXT)
• A Passion For Fashion
• Up, Up and Away!
• World’s Best Games!
• Art is Everywhere!
• ACTING Like There’s No Tomorrow
• Junior Crime Scene Investigators
• Singing for the Silver Screen
• Super Life-Size Comic Strips
• (FULL) Junior Chef: Baking Edition
• Sew Much More!
Everyone got in on the Get Caught Reading, a Lakeside Academy library project.
The project, which is aimed at promoting the importance of taking time to read with the overall goal of literacy awareness, is based on the Celebrity Read campaigns by the ALA & Am. Publishers Association, according to Jennifer Woolley, librarian at Lakeside Academy in Lachine.
“Our event involved students, teachers ,librarians, Board employees & local celebrities,” said Woolley, noting that besides students and school officials, some of the local celebrities who took part in the project included Terry Mosher, better known as Aislin, author and cartoonist for The Montreal Gazette, the broadcasters at Breakfast TV, City TV, Dr. Joe Schwartz, McGill professor, author and broadcaster, Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD broadcaster and author, Rob Laurie of CTV News, Bill Haughland, former CTV News Anchor, CTV personality Mose Persico and even Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut, scientist and author.
“Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who enthusiastically took part in our project, sums it up best when he told me… that there is nothing more important than literacy,” said Woolley.
The display, which was originally shown at Lakeside Academy, is now on display at the Lester B. Pearson School Board in Dorval.
Pearson Educational Foundation makes many goals come true
From science equipment for kindergarten students, to advanced robotics equipment, to therapeutic furniture and even glee club uniforms, schools across the Lester B. Pearson School Board have been gifted with grants from the Pearson Educational Foundation.
The grants, in excess of $40,000, were recently announced by the foundation which funds projects that are not covered under the Quebec Ministry of Education.
“The equipment we furnish and the programs we fund all contribute to the success and welfare of our students,” said PEF President Barbara Freeston. “Every year there are more requests than monies available but each year we are able to fulfill more and more of them – and this year is no exception.”
The programs funded by PEF this year include advanced robotics equipment to help elementary schools that are sending teams to the city-wide and beyond E.A.S.T. Junior Robotics competition to be held at John Rennie High School in April, as well as a portable science centre and science equipment at the kindergarten and elementary levels.
PEF will also fund a variety of programs for special needs students from Cycle 1 Elementary to Adult, including aerobics and yoga in partnership with the West island YMCA, funding for the Light-a-dream program to expand from candle-making to include soap-making, and for the expansion of a cooking program at the Allancroft campus of the Place Cartier Adult Centre.
Elementary and high school students at Angrignon Alternative will soon benefit from PEF’s contribution of six iPads for English and math instruction and students at the Dawson Alternative Centre will benefit again from a heart-opening poetry workshop.
“Alternative centres serve students who are suffering from serious mental health issues or who have suffered great abuse – they are often the unseen; the general public barely knows that they exist,” said Freeston. “These groups have no Home & School or Governing Board raising funds for their benefit.
“That is one of the reasons why PEF is very proud that we are able to help the LBPSB with the wonderful work they do to help these students at all levels.”
Several schools will be getting fitness equipment and therapeutic furniture, to promote movement and fitness, as well as Lego-type therapy supplies.
In the arts, PEF will fund supplies for a cross-generational mural involving high school and elementary students working together as well as fund ergonomic hokki stools that permit students to move while sitting still when they play musical instruments. PEF will also fund iPads for composition, uniforms for a high school glee club and equipment for a soon-to-be launched radio station at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds.
Allion Elementary brings cheer - and sandwiches - to the homeless
Allion Elementary School in the Montreal borough of LaSalle has a strong tradition of giving to the community – whether it’s fundraising for local or global organizations or caroling in neighbourhood seniors’ homes, students and staff at Allion have always come through.
It’s no wonder then, that when Allion’s Student Supervisor Terry Clahane suggested grade 6 students visit St. Michael’s Mission in Montreal to help feed the homeless, students and staff didn’t hesitate in offering their services.
“For many of the homeless this was a day they would cherish fondly for being treated with respect and love,” Allion Principal Carmela di Iorio said last week. “For the children it was a life lesson they would carry for a lifetime.
Grade 6 teachers, Madame Antoinette Modric and Ms. Liuba Kostyk, along with Allion’s Spiritual Animator, Ms. Mary-Anne Fyckes, offered to help organize how to bring the project to fruition.
Students were divided into three groups of 16, with each group visiting St. Michael’s on different days October, 30, Jan. 29 and soon-to-come March 31.
The children raised money through local community donations and fundraising activities and the day before their visit to St. Michael’s, prepared sandwiches, packing them with great care. At 11:30 lunch was served. Some of the students served the sandwiches they had made, while others served Clahane’s famous Stone Soup, a never-the-same combination of whatever is available.
The Allion students didn’t just bring sandwiches; they helped out in the kitchen and also with sorting donated clothing as well as sorting the food pantry. They also offered companionship to St. Michael’s homeless during an art therapy session and entertained with song.
For many students, the visit to St. Michael’s was an eye-opener.
“I never spoke to a homeless person before,” said Matthew Glenane, who took part in the most recent visit to St. Michael’s. “At first I was nervous, but now I know that homeless people are people like us.”
Allion student Tiana-Emily Orlando said she learned that just being kind can go a long way.
“Every time I saw a homeless person I thought we needed to give money,” she said. “I never realized a simple hello or offering of food was enough – from now on, I will say hello.”
Teacher Antoinette Modric said the visit was memorable in that “it opened our eyes to the fact life is not always perfect.
“It also helped our children understand that they must not judge a book by its cover,” she added. “It was a beautiful experience.”
Di Iorio said the positive energy created by the youngsters was priceless.
“Our students expressed gratitude and happiness in sharing and giving their time and being kind to others; all the values promoted at Allion,” she said. “Most importantly, they learned that all people, homeless or not, appreciate respect, support and love.”
In fact, said di Iorio, some lunch guests at St. Michael’s offered their own advice to the Allion students.
“Many of the homeless encouraged our students to stay in school, study hard and listen to the parents and teachers,” she said. “It certainly was a humbling experience for all and an unforgettable one."
Overture With the Arts presents Songs of Freedom to many Lester B Pearson Schools
Since the Songs of Freedom tour began five years ago, more than 10,000 students in Canada, England and Germany, have taken in the musical revue showcasing black music and its influences on Canadian history, cultural integration and social justice.
This February, the tour – which features Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and urban poet Jonathan Emile and actor, singer and director Tamara Brown - will visit schools in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as many Montreal-area schools, including schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board – all part of Black History Month.
“Black History Month brings us closer together as human beings living in a tolerant society – knowledge of our shared human history allows us to respect each other and celebrate our similarities and differences,” said Akilah Newton, founder of Overture With The Arts (OWTA), a non-profit organization that put together the Songs of Freedom Tour and offers education in music, dance, drama and vocal training through after-school programs and school tours.
“And that is very important because we’re entering into a new age of identities and cultures mixing together like never before.”
This year, OWTA is introducing Part II of Songs of Freedom which deals with music and oppression.
“This year’s thesis is Music Makes the Oppressor See the Other as Human,” Newton said noting that the tour defines what dispossession and alienation mean through discussion on privilege and colonization.
Last November, OWTA was nominated at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s Awards of Excellence ceremony.
“I’m ecstatic that in only five years, our small West-Island-based outfit is being recognized nationally,” she said.
Newton said she founded OWTA in order to introduce the performing arts to children from all walks of life; in fact, among many other things, OWTA launched a free after-school arts program (A.S.A.P.) featuring breakdancing and visual arts as well as a noon-time radio station called Overture Radio at Riverdale high School’s Community Learning Centre in Pierrefonds.
“What is great about Overture With the Arts is that the programs – hip hop, DJ’s and street music and art – appeal to diverse populations that sometimes don’t see themselves reflected in the standard Canadian culture,” said Barbara Freeston, president of the Pearson Educational Foundation, a registered charity which has supported OWTA in a variety of ways, including helping with grant applications and fundraising.
“I’m thrilled to see the student engagement that OWTA’s programs engender,” added Freeston.
While the Songs of Freedom tour is aimed at older teens and young adults, elementary school children are treated to Songs and Stories, an inter-active presentation that incorporates singing and storytelling.
Newton, a graduate of the Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts which was co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney, said that having such artists as Jonathan Emile and Tamara Brown has been crucial to the success of the tour.
“I’m really lucky to have these two artists working with me,” she said. “Without exception, kids react positively almost the instant Jonathan or Tamara step on stage or into a classroom; both of them are just naturally warm and approachable.
“By the end of the presentations, even the shyest students are participating in what is essentially a history lesson,” she said. “Everyone is chatting excitedly, sharing experiences and asking questions.
“It’s incredibly rewarding.”
For his part, Emile – who has been hosting the tour since day one – said he still enjoys doing the tour, even after five years.
“It’s a whirlwind month but I love it,” said Emile whose latest version of Heaven Hel Dem features a verse from U.S. rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar. “When you see how engaged the students become, you realize the importance of what you’re doing; there’s a lot more at stake.
“By March 1, we’re exhausted but it’s so worth it,” he added.
Overture With The Arts Songs of Freedom tour will be presented Feb. 2 at Beaconsfield High School, Feb. 5 at Place Cartier in Beaconsfield and Feb. 25 at Lakeside Academy in Lachine. Songs and Stories will be presented Feb. 4 at Sherwood Forest Elementary in Beaconsfield and Feb. 13 at Springdale Elementary in Dollard des Ormeaux.
Small school, small town, big challenge: Mount Pleasant and Soulanges elementary join the Get Up and Move campaign
Students at Mount Pleasant and Soulanges elementary schools are proving that you don’t have to be a big school or come from a big town to take on a big challenge.
