École normale Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie

Institution founded in 1959, Lac-Mégantic, Québec.

In 1959, at the request of Archbishop Georges Cabana of Sherbrooke, the Department of Public Instruction authorized the establishment of a normal school in Lac-Mégantic. The city’s School Commission set up classes and the residence of the new school’s prospective boarders in Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation High School. The founders of the new institution were Sister Sainte-Aline (Marie-Paule Bélanger), the Superior of Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation High School and Sister Saint-Joseph-de-la-Nativité (Lucienne-Marie Plante), first principal of the normal school. At the beginning of the first school year, a “brevet C” (C License) class was offered and thirteen students were enrolled; a fourteenth, already a teacher, arrived in November. In addition to studies from textbooks, the normal school organized weeks of practical training; students gave one lesson a day for one week in one of the parish schools. Personality development activities were also organized for the students: film club, discussions on current events, spiritual retreats offered by different religious congregations. In April 1960, the normal school, housed in Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation High School, was named Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie. In June, the Department of Public Instruction authorized the addition of one school year for students to obtain a B Licence. That same year, the school offered refresher courses to teachers of the region; over twenty-five students, sisters and lay personnel attended.


The student teachers participated in the Cercle du bon parler français, Jeunesse étudiante catholique, Union mariale and Service missionnaire des jeunes. In October 1962, a student was awarded the medal of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Quebec for having ranked first in the exams; she was a 4th grade teacher at Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation Elementary School. Close to forty graduates from Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie Normal School already worked in the different schools of the region. In November of that same year, the new Cuisenaire-Gattegno method of teaching mathematics was presented to the students by Brother Clément-Marie of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart. At the beginning of the 1963 school year, thirty-six young women enrolled; twenty one were boarders. A lay teacher was hired to teach English. Physical Education was added to the extracurricular activities. Students of Centre Mgr Bonin were taught outdoor and indoor games. In 1964, for the school’s important contribution, the Strathcona Foundation awarded it a cheque for $40.00 toward the purchase of sports gear for the students. After six years of existence, on June 4, 1965, Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie Normal School closed following the enforcement of the Parent Report which stated that teacher formation could only be obtained at the university level.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

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École normale Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie

École normale Notre-Dame-de-l'Estrie

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

Institution fondée en 1959

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