Reopening Update 2

Montreal - Monday, June 15, 2020

Click here to download the PDF version of this message


We hope you are all keeping well!  We write today to bring you up to date on several important matters of interest to our community.


Earlier this month, Quebec Education Minister Jean Francois Roberge announced his plan to reopen elementary and high schools across the province in order to provide an additional level of educational support to some students.  In his June 3 correspondence, the Education Minister stated that school boards would determine the services to be offered, and school teams would determine the students for whom these services would be provided.  

Offering these Learning Camps was optional; but the EMSB, like many of its sister boards, felt that they should be offered – even if to a smaller group of students. It was determined that EMSB Learning Camps would focus on trying to reach students that the schools had not been able to engage via the online learning platform.

Every EMSB youth sector school extended the offer to selected students and their parents.  Of those invited, approximately 80 percent accepted to attend.  In total, these Learning Camps are serving about approximately 240 students across our system.  Learning Camps will run until June 23.

All Santé Publique guidelines for proper hygiene, safety and distancing remain in effect.  The number of students per class was limited to six students.


Two weeks ago, students with special needs in the Youth Sector and in Adult General Education in all regions of Quebec were invited back for educational support services in classrooms. 

Mackay and Phillip E Layton Schools reopened, and while not many children returned to school, those who did seemed very happy to be back.  Parents were also pleased with this opportunity.  

Students in the Adult Education programs such as Social Integration and Social Vocational Integration were invited back to school as well.  So were the students enrolled in the EMSB’s Work Oriented Training Programs (Pre-work and Semi-Skilled Trades) at the high school level.  While very few students actually returned to school, the few who did were pleased to have this opportunity.

For these services, the number of students is limited to 15 per classroom.  All Santé Publique guidelines for proper hygiene, safety and distancing remain in effect.


Given the continued need for healthcare attendants (PABs) in the CHSLDs, the Ministry of Education has created a new intensive vocational training program with the intention of being able to inject 10,000 new PABs into the system by mid-September. 

At the EMSB, this new course begins this week at Shadd Health and Business Centre.  In order to begin this week, many worked nights and weekends with our partners in the local CIUSSS to process, interview and register these students. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Shadd and in AEVS who made this possible – and of course to the teachers who volunteered to teach these classes over the summer.


Elementary and High School Sec. 1-3

Students in elementary school and students who are in Secondary I, II and III will receive a PASS / NO PASS notation on their report card.  This result will be based upon their teacher’s professional judgment, which will be informed by:

  • The student’s grades from terms 1 and 2
  • The work the student submitted between the end of term 2 and March 13
  • The work that the student voluntarily submitted since March 13
  • Teacher observations made before and /or after March 13

The final mark for students in Gr. 1 to Sec. III will be based on the Global Assessment of Competency.  There is no ponderation for terms I and II.  The teacher will evaluate the overall performance of a student and enter a pass / no pass as a final mark. 

High school students registered in a semestered courses without marks in Terms I and II, will be required to submit work or write a local exam after July 2nd.  See information on summer school below.

High School Sec IV &  V

Students in secondary IV and V will receive a percentage grade on their report card.  This final grade will be based upon the teacher’s professional judgment, which will be informed by:

  • The student’s grades from terms 1 and 2 (weighted 40 percent of term 1 and 60 percent of term 2)

This result can then be adjusted positively by the teacher, taking into account:

  • The work the student submitted between the end of term 2 and March 13th
  • The work that the student voluntarily submitted since March 13th
  • Any observations made before or after March 13th

Important notes for Sec IV and V students

Students who are currently failing in Sec. IV and V may attend summer school and write a local exam to pass the course.  More information about summer school is below.

Students in Sec. V who are registered in a repeater class this year (because they did not pass a Ministry course in Sec IV – like History Sec. IV, Science Sec. IV) who have marks on their report card for terms I and II this year, will be able to write a local exam in summer school to earn those credits. More information about summer school is below.

Students in Sec V who are NOT registered in a repeater class this year (but did not pass a Ministry course in Sec. IV – like History Sec. IV, Science Sec. IV) and who DO NOT have marks on their report card for terms I and II, will be required to write the Supplemental Ministry exam at the end of July.  More information is available below in the summer school section.

Students registered in semestered courses without marks in Terms I and II, will be required to submit work or write a local exam after July 2.