Both Mount Pleasant, with 327 students, and the 26 students at the two-room Soulanges school in St. Telesphore are taking part in the Get Up and Move campaign, part of the Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie, a province-wide cycling event which takes place in June.
“Our two schools were among five off-island schools chosen to be part of the Grand Defi challenge,” said Stephanie Herault, principal at Mount Pleasant school in Hudson.
What that means exactly, said Herault is that students will be earning energy cubes - one cube is earned for every 15-minutes of physical activity - for their school.
“In the months of April and May, our schools will make every effort to earn as many energy cubes as possible,” said Herault noting that there are prizes for schools that earn the most energy cubes, with the grand prize being a party at the Olympic Stadium for all students of the winning school as well as a day at La Ronde exclusively for the winning school.
Kathleen O’Reilly, principal of both Evergreen Elementary in St. Lazare and the two-room elementary school in St.Telesphore, said all 26 students at the Soulanges school will also doing their best in the Get Up and Move challenge.
“We may not be many but we are more than ready for a new challenge,” she said. “Physical activity has always been part of my life, and I strongly believe that it’s important to pass on this passion to children so that they can develop great habits for the future – as the saying goes, healthy bodies, healthy minds.”
Herault said that no matter the outcome as far as prizes go, everyone who takes part in the challenge is a winner.
“Regardless, we will all be winners since becoming more physically active benefits everyone – the objective is to help all of the off-island community live healthier lifestyles,” said Herault adding that she has personally challenged herself by joining the cycling group that trains twice a week in order to be a good role model for my students.
Herault said that she and Mount Pleasant Daycare technician Lucy Filiatrault will be cycling the 20 km event at La Grande Boucle des Trois-Lacs, an event that will take place on June 21 in Vaureuil-Dorion. There are also two other routes in the region, one 60 km route and 135 km route.
Last year, about 5,000 cyclists and more than 300,000 students across the province took part in the Get Up and Move as well as the cycling events which raises funds for research into lactic acidosis, an illness which took the lives of two of Lavoie’s children.
The first Defi Pierre Lavoie took place in 1999 in the Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region. In that one, Lavoie cycled alone for 24 hours and covered more than 650 km. Over the years, the Defi grew, and in 2008 the project was renamed the Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie and included a 1,000-km cycling event as well as other Grande Boucles cycling events and student-oriented movement programs, including the Get Up and Move contest.
Cyclists who participate in the event will help furnish bikes and helmets to local children. Registration fees are $20 to $30 for adults or $40 for a family – and that includes a souvenir water bottle, healthy snacks and the road and light refreshments at the finish.
Last year, some of the money raised at the off-island events was used to purchase 63 bicycles that were donated to students from the Troic Lacs School Board. The goal this year is to distribute 120 bicycles to young people in the area.
Herault said staff at the school have already formed a committee to get the ball rolling.
“We hope to involve the entire school community including their families and friends in this goal of becoming more active and living healthier lifestyles,” said Herault.
Many questions - and many answers - at the Lindsay Place High School Science Fair
Have you ever had a nagging question about something but never got around to finding out the answer? Well, the answer you were looking for could have very well been found at the Lindsay Place High School Science Fair which took place Tuesday (Jan. 13) at the Pointe Claire high school.
Students from grades 7 to 11 came up with 299 presentations answering such things as how much iron is there really in breakfast cereals, which woods offer the best resonance for musical instruments, the radioactivity of cell phones , what make-up grows the most bacteria, the effects of temperature on soccer balls and how paint can be made less flammable with the simple addition of baking soda.
One of the organizers of the event, laboratory technician Linda Jones, said each project was judged four times by different judges. Cycle one students presented more than 120 projects. Seventy judges, including grade 11 physics and chemistry students, took part in the morning presentations. Cycle two students presented more than 160 projects in the afternoon and 70 different judges, including municipal councillors as well as MP Francis Scarpaleggia, took part in deciding which projects were the most impressive.
“We want our students to ask why and how and what?” Lindsay Place Principal Donatella Bianchi said noting that as they discover answers to their questions, students get excited about learning and motivated to think beyond what they thought were their limits.
“Our Lindsay Place science fair gives them the opportunity to do just that,” she added. ““Their ideas today could be part of our future. Anything is possible!”
Student presentations included such titles as Nails for Breakfast, The Placebo Effect, The Effect of Temperature on Soccer balls, Texting vs. Talking, Electromagnetic Waves, Music and Memory, Self- esteem and Sports, What Type of Makeup Grows the Most Bacteria? Do Men and Women See Things Alike? , Does Colour Affect Your Mood ?, How Far Will It Fly, The Electrolyte Challenge, Multitasking, How Greasy are Potato Chips?, the Flammability of Paint, What Melts Ice the Fastest, How Does Hockey Stick Flex Affect Accuracy and Speed? And even Who’s Perry (the platypus) Related To?
When Hailey Lew and Emily Wyman, both grade 9 students at the school, wanted to find out the effects of store-bought vs. prescribed acne cream, they tested their hypothesis out on, among others, a friend’s sister. “She didn’t mind at all,” said Hailey adding that the results of their experiments showed that while drugstore acne cream did get rid of a few pimples, skin was left oily. On the other hand, prescribed acne cream did get rid of more pimples but skin was left dry and flaky.
At another kiosk, Grade 10 students Amanda Newman, Parys Jada Burgess and Marino Bolusi showed that people do react differently if they are talking or texting. “Our results showed that people can react to voice inflection when talking on the phone but take more time to think about what to respond when texting,” said Amanda.
Erinn Bibby Larson, Anne Neelin and Amanda Blanchard came up with a hypothesis about the flammability of paint and what could be used to make it less flammable. The answer? Baking soda.
“We used latex paint on a piece of pine wood as a control and the
n mixed 10, 15 and 20 grams of baking soda into 50 milligrams of paint in separate containers,” explained Erinn, adding that the girls were inspired by an internet test similar to their own.
The results showed that the piece of control pine wood took 1.3 minutes to catch fire, compared to 7 minutes and 30 seconds with the 20-grams of baking soda paint. “The fire triangle of heat, fuel and oxygen was broken with the baking soda,” said Anne.
Amanda noted that the paint was made grainier with the addition of baking soda but added that “I’d rather a slightly grainy wall if it makes a house safer.”
Here are the top 10 winning teams in each grade level:
3-Samuel da Costa-Zak, Justin Lakatosh and Alasdair Bell
4-Josiane Dube and Rosalie Dube
7-Jason Dankner, Oz Golsse and Jesse Blander
8-Rosemary paquin and Shapthavy Thangarajah
9-Angelica Antonakopoulos, Seema Patel and Ariella Atias
10-Justin Sasson and Jake Newman
1-Amy Schecter, Deanna Schecter and Claire Susnick-Fox
2-Matthew Faigan and Philip Gentili
3-Alicia Marks and Alexandra Faier
4-Alessandro Iampietro and Shanay Gohal
5-Emma Tyrrell and Melanie Hachey
6-Karuna Tailor, Katarina Levy and Khushbakht Ali Syeda
7-Mercedes Pomerleau, Lauren Lafave and evelyn Laferriere
Teachers have a way of affecting lives in many ways.
Francine Perkal, a devoted teacher at St. Paul and Dorset Elementary schools who passed away just before Christmas, was one of those teachers.
Not only did she affect the lives of the children in her Canadian classrooms, she also helped children thousands of miles away through the donation of books to Maison de la Gare which is dedicated to improving the lives of begging talibe street children of Senegal through education, professional training, and sports and arts activities.
A long-time supporter of Maison de la Gare and its library, one of Perkal’s last wishes was that her lifetime accumulation of book credits be used for the talibe children in Senegal.
More than $1,000 worth of books were delivered to the library shortly before her death.
Issa Kouyate, president of the Maison de la Gare, said Perkal’s generosity will affect the lives of many children she never met.
“It seems that only the best people disappear too quickly, but they always leave behind them the marks of their goodness,” he noted in an article on the organization’s website.
Kouyate said all the books donated by Perkal will be labeled accordingly as a way to thank Perkal whose memory will live on forever in Maison de la Gare’s Library.
The labels read: “Property of Maison de la Gare’s library from Francine Perkal, a cancer victim who gave her credits to the most vultneral children. Treat with care. And thank you to Francine; may God take you into his care!”
An exhibition about conflict -its causes, prevention and resolution - takes place Jan 22 at Children`s World Academy
Conflict is nothing new in our world – history can be measured through a series of wars, whether between countries, between religions, between tribes, between families, between two people .
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to deal with conflict, even at a young age.
Grade 6 students at Children’s World Academy in Ville LaSalle have put together an exhibition – which will be open on Jan. 22 to Lester B. Pearson School Board students and families as well as the public – about the causes, prevention and resolution of conflicts.
Sonia Bouchard, the Primary Years Programme coordinator at Children’s World Academy, said the exhibit has a number of key purposes.
“The children learned how to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry,” Bouchard said, noting that the PYP program is designed to prepare younger students for the International Baccalaureate program offered in many LBPSB high schools.
“The PYP prepares students to become active, caring lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and for others - and who have the capacity to participate in the world around them,” said Bouchard. “It focuses on the development of the whole child, as in inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom”
She said creating the exhibition provided students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives, to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning and to demonstrate how they can take action as a result of their learning.
Each group of students prepared an interactive activity, such as quiz, while others use technology to present a video or game, said Bouchard nothing that students used Google apps for Education while researching their topics.
“Working cooperatively for this project was great because we could share our findings and ideas with each other,” said Children’s World student Olivia Mazzuca. “It made the whole research project enriching.”
The exhibition takes place Jan. 22 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Children’s World Academy, located at 2241 Menard St. in Ville LaSalle. For more information, go to http://cwa.lbpsb.qc.ca/.
