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1925 Brookdale Ave., Dorval, Quebec, Canada H9P 2Y7 514.422.3000
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Job Opportunity
Candidates must submit both a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of application explaining why they would be suitable for this position.

Reporting to the Assistant Director General, the Director of Financial Services is responsible for providing leadership in the planning, developing, organizing, administration, control and evaluation of all programs and resources pertaining to the financial administration of the Board.

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Administrative Staffing Changes for 2015-2016

At the Council meeting of April 27, 2015 the resolution presenting the changes in the administrative structure of the school board for the 2015-2016 school year was adopted. To view the resolution, follow this link

Robert T Mills looks forward to travel, time with family



Robert T. Mills hasn’t yet decided what the next phase of his life will be.
After all, it’s quite understandable that after 42 years as a leader in the field of education in Canada and the United States, the former Director General of the Lester B. Pearson School Board may want to take a break – a sort of prolonged summer vacation – and enjoy time to himself and with his family.
“I want to take a few weeks, or perhaps even months, away from everything simply to enjoy my family, their achievements and perhaps do some relaxed travel,” said Mills, a Montreal native who now resides in Montreal’s West Island.  
Mills and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Shelby, who will be beginning a Master’s Degree at the University of Glasgow in the fall, and Taylor, 20, a student at the Pearson Adult and Career Centre.
“Lisa and I are looking forward very much to having a few summer weeks with my daughter and son,” Mills said. “It really is time for me to concentrate on those three lights of my life.”
As the LBPSB’s Director General for very close to a decade - and assistant Director General before that - Mills oversaw many important changes at the school board, including the ushering in of the digital age at the board’s schools and centers.
Also, under his stewardship, the Board’s International Student Program has expanded dramatically, with about 500 students from China and India coming to Canada to study vocational programsat the LBPSB’s International centres.
As well, the amount and quality of French instruction at the LBPSB’s schools has increased dramatically since Mills came to the school board. In fact, all of the LBPSB elementary schools offer full or some degree of French Immersion.
And under Mill’s tenure, the LBPSB’s graduation success rate has risen to 86.2 per cent in the seven-year cohort in Quebec and ranks third overall in the province.  
Mills’s career included roles as teacher, department head and senior administrator with the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal as well as leading the educational Services Department at Lester B. Pearson prior to becoming the LBPSB’s Assistant Director General in 2001. Mills has been Director General of the LBPSB for past nine years.
His educational leadership has been acknowledged through his service to and membership in many professional organizations: Mills served as president of the Association of Administrators of English Schools of Quebec, President of the Association of Directors General of English School Boards of Quebec and President of the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA).
In 2012, CASSA named Mills Superintendent of the Year for Canada as well as recipient of the Xerox Excellence in Educational Leadership award.
Mills said his predecessors Catherine Prokosh and Leo La France – with whom he has maintained much-valued and close relationships – were instrumental in providing continued mentorship and advice.
“The work they did before me allowed us to continue with the impressive growth and development of the school board,” Mills said.
Mills said that the success of the school board is in large part due to the people who work there.
“Our educational world is one of rapid change, one in which we must lead the evolution rather than simply respond to changing expectations,” he added. “Our most remarkable and committed staff members at all levels have been able to do so and have made Lester B. Pearson a recognized leader in quality and innovation.”
Mills said that as much as he is looking forward to time off, stepping away from public education will not be easy.
“No one can be part of such a dynamic and exciting environment without some regrets and even a little fear,” he said. “I know that I will miss contact with respected colleagues, the visits to schools and classrooms, the conversations with deeply professional teachers and staff members and, particularly, with young people in our classrooms, labs and continuing education sites.
“It is from all of them … that I was able to draw energies, enthusiasm and idealism,” he said. “To all, I am very grateful.”

Beaconsfield High School students take first prize at province-wide entrepreneurship contest


It’s one thing to come up with an interesting project at your school – it’s quite another to have your project take first prize in a province-wide Entrepreneurship competition.
That’s exactly what happened to nine Beaconsfield High School students when they were presented with first prize in the Secondary Cycle One category for their entry called Mini-Putt Plus, a project designed to make learning math easy and fun.
The BHS students were among almost 45,000 students who took part in the annual Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest, at which more than 2,200 projects were submitted for consideration.
The students - Noah Bernaud, Jake Ioanidis, Lucas Kepekci, Lucas Legatos, Ryan Murray, Trevor Plosaj, Zachary Richard, Justin Taylor-McPhedran and Alexei Weins – were presented their award at the Gala des Grands Prix Desjardins du Concours Quebecois en Entrepreneuriat, which took place June 18 at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City.
The BHS students were supported by the Pearson Educational Foundation which helped sponsor their trip to Quebec City.
The Mini-Putt Plus entrepreneurship project came about because the group realized that many of their classmates were having trouble solving a math problem that dealt with golf and the concept of adding and subtracting positive and negative integers, said grade 7 teacher Rosemary Hill  who, along with teacher Louise Adam, helped guide the students through their project.
“The students designed and built the mini-putt course to help assist and solve this problem,” said Hill.
In an earlier interview, Justin Taylor-McPhedran - one of the nine BHS students who took part in the mini-Putt Plus project - said the project was designed for fun and learning.
"It’s fun and at the same time, helps students learn about a fun way to learn about positive and negative integers,”  Justin said in late May at an exhibition of 27 LBPSB student entrepreneurship projects presented at the school board.
Nancy Battet, Lester B. Pearson School Board Community and Partner Liaison, said the entrepreneurship competition gives students a chance to come up with solutions to problems they see in their schools or community.
“We are extremely proud of the students and their teachers for winning this award at the provincial level,” she said. “Entrepreneurship is a wonderful way for students to address a need in their school, community or even globally and find ways to take action to solve that problem.
Battet noted that LBPSB students from kindergarten to the board’s adult centres submitted more than 400 projects to the entrepreneurship contest.

Nomination de Michael Chechile au poste de directeur général de la Commission Scolaire Lester B Pearson


Le Conseil des commissaires de la Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson a annoncé le lundi 8 juin 2015 la nomination de Michael Chechile au poste de directeur général.
M. Chechile, qui est entré à la Commission scolaire en 1998 comme conseiller pédagogique et qui a occupé les fonctions de directeur adjoint puis de directeur de trois écoles de la CSLBP, avait été nommé directeur des Services éducatifs de la Commission scolaire en 2010. En 2014, il a obtenu le poste de directeur principal des Services éducatifs et de la technologie. C’est M. Thomas Rhymes, directeur de région de la CSLBP, qui occupera désormais ce poste.
Il succède à Robert T. Mills, qui prend sa retraite à la fin de juillet après plus de 42 ans de service dans le secteur de l’éducation publique.
« Je crois que la force de notre organisation réside dans la force collective des personnes avec qui je travaille, a déclaré M. Chechile. À titre de directeur général, je continuerai à encourager le travail d’équipe et à mettre un grand accent sur l’orientation pédagogique dans nos écoles pour veiller à ce que la CSLBP soit non seulement une commission scolaire modèle, mais qu’elle reste un chef de file en matière d’excellence, de réussite des élèves et d’innovation. »
Mme Suanne Stein Day, présidente de la Commission scolaire, a félicité M. Chechile pour son nouveau poste et a ajouté qu’il saura garder le cap malgré les grands défis que devra relever la CSLBP en raison des compressions budgétaires du gouvernement.
« La passion et la vision de Michael ont joué un rôle déterminant et motivé les élèves à s’investir dans leur apprentissage, ce qui les a conduits à la réussite. Et voilà justement ce que nous visons tous : la réussite des élèves, a déclaré Mme Stein Day. Sa façon de penser originale a grandement contribué à bâtir notre capacité d’en faire plus avec moins, et c’est un talent important et unique dans la réalité d’aujourd’hui.
« Ses habiletés à travailler en équipe et son style de leadership ne peuvent qu’amplifier les effets de cette passion, a-t-elle précisé. Nous avons très hâte de travailler avec lui au cours des années à venir. »
Selon M. Mills, le Conseil des commissaires a pris une excellente décision en choisissant M. Chechile.
« Je le félicite sincèrement pour sa nomination, ajoute M. Mills. Je suis convaincu qu’il continuera d’exercer un leadership qui maintiendra la Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson au rang de chef de file en Amérique du Nord. »
M. Chechile, qui entrera officiellement en fonction le 1er juillet, est l’ancien président de l’association Directors of English Education Network qui réunit les commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec. Il a aussi siégé au comité de direction du Leadership Committee for English Education in Quebec (LCEEQ), un groupe de réflexion en pédagogie qui réunit des écoles publiques, des écoles privées, des centres de formation pour adultes et de formation professionnelle, des collèges, des universités et diverses associations en éducation. Il siège au conseil consultatif sur l’éducation anglophone et il est le président de Synergy, un groupe sur l’éducation et l’informatique des commissions scolaires anglophones qui explore comment la pédagogie influence la technologie.
Dans ses fonctions de directeur principal à la CSLBP, sa passion et sa vision en matière de technologie de l’éducation l’ont amené à dresser un plan interne sur les technologies éducatives qui a dirigé les enseignants et les directeurs d’écoles vers des projets comme 1-to-1 et l’apprentissage mobile.
Avant d’entrer à la CSLBP, M. Chechile, qui est diplômé des universités Concordia et McGill, a travaillé comme professeur à l’Université Concordia où il a enseigné la conception et le développement multimédia avancé sur ordinateur ainsi que la technologie éducative en classe.
À la CSLBP, il a mis sur pied le programme de citoyenneté numérique, une initiative dont s’est inspiré le ministère de l’Éducation du Québec pour créer des ressources sur l’apprentissage à l’ère numérique. Il a en plus été responsable de l’organisation du tout premier sommet Google Applications for Education au Québec.
En 2014, il a reçu le prix EXL pour le Québec de l’Association canadienne des administrateurs scolaire qui reconnaît l’excellence en leadership dans le domaine de l’éducation.
La Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson est une commission scolaire anglophone comptant des élèves et du personnel dans 59 écoles, des centres d’éducation aux adultes et de formation professionnelle, deux centres linguistiques internationaux, le collège de formation professionnelle Lester-B.-Pearson et un centre administratif sur un territoire allant de Verdun vers l’ouest jusqu’à la frontière de l’Ontario. Elle est reconnue à l’échelle locale, nationale et internationale comme un établissement d’éducation public progressif et novateur.

