A Caring Community, ensemble tout est possible!

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Warm smiles and enthusiastic hugs were shared on the first day of school on Tuesday, September 3, as Priory students reunited with their old friends, new classmates and teachers. For the first assembly of the school year, the entire student community gathered in the Paré Howlett Hall as Headmaster Christian St-Pierre introduced the school-wide theme for this year – A Caring Community, ensemble tout est possible! While we call it a theme, it is much more than something that occurs in a given year; it represents who we are at The Priory. What unites us is our genuine commitment to care for ourselves, each other, our families, our school, our community and the world. Throughout the year, our talented teachers will continue to inspire our students to make a positive change by using their heart, head and hands to help better our community and the world around us.



The Priory Parents’ Association (PPA) organized the Priory’s 5th annual Pasta Dinner Family Night where over 300 Priory family members, including parents, children, siblings, close relatives, alumni and teachers, joined together in the Paré Howlett Hall to enjoy each other’s company over a delicious Priory home-cooked meal lovingly prepared by our kitchen Nonnas. The evening’s activities included live accordion tunes, Alan the Magician with his special brand of magic and a movie room complete with popcorn. This special evening provided the Priory Community an opportunity to gather together as a family to celebrate togetherness and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. A heartfelt thank you to the entire Pasta Family Night Planning Committee for such a memorable event, and thank you to our Priory alumni for adding a special touch to the evening!

Yale University’s "Proof of the Pudding”


The first school day of 2019 opened on a "high note" with a special performance of Yale's all-female undergrad a capella choir, "Proof of the Pudding" during the first morning assembly of the new year. The choir's peppy, high-energy arrangements of several well-known tunes brought wide smiles to all in attendance, and a couple key members educated our students on special musical terms related to singing. Thanks, Proof, for your music and positive message of "harmony"!

The Priory Remembers

The Priory continued its long standing tradition of honouring the brave men and women who fought for our freedom. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, The Priory’s very own, Mme Martineau and Mr. Lahteenmaa, solemnly played the theme from “Schindler's List” as a duet, as Priory parents entered the Paré Howlett Hall for The Priory's Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday, November 6th. Piped into the Hall by bagpiper Graham Batty, students from Kindergarten to Grade 6, along with invited guests, Francis Badley, past Chairman of the Poppy Campaign of Quebec, Andrew Badley, member of the Royal Montreal Regiment Reserve, Debra Viskelis, Quebec Command Service Officer for The Veteran’s Welfare Committee, Howie Carotte, member of special forces in the Peacekeepers of Canada, Ron Diano, member of the Canadian Air Forces from 1961-1968, stood tall as they sang Canada's national anthem. Senior students shared poems about poppies and recited the iconic Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields" by Dr. Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. To mark the significant milestone, a special presentation was delivered by Glenn Rojeski, Master Warrant Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, followed by a question and answer period. The Priory Choir sang "Enfant de paix" with pride, and as a small token of the school's appreciation for all that they had done, each invited veteran and guest received a Remembrance Day tasty treat, lovingly prepared by the Grade 3 class. The ceremony came to a close with heartfelt words of appreciation delivered by Headmaster Tim Peters and veteran Francis Badley's moving rendition of "Let There be Peace on Earth".

Igniting Positive Change

For their “Amazing Race in Search of Amazing People” deeper learning project, 5th graders interviewed Wanda Bedard, founder of 60 million girls, a charity dedicated to empowering girls by funding educational programs in developing countries. Named after the number of girls worldwide who do not have access to education, the Montreal-based foundation has funded 21 education-related programs for girls in the most impoverished countries. Inspired by her story, Priory students created a mini-documentary about Wanda Bedard and how she created positive change in the world. The 5th grade students were invited to present their deeper learning project at the 12th annual 60 million girls Conference at the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec. For more information on 60 million girls visit