Lindsay Place High School holds a Winter Wonderland event on Jan 17 for all LBPSB elementary school families
The official holidays may be over but students at Lindsay Place High School have organized a Winter Wonderland treat for all Lester B. Pearson School Board elementary school families.
The event, which takes Jan. 17 at the Pointe Claire high school includes horse-drawn sleigh rides, face painting, free introductory strings lessons, hot cider and hot cocoa, face painting, a parents’ café and much more.
And it’s all free.
“The Winter Wonderland is about reaching out to the community – we want families to know that Lindsay Place is a happy, friendly and safe environment where the difficult transition to high school can be made as easy as possible,” said Jamie Halperin, a Secondary 5 student at Lindsay Place and one of the organizers of the event.
“In the same way that we want our students to feel that Lindsay is a second home, we want families to feel that the school is only an extension of the community, where everyone is welcome,” she added.
Winter Wonderland takes place Jan. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. to at the high school, located at 111 Broadview Ave. in Pointe Claire.
John Rennie High School grad Amanda Savoy is the 2014 recipient of the Judith and George Spingate Education Scholarship
Former John Rennie High School student Amanda Savoy has been named as the recipient of the 2014 George and Judith Springate Education Scholarship.
“I was very grateful – and very shocked – that I was awarded the scholarship,” Savoy said from her parent’s Beaconsfield home, following the presentation at the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Dec. 15 council meeting.
Savoy, now in her first year at John Abbott College, is planning to continue on to McGill University to become an English teacher.
“Amanda is the epitome of everything we want the scholarship to represent,” said Judith Springate, who along with her husband George, created the scholarship seven years ago to benefit a student who attends John Abbott College and who wants to pursue a teaching career.
“We’re very, very proud to have Amanda Savoy as winner of our $2,000 scholarship,” Springate added noting that Savoy was very active in the junior leadership program at John Rennie High School.
George Springate , a well-known community figure who is a retired senior citizenship judge, a former member of the National Assembly, journalist, broadcaster, police officer, pro-football player and teacher, said the reason the couple established the scholarship is simple.
“We look for a student who wishes to become a teacher and who does exceptionally well in both school board and provincial exams,” he said.
“But the true reason for the scholarship is that my wife is a graduate of both elementary and high school in your system – and you taught her exceptionally well,” he said noting that Judith Springate holds five university degrees and the couple has a combined 69 years of teaching at John Abbott college between them.
Robert T. Mils, Director General of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, described Savoy as a “model student who takes an interest in the world around her.
“She excels in academics and is a very hard-working young lady,” Mills said adding that “the board could not have this kind of partnership to promote excellence in education without such community leaders as Judith and George Springate.”
Dorval Elementary students learn more than how to draw through art workshops
Grade 2 students at Dorval Elementary got more than an art lesson earlier this year when they took part in a couple of workshops with Quebec illustrator Marisol Sarrazin.
They learned that sometimes what they think is a mistake can, with a little effort and creativity, turn into a work of art.
Sarrazin spoke to the students about the process involved in creating and publishing books, as well as the work of an illustrator. The two workshops, held in November, were made possible through a grant from the Culture in the Schools Program.
“This sharing session was followed by a hands-on session where students learned the art of using dry pastels to illustrate their favourite animals,” said Dorval Elementary librarian Tiffany Clarke.
“Marisol encouraged students to look at what they might consider as mistakes as an opportunity to be creative and blend in more colours," she said. "The results were astounding."
Sherwood Forest Elementary students worked hard to donate to Save the Children Canada
Left to right: Sherwood Forest Kindergarten teacher Sonia Balazovjech, students Elyse Garald-Pilon, Nikki Jammal, Danielle Jenkins, Gabriel Pacicco, Trenton Sheppard-Ranco. Photo courtesy of Sherwood Forest Principal John Torunian.
Students at Sherwood Forest Elementary were happy to give away the money they took months to collect.
On Dec. 12, students at the Beaconsfield school welcomed Feroz Kasaamof Save the Children Canada and presented him with a donation of $1707.85.
Students collected the money through a Lucky Loonie Jar contest in which they earned a Loonie for doing chores at home. This earned them $1080.00. The class that earned the most was treated to an ice cream sundae party in the teachers' lounge. Students also earned $627.85 through donations and a bake sale at the school's annual variety show.
As well, on Dec. 12, students wore their favourite holiday, comfy, colourful sweaters to school to celebrate Make the world better with a sweater day, a Save the Children initiative.
Special Needs Advisory Committee to hold a Jan 15 workshop for parents of children with particular learning needs
The Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Special Needs Advisory Committee has organized a workshop on Jan. 15 for parents of children with particular learning needs.
Called IEP’s – Helping Students to Achieve Success, the workshop will review the key features of an IEP (Individual Education Plan), including resources available in schools as well as the process of referral for services.
Presented by Special Needs Consultants Celina Bérubé and Ruth Schwarz, the free workshop is aimed at giving parents a better understanding of the types of educational support that can be provided for students and how these supports are indicated on an IEP.
“Parents are crucial members of the IEP team because they have a unique knowledge of their child’s strengths and needs – by participating in the IEP workshop, parents will gain an understanding of the collaborative role they can play in ensuring their child’s success,” said Brett Hillgartner, chairperson of the school board’s Special Needs Advisory Committee.
“We feel parents will really benefit from learning what support is available at our schools and how they can plan a role in their child’s success at school,” she added. “We strongly encourage every parent - from both on and off-island - of a child who has an IEP to participate in the Jan. 15 workshop.”
The workshop will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the LBPSB Head Office, 1925 Brookdale Ave. in Dorval.
Math Olympians bring gold, silver and bronze back to their schools
The excitement was palpable as teams of Grade 6 students from 25 Lester B. Pearson Elementary Schools took part in the 2014 Math Olympics.
The Math Olympics took place on two dates, Dec. 3 and 4, in order to accommodate all the schools that wanted to take part.
On Dec. 3, teams of grade 6 students from 13 schools met at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds to work together on a variety of math challenges as a crowd of onlookers, mostly proud parents, urged them on.
The success of such a huge event could not be possible without the amazing support of parents, grade 6 teachers’ dedication, High School student correctors and teacher enthusiasm.
Although the event is a grade 6 celebration, we would like to offer a special thank you to each and every elementary teacher at all grade levels - they helped guide and enourage our students in their learning.
The winning schools at the Dec. 3 event were:
Gold Medal: Clearpoint Elementary in Pointe Claire
Silver Medal: Westpark Elementary in Dollard des Ormeaux
Bronze Medal (s): St. Anthony Elementary in Pierrefonds and Margaret Manson Elementary in Kirkland.
The Math Olympics continued on Dec. 4 as teams of grade 6 students from 12 schools met at Lakeside Academy in Lachine.
The winning schools at the Dec. 4 event were:
Gold Medal (s): Children's World in LaSalle and St. Charles Elementary in Pierrefonds
Silver Medal: St. John Fisher Sr. in Pointe Claire
Bronze Medal: Dorval Elementary
Congratulations to students from Allion, Beechwood, Forest Hill Sr. and St. Charles schools who won the Amazing i-Math Mission, a mathematics scavenger hunt using the iPad as a new platform of technology.
-By Chantal Brunet and Rebecca Binet, LBPSB Elementary Math Consultants
Beurling students celebrated for their fundraising for the CIBC Run for the Cure
Students at Beurling Academy in Verdun thought they were attending an assembly to prepare for exams earlier this month but found out instead that they were being celebrated for their fundraising efforts in the CIBC Run for the Cure.
Beurling students were awarded the Suzanne Rousseau Award, given to the top-earning school in Quebec for the CIBC Run.
We ran for the Cure, we danced for the Cure, we shaved for the Cure – in all, Beurling Academy donated $5,525 for this great cause, according to Beurling Principal Deborah Gross.
CIBC delegates Joanne Rousseau, Orly Cohen as well as Alexa Fauteaux were on hand to present Beurling teacher Louise Outland and Marie-Lou Cousineau, the wife of a teacher at Beurling Academy – both of whom are breast cancer survivors – a $500 cheque for the school to use as officials see fit.
The CIBC fundraising effort is spearheaded by Amanda Liste, Beurling’s BA International Baccalaureate co-ordinator, working with Beurling’s IB students.
“We are all very proud to be a part of the Beurling family,” said Gross. “Beurling Cares Big!
A Christmas Carol, the multi-media extravaganza starring a cast of characters from the Lester B. Pearson School Board, was presented with great success on Nov. 29 at Lakeside Academy in Lachine. The event was a fundraiser for the Pearson Educational Foundation’s snowsuit and boots program – founded in memory of former commissioner Rona Cupak – that supplies winter wear to students in need. Winter clothing is always in short supply and donations are needed, appreciated and tax deductible! The PEF website is http://pef.lbpsb.qc.ca
If you’re a Lester B. Pearson high school student who likes to sing, dance or play music, now’s your time to shine.
Auditions for the LBPSB’s TOPS 2015 show are taking place over the next few days.
“Every Lester B. Pearson high school student who is interested in participating in TOPS as a performer is both welcomed and encouraged to audition,” according to the TOPS website.
“The judging panel looks for talented vocalists, dancers – who audition as a group, a solo performer or for the TOPS All Star Dance Team – musicians and bands who, during their audition demonstrate a positive, eager and respectful attitude, and who express their ability to remain committed to a series of weekend rehearsals in preparation for the show.”
Students do not need to sign-up in advance of their audition date, and there is no fee for registration or to participate in the show. Immediately before auditioning, students must register with the TOPS staff and agree to the terms listed in the participants’ contract.
Each year more than 200 students participate in the TOPS show, a non-profit initiative created by the school board in order to celebrate the arts and support student performers.
TOPS is a non-profit hands-on initiative created by the school board as a way to celebrate the arts and support student performers.
This year’s show will take place in mid-April.
