The last few weeks before winter break are always a busy time! Here are some highlights from the month of December.
At the December Council of Commissioners’ meeting, the school board’s annual report for 2018-2019 was presented. We continue to move forward on our objectives of achievement, wellness, and engagement for all, framed by our core vision and values that underlie the learning process. While we are proud of our accomplishments over the last year, we continue to strive for excellence and find ways to improve and innovate. I offer thanks to every stakeholder in our system, be they teacher, support staff, administrator, professional, parent, commissioner or community partner. Our students benefit greatly from the efforts of our collective collectively.
Regional Professional Learning Days
As educators, we are always in learning mode, wanting to improve the ways in which we teach and support our students. On the three regional pedagogical days of November 29, December 2 and December 6, teachers, support staff, administrators and professionals from our elementary and secondary networks spent the day learning together. This year we took a deeper dive into four elements that we believe are critical to student success: rich pedagogical practices; community partnerships; digital technologies; and engaging learning environments. Various workshops given by Lester B. Pearson teachers and professionals showcased the incredible ways that we are bringing these pillars of meaningful learning to life in our schools. I want to thank everyone who was involved in organizing these professional learning opportunities.
New Teacher workshop
Along the same theme of professional learning, on December 13th approximately 70 teachers new to the profession gathered at the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre. Presentations organized by Educational Services, Student Services, Human Resources and the Pearson Teachers’ Union provided participants with much information useful to their role. We wish the best of luck to those teachers who are in the early stages of their career and salute them for making a commitment to the teaching profession.
Central Students Committee
On December 3, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a meeting of the Central Students’ Committee (CSC). The CSC is comprised of students from Lester B. Pearson high schools who meet regularly to discuss topics of interest and provide input to the administration and council of commissioners. The topic that evening was mental health and featured a speaker from our Centre of Excellence for Mental Health, Dr. Gerry Weintraub. It was a very rich discussion about ways to promote mental and physical wellbeing in youth. The topic was a timely one, given that statistics indicate that one in five Canadian youth struggle with a mental health issue. To read more about the work we are doing in schools to support youth mental health, visit http://cemh.lbpsb.qc.ca/.
‘Tis the season to be jolly and many of our schools hosted special events during the month of December such as holiday concerts and fairs. I wish to thank the schools that invited me to be a part of their festivities. It is wonderful to meet our students and staff and see how they bring the true meaning of the holidays to life. One of the core missions of schools is to foster socialization for students, and I want to thank all of the teachers and staff who devoted hours to making this time of year a magical experience for our students while encouraging the development of critical social-emotional learning skills. This time of year is about kindness, generosity, peace, and compassion. Through these and other social events, we are teaching our students the importance of these values and reinforcing them in our classrooms, hallways, and schoolyards.
Signing Off For the Holidays
As I give the last Director General’s report for 2019, I wish everyone within the Lester B. Pearson School Board community a wonderful winter break. Everyone has been working hard since the start of the school year and has earned some time to relax with family and friends and appreciate all that they have achieved in 2019. As we prepare to turn to page on the calendar, I want to wish everyone all the best in the New Year. May 2020 be filled with health, happiness, and peace for all.