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All posts by Melanie Richter

Orange Shirt Day / National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Friday, September 30th, 2022 marks Canada’s second official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a designated day of remembrance to honour victims and survivors of Canada’s Indigenous residential school system, and one of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.


In support of this important moment of reflection and learning, WIC will be facilitating activities and opportunities for students and staff to learn, engage, and act toward advancing reconciliation both on and off campus. Our students are invited to wear orange shirts as the top of their uniform to mark the occasion. For more information on why we wear orange on September 30th, please click here to refer to our inaugural Orange Shirt Day news announcement on our website.


An important aspect of Truth and Reconciliation work is committing to one’s own awareness and self-education of the complex histories as well as ongoing issues facing Indigenous Peoples across the Indigenous Nations of Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal. We encourage you to use the below resources, as well as sources of information you discover on your own to learn more, each day, about Indigenous history, current issues, etc.


Congratulations to our 2022 recipient of The Miller Family Award: Manmeet Kaur Singh

Manmeet Kaur Singh was selected as the 2022 recipient of The Miller Family Award because of her positive energy and commitment to WIC. As a Senior Student Leader, she was always ready to lend a helping hand whether it be in setting up, planning or participating in any campus event. Our student leaders went above and beyond this year for the student body, planning engaging and fun events, bringing the students together, and helping to make a difference for others.

Not only was Manmeet involved in the West Island College Athletic Association (WICAA), but she was also a Mini Math mentor with the Secondary 1 students during her lunch breaks throughout the school year. She would visit the math classes and help small groups of students understand different Math concepts. She never missed a beat and was always ready to step in when others were not available. She was also involved in the wider community, as a peer tutor to elementary school students on a weekly basis in Pierrefonds.

Most importantly, Manmeet is a truly remarkable young person who was deeply engaged at WIC without expecting anything in return. We were so happy to have the opportunity to recognize her contribution to school life through this award and hope that others are encouraged by her example.

This $1,000 prize, donated by the Miller Family, is awarded annually to the graduating student who has actively and consistently contributed to school life. As one of the first families to attend WIC, the Miller Family was always there to lend a helping hand with small deeds that, over time, have made a large impact on the school.

For more information on opportunities to create a family legacy gift please contact our Advancement Office at 514-683-4660 or email [email protected]

Photo credit: Ryan Blau photography. Featured left to right: Eric Jabal, Head of School, Manmeet Kaur Singh and Sarah Black, Vice-President of the WIC Board of Directors.

Starting a Business 101

Students in the Secondary 5 options courses of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneuriat this year were challenged to an experiential learning project during term 2. In this project, students had to create a business for the WIC community. They had to use the entrepreneurial process to create, develop, and propose a café-style business here at WIC. 

Students were placed into groups based on the 4 categories of work to be produced for their business:

  • Product – creation of the product and/or what products will be offered; 

  • Marketing (including logo design & slogan), menu design and kiosk;

  • Service, sales and surveys; 

  • Accounting, inventory, purchasing and pricing. 


The students were very creative and here are the 5 Cafés that were developed:

Each café had to sell their menus and homemade products for two days after school. The term ended with a big Battle of the Cafés where all five cafés were selling together in the courtyard. Students learned how to manage their budget and figure out how much product they needed. Being an experiential learning project, we also showed the students the importance of how businesses are big supporters of the greater community as well. Each café group then donated their profits to a local charity.

We are pleased to report that each café donated $330 to the following local organizations: Rosie Animal Adoption, Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, West Island Mission, SPCA Montreal and the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. 

What a fabulous hands-on learning experience!

Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering (POWE) Conference 2022

On Saturday, February 26th, female-identifying students from grades 7 to 11 attended the annual “POWE Girls in Engineering Conference” held virtually through McGill University.

The goal of the all-day, hands-on conference is to promote opportunities for women in the field of engineering. POWE is a philanthropic group at McGill University under the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS). This conference is geared towards female-identified students who have a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related fields.

West Island College girls participated in a design competition, listened to a variety of speakers, including professors, students, and women presently working in the field, and went on virtual tours of the McGill engineering laboratory facilities. The hope is to promote awareness about the opportunities available for females in engineering and to encourage our female students to consider all the advantages that come with choosing to pursue this exciting field! 

