Community / Press Release

COVID-19 Update 4: Director General Announcement for Staff and Schools

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Montreal - Sunday, March 15, 2020

Updated: Sunday, March 15, 2020 @ 6:42 P.M.

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Dear EMSB Staff, Parents, Students and Community members,

I write to provide additional information that has come into effect since my last correspondence on Friday.


Over the weekend, the government asked school boards across the province to open daycare services in specified schools that are close to hospitals, CIUSSS’ and other medical facilities.  These school daycares will, if need be, provide childcare for the school-aged children of professionals who work in the health care, law enforcement and public security sectors over the next two weeks while schools are closed. 

The schools were chosen by the government – not the EMSB.  They are:  St-Gabriel, Bancroft, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Dante, Westmount Park – St-John Bosco south campus, St-Monica, Elizabeth Ballantyne and Cedarcrest.

In the last 24 hours, the Principals of these eight EMSB elementary schools have been contacting members of their own daycare personnel to explain the situation and to appeal to them to agree to work, at least for the next couple of days (while things get organized), so that the EMSB can do its part to support our health and public security workers, who in essence, are working for the greater good of our entire community. 

Over the course of the next couple of days, we will have more information about how many children will be enrolled in these eight daycares and whether all eight   will even be needed.  Once we know that, a schedule will be made for the remainder of the two weeks; and daycare and Special Ed. Techs from other schools will be asked if they want to help out – more below.

The Plan Going Forward:  Over the next two days, our Human Resources  and Student Services departments will contact Daycare personnel, Special Ed. Techs and Child Care Workers in ALL of our schools to ask: who else is willing to help out over the next two weeks?  The more people willing to help out, the better it will be for everyone.  As they say:  many hands make light work.

Anyone working in one of the eight specified daycares  may bring their own children if other arrangements cannot be made. Speak to your Principal.  Strict hygiene and cleanliness will be assured in all daycares.

Registration for the eight daycares will be coordinated by the government – NOT the EMSB.  As such, we will only accept children who have been enrolled via the government’s procedures. 

I want to send a big THANKS to the team at the school board, the Principals of those eight schools and their Daycare employees and Special Ed. Technicians who heard our appeal and have risen to the occasion.  Your selflessness and dedication, not only as an EMSB employee, but, as a contributing citizen, is MUCH appreciated.  I would also like to thank the Union Executives for Support Staff and Caretakers for your understanding and support.  I am so often PROUD of our board and our employees.  And these last 24 hours have not disappointed.   

More to follow.


Since my memo on Friday, we have been directed NOT to allow students and parents into the schools to pick up forgotten belongings. 

IF and only if, the article that has been forgotten in school pertains to a health matter – like an asthma inhaler or epi-pen or medication, should a parent email the Principal.  And in those rare situations, the school administration will attempt to retrieve that item and hand it to the parent at the front door.  Please make arrangements with the Principal beforehand.

Thank you for your understanding.  My apologies for any inconvenience. 



I would ask you to NOT come to school unless the item that you left behind is absolutely required – like a medical item as described above.  Please contact your Principal before arriving. 


While the schools are indeed officially closed, in my last memo I indicated that several members of staff are required to report to work at school on Monday and Tuesday.  I maintain that decision as there are several things that we need to do to be able to properly shut-down our schools for two weeks.  Like before the December holiday, tasks that are performed at a school level (not the board level) need to be completed, such as:  payroll entries for non-regular or contract employees, substitute teachers, banking, bill payment, cleaning fridges and ensuring that no food is lying around in classes, etc.  I thank you for your agreement and help in advance.


The message that I sent on Friday remains in effect.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


Employees who have questions are asked to contact their immediate superior.

Things seem to change quite quickly these days as the government takes action to limit, slow down and reduce the spread of COVID – 19.  And it is in our best interest, not to panic, but to take precautions when we can.

I will keep you all informed of any new information as I receive it.