All auditions will take place following school hours.
While some auditions have already taken place, here is the list of upcoming audition dates:
·Dec. 10 at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School – for PCHS and Riverdale students.
·Dec. 11 at Lindsay Place High School – for Lindsay Place, John Rennie, St. Thomas High school students and for all bands.
·Dec. 12 at Lakeside Academy, for Lakeside, Horizon students as well for all students who cannot or did not attend their own school’s audition.
·Dec. 13 – at Lakeside Academy, for All Star Dance Team auditions and vocal call-backs.
Pearson Educational Foundation continues to supply winter wear for students in need
Pearson Educational Foundation President Barbara Freeston and PEF Administrative Assistant Susan Grand took part in the Greendale Elementary Christmas bazaar last week in order to raise funds and awareness for PEF’s Rona Cupak program that supplies winter wear to Lester B. Pearson School Board students in need.
Beaconsfield High School`s Student Leadership team helps out at the West Island`s On Rock Community Services Centre
Beaconsfield High School’s Student Leadership team came away with more than they gave earlier this month when they took part in a community effort to help those in need.
On December 2 and 4, more than a dozen BHS students from various grade levels - under the leadership of Student Life teachers Adam Cox-Twardowski and Sean O’Neill - were at the On Rock Community Services Centre, serving hot meals, providing such entertainment as violin music and organizing a bingo game or working as Santa’s helpers by wrapping Christmas gifts.
“Seeing the appreciation that the diners had and the smiles on their faces, made this night so fulfilling,” said one BHS student.
BHS students hope to continue this partnership with On Rock Community Services, a West Island community organization committed to making a difference in the Montreal area by being a resource for people in need.
“Our students took away from this experience far more than they gave.” said Cox-Twardowski.
For Sierra Nadeau and Kathy Nodzynski, the two student commissioners at the Lester B. Pearson School Board, taking on an extra workload is no big deal if it means that students have a voice at council.
“It’s important to me that students’ concerns be heard,” said Nodzynski, a grade 11 student at St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire. “And I am happy to be one of the persons that can do that.”
Nodzynski and Nadeau, who are also co -chairs of the LBPSB’s Central Students Committee, said they lost no time in presenting their report at the Nov. 24 LBPSB council meeting, the first since province-wide school board elections were held early last month.
Their report included such topics as school maintenance, said Nodzynski.
“…things like doors that won’t close in bathrooms,” she said adding that “our concerns were well received.”
This is not Nodzynski’s first run as a student commissioner the LBPSB.
“This being my second year, I was much less shy than last year,” said the 16-year-old who plans to study honours science at John Abbott College and then on to a career in the medical field.
“I already know how it (council) works,” she said. “So that’s a great advantage.”
For her part, Nadeau said that even though it was her first official LBPSB Council meeting as a student commissioner, she felt quite at ease.
“I felt very welcomed by the council, said Nadeau, a grade 11 student at Lakeside Academy. “I will gladly be actively participating in future council meetings.”
When asked about how she can find the time to do both the CSC and student commissioner job as well as her studies, Sierra, who plans to learn hair styling at LBPSB’s Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy following her graduation from high school, said it’s not a problem.
“I can manage,” she said. “I am good at that.”
Sierra said she wanted to become a student commissioner in order to help.
“I want to help my fellow students and help benefit the schools,” she said.
LBPSB Director General Robert T. Mills said he was happy to see the students on council.
“I’m very happy that this new council agreed once again to include a student voice…,” Mills said. “It is a positive way of receiving information from our students.”
The LBPSB has included student commissioners to council since 2012, a first in the province.
Nadeau and Nodzynski are part of the council chaired by newly-elected LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day and twelve commissioners. There are also four parent commissioners to represent parents of children with special needs, parents of children in elementary schools, parents of children in high school and parents at large.
Stein Day noted that the LBPSB was their first board in Quebec to have student commissioners as well as the first board to have a Central Students’ committee as an official consultative partner.
“Many other boards have invited our CSC grads to train their own groups of students on their role,” she said. “That process taught us how valuable, indeed essential, the voice of the students is to our deliberations.
“We are proud to have Sierra and Kathy around our table.”
McGill Redmen visit Westwood Jr in St Lazare, part of the Score with School program
Two members of the McGill Redmen hockey team, Philippe Mathieu and Alexandre Tremblay, visited with students at Westwood Jr. High School in St. Lazare on Nov. 21 to talk about their experiences and the importance of staying in school, all part of the Score with School program.
On Nov. 27, more than 700 Lester B. Pearson School Board high school and elementary students will attend a Score with School program hockey game at the McConnell Arena, featuring the McGill Redmen vs. the Concordia Stingers. That game will also feature the singing of the national anthem by the John Rennie Glee Singers and an official puck drop with Lester B. Pearson School Board Director of Community Services Mario Barrette.
Renniessance coffee drive starts Nov 24 - donation drop-off day is Dec 4
A warm cup of coffee. It’s something we use for comfort, something people can talk over - and something most of us take for granted.
But not if you’re homeless and living on the street.
That’s why a group of John Rennie High School students in Brian Swirksy’s Renniessance class are holding their 2nd Annual Coffee Drive to benefit residents at the Nazareth House men’s residence and Anne’s House, the soon-to-open woman’s housing unit in downtown Montreal.
The coffee drive will run from Monday, Nov. 24 until Friday, Dec. 5.
“Shelters give out on average over 800 cups of coffee a week,” Swirksy said. “Not only does a hot cup of coffee warm the body, it warms the soul as well – and a cup of coffee given out at a shelter helps promote social interaction and human contact, something not always available to those living on the street.”
Swirsky said that during the drive, Renniessance students will be collecting coffee – decaf is preferred - in bags, in tins and in bottles as well as such things as Coffee Mate, sugar packets, stir sticks, hot chocolate and tea and even Tim’s cards or monetrary donations from their classmates and families.
And on Dec. 4, the public can drop off similar donations between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the school itself, located at 501 St. Jean Blvd. in Pointe Claire. Renniessance students will be stations at the front doors to accept donations. Drivers are asked to use the new entry off St. Jean Blvd. into the front parking lot.
“Every donation counts,” Swirsky said. “And we are grateful for anything people can give.”
As well, on Dec. 1, the Renniessance students will be downtown between 9:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Cabot Square, near the Atwater Metro station, handing out free coffee and information fliers – designed by Renniessance students - to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, especially as the weather turns colder.
Swirsky - coordinator of the high school’s grad-track alternative program for Cycle II students who need a smaller classroom environment and outside-the-box approach to learning - said the Renniessance Coffee drive will also help make the general public aware of the opening of Anne's House, a new women's residence being opened by Communaute Nazareth Inc., which runs Nazareth House, a non-profit residence for men who struggle with mental health issues, homelessness and addictions.
“Working with young volunteers is especially rewarding; they are eager to help and have the ability to see the person, not just the illness,” said Sheila Woodhouse, director of Nazareth House and Anne’s House.
“We also hope its sparks a lifelong interest in community service,” added Woodhouse who met with students at the Pointe Claire school last Friday (Nov.14).
Last year’s Renniessance Coffee drive collected enough coffee to distribute more than 59,000 cups.
“We would like to pass the 60,000-cup mark this year,” Swirsky said.
For more information about the coffee drive, contact Swirsky at the high school. 514-697-3210.
Swearing-in ceremony Nov 17 for the new LBPSB Council
The Lester B. Pearson School Board held a swearing-in ceremony Monday, (Nov. 17) for its chairman, parent commissioners and 12 newly-elected councillors, including newcomer Joshua Arless, who was in high school only seven years ago.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if I am the youngest-ever councillor – although someone told me that a 24-year old was elected somewhere else in the province,” said 25-year-old Arless while on a break from his studies in political science at Concordia University.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day welcomed the newly-elected council, saying the councillors represented a good cross-section of society.
“I’m honoured to lead such a complimentary group of commissioners,” she said. “Our council has experience, new blood, youth representation, teaching and guidance experience, strong parent representation, business experience and experience in many sectors such as unions, LGBTQ, legal, IT, financial, marketing and politics.
“I’m certain that we will have lively discussions and balanced input into our decision-making process.”
Arless, a second-year university student, just got a full-time job as office supervisor for ACASS, a worldwide provider of highly customized support services for business aviation.
When asked how he plans to find enough time and energy to add LBPSB councillor to his already busy schedule, Arless had an instant reply:
“I have great time management skills,” he said noting that he was the former vice president, organization for the Young Liberals of Canada in Quebec. As well, in 2007 Arless was a student representative for the governing board at his alma-mater, Lakeside Academy in Lachine, as well as vice-chair for the Central Student Committee and for five years, was executive producer of TOPS: Performance Education, a non-profit LBPSB initiative that continues arts education outside the typical classroom environment.
Arless said that he chose to run as commissioner because of his previous experience with the LBPSB.
“This school board has long focused on the positive aspects of education outside the classroom,” said Arless. “And I would like to continue that legacy.”
In his role as commissioner, Arless said he hopes to support more initiatives that integrate students and teachers with different mediums of technology and would also hope to find sustainable methods of financing for the school board so that it can continue to serve as a pillar for the English-speaking community.
The LBPSB Council:
Chairman Suanne Stein day
Ward 1 – Mary Ann Davis
Ward 2- Frank Di Bello
Ward 3 – Joshua Arless
Ward 4- Noel Burke
Ward 5- Nan Beaton
Ward 6 – Craig Berger
Ward 7 – Laura Derry
Ward 8 – Martin Sherman
Ward 9 – Eric Bender
Ward 10 – Domenic Pavone
Ward 11 – Daniel Olvenstein
Ward 12 – Wayne Clifford
Sandra Buckingham, representing parents of children with special needs
Sharad Bhargava, representing parents of children in elementary schools
Francis Clark, representing parents at large
Mike Nalecz, representing parents of children in secondary schools
Student-led remembrance day ceremony held at St Edmund Elementary
St. Edmund Elementary held a beautiful student-led Remembrance Day Assembly. Prepared by the grade 5 students, the assembly included the singing of O Canada by grade 2 teacher Amanda Mariani, a moving performance of If the War Goes On by grade 3 student Christopher Booler as well as songs from the school’s Glee club. Students and staff ended the assembly with a minute of silence for those who lost their lives for our country and our freedom.