Michael Chechile is appointed as the new Director General of the Lester B Pearson School Board



The Lester B. Pearson Board of Commissioners announced Monday, June 8, 2015, that Michael Chechile has been appointed as the new director general of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
Chechile, who joined the board in 1998 as a pedagogical consultant and worked as vice-principal and then principal at three LBPSB schools, was named  Director of Educational Services at the school board in 2010 and, in 2014, was named LBPSB Senior Director of Educational Services and Technology.
LBPSB Regional Director Thomas Rhymes will take over that post.
Chechile succeeds Robert T. Mills who is retiring at the end of July after more than 42 years of service dedicated to public education.
 “I believe that the strength of our organization resides in the collective strength of the people with whom I work, “Chechile said. “As Director General, I will continue to bring an emphasis on teambuilding and a strong focus on pedagogical direction within our schools and ensure that the LBPSB is not only a model school board, but continues to be a leader in excellence, student success and innovation.”
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day congratulated Chechile on his new posting and added that he will keep the board on an even keel despite the difficult challenges facing the board due to government budget cuts.
“Michael’s passion and vision has been instrumental in engaging our students in their learning, resulting in their successes and that’s what we are all about – student success,” said Stein Day. ”His out-of-the-box thinking has greatly contributed to our ability to do more with less and this is an important, unique skill in today’s reality.
“His team-building and leadership style can only result in elevating the effects of that passion,” she added. “We look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
Mills said the Council of Commissioners made a very good choice in Chechile.
“It is without reserve that I congratulate Michael on his appointment,” Mills said. “I am confident he will continue to provide the leadership that will maintain the Lester B. Pearson School Board as a leading school district in North America.”
Chechile, who officially begins his new job on July 1, is the past Chair of the Directors of English Education Network, which brings together the Quebec English School Boards. He has also served on the Steering Committee of the Leadership Committee for English Education in Quebec (LCEEQ), a pedagogical think tank that brings together public schools, private schools, adult/vocational centres, colleges, universities and various educational associations. Chechile sits on the Advisory Board on English Education and is the chair of Synergy, a group of Ed/IT from English school boards exploring how pedagogy drives technology.
As senior director at the LBPSB, Chechile’s passion for and vision of educational technology led to the creation of an educational technology plan within the LBPSB that steered teachers and principals in various educational technology initiatives like 1-to-1 and mobile learning.
Before joining the LBPSB, Chechile, a graduate of Concordia and McGill, also worked as a lecturer at Concordia on Advanced Computer-based Multimedia Design and Development as well as Educational Technology in the Classroom.
At the LBPSB, Chechile was responsible for the creation of the Digital Citizenship Program - a program that served as the inspiration for the development of Quebec Ministry of Education resources related to learning in the digital age. Chechile was responsible for bringing the first-ever Google Applications for Education Summit to Quebec.
In 2014, Chechile was presented with the Canadian Association of School Administrators (CASSA) EXL award for Quebec which recognizes excellence in educational leadership.
The Lester B. Pearson School Board is an English school board serving students and staff in 59 schools, adult and vocational centres, two International Language Centres, the Lester B. Pearson Vocational College, and an Administrative Centre on a territory from Verdun westward to the Ontario border. The Lester B. Pearson School Board is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a progressive and innovative public education institution.


Students at the Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy use herbs from their garden to make natural products



When esthetics teacher Concetta Tina Mercuri  taught her students about the theory of using herbs to make beauty and health products, she quickly realized  they were getting a bit bored with a theoretical approach.
Theory is one thing, a hands-on approach is another, Mercuri realized.
Mercuri thought her students would be more interested in the Food in the Face module if she introduced hands-on projects, allowing students to experience cosmetology in a realistic and concrete way.
She and her students started the Cosmetology Garden Project from scratch, planting seeds and placing them in the windowsill of her classroom at the Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy in Beaconsfield, all with the intention of growing herbs to make beauty and health products.
““Smelling, touching the herbs and creating facial recipes … built a realistic connection between the classroom and the esthetics industry,” said Mercuri, who has been teaching at the beauty school since 2010.
“It was so practical to have a garden right outside the school to pick your personal ingredients and make infusions to apply in a treatment,” she added .
Mercuri said the creation of the herb garden and the natural products created by the students led to overall improvement, not only in the students’ attitudes and level of involvement, but also in their understanding of the module.
“ Students were connecting to the module in a genuine way…,” she said adding that some students were so inspired that they created their own mini-gardens at home to use for making their own natural recipes for family and friends.
Some of the natural products created  through the Cosmetology Garden Project include a pumpkin sugar and spice scrub and pumpkin facial mask, soy mask with mint, cucumber and green clay mask, rosemary creamy milk facial and lavender toner, a tangy honey apple mas , a green tea and peppermint toner and even a make-up brush cleaner.
Student Athena Iaizzo said the class was her favourite.
“It’s amazing how natural plants have so many benefits for our skin … we made our own recipes such as masks, toners, exfoliants and even cleansers,” she said.
“Learning the benefits of different plants and fruits is so beneficial,” she added.
Today, the windowsill garden has grown to include a large garden outside the school and other teachers and students have taken note, Mercuri said.
“Days after the garden boxes were completed, I noticed students going outside for lunch … sitting on the picnic tables close to the garden,” she said. “They were speaking about the plants…and this was also happening with the hairdressing students.
“Eventually, two teachers in hairdressing … asked me if it was possible to use plants from the garden to create their own hair and scalp treatments,” added Mercuri adding that the garden can be used for mutual projects between the two departments.
As well, said Mercuri, clients at the beauty academy have appreciated the natural products created by the students.
Mercuri said the herbs were mixed to create infusions for use after exfoliation and after a face mask to rebalance the PH of the skin. The fusions are also used to mix clay or algae masks instead of tap water.
“The clients love it, and we all realized that this was a nice touch that clients don’t get elsewhere – it was a way to stand out in their future clients’ eyes too and provide a sense of added value to their clients.”
And besides face, skin and back treatments, the herbs have been used to make tea, for both students and clients.
“It wasn’t just tea from the store, but plants that belonged to them, that came from the garden that they took care of,” she said adding that students in a manicure class made tea from the garden for their clients.
“I was really happy to hear that…they were so proud to show and tell their clients about the garden… this evolved into great communication with their clients.”
Mercuri said the project will continue to grow.
“Hopefully students will create their own styles and find more ways to incorporate what we learned from the garden…”
The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy is located at 240 promenade Beaurepaire in Beaconsfield. 514-426-5096.


Lester B Pearson School boards celebrates opening of new wing at St Patrick elementary


Lester B. Pearson School Board officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, June 1, 2015 to celebrate the completion of a much-needed $6.46 million expansion of St. Patrick Elementary School in Pincourt.

Originally approved by the Quebec government in 2013, the multi-million dollar expansion allows the school to serve 624 elementary and kindergarten students.
The school, which was initially built in 1962-63 for a maximum of 278 students, now serves 354 students. The school underwent expansion of four classrooms in 1967 to house 15 classrooms in all, including three kindergarten rooms.
A 1,100-square meter wing has been added to the building, adding 17 classrooms, 13 for elementary students and an additional four kindergarten classrooms.
The project also added a 72-square meter resource room which can be divided into smaller spaces for work with small groups of students as well as a new 122-square meter library, one music studio and a multi-use area which can be used for such things as a lunchtime cafeteria, daycare, art, parent meeting rooms and science rooms.
Sixty percent of students at St. Patrick Elementary use daycare services and, as that trend continues, the school expansion has included space for 350 children in three specific day care areas: two multi-use rooms in the new wing of the building and a new 100-square meter multi use room which has replaced the existing daycare area.
The schoolyard at St. Patrick Elementary – which is equipped with various sporting apparatus – surpasses Quebec government norms of six square-meters per student by more than 1,485 meters.
The project also included expansion of the bus loading zone to space for seven buses and one minibus. The personnel parking lot has been extended, creating an additional 22 parking spaces for a total of 50 spots.
The student population at the school is expected to grow by five per cent yearly.
Attending the event were Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols who is Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change,  Chantal C. Beaulieu ,  Assistant Deputy Minister for the English-Speaking, Aboriginal and Cultural Communities  at the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement  supérieur et de la Recherche , Jean A. Lalonde, Prefect, and Guy-Lin Beaudoin, Director General, de la MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges , Mayor Yvan Cardinal and Councilor Denise Bergeron from the City of Pincourt , LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day LBPSB Commissioner Wayne Clifford, LBPSB Director General Robert T. Mills and St. Patrick Elementary Principal Michael Rabinovitch. Members of the St. Patrick Elementary School Choir performed at the event which was also attended by grades 4,5 and 6 students.
The Lester B. Pearson School Board is an English school board serving students and staff in 59 schools, adult and vocational centres, two International Language centres, the Lester B. Pearson Vocational College, and an Administrative Centre on a territory from Verdun westward to the Ontario border.
At 86.2 per cent, the Lester B. Pearson School Board has one of the highest graduation rates in the province. As the Quebec Education Ministry aims for a province-wide 80 per cent graduation rate by the year, 2020, it has made that goal 88 per cent for the Lester B. Pearson School Board – a challenge the LBPSB takes seriously.
The Lester B. Pearson School Board is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a progressive and innovative public education institution.


