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Director General's Month in Review - April 2017

Posted by slazarus on April 25, 2017 at 10:16 am

Michael Chechile, Director General of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, is always on-the-go; visiting schools and seeing students and teachers in action and witnessing months of preparation and planning come to life. Each month Mr. Chechile will present a summary of where he's been, who's he's met, and how the LBPSB community continues to impress him.


TOPS #next Storytellers

I had the privilege of visiting a TOPS rehearsal; only a couple of days before opening night. Not only was I completely blown away by the students’ singing and dancing talents, but the sense of teamwork and camaraderie was truly remarkable. For its 14th year, TOPS brought the crowd at Lakeside Academy to its feet in roaring cheers and applause. Congratulations to all our TOPS performers and their fearless leader, Ashley Daniel Foot, for another spectacular showcase.




Vimy Ridge 

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, students from Lindsay Place and St. Thomas High Schools travelled to France to attend a remembrance ceremony. Many of the students felt a close connection to the fallen soldiers; many of whom were teens themselves while they served. As one student recounted, “there were definitely a lot of emotions...pride, honour, and also sympathy.”



Adult Learners’ Gala 

On April 6th, we recognized the achievements of our adult learners at our annual Adult Learners’ Gala. Students were presented with certificates and representatives from each center addressed the crowd of fellow students, teachers and distinguished guests. For some it was an emotional event. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments.



Verdun School Perseverance Summit

Meaningful partnerships were formed and insights were shared at the Verdun School Perseverance Summit. Staff representatives from Riverview, Verdun Elementary, and Beurling Academy learned about the key demographics of the Verdun community and the need to promote staying in school. Our team participated in hands-on activities with other schools and community groups; working together on a shared goal of school success.



Thanks to all the students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents who helped make April such a success. Stay tuned bright and sunny MAY with the LIFE Leadership Summit, OSEntreprendre gala, and so much more!

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Montreal Impact and the LBPSB: Partnering All The Way

Posted by slazarus on April 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

The Lester B. Pearson School Proud is proud to partner with The Montreal Impact for its “All The Way With The Impact” initiative. Recognizing the engagement and motivating potential of professional sports, LBPSB is committed to facilitating these relationships for our students.


On April 15th, over 700 LBPSB students, teachers, staff, and families attended a Montreal Impact game against Atlanta United (and yes, Impact won!). Montreal Impact donated 2$ for every LBPSB spectator, raising $1,400 for the Pearson Educational Foundation.



Pictured from left to right: Tristan Daniel (John Rennie High School), Cassandra Berardesca (Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School), Rino Folino (Montreal Impact, Director of Partnerships), and Mario Barrette (LBPSB, Director, Community Services)


The Montreal Impact also provides a scholarship to students who demonstrate determination and leadership within their school and broader communities. Congratulations to Lasalle Community Comprehensive's Cassandra Berardesca and John Rennie's Tristan Daniel for being awarded the Tony Licursi Bursary from the Montreal Impact! These scholarships were presented at the game.


The “All The Way With The Impact” program also invites Impact players to our schools to meet with students and share their stories of overcoming obstacles, staying focused, and perseverance. Lakeside Academy hosted Nick DePuy, a forward with the Montreal Impact; a visited that garnered major enthusiasm from students and staff alike.


Stay tuned for more school visits with the Montreal Impact!





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Macdonald High School Getting Read-y for Ultimate Battle of the Books

Posted by slazarus on April 24, 2017 at 09:50 am

In which book are people told to be proud but silent about their actions?
In which book is way too much makeup worn for a plane ride?
In which book is the Alice Cooper song 'School's Out' played?


Think you’d be able to answer these questions covering 10 books? How about correctly answering 25 of them in under 2 minutes? All while remaining calm, cool, and collected? Well, LBPSB students did exactly that at its Battle of the Books event.


Suffice it to say that these are not your typical English exam/essay questions. But recalling and recounting all the details from 10 different books was no sweat for LBPSB’s Battle of the Books warriors.


Students from Beaconsfield High School, Beurling Academy, Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School and Macdonald High School have spent months poring over their arsenal of books: remembering every detail regarding character traits, setting descriptions, and plot intricacies. This vigorous training occurred over lunch hours, evenings, and weekends, as the participants’ literary endurance was formed for the battle.