Black History Month at WIC 2022

West Island College celebrated Black History Month this year by engaging students in important conversations, hosting guest speakers who brought black history and geography to the classroom, and by exposing students to black culture in a variety of ways – with sights, sounds, tastes and smells that delighted all.

To kick off the month  Overture with the Arts returned for a third year in a row to present the next chapter of Tracking Black Canada, the forgotten stories of early black communities in Canada. This virtual presentation engaged our students through Slam Poetry, videos and audience interaction. 

During lunch hours, there was Caribbean, Haitian and African music playing in the cafeteria and on February 10th, Tasty Touch, a Montreal based catering service gave our students and staff a delicious taste of Caribbean culture with yummy filled Jamaican patties and coconut turnovers from Trinidad and Tobago.

WIC’s partnership with the ACDPN (African Canadian Development and Prevention Network) continued to flourish this month with the Amazing Race which focuses on famous BIPOC figures around school.  The ACDPN Youth group taught  students about how to build and contribute to an inclusive community through a Black History Trivia game.

Pacôme Tagbo, founder of Montreal boxing training facility, Tagbo Training Studio, wove our school’s theme of growth into his senior school presentation. He shared his inspiring journey of hard work, humility and the importance of never giving up.

Finally Lexis Beattie, the founder of I am Heshima, a non-profit registered charity organization dedicated to providing access to education in Kenya and one of our community service partners, came to our campus on two occasions this month sharing the stories behind the handmade items from Kenya and her presentation on Being Human, her journey and how we can all make a difference. 

From touching the beautiful bead work from Kenya, to listening to Haitien music, reading about the different Black historians around school or smelling and tasting the Caribbean flavors, our students and staff were introduced to people, organizations and businesses that are passionate about making a difference and advocating for our local, provincial, national and world wide Black communities.  

The Student Experience

At WIC we place an emphasis on student wellness, well-being, and the application of health and wellness in the planning and delivery of life skills. This week our Student Wellness Team organized a series of grade-level specific workshops on a variety of topics including:

  • bullying;

  • stress;

  • mental health;

  • healthy relationships; and

  • perseverance. 

Anti-bullying Awareness

On Thursday, February 17th, Leslie Potts, Community Relations Officer for the SPVM came to speak to two groups of Secondary 1 students about anti-bullying awareness; the other two Sec. 1 groups will have her visit next week. Secondary 3 students will get their turn the week of March 14th.

There will also be a kiosk on site on Wednesday, February 23rd in line with Pink shirt day – anti-bullying day – let’s wear pink!

Photo of Officer Potts and Eric Jabal, Head of School
Officer Potts and Eric Jabal, Head of School

Mental health basics workshop

Two guest speakers from the Fondation Jeunes en Tête presented to our Sec. 1 and 2 students about the basics of mental health. 

Healthy and equitable relationships workshop

All sec 4 and 5 students had a workshop offered by Tel-Jeunes to learn and understand what it means to have healthy and equitable relationships in friendships like in love.

School perseverance

Some of our students also attended a virtual conference hosted by Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on school perseverance. We know that the pandemic has had an impact on school perseverance and motivation among our youth. This well-known Quebecer is a fine example of what perseverance is and he shared useful tips, in addition to motivating young people to persevere even in the face of difficulty.


Learn from the past – prepare for the future

Head of School Message – December 2021

‘…so a bridge seemed a useful metaphor that would resonate with people.’ (Sting)

Sting is right, I reflected, reading an interview with the 17-time Grammy Award-winning musician about The Bridge, his fifteenth studio album conceived and recorded during lockdown. Everyone seems to be looking for a bridge at the moment – be it to the future, to somewhere safer, or to connect with others.

What an apt image as we wrap up 2021 – in the grip of our ongoing fight with COVID, its invisible air bridge aiding the virus to leap from person to person – and get set to cross over into 2022. Yet even as we contend with Omicron’s looming shadow, this darker and colder time of the year has been brightened and warmed by the positive energy and curiosity of WIC students in and out of the classroom.

It’s all about connections

It has been great to have students engaged in trips to museums, community service, sports tournaments, school spirit weeks, and ski outings to St. Sauveur. It sure has helped to inject some more conventional school days in this third pandemic-challenged school year. I am so thankful that teachers, staff, coaches and prefects have persisted to make activities run safely and smoothly, providing students with the best experiences possible. We even managed three in-person parent events this term, as well as a joint on-campus WIC Board, Foundation and leadership team meeting. More to follow in the new year about the strategic educational plan being finalised!