Student Entrepreurship projects take centre stage



A kindergarten project of creating Rainbow Books from Allion Elementary, a Medicine Bag project from St. Lawrence Academy to help children in hospitals and a Mini-Putt Plus project created by students at Beaconsfield High School to help students with math – those were just three of 27 student Entrepreneurship projects presented May 26 at the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
“We are here to pay tribute to these amazing projects,” Michael Chechile, Director of Educational Services at the school board, told students, teachers, family and friends who attended the event.
The Mini-Putt Plus project placed first in the regional division among hundreds of projects submitted from the five Montreal Regional School Boards, including the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Coming a close second was the Medicine Bag project from the LBPSB’s St. Lawrence Academy Jr. campus.
Both projects have been submitted for national consideration, an event which will take place June 18 in Quebec City.
Much to the delight of students, staff and parents, Chechile went on to name all of the projects and even what they were about – in rapping style.
Indeed, there was no shortage of enthusiasm at the event as students were only too happy to describe their projects and how they came to be.
For example, the Medicine Bag project by the grade 2 students at St. Lawrence Academy Jr. was inspired by a classmate, Kiki Guite, who has been diagnosed with childhood Leukemia.
 “I go to the hospital for treatment once a week and the hospital puts my treatment into the bags,” Kiki said as she stood in front of the booth which showed off the beautifully decorated brown paper bags as well as a t-shirt with the project.
The bags, initially designed for Kiki , are now given to other sick children at the hospital.
“I love the medicine bags – I’ve gotten many bags and I’ve kept them all,” she said, showing a stack of the decorated bags, some with messages painted on them, that she has received so far.
It took a whole team of Beaconsfield High School students – including Ryan Murray, Justin McPhedan, Noah Bernaud, Lucas Kepekci and Lucas Legatos - to come up with the Mini-Putt Plus project that they had set up in the halls of the school board building in Dorval.
“It’s fun and at the same time, helps students learn about a fun way to learn about positive and negative integers,” said Justin as people lined up to play the mini-putt game made out of carpet, wood, plastic figures and probably duct tape.
Maria Seguin and Chris Riel-Landy, students at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson, showed off the various events – including a Haunted House - held at the school and in the community in order to send books to students in Burundi where Westwood students have helped build a school and more, as part of the Bridge to Burundi project in Africa.
Westpark Elementary students Maya Oberman, Serena Totera, Samantha Nathan, Michaela Ness and Shelly Alkoby stood proudly in front of their recycling project that they presented to fellow students at their Dollard des Ormeaux school.
Next to them, Edgewater Elementary students Siddarth Seshadri, Kylene Mah and Breanna De Forest presented their Future Steps in Robotics display. And next to them, Lakeside Academy students Nick Murdoch and Justin Francis, along with teacher Sherri MacCallum, showed off the handmade Christmas ornaments they hand-carved out of poplar wood – all part of a creating and recycling project.
Presentations were varied to say the least. Next to a Gardening Can be Delicious by Children’s World students Madison Brown, Luca di Matteo, Dalia Jacobsson and Olivia Luciano, Beechwood Elementary students presented Hercules a Play, a fundraiser directed by students Sarah Cassoff and Cassidy Mallen. Students at Verdun Elementary presented their Turning Calendars and Cards into Placemats and St. Lawrence Academy students showed their Dress for Success project in which students bring in gently used clothing for others to use.
Student Cory Lightfoot manned the Allion Elementary school presentations showing how students made sandwiches and brought them to St. Michael’s Mission in downtown Montreal to help feed the homeless. Another Allion project was a petition students created to protest the TransCanada Pipeline project and the building of a deep-water port in Cacouna, Quebec, a move which they felt would endanger wildlife, including Beluga whales. The petition was presented March 10 in the House of Commons by New Democratic MP Helene LeBlanc.
John Rennie High School’s resource Hayden Garden project – in which food grown at the school gets used in cooking classes – was on display as was the Mac Repair Shop by students at Macdonald High School.
A recycling and soft-drink tab-saving project in order to help finance the purchase of canes and wheelchairs at Mount Sinai Hospital was the presentation by Maple Grove students Seth Czempoyesh, Maya Schmidt, Samantha de Luca and Emmi Ricard. Springdale Elementary students Camryn McLean and Iman Akram presented Cha-Cha Chaing Our Way to Health and Happiness with cha-chas they made from cardboard tubes and seeds and mobiles made with positive messaging.
Beaconsfield High School students KaylaMccaog. A,amda Fester, Julia Driver, Emily Evangelatos and Tiana Killen presented the j-tak-e, an attachment to keep earphones tangle-free. A marketing company has already expressed interest in their project. Beaconsfield High School students Madison Smith, Hannah Roy and Charlotte Cassidy showed their Believe Bears, small hand-sewn or hand-knit bears that have been sent to an orphanage in Kenya as well as to the West Island Palliative Care Residence.
Riverview students Dylan Boran, Matthew Lafreniere, Amber Forster and MacKayla Eaglesham proudly displayed their hand-made Just in Case telephone and i-pad holders as well as their Kitten Mittens, designed to prevent cats from scratching furniture.


Terry Fox students explore cultural and religious diversity


Grade 6 students at Terry Fox Elementary in Pierrefonds learned a lot about cultural and religious diversity by studying and visiting four places of worship – a Synagogue, Mosque, Hindu Temple and Sikh Temple (Gurdwara).
”It is important for students who live in a pluralistic society like ours to better understand the differences that exist with the different religions and cultures,” teacher Marianick Pharand said noting that she planned the special project as part of her ethics and Religious Culture Program.
“In opening the students up to the world, it teaches them to respect others with their differences both socially and culturally and to learn that we are equal, no matter who you are.”
One of the 50 students who took part in the program, which took place in March, said the visits to the places of worship helped him and his fellow students learn about religion and cultures in a different and real way.
“I believe I learned more on the visit to the places of worship than just learning in school because you get involved with the host … you see where they worship and you can ask questions,” said Massimo D. “It’s something real and not just looking at photos.”
Pharand noted that when these students enter high school next year as well as later in life, they will be meeting and working with people of many different beliefs and cultures.
“It is essential for them to be open and informed in order to build a better world,” she added. “In effect, ignorance or not understanding other cultures or religions is what brings on discrimination - and education is the key to combat the problem of stereotyping and excluding others unjustly.
“Thanks to this exceptional form of teaching by experiencing, students better understood the differences in culture and religion,” she added. “This is how we build a better society.”


Two Lester B Pearson students awarded Tony Licursi bursaries at the May 9 Impact game



Half-time at the May 9 Impact game against the Portland Timbers at Saputo Stadium was especially exciting for two Lester B. Pearson School Board students who were awarded 2015 Toni Licursi bursaries.
Grade 11 students Annik Malo from Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School and Alex McIntyre from Lakeside Academy were presented with the awards on mid-field by LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day.
The game was also special for the Pearson Educational Foundation which received a portion of tickets sales that day, as part of All the Way with the Impact program.
The foundation funds projects not covered under the Quebec Ministry of Education. Earlier this year, PEF gave out more than $70,000 in grants to schools for such things as science equipment for kindergarten students, advanced robotics, arts, music supplies and more. In addition, PEF also takes care of many of the LBPSB’s needier students, providing them with snowsuits, scarves and mittens.
The Tony Licursi award – named after the Impact’s team statistician who passed away in 2005 – recognizes excellence in school and sports as well as team spirit.
The Timbers beat the Impact with a 2 to 1 score.


How does your garden grow at Riverview Elementary? One Tomato at a Time



A vegetable garden at Riverview  Elementary school in Verdun is part of the One Tomato at a Time collective gardening project recently named as recipient of Centraide’s  Solidaires Mobilization  Award which carries a $10,000 cash prize.

"We started a garden in 2009 at Riverview though the Community Learning centre (CLC) in order to address food security issues at our school - many of our students were eating very unhealthy lunches and snacks," said Audrey Ottier, Lester B. Pearson School Board coordinator for the Community Learning Centres at Riverview Elementary in Verdun and at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds.

"Families in our community often lacked access to fresh, healthy produce, either because it wasn't readily available in grocery stores or because it was not affordable," she added.

As well, said Ottier, the garden was an opportunity to provide an experiential learning opportunity for students.

Last year, about 150 Riverview students as well as members of the community tended to the six 5-feet by 2.5-feet raised garden bins at the school as well as two in-ground gardens which feature berry bushes.

Students have begun planting this season's garden, with the help of animators who organize educational workshops for the children.

"Each year, we did up a new section of the front lawn at the school to add to the garden," Ottier said noting that, besides berries, students and community members plant and care for such food plants as tomatoes, zucchini, squash and many herbs.

The school also has a Three-Sisters Garden, a Native American way of planting that, according to legend, describes  beans, corn and squash as three sisters who, although different, thrive when they are near each other.

The garden at Riverview began with a grant from the Pearson Educational Foundation and is now funded through the One Tomato at a Time project, said Ottier, noting that the project is the result of a partnership between several agencies - Riverview Elementary School and Learning Centre, the Dawson Community Centre and SouthWest United Church - that joined forces in 2012 to improve the food security of residents in the Desmarchais-Crawford neighbourhood of Verdun.

Central funding comes from grants from Centraide and the city of Verdun. A coordinator and several animators are hired each year to offer gardening and food transformation workshops in four collective gardens and a collective kitchen in Verdun.

This year, One Tomato at a Time is expanding to include a new garden and a new partnership: the Wellington Centre which is a program comprising the Douglas Institute's psychosocial rehabilitation and community support services for people with mental health disorders.

 The One Tomato at a Time project includes:

*The garden on the grounds of Riverview Elementary

 * A collective garden called the Jardin de l’Espérance

·         *A roof garden at the Dawson Community Centre.

·        * A parent-child cooking program at the Dawson Community Centre.

·         *Collective kitchen workshops at SouthWest United Church and Mission;

·         *Education and awareness workshops which introduce school children to gardening, cooking and health eating.

for more information on the One Tomato at a Time project, go to






Lester B Pearson entrepreneurs take top regional prizes



Who would have thought that playing mini-putt could be an educational experience? Or that a Medicine Bag project - created by grade 2 students at St. Lawrence Academy Jr. to help a fellow student suffering from a serious childhood illness -  would lead to tops spots at the Quebec Entrepreneurship Nationals in Quebec City.
The Minis-Putt Plus project, created by students at Beaconsfield High school, placed first in the regional division among hundreds of projects submitted from the five Montreal Regional School Boards, including the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
And coming a close second was the Medicine Bag project from the LBPSB’s St. Lawrence Academy Jr. campus.
Both projects have been submitted for national consideration, an event which will take place June 18 in Quebec City.
The Medicine Bag project by the grade 2 students at St. Lawrence Academy  Jr. was inspired  by a classmate, Kiki Guite, who has been diagnosed with childhood Leukemia.
“The students in Kiki’s class decided they wanted to create medicine bags which would be decorated for special holiday occasions and would be filled with the essentials for a hospital stay as well as personal get-well note from the students,” said Mary Anne Fyckes, Spiritual Animator at St. Lawrence Sr.
The bags, initially designed for Kiki , are now given to other sick children at the hospital.
“I love the medicine bags – I’ve gotten many bags from my classmates when in was in the hospital – and I’ve kept them all in a scrapbook,” Kiki said in a statement through the school, located in Ville LaSalle.
Beaconsfield High School Teacher Rosemary Hill, said the Mini-Putt Plus project was educational not only for the students who play the game, but for those who created it.
“The Mini-Putt Plus project helped students learn a relevant math concept as well as develop entrepreneurial skills including problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills,” she said.
“It was inspiring to see the students engaged, learning and having fun.”
Beaconsfield High School students Justin and Trevor said creating the game was a lot of work, as well as a lot of fun. “Sometimes as simple idea can be the best idea – it took a lot of work, but having a great team helped,” said Justin. Trevor said the project created  “a fun way to learn about positive and negative integers.”
Two other projects from LBPSB schools won the Coup de Coeur awards at the April 30 gala held at LaSalle College: the  Dress for Success project from St. Lawrence Academy Sr. in LaSalle and the Hayden Garden at John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire, an ongoing project which students do all the gardening – including purchasing seeds and herbs and keeping track of costs – as well as the tending and weeding the garden.  All of the fresh produce from the Hayden Garden is used in teacher April Rehel’s cooking classes.
The Dress for Success project was inspired by grade 4 students at St. Lawrence Sr. Academy who noticed that some classmates did not have clothing which fit them well or which could be worn during special occasions at school.
“The students rallied to collect gently-used clothing which is available to all students at the school to enhance their wardrobes,” said St. Lawrence Academy teacher Lynn Dallaire.
“Clothing has a significant effect on self-esteem and confidence,” she added, as a couple of her students agreed. “If you dress good, you feel good,” said student Veronica Batson-Deraiche.  “When I dress well, I feel smart,” said classmate Jaliyah Sinclair.
Nancy Battet, LBPSB Community and Partner Liaison, said the LBPSB encourages entrepreneurship in its schools.
“Children as young as in grade 1 are doing entrepreneurship projects in their classrooms with their teachers,” she said, noting that in all, more than 400 entrepreneur projects were submitted by LBPSB schools. That number was whittled down to 27 projects for the Quebec Entrepreneurship Regionals.
Battet explained that in order for a project to be eligible for the Entrepreneurship contest, students must identify a problem in their school, community or even globally and take action to solve it.  It can be a product, a service or an event.
“At a time when …50 to 70 per cent of students in classrooms today will be entrepreneurs or small business owners, we try to incorporate the entrepreneurial spirit into our classrooms,” she added.
The 27 projects from LBPSB schools  – including the two that are going on to the Nationals in June – and the students who created them will be at the LBPSB Entrepreneurship Gala which takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. on May 26  at the school board, 1925 Brookdale Ave. in Dorval.
For more information, contact Nancy Battet at 514-909-8711 or at  nbattet@lbpsb.qc.ca