Students, student cadets and staff joined with veterans at John Rennie High School for Remembrance day Celebrations on Nov. 11. A bagpiper led a procession through the halls of the school as the remainder of the student population lined the halls to honour those who fought for freedom.
It all adds up: LBPSB`s Math Olympics taking place Dec 3 and 4
There’s nothing like a little math exercise to get the brain running and to gain a great sense of pride in a job well done.
Just ask students from 25 elementary schools who are honing their skills in preparation for the Dec. 3 and 4 Lester B. Pearson School Board’s annual Math Olympics.
“Our team is looking forward to this awesome event – many of us aren’t the best athletes but we look forward to being mathletes at high levels,” said Michael Weber, a grade 6 student at Clearpoint Elementary in in Pointe Claire.
Shauhard Bhandari, another grade 6 mathlete at Clearpoint Elementary, said the competition is fun.
“What do we have in common? We all love math,” said Shauhard. “We don’t participate just to win, we do it for fun and learning and for improving our math skills for the future.”
Chantal Brunet who, along with Rebecca Binet, are elementary Math Consultants for the school board, said the event is more popular than ever.
“The Math Olympics provides students with an opportunity to work in teams while engaging in fun and challenging math activities outside the classroom,” said Brunet.
She said students from 13 elementary schools will be taking part in the Math Olympics at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds on Dec.3 and 12 other grade schools will be at Lakeside Academy in Lachine on Dec. 4.
“This is a huge event with a lot of Olympic spirit - parents and siblings come to support their child and school,” said Brunet, noting that in all, about 345 grade 6 students will be taking part in the event.
Brunet said the Math Olympics require the use of higher-level thinking skills and teach students how to work cooperatively in teams. Each school has a team of six students, with two substitutes.
`The events at the Math Olympics – which include called High Dive, 100 Metres, Kayaking and White Water Rafting - involve applications of problems and basic computations questions,` she added. ``Each school will be scored as a team.”
Of course, as in any Olympics, the teams will have a chance to earn Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
Binet said modifications to the event have been made in the more than 20 years that the Math Olympics have been taking place at the LBPSB.
“Changes have been made to reflect the reality of the new math programs, the classroom environment and to encourage team spirit, she said adding that outside of the evaluated competitive games, students will also have a chance to take part in the Amazing iMath Mission, a fun event in which participating students can use technology, such as laptop, to solve mathematical challenges.
Clearpoint Elementary School teacher Susan Heckler said the Amazing iMath Mission is popular with students.
“The addition of the Amazing iMath Mission has added an element of technology… that our students adore,” she said. “The grade six students who participate in this event learn about teamwork, while honing essential reasoning and number skills.”
Both the Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 events take place from 5:30 to 8:50 p.m..
Riverdale is located at 5060 Sources Blvd. in Pierrefonds. Lakeside Academy is located at 5050 Sherbrooke in Lachine.
From daycare on up, students at Mount Pleasant observe Remembrance Day
From daycare on up, students at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson learned about Remembrance Day through a variety of activities, including a visit from Corporal Alex Reid of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada.
Students from Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School and St. Patrick and Beechwood Elementary schools had a great time at the Nov. 7 hockey game featuring the McGill Martlets women’s team and the Concordia Stingers – all part of the Score with School program designed to encourage students to stay in school.
On Nov. 27, more than 700 Lester B. Pearson School Board high school and elementary students will attend a Score with School program hockey game at the McConnell Arena, featuring the McGill Redmen vs. the Concordia Stingers. That game will also feature the singing of the national anthem by the John Rennie Glee Singers and an official puck drop with Lester B. Pearson School Board Chairman Suanne Stein Day.
Players from the McGill hockey team will also visit students at Westwood Jr. in St. Lazare on Nov. 21 to talk to them about their experiences and about the importance of focusing on education. McGill players are scheduled to visit LBPSB schools in the coming months as part of the Score with School program.
Students and staff at Beechwood Elementary in Pierrefonds held a moving Remembrance Day assembly on Nov. 11 with the school choir, a visit from a Canadian forces soldier and a teacher’s memories of war stories.
Grade 6 students hosted the assembly which included a presentation from Master Corporal Patrick Philippeaux, performances from the school choir as well as a speech from music teacher Tara Shaughnessy regarding her grandfather and great uncle’s involvement in the Second World War.
Get ready for some laughs at the John Rennie Actors` Studio presentation of a Beauty and the Beast pantomime
If you've never seen a British-style pantomime before, get ready for some festive times from Dec. 11 to 13 at the John Rennie Actors' Studio holiday presentation of Beauty and the Beast,a Christmas Pantomime by Toby Bradford and Tina Webster.
"This version of a known fairy tale is sure to lift the house with laughs, songs, jokes, local references, surprises, horses, chickens and audience interactions," Nicolas Doyon, program and play director, said noting that the production, in true pantomime splendor, is a musical comedy incorporating song, dance, buffoonery and jokes - and audience participation - designed for family entertainment.
"This traditional story has been given a pantomime makeover with a cast of colourful characters that will delight young and old alike," he added. ""With plenty of panto mischief, get ready to boo, cheer and yell 'he's behind you!' at this year's holiday play."
Beauty and the Beast will be presented to the general public on Dec. 11, 12 and 13 at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, located at the Pointe-Claire High School. There will be two evening shows held on December 11 & 12 starting at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 13. Elementary schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board will be attending afternoon performances the week of December 8.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved online at http://www.jrhsactorsstudio.com and picked up the night of the play. Tickets for adults cost $12; students and seniors, $6.
Remembrance Day at the Lester B Pearson School Board
Remembrance Day ceremonies took place at schools across the Lester B. Pearson School Board as well as at the board’s head office in Dorval.
“This Remembrance Day, I ask you to remember Canada’s heroes… including Cpl. Nathan Cirrillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, “ Carol Heffernan, assistant director general at the school board, said referring to the two Canadian soldiers killed on homeland . Vincent was killed on Oct. 20 after being deliberately struck by a car and Cirillo was shot on Oct. 22 while on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Ottawa.
Heffernan said the bravery and sacrifice of Canada’s soldiers through both World Wars as well as subsequent wars and conflicts in Korea and Afghanistan and the current air war in Iraq, continue to defend our freedoms.
“Their bravery created our nation’s identity. Their lives bought our freedom. Their sacrifices continue to humble us and make us proud,” she said.
“We will remember them.”
Andrew Walsh, a senior piper for the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada and data processing technician in the LBPSB’s Continuing Education department, led the ceremony performing Scotland the Brave, Rowan Tree, Wings, Dawning of the Day and as the lament, Flower of the Forest. Julie Mandeville from the board’s finance department read the Champ d’Honneur and Valerie Forgetta, also from the finance department, read In Flanders Fields, the war poem written by First World War Canadian Physician John McRae. The LBPSB’s Marcia Dixon read part of an Ode to Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen, first published in 1914.
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Au Champ d’honneur
(Adaptation du poème: In Flanders Fields, de John McCrae)
Au champ d'honneur, les coquelicots
Sont parsemés de lot en lot
Auprès des croix; et dans l'espace
Les alouettes devenues lasses
Mêlent leurs chants au sifflement
Nous sommes morts
Nous qui songions la veille encor'
À nos parents, à nos amis,
C'est nous qui reposons ici
Au champ d'honneur.
À vous jeunes désabusés
À vous de porter l'oriflamme
Et de garder au fond de l'âme
Le goût de vivre en liberté.
Acceptez le défi, sinon
Les coquelicots se faneront
Au champ d'honneur.
Macdonald High School and Edgewater Elementary school join studetns from John Abbott College and McGill University in a Remembrance Day Ceremony
More than 800 students and staff from Macdonald High School and Edgewater Elementary joined students from John Abbott College and the Macdonald campus of McGill University in a Remembrance Day ceremony held Thursday (Nov. 6) on the grounds of John Abbott College. Macdonald High School students ensured that veterans from the Ste. Anne’s Hospital attending the ceremony were comfortable by supplying them with blankets to keep warm. The Macdonald High School band played at the ceremony which also featured poems and speeches about the fragility of peace, the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces and, of course, a reading of In Flanders Fields, a war poem written by First World War Canadian physician John McCrae. Students from Edgewater Elementary posted small Canadian flags around a Remembrance monument erected in 2006. Schools across the Lester B. Pearson School Board will be commemorating Remembrance Day on or around Nov. 11.
Way to go LBPSB! Shave and Save raises more than $60,000 for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society
Don’t be surprised if you see some members of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, along with students and staff, wearing tuques even before the snow flies this winter.
After all, they may need something to keep their heads warm after shaving their hair as part of an across-the-board fundraiser that has collected more than $60,000 in a Shave and Save event for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society.
“It’s an honour to be doing this,” said LBPSB Director General Robert T. Mills, part of the first group to line up Thursday (Oct. 30) to get a head shave for a good cause.
“It wasn’t as rough as I thought and I’m very happy to be part of an event that raised more than $60,000,” Mills added after his shave, which was accompanied by a lot of laughter and even some good-natured teasing from about 40 co-workers.
“If this is the outcome, I couldn’t be happier.”
Mills said he greatly appreciated the fact that many members of the LBPSB Community contributed in some way – by donating and collecting money, volunteering or even shaving their heads – in order to meet the Shave and Save challenge.
