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Fielding Focus


 
Vol. 10 No. 9 April 24, 2008
News of April 2008

EMSB IMPACT NIGHT: TICKET DEADLINE NEARS

The Montreal Impact soccer game on Wed. June 4 (7:30 p.m.) against FC Miami at the new Saputo Stadium (4750 Sherbrooke E., corner of Viau and at the Metro Viau) will be the third annual EMSB Night. In each of the last two years the EMSB has sold over 3,500 tickets per game. The Impact are making a limited number of tickets available for the EMSB at only $5 each. Students, parents and staff are encouraged to take part, but this program is not mandatory. Order forms have gone out to the schools.

The Canadian Corporate Soccer League (www.corporatesoccer.ca), which counts among its players graduates from a number of EMSB schools, has signed on a partner in this venture. They will also be selling tickets and offering clinics for EMSB students. The school that sells the most tickets will be invited on to the field to greet the players as they are introduced. The deadline for ticket orders is May 7.

May 15 is International Day of Families

FOCUS SCHOOL HEARINGS:If you could have the ideal kind of school – elementary or secondary – what would that be? That is the question the English Montreal School Board Commission on Focus Schools will be asking during the month of May.

The three scheduled regional hearings will allow members of the Commission to listen to parents of children who presently have children in EMSB schools, pre-school or private schools. Representatives from the community-at-large and from local municipalities and boroughs are also being invited to participate. The dates and locations of the hearings are as follows: Region 1, Tues. May 6, Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard (7355 Viau) ; Region 2, Mon. May 26, Dunrae Gardens in TMR (235 Dunrae) ; and Region 3, Tues. May 27, Hampstead School (83 Thurlow). Each of the meetings will begin at 7:30 p.m. with registration occurring at 7 p.m.

While it is not mandatory, presenters are being encouraged to hand in a written version of their proposal on the night they appear.

Stated EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini: “As parents you may have recognized particular talents in your children and wish them to be challenged by an appropriate focus program such as fine arts, performing arts, sports or something else in addition to the prescribed studies.”

Five school commissioners are serving on the Commission: Syd Wise (chairman), Marvin Helfenbaum, Joseph Lalla, Bernard Praw and Anne Williams. See Syd Wise’s Webcast on the front page of the EMSB website.

JOHN GRANT: Tatiana Lednow’s woodworking classes at John Grant High School in Côte Saint-Luc represents a hive of activity these days, as students produce beautiful Adirondack chairs. John Grant is an alternative special education vocational centre and devoted to the needs of students with mild to severe learning difficulties. These chairs are used primarily in an outdoor setting. They feature a rounded back and contoured seat. Students have been using a variety of tools such as jigsaws, band saws, planers, routers, belt sanders, drills and drill presses – not to mention their careful hand sanding as the final step before they assemble the chair for staining. While allowing the students a range of opportunities for planning, skill building, and problem solving, the project does have another very practical side. These Adirondack chairs have already been pre-sold to customers on a waiting list. The pride the students take in their work is rounded out by knowing happy owners are taking their chairs home. This is a true entrepreneurial enterprise.

In fact, the project has gotten support from the Student Entrepreneurial Contest. Their new marketing strategy is offering the chairs in other sizes, including a two-seater, and a smaller single version for children. They are also experimenting with a choice of finishes to satisfy different tastes. If you would like to order a chair or simply learn more about the project, please contact Tatiana Lednow at (514) 484-4161.

THE BURSARIES: Submissions are now being accepted for the Tony Licursi Bursaries, which will be presented at EMSB Impact Night on June 4 at Saputo Stadium. Please submit your entries in the form of an e-mail message to Mario Bentrovato at mariobentrovato@sympatico.ca, stipulating the name and age of the candidate, the school and grade he/she attends, the main reasons why his/her candidature should be considered, accomplishments, and how the student's performance meets the criteria (excellence in school, excellence in sports, preferably soccer, and socio-economic background).

FILM FESTIVAL: The Media Education Department of Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard, which has gained notice over the last number of years for its extraordinary publications, documentaries and movies, is preparing for its first ever Media Festival. “M-Fest” will take place Tuesday, April 29 (7 p.m.) at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre in St. Léonard (8350 Boul. Lacordaire). The first part of festival will be a display of students’ work (animation, sculpture, paintings, photography). This will be followed by a Film Festival/Book Launch. This year’s book is called “Boxes Re-Opened, Stories Re-Told.” Some stories will be acted out in vignettes, alternating with the best short films from L-Mac students. A panel of judges will choose “Best In Show.”

At the LMAC “M Fest” on April 29 copies of “Boxes Re-Opened, Stories Re-Told” and the short films (DVD) will be available for sale. About 550 tickets are available, by special invitation only! Almost 300 students are showcasing material in “M-Fest, ”   including 10 with films, 35 with book stories and 200 with miscellaneous art. Staff involved with the project are teachers Audrey and Lev Berner, Christian Gavard, Slawek Goreckim Leon Llewellyn, Charles Northey, Michael Penning and technical advisor Alan Taylor.

Last year, the students produced Class Dismissed, an actual film about the dramatic lives of ordinary teenagers and dealing with the subjects of teenage pregnancy, prejudice, drugs, and high school romance. Prior to that ,the Media Education Department produced one docu-drama called Ripples In Time with an accompanying book and five other publications: Faded Memories, Rainbow of Dreams, Memories in Black and White, Once upon a Journey and Whispering Dreams.

PROM WARS PREVIEW: As a prelude to “M-Fest,” Laurier Macdonald welcomed noted Montreal filmmaker Phil Price to the school on April 23. Mr. Price, who attended the EMSB’s Roslyn Elementary School, previewed his newest motion picture called Prom Wars which will premiere on screens across Canada on May 9. In Montreal it will ne showing at the AMC Pepsi Forum Megaplexe and at the Cinema Guzzo Theatre in Dollard des Ormeaux. The film was shot entirely in Montreal last year. It revolves around the fictitious graduating class at Miss Aversham and Miss Cronstall’s School for Girls who find that they have - in defiance  of the natural laws of probability -  all blossomed simultaneously.  Capitalizing on their unique status,  and intent on teaching high school
boys to NEVER take girls for granted, they issue a challenge to the boys  of Easthill's rival private schools,  Selby and Lancaster.  The winner in a series of designated competitions will be awarded  exclusive rights to the girls as prom dates. Like the capricious and  meddlesome gods of Greek  mythology, the ACS girls pit the boys’ schools against each other in a (secret) Prom War. For more on the film go to www.promwarsthemovie.com. LMAC students asked Mr. Price a lot of interesting questions about the business

