As Chairman of the Council of Commissioners, it is always a pleasure to wish our students, their parents, as well as all of the members of our dedicated staff, a successful 2021-2022 school year. Again this year, we will have to deal with a pandemic that remains a threat to all of us. But let me assure you that our staffs are well prepared to welcome your children in a safe environment conducive to learning. We will constantly monitor our day to day activities so as to ensure the safety of all concerned.
To those who are new to the Central Québec School Board (CQSB), allow me to inform you of our school board's motto ''Learning for All''! These three words have been, and will continue to be, the motivation behind all of our decisions. The success of each and every student is what we strive to ensure through the many actions that we take during any particular year. With the unwavering dedication of a competent and enthusiastic CQSB TEAM of teachers, professionals, principals, support staff, board administrators and, of course, the Council of Commissioners, our students have achieved, year after year, enviable results in ministerial exams. Likewise, the CQSB’s high graduation and qualification rates rank us among the best school boards in the province. Excellence has become a CQSB trademark and we will continue to ensure that our students maintain their high academic success. The latest statistics published by the government reveal that the CQSB reached an 89,9% graduation and qualification rate following the June 2019 ministerial exams. Such an astounding success rate ranks the CQSB second among all of the nine (9) English school boards and 60 French school service centres of the province. To the parents of our new students, allow me to say that you have made a wise decision to send your child/children to our schools!
To those who are already members of the CQSB school communities, we say WELCOME BACK! For sure the 2020-2021 school year was not as we had planned. Yet, with the cooperation and understanding of our parents, our students as well as the experience and dedication of our staff, we were able to continue to provide the quality educational services which have made our schools and Learning Centre among the best in Québec. We are determined to be just as effective in this coming year.
Every school year brings its own challenges and 2021-2022 will be no different. Not only because of the pandemic but also because of a number of construction and extension projects that will inevitably add to the quality of our schools. Some timeframes have been impacted by the pandemic but I can assure you that work continues on the elementary school in Lévis, on the 21st century high school uniting the present Quebec and Saint Patrick's High Schools, as well as on the additional four (4) classes and gymnasium for MacLean Memorial School in Chibougamau, to name but a few. The Council of Commissioners will strive to keep you informed on the progress of these projects as well as on other projects soon to be announced.
On the political scene, we still await the decision of the Superior Court of Québec regarding Bill 40. As you all know, the present Quebec government plans to replace school boards by school service centres – this is already the case in the French school network. The nine (9) English-language school boards stand together against Bill 40 as we believe that it is contrary to the rights guaranteed by section 23 of the Canadian Constitution. The decision is expected by late Fall and will definitely have an impact on the governance of our schools. Our CQSB website, as well as the Québec Chronicle-Telegraph and CBC Radio, will keep you well informed on the judgment as well as on its repercussions for our school board and the communities we serve.
Par ailleurs, tout comme je le fais chaque année, je tiens à rassurer tous nos parents relativement à l'importance que nous accordons à l'apprentissage du français dans chacune de nos écoles. En effet, notre but est de faire de nos élèves des citoyens qui pourront s'exprimer de façon claire et précise dans chacune des deux langues officielles de notre grand pays, le Canada.
Lastly, but not least, should you feel the need, I am pleased to remind you that the CQSB has a Student Ombudsman in the person of Ms. Anne Letellier de St-Just, whose coordinates can be found on our website.
May the 2021-2022 school year be a safe, healthy and promising year for all of us!
Chairman of the Council of Commissioners
August 20th, 2021