Members of the school board had vowed to shave their heads if the LBPSB community could raise $50,000 to help in the fight against breast cancer.
The community answered the call.
For example, Mount Pleasant Elementary Principal Stephanie Herault and teachers Johanne Lacelle-Lavalle and Krystyna Koelblen dyed their hair in bright colours after challenging students to raise $1,000 in the Hudson school’s Colours for Cancer fundraising event. That goal was surpassed by $257 and much to their delight, students got to choose what hair colour their principal would have.
It turned out they wanted purple.
“It’s for a good cause,” Herault said of her new hair colour. “But more importantly, I would like to thank all the people who contributed to this fundraising effort, from creating the website to collecting money and raising awareness - thank you to the Mount Pleasant community, friends and family – you all helped us surpass our goal.”
At Sunshine Academy in Dollard des Ormeaux, Grade 6 students answered the challenge set by English teacher Kris Pichovich and French teacher Yvonne Kessler: raise $500 and they would cut their hair - he would get it shaved and she would cut off 8-inches of her long hair and donate it to make wigs for people who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The school met the challenge and the teachers cut their hair, along with grade 6 students such as Emmalee Bissonnette who also cut off 8-inches of her hair and Daniel Davis who says "it felt weird when it was first shaved, but now I'm getting used to it."
The across-the-board tally so far? $60,012 and still counting, as some schools have not yet held their own fundraising events.
Members of the LBPSB community - including two women, Sharon Lingle from the legal department and her mother-in-law, Diane Gornicki, who works at St. John Fisher Elementary Jr. - shaved their heads as part of the Shave and Save event Thursday.
“I know several people who have died of breast cancer so I’m happy to do this, if it helps,” said Lingle, adding that she will use her shaved head to her advantage as she plans on going out this Halloween as Homer Simpson.
There was a sense of happy anticipation and nervousness as each member of the group got into a chair manned by students from the LBPSB’s Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy. “It’s an honour – and a lot of fun – to do this,” said student Lexie Champagne as she began shaving LBPSB Michael Chechile, director of educational services at the LBPSB.
Other members of the group – made up of LBPSB board and school administrators, teachers, support staff – and even some elementary and high school students who had their heads shaved at their respective schools –included Steven Balleine, assistant director general of the LBPSB, Regional Directors Steven Colpitts, Thomas Rhymes and David Meloche, Human Resources Director John Brennan, Assistant Director of Human Resources David Chisholm, Director of Community Services Mario Barrette, Assistant Director of Student Services Chris Fuzessy and Michael Papoulias, LBPSB network and telecommunications coordinator.
LBPSB Regional Director Steven Colpitts said the event was a reflection of how a community can effect change.
“Thank you so much to all of you administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students who supported this initiative,” said Colpitts. “This is a reflection of the power of community.”
A Christmas Carol, LBPSB-style - coming to you on Nov 29
Want to get into the Christmas spirit, along with a lot of laughs?
Make sure you take in the multi-media extravaganza, A Christmas Carol, starring a cast of characters from the Lester B. Pearson School Board, on Nov. 29 at Lakeside Academy in Lachine.
“Professional musicians and singers woven in with student bands and dramatic acting; this show has everything to put you into a holiday mood,” said Barbara Freeston, president of the Pearson Educational Foundation.
“It will be even more entertaining than last year’s production as the cast has grown, although everybody’s favourite Scrooge – LBPSB Regional Director Thomas Rhymes – will reprise his stellar performance,” she added.
And even Scrooge would loosen his money belt when he learns that the money raised at the event will fund PEF’s snowsuit and boots program – founded in memory of former commissioner Rona Cupak - which supplies winter wear to students in need across the board from Verdun to the Ontario border.
“Winter clothing requests were at an all-time high in 2013 and we have no reason to expect less this year,” Freeston said, noting that PEF went from supplying 15 pairs of boots and 16 snowsuits in 2012 to 60 pairs of boots and 58 snowsuits in 2013.
“And that’s not counting sweaters, pants, mittens and hats,” she added.
The presentation, which includes many holiday songs, will take place at 7:30p.m. at Lakeside Academy, 5050 Sherbrooke St. in Lachine. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $15 for children under 16.
Free lecture series for parents begins Nov 19 at Westwood High School, Jr campus
The first of a free five-part lecture series for parents dealing with such topics as parental skills takes place Nov. 19 in St. Lazare (Westwood High School – Junior Campus) with a presentation by Fletcher Peacock, author of “Water the Flowers, Not the Weeds”.
“Mr. Peacock will focus his presentation on Parental Skills,” according to a press release fromthe Network Partnership Initiative (NPI) of Vaudreuil-Soulanges which is organizing the lecture series, financed by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN).
“Mr. Peacock, who was a social worker for many years, specializing in family therapy, is sometimes referred to as the ‘professor of happiness’,” according to the press release. “His statements and his stories, which are tinged with humour, will captivate his audience”
The lecture as well as all those to come will take place in English.
LBPSB director of Community Services Mario Barrette said he is proud to be associated with this initiative led by the local NPI whose mission is to facilitate accessibility to health and social services for the English-speaking community of Vaudreuil-Soulanges:
“Along with other public and community partners such as the CSSS de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Centre Jeunesse de la Montérégie, we believe that the Lecture Series will reach a wide range of our own school board community,” he said. “Our very own Centre of Excellence in Mental Health will deliver one of the lectures in the new year.
“… we hope this local Health Promotion Project (HPP) will raise awareness that resources are available in English, in Vaudreuil-Soulanges to meet the needs of an ever-growing population,” Barrette said.
Details of the other four conferences, which take place over the next two years, have yet to be fine-tuned.
The Wednesday November 19 conference takes place at 7 p.m. at Westwood High School, Junior Campus, 2800 du Bordelais, St. Lazare.
For information and registration, contact:
For information and registration, contact:
·Genevieve Leduc, coordinator for the Network Partnership Initiative (NPI) of Vaudreuil-Soulanges at 450-424-5727, local 226 or email her a email@example.com. or
·Lydia Girard, coordinator for this Health Promotion Project at 450-424-5727, local 222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada`s Governor General visits Beaconsfield High School
Governor General David Johnston signed one student’s cast, told a class of Beaconsfield High School students about his first job, bought a few handcrafted items from Jeunes Entrepreneur students - and most importantly, urged students to continue to work together to build a better community.
“What do you want the world to look like - you have to decide what is right, what is just and what is fair,” Johnston told students gathered Wednesday (Oct. 15) in the school auditorium.
The Governor General visited the school as part of a one-day tour during which he met with the mayor of Beaconsfield and inaugurated the town’s Heroes Park and Cenotaph.
Students at the school will act as symbolic caretakers of the Park and Cenotaph which honours the service and sacrifice of military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and first responders in the course of their official duties.
“We live in a complex world filled with challenges,” the Governor General told assembled students. “Ask yourself what is the best way to serve the community.”
The Beaconsfield High School Band performed at the assembly and students presented the Governor General with a slide show of their many community service accomplishments.
As he left the auditorium, the Governor General stopped to sign the leg cast of Sara Buscemi, who recently broke her ankle while on a trampoline.
“Wow, that was really a surprise,” Sara said as she read the good luck wishes from the Governor General.
Earlier, the Governor General visited the school library and took questions from students in the Secondary 4 and 5 Embarkations Alternative Program, designed to meet the needs of students who require an alternate pathway to achieve success.
One student asked Johnston what his first job was.
“My first job was a paper route but my first real job was a delivery boy for a drugstore in Sault Ste. Marie,” the Governor General said, noting that he would have to ride his delivery bike in all types of weather.
He explained that at the time, English bone china was a very popular item at the drugstore as many Americans would drive into town to purchase it a lower price than could be found in the U.S.
“Taking the bone china out of its straw-filled cask was my favourite because I didn’t have to peddle my bike in the snow,” he said.
When asked what was the most difficult part of being Canada’s Governor General, Johnston replied that as Commander in Chief, attending repatriation ceremonies of those who have died in service.
Johnston urged students to “cherish their teachers” because apart from family, they play such very important roles in their lives.
Grade 11 student Mathieu Grant said he was very impressed with the Governor General’s visit.
“He was very knowledgeable and very friendly,” he said.
When meeting with student in the Infinity 1:1 Laptop Program at the school, Johnston stopped at almost every table to ask what the students were doing. At the young entrepreneur table, he learned about various items the students have produced and sold in order to earn money for charitable works.
After learning that proceeds from the sales of hand-knit tea towels help students in the Dominican Republic, the Governor General purchased one – and when two students gave him a hand-made duct tape wallet and iPad holder, the Governor General insisted on paying for them because the money goes to help the community.
“That was amazing said Grade 8 student Samantha Isings. “That was supposed to be a gift to him.”
Beaconsfield High School Principal Rosemary Patterson said the Governor General’s visit will leave a lasting impression on her students.
“Having His Excellency, the Governor General, visit BHS was truly inspiring for our students,” she said. “He praised them for being smart and caring young people and urged them to do all they could to make the world a better place.
“I know they took his words to heart.”
Later, the Governor General officially opened the Heroes Park and Cenotaph as the Beaconsfield High School Band played before a large crowd of people, including veterans, politicians, firefighters, school board officials and flag-waving students, including those from the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s St. Edmund Elementary and Christmas Park Elementary schools.
Lights, camera, action! Students at Westwood Sr take part in anti-bullying film
There will be a lot of lights, cameras and action later this month at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson as students take part in the making of an anti-bullying movie that will be distributed to schools across Canada.
About 200 students Westwood students will be working as actors and extras, helping with the camera work and more.
“We want everyone to be involved,” said producer and author Adam Tanguay, who already created a 48-minute movie in French called Period Infernal which is being distributed by Radio-Canada to French schools across Canada.
This latest production, called Silent Majority is an English version of the anti-bullying message that Tanguay wrote, based on his own experiences at grade and high schools.
