Press Releases


MONTREAL, MARCH 27, 2013 – The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Pedagogical Services Department  is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the New Approaches, New Solutions (NANS) Program.

The  NANS strategy consists of  implementing enriched success plans and allocating additional financial resources to target schools in disadvantaged areas. Introduced in 2002 as an initiative to support 199 high schools at  55 school boards, NANS strategy now includes 778 Schools, both at the elementary and secondary leve, l from across the province. This includes 15 high schools from the EMSB.

Why an intervention strategy for disadvantaged areas?

Living in a disadvantaged area is more than just a question of low economic status. For many children, it is also a question of inaccessibility to basic life experiences, which in turn increases a series of potential risk factors. Schools intervene to Reduce the Gap and Increase perseverance and graduation rates. Literacy and numeracy has more of an impact on student success than a family’s economic status. For example, giving at-risk student opportunities to experience positive events, to read more or see more of the world, by visiting museums or plays, reduces the gap and promotes greater opportunities to succeed.

How is the intervention done?

In order to come up with NANS, new vision and new thinking are required.  A group of educational experts recommended Six Strategies to increase the opportunity for success. Briefly stated, they are:

To Prioritize by developing an accurate and shared vision of each student’s milieu including family, school and community.

To Adapt by implementing interventions that are effective for disadvantaged areas without excluding any student.

To Mobilize by promoting an active participation and collaboration of all stakeholders in the process. This, of course, includes both the school administration team and all staff members, but should also include community groups, School Board professionals and support staff, families and any other stakeholder who might be involved in the School milieu.  

To Plan by defining objectives that are long lasting and allow for constant reflection and review to ensure effective change.

To Report in order to show progress and provide paths for further success.

To Develop by integrating a culture of professional development that focuses on real change and real measurable success.

In short, we must build and support a community that rallies around student success.

What is happening at the EMSB?

EMSB schools are actively putting these strategies into practice. A new training facility at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, a student lounge at Marymount Academy in N.D.G., Media animation at Program Mile-End in the Plateau  and community support at James Lyng High School in Ville Émard  are just a few of the strategies already in place that ensure greater student success. As well, extra human resources such as tutors, wellness and life skills animators as well as dance and art leaders have proven to help high school students stay hooked on school.

At the Board level, the Pedagogical Services Department leads the way in ensuring that school administrators and personnel get all the support they need. This includes helping administrators in aligning their NANS strategies with their Management and Educational Success Agreement (MESA), offering support in terms of professional development and any NANS related needs, as well as keeping them informed of what is happening at the provincial level.

For more information, please contact Simon de Jocas, NANS consultant either by phone at 514-483-7200 ext. 7579 or by email at


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