Pearson Educational Foundation Fun Run a Sunny Success



Organizers of the second annual Pearson Educational Foundation’s (PEF) Fun Run promised a lot of sun for the May 3 event – and they came through with flying colours.
Warm weather and a bright sun saw more than 300 people taking part in the run, one of the foundation’s newest fundraisers.
“What a great day we had,” Barbara Freeston, PEF president, said of the event that took place at Centennial Park in Dollard des Ormeaux. “I want to thank everyone – those who helped organize the event and those who took part in it – for helping us make this Fun Run a reality.
Freeston noted that participants included  groups from schools, administrators, teachers, students and their families.
“They ran or walked the course with their babies in strollers, with their parents, their grandparents and even with their dogs,” said Freeston adding that this year, members of the LBPSB’s Central Students’ Committee held their own supporting run following the main event.
“We especially appreciate the support from the CSC and look forward to them participating again next year,” said Freeston noting that for some of the participants, getting to the race was a feat in itself due to road and lane closures.  
The 2K and 5K run or walk grew from an idea that the event would be a good community fundraiser as well as raise the profile of the Pearson Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds LBPSB school projects not funded by the Quebec Ministry of Education.
This school year alone, PEF gave out more than $70,000 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.
For more information about the foundation, go to http://pef.lbpsb.qc.ca and https://www.facebook.com/PearsonEducationalFoundation


How robotics can solve life on Mars issues - just ask kindergarten and grades 1 & 2 students


How many kids in kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 get to Skype with a top aerospace expert in Canada and with the NASA space programs as well as design their own robotic solutions for life on Mars?
Quite a few, as it turns out.
More than 60 kindergarten students from Beechwood Elementary in Pierrefonds and Forest Hill Jr. Elementary in St. Lazare were able to Skype with aerospace educator and consultant Brian Ewenson on Tuesday (May 5) before showcasing their own Lego robotic inventions which offered solutions to potential life-on-Mars problems such as gardening, producing electricity as well as picking up dust and moving big rocks.
Students asked Ewenson – a native of Ville LaSalle – such questions as whether there is ice on Mars. Answer: yes, but not water ice, carbon dioxide ice,” he replied.
On Wednesday (May 6) more than 180 kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 students from St. John Fisher Jr. Elementary and Clearpoint Elementary in Pointe Claire held their own Lego Robotics collaboration and competition which everyone calls a coopetition - with the theme of There Is No Place Like Mars.
They too got to Skype with Ewenson, the creator of Spaceport Calgary, the world’s first air and space museum located in an International Airport and the first non-American to be bestowed the Cherri Brinley Space Educator of the Year award.
Sophie Lussier, Pedagogical Consultant for the Lester B. Pearson School Board, said this year’s Mars events are the result of a STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – project , presented at the Space Exploration Educators’ Conference at  the Johnson Space Centre.
“…we can see the students becoming engaged in their projects, each challenged at their own level,” said Lussier, adding that the robotics projects were funded by the Pearson Educational Foundation.
“The foundation has been so generous in supporting all robotics projects,” said Lussier. “If robotics is where it’s at today at our schools, it’s due in large part to the Pearson Educational Foundation .”
St. John Fisher Jr. Principal Sylvie Martin said the Home & School Association also deserved kudos for helping out with the purchase of the robotics kits.
Some of the robotics projects shown at St. John Fisher Jr. included how vehicles would function on Mars, how to find water, a Mars Home and growing food on Mars.
One robotics project, called Dancing Birds, was made by Grade 1 St. John Fisher Jr. students, Ellie, Angel, Sophie and Adriana.  Asked why they chose to make their project about birds, they replied – as only Grade 1 students can – that “we like dancing birds  - and they could fly on Mars!”
One student asked Ewenson if people would have to wear space suits on Mars. Yes, said Ewenson who also spoke about the time it would take to travel to Mars, space food, growing food on Mars and more.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day – one of many school board officials who attended the events - even got into the swing of things by thanking the students in what she said was the Martian language.
Who knows? There was no one there to prove her wrong.


Official book launch of Bakuru and the School on the Hill



Students, family and community members got together Monday evening (May 5) for the official book launch and reading of Bakuru and the School on the Hill,a children’s book written and illustrated by the Westwood Sr. High School’s Bridge to Burundi (WBTB) students.
“You make us very proud,” Lester B. Person School Board Chairman Suanne Stein Day told students at the launch which took place in the library of the Hudson school.
“…thank you for what you are doing - making the world a better place, one child at a time.”
The book is based on the high school’s Westwood Bridge to Burundi project, a student-run initiative that began seven years ago when students learned about the life of one of their French teachers, Jean-Claude Manarakiza, who was born in Burundi and lost both his parents in separate outbreaks of genocide.
The WBTB project started off with the goal of building, staffing and supplying a school in Burundi, Central Africa – and so far, the WBTB has built more than 10 classrooms for students in grades one to six.  WBTB has also assisted villagers in developing a community co-op as well as providing the village with a flour mill, sewing machine, livestock, clean running water, solar panels and a medical centre.  As well, the project is aimed at further helping develop agriculture, farming techniques and health facilities in Rwoga, a community of 5,000 people.
The idea for a book was launched by Nancy Koluzs, a resource teacher and WBTB director, after she met with Valerie Redmond, a local author who wrote a children’s book called Emma and the African Wishing Bead.
A group of 30 Westwood students worked together to produce the manuscript for Bakuru and the School on the Hill, a story that follows a young girl in Burundi through a day of learning about the school.
Westwood art students did the colourful illustrations for the book and some alumni helped with the editing. Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) wrote the introduction to Bakuru and the School on the Hill.
Zachariya Javeri, one of the Westwood students involved in the project, said he was proud of the work everyone did to make the dream of writing and illustrating – and publishing – the book come true.
“It’s sometimes hard to collaborate – but we did it,” said the Grade 10 student.
Bakuru and the School on the Hillhas been printed thanks to a gift from Halo Publishing. All proceeds will go to the Westwood Bridge to Burundi project.
Bakuru and the School on the Hill can be purchased for $20 at www.HaloPublishing.com or directly from Westwood by contacting Nancy@bridge-to-burundi.org. Funds raised will go toward the Bridge to Burundi Project.


Lindsay Place`s John Kesson receives Humanitarian Award from the Quebec Federation of Home & School Associations



John Kesson may sometimes joke about sounding like a drill sergeant but ask any of his students – or the people he has helped over the years – and the first thing they will say is that there is a very gentle giant living under that gruff exterior.
“He’s like a teddy bear  - and he’s the reason we do what we do,” said Clara Sweetman-Hammond, a grade 11 student at Lindsay Place High School (LPHS) who has for the past three years helped  raise funds for and served dinners at the Old Brewery Mission. “Mr. Kesson is one of the kindest people I have ever met.”
Kesson, who teaches grades 9 and 10 English at LPHS, has been fostering a partnership between students and the Old Brewery Mission for more than 15 years through various fundraising activities, such as bagging groceries and selling donated clothes and wares.
Over the years, Kesson and the LPHS students have raised about $100,000 for people in need and for food and products donated to the Old Brewery Mission.
It’s no surprise then that Kesson received on May 2  the 2015 Pat Lewis Humanitarian Award from the Quebec Federation of Home &  School Associations.
 “What a wonderful idea to recognize the importance of thinking about others, especially for those less fortunate than ourselves,” QFHAS President Lawrence DePoe said in a letter to the LPHS Home & School Association which nominated Kesson for the award. “In addition, Lindsay Place students are learning a very valuable lifelong lesson by already becoming actively involved in these charitable activities.”
Linda Roach, President of the Lindsay Place Home & School Association, said Kesson’s contribution goes way beyond the time students spend in school.
“In a nutshell, Mr. Kesson has spent the last 15 years helping students develop a sense of community in both body and mind,” she said. “It is so important in these times of cutbacks, that we recognize the teachers who make the extra effort to have a positive impact on our children.”
Matthew Pearce, CEO at the Old Brewery Mission, said the mission is fortunate to be able to count on the support of loyal and long-time donors.
"And none have impressed me more than have the students of Lindsay Place High School under the leadership of John Kesson, a man who saw a way to come to the aid of our city's most vulnerable citizens - and to do so in a manner that inspired and engaged young people in a complex and demand project, from the desing stages to its implementation, and to accomplish this year after year," Pearce
“Today Lindsay Place High School holds a very special place in the hearts of the staff of the Old Brewery Mission and the clients we serve and has become especially synonymous with Christmas time celebrations,” Pearce continued.
“John’s remarkable commitment and tenacity is an example to us all of how a single citizen can create change and improve the society around him.”
Ask Kesson about his work though,  and he’ll say it’s all because of his students.
“It’s the students who do it, not me,” Kesson said. “They take great pride in what they are doing…”
Kesson said the connection with the Old Brewery Mission began more than 15 years ago when, after delivering Christmas baskets to local families in need, there was some money left over that had been collected at the school.
“Someone ... suggested we buy turkeys and potatoes with the money and take it to the Old Brewery Mission and I thought, why not,” he said adding that he did not know much about the mission back then.
In the end, Kesson and five students bought 15 turkeys and lots of potatoes down to the mission.
“We just showed up and they were happy to see us,” he said adding that staff at the mission showed him and the students around. “You should have seen the look on my students’ faces.”
Kesson thought it would be good for the mission as well as his students if the students could help at the downtown mission with some volunteer work.
“It was in January or February – after all the holidays were over and people had gotten back to their lives – and we went down and helped serve meals.
“Point a student in the right direction and he or she will do a good job,” Kesson said adding that it was a very humbling experience for the group of 14 students.
“The mission could only serve 112 people at a time so there were people lined up, waiting for their turn for dinner,” said Kesson adding that about 500 people were served that day.
The tradition continued, with students raising funds and serving dinners on Friday and Sunday nights.
“At one point, I thought not many students would want to give up their Friday nights or Sunday evenings but sure enough, they did,” he said adding that the students weren’t deterred even when they were given garbage duty, that is scraping plates clean and putting them in the dishwasher.
Lately, the LPHS students have been raising funds to buy and deliver food to the Old Brewery Mission during the Christmas and holiday period.
“I don’t know why the students continue to do this, it never ceases to amaze me,” Kesson said.
 “Volunteers or not, they have to do a good job – and they do,” Kesson said. “I don’t expect anything less than 100 per cent from them - and they give that and more.”
In fact, Kesson said that when he meets some of his former students, they often tell him that they have continued with some sort of volunteer work.
For example, in 2012 Taralyn Donnelly, a former LPHS student in Kesson’s class and who was then in her third year student-teacher stage at McGill, organized a collection of new cutlery for the Mission – in all, more than 1,200 pieces of cutlery were donated to the Old Brewery Mission from the Lindsay Place community.
And Steven Lipkowitz, who in his second year at McGill University, studying Physical and Health Education, said he was inspired by working with Kesson when he was a student at Lindsay Place.
“When I graduated from LPHS in 2008, one of the fondest memories I had was working with Mr. Kesson for three years, raising money and volunteering at the Old Brewery Mission,” he said, adding that experience has spurred him on to start a Pay It Forward project which will start off by providing the homeless with food and clothing gift cards and helping them get job interviews – and ultimately jobs.
For his part, Kesson said he is grateful for what the students have given back to him.
“As an educator, we don’t often see the benefits of the seeds we put in the ground,” said Kesson. “But I have been lucky enough to see just that.”


