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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the EMSB?

A: The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) was formed as an amalgamation of the English sectors of the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, the Commission des Écoles Catholiques de Montréal (CECM), Commission scolaire Jérome-Le-Royer and the Commission scolaire Sainte-Croix.

Q: When was the EMSB founded?

A: The EMSB was founded on July 1, 1998

Q: Where is the EMSB's Administration Building located?

A: The EMSB's Administration Building is located at 6000 Fielding Avenue, corner Cote St. Luc Road, in the Montreal District of N.D.G.

Q: How many schools are there in the EMSB?

A: There are 35 elementary schools, 17 secondary schools, 8 outreach schools, 7 social affairs institutions and 12 adult and vocational centres.

Q: How many students are currently enrolled in EMSB youth and adult sector schools?

A: Currently, there are more than 43,000 students enrolled.

Q: How many regions are the EMSB divided into? And what Montreal districts are in each region?

A: The EMSB is divided into two regional sectors. East sector contains Anjou, St. Leonard, Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal North, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montreal East, Rosemount and Ahuntsic .West sector contains Plateau Mont Royal, Ville St. Laurent, Town of Mount Royal, Downtown Montreal, NDG, Cote St. Luc, NDG, Montreal West, Mile End, Westmount, Cote des Neiges, Hampstead and St. Henri.

Q: What is the EMSB's Outreach School System?

A: The EMSB's Outreach School System is designed to provide an opportunity for students who have left school before graduation to return to a different educational setting. The system is designed to help students continue their studies in a less formal atmosphere. Some programs will lead to sufficient credits for a high school leaving certificate, while others will permit the student to return to a regular high school setting. In some cases the student will be prepared for entering the work market.

Q: What is the Social Affairs school system?

A: The Social Affairs schools of the EMSB promotes the continuous progress of students by helping them overcome the difficulties they meet, seeing to their psychological and physical well-being and developing their sense of responsibility, their autonomy, initiative and feeling of belonging to their school and community.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for students to register at the EMSB?

A:New registrations for the next school year should be completed at your neighborhood school where your child will be attending. An application for the Certificate of Eligibility will also be filled out at this location.

For Pre Kindergarten students, the child must be four (4) years of age before Sept. 30th. Pre Kindergarten is offered in certain schools recognized by the MEQ as inner city.

For Kindergarten students, the child must be five (5) years of age before Sept. 30th. Otherwise, you can apply for derogation. Please contact your elementary school or Student Services Department for details.

For Grade 1 students, the child must be six (6) years of age before Sept. 30th. Otherwise, you can apply for derogation. Please contact your elementary school or Student Services Department for details

Bring the Certificate of Eligibility and birth certificate showing parents' names directly to the school your child will be attending. If you cannot find the document, please mention to the school that the eligibility has been granted. Also, provide the child's Long Version Birth Certificate, showing the parents' names. Bring the Certificate of Eligibility and birth certificate showing the parents' names directly to the school your child will be attending.

If one parent attended an English Elementary School in Quebec before August 1977, the parents must clearly indicate the elementary schools attended, as well as provide the child's Long Version Birth Certificate showing the parents' names.

If one parent attended an English Elementary School in Canada, they should provide a letter (on official school letter head) of proof of majority of primary education in English (100%) or percentage of English and percentage of French if applicable. (Parents must have a minimum of four years, except in Ontario, which must have five years).

If the child is attending or has attended Elementary or Secondary schools in English in Canada, parents should provide a letter (on official school letter head) of majority of primary or secondary education in English or percentage in English and percentage in French, if applicable.

If the child has a sibling who is attending or has attended the majority of English elementary or secondary school in Canada, parents should provide a letter (on official school letter head) of majority of primary or secondary education in English or percentage in English and percentage in French, if applicable.

If the student or a sibling attended an English private school in Quebec, this article no longer applies, since the modifications that were made to the French Language Charter on October 1, 2002 (Bill 104).