It has been uplifting to see people connecting, helping to create and to find joy together. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 has underscored the importance of psychological resilience – the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events – such vibrant activity and growth should help to warm us throughout the winter months.

Impactful learning comes down to the quality of relationships: amongst teachers and students, and between the learner and the learning itself. Our incredibly demanding modern world means we must keep looking for meaningful ways to connect with learning – to bridge the known to the unknown, passion with purpose, self to others.

Good grades and general knowledge of course matter – but these alone will not equip our young voyageurs to meet the challenges of life. Being educated today means:

  1. developing and using knowledge and skills to grow and to find happiness; and

  2. becoming equipped and ready to make a positive contribution to the community.

Such learning outcomes sit at the heart of the WIC vision and mission, helping to shape classroom experiences and WIC programming. As the adage goes, ‘who you are is more important than what you know…’.

During term 1, I have loved how WIC teachers and students seized opportunities to connect classroom learning with the wider curriculum of life through, for example, their:

  • inquiries into and debate on the topic of natural/bio and genetically modified agriculture in Junior school geography;

  • data mining, manipulation and visualization on the topic of climate change in Junior school mathematics;

  • research and role play as part of a Model UN simulation focussed on a global wicked problem in Senior school Ethics, Religion and Culture;

  • involvement in a pan-Canadian student leadership conference, as well as a 15-session, multi-school human rights project, of some activist senior students to inspire and upskill them to make a social impact in their communities; and

  • engagement with Ephroim (Johnny) Jablon, holocaust survivors memoirs program speaker, who came to campus and recounted his story, complementing senior students’ English class study of the 1960 memoir, Night.

Such contexts for learning create rich opportunities for students to experience high levels of interest, challenge, and skill – to pursue big questions and design meaningful projects that enhance discovery and creativity. It is incumbent upon us to share with students the kinds of role models who embody WIC’s values – Johnny Jablon is a powerful example of one such person who continues to make a difference to others.

Making learning stick

Recent research shows that curious questions and interesting answers enhance learning and memory in children and teens. Adolescents are more likely to remember information when it was more interesting than their initial state of curiosity. Teens are smarter when tackling topics whose questions and answers fill them with wonder. What an opportunity to connect learning to citizenship – i.e. design meaningful problems that young people do not know the answer to… but have the capability to find out.

Today’s changed and changing world makes this even more important. In the pursuit of personal excellence, we ought to reexamine how learning contexts and experiences impact student “well-being and [their] ability to build community above all else” (Hoerr, 2021) by asking such questions as:

  • What kind of citizens will our students become?

  • Will they be successful, and will they be happy?

  • Will they be people we would welcome as neighbours or family members?

Guided by the WIC mission – ‘…each student thrives and is empowered to discover and pursue their own path forward’ – we can attend to academics as well as the needs and supports that our young people need to adapt to today’s new realities. Through practising a both/and mindset, we can make learning stick and prepare our young voyageurs for a constantly-changing future.

What a way to bridge 2021 – mindful of the lessons learnt – and to set ourselves up for success in 2022, moving forward.

On behalf of the WIC teachers, staff, and leadership, I would like to thank all of our families for their ongoing support this year: we continue to evolve, pivot and, most importantly, come together as a community.

Onward with hope, gratitude and fortitude

Dr. Eric Jabal
Head of School

Hoerr, T. R. (2021, November 15). Embracing SEL for success. ASCD. https://www.ascd.org/blogs/embracing-sel-for-success

Art of appreciation

The Art of appreciation – we’re all in this together

Head of School Message – October 2021

The White House recently honoured the 2020 and 2021 State and National Teachers of the Year. US President Biden put it well: teachers are the “single most consequential people in the world beyond our parents.” I couldn’t agree more.

After three COVID-affected school years, WIC teachers are looking beyond learning loss to lessons learned, supporting students academically and tending to their social-emotional needs – all while trying to stay healthy as the effects of the pandemic persist. It is not easy.

Pandemic fatigue is real. After months of uncertainty, pandemic protocols, stress, and anxiety, it can be seen in poor mental health and personal well-being. Despite our busy lives, we need to take care of ourselves and practise self-compassion.

