From left to right : T. Hugues, D. Suquet, B. Delaunay, H. Duran, S. Blok

From May 13-15, 2019, the French school board welcomed two representatives from the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB): an academic partnership agreement was signed and joint work projects were drawn up.

Stephen Blok, Superintendent of International Relations, and Terry Hughes, Principal, were sent by the Renfrew County District School Board (Ontario) to the Academy of Clermont-Ferrand to discuss the details of a partnership. The French school board had already developed relationships with multiple education stakeholders in 2015, two of which led to the signing of agreements. The agreement signed with Renfrew is therefore the 3rd the French school board has signed with a partner in Ontario. The previous were signed in 2016 with the Franco-Ontarian Principals Council (association des chefs d’établissements franco-ontarien – ADFO) and the Upper Grand District School Board.

The signing took place in the office of Superintendent Mr. Benoit Delaunay, in the presence of Dean of School Inspectors Mr. Henri Duran and the Academic Delegate for European and International Relations Mr. Dominique Suquet.

Located 100 km West of Ottawa, the Renfrew County District School Board has 10,000 students in twenty elementary schools and seven secondary establishments. For the French school board – which has 220,000 students – to be able to work with a partner the size of Renfrew, it was necessary to focus on a small section of the Auvergne region. The Montluçon area was chosen to work with Renfrew and four establishments volunteered: Lycée Madame de Stael (secondary school) Collège Jean Zay and Collège Jules Verne in Montluçon (middle schools), and Lycée Geneviève Vincent (secondary school) in Commentry.

Three main areas were chosen, which the two partners will be focusing on:

– Student exchanges of 10 weeks in length, for high school students;

– Distance educational projects for learning French (for Ontarian students) and English (for French students);

– Professional exchanges and trips for staff.

More information can be found on the website of Clermont-Ferrand’s school board (French only) on the French School Board’s partnerships with Canada.