PARKDALE BOOK DRIVE: A book drive for Parkdale Elementary School was launched at a press conference on April 21. Federal Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, the Member of Parliament for the area, was in attendance to lend his support. Principal Jacklin Webb says this initiative came about as a result of a real team effort. Parkdale is partnering with the CSSS de Bordeaux-Cartierville-Saint-Laurent, Transcontinental Imprimerie, the borough of St. Laurent and the office of Mr. Dion. This effort is to put more books at the disposal of students in the school as we emphasize the importance of literacy. Some books will remain at school and others will be given to students to take home. The theme of the book drive is: Un livre aujourd’hui—réussir demain/ A book today—success tomorrow,

Parkdale is a diverse community based school which has, as one of its main objectives, to promote literacy. Ms. Webb notes that the school hopes that members of the community will step forward and donate gently used French and English books to the school. Cash donations are also being accepted in order to purchase new books. The press conference was being held to coincide with World Book and Copyright Day, which occured on April 23. Also participating in the press conference were Parkdale Governing Board Chairman Real Thibault, teacher Stacey Monk, St. Laurent Borough Councillor Patricia Bittar, EMSB Commissioner James Kromida, EMSB Vice-Chairman Sylvia Lo Bianco, representatives from the CSSS and student reporters from the Parkdale newspaper who asked Mr. Dion several questions. Mr. Dion presented the school with two large dictionaries to get the book drive started.

LITERACY MONTH: February was literacy month at Michelangelo Elementary School.  The students were involved in activities related to promoting literacy during this time.  A general assembly was held to introduce this school-wide theme to the students. 

Michelangelo students participated in a variety of activities.  Some of them included a Read-A-Thon (to raise money towards the purchase of books), Character Dress Up Day, designed bookmarks, decorated classroom doors, Catch Yourself Reading day and more.

The teachers and administrators at Michelangelo were very pleased to see that the children were indeed very much involved in reading both French and English books on a daily basis.  The children had fun and took pride in reporting to their teachers all the books they had read.

“As it is our school mission to promote literacy in all our children, we will continue to instill a passion for books in the many months and years to come,” says Principal Anna Della Rocca. “Future projects to support this worthy cause are now in the planning.  The Daily Five program is one of the projects we at Michelangelo will begin in the upcoming school year.  The teachers are anxious to begin the new school year promoting literacy as we all believe that reading is the key to success.”

GENERATIONS BREAKFAST: 940Montreal and Q92 will be broadcasting live from La Stanza Buffet (1132 Marcel Laurin) in St. Laurent on Friday morning March 28 for their annual La Stanza Camp for Kids Breakfast. Tickets are available at the door for $10 each for a full buffet. Proceeds send poor children to summer camp. Many EMSB students are beneficiaries.

BOOK LAUNCH: This May, 100 students at Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North will launch their very own book titled Down to Earth. The collection of literature is an emotional response to global warming, environmental change and, most generally, Mother Nature's plight. The book features poems, essays and short stories which take an in-depth look at what our world might become if we do not act now to change the way we live. Justin Trudeau, son of Canada's 15th Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, will speak at the launch. Trudeau wrote one of the two introductions to the collection along with Canada's first woman in space, Roberta Bondar.

The publication is a project of the award-winning non-profit educational organization Learning for a Cause founded by Montreal educator and writer Michael Ernest Sweet. Learning for a Cause aims to engage students morally and socially through the act of creative writing. The organization holds a firm belief in the idea that the quill is mightier than the sword.

Down to Earth is a different kind of book about the environment. It is not filled with facts and figures, with reports and graphs... Down to Earth is packed with emotion, passion and vision. It is a book which poignantly illustrates our feelings in the face of change.

Down to Earth will be launched at Lester B. Pearson High School (11 575 PM Favier) on May 14 (7 p.m.). The public and press are invited to attend. RSVP is required by leaving a message for Michael Sweet at (514) 328-4442 or fax (514) 328-4443.

MINISTER VISITS: Quebec Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports Michelle Courchesne made a special visit to Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc on March 31. She was greeted by Principal Raizel Candib EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini, Commissioner Syd Wise, Director General Antonio Lacroce, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillors Dida Berku and Steven Erdelyi. The Minister met with the entire teaching staff, toured the school and got special presentations from Cycle III teacher Gloria Chalupovitsch and Cycle I teacher Sara Abudarham on the pedagogical mission of the school. The Minister visited the various classrooms while school was in session. She was very impressed with Molo’s circus gym class.

FRENCH FOR THE FUTURE: The Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec (475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est) will be the site of the 2008 French for the Future Montreal Conference on Tuesday, April 29 (9:45 a.m). Aimed at promoting bilingualism amongst Canadian youth, the theme is Respect, Culture and Integration into Québécois society. The opening speaker will Michel Godbout, the very bilingual anchor of the CBC Television News at Six.

From the EMSB, students from four schools will be participating - John F. Kennedy in St. Michel, Westmount, LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent and Royal Vale in N.D.G. The program will begin with students taking part in a game show based on Canadian and Québécois culture. It will be moderated by noted French television personality Malik Shaheed, a graduate of Westmount High School. John F. Kennedy students, who will also be working as volunteers during the day, helped in the planning for the game show which serves as an excellent ice breaker.

This will be followed at 11 a.m. by a half hour debate between the French for the Future Ambassadors – two from Halifax, two from John F. Kennedy and two immigrants from Brazil and the Carribean. At 11:30 a.m. filmmaker Nadine Valcin will discuss her documentary calledA School Without Borders, which delves into her questions about the education system and the process of integrating cultural minorities. After lunch, at 1:30 p.m., La Ligue D’improvisation de Montréal will take over and allow the students to engage in some more interaction.

JUMP ROPE FOR HEART: Royal Vale Elementary School had another successful Jump Rope for Heart event, raising funds for the Quebec Heart and Stroke Foundation. Physical Education teacher Norman Katz and a group of dedicated volunteers drove the program, which raised over $18,000 for the cause. Eric Deslauriers of the Montreal Alouettes and RJ Daniels of Mix 96 were among the special guests.

HECHT SCHOLARSHIPS: Two EMSB teachers have been selected as winners of the 2008 Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators Program to take place at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel  July 13-31  “Most of the candidates this year were exceptional and our task of selecting only three winners was extremely difficult,” said Riva Heft Hecht. M. Xavier Désilets of Royal West Academy in Montreal West and Linda Shetzer from Parkdale Elementary School in St. Laurent are the EMSB recipients. They will be joined by Sylvie Pelletier from Pointe Claire’s John Rennie High School.

These three teachers can now look forward to taking part next summer in a professional development program under the direction of the Faculty of the Yad Vashem Seminars for Educators from Abroad, International School for Holocaust Studies. The goal of the program is to provide professional development activities to teachers for teaching about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism to students in the youth Sector.

