Director General's Report — September 2019

Posted by slazarus on September 24, 2019 at 10:08 am

Each month Dr. Cindy Finn will share what she's seen, the amazing students, teachers and staff she's met, and all that she's learned as she visits the incredible schools and centres that make up the LBPSB.


In many ways, summer now feels like a distant memory. Cooler sunny days, changing leaves, and yes - increased road traffic make it abundantly clear that we’ve entered Fall. Despite the cooler temperatures, September is when things really start to ‘heat up’ around LBPSB. Even though it’s only a few weeks into the school year, students and teachers have already left significant marks on their communities. Here are some highlights for the month of September.


First Day of School

The first days of school can be an incredibly emotional time - and not only for new and returning students. Parents, families, teachers, administrators, support staff, and community neighbors all experience a heightened state of emotion brought on by the first days of school. Through it all, our schools and centres continue to set an exemplary tone by opening their doors with a strong sense of warmth and welcoming. 


I had the privilege of visiting St. John Fisher Jr on its first day of school and was so impressed, but not surprised, by how smoothly the day ran and how beautifully classrooms were decorated. It was great to see so many smiling faces amongst students and staff. The energy was definitely contagious! While at St. John Fisher Jr., I also took part in the new 20min afternoon recess. THe rainy morning had given way to a beautiful summer’s day and it was a perfect time to be outdoors. Most everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine and it was clear from the smiles and laughter that the students and staff were benefiting from this break.


The opening days of school are also an opportunity to celebrate long standing traditions such as Clearpoint’s annual balloon parade. Each year, Kindergarten students and their families are welcomed to their new school with the exciting fanfare of a parade. The entire school comes together to say hello and greet Clearpoint’s newest faces with loud cheers and enthusiastic smiles. I would like to thank the Clearpoint administration, staff and students for inviting me to join in their tradition. Even though this year’s event was held inside due to rain, the positive energy was infectious and the balloons were a big hit! 


Daycare Welcome Back PD

Speaking of positive atmospheres, it was an honour to help kick off the Daycare and Lunch staff’s ‘Working Together for Student Success’ Professional Development Day at the end of August. Many students begin and end their days interacting with daycare staff and so how fitting that one of the first official events launching the 2019-2020 school year involved daycare personnel. Over 300 daycare staff came together to learn and exchange practices and resources. The event culminated in a massive dance party to symbolize ‘moving and grooving’ into the new year as well as to emphasize the important role that physical activity plays in the lives of our students. Thank you to our daycare educators for the wonderful and important work you do each day. 


On behalf of LBPSB, I want to thank all members of our community - teachers, administrators, professionals, support staff, students, and parents for working together to make the 1st days of school such a success. We couldn’t do it without you! 


Montreal Families' Education Fair

It was wonderful to see many familiar and new faces at this year’s Education Fair. LBPSB’s Youth, Adult, and Vocational sectors were well represented by administrators and staff who answered questions from prospective students and parents and shared what makes LBPSB such an outstanding and innovative board. A special thanks to everyone who volunteered their time two Sundays ago to help out at the event and for all the work in preparing brochures and promotional materials leading up to the Fair.


WICC Student's Scholarship

A recent graduate of the West Island Career Centre’s Auto Mechanics program just celebrated a major achievement. Hugo Doucette is one of only 10 students from across Montreal who was awarded a 2019 NAPA Autopro scholarship. Hugo was awarded this prize  based on a video he produced describing his personal journey into auto mechanics and the incredible support he received from WICC teachers and fellow students along the way. Congratulations to Hugo and to the West Island Career Centre for this noteworthy recognition! 


3D Printer at Forest Hill Jr.

It’s amazing to see the learning opportunities that technology creates and Forest Hill Jr. is witnessing this first-hand with its recently acquired 3D printer. The dream of a 3D printer became a reality after Forest Hill Jr’s resource team submitted a winning grant proposal to the Canada Post Community Foundation. With the 3D printer, students can now design and produce engaging tools that will enhance their learning. This 3D printer is already a huge hit at Forest Hill Jr. with students and teachers finding ways to bring personalized creativity to their learning. Global News recently paid a visit to Forest Hill Jr. to meet the students and teachers and to learn more about their 3D printer.


Portable House - Macdonald High School Students

When students combine their passions, strong work ethic, commitment to social activism, and entrepreneurial skills, the potential for making a difference is limitless. Pasha Jones and Adrianna Vutrano, 2 students at Macdonald High School, are perfect examples of this. Reflecting on their personal connections to Montreal’s homeless community, Pasha and Adrianna designed and created the “Portable House” - a backpack that doubles as a portable shelter. Their invention was entered into the 2019 Canada-wide science fair held earlier this year in New Brunswick where it brought home the Excellence Award bronze medal and a scholarship. Portable House has also generated media coverage, and Pasha and Adrianna plan on taking their invention further. This is a great example of what can result from encouraging learning that is rooted in citizenship, collaboration, and creativity. Congratulations Pasha and Adrianna! We’re looking forward to tracking where the Portable House goes next. 


It is only mid-September and already we are off to an impressive start. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the remaining Fall months! 


Thank you.