Director General's Report to Council for November 2022

by Cindy Finn, Director General, LBPSB

If I had to summarize November in one word, I would offer up the word collaboration for consideration. In the youth sector, we saw our schools reach an important milestone in the academic year: the end of first term and the issuing of report cards. Parent-teacher meetings have bene taking place, one of the most concrete examples of home-school collaboration. 


The key to effective home-school collaboration is the creation of relationships that are based on mutual respect. Parents and families have always played an important role in all levels of our organization. Recently, we inaugurated three new parent commissioners to the Council of Commissioners. I join Chair Kelley in publicly welcoming our newest commissioners to the table. I had the pleasure of getting to know commissioners Dia, Charszan, Hasanie and DeForrest better at a recent orientation session, and I look forward to our continued work together. 


Collaboration was also one of the themes of a professional development event that was held on our last board-wide pedagogical day. On November 11th, the Lester B. Pearson School Board partnered with the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board to host an educational technology conference we have come to refer to as CCI, which stands for Collaborate, Create, and Innovate. Several hundred teachers, professionals, and administrators engaged in a day of professional learning at a high school in Laval. I was fortunate to spend the morning at this conference, hearing a keynote address from Donny Piercey, 2021 Kentucky Teacher of Year who spoke about the importance of creativity in the classroom. I also participated in a workshop on the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada given by our partners at LEARN.  


Last week, the Federation des professionnels et professionnelles de l’education (FPPE) celebrated Education Professionals’ week. This syndical organization represents non-teaching professionals who work in public education and includes psychologists, speech and language pathologists, pedagogical consultants, guidance counsellors, occupational therapists, and community and spiritual animators, among others. Non-teaching professionals support other educators in creating the best learning conditions possible and provide a plethora of direct services to students. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Lester B. Pearson team of professionals for the positive difference they make in the lives of our students, their families and our colleagues. We are fortunate that we have a strong culture of collaboration across our entire system. 


Finally, I wish to conclude this evening by sharing a specific example of collaboration at the school level. Since 2013, under the leadership of teacher Peter Oland, Pierrefonds Community High School has partnered with our Student Services Department to organize a campaign around violence prevention and sensitization. Through activities and assemblies, students learn about healthy relationships and explore the importance of respect and consent. I have had the honour of attending some of these assemblies in the past, and it is very impressive to see the active leadership role that students take in discussing these issues and pledging to fight all forms of violence. I am excited to share the news that this important work is gaining much deserved attention. PCHS has been selected as one of three finalists in the school category of the Ministry of the Family Awards program, Ensemble contre l’intimidation/Together against intimidation. The final winner will be announced later this week at a ceremony in Quebec City, and I know we are all rooting for PCHS! 


There is truth to the saying that “together, we are better”. Next month we will present our annual report to Council and the public at large. I invite everyone to take the time to read this summary of the activities and accomplishments of the 2021-22 school year. You will see evidence of the collaborative spirit that drives our collective work and is at the root of our many achievements and points of pride at the Lester B. Pearson School Board.