“I had trouble speaking properly, stuttering especially when I was nervous, and was badly teased about it,” said the 26-year-old Vaudreuil-Dorion resident. “It was so bad, I even quit high school….
“It was mostly verbal, not physical bullying,” added Tanguay. “But it was definitely not cool.”
Tanguay said he was treated by specialists who helped him correct his speech impediment and returned to high school.
“That’s when all the memories and emotions came flooding back,” he said. “And that’s when I decided to write about it, with the goal of making an anti-bullying film.”
After some hits and misses – Tanguay said his some of friends thought the movie would never be made – he teamed up with director and co-producer. Dominic Bouffard, who had directed an earlier medium-length movie as well as directed many commercial and corporate videos.
Bouffard said initial filming at the school will start Oct. 25 and last between 16 and 22 days and then resume in March.
“It will be done mostly weekends and after school,” he said, noting that the film will be premiered next September at the Cegep de Valleyfield.
Mark Smith, the drama teacher at Westwood Sr., said students will have the opportunity to participate first-hand in the making of a film.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience film-making from both sides of the camera,” he said. “We have a lot of strong acting talent at Westwood and all the students who auditioned have the opportunity to be part of the film.
“We feel proud and privileged to have the film associated with our school.”
Students with selected parts in the movie include Adam Laurin, Aidan Floyd, Chase Rothdram, Christopher Petterson, Michael Davies, Isabella Gavanski and Olivia Dumas.
Davies said the opportunity to take part in the film is one he will always remember.
“I’m excited to be part of something that’s bigger than the regular Westwood activities and events – something that branches out beyond the doors of our school,” he said. “It has given me the chance to contribute to the school and leave my mark.”
Westwood Sr. Principal Sheila Honeyborne, said students not only have the opportunity to be part of a film but to take part in an anti-bullying project.
“We are incredibly proud of our students and their participation in this film,” she said. “Bullying is a serious issue and being involved in this production allows our students the opportunity to be part of an important message that speaks directly to the gravity of the matter.
“We feel fortunate to have the support, encouragement and collaboration of our community partners, the Lester B. Pearson School Board and Westwood staff and students.”
John Rennie High School students harvest honey from the school`s beehive
As sweet as honey – that’s exactly what students at John Rennie High School learned first-hand when they extracted honey from the school’s very own beehive. Students from John Rennie’s Junior and senior Green Teams as well as teacher April Rehel’s cooking class took part in the honey gathering on Sept. 29 at the Pointe Claire school. A small centrifuge machine was used to spin the frames in order to extract the honey. Professional staff from Miel Montreal were on hand to guide the students. The school’s Green Teams, led by Rehel and geography teacher Jean-Francois Pepin, have overseen the hive as well as the school’s garden, pond and and bog, all located in the school’s inner courtyard. In 2010, John Rennie was named a Brundtland Green School, part of an international movement that promotes ecology.
In all, about 25 litres of honey was collected from the John Rennie beehive, said Pepin adding that the honey will be sold at the beginning of December.
Mount Pleasant Elementary holds its first ever Colours for Cancer fundraising campaign
Colour Me Pink – or red or blue or magenta or purple.
Students at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson are in for a very colourful time later this month when Principal Stephanie Herault, two teachers and a parent dye their hair red, blue, magenta or purple - all according to the school’s first-ever Colours for Cancer fundraising campaign.
It’s all part of a Lester B. Pearson School Board campaign to raise funds to combat breast cancer.
Members of LBPSB community have taken an active role in the fight against breast cancer by raising awareness and participating in school/centre-based fundraising efforts. LBPSB schools, centres and head office are pooling their efforts in hopes of raising $50,000 by Oct. 28 for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society. If the goal is met, a number of volunteers made up of board and school administrators, teachers, support staff, and even some high school students, will Shave to Save on Oct. 30.
“At Mount Pleasant we came up with Colours for Cancer, that is, dying our hair different colours to raise funds,” said Herault who launched a special challenge to her students and community.
“If we can raise more than $1,000, the students get to vote on what colour I will have to dye my hair,” she said. “So far, it’s generated a lot of excitement among the students and the community.”
Herault said teachers Johanne Lacelle-Lavalle and Krystyna Koelblen – as well as parent Holly Yates - also decided to join in the fundraising fun.
“How exciting to know that one person can make a difference in the future of so many people,” said Lacelle-Lavalle. “Through this action I hope to influence a school full of children who will grow up remembering that it takes very little to change the outcome of humanity.
“ Love, determination and daring actions lead to cures, happiness and amazing outcomes,” she added. “We all can control the future – we simply have to take control and be daring.”
Koelblen, the music teacher at the school, has lost six family members this year alone, four of them to cancer. Her aunt battled cancer for four years and her mother-in-law lost the battle 38 days after being diagnosed.
“At the moment, a childhood friend is fighting breast cancer – she has undergone seven chemotherapy treatments and has three more to go,” said Koelblen.
“Through participating in this much-needed fundraiser, I have learned that many of my students would like to become doctors, nurses and scientists,” she said. “Maybe a cure for these diseases will come about from one of our students.
“Please support us,” she added. “We are all part of it, one way or another.”
Holly Yates said her daughter Faye, a kindergarten student at the school, asked her to take part in the challenge.
“Faye was very excited about the fact that some of the Mount Pleasant staff will be dying theirhair for breast cancer,” said Yates. “She has been very inspired by Terry Fox and asked me if I would also dye my hair to help raise funds.
“I am game and would love to teach my children by example that if everyone helps just a little, great things can be achieved.”
Friendship, Love and Sexual Health (FLASH) program a success at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School
It began five years ago as a pilot project at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School. Now the FLASH program – that stands for Friendship, Love, and Sexual Health – has grown into a week-long event at the Pierrefonds school.
”The focus is on educating students with relevant and accurate information,” said Patricia Aldred, Community and Spiritual Care Animator (C.A.S.C.A.) at the Lester B. Pearson School Board. “This event not only enables students to improve their relationships with their peers but lays the foundation for healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.”
She said that FLASH encompasses several facets of relationships and sexuality, including values, communication, body image, self-esteem, self-respect, sexual stereotypes, risk-taking, technology, media and online safety as well as building respectful relationships.
This year, FLASH took place at PCHS from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
Jo Ann Centauro, an LBPSB Professional Counselor, said each student took part in a classroom workshop or auditorium presentation.
Guests included the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning) Support Centre, MADD, Friends for Mental Health, Maison Jean Lapointe, ANEB (Anorexia and Bulimia Quebec) , Prima Danse, Parmi Nous and more.
Centauro said this year’s keynote speaker to parents was Dr. David Luckow, a doctor at the CSSS Youth Clinic who spoke about healthy online behaviours and gaming addiction.
For more information, contact Patricia Aldred at PCHS, 514-626-9610 or by email@example.com
LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School benefits from Future Shop grant
LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School is delighted to be one of nine schools from across Canada to receive an almost $20,000 Future Shop ‘Future Generation Tech Lab Grant’.
“The grant monies will be used at to purchase technology to create a 21st century library. The ability for students to readily have access to current technology will assist in keeping students inspired and empowered as they progress through their studies at LCCHS,” according to Lester B. Pearson School Board Regional Director David Meloche.
Carl Ornek, General Manager of the Future Shop store in LaSalle, and several members of his team presented the LCCHS Principal, Ann Marie Matheson with a cheque in the amount of $19,950. Also taking part in the Sept. 26 ceremony were Meloche, LCCHS Librarian Betty Dunning as well as two student representatives, Rachel Humphries in Sec. 4 and Luca Rosati in Sec 2.
“LCCHS makes great strides to ensure that every student has the tools they need to meet the challenges of today,” said Matheson adding that the Future Generation Tech Lab grant will allow LCCHS to further engage its students by transforming the school library.
“The addition of user-friendly Macintosh computers for video and project editing will help to spur creativity in students, while a ‘Kobo Corner’ will foster reading and comprehension skills through a technological approach,” she said noting that the addition of a smart board and projector will also make the library a true community learning center. “We say many thanks to future Shop.”
A perfect day for LBPSB students and the RCMP Musical Ride
It’s one thing to hear about the RCMP Musical Ride.
It’s quite another to see it.
Just ask any of the thousands of Lester B. Pearson students who were treated to the Mounties and their steeds at their best as they performed intricate maneuvers and cavalry drills, all choreographed to music.
“I loved it all,” Vanessa Kimber, a grade five student at Terry Fox Elementary as she patted Darby, an eight-year-old Gelding ridden by RCMP Cpl. Jeremy Dawson who has been in instructor with the Musical Ride since 2009.
Vanessa was among a number of students at Terry Fox Elementary who have been corresponding with members of the RCMP Musical Ride. And in Vanessa’s case, it was a perfect fit.
“I want to be a member of the RCMP and the Musical Ride when I’m older,” she said noting that she is already an accomplished rider.
Adamo Orsini, a grade 8 student at St. Thomas High School, said he was impressed with “how the music and the horses blend together.” His friend, Aryan Jamali, said the RCMP Musical Ride was “fun to watch.”
Students cheered as the Mounties, in their scarlet tunics and Stetson-type hats, showed off control and co-ordination while doing such formations as the Wagon Wheel, Clover Leaf and the Dome, once featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill.
But the audience of young people was almost in complete silence when the riders and their horses launched into gallop while performing the Charge, a highlight of the Musical Ride.
The Mounties also performed the March Past in a salute to the guest of honour, Peter Webster, a well-known businessman with a lifetime commitment to community service, including serving on the Mounted Police Foundation Board.
In all, about 4,000 elementary and high school students from the Lester B. Pearson School Board took in the RCMP Musical Ride, held outdoors on Sept. 25 and 26 near the George Springate Arena in Pierrefonds-Roxboro. Shows on Sept. 27 and 28 were open to the public.
