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Montreal, September 25, 2001- Teachers from vocational training programs in English-language school boards are "going back to school" themselves to make sure their students are well-prepared to enter the job market.

A professional development program for vocational teachers, managed jointly by the Ministère de l’Éducation and the English Language Vocational Education Council of the English-language school boards helps teachers keep abreast of curriculum revisions and technical innovations reflecting the rapid pace of change in Québec’s employment sectors.

For five years now, a Short-term practicum option has provided financial assistance to centres so teachers can arrange for a few days in the industries and businesses related to the programs they teach. These short-term "stages" are a vital link to gain first-hand information on developments in various employment sectors and workplace trends and the particular techniques and processes related to the content of current vocational education programs. This popular program continues to play a valuable role in helping teachers stay up to date. However, feedback from participants and their host-employers over the years indicates these visits are too brief to meet some objectives.

The option of a Long-Term Teacher Practicum now allows for an extended stay of up to twenty days with a host company or organization. This provides an opportunity to study an aspect of a sector or particular trade or profession in greater depth and learn through hands-on training. Chosen candidates are also expected to give something back to their hosts by joining in work groups, sharing their educational expertise, and so on. Once back in their centres, they must present what they have learned to educational colleagues.

Eight teachers were chosen to complete long-term practicums in 2000-2001:

  • Ellen Buchanan-Redpath, Nursing Assistance and Assistance to patients in health care establishments programs, Riverside Technology Centre, Lester B. Pearson School Board, studied palliative care at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

  • Bruno Di Raddo, Furniture Finishing program, Rosemount Technology Centre, English Montreal School Board, visited three companies, Suss Woodcraft, Bombardier, and W.M.Yeomans Cabinet Register to study new wood finishing chemical processes and techniques.

  • Rob Ireland, Carpentry program, Châteauguay Valley Career Education Centre, New Frontiers School Board, studied and videotaped timber frame construction techniques with Heirloom Timber Frame & Construction (Athelstan, QC).

  • Asha Saxena, Accounting/Secretarial programs, Shadd Business Centre, English Montreal School Board, investigated corporate income tax preparation with Lefcort Engel Chartered Accountants (Montreal).
  • This Fall, four other teachers will complete "stages":

  • Sima Brockstein, Accounting/Secretarial programs, Shadd Business Centre, English Montreal School Board, will join Shiller Buttons (Montreal) to study import-export processes and procedures, office accounting and computing procedures and the general operations.

  • Francine Rhéaume, Furniture Finishing program, Rosemount Technology Centre, English Montreal School Board, will access the expertise of both museums and companies to study techniques of dying, staining and applying faux finishes to furniture. She will visit Bombardier(Montreal), Bomhoff (Montreal), Kalanik (Laval and Ste. Adèle), Lulac International Lacquer (Montreal), and W.M. Yeomans Cabinet Register (Montreal).

  • Barbara Tombs, Accounting/Secretarial program,Shadd Business Centre, English Montreal School Board, will work with The Eastern Group (Montreal) to gain insight into current customer service and document management techniques.

  • Edigio Fuoco, Hairdressing program, Laurier MacDonald Career Centre, English Montreal School Board, will focus on the latest techniques for relaxing and styling black hair with the help of several salons in the Montréal area.
  • The MEQ-ELVEC In-Service Steering Committee congratulates these teachers for their initiative and commitment to providing quality teaching to their vocational students.

    Michael J. Cohen
    Communications and Marketing Specialist
    English Montreal School Board
    Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
    Fax: (514) 483-7213