Dr Judy Pickard, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong, says that self-compassion is underpinned by three common facets:

  • understanding that as humans we are works-in-progress and fallible;
  • having a genuine sense of kindness towards our own hardships; and
  • having the mindfulness (or present moment awareness) to be conscious of what’s actually happening to and around us.

Given what I retain from my daily campus walkabouts, the buzz that emanates from the science labs, gymnasium, Junior- and Senior-corridor classrooms reminds me that while we continue to navigate the pandemic, the innovation and energy of the WIC teachers and students to form meaningful, interconnected relationships, and robust learning environments is without end.

Over the last week, I’ve had the privilege of spending some time in the classrooms of teachers new to WIC. It was wonderful to see them in action with students – enthusiastic, caring, making connections to real-world learning, using educational technologies effectively. It was a good reminder of the qualities the leadership team had appreciated through their recruitment process.

Pursuing personal excellence – learning to know, to do, to live, and to be

As a PK-12 school accreditation officer, site visits were always highlights for me – so much is revealed simply by looking. What matters (most) can often be communicated without words. As a school leader, I pay close attention to the messages we convey as much as the words we use. For example, I am encouraged by how we are strengthening our culture of care through:

  • prioritising a holistic student experience – e.g. running an engaging array of sports/ extracurriculars and experiential learning/sec 1-2 outdoor education excursions
  • promoting school spirit with fun community-building activities – e.g. Halloween week theme days, JDRF walkathon, by-homeroom team-building events
  • reconnecting with families (e.g. sec1 parent coffee & conversations), alumni (Class of 2020 social), and local partners (West Island Community Shares Fun Day)
  • cultivating civic mindedness by participating in Truth and Reconciliation day learning and doing a mock election/interacting with local candidates running in the federal elections
  • our guidance counselor and school nurse raising awareness about self-care strategies as part of Suicide Prevention Month, sharing messages and stories of hope and empowering everyone to be there for those facing mental health distress
  • partnering with the ACDPN network to undertake vision/values-aligned professional learning for a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just WIC– e.g. powerful Oct. 8th all-staff workshop on constructive cultural conversations and implicit bias
  • celebrating students’ academic successes and community service impact on others in 2020-21 at a series of grade-level assemblies that are -widening WIC’s vision of success-.

Education is done by (and with) the learner

With our academic program in full swing, students have completed formative and summative assessments. They have received feedback and, with the support of their teachers, are reflecting on areas of strength and opportunities for growth. With mid-term reports issued this week, parents ought to be checking in with their child by asking such questions as:

  • In what moments were you most proud of your efforts? What has surprised you?
  • What do you want to learn more about, and why?
  • What practical steps can you take today, tomorrow, next week to grow yourself further?

As we support our young voyagers, let’s keep strengthening our partnership by encouraging – at home and at school – their pursuit of:

  • meaning – look back: how can I make sense of the world/my learning journey-to-date?
  • purpose – drive forward: how can I be of consequence in this world?
  • connections – make a positive impact: how am I growing through my interactions with others?

What students learn is important; however, how they are transformed by learning is even more powerful. Each of our WIC learners has their own unique strengths, interests, and goals.

Let’s continue to help our young voyagers to connect the dots between their personal, social and academic selves… and to feel/be/become successful in their pursuit of personal excellence.

Dr. Eric Jabal
Head of School

Giving Thanks and Paying it Forward


As a school, we have so much to be thankful for given our extraordinary accomplishments in the last 18 months. This has only been possible because of our care for and connection to each other. Our lives have been enriched by our interdependence. Now more than ever, the key WIC values matter. Community, citizenship, and respect: our individual actions matter greatly to and for the health, safety, and well-being of others.

One of WIC’s core values is Citizenship. We believe that each individual has a duty to make a meaningful contribution to the local and global community. Community service is an important component of the WIC curriculum and provides all students with the opportunity to volunteer their time in an organization that aligns with their interests and passions. The experience is extremely rewarding to students in many ways; it helps build self-esteem through achievement, boosts social and emotional well-being, provides valuable networking opportunities, and instills a sense of pride from making a positive impact in the community.

These past 2 weeks, we celebrated students who went above and beyond in giving their time to lend a hand within the community. We are so proud of our 78 students for doubling the community service hours during the last academic year (photo: Award recipients from Sec. 2 in 2020-21 stopped for a photo with our Head of School, Eric Jabal, and Level Director Sec 1 and 2 students, Émilie Simard)

With Thanksgiving this weekend, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and be grateful. How might we pay it forward? Being positive, finding the best in others, and taking kind actions for the good of others are part of being a good human being.