Our Battle of the Books welcomed 2 very special guests to serve as moderators. CJAD’s Trudie Mason, moderated the 1st and 2nd rounds of questions, greeting each team with her recognizable voice and calming presence setting the tone. Then, local author and journalist Monique Polak (whose book Learning the Ropes was one of the selections) presided over the lightning round – aiming rapid-fire questions at the teams’ spokespersons. And if you think it can be intimidating to answer a teacher or principal’s questions, imagine answering questions from the author herself!




While each participant arrived with a ‘game face’ on, the atmosphere couldn’t be more congenial and sportsmanlike with teams congratulating one another and celebrating each other’s victories. In the end, Macdonald High School won the battle and will advance to the final round (recap on Pearson News coming soon).


Special thanks to Suzanne Nesbitt, Educational Consultant and Coordinator of LBPSB’s Battle of the Books for overseeing such a successful event. And an extra special thanks to all our school librarians for mentoring the students, assisting with the events, and spreading the importance of books and literacy across the board.


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Getting Ready for Battle...Of The Books!

Posted by slazarus on April 19, 2017 at 08:43 am

The LBPSB High School Librarians and Educational Services are holding the Final Battle of the Books (BoB)– an event that celebrates literacy in a really fun, fast-paced high school team competition – on April 20th at 7:00 p.m. at LBPSB Head Office (1925 Brookdale Ave., Dorval).


BoB involves teams of students from grades 7 to 11 who are tested on their knowledge of the books they read. BHS, Beurling Academy, LCCHS and Macdonald High will participate in the LBPSB Battle.


The winning team will go on to the Ultimate Battle against the winners from the Quebec Association of Independent Schools (QAIS) and the EMSB. This battle will be held on April 25th at 7 p.m. at EMSB Head Office (6000 Fielding Ave., Montreal).


Friends, family and booklovers alike are welcome to attend and encourage our BoB representatives!


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“Ours to Teach; Not To Keep” – Aboriginal Day at LBPSB

Posted by slazarus on April 13, 2017 at 01:25 pm

The Lester B. Pearson School Board recognized the important and complex history while celebrating the beauty, richness, and diversity of Aboriginal culture at its 2nd Aboriginal Day. This year’s theme: “Celebrating Aboriginal Culture” was marked by riveting, moving, and interactive music, dance, and storytelling.



Students and staff from LBPSB’s 13 high schools welcomed special guests from the Aboriginal community at Lindsay Place High School where the day’s festivities were held. The importance of recognition, respect, and reconciliation were emphasized throughout Aboriginal Day.


Distinguished guest Michael Rice inaugurated Aboriginal Day with a traditional Mohawk Thanksgiving Address. Mr. Rice then explained that this Thanksgiving Address should be seen as a way of life and less as a prayer in the traditional sense. Mr. Rice’s address focused on giving thanks to the Earth and its elements, and acknowledging these elements for allowing our human gifts to shine. Following the Address, Mr. Rice shared a folk tale and recounted his personal experiences, struggles, and successes; a profound lesson on the power of storytelling and the importance of ‘learning by listening.’


LBPSB students then took the stage for a music performance with Lindsay Place High School students performing Buffy Saint Marie’s “Up Where We Belong” and Lakeside Academy performing 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up” with a special guest: award-winning recording artist Beatrice Deer.


Following the assembly, students participated in a Kairos Blanket Exercise, “a teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada” (http://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/). Guided by facilitators from the Aboriginal communities, participants took a literal and figurative walk through Canada’s dark and often painful relationship with its First Nations. Something that textbooks and traditional teaching simply cannot accomplish. Though the exercise was emotionally difficult, its concluding Talking Circle left an uplifting tone as students candidly shared their thoughts and drew connections between Aboriginal history and their personal/family stories.



After a catered Aboriginal lunch by Chef Maluh, it was time to gather for a Pow Wow. Michel, the Pow Wow emcee kicked it off by explaining the 3 core elements of a Pow Wow: respect, respect, respect. Michel added that a Pow Wow is a sacred ritual with a key focus on having fun. Dancers demonstrated traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dances such as the Fancy Shawl Dance and the Hoop Dance, as the crowd was both mesmerized and clapping along to the beat.


