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The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est Signs a Collaboration Agreement with Four Belgian Diocesan Education Centres

February 21, 2017, OTTAWA -  The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) is proud to announce that it has signed a collaboration agreement with four Belgian diocesan education centres. The CECCE is also pleased to have brought the other seven Ontario French Catholic school boards into this partnership, which will enable participating educational institutions to develop a series of cooperative educational activities. Every party to the agreement will be invited to join the conversation and share their experiences, knowledge, teaching and learning methods and materials with institutions in the partner country.

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The parties will promote teacher exchanges in an international mobility context and through job swaps and will facilitate short-term exchanges for high school students as well as professional internships within the institutions that have signed on to the agreement. The agreement also sets out parameters for continuing professional development, dialogue around innovative educational practices, and programs in the field of pedagogical counselling to improve quality of education.

“Because the CECCE is known as a leader in transforming the learning experience, I strongly believe that the board’s highly skilled personnel have much to contribute to this partnership by sharing their expertise in the areas of leadership focused on the learning experience, change management and team mobilization with Belgian education professionals,” said Réjean Sirois, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est Director of Education. “The CECCE also has much to gain from this collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunity, and we are particularly interested in learning more about specializations in Belgian schools,” he added.

With student development, well-being and success at the forefront of its mission, the CECCE keeps abreast of teaching methods and innovations in the field of education that can enhance students’ learning experience. The CECCE is thrilled with this agreement, which will lead to a better understanding of best practices unique to the Belgian educational context. The board is also very interested in learning more about partnerships between the education sector and the private sector, which are common in Belgium. In addition, all of the Belgian educational institutions that are party to the agreement are Catholic, which will allow the parties to base their thought processes on shared values rooted in the principles of Catholicity.

This is not the first time that the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est has engaged in sharing knowledge and expertise with Belgian diocesan education centres. Recently, CECCE superintendents and principals travelled to Belgium to provide training in connection with the professional learning community (PLC). In the spring of 2016, 11 delegates from the diocesan secondary and post-secondary education service visited five Ottawa high schools to discuss the culture of change, the CECCE’s intervention strategies, the Student Success Strategy, support systems and work being done by collaborative teams. Another Belgian delegation will come to Ontario in May to participate in a school principals’ learning network on managing  improvement and school improvement plans.

“This is a natural partnership because, as an education leader in Ontario, the CECCE is proud to network with colleagues in Belgium, not only to share successful practices in use in its schools, but to foster dialogue and draw inspiration from what is going on elsewhere in the world. This collaboration with Belgian educational institutions will also help us innovate and transform how we do things so that we can enable students to learn differently while ensuring their success and well-being,” said Johanne Lacombe, CECCE Chair.

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