This month, WIC students are giving back to the community. We are thrilled to bring back our annual JDRF Walk for the Cure. Our entire campus will walk together on October 19 to raise important funds for research into a cure for Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. This year marks our 20th anniversary partnership with JDRF Canada. Over the last 19 years, our school has raised just over $502,000!

Our students have already stepped up to the challenge and have been busy raising funds through the JDRF website. There are fun House challenges as well as individual challenges. Each student is asked to raise a minimum of $40. If you have not yet received your invitation to make a donation, please visit the siteand contribute today!

Thank you for encouraging our students to get involved in the community and taking action.

Head of School Message: Here we go!


Dear WIC families:

There is nothing as energizing – or exhausting: we have yet to get our school legs back under us! – as the first days of a new school year.

WIC’s start-up 2021 has been extra special – we welcomed all five grade levels back to the campus… and rolled into athletics try-outs in the first fortnight: more than 250 of our student-athletes across a dozen teams gave it their all!

On behalf of the entire WIC staff, I am delighted to warmly welcome you and your child/ren to our 2021-22 WIC school year.

As I start my second lap alongside you, it has been fun to see and feel the whole campus abuzz with everyone’s return, smiley eyes visible over face masks. Despite a third school year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have plenty of reason for hope given our confidence-building start. We have returned to school, but we are not going back: better together, tous ensemble.

As indicated in our back-to-school virtual town halls, WIC has spared no expense or opportunity to bring everyone back together safely. The new year brings new teachers, new books, new classes, new schedules and new friends. While many vestiges of the pandemic remain, with all of these changes comes the hope that 2021-22 will be different and better than previous years. 

 1 – Relationships create fertile soil for development (Dr. David Tranter, QAIS PD)

WIC is a special place because of the students, their families, and the staff. With growth as our school-wide theme 2021-22, we are looking forward to a year full of community and place-based learning. Yet growth is not just for students.

Daily, we aim to live our unique WIC vision: To be an inclusive community that continuously defines an innovative learning experience and cultivates multilingual, well-rounded, global-minded citizens who embrace change.

In our pursuit of personal excellence, we look for the uniqueness of every individual. Each is on their own voyage of growth. Let’s all work to create the conditions to foster development and success – academic and professional, personal and social, in and out of the classroom.

With constructive routines being put into place at this time of adjustment, I especially appreciate everyone’s efforts to bring out each other’s best self: we are what we feed, so we can decide which ‘you’ you like most… and strengthen that mode.

This year, we will continue to work on building each other up. We want you to join us – all of us can help to deepen our sense of community and connection, belonging and learning.

2 – Passion and perseverance are a powerful combination

By design, this happens in the classroom and through experiential programming (e.g. grade level team-building), athletics and ECAs. It is fantastic to see that more than 200 students have seized the opportunity to get involved in the 22 extra-curricular activities this first block. I am enjoying getting to know my 20+ sec 1-2 joggers in the running club that trains twice weekly.

As the psychologist and popular science scholar Angela Duckworth puts it, we should look to “ferret out the individual’s values, interests, capacities, skills, [and] provide collaborative experiences that cater to these attributes and provide new learning.” That is why with growth as our shared goal 2021-22, we want every WIC voyager to be known by their strength/s, their passion/s and their needs; through their journey with us, every WIC graduate will indeed be ready for the future s/he chooses.

As came through strongly in last year’s COVID-challenged rollercoaster, student-staff-family survey feedback, and the parent focus group sessions held last May and June, we know what is needed for growth and healthy development to take place: i.e.

  • high (realistic) expectations

  • high (positive) challenge; and

  • high (personalized) support.

Whether young person or adult, we are all WIC travellers on a journey of growth.

 3 – “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” (Michel Proust)

Given what you know of your child/ren, we greatly value your perspective and input – you are part of WIC’s wrap-around care approach. So let’s keep the communication channels open and support each other for a healthy and productive school-home partnership.

