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Collège catholique Mer Bleue Receives Government of Ontario Award for Caring

June 26, 2017, ORLEANS - Collège catholique Mer Bleue can be pleased and proud that its caring school committee has won a Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools. This award recognizes safe and accepting school teams across the province that have done exceptional and innovative work in creating positive school environments.

At Collège catholique Mer Bleue (CCMB), safety and acceptance have been among the school’s three priorities since it opened its doors last September. All students and teachers have a weekly 75-minute period to take part in sessions that focus on students’ concerns and their well-being.

“Groups made up of a mentor teacher and 10 to 17 students stay the same every year until grade 12. This provides stability and enables students to build relationships based on trust, openness, and a sense of belonging,” said Réjean Sirois, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) Director of Education. “Those relationships help students find the courage to discuss personal problems with their mentors, who listen to and support them in finding ways to manage challenging situations,” he added.

Since the beginning of the year, sessions have focused on student-selected topics such as healthy relationships, stress management, bullying prevention, self-acceptance, and more. CCMB surveys students four times a year about their needs and concerns. The caring school committee uses the survey results to take the pulse of the school climate, evaluate current interventions, identify at-risk students, and select topics for weekly culture of caring sessions.

“The board is honoured that the Government of Ontario has recognized the beneficial initiatives in place at Collège catholique Mer Bleue. Caring, respect, and mutual support are values that matter to the CECCE. Weekly culture of caring sessions help students communicate with each other and learn about their peers’ very different realities. The outcome is that all students feel more included in their school community,” said Johanne Lacombe, CECCE Chair.

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