The teacher will receive both pre-training and follow-up activities sponsored by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre. An orientation program is available prior to leaving for Israel. Each teacher will be asked to create at least one teaching unit or module developed within the context learned at the Yad Vashem experience for implementation in the classroom. The unit/module has to be incorporated into the Quebec project-based curriculum and be considered for integration into the areas of cultural, language, history, literacy or art-based activities. Karine Lajeunnesse, a teacher at Rosemount High School, represented the EMSB last year. Log on to www.t-h-e-program.org.

MUSIC FEST: The 2008 EMSB Music Festival, organized by Pedagogical Services, began April 18 at the St. Pius Adult Centre for elementary students. On April 25 at Rosemount High School (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) secondary students will showcase their talents. Then, on June 13 at Westmount Park School (9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) another elementary session will take place.

BRAIN WAVES: Plans are moving ahead for the fourth Brain Waves Gala at the Leonardo Da Vinci Center on Wed. May 7. The gala will highlight talented students from 10 secondary schools. Tickets are $25 each and will go on sale soon. For more information and for tickets, please contact Lina Di Giovanni at 514-494-6931 email: linadg1@hotmail.com; Vince Lacroce at 5365 or email: vlacroce@emsb.qc.ca or Mike Talevi at 2004 or email: mtalevi@emsb.qc.ca. There is a link to the Brainwaves website on the EMSB home page.

GOD ROCKS: Inspired by the talented and musically-inclined youth, Rex Rodrigo Tolentino, a graduating student of the Marymount Academy-International Baccalaureate Program, presented a God Rocks Concert April 19 at St. Kevin’s Parish Church in Côte des Neiges. One of the requirements for graduation in 2008 is to do a special project for the community. This concert was a rock musical talent presentation of youth (all in-school) as a form of expression of promoting holistic rock sounds, without violence, obscenities, and drugs involved. More than 400 tickets were sold at $7 each. Parents raised $2,000 through sponsorship. “Our activities are school-inspired, ethnically promoted, and influenced by popular rock bands and artists, like the Police, Santana, JerryC, Evanescence and Hedley,” says Rex. “The aim of this project is to demonstrate community service through youth empowerment on social and popular activities. We, the youth, demonstrated the ability to instill volunteerism and interest among the youth as well as the ability to provide wholesome services to the families and community. In doing this concert, we attempted to raise funds for various service clubs such as the Knights of Columbus ,Squires Circle and the academic programs through the Marymount Academy Leadership Program.”
Rex wishes to thank friends, family and teachers, especially his project mentor Michael Bunn and school Principal Richard Mason. For more details call him at (514) 633-8828, (514) 346-4971 or r.x.r_triune27@hotmail.com.

JPI’S SPECIAL GUEST: Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, director of the Brain Tumour Research Centre from the Montreal Neurological institute and Hospital, took time from his busy schedule and visited John Paul I High School students in St. Léonard, in order to help them launch their brain awareness week activities and importantly to speak about the human brain. Dr. Del Maestro was accompanied by his wife Pam (a neurological nurse) and spoke to the students about the human brain, its functions and the effects of drugs and smoking. The hour long-age appropriate, interactive presentation was completed with the displaying of a model of the human brain and a real human skull.
Dr. Del Maestro, had a simple message for the students, care for your brain, and it will care for you.

A CAPELLA AT JPI: On March 26, The Bear Necessities, an a capella singing band from Brown University in Rhode Island, entertained students from John Paul I Junior High School in St. Léonard during lunchtime. They are 14 members large and sing genres ranging from Pop to Rock, and Jazz to Country. They were fun and energetic. Students just loved the experience! Info: http://www.brown.edu/Students/Bear_Necessities/. You can also check out some online videos of them performing at http://youtube.com/watch?v=1Qo61BC-1eQ or http://youtube.com/watch?v=j5_iJ4bSijM&feature=related.

VOLUNTEER NIGHT: The EMSB will hold its seventh Volunteer Appreciation Evening on Wednesday, April 30 at Le Baron Royal (6020 Jean Talon East) in St. Léonard. This year’s event is being held during National Volunteer Week.

This year’s Volunteer of Distinction is Irene Berry, who has been volunteering at Westmount Park Elementary School for the past 20 years in various capacities. “I love being at Westmount Park and being with the children. It’s like a second home to me,” said Ms. Berry, who recently turned 80. “The love I get from the children and the teachers in the school is incredible. It’s great to know that I’m appreciated by everyone.”

Time and space will not allow the EMSB to honour all of its nearly 1,500 volunteers in person. Therefore, only those individuals who have volunteered for more than five years will attend the reception, representing some 500 people. However, several thousand copies of a commemorative program book will be distributed to each school.

Dante Elementary School’s choir will be the musical guests. Global Television anchor Jamie Orchard and Luciano Pipia of CBC Radio will return as the emcees. This year’s main corporate sponsors for Volunteer Appreciation Evening are First Canadian Financial Services/TransAmerica, PBL Photography, Steve’s Music Store, Ristorante Sapore and Le Doral Hot Lunch Providers. Watch Global’s Focus Montreal this Saturday (6:30 p.m.) and Sunday (11:30 p.m. when Jamie Orchard profiles Irene Berry.

SUPERFANTASTICO: Dante  Elementary School in St. Léonard’s  Chorale  of 45 students, under the direction of Maria Alongi, was selected to sing and record the background chorus for the Superfantastico Show opening theme song  at Place Des Arts on April 13. Dante was announced on the radio along with the promo. 

AWARD FOR MOREAU: Dr. Alain Moreau, a world renowned clinician-scientist recognized for his excellence in research, associate professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and head of the molecular genetics laboratory of bone and musculoskeletal disorders at the CHU Sainte-Justine's Research Center, has won Génome Québec's "Biotechnology Award of Tomorrow," given out for the second time at the 2008 Genesis Awards Gala.

Through his revolutionary approach, he has helped the field of molecular genetics move forward by developing diagnostic tools. His work focuses on molecular and genetic diagnostic testing for idiopathic scoliosis, the most common orthopedic deformity, osteoarthritis and the selection of compounds of pharmacological interest for preventing the development of scoliosis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis or halting their progress. Dr. Moreau is presently conducting his research at a number of EMSB schools.

WORKSHOP ON DEPRESSION: The Student Services Department presented a workshop on the topic of depression for its psychologists, speech-language pathologists, special education consultants, other special needs consultants and spiritual community animators on April 10. The focus of the workshop was on the assessment, treatment and prevention of depression in children and adolescents. In this regard, the goals were to assist workshop participants to: identify youth suffering from symptoms of depression, inform parents of treatment options, and utilize cognitive-behavioural techniques aimed at both ameliorating current depression and preventing future depression in youth.

ASTRONAUT VISIT: Astronaut Dave Williams visited LaurenHill Academy on April 24.