The leadership team and I are happy to discuss the issues that matter most to you and your child/ren, or if any questions about expectations, decisions or events come up:

  • Mme Émilie Simard ([email protected]) – apprentissages et bien-être des élèves de 1re et 2e secondaire

  • Mme Sylvie Bastien ([email protected]) – apprentissages et bien-être des élèves de 3e et 4e secondaire

  • Mme Lori Belair ([email protected]) – apprentissages et bien-être des élèves de 5e secondaire

  • Mme Lise Lafontaine ([email protected]) – WIC operations, finance and facilities

  • Mme Melanie Richter ([email protected]) – communication and development related to the strategic direction, positioning and relationships with the community

  • M. Eric Jabal ([email protected]) – mission/vision/values-aligned programming and practices to enable the success of all students, WIC stakeholder relations for a healthy school environment

We know there is still much uncertainty about the full shape of the year ahead, but what we do know is that we will support one another and our young voyagers in the WIC way. Thank you for your continued commitment to the WIC family. I am grateful and appreciative of your care and dedication.

I wish you and your child/ren a fulfilling and purposeful 2021-22!

In solidarity,

Dr. Eric Jabal
Head of School


Debate Club Prepares Alumni for Career in Law


On May 27th, Matthew Meland, B.A., LL.B., J.D., who graduated from WIC in 2009, graciously came to speak with Mrs. Grivas’s English class, 5C about how WIC and being a member of the Debating Club prepared him for his career in law and he also made a connection with their class novel, The Alchemist. Matthew inspired the class with his journey and how he turned his obstacles into challenges. He also shared his passion for lawyering and encouraged the grads to follow their dreams. Thank you Matthew for giving back to the WIC community!

In Matthew’s words:

“Hands down, the best training I received early on was from your debating club. It taught me how to think fast on my feet and trust my gut, which is essential in the courtroom. I count myself fortunate to truly love what I do, be it pleading in court or drafting letters or contracts. People often don’t think of it that way, but lawyers are actually some of the most prolific writers from a career standpoint as we are constantly either drafting letters, contracts, or proceedings.”

STEM Virtual Panel Discussion

Did you know that ACGC is a requirement from the Quebec government? 

The letters stand for continuum of academic and career guidance content. All schools are mandated to expose students to a variety of career options (starting with elementary cycle 3 and to continue into secondary cycle 2). This is not a stand-alone course, nor is there an evaluation process. It is a concept that we are weaving into the curriculum through as many opportunities and courses as possible. On May 26th our Secondary 1 students will be attending a virtual panel discussion with women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), organized by Miss Hadef. 

Please click this link for the bios of our guest speakers, two of which are WIC graduates.

Gold and Silver Medals for WIC at the QAHN

Members of the photography club Noa Reinblatt and Laurianne Matte respectively won 1st and 2nd place in the annual QAHN provincial photo competition. They deserve cash prizes of $200 and $150 in addition to having their photos published in the QAHN magazine. The competition is one of photography and the composition of a short text that accompanies the photograph. These two elements are considered by the jury. The West Island College and the students of our photography club have always done well since we entered this contest, winning 6 first places in 7 years of participation.

Be the Voice of WIC


Although this year’s leadership has definitely been a challenge, we as a group were able to create bonds with students, staff and administration that we will never forget. Not only did we manage to create these valuable relationships, we believe that our increased visibility has put student leadership at the forefront of everyday life at WIC. With the support of the staff and administration, we were able to work together to plan fun events and activities for the student body, assure that the voices of students were heard and, hopefully, have created a school year to remember!  


Despite the fact that we all had different experiences in leadership before joining the prefect team, whether that be WIAIH, Interact club, house council or sports teams/ECA, we were able to unite as one and strive towards improving the student life at WIC. As the future leaders of WIC, dear Sec 1 to Sec 4 students, there are many opportunities to get involved in leadership and impact the WIC community. So, whatever your past participation looks like, as the proud graduates of 2021, we strongly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and get involved to help continually improve our WIC.


Finally, we wanted to make our graduating year the best year it can be, and leadership has allowed us to have an impact on our experiences, both through planning activities and letting ourselves step out of our comfort zones to truly improve our final year. We are confident that, as leaders during our five years at WIC, we are leaving a lasting legacy. But know well that you don’t have to wait until your last year to become a contributing and caring student leader at WIC. There is still so much that can be done, so why not start now? We hope that you take the initiative and get involved to make a difference in 2021-22 and beyond.


Have a great weekend!