Beacon Hill 7th annual Art Gala raises almost $6,000



Beacon Hill Elementary's  7th annual Art Gala not only showcased student art but also raised approximately $6,000 for the school’s technology program.
“With the art of each student being displayed, the primary goal of this main fundraiser - hosted by the Home and School Association - was to let every child know that their individual creativity is valuable and that, together, they can bring about a positive change in their own school,” said Principal Patrice Delage.
Thanks to the many volunteers at the April 23 gala, parents and students were able to stroll through the various exhibits, inspired by a visit last fall to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Student artworks included sculptures and paintings, inspired from many artists including Van Gogh to Kadinsky.
Delage said the money raised will be used to complete the school’s set of iPad minis.




After more than 42 years of service dedicated to public education, Robert T. Mills announced that he will retire at the end of this school year as Director General of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
“I was lucky to come to this board and I was lucky to have the entire staff making this job one of the most enjoyable of my life,” Mills said at the April 27 monthly school board council meeting. “Thank you all.”
Mills’s career has included roles as teacher, department head and senior administrator with the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal as well as leading the Educational Services Department at Lester B. Pearson prior to assuming the role of Assistant Director General at the LBPSB in 2001. Mills has been Director General of the LBPSB for the past nine years.
 His educational leadership has been acknowledged through his service to and membership in a wide variety of professional organizations. He has served as President of the Association of Administrators of English Schools of Quebec, President of the Association of Directors General of English School Boards of Quebec and President of the Canadian Association of School System Administrators. Mills is the only Canadian to be elected to the Executive Board of the American Association of School Administrators.
In 2012, the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA) named Mills Superintendent of the Year for Canada as well as recipient of the Xerox Excellence in Educational Leadership Award.
“I can think of no more rewarding career than that of service in public education,” Mills said in a separate interview. “I have had the joy of working with our youth, with our adult learners and with the most dedicated professionals anywhere.
“On a daily basis, the people who staff our schools and centers give so much of themselves to support and advance our communities and I have shared in the pride they demonstrate,” Mills added. “My admiration for them has no boundary.”
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said the school board has flourished under Mills’s commitment and leadership.
“…running a school board well cannot be done without a partnership between the Council of Commissioners and the Senior Administration,” said Stein Day. “Bob’s commitment and encouragement to that partnership has resulted in open, easy communication and a cooperative environment committed to the success of our students.”
The Lester B. Pearson School Board is an English school board serving students and staff in 59 schools, adult and vocational centres, two International Language Centres, the Lester B. Pearson Vocational College, and an Administrative Centre on a territory from Verdun westward to the Ontario border. The Lester B. Pearson School Board is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a progressive and innovative public education institution.




Après plus de 42 années de service au sein du secteur de l’éducation publique, Robert T. Mills a annoncé qu’il prendra sa retraite à la fin de la présente année scolaire. Il quitte le poste de directeur général de la Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson.
« Je m'estime chanceux d’avoir travaillé au sein de cette commission scolaire et chanceux aussi que tout le personnel ait contribué à rendre mon travail parmi l’un des plus agréables de ma carrière », a déclaré M. Mills lors de la réunion mensuelle du Conseil de la commission scolaire le 27 avril. « Merci à tous ».
Au cours de sa carrière, M. Mills a occupé les postes d’enseignant, de directeur de service et de cadre supérieur au sein de l’ancienne Commission scolaire des écoles protestantes du Grand Montréal et il a dirigé les Services éducatifs de la Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson avant de devenir directeur général adjoint à la CSLBP en 2001. Il est directeur général de la CSLBP depuis neuf ans.
Son leadership en éducation a été reconnu dans son travail et sa participation au sein d’un vaste éventail d’organismes professionnels. Il a assumé les fonctions de président de l'Association des administrateurs des écoles anglaises du Québec, de président de l'Association des directeurs généraux des commissions scolaires anglophones du Québec et de président de l’Association canadienne des gestionnaires de commissions scolaires. Il est le seul Canadien à avoir été élu au conseil de direction de l’American Association of School Administrators.
En 2012, l’Association canadienne des gestionnaires de commissions scolaires lui a décerné le titre de directeur général pancanadien et il a aussi reçu le prix d’excellence pancanadien en éducation remis par Xerox.
« Il n’y a pas de carrière plus gratifiante que celle de l’éducation publique », a affirmé M. Mills dans une autre entrevue. « J’ai eu le bonheur de travailler avec nos jeunes, nos apprenants adultes et avec les professionnels les plus dévoués. »
« Nos employés des écoles et des centres se dévouent tellement au quotidien pour soutenir nos clientèles et les faire progresser et j’ai partagé la fierté qu’ils ressentent », a-t-il ajouté. « Mon admiration envers eux n’a pas de limite. »
La présidente de la CSLBP, Suanne Stein Day, a déclaré que la commission scolaire a  prospéré grâce à l’engagement et au leadership de M. Mills.
« On ne peut pas bien diriger une commission scolaire sans partenariat entre le Conseil des commissaires et les cadres supérieurs », a-t-elle fait remarquer. « L’engagement de Bob et l’encouragement qu’il a donné ont ouvert et facilité la communication et créé une ambiance de collaboration vouée à la réussite de nos élèves. »
La Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson est une commission scolaire anglophone qui accueille des élèves et emploie du personnel dans 59 écoles, centres d’éducation aux adultes et centres de formation professionnelle, deux centres linguistiques internationaux, au collège de formation Lester-B.-Pearson et dans un centre administratif sur un territoire qui s’étend de Verdun vers l’Ouest, jusqu’à la frontière de l’Ontario. La Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson est reconnue aux plans local, national et international comme une institution d’instruction publique progressive et innovatrice.


Book launch of Bakuru and the School on the Hill takes place May 5 at Westwood Sr High School in Hudson



The official book launch and reading to both congratulate the Westwood Bridge to Burundi students  - and to celebrate  their vision of changing the world, one classroom at a time -  takes place May 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson.
The book – with an introduction by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) - is based on the Hudson high school’s Westwood Bridge to Burundi project, a student-run initiative now in its seventh year which started off with the aim of building, staffing and supplying a school in Burundi, Central Africa.

 While you can purchase a book online, please bring $20 with you to the book launch and purchase one and have it signed by the authors.Bakuru and the School on the Hill on Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/Bakuru-School-Westwood-Burundi-Project/dp/1612443567/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429797558&sr=8-1&keywords=bakuru





Light a Dream students taking part in a May 8 Expo in Town of Mount Royal



Handmade candles, scents, soaps and balms made by the students and alumni of the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s cooperative Education program for young adults at Light a Dream (LAD) will be among works by more than 20 artisans shown May 8 at the Creatability Expo at Rekinexion in TMR.
Light a Dream began in 1999 as a candle-making business designed to give training and vocational opportunities to young adults with developmental delays.
“We are honored that LAD was chosen to participate in the Expo – finally, an opportunity which will bring together the many talents of individuals with special needs,” said Diana Zuleeg-Crawford, the manager at the Light a Dream store, located at 475 Dumont in Dorval.
“This event will not only allow us to show off our hand-made candle products but also to launch our new line of soaps, lip balms and other bath produces which in part was made possible through a grant from the Pearson Educational Foundation.”
The Light a Dream store is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. You can also call to make an appointment should you need to go to Light a Dream during off-hours.
The Creatability Expo takes place May 8 from 3 to 9 p.m. at  Rekinexion, located at 38 Rockland in Town of Mount Royal (just behind the Rockland medical clinic).
For more information, contact Diana Zuleeg Crawford at lightadream@bellnet.ca or 514-636-9966.


LBPSB students take part in the French for the Future event



Students from six high schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) high schools took part in the April 23 French for the Future event held at the Atwater Forum Cineplex.
Winners of the LBPSB’s SLAM contest performed at the high-energy event aimed at promoting bilingualism among Canadian youth.
In all, French for the Future brought together about 500 students from 13 Montreal high schools, representing four school boards.
The theme of this year’s event was Respect, Culture and Integration into Quebecois society.
The schools represented by the LBPSB were Lakeside Academy in Lachine, John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire, Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds, St. Thomas and Lindsay Place High Schools in Pointe Claire and LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School in the LaSalle borough.
Montreal producer and breakdancer, Pierre-Michel Jean-Louis, was master of ceremony at the event and Quebecois rapper and street artist, MONK.E performed as did students at the open mike. Students learned about the hockey history associated with the Forum, which was home to the Montreal Canadiens from 1926 to 1996 and Angelike Falbo, one of the top four contestants in La Voix. Other activities included an interactive quiz on Canadian and Quebec culture and improv performances.


Grades 3 to 9 students gather at John Rennie for the 13th annual Robo Jr



Applying their knowledge in research and design as well as building,  students from grades 3 to 9 from across the Lester B. Pearson School Board came together (April 24 and 25) at John Rennie High School to show their skills and share knowledge at the 13th edition of Robo Jr.


