TDJ cel­e­brates 25 years

The Glengarry News - - News - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

For 25 years, Terre des Je­unes school has pro­vided French-lan­guage pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion to stu­dents in the Alexan­dria area. On Fri­day, as the school cel­e­brated its sil­ver an­niver­sary in the gym­na­sium, the prin­ci­pal, Daniel Lalonde, took the op­por­tu­nity to talk about the new pro­gram­ming that will be avail­able at Terre des Je­unes.

One of them is the In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate pro­gram, an in­ter­na­tional pro­gram that “fo­cuses on teach­ing stu­dents to think crit­i­cally and in­de­pen­dently, and how to in­quire with care and logic.”

The pro­gram has been around since 1968. To­day, it’s in al­most 5,000 schools in over 150 coun­tries.

Mr. Lalonde was in Austin, Texas for four days this sum­mer, where he took an in­tro­duc­tory course on the pro­gram. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate has some pretty strict stan­dards. Terre des Je­unes has three years to meet those stan­dards be­fore it will be ac­cred­ited. Terre des Je­unes will also un­veil its Spartech2 pro­gram this year. “Ev­ery five weeks, our stu­dents will have the op­por­tu­nity to take work­shops in sports, the arts or tech­nol­ogy,” Mr. Lalonde says.

He adds that the na­ture of the work­shops will change through­out the year. Sports work­shops could start out with hockey or fig­ure skat­ing. Later they might in­volve curl­ing or swim­ming. Ditto for the arts, which could in­clude the culi­nary arts or draw­ing. Tech­nol­ogy could be any­thing from ro­bot­ics to com­put­ers.

Fi­nally, the school will of­fer a unique prob­lem-solv­ing pro­gram that is closely mod­elled after Canada’s Par­lia­men­tary sys­tem. There will be a stu­dent coun­cil – com­plete with Prime Min­is­ter – and var­i­ous min­istries like sports & leisure, gov­ern­ment af­fairs, or the en­vi­ron­ment.

Mr. Lalonde of­fers an ex­am­ple of a prob­lem that the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment might have.

“Imag­ine that the min­istry doesn’t think there’s enough flow­ers on Main Street,” he says. “So now they have to find out what the chal­lenges are. How do they pay for the flow­ers? Who do they call for per­mis­sion to plant the flow­ers?”

Also new at the school: Span­ish classes. Mr. Lalonde says that the school’s art teacher is go­ing to of­fer classes in Span­ish.

“When our stu­dents leave here in Grade 8, they will be able to speak three lan­guages,” he says.

The school cel­e­brated its 25th an­niver­sary with a bar­be­cue and some play struc­tures. Cur­rently, Terre des Je­unes has 125 stu­dents from preK to Grade 8. Many of them were wear­ing spe­cial 25th an­niver­sary Tshirts on Fri­day.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

SIL­VER AN­NIVER­SARY: Terre des Je­unes prin­ci­pal Daniel Lalonde stands with stu­dents Oak­ley Wil­liams, 5, and Emilie Chouinard, 4, and Léo, the mas­cot of Con­seil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'On­tario at the Alexan­dria school last Fri­day af­ter­noon. The school was cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary.

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