514 • 626 • 9610


Programs -  CFER

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13800 Pierrefonds Boulevard, Pierrefonds H9A 1A7

N. Hayter


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CFER (Centres de Formation en Entreprise et Récupération) Riverdale

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CFER Riverdale opened its doors in January 2007; it is a self-contained pre-work training program that currently has 28 students registered in the program. In the fall of 2019, CFER Riverdale became part of Pierrefonds Community High School, yet it continues to operate from its original location at 5080, Boulevard des Sources, Pierrefonds. CFER Riverdale is one of 24 CFER programs in the province of Quebec, the focus of our program is the recycling of electronic components.


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.


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 wood, industrial waste, textiles and paper. CFER Riverdale is building its project on the recycling of computer systems and electronic waste.  
3. The third component of CFER is the “Caravan” which is an environmental awareness project in which CFER students visit elementary schools and community organizations to share issues and raise awareness 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.


The News – Current affairs

The daily news and current affairs 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 and current affair articles 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.

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 organized 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 learn 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 behaviors 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 behavior regarding the use of energy and resources.

The public presentations by the students of the caravan are mostly a means 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.


A collaborative team competition between students from each CFER, the team challenges encourage autonomy, effort, engagement, respect and rigor.

  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 center 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


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 an 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.


The Réseau québécois des CFER has an extensive website which provides information on the programs: https://reseaucfer.ca

Further information on CFER Riverdale can be obtained by calling Pierrefonds Community High School:

Principal – Nicholas Hayter nhayter@lbpsb.qc.ca

Resource Teacher – Lindsay Weisbloom lweisbloom@lbpearson.ca

(514) 626-9610

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

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