A program that stresses academic achievement, accountability
and social progress in a positive and supportive environment.

Visit the Visions webpage here.

See an overview of the Visions Program in slideshow format here or scroll down.


 About Us

CFER Riverdale opened its doors in January 2007 with thirteen students from the Secondary III and IV levels of Riverdale High School.  The program had been in its development stages since the spring of 2006 when initial meetings were held with representatives of the Réseau québécois des CFER. Currently we 43 students registered in the program.

Our Mission


A CFER program has a threefold mandate:

  • Develop autonomous students.

  • Produce engaged citizens.

  • Train productive workers.

  • This is achieved through stressing the values of autonomy, engagement, respect and discipline in all aspects of the school day.


The CFER Team




Davion Campbell


Mathieu Canavan

Daniel Vanson



Shaun Wallach






Graham Bourque

Work Placement Animator


Sonya Vann







Our Program



A CFER program consists of three basic components:


1. Classroom work is focused on developing functional skills in Language Arts, Mathematics and Social Studies again with the goal of promoting autonomy, engagement and productivity.


2. A CFER also has a business component which is run as a business.  It is incorporated as not-for-profit entity and operates as any other business would, with real world contracts, production schedules, safety regulations, etc.  All CFER businesses are built around some form of recycling. What is recycled varies from CFER to CFER. Some CFER’s recycle paint, others recycle building materials, others recycle rope and so forth.  CFER Riverdale is building its project on the recycling of computer systems.


3. The third component of CFER is the “Caravan” which is an environmental awareness project in which CFER students visit elementary schools to share issues and raise awareness in elementary aged students on the question of the environment and recycling.




Global Overall /Comprehensive Task

The teachers working in a CFER use a teaching approach that is called ‘Global Task’ or Team teaching, that is to say that a team of teachers support a group of students for their entire time in the CFER. The overall, team teaching task means involvement from and of everyone.  The teacher, although a specialist in discipline, is called to work together with colleagues working together in their respective subjects.

The teaching team organizes the distribution of subjects and time allocated based on student needs. This type of organization and team work ensures immediate corrective measure and positive feedback when needed.  In addition, it provides immediate response from the students. Finally, this approach promotes the unity of the group.




Newspapers, Binder, File Cards


The Newspaper


Reading the newspaper is a daily occurrence and it is either read by the students or by the teacher. The newspaper becomes a tool for knowledge of the society we live in, it opens the adult world we live in into which the students are about to enter. The newspaper is a workbook to make all kinds of activities depending on the program objectives, whether in French, Mathematics or Sciences. The students benefit from the enjoyment of reading daily. The teacher can then use the same daily reading to achieve a variety of exercises that meet the program objectives of the CFER program. It is improves the ability to read aloud, to summarize, search for information, find the meaning of certain words, distinguish between facts and opinions, explain Acronyms, abbreviations, , transcribe an article and give his/her opinion, comment on the news: all activities that are profitable and easily achievable with the newspaper.


The Binder

The binder is a methodological tool that provides an opportunity for students to sort and order their notes.  The binder is also an Educational tool with which teachers instill in the students order, discipline, cleanliness and accuracy. A tidy and organised binder is what students can and should be proud of.  It becomes a great source of pleasure and confidence to show parents, visitors, teachers and peers.

In addition, the link between Educational tools and tools that will be used in the dismantling rooms will be an easy one. The students will not see any difference between their work rooms and classrooms; it will provide the same rigor and will need the same efforts, in one as the other.


The File Cards

The file card system is very similar to the binder. However, it develops other skills in students. The ability to write as well as a form of very specific standards, classified according to various criteria (alphabetical nature of the word, gender, etc.), to find among many, the students learns  a great sense of organization and autonomy.

The file card system allows students to expand their vocabulary.  At the same time, it fills an important gap in the majority of young people attending the CFER.  The daily return on this activity will provide students with the habit and will facilitate the task when it comes time to record his words and spelling.





The caravan’s mission is to raise awareness among the elementary and high school students and the public at large regarding sustainable development through the 3 R’s method, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Each of the units is described and exhibited on stands made of movable panels representing an environment issue, the technologies related to it, as well as the desired societal behaviours to diminish its adverse effects.

The presentation is conducted exclusively by the CFER students. This learning experience is a rewarding one for students who are listening as well as for students who are delivering the caravan. They learn to develop a positive attitude while sharing their knowledge.


In this area, the Réseau québécois des CFER is committed to this mission: ensuring that the greatest number possible of young people have the opportunity to reflect on the importance of changing their behaviour regarding the use of energy and resources.

The first caravan was set up in 1990 at the CFER in Victoriaville. It was an addition to the common tools used by all CFERs (the log book, the binder, the spelling index, and the recycling caravan integrated into the curriculum) all of which help in reaching the global objectives, i.e. training independent individuals, committed citizens and productive workers. The public presentations by the students of the caravan are mostly a mean of personal enhancement for them, by talking about the environment. These young people, who have experienced all sorts of difficulties while undertaking and persevering within a normal school path, see themselves suddenly in a situation where they are “teaching” a specific content to an audience. This is a change in roles that, in the perspective of founders of the network, could only be beneficial for their self-esteem.

The objectives of the ‘Olympiades Reussite Jeuness’

  • Provide all students, regardless of the areas in which they excel, the opportunity to compete against their peers

  • Provide students with the opportunity to be at the centre of their interests

  • To encourage students to engage in their own education, since it will be tested against their peers

  • Promote teamwork and collective motivation

  • Develop young people’s sense of belonging, self-confidence and pride

  • Encourage the involvement of all CFER staff in their preparation and implementation of their activities

  • Recruit mentors in each area and each region to become the evaluators of the manual and oral expression activities


Frequently Asked Questions

Who enters a CFER?

  • Students who are 15 years of age who have concluded that they will likely not be successful in graduating from high school. They may at a later date be ready to make the necessary commitment to do so but are currently not experiencing success.


What will they receive upon completing the program?

  • The MELS recognizes CFER as a legitimate work study option for senior students. Upon successful completion of the three-year CFER program students will receive and attestation of studies from the MELS. It is important to note that this is not the equivalent of a secondary diploma.



  • A CFER program is designed to train students for the world of work. Nearly 28% of all labour in our economy is unskilled. Employers are telling us that what they need for these positions are not students trained to do a particular task, but students who are trained to work. Employers needing workers are saying that they can take care of teaching employees the task they need to perform but they cannot teach them the values we associate with a good worker. Those things include being on time, dressing appropriately, speaking properly with customers, meeting task deadlines, taking orders and so forth. That is the training a CFER provides and preparation for the world of work is the primary objective of the program.


How do I find out more?

  • The Réseau québécois des CFER has an extensive  website (in French) which provides information on the programs.

Further information on CFER Riverdale can be obtained by calling Riverdale High School at (514) 684 CFER (2337)

or by contacting us via e-mail at mcanavan@lbpearson.ca.

Arrangements can be made to visit the program for an idea of its setup and functioning.



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