Amazing Race Priory Edition

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Priory students had an amazing surprise on the morning of September 26th, when Adam and Andrea Cavaleri (Class of ‘01) of 'The Amazing Race Canada', visited during a school-wide assembly. The children were thrilled as many members of the school’s community are big fans of the reality television competition series that features teams in a challenging race across Canada and the world. Their message was clear and relevant: try something new, step out of your comfort zone and never forget to show empathy along the way!  Andrea proudly shared how many of the skills learned at The Priory, and throughout her life, allowed her and her brother to fully appreciate the adventure. As part of a deeper learning class project, Grade 5 students will participate in The Priory Amazing Race in Search of Amazing People! Before packing their backpacks and embarking on their adventure to explore the city in an exciting way, the 5th graders invited Andrea and Adam into their classroom and asked them for some tips and professional advice. The Grade 5 student teams will set out on a three-day race in search for amazing people the first week of October. Everyone is looking forward with anticipation to The Amazing Race Priory Edition and all the adventures which lie ahead!


Smiling From Ear to Ear


On a hot, sunny day in late September, thanks to the Priory Parents’ Association, the Priory community gathered together to enjoy fresh sweet corn on the cob in celebration of togetherness and the start of the autumn season. Many thanks to our organizers and volunteers who shucked 420 ears of corn! This celebration certainly had everyone smiling from ear to ear!  

The Priory Proudly Participates in Pink Shirt 'Make Nice' Day

Leading the way in taking a stand on Kindness, three Student Council members, Saloni Chawla, Desmond Lafontant and Jackie Seitz, raised awareness during a 'Make Nice' special assembly. A Kindness Prayer, an explanation on how 'Pink Shirt Day' began in Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau’s bilingual video message about 'Pink Shirt Day' were key elements. Asking assembly to make a promise to be 'NICE' and 'KIND' to classmates, friends and family, the entire student body took a pledge to: be encouraging; be supportive; be positive; be helpful; be honest; be considerate; be thankful; be respectful; be a friend. Pinduli, a book on how words and actions have a ripple effect, was read by Grade 1 teacher, Mrs. Kearney, while Music teacher, Mrs. Campbell, led assembly in two relevant songs, ‘A Caring Community’ and ‘Enfant de Paix’. On 'Pink Shirt Make Nice Day', The Priory showed it’s true colours by proudly wearing pink shirts to show that no matter what our differences, being nice is always a choice worth making, and celebrating our positive community spirit.


Creating Cards for comfort kits

On April 5th, The Priory welcomed Judy Martin, aunt of Henry in Kindergarten, who, during her visit, shared a touching and personal story as a cancer survivor. In recognition and celebration of her own personal treatment ‘adventure’,  Mrs. Martin founded the Bell Fund and Comfort Kits with the support of the Cedars Cancer Foundation and MUHC, which give patients support, inspiration and a little comfort during their treatment journey. With Henry and his classmate, Bea’s help, Mrs. Martin showcased and explained the contents of the items in the comfort kit; a fleece blanket with a foot pocket to keep patients warm, a reusable water bottle to quench patients’ thirst, a notepad and pen to take notes, mints and a magazine for reading while waiting. In closing, Mrs. Martin invited all Priory students to create cards of courage and hope, wishing patients well, which will also be included in the Kits. Students have already begun creating water colour cards in Art class with Mme Kuska and during class they will write some words of encouragement to share with patients to brighten their recovery.


PPA Sparkling Snowflake Fest


On Friday, January 29th, the Paré Howlett Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland. In the spirit of winter, children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 were invited to participate in this year’s Snowflake Fest. With paper and scissors in hand, children created hundreds of delicate, dazzling and unique paper snowflakes, while a team of dedicated Priory parent volunteers guided the children and prepared hot cocoa with marshmallows. A heartfelt thank you to our Art Teacher, Mme Kuska, and the PPA Committee for organizing this magical festivity.  A blizzard of beautiful snowflakes adorn The Priory’s windows and halls for everyone to admire and enjoy! 


