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MONTREAL, JUNE 23, 2005- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is pleased with todayís Quebec Superior Court decision which moves up its case with St. Patrick Elementary School to July 11 and 12. On June 9, the court had fixed the dates of October 11 and 12.

"We are pleased that the court saw the need to have this case heard as soon as possible," stated EMSB Director General Antonio Lacroce. "It is our hope that a decision can be rendered prior to the start of classes on August 31."

The EMSB has already begun initiating the necessary steps to accommodate the students presently enrolled at St. Patrick.

St. Patrick Elementary School has 79 students in a building which can house 570. On January 17, 2005, following an extensive consultation process, the EMSB Council of Commissioners voted to close St. Patrick along with three other schools. Plans called for the building on de Bullion Street to house the High School of Montreal Adult Centre and the Program Mile End Outreach High School.

Mr. Lacroce notes that on August 25, 2004 the EMSB Long Range Planning Committee recommended that seven schools be considered for closure. From that list, the Council of Commissioners agreed to launch a consultation process for six of those schools (James Lyng High School was eliminated from the list). Consultation culminated with hearings on December 6, 2004, at which time each school had an opportunity to present their case. The information presented at these hearings were studied by the Long Range Planning Committee and members of Council. At the special board meeting of January 17, 2005, the Council voted to close four of the schools on the list (St. Patrick, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Wagar and St. Pius X), but keep two (St. Gabriel and McLearon) open.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213