Your 9 senior prefects

Raphaël Ghali, Head Prefect
Julina Dorsey, Head Prefect
Mariel Kandalaft, School Theme Prefect
Alexa Richstone, Student Advocacy Prefect
Amanda Sultan, Student Advocacy Prefect
Chloe Schwartz, Communications Prefect
Marek Deveau, Davies House Prefect
Jake Erickson, Grant House Prefect
Anna Shakhgildian, Martin House Prefect


Current secondary 4 students – Graduates of 2022! – please check your email as the application to become a senior leader was sent today and you have until Friday May 21st to submit your application. If you have any questions, please see Mr. Fequet or Mme Simard. We look forward to hearing from you!


Halo Road Race

May 14, 2021

The Halo Road Race is fast approaching and all Secondary 1, 2, and 3 students will be participating and competing next week on the WIC field during their Physical Education classes!

Running schedule:

  • Monday, May 17th – Secondary 3 (4 kilometers)
  • Tuesday, May 18th – Secondary 1 (2 kilometers)
  • Wednesday, May 19th – Secondary 2 (2 kilometers)

We highly recommend that you download the STRAVA app to track your run on race day and accumulate some points for your HOUSE!

Please remember to hydrate well the night before and the morning of so that your muscles are ready to run! You should also have a water bottle with you for the race. Make sure to have eaten something healthy and that will give you some energy before the run!

Some foods to consider:

  • Fruits (specifically bananas)
  • Favourable carbohydrates (oatmeal or anything whole grain)
  • Proteins (eggs and poultry are ideally – or any bean and lentil)
  • Electrolytes are also a great source of hydration and muscle rebuilding!

The PE department is looking forward to this fantastic week of running and fun!

Light the Night 2021


Dear Parent/Guardians,

This year West Island College’s Interact Club will be proudly fundraising and supporting The Light The Night School Walk benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). The LLSC is a voluntary health organization committed to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services to all those in need of support.

The Light the Night Walk is a 5km walk that brings together more than 7000 people in Montreal, and it raises funds for vital patient support services, advocacy, and lifesaving research across Canada. Friends, families, and co-workers form fundraising teams and walk in unity, at twilight, each holding an illuminated lantern – red for supporters, white for patients and survivors, and gold to remember loved ones lost.

This year was like no other. Though the LLSC was not able to hold its flagship event in 2020, the Light the Night walk, due to the global pandemic, it was transformed into the virtual Take Back the Light broadcast.  The event was an incredible success thanks to supporters who have rallied in support of their mission. Canadians affected by blood cancers were able to Take Back the Light that both cancer and COVID-19 have tried to take away. 

The main focus behind this 2021 campaign is to prove the power of charitable giving and kids helping kids. We will be walking around the school with our red lanterns through the week of May 17 – May 23rd to raise awareness and contribute to the cause. 

The Interact Club created a page for donations (completely voluntary) at tinyurl.com/westislandcollege2021.

For every donation of $25 or more, you will automatically receive a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for helping us to support this cause,

The Interact Club

Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve – Asian Heritage Month 2021


After 25 fulfilling years in the Asia-Pacific region, it should not come as a surprise that I applaud the actions of Heritage Canada, which is marking May as Asian Heritage Month. This year’s theme is: Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve.

Please click here to view a short video statement from the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth of Canada, on Asian Heritage Month 2021.

In our ongoing efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive WIC – in which everyone is encouraged to thrive – how might we seize this opportunity:

  • to learn more about the history of Canadians of Asian descent?

  • to celebrate their contributions to the growth and prosperity of Canada?

  • to combat all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination?

In line with our school values and vision – ‘To be a sustainable community that continuously defines an innovative learning experience and cultivates multilingual, well-rounded, global-minded citizens who embrace change’ – WIC believes in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Let’s help our young people to build their critical thinking skills, to unlock their curiosity, and to forge a deeper understanding of the world around them: ‘Open-minded people don’t care to be right, they care to understand…. Everything is about understanding.’

In this vein, kindly take note of the QAIS-sponsored virtual speaker event for parents. Tiffany Jewell will present on May 13th (evening), on Anti-racist parenting best practices. To register or ask questions, please click here.

Moving forward in the face of growing social diversity, on campus and in the wider community of the West Island and beyond, how are we playing our part in sustaining more equitable and just relationships with others? We can develop greater intercultural sensitivity and understanding through, for example:

  • educating ourselves in the experiences of those who are not like us;

  • seeing differences of marginalized groups without prejudice or bias;

  • interacting comfortably with all people, whether similar or different from us;

  • building a connection with diverse groups by showing empathy regardless of difference; and

  • addressing traditional blindspots and challenging inequity when we see, hear or experience it.

