Special program for everyone

To put an end to a form of “scandal”, a high school in Magog has decided to say goodbye to the “regular” program, providing a concentration for all its students in their first three years. Finished, therefore, students who say “nothing”.

Posted at 5:00 am.

Mary-Eve Morase

Mary-Eve Morase
The press

(Magog) “Education is not based on social status”

During their first three years of high school, students at La Roche School in Magog focus on art or sports. This public school has completely abandoned the regular profile, the result of equal opportunity reflection. Robotics, basketball, music, drama, dance, video production, ball hockey: students are spoiled for choice.

A few years ago, Manuel Cuernoir, a French teacher in La Rouche, brought together a small group of teachers to start a discussion on “three-speed school” which means that in secondary school, students find themselves in private, or selectively, school. Program or quite simply in a so-called “regular” program.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

Students from 1D2And And 3And Maguire’s La Ruche Secondary School, all in an artistic or sports concentration.

Their high school, they noted, participated in the event: its sports-study programs were tempting, but it was a “school within a school” that brought together sports elite students, often more privileged youth (these programs sometimes run into thousands a year). Costs dollars), and more powerful in school.

The other students were a little left out. “There was a call from colleagues who told us: ‘It’s hard, regularly,'” explained Michelle Grandmison, a physical education teacher who took part in the reflection.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

Michelle Grandmason, a physical education teacher at La Ruche School

The idea has sprouted: with its 1,650 students and many of its teachers, the school can offer attractive programs for everyone without a grade-based selection and without additional fees.

Before these programs were implemented, “there was really a scandal,” recalls Manuel Cornwear. ” [Les jeunes] I didn’t want to be regular, “said the teacher, who noted that today, social diversity has merged in his class.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

Manuel Cornwear, French teacher at La Ruche School

Outside of the results, the classroom environment is much more pleasant. Young people answer questions, get involved in projects. It did not harm the strong and it helped the weak. Students learn more.

Manuel Cornwear, French teacher at La Ruche School

A “lever” for teachers

David Hinsey is one of the teachers who wanted to change things. A history teacher through training, she has been giving the video production course for 11 years and noticed that the feeling of coming together was created among the students of the same concentration.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

La Ruche High School, Magoge

“They have a common talent, different from it. It’s rewarding for them,” said the teacher, who noted at the time of passing that a few years ago, students who did not have a general average of 70% would never be able to access these programs.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

David Hins teaches a video production course at La Ruche School.

The teacher is apparently proud: one of his students has just won an award for making a video. “He’s the best in Quebec,” said David Hines.

All the concentration that La Ruche’s students have is giving teachers a “lever,” Mr. Hines observes. In the absence of marks in other subjects, students may be sent to a directed study without going to a course of attention.

Missing a course they choose is often the last thing young people do. “For coaching, it’s really great,” said David Hines.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

2 studentsAnd High school, Corinne Bertrand and Melody Bordez took pictures as part of their video production course.

14-year-old Melody Bordez has nothing but praise from her video production teacher. “I discovered an emotion I didn’t believe I had,” said the 2nd graderAnd Secondary, who followed in her elder sister’s footsteps by choosing her concentration.

When students practice making baskets in the gymnasium, Michelle Grandmison explains that her “mission” is, “If you want to play basketball, you can do it.” “We could play darts if we wanted to. Here’s how to do it: If you want to be part of the elite, there are evening parties. There is access during the day. A

Honeycomb, an example?

The concentration project for all students was launched seven years ago, with students from the first 1D And 2And At the most recent start of the high school year, those 3And Secondary has been added to this included project. Reflections continue at La Rouche High School, where we are now thinking about how to restructure the programs of 4And And 5And Extend the project at the end of the secondary course.

From my point of view, there is still a difference between sports-study and regular at these levels. We have to deal with that.

Manuel Cornwear, French teacher at La Ruche School

Mr Kurnov also lamented that “nothing changes” at the political level to promote equal opportunities for secondary school students. The French teacher said, “We have never heard of any minister talking about this.”


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

Students at La Ruche High School in Magog join a class.

This comes ahead of the release of Education Minister Jean-Franসois Ruberg, who promised last Wednesday that he would soon introduce new measures to improve accessibility to certain programs, often at high cost.

Can La Ruche Secondary School serve as an example for other schools?

Michelle Grandmason recalls that the context of Magog differs from the main centers. Private schools are not very numerous and a little further away, he specifically mentions.

Then he thinks loudly. “Could this be a model? I think the notion that education is not based on social status,” said the professor.


Photo by Francois Roy, Press

Vincent Pilto, deputy director of La Ruche School

Hours on other subjects have been reduced

Schools that offer concentrations or profiles (it’s the same thing) reduce their students’ learning time in other school subjects in order to offer more concentration courses. “For example, instead of doing six math periods in nine days, we will do five,” said Vincent Pilato, deputy director of La Ruche. Every day there is a concentration course for the students of this school.

Losing regularly

Secondary school programs have begun to be reflected in a number of school service centers in the province, where students in a public school near their homes are prevented from leaving the area while attending secondary school.

This is an exercise that the Montreal School Service Center (CSSDM) adopted in 2019 by revising its eight secondary school proposals.

“Offers a wide variety of programs across all sectors [de Montréal], Young people stay in schools around them because it caters to their interests. It balances the different groups of schools, “said Benoit Thomas, director of CSSDM’s secondary school unit. The groups have a good social mix, he says.


Photo by Hugo-Sebastian Ebert, Press

Georges-Vanier High School in Montreal clearly displays a variety of profiles that students can choose from.

In the eight secondary schools where CSSDM aims to offer more programs, the percentage of students enrolled in the alternatives has increased from 30% to 50%.

“Parents tell us: they want to get something special for their children and it goes through options. Their idea is that regulars will not meet the needs of their children,” Mr Thomas concluded.

“Elite” biased

We also see it in the Lower Lorentians’ Review-du-Nord School Service Center. Some students who are not enrolled in the program with concentration say they are “nothing at all,” said Rene Brison, director general of the program.

It’s a little sad. We need to see how we can respond to the interests and needs of these students.

Renেনে Bryson, director general of the Rivier-du-Nord School Service Center

Recently, we realized that some programs, which by definition were intended to integrate disadvantaged students or students with problems of perseverance in school, eventually attracted only the “elite”, young people spread across a vast area of ​​the service center. These were hockey, football, computer, music and slap programs (Cheerleading)

In these programs, “we reject more students than we accept each year,” said Mr. Brison.

He cited its program CheerleadingWhere only 20 applicants (out of 60) were accepted each year.

The service center therefore asks its secondary school principals to “survey their community” and create profiles that meet the needs of students.

Learn more

  • 76%
    At the primary and secondary levels, the proportion of specialized programs that require financial support from parents

    Source: Ministry of Education, 2020

    $ 1220
    Combining all special programs, parents need an average financial contribution

    Source: Ministry of Education, 2020

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