Springate, a well-known community figure for whom the sports centre was named, said the RCMP Musical ride never ceases to amaze. “It seems that each one is better than the last,” he said.
Pearson Adult and Career Centre celebrates 20 years of excellence
The Pearson Adult and Career Centre (PACC) in Ville LaSalle held a corn roast and fair to celebrate 20 years of excellence in culinary training. Past and present students, staff and industry partners from the professional cooking program, took part in the Sept. 15 celebration. PACC offers courses in food and beverage services, market-fresh cuisine, pastry-making, professional cooking, retail butchery, bread-making and wine tasting. PACC also operates "Le Saucier", a gourmet-class dining room open to the public throughout the year. The restaurant operation is part of the training process in PACC’s Professional Cooking, Contemporary Cuisine and Restaurant Service programs. For more information, contact Marilyn Aon, PACC Assistant Centre Director, at 514 363-6213 ext: 7732. The PACC website is http://paccvoc.lbpsb.qc.ca/
Westwood Sr High School welcomed cyclists from the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
Cyclists from the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride stopped for a short rest at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson on Sept. 16. The cyclists were accompanied by Robert Mason, left, who contacted Westwood to be host to the riders and Hudson Mayor Ed Prevost, on the right.
Responding to Clearpoint Elementary School’s invitation, staff members of St. Edmund took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in front of cheering students on Thursday, September 4th 2014. In turn they challenged Wilder Penfield (where Principal Nicole Rosconi taught for many years) and Beacon Hill schools to participate for this great cause. - from Nicole Rosconi, Principal, St. Edmund. Elementary.
PCHS student Akshay Grover completes Montreal-Toronto run and raises funds for Childhood Cancer Canada
Akshay Grover really takes his school assignments to heart.
The 16-year-old Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School student raised just over $12,000 to help combat childhood cancer by running more than 500 kilometers from Montreal to Toronto this summer.
“It was incredible,” Akshay said of the Aug. 1 to 13 run in which he covered just over 42 kilometers daily, the equivalent of a marathon each day. “And what was more incredible is that people donated even more than the $10,000 I had hoped to raise for the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation.”
Akshay said he is now busy trying to edit the video of his run, with more than 50 hours of footage in all, in order to present to his fellow PCHS students in September and later in the year, to students at various schools under the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
PCHS Principal Cristina Prata said she was not surprised when Akshay came up with his project.
“Akshay has always been a young man ahead of his time,” she said, noting that she is looking forward to seeing the video and sitting in on Akshay’s IB oral defence at the end of this school year. “He not only talks the talk but walks the walk as well – or, in this case, ran it!”
Akshay said the idea for the run came to him when he was asked to come up with a personal project as part of the International Baccalaureate program at his school.
“I have been running competitively since I was 12 years old,” said Akshay, who also works part-time at a local grocery store.
“And I thought I could combine my love of running with raising money to combat childhood cancer,” he said adding that his influences were Terry Fox and his cross-country Marathon of Hope as well as Zachary Sobiech, an American folk-rock singer who died of bone cancer last May at the age of 18.
Akshay said the run went well despite some minor injuries – swollen ankles, shaking knees and aching hips - and mechanical problems, such the time when the car driven by his mother, Sabrina Kandola, overheated.
Kandola was his back-up during the run, following him by car.
“But we continued on to the end,” he added.
Donations are ongoing but as of Aug. 19, Akshay’s Run has raised $12,661.
Melocy Khodaverdian, director of development at Childhood Cancer Canada, said Akshay’s contribution is very welcome.
“Childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded and we are extremely grateful for the efforts of remarkable individuals like Akshay who help us create much needed awareness and support,” she said. “We hope his dedication to our brave kids and families inspires Canadians nationwide to get involved as well.”
School Board officials were also impressed with Akshay’s commitment.
Thomas Rhymes, Regional Director at the LBPSB, called Akshay “a remarkable young man who made an equally remarkable commitment to a cause he believed in.
“It is humbling to say the least.”
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said Akshay’s commitment is an inspiration to all.
“We have very high expectations for all our students and are proud that so many exceed them, but Akshay has set the bar very high indeed,” she said. “On behalf of the Council of Commissioners, we congratulate Akshay and thank him for making the world that much of a better place.
Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School student plans fundraising run to Toronto this summer
Some people find the Montreal to Toronto drive a long one.
Try running it.
That’s just what Akshay Grover, a 16-year-old student at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School, will be doing this summer.
He hopes to raise awareness and $10,000 to help combat childhood cancer.
Akshay said the idea came to him when he was asked to come up with a project as part of the International Baccalaureate program at his school.
“International Baccalaureate … students are asked to complete a personal project,” he explained. “I decided to raise awareness and funds for the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation.”
To do so, Akshay will run 550 kilometers from Montreal to Toronto this summer – he hopes to leave on Aug.2 and arrive at the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation head office in Toronto by Aug. 16 – all while producing a movie documenting his journey.
Akshay, who has been running competitively since he was 12 years-old, said his decision to do the Montreal-Toronto trek was influenced by Terry Fox and his cross-country Marathon of Hope as well as Zachary Sobiech, an American folk-rock singer who died of bone cancer last May at the age of 18.
Akshay said he is in the process of acquiring all the necessary permits to do the run and added that his mother, Sabrina Kandola, will be following him by car. The mother and son team plan to sleep in motels along the way.
For her part, Kandola has only support for the son she is raising on her own.
“It is my prevailing goal to ensure that Akshay received the best head start in life - being a single mom right from the very beginning, financial shortcomings, lack of support, constant criticism and endless obstacles were not going to hinder me,” she said. “In fact, despite any odds and any so-called statistics, I was going to make sure that my children would receive just as much as a two-parent family.
“It is therefore such a blessing … that Akshay is choosing to help change the lives of other less fortunate children and give them hope for the future.”
Akshay said he knows it’s a long run but adds that his is a worthwhile cause.
Childhood Cancer Canada officials agree.
“We are thrilled that Akshay is raising funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer Canada with each kilometer he runs,” said Jessica MacInnis, manager of Marketing and Communications at Childhood Cancer Canada.
“With the support of incredible people like Akshay, we are able to help the 10,000 children currently living with cancer in Canada today,” she said noting that Childhood Cancer Canada offers critical support programs for children and families who have experienced a childhood cancer diagnosis. Childhood Cancer Canada also invests in childhood cancer research across Canada.
Akshay said that teachers and fellow students at his school have been supportive, purchasing his promotional t-shirts and offering him much support.
Vanessa Amar, a secondary V science, biology and psychology teacher at PCHS, said she and Akshay have been talking about this project for almost a year.
“Each student in the International Baccalaureate program has a staff representative to help the student and project along,” she said of her role in Akshay’s project.
She said Akshay has always gone above and beyond in all of his school projects.
“And this is no different,” she said adding that she is hoping to organize a rally from Akshay’s starting point and perhaps even run with him for a few kilometers as he starts on his journey..
Thomas Rhymes, Regional director at the School Board, said he was impressed by Akshay’s determination.
“It continues to amaze me that a generation so maligned is also the one making the courageous commitments,” he said.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said Akshay’s commitment should serve an example to others.
“I hope Akshay’s actions will influence others – both students and adults alike – into doing something, even if it is something small, that can help make this world a better place.”
Oh and by the way, Akshay said he plans to do the trip back by car.
Akshay has designed a custom logo and had it printed on t-shirts to promote his fundraiser. He has also set up a Facebook page to keep his followers updated along the journey: https://www.facebook.com/RunAkshayGrover.
Extract from the Chairman's report of September 26, 2011
LBPSB by the Numbers
Lately, the value of school boards has been under attack by those who make sweeping, generalized statements aimed at misleading you, our community. I’d like to pass on information that I believe truly represents the value the school board offers and how the incredibly professional, talented people in this building make a huge difference in the ability to offer quality, innovative and effective education of our students. The results, of course, cannot be denied – we have one of the highest success rates in the province and continue to improve upon it.
While these numbers represent our board in 2008-2009, the latest figures available from MELS, the numbers today would only show even higher percentages of our resources focused on the students.
Teaching Support Activities: 24.96%
(In school administration, library, computers, psychologists/speech therapist, student life, animation, health and social services, school success, teacher PD)
Furniture, building and equipment: 9.8%
Council of Commissioners: 0.21%
Administrative Activities: 5.77%
(Finance, IT, Legal & Archives, Transportation Management, Payroll Services, Union Negotiators, and senior management).
With less than 6% of our budget, the board meets all our reporting requirements to MELS (Financial, Registration, Grades, Strategic Plans, Annual Reports and Management Success Agreements),
manages our Educational Services and Student Services, coordinates transportation to 51 buildings
for about 15,000 students, manages the payroll, recruitment and human resources function for 4,500 employees, provides legal and archive services, maximizes our relationships with vendors resulting in minimum pricing for so many of the products used in our classrooms daily, coordinates quality food and nutrition services (and education!) including the delivery of hot meals to schools without cafeterias and management of a Hungry Kids program allowing us to provide meals for many students in need, and maintains our internet and computer network services 24/7. It also includes all of the photocopy machines and telephones in schools and centers, all of the software to run accounting and payroll systems in schools and centers and report cards, two architects and two engineers to oversee the 57 buildings in the school board network, two lawyers to oversee all legal issues, and three accountants to ensure proper accounting practices and tax laws are respected for a $250 million budget.
Any organization, public or private, would be hard pressed to deliver this more economically.
Well before MELS introduced legislation requiring us to reduce our expenses, LBPSB started the rationalization process. We started reducing headcounts and related expenses as our population decreased before Law 100 came into effect, and we continue to do so. We started our Energy Projects before MELS required reductions in energy costs. We did so because we take our role of managing public funds and providing the best education possible to our students very seriously. Always have.