Q: How do you obtain a Long Version Birth Certificate?

A: To register your child with the English Montreal School Board, an original long version birth certificate bearing the parents'names is required by the Ministry of Education. You can obtain information regarding Quebec birth certificates by contacting "Le Directeur de l'état civil" at 2050, rue Bleury, 6ième étage, Montreal. You can also phone 514-864-3900 from Montreal or 1-800-567-3900 from elsewhere in Quebec or e-mail them at etatcivil@dec.gouv.qc.ca. For births outside of Quebec, you must contact the Division of Vital Statistics where the child was born.

Q: Who can apply to be a student at one of the EMSB's Adult Education and Vocational Centres?

A: The Adult Education and Vocational Services (AEVS) Department of the EMSB offers a wide variety of vocational programs to students who have completed the required prerequisites at the Secondary III or IV level or who have obtained a high school leaving certificate, the Diploma of Secondary Studies (DES).

Q: What is the function of the Central Parents' Committee?

A: The functions of the central parents' committee (CPC), as outlined in Section 192 of the Education Act, are: to promote parents' participation in the activities of the school board and to designate parents who will take part in the various committees established by the school board; to give advice on any subject conducive to the most efficient operation possible of the school board; to inform the school board of the needs of parents as identified by the school representatives and by the representative of the the Advisory Committee on Special Education Services (ACSES) to give its opinion to the school board on any matter the latter is required to submit to it.

The CPC also elects members to participate in the board-based committees of the EMSB. They include the Education Committee, the Finance Committee, Advisory Committee on Transportation, Educational Policies Committee, Adult Education and Vocational Services Advisory Committee. CPC sends two delegates to the English Parent Committee Association (EPCA).

Also, the central parents' committee is consulted by the school board on matters stipulated in Section 193 of the Education Act. These include: the division, annexation or amalgamation of the territory of the school board; the policy on school closure; the Three-year Plan and Deeds of Establishment; the school calendar; the criteria for the enrolment of students to schools; the dedication of a school to a special project pursuant to section 240 of the Education Act and the criteria for the enrolment of students in that school; rules governing the promotion from elementary to secondary school or from the first cycle to the second cycle of the secondary level; the objectives and principles governing the allocation of subsidies; learning activities established by the school board and intended for parents.

Q: Who collects school taxes?

A: Le Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montréal (originally known as the School Council of the Island of Montreal), which was created as a result of legislation adopted by the government of Quebec, on February 28, 2003. Under the terms of the Education Act of Quebec, the Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montréal is responsible for the administration of the long-term debt of the five school boards of the Island of Montreal, contracts loans on behalf of the school boards, fixes the school tax rate, collects and distributes the tax to the school boards.

Q: What courses are offered at the adult education centres?

A: Courses offered include language arts, French, math, physical science, physics, chemistry, Canadian history, English, literacy, francization, as well as optional courses such as computers, law, sales, economics, biology and conflict resolution. The course curriculum varies with each centre.

Q: If my school taxes go up significantly, shouldn't this benefit the schools in my school board?

A: It is important to mention that the school board does not benefit from the increase in the amount collected from the proceeds of school taxes due to either an increase in municipal evaluation or an increase in the school tax rate. This simply means that the Government of Quebec would finance less of the school board's expenses (through provincial taxes) than in the previous year.

Q: What is the function of the school libraries?

A: The school libraries support the curriculum and encourage students to pursue extra-curricular reading and multimedia research. The libraries are open to students and are staffed by qualified personnel.

Q: Does the EMSB have a policy regarding home schooling?

A: Yes, which is in accordance with Section 15 of the Education Act, which gives parents the right to teach their children at home. Parents who request a Home Schooling Contract with the EMSB must reside within the territory that's served by the Board. A request for the contract must include an application for the contract, an education plan (which specifies the teaching, learning and assessment experiences that shall be provided) and an eligibility certificate for English instruction. The deadline for applications is July 1.