Williams set Canada's record for spacewalks, hovering in the inky sky for 17 hours and 47 minutes. He just recently retired. Since being selected as an astronaut in 1992, Williams flew on two space shuttle missions. His first mission was in 1998 aboard Columbia. He spent 16 days on experiments focusing on the effect of weightlessness on the brain. He acted as scientist and subject in 26 experiments. Williams completed his second space flight as a mission specialist in August 2007 to assist in construction of the International Space Station. He spent a total of 28 days, 15 hours in space during his missions.

"You really can't see your feet at all but all around you, you've got this panoramic view of the Earth beneath you," he said in an earlier interview. "It's absolutely spectacular."

Williams, who also worked with NASA in Houston, Texas, as director of the space and life sciences directorate, is married to Kathy, an Air Canada pilot, and they have two children. A specialist in emergency medicine, he did research into patient survival of heart attacks outside hospitals and identification of trauma patients at high risk.
Born in Saskatoon, Sask., Williams holds a doctorate of medicine and a Master of Surgery from McGill University in Montreal.

CEDARCREST COLLECTION: As part of a global theme, The Environment and Me, the Cycle One students at Cedarcrest Elementary School in St. Laurent have been involved in an ongoing fundraiser that began at the beginning of the academic year. The students and their teachers are trying to raise funds in order to help pay for swimming lessons at the YMCA. The fundraiser involves collecting soda cans and plastic bottles and bringing them to the local supermarket for a refund. The Cycle One Team has made eight trips to the supermarket and they have collected $192.70 to date. The two classes walk to the supermarket, recycle the cans and bring their pay stubs to the cashier. When they arrive back to school, they count their earnings and add it to the new total. The students look forward to their next trip to the supermarket in hope of reaching their goal of $300.

ARTWORK AT POMPEI: Grades 3 and 4 students from Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic recently had the opportunity to work with art educator Deidre Potash from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Using the works of the Group of Seven as an inspiration (a group of artists who went out into the Canadian wilderness and captured the beauty of our land on canvas), students composed their own landscapes using water color crayons. It was an enjoyable art experience, which the students were very excited about.

AND AT WESTMOUNT: Westmount High School art teacher Silvana Anania recently brought five of her classes to the Visual Arts Centre on Victoria Avenue to learn how to make ceramic bowls. Each student made a bowl which was then donated to the Empty Bowls event taking place over the May 3 and 4 weekend. Lori Litvac of the Visual Arts Centre is participating in a city wide fundraising event to fight hunger. The project, represents a creative way of raising money for a food drive by having individuals make ceramic bowls in the art studios and then donating them to this worthy project. The “Empty Bowls” project was begun in 1990 by a high school art teacher in Michigan. Searching for a way of raising money, he had students make ceramic bowls and then served a simple meal of soup and bread to invited guests for a small fee. The guests enjoyed their meal and then kept the bowls as a reminder of hunger in the world; the money raised was then donated to a local food charity. Log on to www.emptybowls.org.

WELCOME HOME MISSION: The list of Westmount High School students who volunteer at the Welcome Hall Mission continues to grow.  Spiritual Community Animator Gladys Batten is thrilled to have over a dozen students participating regularly.  They are being put to good use, sorting clothing, food and household items, tidying up the volunteer coffee nook, greeting clients with warmth and professionalism, and generally putting themselves to good use.  They are appreciated for their initiative, energy, and cheer. They get up early every Wednesday to help out.

MULTICULTURAL DAY: Westmount High School proudly participated in its first annual Multicultural celebration April 3. The afternoon expose of cultural performances, was a culmination of wonderful ongoing traditions at the school, which focuses on sharing diversity to bring joy to the entire community!  Earlier this year WHS once again featured an ensemble of ethnic dishes prepared by Mr. Hilal and his English class, which was followed by a Multicultural Dinner on March 14, hosted by the Parent Participation Organization.  On March 19 the whole school was treated to a multicultural lunchtime sampler, all of which led up to the musical performances of April 3.

This final  event featured an afternoon assembly where Principal Michael Cristofaro opened the ceremonies with an emphasis on the precious gift of our lives here in Canada.  The piped-in student and staff flag parade representing 36 countries, and subsequent joining together to sing Canada's national anthem reflected this appreciation.  Afterwards, the audience was treated to a series of homegrown talent, which included Indian dancing, Quebecois singing, motivational rap, tango dancing, an African National Anthem, Korean Singing, Punjabi Singing, Bengali Dancing, break-dancing, fusion dances, and a spectacular ethnic fashion show and a multicultural dance by WHS teachers, who discovered their hidden talents.  All of this was made possible by the entrepreneurship project, under the faithful leadership of WHS's Entrepreneurship teacher, Michael Gale, as he counselled three very inspiring and hard-working students, Prianka Bhattacharjee, Shamila Bibi and Alyssa Carmel, with some mentoring by Gladys Batten-Baldwin, the Spiritual Community Animator.

ART COMES TO SCHOOL: Art came to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Rosemount. Luba Kalba, the art teacher invited artist Deidra Potash to work with the fourth, fifth and sixth graders. Grade 6 students studying Ancient Egypt worked with clay, creating Hieroglyphic Rosetta Stone Tiles. Grade five students made Water Color Postcards of Quebec Landscapes, and grade four made Personal Crests, with embossed metal. All groups enjoyed working with Ms. Potash immensely. It was a wonderful learning experience for all. (For more information on Art Comes to School, contact D. Potash@ 514-999-858

Meanwhile,.in conjunction with their animal theme, Sara Consalvo’s second grade students experienced a one hour lesson of a lifetime. They got a first hand look up close and personal with some of the most extraordinary animals on the planet. The world of reptiles, arachnids, and amphibians came to class on April 7.

The animals were presented by a professional animator from Magazoo, and it was an unforgettable hands on experience for everyone. The students gained amazing knowledge, and now have a better understanding of the animal’s way of life both in captivity and in the wild. (For more information on Magazoo, got to www.Magazoo.com).

Finally, the third grade students have been working on a nutrition theme during the past few weeks. As a culminating activity to the theme, the grade three teachers, Maria Sonia D’Amato and Daniel Beaudoin, alongside the school nurse, Mme. Gisele, decided to offer the students the chance to sample various vegetables. This took place on April 18 and it gave the students the opportunity to taste vegetables that they have perhaps not had the chance to get to know or taste yet in their lives.

GREEN PLAN: The EMSB Council of Commissioners have voted in favor of establishing a Green Plan for the Board. A special committee will soon be established.

