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MOUNTAINVIEW PROJECT CENTRE: IN THE VANGUARD OF CHANGE

Repercussion Theatre

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, MAY 21, 2008 – Mountainview Project Centre, a social affairs high school in Côte Saint-Luc jointly run by the English Montreal School Board and  Batshaw Youth and Family Centers, continues to be on the vanguard of change.

“As such, almost all  students are simultaneously Batshaw clients,” says Principal Felix Gelbart. “ We also have a few students registered who do not have the Batshaw connection, but for whom it was felt that this was the appropriate educational placement.”

Mountainview is a highly structured program, as it must be, but this year, under the leadership of  head teacher Danny Olivenstein, it has embarked upon a courageous new journey in education.  While every student registered here has an Individual Education Plan,  the school has  moved beyond this and incorporated it as a part of a new strategic maneuver, the Personal Intervention Plan (PIP). 

The PIP, worked out in conjunction with all the teachers, the social workers, and the Batshaw staff at Mountainview is an attempt to deal with the whole child, as opposed to dealing with the academic piece one way, and the behavioural another.  While it is a long and laborious process to go through, the entire staff is better equipped to deal with each individual student on the student list as a result of this method.  Results thus far are encouraging, and refinements are constantly brought in as we learn more about each student in our care. 

Roseanne Peters has created a personal project for every student in the school, where they choose to express an element of themselves or their culture utilizing various media.  Rogelio Pabros has incorporated film making and video creation as part of his computer program.  Alain Turgeon has combined the French and Art programs by doing cross curricular projects with students, as well as leading them in a program at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Lucinda Lamontagne has introduced international cuisine and cooking in her Home Economics program. 

Another element that puts Mountainview in the vanguard is its small, but fully functional woodshop.  Here there is  one teacher, Brian Ulric, and six students who are with him throughout each  day  while two other students are on work stages. He teaches the remedial academic courses along with woodshop techniques and works almost exclusively with this group. Caretaker Wayne Franks, like all Mountainview staff, goes beyond the call of duty to assist Brian when called upon.     They build, among other things, Adirondack chairs, conference tables, cabinets and bookcases of all sorts, as well as beautiful, hand turned pen sets, ideal items to give as gifts.  If it can be made of wood, and you can describe what you need, they can and will build it to order. 
                                                       
 “The challenge of Mountainview School is to evolve with the constantly changing needs of our students,” says Mr. Gelbart,  who will be retiring at the end of June. “This staff is up to the challenge. None of  this would be possible without the cooperation and support of  our Batshaw partners and  their program manager, Brian McGirr. As well the staff relies heavily on the support of our  guidance counsellor Paola Borzone counsellor and our secretary Bev Walsh, who really runs the place.”

Mountainview students  presently have  an art and writing exhibition called Teens in Spirit on display at TheBatshaw Centre (6 Weredale Park) in Westmount.. There is no admission charge. It is being supported by the CIBC World Markets Miracle Children’s Foundation.

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca