|EMSB LAUNCHES SPORTS-ÉTUDES PROGRAM AT LESTER B. PEARSON HIGH SCHOOL|
MONTREAL, JANUARY 16, 2002- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) today formally launched its first Sports-Études program at Lester B. Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) in Montreal North.
Guest speakers included Martin Lesperance, Quebec government representative responsible for the Sports-Études program, Federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Denis Coderre, EMSB Chairman John Simms and Liberal MNA Line Beauchamp. Celebrities from the world of sport on hand were Montreal Alouettes defensive end Tim Fleiszer, former Canadian Olympic basketball stars Wayne Yearwood and Trevor Williams, Olympic wrestling champion Guivi Sissauri, former Montreal Impact player and Lester B. Pearson High School grad Rudy Doliscat.
"We have been given a unique opportunity to help mould future Olympians and professional athletes," states Sylvia Lo Bianco, the EMSB commissioner for Lester B. Pearson High School.
Mr. Lesperance noted that 26 schools in Quebec have a Sports-Études program. He was optimistic that a positive decision on the Lester B. Pearson High School file will be announced shortly.
The Sports-Études program is a partnership of school board, school and sports federations, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. Once in a Sports-Études Program, students follow the regular Ministry curriculum in an accelerated manner. Typically a student must meet the requirements for a Secondary School Diploma in 60 to 75 percent of the designated time, leaving the remaining 25 to 40 percent time to pursue an athletic endeavor. The school schedule is organized so that the student-athletes finish their formal school day early each day, allowing sufficient time for training, study and tutoring Coaches, academic advisors/guidance counsellors and teachers must work collaboratively to ensure that the student does not fall too far behind at school.
At the launch, Lester B. Pearson High School signed its first ententes with Quebec Sports Federations, including those dealing with the disciplines of basketball, soccer and diving. Student athletes registered with the federations linked to Lester B. Pearson High School will be eligible to apply for admission to the school.
When fully implemented, this Sports-Études program is expected to have between 225 and 275 student-athletes in Secondary 1 through secondary 5 (Cycles 4 and 5). EMSB Director of Pedagogical Services Joseph Lalla says that the larger numbers will be in Cycle 4. In 2002-2003, the goal will be to target 32 students in Seondary I and II, gradually phasing the entire program in over four years.
Students are required to apply to the program in order to be considered for admission. While no placement or entrance exam is envisioned, students must maintain an overall average of 70 percent and a 75 percent average in English, French and Math.
Michael J. Cohen