EARTH DAY: In honour of Earth Day April 22 students and teachers from most EMSB schools rolled up their sleeves and participated in schoolyard clean up activities. At Gardenview Elementary School in St. Laurent
the activity was planned by Spiritual and Community Animator Mary Poullas. She explained the history and relevance of Earth Day to the students and how in joining together and taking action, we can enhance
not only the school, but our environment.

POMPEI COMMUNITY: The students of classes 2A and 2B at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic have been learning about the community and the different community helpers. They read stories and engaged in various class activities which focused on their communities. During the month of April there have been different community helpers who have come to speak to the children about their jobs. The students also collaborated together to build their own community mural. In addition, on April 22 students embarked on some Earth Day cleaning.

BOXING CLUB: The John Grant High School Boxing Club in Côte Saint-Luc is in its second year and now has 15 regular members. This club is run by Spiritual Community Animator Michael Donkers and meets about twice a month. Students learn basic punches, footwork, and defenses through repetitive drills on the heavy bag, skipping rope, and shadow boxing. The goal is to develop physical fitness, self-control, and respect for self and others. One of the discussion topics this month at the JG Boxing Club was the recent Quebec Major Junior Hockey League brawl between the Québec Remparts and the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. “It was really stupid.” felt Michael Abreu-Cardoso, a member of the boxing club. “Especially the coach (Patrick Roy) who encouraged it and who is a “hall of fame” goalie himself…I thought he would have had more respect for the game.” Another member of the club, Sebree Kendall commented on the difference between fighting in hockey and boxing “There is no discipline in hockey fights…it seems to come out of anger. Boxers learn moves and use them with discipline.”

CONTEST WINNER: Maria Cianci, a student at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Léonard, has won a contest coordinated by Montreal Police Station 42 regarding bullying. Maria came up with a slogan for an anti-bullying campaign (“Be a Buddy – Not a Bully”) that was chosen by the selection committee made up of police officers.  I believe one other slogan in French was also selected.  Constable Levesque said that 150 schools participated – nearly 15,000 students.  She won two tickets to a Canadiens hockey game and the constable and her chief were on hand to present her with the prize
GOLF TOURNAMENT: On Friday, June 27 the EMSB’s fifth annual Golf Scholarship Tournament will take place at Saint Raphaël Golf Club in Île Bizard. Joey Saputo will return as honourary chair. For profiles on the students who received scholarships at a banquet last fall, go to the Foundation section of the website and click on Scholarship Recipients. To book a foursome for the 2008 tournament, call 514-483-7200 ext. 7434 or email dmendencino@emsb.qc.ca.

POMPEI DOCUMENTARY: In creating the documentary, “Wrap Up The Pollution,” the enthusiasm of students at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic for this project was reflected in their hard work.  They researched the facts and possible solutions to create awareness on how we can help our environment. The children here are in tune with climate changes due to global warming effects. They are now advocates of communicating the message to their friends and family which is:  “Help heal our earth’s environment by recycling, reusing, and reducing.”

INTERGENERATIONAL: Teachers from Our Lady of Pompei, Fernanda Aragona, Elvira Bergantino, Sandra Guerra and Athina Zambelis, organized two events where each child was encouraged to invite a parent or a grandparent to create active links between the school and the family. The first event took place on March 14. The children and the adults enjoyed a wonderful presentation of Annabelle Canto performed by Jeunesse Musicale. On April 18 there was a “Dancing with the Stars” show. Professional dancers from the Arthur Murray School of dance delighted the audience with an array of dance styles and even taught them a few basic steps. Both of these events were funded by Supporting Montreal Schools and enjoyed by all.

DENIM DAY: In May 1997, the CURE Foundation inaugurated NATIONAL DENIM DAY, its main fundraiser. This event is held on the Tuesday following Mother's Day. Company employees across Canada join together in wearing denim and/or a "pink flower ribbon" for a suggested donation of $5 to the CURE Foundation. CURE will provide a Dress for CURE Kit, which will include posters and enrollment materials to ensure easy implementation of this program at no charge. According to statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, 22,300 new cases of breast cancer in women and 170 new cases in men were diagnosed in 2007. Of these, 5,345 proved to be fatal.

Over the past decade the EMSB Administration Office and its schools and centres have raised over $200,000 for this cause. Denim Day this year will take place on Tuesday, May 13. Forms will be sent to schools and centres shortly.

BASKETBALL CHAMPS: LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent hosted the Greater Montreal Athletic Association Basketball Championships, a first for an EMSB school. During the evening three games were played with crowds of up to 600 people. LaurenHill was thrilled to not only be in two finals but emerged victorious in both. The Bantam team defeated Howard S Billings High and in the showcase Juvenile  game LaurenHill upended Lower Canada College. Both teams qualified for the provincial championships in Saguenay- Lac St. Jean.

Meanwhile, the LaurenHill dance troupe, OUI DANCE, completed their annual tour of elementary schools, performing in six schools. They are now off to Toronto to take in some dance classes and enjoy some of the sights. A reminder to all that the fabulous end of year dance show will be held on May16 and May 17 at the Denise Pelletier Theatre.

Finally, the LaurenHill European Trip saw students spend 11 days touring Portugal. The LHA Jazz bands toured elementary schools in April.

NOVEL ON LHA BUS: Monique Polak, a popular Montreal-based young adult novelist, paid a visit to the Grade 8 students of LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus on April 11 to talk about the craft of writing a novel, as well as conduct three creative writing workshops. “If you want to become a writer, you must remember to never, ever give up and write all the time,” she advised the students.

Ms. Polak also spoke about her newly published novel called 121 Express, which deals with a group of LaurenHill students who take the Montreal Transit Commission's 121 express bus everyday to and from school. The idea for the book evolved last year, when she and LaurenHill teacher Andrew Adams collaborated with the Grade 8 students on a literary anthology project called Quebec Roots that dealt with the school and the community. One of the chapters involved some of the students' misadventures when they took the 121 express bus, and included photos of what it was like to ride that bus line. A firm believer of doing advance research, Ms. Polak rode the 121 bus with a group of students on two occasions, to experience what they were writing about for the anthology. 121 Express, which is being published by Orca Soundings Publishing Co., will be officially launched at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival on April 30. For more details, see the EMSB website press release section or go to www.moniquepolak.com.

BUILD A PLAYGROUND: Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West is the recipient of this year’s “Build a Playground” grant offered by the non-profit organization KaBOOM! and Home Depot.  On June 19 Home Depot personnel will be at Edinburgh to help build a new playground to replace the existing one.  They will be coming with volunteers and all the required materials.  Edinburgh provide the rest (the tools, the food, and volunteers for Build Day).  There is a lot of planning that needs to be done and, the bigger the team, the more successful the Build Day will be.  A project manager has been assigned to work with the school. April 22 was Design Day, at which time some of the children were involved in the design of the new playground.  “We need everyone to be involved – you, your neighbours, your family, alumni, community members and businesses,” says Heather Ogden, co-president of the Home and School Association.