Students at Riverview and Greendale Elementary learn the value of becoming a Canadian citizen



Giovani de Olivera and Tais da Silva moved to Canada from Brazil four years ago. On April 23, the couple was part of a group of 35 people from 14 countries  who became Canadian Citizens at a special ceremony that took place at Greendale Elementary school in Pierrefonds.
“We felt our opportunities would be better here in Canada,” Tais, who is expecting their second child,  said as she clutched a Canadian flag following the Citizenship Ceremony that took place in the school gymnasium in front of family, friends and upper level students, including the school band which played O Canada.
“We are very proud to now be able to say we are Canadian,” she added.
Students at Greendale as well learned first-hand about the rights and responsibilities, and the thrill, of becoming a Canadian citizen.  A similar ceremony took place at Riverview Elementary in Verdun - where a citizenship ceremony took place on March 26th.
“It was an honour to … host the event and we look forward to similar educational opportunities in the future,” Riverview Elementary Principal Debi Dixon said following the March 26 event which saw 35 permanent residents, including children, sworn-in as Canadian citizens by Citizenship Judge Veronica Johnson, former assistant-director at the LBPSB’s Place Cartier and former vice-principal of Beurling Academy. “Grades  5 and 6 students had the unique learning opportunity to witness and take part in this exciting educational event,” said Dixon noting that grade 5 student Dylan Boran and grade 6 student Mikayla Eaglesham served as Masters of Ceremony.
Special guest speakers who also assisted in handing out certificates to the new citizens that day were LBPSB Regional director David Meloche, LBPSB Commissioner Mary Ann Davis, and Sterling Downey, a Riverview graduate who now serves as councillor for the borough of Verdun.
On April 16, Judge Johnson visited Greendale Elementary to talk to Cycle 3 students about the meaning of citizenship, what’s involved in becoming a Canadian citizen and what are the rights and responsibilities of being Canadian. The visit preceded the April 23 swearing-in ceremony at the school.
“We welcome these new Canadians … they made very courageous and life-changing decisions,” said Stephen Brayne, principal at Greendale Elementary said adding later that having a citizenship ceremony at his school was of great value.“It’s great that our students witnessed this citizenship ceremony.”
Greendale students Mia Cummings and Celena Korban were Masters of Ceremony at the event. “We’re both very nervous and very proud to have been chosen,” said Celena Korban. Mia Cummings said she was happy and excited for the people who were becoming Canadians. "We were born here and take our citizenship for granted," she said. "These people chose to come here."
Indeed, Arlette and Marcel Koffi came from the Ivory Coast seven years ago to make a new life in Canada. "We came for a better life, security and stability," said Marcel, an engineer who is earning his Master's degree at the Ecole Polytechnique.
Safaa Kouranfal and Moussaid Abdeljailil, along with their six-year-old son, Moussait, came to Canada from Morocco three and a half years ago. “We came to make our lives better,” said Kouranfal.
Lester B. Pearson School Board Chairman Suanne Stein Day was among the guest speakers at the April 23 event, which included LBPSB Commissioner Laura Derry, Pierrefonds borough Mayor Dimitrios Beis - who immigrated to Canada from Greece in 1972 and who attended Greendale Elementary as a child  – and Nina Amrov who represented  Pierrefonds-Dollard MP Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe.
“Being Canadian is an honour, a privilege and a pleasure,” Stein Day told the group.  “Welcome to the family we call Canadians.”
Before they were given their Canadian Citizen Certificates, Judge Johnson reminded the group about the importance of the event. “It’s a special day and I urge you to remember that this is an important step to achieving your dreams,” she said. “Canada can help you achieve your dreams but you must do your part – make some plans, set goals and work hard to achieve them.”
“You are about to become the newest members of the Canadian family.”


St Thomas High School wins the Ultimate Battle of the Books



If there’s one thing to take away from the Ultimate Battle of the Books, it’s never give up.
Midway through the competition which pitted teams from three schools - Trafalgar School for Girls of the Quebec Association of Independent Schools, Lauren Hill Academy from the English Montreal School Board and St. Thomas High School from the Lester B. Pearson School Board -  it wasn’t looking good for St. Thomas.
Trafalgar and Lauren Hill were tied with 20 points each and St. Thomas trailed with 14 points.
Battle of the Books is a competition organized by librarians from the LBPSB 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.
“We’re very nervous,” said Emilia Silvestre of the St. Thomas team, as team members from the three schools took a break, had a snack and milled with the crowd of family and friends who were there to watch the event.
Apparently being nervous can help.
By the end of the regular battle followed by a tension-filled lightning round, Trafalgar toted up 70 points, Lauren Hill had 65 – and St. Thomas came through with 79 points.
“This is wonderful,” Silvestre said of her team’s win. “We hope to be back next year – this time as defending champions!”
CJAD’s Trudie Mason and author Monique Polak - whose book, Straight Punch, is one of the 14 books read for this year’s competition -  Angus Byers of Babar Books and Sandra Bebbington of the Quebec education Ministry were special guest moderators at the April 23 event.
Following the competition, LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein day congratulated all three teams and urged the students – and all students – to continue reading.
“You’re not just reading, you’re absorbing books,” she said. “I hope you keep on learning through reading – keep on reading, learning and exploring.”


Children`s World Academy hosted its first-ever Green Summit in celebration of Earth Day


 They planted seedlings in the rain, learned about basic bicycle maintenance and helping endangered species as well as composting - and even got a visit from members of the Earth Rangers, along with an owl and peregrine falcon, both of which flew across the gymnasium and right over their heads.

It was Earth Day at Children’s World Academy – which held its first Green Summit - and students from that school as well as eight other Lester B. Pearson School Board elementary schools and two high schools took part in the celebration.
“This is a fun, educational, and environmentally responsible event for the kids who are participating,” said David Estok, principal at Children`s World in the LaSalle borough. “Everything about the summit was designed to reflect an environmentally responsible way of thinking, from re-usable plates and the locally sourced organic food at lunchtime, to the fair trade organic cotton t-shirts the kids were wearing for the event
“The emphasis was on learning new ideas and taking action to protect the environment, and was a great success in both respects.”
Marissa Nicol, a grade 7 student at John Rennie High School and member of the Eco Warriors team at the April 22 event, said even very young students can be more environmentally aware. Other student teams included Super Solar Cells, Climate Change Captains and Recycling Wizards.
“We help save the environment by recycling, composting and using refillable water bottles,” she said as she stood amid some of her fellow Eco Warrior team members from schools across the board, including Allion Elementary in LaSalle, Maple Grove Elementary in Lachine, Orchard Elementary in LaSalle and St. Lawrence Academy in LaSalle.
Liam Mackay, a grade four student at Children’s World, was very proud about the display on composting he and fellow students had created.
“I knew about composting before this but I didn`t really know how it worked,” he said as Matthew Roy, a grade four student at Riverview Elementary showed off his school`s display about strange trees from around the world.
Angela Maffei, a grade 3 student at Allion Elementary, said she and her family plant a garden at their LaSalle home every year.
Students from different schools braved the rain and planted seedlings of kale, lettuce, spinach and onions, with help from Rebecca Duff from Urban Seedling, one of the four groups that visited the school to help students become more aware of eco-friendly things that everyone can do.
 Duff helped students plant the garden and spoke about communal organic gardening. Representatives from Compost Montreal spoke about the benefits of composting and showed students what a compost pile looks like under a microscope. A representative from the Morgan Arboretum talked about helping endangered species and Antoine Maher from Velo Quebec taught students the basic spring maintenance that every bike should undergo.


Six Riverdale students record song that will be played on the radio this Thursday



Tune in to 94.7 Hits FM on Thursday, April 23 at 9:30 p.m.  to hear the song "Ticking Time Bomb" which was recorded by six Riverdale High School students. Congratulations Emily Pasquarelli, Meranda Caballero, Melissa Wilson, Onika Rowe-Daniel, Emily Taylor and Megan Amofa!
You can request the song by visiting http://947hits.com.
Here's a link to the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjGUiiSp_RU


St Thomas High School wins the Final Battle of the Books - now comes the Ultimate Battle



The Final Battle is over – now get set for the Ultimate Battle.
Just like the Canadiens have been going into break-the-tie shootouts during the battle against the Ottawa Senators, the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s 2015 Final Battle of the Books ended its regular run in a 102-to-102 tie between Macdonald and St. Thomas High Schools.
And in an exciting and tension-filled overtime finish in front of a crowd of parents and friends – at which CBC Homerun host Sue Smith was the special guest moderator - the St. Thomas team took away the title of winners of the Final Battle of the Books.
But now comes the Ultimate Battle. On Thursday (April 23), the team from St. Thomas will go up against the winning Final Battle teams from the Trafalgar School for Girls of the Quebec Association of Independent Schools and – for the first time, the English Montreal School Board which will send in a team from Lauren Hill Academy.
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 which  takes place at the school board.
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.
This year’s Final Battle saw teams from four high schools -  St. Thomas, Macdonald, Westwood Jr. and last year’s winners in the Final and Ultimate Final, Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School – vying to take the title.
Caroline Pye, St. Thomas librarian and team coach, said the team’s victory was the result of a lot of practice sessions. “Our hard work paid off,” she said.
William Pugsley, a grade 9 student on the St. Thomas team, said he joined the team at the urging of his friends. “It’s been very interesting,” he said as his fellow teammates – Angela Engson, Fatma ElGeneidy, Kiara Lancing, Madeline Mugridge and Emilia Silvestre – chatted excitedly about the game.
Angela Engson, a grade 9 student on the St. Thomas team, said the April 16 event was her second try in the Final Battle of the Books.
 “We’re all nervous at first, but once it starts, we all get into it,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The Ulimate Battle of the Books takes place at 7 p.m. on April 23 at the LBPSB, 1925 Brookdale in Dorval.


Allion students Break the Silence to help buy goats for families in developing countries



When you’re a young student in grade 6, it’s often hard enough to stay quiet for six minutes, let alone six hours.
But that’s exactly what four students from the Allion elementary school Justice Club did in order to raise money to purchase goats for families in the developing world.
“We discovered today that we are stronger than our words and that our silence was really louder than our words,” said  Sandi Milian Guerrero who, along with Sneha Day, Alexis Richens-Santana and Audrey Zoso, stayed silent for six hours on Thursday, April 16, , during the whole school day.
Mary-Anne Fyckes, Spiritual Care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator at the LaSalle school, said what the students did was truly inspirational.
“Through their silence, they hope to inspire others to share what they have in order to help families in the developing world grow,” said Fyckes adding that the school community came out with inspiring words, music and dance at the end of the school day to witness the students breaking silence.
The students raised money for the purchase of goats - $50 buys one goat – through the Free the Children organization.
So far, the campaign, which ends April 30, has raised enough money to purchase 26 goats.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said the girls’ actions were not only symbolic but also served a practical purpose.
“I am so proud of these young ladies,” she said. “The silence spoke volumes about who they are, what is important to them and who they plan to grow up to be.
“Their silence shouted out to the whole community that they wanted to and can change the world – and they did change the world for at least 26 families in a developing country.”
LBPSB Regional director David Meloche said the girls’ silence spoke volumes.
 “Like the members of the Allion Justice Club, we all need to look outside our own environment to realize there are many inequalities in the world,” he said. “It is our duty to take action in building a better world for others, a world where we all have the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life.”