By taking an inquiry-based and impact-inspired approach in our daily lives, we can role model as adults and help our young people to connect their classroom learning to the curriculum of life. Stronger together… tous ensemble!

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Eric Jabal
Head of School

Science Fair 2021

Two students from the 3C Science & Technology class participated at the 2021 Hydro Quebec Montreal Regional Science Fair held online. It was one of our most successful years in the competition. We should be very proud of them and their accomplishments.

Maria Bayder will be representing our school at this year’s Provincial fair- Super Expo-Science and at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Maria was selected as one of three students, the other two students are from the Montreal Cegeps.

Gia De Rosa won many awards including the Hydro Quebec Energy Award and the Ministere des Transports du Quebec Award. Gia was selected to be an alternate participant should one of the 12 students drop out from the Provincials.

Below is the complete list of the prizes/awards won by these two students.

E-Bike Experience Gia De Rosa

  • Great Distinction
  • Hydro-Quebec Energy Award
  • McGill University – Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Award
  • Ministère des Transports du Québec
  • Super expo-sciences Hydro Québec (SESHQ) Experimentation & Design Award – Alternate

Hide and Seek Help Maria Bayder

  • Highest Distinction
  • Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) Participation Award
  • McGill University – Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Award
  • McGill University – Faculty of Engineering Award
  • Reseau ACTION TI-Youth Award in Information Technology, Secondary Level
  • Silver Medal – Intermediate
  • Super expo-sciences Hydro Québec (SESHQ) Experimentation


Congratulations to both Maria and Gia!


New Guidance Counselor announcement


Dear parents, students, and West Island College community, 

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Angela Garcia will be joining the WIC family, assuming the role of Guidance Counselor. Over the years, Ms. Garcia has gained extensive experience in providing counseling and crisis intervention in a variety of settings, including her most recent roles of psychosocial judicial worker for the CAVAC and social worker at Batshaw youth and family center. 

Ms. Garcia has a passion for working with children and families to help them overcome adversity. She was selected for her proven capacity to build a cooperative rapport with clients, as well as her compassionate and dynamic personality. Ms. Garcia holds a Masters degree in Social Work from McGill University, a member of the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec and is fluent in English, French and Spanish. 

In her role as Guidance Counselor, Ms. Garcia will work collaboratively with our School Nurse, Learning Specialist, and Grade Level directors, to support our students’ success through social and emotional development, physical well-being initiatives, and academic guidance. 

Ms. Garcia’s first day at WIC will be Monday, April 12th. Please join us in wishing her a warm welcome to the WIC family!

Black History Month at WIC 2021

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

Carter G. Woodson

There is no question that 2020 was an eye-opening year in terms of racism for so many of us.  There is a clear need for more effective and widespread black history education and awareness with today’s youth in order to break negative stereotypes.

It was thanks to Theo Lagden’s impact project and her friend Thalia Urbani’s passion for awareness that led our Black History Education Campaign at WIC.

During the month of February, WIC students and staff celebrated the achievements of the many black historical figures who have helped shape and develop our country to become more equitable. Below are just some of the activities that took place in our visual arts, language arts, ERC (Ethics and Religious Culture), Science as well as Phys Ed classes! 

  • Overture With The Arts: Tracking Black Canada (virtual presentation – Canadian history, poetry and song);
  • Kente Cloth Project – the homeroom classes of sec. 3 brought in a 15 x 15 cm piece of fabric with specific colors representing them;
  • Virtual guided tours of black history;
  • Posters of important black people who have made a difference in our world all over the school;
  • Secondary 1 students – Tar Beach in art (book and art project);
  • Secondary 2 to 5 students – reading novels and poems by black authors and poets;
  • Tiffany Callender did an Activism 101 workshop for our graduating students;
  • Dr. Doug Paxton, introduced Grade 4 and 5 students on how to help us find our voice to make a difference;
  • Maria Abegunde, shared with our young people from secondary 3-4-5 how to be of service to the world.

To use Malcolm X’s words;

“Do not be in such a rush to condemn someone who doesn’t act like you or think like you. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”

Let’s continue to educate and embrace our differences. We still have a lot to learn. Wanting to learn and wanting to do better will help our world to become better for all mankind