EBS SCIENCE FAIR: More than 250 visitors, 110 Cycle 3 students and 20 judges packed the Elizabeth Ballantyne School gym recently for the Cycle 3 Science Fair. Excitement was high as students explained their projects to the public and the judges. There was general agreement that the calibre of the projects was extremely good and choosing the winners extremely difficult. However the judges decided that the gold medals would go to the project “Bacterial Invasion of EBS” by Tom Malcolm, Ross Green and Slater Covendon. The silver medals went to “What is a Plants Favourite Drink?” by Russell Goulet, Stephano Arrizza, and Anthony Villacorta. The bronze medals went to Logan Timmins and Bianca Decarie-Groening for “ How do You Remember“ who tied with Brian Ward, Kristof Kalman, Robert  Marien and Ophir Elizur for their project on “Lemon Batteries”. The People’s Choice award went to Megan Wade-Darragh, Maya Levin and Lee Mallon for “Lava Lamp.”Congratulations to these winners, but indeed to the entire Cycle 3 for an incredible display of science, of enthusiasm and of cooperation. A big thank-you to all the judges and to all the visitors. What an exciting evening!

MEDIA LITERACY FORUM: EMSB Pedagogical Services consultant for the portal Maureen Baron is one of seven Canadians invited to  the International Media Literacy Research Forum conference May 14-16 in London, England. This conference is being sponsored by ofcom http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/ which is the British version of the CRTC.

SINCLAIR LAIRD CAREER FAIR: The third annual Sinclair Laird Elementary School Career Fair in Park Extension was held on April 2. This event targeted students in Grades 4 to 6 in order to promote the importance of education. Different students and professionals had a kiosk at the school gym and presented their profession and educational background. This included nursing, social work and dental hygiene from CSSS de la Montagne;radiation oncology from Dawson College; animal health technology from Vanier College; robotics from Rosemount Technology Center; St-Pius X Culinary Institute; a PHD student in Clinical Psychology; a special education technician from Sinclair Laird; the vice-principal from Nesbitt School, George Koutsoulis; a socio-community police agent; a military soldier; an esthetician and members of the National Film Board.

The students really enjoyed this event and got the opportunity to see a variety of different fields. The event was organized by a final year McGill Nursing Student, Trini Das with the collaboration of the school clinician nurse, Rose Marie Lafontant.

CURRICULUM FAIR: Carlyle Elementary School in T.M.R. held its annual Curriculum Fair April 10 and 11. Having started about 20 years ago as a traditional Science Fair featuring the individual experiments of students, it has evolved and grown to display projects covering a wide range of subject areas. It is worked on by groups of students and entire classes. This year’s theme was “Literacy Comes Alive.”

VMC COMPUTER WINNER: Daniel Zambito, a Secondary II student at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, was presented with a laptop computer by officials from La Presse Newspaper and the Desjardins Education Program. In February, one 100 Secondary II French as a Second Language students from VMC participated in the first “Grille scolaire” contest. The contest consisted of successfully completing a crossword puzzle. The winner was randomly selected through a draw. There are currently 15,000 students participating in the program. In 2008, a total of 625 000 copies of La Presse will be distributed to schools free of charge. This educational program offers new pedagogical opportunities, increases literacy skills, and stimulates students’ curiosity through daily newspaper reading. Teacher Rachel Thompson was there for the presentation along with Caisse Desjardins representatives Florent Tanguay and Danielle Hénault.

SCHOOL NEEDS: CBC Television’s CBC News at Six, CBC Radio One's Homerun (88.5 FM), the Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM), the Alexander Dworkin Foundation (ADF), the EMSB, the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB), the Riverside School Board, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Equiterre and the Earth Values Institute (EVI) are proud partners in the CBC School Needs Project 2008. This partnership demonstrates our continued commitment to involving Montrealers in building our schools for the benefit of our children and the future of our community.

The CBC School Needs Project was created in 2007 out of the CBC Montreal Matters project to help meet a need at an elementary school that could not be met through its normal operating budget. Each year, the CBC School Needs project follows up on the previous year’s Montreal Matters topic. This means that for 2008, students will be developing projects related to the environment. Two schools are selected to participate by each school board. East Hill in RDP and St. Monica in N.D.G. are the EMSB representatives. Subsequently, each school receives a visit from either Equiterre or the Earth Values Institute, as well as the NFB and CBC to help educate and motivate the student in the possibilities of an environmental project in their school and community.

The projects for participating schools are determined by the students themselves with the support of a teacher. Students benefit from this project on many levels, from the educational, community and growth experience, to the concrete results of receiving services or equipment that help them as well as leaving a legacy for future students. The total cost of each proposed project is limited to between $1,000 and $2,500.

In terms of the proposal judging process, students are selected from secondary schools of each school board to join the FGM’s Youth in Philanthropy programme and serve as judges for School Needs The FGM and ADF have each committed $5,000 for this project. This will fund school environmental visits, provide $500 in up-front funding for project development to each school and grant funds for the most compelling projects, as identified by the project judges.
Students from each elementary school will present a short case for support at the end of May 2008 which will air on CBC News at Six and Homerun in September 2008 (the intervening period is also for judges to discuss and deliberate on the various projects over the summer). All media items will also be available online. In September, CBC will host a celebration event for students, teachers, principals and partners to announce the final grants as determined by the judges. Go to http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/features/schoolneeds for more details.

WATERCAN: Spiritual Community Animator Mike Shaw spoke to Grade 1 students at Holy Cross Elementary School in St. Laurent last week on the value, use and preservation of water. This was done using drama, water bottles and pictures of Canadian lakes and icebergs. “We were missing the actual photos of Watercan’s work and projects in Eastern Africa, ” he said. In stepped Gary Pluim, executive director of WaterCan and after a quick exchange of e-mails, a CD arrived at the school and Shaw had his presentation!

“I had prepped the students before, by recommending ways that they could save water,” he said. “Imagine when the same students ran towards me at school the following day and told me how they had one and two minute showers and used only a cup full of water with which to brush their teeth! Also the Watercan CD contained 120 photos of different projects in Eastern Africa and the children, as young as they were, watched and had explained to them every single photo.
“For their age the interest was amazing!” said Shaw. Other grades have been signed up for later dates.”
CULINARY VISIT: On April 9 the Grade 6 students from Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West visited the Culinary Institute at St. Pius X in Ahuntsic. Students were involved in the preparation of breakfast foods including omelets, smoothies, pancakes, waffles and breakfast club sandwiches. After all of their hard work, Edinburgh students were served an elaborate breakfast by the St Pius Culinary students! EMSB dietician Lindsay Fazekas coordinated the visit.