Leadership at The Priory

Sporting their new safety patrol vests and badges with pride, senior Grade 6 students were at the school's front gate and in the schoolyard happily greeting and helping Priory students, from all grades. As part of this year's Senior Leadership Program and in conjunction with our already running Second Step Program which helps students gain skills for solving problems with others in a positive way, the CAA School Safety Program was initiated this past week. Representatives from the CAA Quebec School Safety Program spoke to a group of Grade 6 students about the importance of safety patrol. Our students understood that it was not about policing, but about being on your best behavior. Lara Arab-Makansi (Grade 6 student) explained that her best behavior meant, "to set a good example". Laeticia Jeanty (Grade 6 student) also added, "to make children feel safe and welcomed". When asked the question, "Who wants to be a safety patrol this year?" It was unanimous, everyone raised their hands with much enthusiasm! The students took a pledge of honour and promised to obey road safety and school patrol rules. As a school patrol, our senior students will help staff supervise students both in the schoolyard and inside the school as they move about the hallways, use the play structures and space, and interact with their peers and teachers.

A Fun-Filled Week of Exploring!

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This year, students can look forward to many new ways to explore their world, and after sharing some warm words, Principal Tim Peters introduced the school-wide theme for this year – Explore! Our students had a fun-filled week of exploring, learning and discovering. Through hands-on activities, students used the new Science Lab exploring the world of science by performing chemical reactions, exploring ways to prevent apples from browning and exploring butterflies and their life cycles. Throughout the year, teachers will continue to serve as guides and facilitators as our students explore the joy of learning and discovery in engaging and exciting ways.


Commemorating the 50th Anniversary Of The Canadian Flag

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the flag of Canada, The Priory School was chosen amongst several Canadian elementary schools across Canada, to participate in a very special commemorative project. Hometown Music Council, composed of music industry professionals and business leaders, dedicated to fostering the enjoyment of music in Canada, was welcomed to The Priory School on Monday, May 4th for the national recording of ‘O Canada’. Hometown Music Council will be visiting elementary schools in 40 cities across Canada, uniting thousands of students in what may be the largest recording of ‘O Canada’ in history. As a special feature presentation, part of the recording was aired on CBC News. Watch as history unfolds, as we are very proud of the children’s participation.  


Priory's Future Neuroscientists Present at MUHC’s RI Inauguration

The Priory’s future neuroscientists, Wyatt Price-Gallagher and Elliott Kobelansky, spent the morning of February 2nd at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre’s inauguration. From their own initiative and interest, our Grade 5 students showcased their medical exhibit, ‘What is a concussion and how can it affect the brain?’ to the Director of the MUHC and members of the research community, while healthcare professionals toured the new state of the art facilities at the Glen site. READ MORE IN THE NEWS: MUHC UNVEILS NEW RESEARCH INSTITUTE.

Celebrating the Life of Mrs. Ballantyne: Co-Founder of The Priory

In celebrating Mrs. Ballantyne's life during an honorary assembly on Tuesday, September 16th, the entire student body and guests were able to recognize her strength, perseverance and ability to dream big. Frances Elizabeth Ballantyne, Co-Founder of The Priory School, passed away peacefully on September 11th at the age of one hundred and one. While The Priory community is saddened by the passing of their innovative founder, they celebrated her initiative and courage in starting a school far ahead of its time - The Priory School. Mrs. Ballantyne will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by the entire Priory Community.

Below is an excerpt from Mrs. Ballantyne's Birthday Book written by Priory student, Roxana B.:
" Thank you Mrs. Ballantyne for following your dreams and making this school possible."


"You are beautiful, Aiesha!" 

