Director General's Report to Council for October 2022
by Cindy Finn, Director General, LBPSB
October was a busy month! A provincial election, a new minister of education, and the planning already underway for the next school year caused the 31 days in October fly by.
Earlier this month, the Quebec government released success rate statistics for the province as well as by school board. These success rates are reported in percentages and reflect the proportion of students who earned a diploma or qualification in a given year.
I am very proud to report that Lester B. Pearson’s overall success rate continues to climb upward. For the school year that ended in 2021, our overall graduation and qualification rate increased to 87.8% for the 5-year cohort and remained stable at 90.0% for the 7-year cohort. Once again this year, our school board exceeded the provincial average and the rate for the entire English-speaking school board network.
I wish to congratulate our students on this achievement and express appreciation to our teachers, administrators, professionals, and support staff for their hard work to create and support the necessary conditions for teaching and learning. I also thank Lester B. Pearson parents and our community partners for their support because student success is the handiwork of many. Although not the only indicators of student success, graduation and qualification are important metrics and our results are cause for celebration. We are very proud of our efforts to help all students succeed. Onward and upward!
This month we also welcome our two student commissioners to the Council of Commissioners. Natasha Drouin is a grade 11 student at Beaconsfield HS and Kayleigh Pare is a grade 11 student at Macdonald HS. These two student leaders were elected by their peers to sit as co-chairs of the Central Students Committee meeting. We are very happy to welcome these two new voices to the council table. The student perspective is invaluable one for us to have around the Council table; it helps us better anchor our decisions in the best interests of learners. In the words of educational researcher Russell Quaglia, we are wise to “consider the role student voice plays in learning and to recognize the importance of supporting all students in their journeys to reach their fullest potential”. I look forward to the monthly reports presented by our two student commissioners.
As we say hello to our student commissioners, we also bid adieu to 3 of our parent commissioners whose mandate has come to an end – Sharad Bhargava, Patricia Ottoni, and Susana Lazaro. We thank them for sharing their perspectives on education and for their support. Later this month we will welcome 3 new commissioner who will sit with returning parent commissioner Kris de Forest at Council.
Typically, October is Open House season for our high school network. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we were very happy to return to these in-person events that allow us to showcase our incredible high. In October, six of our high schools welcomed students and families preparing for this important transition. We were delighted with the very strong turnout. Early in the new year, our remaining high schools will open their doors to the public. It will not be long now before we begin planning in earnest for the 2023-24 school year.
So now that November is here, we are already preparing for the end of term and the release of first term report cards. November can be a difficult month – clocks get turned back, daylight hours shorten, the cold weather returns, all of which can contribute to a sense of fatigue. This is when the support and kindness of others can go a long way in helping us achieve our collective goal of student success. Let us remember the importance of encouraging our students and staff to continue to persevere.