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MONTREAL, DECEMBER 16, 2002- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) will formally launch the Tomorrow's Schools Today project at the secondary level on Wednesday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. prior to a meeting of the Council of Commissioners. The project promotes the increased use of information and communications technology in the classroom.

ESMB Chairman Dr. John Simms and Norshield Financial Group CEO John Xanthoudakis will announce the addition of John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel to the project at the central head office of the EMSB at 6000 Fielding Avenue in N.D.G.

"The seasonal spirit of giving is arriving early at the EMSB," said Dr. Simms. "The expansion of this highly effective program to our secondary level is particularly significant especially to John F. Kennedy High. The program will help us immensely in addressing the challenge to improve the school's present networking capabilities, reduce the ratio of students per computer by increasing the number of computers in the school, and provide adequate training and support for the school's staff."

The Tommorrow’s Schools Today program was initiated five years ago by the Norshield Development Foundation at the primary school level at St. Dorothy School in St. Michel. "We are honoured and grateful to have been chosen by the Tomorrow's Schools Today program to inaugurate its entry into secondary schools," said Antonio Colannino, Principal of John F. Kennedy High School. "The project will effectively promote computer and technological literacy among all our students and teachers. We are delighted to be participating in this very successful learning initiative and eagerly await its benefits."

The Foundation is contributing $30,000 in order to implement the Tomorrow's Schools Today program at John F. Kennedy High, bringing its commitment to date over the $350,000 mark. "We are particularly proud that the Tomorrow's Schools Today program is able to furnish the financial and human resources required to give inner-city students access to an excellent technological education," said Mr. Xanthoudakis. "This initiative underscores how strongly we feel about investing in our youth."

Continuing Corporate Support Vital

"To further expand the program into other deserving elementary and secondary schools, additional corporate assistance is vital," Mr. Xanthoudakis stressed. "With the help of additional corporate and private donations, we can ensure that our children are well-equipped to meet the challenges of our ever-evolving technological society. We heartily encourage our corporate colleagues to lend their support."

About the Tomorrow’s Schools Today Program:

The original intention of the program was to augment the five-year plan introduced by the Quebec government in 1996-97, which provided special funding to all public school boards in the province in order to improve the student-to-computer ratio to 10 to 1.

To date, the Foundation has implemented its project in four inner-city EMSB primary institutions, including St. Dorothy, Coronation in Côte des Neiges, Parkdale in Saint Laurent and Honoré-Mercier in Saint Leonard. Initially, the Foundation donated computers and personnel to equip the St. Dorothy School technology lab. From there, it led a broadly-based campaign to increase the number of computers in schools, improve their networking capability and provide comprehensive teacher training and support.

The Foundation has enlisted Apple Canada and Concordia University's Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance as its principal partners. Its goal was to reduce this ratio to 5 to 1. This goal has been surpassed at its flagship St. Dorothy School. Today, the guiding mission of the program is to encourage effective collaboration and partnerships in order to make innovative educational opportunities available to young people in Montreal. Specifically, Tomorrow's Schools Today promotes the increased use of information and communications technology in our schools.

The committee overseeing the Tomorrow's Schools Today project meets monthly to review initiatives at the school level. It includes the school principals, Norshield President Dale Smith, Norshield Foundation Director Caterina Xanthoudakis, the CCSLP’s Philip Abrami and David Wells, EMSB Regional Director, Don Reid and Ken France, Apple Canada and several Information and Communications consultants.

About the Norshield Development Foundation:

The Norshield Development Foundation is a charitable organization established by the Norshield Financial Group. The Foundation’s guiding mission is to encourage and support productive collaboration and partnerships that will make innovative educational opportunities available to the youth of Montreal.

About Norshield Financial Group:

Established in 1984, the Norshield Financial Group has achieved a leadership position within the financial services industry through the development of innovative, customized products and services, with a focus on asset management and alternative investment strategies.

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