The Grade 5 and 6 Priory students recently discovered that Aiesha Robinson is very much like them. Although she is taller and a little older – a young adult, Aiesha enjoys the company of her friends, basketball and the same type of music as they do. However there is something that sets her apart from the others. Aiesha has vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. The Priory welcomed Aiesha to speak publicly to a large group for the very first time in her life. She spoke openly of her feelings and experiences and how vitiligo has affected her life since first discovering she had this condition as a teenager. She captured everyone's attention as she spoke of the hurtful words she endured and consequently her withdrawal from a "normal" life. Aiesha attributes her acceptance of who she is and her desire to educate others in accepting themselves and others for who they are, to her good friends and family who have always been by her side. Aeisha spoke from her heart, and was 'real' to the students. Because of this, teachers did not have to run a debriefing session, as the students discussed what they had heard on their own accord. Aeisha Robinson came to The Priory to help our students understand her condition and how to relate to people who may seem different. She succeeded, and our students left the room with a true sense of what empathy means, and undoubtedly, better equipped for the bigger world that awaits them outside The Priory's doors. At the end of the conversation, one Grade 5 student lingered back and summed it up eloquently: "You are beautiful, Aiesha!"


The Priory Welcomes the Montreal Alouettes

Tying in with this year's school theme of, 'I Care', on February 13th, The Priory School welcomed Montreal Alouettes team members, Éric Deslauriers, Kyries Hebert, S.J. Green, Josh Bourke and Jerald Brown. The professional football players visited with Grades 3,4,5 and 6 students to talk about keeping a positive attitude, perseverance and the importance of a good education. Bourke shared that the most important thing he did was earn a University degree. The team members shared their life experiences with the children. They talked about the realities of playing this particular sport and emphasized the importance of remaining focused, positive and respectful at all times, no matter what you do or who you are. Hebert informed the children, "your attitude determines your altitude", and how our attitude allows us to achieve our dreams. The message the children received from the Alouettes players had less to do with playing a professional sport but rather more to do with learning valuable life lessons. Deslauriers reminded the children that even though we all come from different backgrounds and places, we recognize the importance of respect and this allows us to be united together as a team. The visit culminated with a friendly Alouettes vs Priory staff basketball game enjoyed by all. Having positive role models reminds all of us what we can achieve through perseverance, a positive attitude and respect for one another," says Principal Tim Peters. 


The Annual Senior Winter Carnival

The 1st annual Senior Winter Carnival was a very cool event. The day started with a trip to Mount Royal for tubing and skating on Beaver Lake. We could not have asked for better winter weather. With rosy cheeks, the children returned to The Priory and traded their skates and boots for flip flops and sunglasses for a beach-themed party. They enjoyed frosty popsicles, a dress up photo corner, and dancing to tropical tunes. The students also competed in an indoor snow person building relay race—blindfolded! Team Venezuela beat out other sunny destinations—Florida, Hawaii, and Jamaica—but all teams displayed creativity, teamwork, and powerful lungs! For the final activity, the children bundled up once again and headed outside to create sparkling inukshuk out of blocks of coloured ice. The ice sculptures stand proudly in the school's front yard, a wonderful reminder of a fun-filled day!

Globetrotters' C.H.E.E.R For Character Program

On April 9th, Priory students from Grades 3, 4 and 5 were invited to Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School for a special presentation by Anthony 'Buckets' Blakes of the Harlem Globetrotters to talk about the team's history and of the Globetrotters' C.H.E.E.R for Character Program which focuses on Cooperation, Healthy mind & body, Effort, Enthusiasm, and Responsibility. Watch The Gazette's video of Harlem Globetrotters' "Buckets" Blakes


Dr. Joe Schwarcz Combines Chemistry with Magic

How do you create nylon by combining two liquids? How does a liquid change from colorless to gold to blue? How do they get the caramel into the Caramilk bar? These questions and more were answered by Dr. Joe Schwarcz during this year's Science Week at The Priory School. Dr. Schwarcz talked to Priory students about chemistry and how chemistry plays a significant role in our lives. He went on to explain how chemicals are all around us, that they are not something to be feared, but to be understood. He also addressed some of the interesting science inventions throughout history and the stories behind them. During his presentation, Dr. Schwarcz impressed the children by unraveling some of the mysteries behind science by combining chemistry with magic. He used science experiments to explore chemical reactions and sparked their curiosity by providing explanations. Is it magic? It's science but because we don't have the explanations, it looks like magic.