The Ministry of Education, in conjunction with Santé Publique, has given school boards permission to hold small yet significant year-end activities to highlight the graduation of students at the Grade 6 and Secondary V levels who will be making important transitions to the next phase of their education.

Elementary school Principals, staff and parent volunteers are now very busy preparing for these year-end activities to honour the Grade 6 graduates.  While high schools will hold formal convocations in the fall, they too are organizing some year-end activities to ensure that their graduates have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and say farewell to their teachers.

While every school is free to choose their own year-end activity for their grads, some examples include:  a virtual convocation ceremony, home delivery of certificates, awards and souvenirs, yearbook signings and photo sessions, curb-side processions and pickups of diplomas and souvenirs, and much more!

Congratulations to all EMSB graduates!


Since the beginning of the shutdown, our teachers have made great progress in online teaching. At the EMSB we support two platforms for online learning: Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams. A number of teachers have used Microsoft Teams. However, Google Classroom is currently the most widely used Digital Learning Platform in the EMSB. 

In terms of Google Classroom, we now have on average over 1,500 teacher classrooms which service over 9000 students. In this last month, we counted 1533 average daily Google classes.  We can also attest to a significant growth in the number of Google classes created, going from 393 classes before March 13 to 1853 classes as of June 15.

It is important to mention how quickly teachers were able to familiarize themselves with the technology or improve the skills they already had, in order to make this learning period relevant and meaningful for their students. We have been delighted by teachers who went above and beyond their comfort zone by creating video capsules, YouTube videos and virtual interactive classrooms for students to explore and remain engaged in their learning, even from a distance.

This progress was made possible due to a series of professional development offers provided by the EMSB and external collaborators such as Microsoft and Apple. During this period, EMSB teachers have participated in over 2000 sessions of professional development.

We are currently planning additional workshops for June 25, 26, 30, 31. 


Click Here to Download Summer School Session and Registration Information

  • Only EMSB Students may register for our Summer school eClass Online Courses.
  • *Course will all be offered on line except the practical portion of Science & Technology (see above)
  • Students will be allowed to register for up to two (2) summer courses and any exam, provided that the courses appear on their report card.
  • Courses will be offered only if the numbers warrant it.
  • Students may register to write the exam without taking the eClass online course offered between July 13th and July 31st at a cost of $50 per exam.
  • No refunds will be awarded after the 1st day of classes.
  • For Secondary I to III students who wish to review the most relevant Math topics so they can start their new school year in confidence, we refer you to Building Blocks Tutorials. Courses will take place in August. Please contact Joe Lumia at or by calling 514-830-0236.

More information will follow shortly.


Since the beginning of the school closure period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EMSB has been offering Emergency Daycare services to the children of front-line and essential services workers from various sectors including healthcare.  These daycares officially close on Friday, June 19, as such, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped keep those daycares running – from the caretakers who ensured important hygiene and sanitary measures, to the administrators, special education technician and attendants who volunteered to help with children with special needs, to those at head office who made the schedules, to the most important contributors, the daycare technicians and educators who oversaw these children and made them feel safe and welcome.  To all involved:  Many thanks for all that you did!


This morning, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced plans for the return to school in the fall.  In essence, students from pre-K to secondary III will return to school on a full time basis; and students in secondary IV and V will return on a semi-full time basis (with minimum of 50 percent in school).  There is a possibility however, that some instruction might continue online for these senior students.  In Adult Education and Vocational training, students will resume classes at their centres for as much of the instruction as possible.  The regular school calendar will be in effect for start dates.

Some new social distancing grouping with the junior classes were announced and some new social distancing measurements - depending on the age of the students, was also mentioned.  Some new guidelines for social distancing in school buses was also announced – one child per bench.

As soon as the board has all of these new guidelines and scenarios in writing in English, we will share it with our community.  More to follow soon.


Attached is a letter written to our community by Dr. Drouin, Head of Santé Publique in Montreal.  I encourage you to read it and save the emergency contact information that she provides in a safe place.  It may come in handy over the summer for you, or someone you know.

NOTEThis memo has been sent for translation into French and will be placed on our website shortly.

Related Articles
View All
Jul 17, 2024
The Council of Commissioners of the English Montreal School...
Read More
Jul 01, 2024
Students of the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB)...
Read More