We were then treated to a throat-singing demonstration along with an explanation of its history and important role in Northern communities. After hearing incredible throat-singing interpretations of river and mosquito sounds, some brave students volunteered for a throat-singing lesson and performance competition. Students saw first-hand how hard it is to stay focused on the rhythm and to drown out all other visual and auditory distractions. One student joined in a throat-singing/beat boxing mash-up: a perfect representation of the coming together of 2 cultures through art.



As the day ended, Suzanne Simatos, Spiritual Animator was presented with the sacred gift of an eagle’s feather. An Elder explained the importance of passing on knowledge and gifts and that the eagle’s feather symbolizes that. “It’s ours to teach; not to keep,” he said.


“Ours to teach; not to keep” quickly became a guiding principle for LBPSB’s Aboriginal Day: a commitment to teaching and confronting painful histories while celebrating the beauty and diversity of Aboriginal culture.


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YMCA TeenZone Opens at Beurling Academy

Posted by slazarus on April 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

Beurling Academy in Verdun is now home to a YMCA TeenZone. The Lester B. Pearson School Board, in partnership with the YMCAs of Quebec and Montreal Hooked on School is proud to host the first YMCA TeenZone in a school.



The Lester B. Pearson School Board is committed to partnering with local organizations with a shared vision of keeping our students engaged in their education and promoting healthy living.


Students from Beurling Academy and the broader Verdun community can drop by the TeenZone during lunch, after school, and even during weekends for homework support, social activities, sports, mentorship, or just to hang out. The Lester B. Pearson School Board sees tremendous opportunities with this new student-focused space.


“By welcoming the YMCA TeenZone into Beurling Academy and the Verdun community, we are providing our students more opportunities to enhance their education. They will have access to a UDL (Universal Design for Learning) space for their homework and sports facilities and training rooms for physical and health-related activities. School teachers and staff working alongside YMCA volunteers and other community resources in a truly collaborative effort will be present to support them,” says David Meloche, Regional Director of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.


Alix Adrian, Principal of Beurling Academy adds, “the TeenZone represents an ideal collaboration between school, home, and community organization to support our students.”


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Notes From the Final Days of TOPS Rehearsal

Posted by slazarus on April 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

Originally written by Cheyenne Skurczak, Beaconsfield High School Student


None of us can believe it. Last weekend, we had our final weekend rehearsal for the show. As we practiced on Saturday, it became clear to all of us that in this time next week, we would be performing.


Of course this did cause some stress, but more importantly, there was extreme and pure excitement that was resonating throughout the entire cast.


The entire cast grows so close once show week hits. We realize that these may be our last moments seeing each other so often. Nonetheless, I can easily assure, from personal experience, that those in TOPS will never have a last chance to see each other, as TOPS creates friendships that will last a lifetime.


Running through numbers may be tedious, especially when we are trying to deal with technical details, however as we see the number grow better and better with each try, we all are entranced with awe. Having had the chance to see many of the numbers for the very first time this last weekend, I was so proud of my comrades and all that they have accomplished. It became clear to me that over the past months, they have been working so hard, and it is soon going to be so very worth it.


Finally, during a walk to the bus, a fellow TOPS member and I were having a conversation. He explained to me that when we had to stay late on Sunday, he felt no sadness or frustration in the slightest. Instead, he was overjoyed to know that he got to spend more time doing what he loves with the people that he has grown so close to. Hearing this story, I couldn’t help but smile, as I too am so overjoyed to be surrounded by such an amazing opportunity with incredible people.




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Adult Learners Week: April 3-7

Posted by slazarus on April 4, 2017 at 08:36 am

This week the Lester B. Pearson School Board celebrates Adult Learners Week. Adult Learners Week was launched in 2000 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote the notion that lifelong learning is an essential component in developing inclusive societies.


LBPSB is proud to join this worldwide acknowledgment of the unique obstacles our adult learners are able to overcome and the profound impact their achievements can have on both the adult and youth sectors.


Adult Learners Week will be marked by award ceremonies, assemblies, and social gatherings culminating with a gala where adult learners will take the stage to share their stories.


Congratulations to all LBPSB adult learners and staff for reminding us that education is a lifelong journey with limitless possibilities.


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TOPS #next Coming Soon...

Posted by slazarus on April 3, 2017 at 09:52 am


Visit https://topsnext.org/ for more information.