The EMSB must evaluate the educational experience of the student in question who is about to receive home schooling. This is done to ensure that the home schooling that is going to be provided is similar to what is provided at school.

The policy is run under the jurisdiction of the Pedagogical Services Department. During the home schooling application process, Pedagogical Services will review the request for a Home Schooling Contract; interview the parents; assist the parents in preparing an education plan; review and discuss the education plan; submit a recommendation to the Director General, approving or denying the request for the contract; and evaluate the home schooled student.

Once the Board has determined that the parents are able to fulfill their obligation to provide proper home schooling, a Home Schooling Contract shall be issued. The contract is valid for one (1) year and is renewable by application on an annual basis.

Q: What courses are offered at the adult vocational centres?

A: The adult vocational centres offer the following courses: Administrative Assistant Studies, Accounting, Professional Sales, Secretarial Studies - Legal, Secretarial Studies, Hotel Reception, Automated Accounting and Finance, Travel Sales, Starting a Business, Electrolysis, Hairdressing, Automobile Mechanics, Aesthetics, Cabinet Making, Furniture Finishing, Industrial Drafting, Industrial Machine Operator, Machining Techniques, Computer Graphics Techniques, Digital Layout and Printing, Telecommunications, Electromechanics, Restaurant Services, Professional Cooking and Contemporary Cuisine.

Q: What are the tuition fees at the adult education and vocational centres?

A: Tuition is free of charge, because it is fully subsidized by the Quebec Ministry of Education. However, students are required to pay fees ranging between $20 and $250 for registration, various services or requirement exams. These fees vary according to each centre and what course of study is chosen.

Q: Does the EMSB provide day care services in their elementary schools?

A: Yes. The school day care service is a day supervision service, organized outside class hours for preschool and elementary school children. It is an integral part of the services provided by the school and must be self-financed. The school day care service provides a program of activities in keeping with the needs of the child in a safe environment supervised by qualified staff. The management of school day care services must be in compliance with the policies of the school board, the Education Act and the budgetary rules of the Ministry of Education (MEQ).

Q: What is the function of the Educational Services Department?

A: Educational Services provides support for pedagogy in all youth sector schools. Its major role is centered on the implementation of the Basic School Regulations as prescribed by the Ministry of Education. Educational Services assists schools in the following areas:

  • Implementation of Curriculum Reform
  • Use of appropriate instructional strategies
  • Application of a variety of appropriate evaluation techniques
  • Selection, development and use of instructional materials
  • Integration and use of technology as an instructional tool
  • Multi-Media Services and Book Processing
  • Support to schools in the development of local programs
  • Support to schools in the application and development of local projects in the context of special measures sponsored financially by the MEES and / or the Comité de la gestion de la taxe Scolaire de l'Ile de Montréal.

Another area of responsibility for the department is in the development of policies and procedures for the Board regarding the educational services offered to the schools. Such pedagogical policies and procedures are developed by the department in collaboration with other departments within the EMSB.

Q: What is the function of the Student Services Department?

A: Student Services are designed to promote the students' continuous progress at school by helping them overcome any difficulties which they may experience; by ensuring their emotional, spiritual and physical well-being; and by contributing to the development of the students' autonomy, sense of responsibility and initiative.

Q: What is the focus of the Student Services Department?

A: There are three types of services available, which are:

  • Special Education Services, which includes case conferences; annual updating of students' difficulty codes; coordination between regular schools and Social Affairs schools; staffing of special education classes and allocation of human resources in collaboration with the Human Resources Department; organization of appropriate service delivery models in all schools; academic planning; adaptation of curriculum and development of a variety of teaching strategies for special needs students in collaboration with Pedagogical Services; organization of staff training workshops (administrators, teachers, child care workers, etc.); implementation of the Education Act; allocation and coordination of support personnel; Special Education Committee and Inter-board agreements.