EASTER AND PASSOVER: Spiritual community animators Mike Shaw and Puynung Choy joined talents and efforts to present a combination of artifacts, pictures and edible items to educate the elementary students of these three schools: Dunrae Gardens, Carlyle and Holy Cross. Having already combined efforts to teach over 400 students about Chinese New Year, they worked together again for this important time in the Jewish and Christian year. In her class visits, Ms. Choy gave presentations to the students about Lent and about how other faiths fast and do penance during their annual cycle. Stories about Easter were also animated in the classes. The value of honesty, sacrifice and forgiveness was emphasized. Learning from all cultural/religious stories and understanding each other’s special days is a main component of this year’s spiritual classes.

In the assemblies, students were exposed to a taste of Matzah for the seder meal of Jews and unleavened bread the celebration of Easter by Christians in their churches. The story of the Exodus together with an animated movie described the symbols of Passover and how they applied to the exodus from Egypt. Different crosses – the crucified and resurrected crosses and the Protestant cross were shown and explained, together with how the celebration of Easter was preceded by Jesus celebrating the Seder meal. Children were then invited to dress up in the Christian garb for Easter, Christmas and Pentecost. Matzah, Eucharistic bread and Easter eggs were distributed to the teachers for distribution back in their classes. At the same time the pagan, Jewish and Christian meaning of the egg was explained. The general comment of many teachers was one of interest, surprise and openness as to how these religious symbols and activities were inter-connected.

FIGHT FOR FREEDOM: Students at Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount have embarked on a wonderful new program called Fight for Freedom. The aim is to combat world poverty. Already they have raised funds to fight the outbreak of Malaria in Africa. Teacher Lysanne Abelardo has written a wonderful article which appears in a new section of our website called School Story Submissions. You can find it in the Press Room.

STORYTELLING: Storytelling events were held in each of the regions – East Hill, St. Dorothy and St. Monica - for elementary cycle 3 students during the month of March and April. Some students told their stories in English and others in French. A total of 60 cycle 3 students presented their stories in the three regional events.

ROYAL WEST THEATRE: Royal West Academy in Montreal West is continuing its fine tradition of theatrical performances this month with a twist on an old classic.  Director Douglas Floen has set Shakespeare's classic "MacBeth" in a surreal and yet surprisingly colourful, post-apocalyptic Scotland.  The Shakespeare study group, the Bardolators, will fundraise with these performances for their trip to Stratford-on-Avon this June. 

Performances continue until May 1 at 7 pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students. A Gala Benefit with a musical interlude before the show by special guest Rob Lutes will take place on May 2 (6:30 p.m.) Flat rate admission is $15. for that night. A Dinner Theatre option is set for May 3 (6 p.m.). Advance tickets are $25. 
All performances will take place at the Royal West Academy Auditorium (189 Easton Avenue). For more details, call 514-489-8454 or log on to www.emsb.qc.ca/royalwest.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: The annual Public Speaking Competition for Secondary I to V students will take place on May 1 at Westmount High School (9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.). As in the past, the Rotary Club of Montreal has invited the Secondary V winner to participate in its event on May 15 at the St. James Club. Languages Consultant Marsha Gouett will serve as the moderator and coordinator.  

SUMMER SCHOOL: The EMSB will once again run Summer School programs at LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus in St. Laurent and John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel. The program for Secondary Cycles I and II students will operate from July 7 to 31 while an intensive eight day session for Secondary IV and V students will occur July 23 to 31. August supplementals are set for August 4 to 8. The purpose of the Summer School program for Cycle 1 is to provide continued support for students in year one of English, French and/or mathematics. It also allows students in year two the additional time and opportunity to attain the level of competency necessary to be promoted to Secondary Cycle 2. As for Secondary Cycle 2, the objective here is to provide a review in the course(s) for which students need the admission requirement of a June mark (50 to 59 percent).

DICTÉE WINNER: The Dictée Paul Gérin Lajoie is a writing contest offered to French and French Immersion schools all across Canada. In its true essence, it promotes education in Third World countries by raising funds for the construction of schools. On April 2, over 100 student finalists from their schools gathered at College Marie de France for the writing activity. Cynthia Sappracone, a Grade 6 French Immersion student from Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount, participated in the writing of a complex text on Martin Luther King. Cynthia won, having made only one small accent error. Cynthia will now represent the Quebec French Immersion Schools at the provincials on May 18 in Québec City. “Our Nesbitt immersion program has contributed greatly to this success,” said Vice Principal George Koutsoulis. “What an accomplishment!!”

COMPUTER SHUTDOWN DAY: Did you know that young adults (18-26 years) spend an average of 12.2 hours each day watching TV, surfing the web, and gaming! Conversely, studies show that we are actually happier and healthier, and our communities are stronger, the less time we spend online, and the more time we spend in the real world, engaged in
face-to-face activities with our communities, family and friends, and nature. Shutdown Day is a non-profit organization, registered in Quebec. Shutdown Day aims to raise awareness about the negative impact our overuse of computers, internet, TV, and other electronic gadgets, are having on the environment and our society. On May 3 Shutdown Day is organizing a global campaign to get participants to pledge to turn off all their electronic gadgetry for 24 hours. To learn more about Shutdown Day and how you or your organization can participate, visit http://www.shutdownday.org. Among those working on this project are Dante Elementary School teacher Dina Simec and Costa Hovris, a former parent at the school. For more information contact Ashutosh Rajekar (Co-founder) at 514-999-2322 or at asr@shutdownday.org.

EXPLORATIONS CAMP: Explorations 2008 is an enrichment day camp for all students aged four to 18. It takes place at Royal Vale School in N.D.G. and is a project of McGill University and the EMSB. The program provides interesting and challenging activities for kids by professionals in the areas of science, drama, art, computers, tennis, fencing, debating, comedy, cooking, guitar, radio, origami, band, robotics, etc. The dates are June 30 to July 11 and July 14-25. Registration has now started for this year's session. For details, call co-director Bertha Dawang at 514-398-4252, email bertha.dawang@mcgill.ca or log on to www.education.mcgill.ca/explorations for more information.

TIP CORNER

Editor’s Note: The Communications Department of the EMSB is contacted regularly by organizers of different conferences, facilitators of interesting workshops and developers of innovative fundraising opportunities. We screen these requests and make the information available to schools and centres. From this point on, we will group these in our Tip Corner and give in-school administrators, teachers, other staff, parent groups and even students of making contact directly.

STEPPING UP: The Stepping Up program, which helps demystify the high school entrance exam process, and answer some common questions about high school applications and programs, has launched a new website at www.steppingup.net. The high school application process has changed considerably over the years. Private schools have adopted the use of the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) exam and a growing number of public high schools have also introduced their own exams. Interviews are also a common part the admissions process.