Vocational Training and Adult Education students show a will to succeed



Vocational Training and Adult Education students may come from different backgrounds and have different reasons for going back to school, but one thing they all do have in common is the will to succeed.
“It was my dream, my passion to learn esthetics,” Rajnish Batra, a student at the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy, said Wednesday (May 15) at a special event in celebration of Adult Learners’ Week.
Speaking to the assembly of about 70 adult education and vocational training students and special guests, including Francis Scarpaleggia, MP for the Lac-Saint-Louis riding and Jennifer Ferguson, the political aide to Jacques-Cartier MNA Geoff Kelley,  Batra said that losing her assembly job in an electronics factory was the best thing that could have happened to her.
“I had been telling my husband that I wanted to quit my job and go to school to learn esthetics but he always said no because we needed the money,” said Batra, a mother of three. “When I lost my job last year, my husband said no again, but this time, I told him no, I want to go to school  - and I did.”
Now more than half-way through her course, Batra said her husband is happy with her career choice as are her daughters, two of whom are in Cegep – one plans to be a lawyer, the other an accountant – and a third who is in high school.
Students from all seven LBPSB Adult and Vocational centres – the Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy, the Pearson Adult and Career Centre (Vocational), the Pearson Adult and Career Centre (Adult Education), the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre, Place Cartier Adult Centre, the Sources Adult and Career Centre and the West Island Career Centre – took part in the ceremony, each receiving a certificate recognizing his or her commitment to lifelong learning.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day told the assembled students how impressed she is with their commitment.
“I know it’s not easy to come back to school…but you choose to be here and you choose to honour us by graduating, letting the entire community know the value of education,” Stein Day said.
Belinda Hubert, a culinary student and single mother of two said she was “going from one lousy job to the next” when she decided to go back to school.
“I had told my younger daughter that she could be anything in life that she wanted to be when she turned around and asked me what I wanted to be,” Hubert said while thanking her teachers for their help, support and understanding.
“Even though I started a career later in life, there is no ‘best before’ date for us learners.”
Robert T. Mills, Director General of the LBPSB, said that in 43 years in the field of education, he never tires hearing about the stories adult and vocational students have to tell.
“I am consistently absolutely astonished by what you accomplish and get goose bumps by the stories you tell,” he said adding that students can only accomplish what they do with the support of great teachers and great programs. “We need …to make sure that these programs continue  with the assistance of federal, provincial and local support.”
Students from all walks of life and from here and around the world – including China, Brazil and Grenada - spoke about the journeys that led them to continue their education.
Esther Mark who came from Grenada with $145 in her pocket  - “I was the adventurous sort” – said she is happy to be in school and in her mid-40’s.
“I decided to go back to school in 2013 and there have been many challenges to face, illness and family problems,” she said. “My story is not so different from many others but I am passionate and kind, a truth seeker  - and I love knowledge.”
Veronique Marin, director of the LBPSB’s Continuing Education department , congratulated teachers and students for their work.
“We recognize your passion and resilience in doing something for yourself and your families,” she told the students.
Nicolas Morris, who is half-way though his course in auto mechanics said that he was bored in high school and didn’t have the best grades but one day, LBPSB Continuing Education representatives came to his school – and that’s when he learned about the Auto Mechanics program.
“… and I knew that’s where I wanted so spend my days after high school,” said Morris, who was accompanied at the event by his very proud mother, Delphin.  “I now wake up always amazed that I want to go to school in the morning.”


Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy celebrates Adult Learners` Week with special sweet treats for students



The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy had a special treat for students Wednesday (April 15) in celebration of Adult Learners’ Week.
Each day, we  salute our students and today they were greeted with one-of-a-kind cupcakes, each decorated with a symbol of the trade they are studying,” said Academy Director Micheline Lincoln, noting that each cupcake was decorated with a tool of the trade, such as scissors, a comb, a blow dryer, a make-up palette, lipstick or brush.
“Our vocational students all have different reasons for coming to GRBA, but no matter what their reason, they are to be commended for choosing this path and doing whatever they need to do to get to graduate,” Lincoln added.


Christmas Park Elementary presents Mulan Jr



Students, staff and family members at Christmas Park Elementary School in Beaconsfield are looking forward to the April 22 and 23 presentations of the musical adaptation of Disney’s Mulan Jr.
“Disney's Mulan Jr. is all about honoring decisions that follow traditions that have been handed down from generations to generations and by choosing to challenge traditions yet to be written,” said Christmas Park music teacher and play director, Maria Martinez.
In all, almost 40 students from grades 3 to 6 and about 10 teachers are involved in the action-packed presentation which travels back to ancient China in a stage adaptation of the hit Disney animated film in which the main character, Mulan, defies the village matchmaker and disguises herself as a boy in order to spare her father from having to serve in the army.  It is it up to Mulan and her playful sidekick, Mushu, to save the emperor. The play features such songs as Relfection, Honor to Us All and I’ll Make a Man Out of You as well as new songs.
Both shows take place at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and may be purchased at the door on the night of each performance.


Riverdale High School`s hockey team takes part in the Montreal Media Marathon 2015



The Sportplex 4 Glaces Pierrefonds arena was filled with excitement Saturday (April 11) as 63 teams, including one from Riverdale High School, took part in the Montreal Media Hockey Marathon 2015.
All proceeds from the day-long event went to the Otis Grant & Friends Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to supply food and clothes to people in need.
Besides teams made up of media players, former NHLers such as Georges Laraque, Eric Desjardins and Claude Lapointe brought their own teams as well.
 Riverdale played Global Television in the first game and won a thriller by a 4 to 3 score.
In their second game, the Riverdale team was up against a highly-skilled team which included exNHLer Jocelyn Lemieux and a number of former pro and semi-pro players. Riverdale lost 9 to 3.
“It was a great day of hockey with all proceeds going towards the Otis Grant & family Foundation,” said Keith Mills, Planning Room Technician at Riverdale who, along with Michael Gabe and Marc Traversy, were among Riverdale staff with the team.


The comedy Act like a Man, coming to the Louise Chalmers Theatre on April 16 and 17



It was an exciting dress rehearsal Tuesday (April 14) at the Louise Chalmers Theatre where members of the John Rennie Actors’ Studio will present Act Like a Man, a comedy written and directed by Nicolas Doyon. The play is a first for the Actors’ Studio, using a Black Box Theatre concept.
Act Like a Man will be presented to the public on April 16 and 17 at the theatre, located at 501 St. Jean Blvd. in Pointe Claire.
Show time is 7:30 p.m.
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of Jamie Dixon


Westwood Sr students present Bakuru and the School on the Hill - a book connected to their Bridge to Burundi Project



A group of students at Westwood Sr. High School who are part of the Bridge to Burundi Project can now proudly call themselves authors and illustrators of a book called Bakuru and the School on the Hill.
The book – with an introduction by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) -  is based on the Hudson high school’s Westwood Bridge to Burundi project, a student-run initiative now in its seventh year which started off with the aim of building, staffing and supplying a school in Burundi, Central Africa.

“This book has been such an exciting and rewarding project - what an opportunity for the students and the Westwood Bridge to Burundi Project. ,” said Nancy Koluzs, a resource teacher and a director of the Westwood Bridge to Burundi project which began when students learned about the life of one of their French teachers, Jean-Claude Manarakiza, who was born in Burundi and lost both his parents in separate outbreaks of genocide.

So far, WBTB has built more than 10 classrooms for students in grades one to six and have also assisted villagers in developing a community co-op as well as providing the village with a flour mill, sewing machine, livestock, clean running water, solar panels and a medical centre. As well, the project is aimed at further helping develop agriculture, farming techniques and health facilities in Rwoga, a community of 5,000 people.
How the book came about is quite serendipitous.

Two years ago Koluzs’s husband, Peter Nield, also a teacher at the Hudson high school, saw a children’s book, called Emma and the African Wishing Bead, written by a local author, Valerie Redmond and decided to buy it for his wife.
“ I…put it in my wife's stocking at Christmas,” said Nield, adding that he bought it because his wife is one of the directors of the WBTB project and he felt the book had a great message.

In September, Koluzs received a note from Redmond – who had heard of the WBTB project -  along with a request for a meeting.

“Valerie and I instantly connected – we both equally feel passionate about creating positive change in this world, |” said Koluzs. “As an educator, I believe it is my responsibility to motivate and inspire my students to wanting to make a difference in the world.

“I often ask them: "If we, as a global community, don't, who will?"
The two decided to try to have Westwood students write a book about the WBTB project and the students took to the project immediately.

A group of 30 Westwood students produced the manuscript for the book that follows a young girl in Burundi through a day of learning about the school. Westwood art students did the illustrations and some alumni have helped with the editing.

Bakuru and the School on the Hill
has been printed thanks to a gift from Halo Publishing. All proceeds will go to the Westwood Bridge to Burundi project.

In his introduction to the book, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire - a retired Senator and General who worked tirelessly to try to stop the genocide that took place in Rwanda when he served as force commander of a United Nations peacekeeping force in 1993 and 1994 - congratulates the students on the book and on the Bridge to Burundi Project.
"Westwood High School’s Bridge to Burundi Project is an example to all those who wonder how they can help heal the wounds of conflict…,” Dallaire said in his introduction. “Like a school, an education must be built brick by brick, by a willing team with a wide range of talents.
“When you educate people, you change destinies and nations and you may just find your own lives changed,” added Dallaire “I congratulate you on having realized this, and on the long-term nature of your commitment.”
Bakuru and the School on the Hill can be purchased for $20 at www.HaloPublishing.com or directly from Westwood by contacting Nancy@bridge-to-burundi.org. Funds raised will go toward the Bridge to Burundi Project.


St Edmund takes the title in the first-ever Qui lira,vaincra Junior competition



The competition was so fierce that the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s first-ever Qui lira, vaincra Junior – a competition promoting reading in French – had to go through two bonus rounds in order to determine a winner.
In the end, the team from St. Edmund Elementary in Beaconsfield took the top title.
“The teams were really well prepared; all the team members really knew their material,” LBPSB pedagogical consultant, Heather-Anne Denton, said of the April 8 competition which involved three elementary schools – St. Edmund, Terry Fox and Allion  - representing the three regions in the school board.
“We are already looking forward to next year’s edition,” she said adding that many parents, as well as members of the school board, came out to support the students.
The competition, which involved Cycle 3 students was similar to the Battle of the Books, with a few adjustments tailored to the elementary French second-language clientele.

