Congratulations to PCHS`s 2016 Hydro Quebec Science Fair Students
Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School recently had four students participate in the Montreal Regional Science Fair who brought awards back with them! Jessica Piquette won the McGill Physics Award for her Ball Launcher, Dylan Phan’s Bio-Gas Plant received a project of distinction and Maxime Giroux and Aiden Mathews received project of distinction for their Recycling Shower. These four students will showcase their projects along with many other proud PCHS science students at their Science Fair on April 12th. Don't miss it!
Jessica Piquette with her Ball Launcher
Dylan Phan's Bio-Gas Plant
Maxime Giroux and Aiden Mathews with their Recycling Shower
Clearpoint Elementary IB PYP Summit: Where we are in Place and Time
The first thing you notice about Clearpoint Elementary are the winding, colourful hallways, seemingly always bustling with students who are all calm, respectful and ready to learn.
“You’ll notice that there is a green stripe painted on the walls,” said Guy Walker, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme coordinator at Clearpoint. “It represents the pathway to inquiry.”
Clearpoint, a small elementary school on a quiet street in Pointe-Claire, is home to one of only two running IB Primary Years Programmes in the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The IB program is designed to teach students to be well-rounded in their education. Clearpoint’s website has a breakdown of the ‘learner’s profile’ that includes ten characteristics a student should strive for; they should be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.
“It’s not only grade six,” said Rachel Wilson, the school’s friendly and welcoming principal. “The whole entire school from K to six is involved in the program. It’s really great.”
As part of their IB project, the grade six students of Clearpoint hosted a summit with the theme ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’. The summit aimed to explain how different parts of our world have changed over time using the learner’s profile. Some of these included the environment, technology, health, agriculture, exercise and sports. The school paired up with the Pearson Partnership Program in order to find guest speakers to come make 20 to 30 minute presentations to the students.
“We brainstormed with the kids a couple of months ago and talked about what they wanted to learn about,” said Nancy Battet, coordinator of the PPP, “then we reached out to our community partners to see if they were interested in coming to speak to the children […] I find it very rewarding, everyone loves to help.”
David Meloche, Director of Schools for Region 3, opened the summit with a short presentation and then sent the kids off to speak with presenters in groups of five to ten.
Larry Fagan and Claudiu Scotnotis, professors in John Abbott College’s Computer Science department, taught students about the advancement of computer software. Fagan asked students where they would go to get a book; while some answered, “a bookstore,” one student told the presenters that his parents shopped for books online. Fagan explained that convenience and availability have a huge impact on the way that we shop in today’s society, leading many people to forgo the day trip to the mall on Saturday and instead just order their purchases online.
Sarah Dixon and Scott Pemberton, who work for the Morgan Arboretum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, were teaching their students about the changes in the environment over the past decade, century and millennium. The students were especially interested in the effects that greenhouse gases had on the planet and asked very probing questions about a theory one student called ‘environmental debt’.
“We’re using up more than we’re making,” he explained.
“That is absolutely true,” said Dixon. “You’re very smart!”
Kyle Petrunik, who was helping to explain the changes in aviation engineering to a group of students as part of a group called Let’s Talk Science, said he normally spoke to groups of adults but liked the change of audience.
“I’m having a great time. It’s different doing [a presentation] for a young audience but it’s much more fun, actually,” he said. “The students are so interested and are coming up with amazing questions - questions adults couldn’t even come up with.”
The students were especially interested in what astronauts ate while they were in space. “Chips are probably not a good idea,” explained Petrunik. “Too many crumbs.”
After making trips to three different presentations, the students went back to the library where they were able to thank their presenters and make suggestions for the next summit. This summit was used to gather information that will be presented at a larger exhibition presented by students at the end of February.
All teachers and presenters were in agreement when the possibility of having longer presentations was brought up.
“That is definitely something we can do,” said Wilson. “We have very bright children at Clearpoint.”
Pearson School of Culinary Arts one of the best in Canada
The Pearson School of Culinary Arts was recently listed in Maclean’s Magazine as one of the best in the country by world-renowned chef Antonio Park of Park Restaurant.
Park said he has hired many cooks who have graduated from the Pearson Adult and Career Centre culinary programs. With programs ranging from bread making to restaurant management, the Pearson Adult and Career Centre is one of the best choices in Quebec when considering a career in the culinary arts. PACC offers student-for-a-day programs to ensure that future students find the career path that best suits their needs.
Also offered through Lester B. Pearson Continuing Education centres are personal, career and academic counselling. LBPCE recognises that making the decision to go back to school can have a large impact on every aspect of a student’s life and aims to guide students through this big step. Financial aid is also available for students who are struggling to save the money necessary to go back to school.
The Lester B. Pearson Continuing Education website says that “the PACC community is ‘boiling over’ with pride at having been recognized as one of the best cooking schools in Canada, one of the top two in Quebec. This is proof that tuition free public schools are a safe investment for your future.” It goes on to say that, “passion and talent are key ‘ingredients’ for success in any vocational training program, but so too are perseverance, hard work and a professional attitude. These are the competencies that PACC teachers and administration endeavour to foster in all our training programs. We know the importance of helping students develop these traits because industry places a high value on them when hiring our graduates.”
Continuing Education doesn’t only focus on mature students; it also offers a transitions program for young adults aged 16 to 18 who are interested in a trade career. Their hope is to re-engage students who are at risk of dropping out of school by exposing them to the medley of options available that keep them in school, keep them learning and keep their interest piqued.
To see other programs that are offered, make an appointment with an advisor or apply to any Lester B. Pearson Continuing Education centre, visit www.lbpce.ca
LaSalle Community Comprehensive teams up with Ubisoft and Youth Fusion to teach students video game design
After years of being told to turn off their video games and go do their homework, a group of students in LaSalle recently found out that the two are one in the same.
LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School has recently teamed up with Youth Fusion and Ubisoft Montreal to create a mentorship program that teaches students how to make their own video game. There are five schools participating in the program in Quebec and, of them, LCCHS is the only Anglophone school.
“The Video Game Design Program was started by Youth Fusion. They are an organization that works to lower dropout rates and raise student perseverance by partnering with universities and businesses to support schools with professional mentors and youth coordinators,” said Matthew Albert, an Educational Consultant as Lester B. Pearson School Board. “[LCCHS was] selected to be a part of the program due to their needs and their willingness to incorporate the program into their Secondary 5 media class. The goal is to not be an after school program but to make learning relevant through working on projects with real world job experiences.”
They are also incorporating a history component into the game production process. The theme of the game is ‘New France’; students were given the task of researching the era and making that part of their finished product.
“The students are learning how much effort goes into the video game design process from the initial concept all the way until completion. Students who used to question the decisions made by game designers in the past are now more sympathetic as they realize how much effort goes into planning and producing their game,” said Albert. “The students have been working with a Youth Fusion Coordinator who is studying video game design in university. With the help of the coordinator, they have been learning how to build their games. A Ubisoft mentor will visit the school three times during the design period to help answer any questions and guide them in their development.”
"Our ideas were really, they were really high so our standards are kind of, you know, downgraded a little bit," Jack Sklivas, a student from LCCHS, told CTV earlier this month. "There's a lot of X and Y variables like what we learn in mathematics, and really it all comes together, it's all interconnected.”
In April, the best game out of the eight produced in the class will be chosen to represent LCCHS in a competition with the other four schools participating. The games will be judged by Ubisoft employees on a range of categories.
“The goal is to continue the project in an earlier grade next year so that they have more time to build their skills and reach their potential throughout their high school experience,” said Albert. “Hopefully the program encourages our students to pursue their passions and to continue their studies.”
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.