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Repercussion Theatre


Att.: Sports desk

MONTREAL, FEBRUARY  23,  2009-    The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the four other Montreal island school boards organized a major conference at the Palais des congrès  February 20 called Eager For Success? Let’s Meet On The Island! More than 2,700 stakeholders from the youth, adult education and vocational training sectors were in attendance.

Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports Michelle Courchesne delivered a keynote address. Ten years after the switch to linguistic school boards, the directors general who initiated this far-reaching change   decided that it would be a good idea to organize this event to recognize and share the knowledge and skills developed along the way, to meet the many challenges of working with Montreal students and fostering their success.

Throughout the day, forums and lectures  provided food for thought about the different forms of success for young people and adults, be it formal academic success, student success, individualized success for all or success for educational institutions. More than 30 forums were offered in the morning,  presenting firsthand accounts of experiences in the Montreal school system and providing research data for the subjects covered. In all of the forums, participants had a chance to interact with each other and with resource persons to discuss ideas, share knowledge and encourage reflection. The lectures presented in the afternoon  enriched the vision of success and provided guidance for the activities. Jean-Pierre Charland, historian and professor at the Faculté des sciences de l’éducation de l’Université de Montréal, and Charles E. Caouette, honourary professor in the Department of Psychology of Université de Montréal and pioneer in alternative education,  followed Minister Courchesne at the podium.

This event was the result of  a team effort  by the EMSB, the Lester B. Pearson School Board,  the Commission Scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’île, Commission Scolaire de Montréal and Commission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, supported by theDirection régionale de Montréal of the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports.
The multidisciplinary workshops directly addressed the Montreal school community and included all teaching levels (pre-school, elementary, secondary, vocational and adult education). The workshop animators composed of educators and researchers addressed each topic through the support of a success story related to a project or a pedagogical approach, thus enriching the practice with the results of the research.   Attendees were made up of   teachers, pedagogical consultants, professionals, school administrators and commissioners.

Among the sessions organized by the EMSB was one entitled The  Winning Combination for Student Success,  with a panel composed of  Assistant Director of  Student Services Dora Cesta,  Spiritual, Religious and Moral Education Consultant Irene Miller,  Healthy Schools Consultant Lino Buttino and Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza. The speakers emphasized how  one does not gamble with student success. A winning combination for student success is made possible through values, beliefs, passion and vision,  structure and organization, teamwork, outreach and partnership in the community, work in the trenches (from vision to reality), a  healthy schools approach and  spiritual care and guidance and community involvement.   Student success  represents  a lifetime investment. 

The Winning Combination for Student Success workshop was attended by over 160 persons with standing room only, and seemed to have had a positive and inspiring effect on the participants. Mr. Speranza’s Power Point presentation was an illustration of the spiritual community service at the grassroots level with the students. This was the perfect illustration of where the planning and organization of the various levels (MELS, school board, sca teams) culminates in the actual success of the service and the overall success of our students.

Another was titled from Pre-K to High School: Providing a Safety Net To Success with EMSB Behavior Management Specialist Lori Rubin, Speech-Language Pathologists Elisabeth Christe and Susan Waite and Westmount High School Guidance Counsellor Karen Allen as speakers. They spoke about the EMSB’s Kindergarten Enhancement Program,  Project Harbour (anti-bullying), the Summer Language Camp, the Traumatic Events Support Team (TEST) and guidance services in general.  The EMSB was also front and centre at a session focusing on Community Learning Centres, with Assistant Director of Pedagogical Services Athina Galanogeorgos and Allanah Murphy, the coordinator of the James Lyng High School Community Learning Centre speaking.

The five school boards on the island of Montréal, three Francophone and two Anglophone, created ten years ago, total more than 200,000 students in almost 500 schools and centres where 40,000 stakeholders bustle about daily, with a passion for success!


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