“Having had children of our own go through this process, we understand that it can be a very stressful experience for your children, as well as for yourselves as parents,” state Gary and Ingrid Poupart, who run the program. “Our goal is to help your child to better understand the high school admissions process, whether in the private or public sector. We have discovered that most children are unaware of what is expected of them during this process, and this is a huge cause of stress. We believe that we can help reduce this stress by instilling the understanding and confidence needed so that they will be able to better perform when it comes to writing admission exams and being interviewed. We offer a wide range of options to help your child build the skills needed to perform their best on these demanding exams and interviews.”

On the website, visitors can learn more about Stepping Up and the many products that are offered. The website will allow you to register and pay for their popular fall workshops. They have also introduced their first in a series of practice exams booklets for parents to practice with their children at home.

TUTORIAL SERVICES: Alumno is an education center, which provides tutorial services to all elementary and all high school students in all subjects. Our purpose is to work with students who want to maintain their grades to remain a level ahead of their studies, in addition to those who have fallen behind in their classes.We start by evaluating each student, to appraise their present acumen to the fullest extent. We then prepare a customized tutorial plan for each student that concentrates on enhancing those aspects of academia upon which it is considered that the greatest attention is required. We have designed and developed effective tutorial programs with one-on-one individual attention, to assist and guide each student to achieve success during the course of their education. We continuously achieve an advantage over industry competitors by expanding our professional staff and investing in up-to-date materials and allied resources.Our highly qualified tutors understand the importance of an exceptional education and how vital it is in influencing a student’s future.We invite all students to visit our website at www.alumnoservices.com to participate in our annual "100 FREE TUTORIAL SESSIONS GIVEAWAY" or for more information at 514.364.0444 or email info@alumnoservices.com and ask for Nadine.

OPERATIC SOCIETY: The Montreal West Operatic Society is Canada's oldest musical theatre company devoted to the work of Gilbert & Sullivan, having presented its first production in the Spring of 1940.  Since then, every spring has seen one of the canon of Savoy operas performed at various locations around Montreal.  This year, they go "home" to Royal Vale School, whose auditorium was MWOS' stage for many years during the 1990s.  MWOS is classic community theatre: apart from a paid director and musicians, the entire company volunteers their time to perform as well as create sets and costumes, set and strike the stage, and run the company.  A non-profit organization, MWOS donates regularly to the Montreal Children's Hospital. Info: rodmacleod@videotron.ca, tickets@mwos.org or (514) 486-5918.

BARONESS AND THE PIG: To conclude its 20th anniversary season, Imago Theatre is proud to present the Quebec premiere of The Baroness and The Pig, written by Montreal’s own Michael Mackenzie. For more than ten years, this play has had outstanding success worldwide, having been performed in several languages. The French translation, presented by Omnibus in 1998, premiered in Montreal as La Baronne et la truie, and generated rave reviews. Set in Paris at the end of the 19th century, a wealthy Baroness, who is a great admirer of art and new inventions, decides to embark on her own experiment to study the “enfant sauvage”. In her search she comes across a young woman, who has been raised by pigs in a barnyard. Inspired by Rousseau’s Émile, the Baroness decides to call her Emily, and sets about the perilous task of transforming her from a “wild child” into an accomplished servant. The play acts as a social criticism, raising the timeless issue of an appearance-obsessed society and the hypocrisy that exists in the Baroness’ world. The more the Baroness tries to up-hold appearances, the more Emily breaks them down, as she has no interest nor understands their importance. This thought-provoking text succeeds in transforming the simple metaphor of nature versus society into a triumph of human relationships and human bonding. Imago’s Associate Director Catherine Bourgeois, assisted by Artistic Director Claire Schapiro, paints an unforgettable picture of the late 19th century’s clash of the classes. The two diametrically opposed characters, portrayed with visceral strength by Nathalie Claude and Leni Parker, develop a thread of complicity throughout the play, and form a unique bond. The Baroness and The Pig reflects many of the issues still facing us today, and reminds us that it can be liberating to let your animal instincts take over. Old fashioned ideals with a contemporary twist – who’s teaching who? For more information, call Alison Louder at 514-274-3222 or email production at imagotheatre.ca.

ADULT AND VOCATIONAL SERVICES

CHAPEAU LES FILLES: Jennifer Kaszel from the Furniture Finishing program at Rosemount Technology Centre (RTC) won at the local level of the Chapeau Les Filles competition, recognizing women who have excelled in non-traditional roles in vocational training programs. At the Regional Gala at the Centre de formation des métiers de l’acier in Anjou, she won a prize of $750 and was recommended for the category of Health & Occupational Safety at the national level (Quebec).

JFK TRAVEL INITIATIVE: The Travel students at the John F Kennedy Business Centre in St. Michel are working on a project to educate and contribute to global warming awareness, having assessed the sectors of the tourism Industry and established a list of concerns and possible solutions. In addition to the direct impact on tourism, the students have also explored the effects on day to day living. They plan to produce newsletters, covering day to day impacts. An interactive session with other students is planned for May 7 to help create more awareness and promote action. These same students also contributed to the Earth Hour event on March 29. Their efforts extended to advising over 10,000 people and reminding them to take part .

DATES OF NOTE

April 25 and 26, 2008
Junior Robotics Competition
Mother Theresa Elementary School

April 27 to May 3, 2008
National Volunteer Week

April 29, 2008
French for the Future Conference
The Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec
475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
9:45 a.m.

April 30, 2008
Secretary’s Day
EMSB Volunteer Appreciation Evening

May 3, 2008
EMSB Chorale
Spring Concert
Oscar Peterson Hall (7141 Sherbrooke Street West)
Loyola Campus, Concordia University
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
Info: 514-483-7200, ext. 7234

May 6, 2008
Region 1 Focus Schools Hearing
Laurier Macdonald High School
7355 Viau
St. Léonard
7:30 p.m.

May 8- 10, 2008
Bell Regional Elementary School Science Fair Finals
Aréna Étienne-Desmarteau
3430 rue de Bellechasse

May 8, 2008
Citizenship Ceremony
Edinburgh Elementary School
500 Hudson Ave.
Montreal West

May 13, 2008
National Denim Day

May 14, 2008
Lester B. Pearson High School Book Launch
11 575 PM Favier
7 p.m.

May 25 -31, 2008
Daycare Week

May 26, 2008
Region 2 Focus Schools Hearing
Dunrae Gardens
235 Dunrae, T.M.R.
7:30 p.m.

May 27, 2008
Region 3 Focus Schools Hearing
Hampstead School
83 Thurlow
7:30 p.m.

May 30 and 31, 2008
Roslyn Elementary School
Centennial Celebration

June 4, 2008
EMSB Impact Night
at Saputo Stadium
7:30 p.m.



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