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Back to School on the Lower North Shore and Port-Menier

Welcome back to another school year! If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that we need to be prepared for everything and anything, and the team at the Centre de services scolaire du Littoral (CSSL) has been working diligently since the spring to be ready for just that: the unknown!

One certainty is that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. We all need to remain vigilant in our fight to keep COVID-19 out of our communities by maintaining sanitary measures like hand-washing, physical distancing and wearing of face masks when it is impossible to keep a meter distance between individuals.

We have examples in our own country, with similar living conditions to ours, where when measures have been removed too quickly, as was the case in the Northwest Territories, COVID-19 swept in. Internationally, countries like Israel where COVID-19, as in our community, was almost non-existent, is now faced with over 7,000 cases a day because they too removed sanitary measures too quickly.

On a far more positive note, the school service centre is very fortunate, thanks to the efforts of students, parents and our local CISSS, to have very high vaccination rates among our population. Our school teams, with the help of the Material Resources Service, are prepared to maintain all sanitary measures; our Human Resources Service has managed to ensure quality teachers have been hired in all schools; our Information Technology Service has equipped our schools with the latest technology and delivery system to link us all together and we can hold out hope to have some CSSL wide (leave your cell at home) sporting and cultural events in person this year!

The school service centre, as mentioned, will be welcoming new teaching staff in many of our villages again this year and it is hoped they will quickly come to realize the wonderful community environment they have chosen to live and apply their profession in.

We also have movement this year in our management team as we welcome a new Director of Educational Services, Ms. Marie Hamel who, as part of the ongoing transfer of our main office to the coast, will be working from our offices in Blanc-Sablon. Ms. Deborah Foltin, the former Director of Educational Services, will remain with the CSSL as a special consultant to the department. Ms. Nadia Landry will be assuming the directorship of Adult and Vocational Education Services in her role as Assistant Administrator. Ms. Karine Dubé, will be taking on additional duties in an administrative capacity at École Mgr-Scheffer while maintaining her principalships at École Gabriel-Dionne and École St-Joseph.

At the school level, we welcome Ms. Kelly Anderson as Principal at Mecatina School who will also serve as a centre-wide Language Arts consultant. Ms. Anderson will be replacing Mr. Vincent Joncas who after decades of dedicated service to the CSSL will be retiring from our organization. I am certain you join in wishing him all the best in his future endeavours.

Finally, I would simply like to wish all members of our educational community an engaging and enjoyable school year. We have all the ingredients to shine once again as an organization and provide quality education to our learners young and old: together we can make it happen!

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Source: Philip Joycey, Administrator