Côte St. Luc EMSB meet attracts overflow crowd
By Joel Goldenberg
The English Montreal School Board invited input last week for a new public high school in Côte St. Luc, during a meeting which attracted an overflowing crowd.
The meeting at Côte St. Luc city hall was held with the support of the municipalities of Côte St. Luc and Hampstead, both of which officially support a new school to replace Wagar High School, which closed in 2005 due to declining enrolment. Possibilities were explored during last week’s meeting of a possible new school with a particular focus. The former Wagar building now contains the John Grant School and the Marymount Adult Education Centre.
EMSB commissioner Syd Wise, chairman of the EMSB Focus School Committee, revealed in answer to a question that, if all goes smoothly, a new school could open for the 2012-2013 school year.
“The EMSB’s quest for a focus school has come as a result of a true interest in working with parents of our communities,” said EMSB chairman Angela Mancini. “We face, as an English system, many challenges to our enrolment. With Bill 103 destined to become law [restricting school access to the English public school system], there does not seem to be any relief in sight.... This exercise is not just a means of increasing enrolment, but in establishing a school that will further enhance the EMSB’s solid reputation of fine schools and high student success rates.”
Mayor Anthony Housefather said one of his council’s priorities is to build a community that is attractive to younger families, and that Côte St. Luc is missing a public high school. The mayor also pointed out that residents pay school taxes to the Montreal Island School Commission.
Parents at the meeting and those who did not attend are being urged to fill out a questionnaire regarding a new high school in Côte St. Luc. That questionnaire is available at www.emsb.qc.ca/focusschool.