  • Complementary Services, which includes guidance services, psychological services, Work Experience Program, health services, social services, drug education resource services, speech and language services, oral interpretation services, spiritual care and guidance andcommunity involvement service.
  • Other Services, which includes derogations; Form K (Bill 101 exemptions); Traumatic Events Support Team (T.E.S.T.) Services; Project Harbour; Homebound Tutoring; Second Start Program; Identification of at-risk students / recommendations for services.

Q: How do I obtain a copy of my transcript of marks or attestations?

A: If you were a student during the past five years, please contact the school directly. Or if you studied under the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal and require a transcript of marks or attestation, please download a request form in PDF format, either in French or English from our website, complete the form and leave it at the front desk of the EMSB Administration Building, or mail it to:

Archives/Records Centre
English Montreal School Board
6000 Fielding Avenue
Montreal, Qc.
H3X 1T4

For additional information please call 483-7200, ext. 7426 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday or e-mail jwrench@emsb.qc.ca

Q: What are the eligibility criteria for a student to get bus service?

A: The eligibility criteria, according to the EMSB's transportation policy, are as follows:

Pre-Kindergarten: Students residing more than 0.6 km are eligible for busing. (Pre-school is comprised of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Pre-kindergarten refers to those classes for four year olds in those schools designated as Inner City by the Island Council and funded by the Ministry of Education.)

Kindergarten: Students residing more than 0.6 km from the closest school offering the program of their choice are eligible for busing.

Elementary (Grades 1-6): Students residing more than 1.4 km from the school closest to their residence offering the program of their choice are eligible for busing.

Special Education: Students will be transported according to the recommendations from the Student Services Department.

Students with Special Health Conditions: Particular health conditions may justify access to busing. For such cases, a medical report must be sent to and approved by the Student Services Department. Transportation will be provided as long as the condition prevails. Transportation is provided only if the request meets the criteria established by the EMSB.

Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria may be accommodated if there are remaining additional available seats on the bus.

Transportation will not be provided for the following categories of students:

  • Students residing outside of the territory of their school;
  • Students obtaining Inter-board agreements to attend EMSB Schools, (In-coming students) or to attend boards outside of EMSB territory (Out-going students).

Q: Does the EMSB have a Special Education Policy?

A: Yes. The EMSB adopted a new Special Education Policy in March of 2005, in which its objective is to provide and organize educational services to students with special needs - whether they have handicaps, social maladjustments or learning disabilities - with the hope of integrating them into regular classroom settings. It has been adopted in accordance with section 235 of the Education Act, which prescribes that every school board adopt a policy to ensure the harmonious integration of special needs students into regular classroom settings and school activities.

The Student Services Department will be responsible for the implementation, dissemination, monitoring and evaluation of the policy which is geared towards all eligible special needs students at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels. Students will be placed in schools as close as possible to their homes. The organization of the required special needs educational services shall be based on the individual evaluation of the abilities and needs of the student in question, as well as the available financial resources.

Q: What is the function of the EMSB Commissioners? How many are there? When do their meetings take place?

A: The EMSB Commissioners set Board policies and oversee operations. There are 11 commissioners and four (4) parent commissioners. The regular Board meetings, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of every month, are always open to members of the public.

Q: What kinds of programs of study in French does the EMSB offer its elementary and high schools?

A: The EMSB offers its elementary schools three types of French instruction:

  • The core program, which includes at least 32 percent (or 90 minutes) per day for French instruction in the classroom.
  • The partial immersion program, which offers 52 percent of class time in French, or early immersion programs with 100 percent French instruction in grades one and two.

  • Immersion or partial immersion programs with at least 44 percent French instruction in grades three, four, five and six.

For its high schools, the EMSB offers extended French programs in Secondary I, II and III, which vary from 38 percent to 72 percent of class time in French. In Secondary IV, students can take history in French (Histoire) along with their French language course. In Secondary V, students follow French language courses only.