Director General's Report to Council for August 2022

by Cindy Finn, Director General, LBPSB

I would like to begin this month’s message by extending a very warm welcome to everyone as we start the 2022-23 school year. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer break. We are fortunate to live in a country that brings us such glorious summer weather although vacation time always feels too brief!

 

August 29th is the first day of classes for our elementary and secondary students.  We are very much looking forward to seeing familiar faces return and welcoming new students. 

 

Although the pace in a school board slows down a little in late June, following the departure of students, it does not take long before our summer activities begin. We undertake an intensive system wide cleaning operation of our buildings and many of our schools and centres undergo major renovation projects. Our students will be returning to clean classrooms, fresh hallways and sparkling washrooms. Thank you to all our maintenance and Equipment Services staff who worked so hard this summer on our buildings and grounds. 

 

This time of year always brings a sense of excitement and renewed energy. Teachers, administrators, professionals, caretakers, and support staff have been working hard to prepare for the return of students. Students of all ages and their families are anxiously awaiting all the new things a new school year brings – new teachers, new courses, new friends, new opportunities. Anticipation and expectations are running high and we are optimistic that the 2022-23 school year will be a good one for our community of schools and centres.

 

At the beginning of August, I popped in and visited the LCEEQ math institute that was offered to the 9 Quebec English School Boards up in St. Sauveur. I am proud to say Lester B. Pearson was well represented; we had a group of 50 math teachers and consultants who gave up some of their precious summer vacation to engage a few days in professional learning together. It was wonderful to be there and take in the energy that comes from passionate educators who are eager to improve teaching and learning. It was especially exciting because we were able to gather in person for this event instead of holding it virtually as we have had to do for the last 2 years. 

 

I also had the opportunity to engage in some professional development of my own this summer, attending conferences and reading texts that permitted me time to reflect on issues such as leadership, equity, and inclusion. On August 19th, our full management team at Lester B. Pearson gathered for our first in-person back to school meeting since 2019. LBPSB alumnus Bradley Heaven and former LBPSB integration aide Dan O’Connor, co-founders of All Access Life, delivered a powerful and inspiring presentation on inclusion and leadership. They are proof positive that we are all leaders and learners who can make a positive difference in the lives of others, particularly those who are differently abled. It was a wonderful way to formally kick off the year and renew our commitment towards our EDDI efforts. I invite you to learn more about ways to empower people with disabilities by visiting https://www.allaccesslife.org/.

 

This year it is my goal that we continue to return to many of the regular routines and rituals found in education that had to be adapted or put on hold the last few school years. I am hopeful that more in-person activities will take place, and I am very much looking forward to visiting our schools and centres more often. 

 

I am grateful that my role affords me many opportunities to meet students and staff and see the learning and growth taking place before our eyes. I am extremely proud of our organization and the commitment demonstrated by our staff to serve the students in our care. We seek to collaborate and work with parents and community partners, and we are appreciative of the confidence placed in us to provide the best education possible for all learners. 

 

I began my message with a welcome and I will conclude with a wish. I wish everyone a most wonderful school year. We are primed to begin the year on a good foot and may we continue to soar for the weeks and months to come. Bonne rentrée à toutes et à tous!