“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,” Mrs Denton said


Ticket sales for the Impact MLS game on May 9 to benefit LBPSB students and schools through the Pearson Educational Foundation


The Impact MLS game against the Portland Timbers at Saputo Stadium on May 9 is a special one for the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) and the Pearson Educational Foundation (PEF).
 That day, a portion of the tickets sales made through PEF will benefit students and schools of the LBPSB.
Tickets purchased through the PEF are offered at a discount price of $12. Regular pricing is $29 a ticket. The Impact will donate $2.00 per ticket back to PEF.
Two LBPSB students will be awarded the Impact’s Tony Licursi bursaries at the game.
 “It’s a great opportunity to have fun with friends and family at an exciting game and enjoy cheering loudly for our Montreal Impact team – all while helping LBPSB students through PEF,” said Barbara Freeston, president of PEF. 
“This fantastic saving is available to anyone who buys through PEF, not only students and staff and their families, but everyone in the community.”
With increasing budget cuts looming overhead, many classroom teachers look to the PEF to fund projects not covered under the Quebec Ministry of Education. Grants take care of science fair registrations, robotics kits, cultural projects, environmental projects and more - all of which truly engage students in their learning.
In addition, PEF also takes care of many of the LBPSB’s needier students, providing them with snowsuits, scarves and mittens.
In January, PEF announced it was giving out more than $40,000 in grants to schools for such things as science equipment for kindergarten students, advanced robotics, arts, music supplies and more.
This winter, PEF also funded a variety of programs for students with special needs from Cycle 1 Elementary to Adult, including aerobics and yoga in partnership with the West Island YMCA, expansion of  the Light-a-Dream program from candle-making to include soap-making, and expansion of a cooking program at the Allancroft campus of the Place Cartier Adult Centre,. As well, PEF funded the evolution of the skid recycling program at LaSalle CFER to rebuilding and reselling the skids through the purchase of a fork-lift they could not otherwise have obtained.
The deadline to purchase Impact tickets through PEF is April 24.
To purchase tickets or for more information, go to http://pef.lbpsb.qc.ca  or call Sue grand at 514-422-3000, local 37000 or email her at  pef@lbpsb.qc.ca


Spark Vocational Training Roadshow touring LBPSB schools



There’s nothing like a rollicking roadshow to generate interest – and the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s #Spark-Vocational Training roadshow for students is designed to do just that.
“This is a high-energy, 45-minute performance that mixes acting, singing, dancing and multimedia into an exciting brew of motivation, information and entertainment,” said Ashley Foot, Transitions Consultant for adult education and vocational training at the LBPSB.
“The goal of #spark is to engage our students in a conversation about their futures in an honest, yet lighthearted way,” he added. “#spark is also a celebration of trades and the power of that choice as an alternate pathway to success.”
The LBPSB offers courses in such fields as Building and Public Works, Computing Support, Administration and Computer Technology, Food and Beverage Program, Automobile Mechanics, Interior Decorating and Display, Residential and Commercial Drafting, Health Services, Beauty Care and Electrotechnology.
LBPSB students will talk about their hopes and dream for the future.
The travelling roadshow features music by award-winning hip-hop artist Treh LaMontre and directed by Roger Carr and starring actress Marie-Pierre de Brienne, LaMonte, Eleni Metrekapolis, a Dawson Theatre graduate and Mickey Elliot, known for his YouTube posts and one-liners.
The schedule for the travelling roadshow is as follows:
April 9 - St Thomas High School, 10 a.m.
April 10  - Beurling Academy, 10 a.m.
April 13 – Riverdale High School, 11 a.m.
April 14 – Beaconsfield High School. 10:15 a.m.
For more information, contact Ashley Foot, Transitions Consultant for adult education and vocational training at the LBPSB, at afoot@lbpsb.qc.ca or go to


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 hdenton@lbpsb.qc.ca or by phone at 514-422-3000, ext 32638
For information on the Battle of the Books, contact Kathleen Conroy at 514-798-4500 or by email at emakconroy@lbpsb.qc.ca and/or Suzanne Nesbitt at 514-422-3000, ext. 32625 or by email at snesbitt@lbpsb.qc.ca


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.
Why Paris?
“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.


Lindsay Place High School students raise funds for the SPCA West Island



When Lindsay Place High School students, Shannon Bumbulis, Liam Paul and Nick Keogh heard that the SPCA West Island was in dire financial straits, they sprung into action.
The students, along with fellow members of the Pointe Claire school`s resource team, made posters and baked and sold cupcakes – lots of cupcakes.
Enough in fact to raise $232 for the shelter.
The students drove to the Vaudreuil-based facility on March 24 to donate the funds they had collected. The money, along with other community donations, has given the SPCA West a new lease on life.
“It was nice to help the animals and it was neat to see how the organization works,” said Keogh.
Since it opened just over a year ago, the no-kill shelter has rescued more than 1,000 animals in the area.


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.
For more information, go to:
www.facebook.com/Sparkes of Hope


Flag Day celebrated at Beacon Hill



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 leaders Taymond 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.
To access the Westwood Sr. blog, go to https://westwoodsrnews.wordpress.com/


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.

Each year, students make their own short film.

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

BHS students at the Montreal Museum of FIne Arts

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 (L) and Rosemary Hill

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.

Math-inspired mini-putt

Math-inspired mini-putt

“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.”

Try on a different hat

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.”
Registration for the Fun Run must be done in advance. To register, go to http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pef-pearson-educational-foundation-family-fun-run-tickets-13357114489


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.
For more information or to make a reservation, go to http://lindsayplace.lbpsb.qc.caor emailMr.meadesmusical@hotmail.com 


Olympic medalist Jessica Hewitt visits Allion Elementary



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.


Sweet harmony with Lester Be Music


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 jleblanc03@lbpearson.ca 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
• Eco-Fun!
• 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!
For more information on Junior Voyageurs, go to  http://juniorvoyageurs.lbpsb.qc.ca


Look who got caught reading!


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.
For more information on OWTA, go to  www.OvertureWithTheArts.org
The Pearson Educational Foundation website is: http://pef.lbpsb.qc.ca 


Indoors and out,it was fun for all at Lindsay Place High School`s Winter Wonderland
Lindsay Place High School's Winter Wonderland event proved to be fun for all.
Students at the Pointe Claire school organized the Jan. 17  treat for all Lester B. Pearson School Board elementary school families. 
Winter Wonderland featured free horse-drawn sleigh rides, face painting, free introductory string lessons, hot cider and hot cocoa, a parents' cafe and much more.
Jamie Halperin, a Secondary 5 student at Lindsay Place and one of the organizers of the event, said the Winter Wonderland was all about reaching out to the community.


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.
For more information on the Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie and the Get Up and Move  events, go to https://www.legdpl.com/en/ or  http://www.noussommesvaudreuilsoulanges.ca/en/


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:
Secondary One:
1-      Jenna Awasthi
2-      Hope Cornell
3-      Samuel da Costa-Zak, Justin Lakatosh and Alasdair Bell
4-      Josiane Dube and Rosalie Dube
5-      Sasha Meloche
6-      Benjamin Jacobson
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
Secondary 2:
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
8-      Jonathan Desjardins
9-      Joanna Bolyn and Megan Hong
10-   Maral Matig
Secondary 3:
1-      Nathaniel Blander and Jaiden Cohen
2-      Luca Nardi
3-      Veronica Jaramillo
4-      Riley Thompson
5-      Leah Suissa and Mehreen Syeda
6-      Belinda Chung and Darcy Roach-Kkrajewski
7-      Katie Meyers and Taylor Halperin
8-      Hadar Duskes and Samantha Liverman
9-      Felans Stoyel
10-   Liam Van Egmond and Ashely Murphy
Secondary 4:
1-      Matthew Saroop and Zack Jordan
2-      Cierra Carpentier
3-      Andrew Yee and Jonathan Myara
4-      Jasmeet Singh and Pierce katz
5-      Andrew Harvey
6-      Emily Bensimon and Siera Wilner
7-      Corey Faier, Brendan Marks and Evan Awasthi
8-      Amanda Fiore and Rajeshree Patel
9-      Ryan Mattsson and Shamsheer Khan
10-   Vithushen Sivasubramaniam
Secondary 5:
1-      Jamie Halperin
2-      Gautam Mohanlal
3-      Anthony Burris and Elan langburt
4-      Jennifer White
5-      Olivia Frenkel
6-      Ronal Millette and Liam Carr
7-      Helen Koloktronis and Justin Pemberton
8-      Andrew Burton and Ronki Patel
9-      Carly Rais and Max Williams
10-   Kalie Leitman


Francine Perkal`s legacy in Senegal


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!”
photos courtesy of Maison de la Gare


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 Kasaam of 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.
For planning purposes, registration is a must. Please RSVP to snac@lbpearson.qc.ca


Having fun in the snow at Beacon Hill Elementary


On a nice snowy day, and just before the holiday concert, students at Beacon Hill Elementary in Beaconsfield  enjoyed the winter weather with their physical education teacher, Mrs. Mumme.


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!


Another great success for A Christmas Carol


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


TOPS auditions are taking place in December


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.
For more information go to the TOPS homepage at www.topsshow.com.


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.


Free workshop for parents of soon-to-be CEGEP students takes place Dec 8



You’ve made it through kindergarten, grade school and most of high school – but being the parent of a soon-to-be CEGEP student can be very stressful.
Do you need information on such things on how the application process works, R-Scores and Omnivox, to name just a few?
Don’t worry.
A special evening for all Lester B. Pearson School Board parents with LBPSB Guidance Counsellor Sheila Southon is taking place Dec. 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School.
As well, some PCHS alumni will share their experiences about life during and after high school.
Southon’s presentation will deal with such topics as:
·       What’s the big deal about advanced math and science ?
·       How will my child be judged as a CEGEP candidate ?
·       What’s the procedure to apply ?
·       What are the alternatives for making up missing pre-requisites and for not getting into CEGEP directly ?
The evening is free of charge. Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School is located at 13,800 Pierrefonds Blvd. in Pierrefonds.


LBPSB Student Commissioners voice student concerns


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
Parent Commissioners:
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.


Remembrance Day at John Rennie High School



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.


Score with School event resonates with students
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.


Remembrance Day at Beechwood Elementary


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
Des obusiers.
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.
Tickets are available on the PEF websitehttp://pef.lbpsb.qc.ca 
and by phone 7am -1 pm  514-422-3000 x 37000


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 from  the 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 gleduc@ree.qc.ca. or
·         Lydia Girard, coordinator for this Health Promotion Project at 450-424-5727, local 222 or by email at lgirard@ree.qc.ca


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 their hair 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.”
To learn more about Mount Pleasant’s fundraising campaign, go to www.gofundme.com/coloursforcancer


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 emailpaldred@lbpsb.qc.ca


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.



ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at St Edmund Elementary


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.
“He is an inspiration to our entire community.”
Donations can still be made to Akshay’s donations page through the CCC Foundation: http://childhoodcancer.akaraisin.com/smallhands/RunAkshayGrover
To see television coverage of Akshay’s Run, go to:


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 can reached via email at <akshaygrover14@gmail.com
 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.
Akshay also has a donations page through the CCC foundation: :  http://childhoodcancer.akaraisin.com/smallhands/RunAkshayGrover
As well, Akshay has produced a four-minute promotional video to advertise his fundraiser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m79oc_Ujzg



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. 

The chart below shows a true depiction of where our financial resources are being used, as presented by MELS (Ministry of Education, Leisure & Sports).

Click here to view the original publication on the Ministry's website

Percentage of school board cost per student:

Teaching Activities:  59.22%

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.







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