EMSB special meeting on new French Immersion school in NDG

The English Montreal School Board is holding a special meeting tomorrow night to discuss a proposal for a new elementary school in NDG that may help with overcrowding at its schools with French immersion programs.

School commissioner for NDG and Montreal West Joseph Lalla said Edinburgh School in Montreal West is at 130% overcapacity and other schools in the area are also full or nearly full.

Lalla said the french immersion program at schools such as Edinburgh was so popular last year that parents camped out overnight so they could get one of the few spots open.

"We now have a situation here in the west end of the school board with many new families moving in, young families who have eligibility to attend English school," said Lalla in an interview with CJAD 800.

Lalla said the proposed Français Plus institution at the old elementary school on Coronation in NDG would have more French courses than the current immersion program - two extra years from Kindergarten to Grade Four; Grades Five and Six would feature half English and half French.

The school could accomodate as many as 275 kids. Despite declining enrolment over the years, Lalla said he's confident there is enough demand.

"We think that this should attract a considerable number of parents. Certainly I have had inquiries all in a positive light," said Lalla.

"One of the big factors why (parents) choose to go to French schools is the amount of French that is being offered so the new program comes very close to almost being a French school itself."

The board makes its final decision next week.