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MONTREAL, OCTOBER 17, 2005- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB), in cooperation with the Quebec English School Boards Association, will hold its first ever Town Hall Meeting on Tues. Oct. 18 (6:30 p.m.) at the St. Pius X Adult Centre (9905 Papineau) in Ahuntsic.

This will be the third in a series of such community forums spearheaded by the QESBA. It represents an important opportunity for EMSB commissioners and the QESBA to learn more about the concerns of stakeholders, take suggestions and hear about success stories regarding English public education in Quebec. The meetings held thus far by the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board and the Riverside School Board have been described as rewarding and stimulating.

The QESBA is an umbrella organization representing all nine English public boards in the province. "As the QESBA points out, the challenges identified and the suggestions offered at these meetings canít be answered by easy solutions," says EMSB Director General Antonio Lacroce. "Still, this exercise, and others like it across the province, will help QESBA and its member boards respond to the needs of the communities we serve. The objective is simple: we want to learn more in order to deliver the best possible educational services to our students."

Below are the topics to be explored at the EMSB Town Hall:


Our schools are experiencing an increase in the percentage of students with special needs. In much of the province, the English community counts its schools as the most identifiable link to complementary services. Some of these services are provided by the education system. Some are provided by the health and social services system. How do we obtain the necessary complementary services for our students and their families?

(Complementary services are support services such as: Social work, psychology, speech therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, spiritual community animation, etc.)

  • What complementary services are currently being offered in your communities?
  • What complementary services do you have difficulty obtaining in your community?
  • What can we do to ensure these services while working within our school board budgets? How can we ensure services from the Health and Social Services Network?
  • (Additional discussion questions, if necessary:)

  • Are you satisfied with the current level of complementary services?
  • How should decisions be made about which services should be in which schools?
  • Do you think there are specific issues in this area that are different in the English education sector than in the French sector?

    In light of declining enrolment, the educational programs in our schools might be affected. How can we continue to offer a broad range of educational programs that meet the needs of all students? What educational programs can we offer to all of our students?

  • What kind of educational programs are currently offered in your community?
  • What additional programs do you feel we should consider offering in the future to English Montreal students?
  • What educational programs do you feel should be offered by the English Montreal School Board to attract students from the private sector?
  • (Additional questions, if necessary:)

  • Are you generally satisfied with available educational services in your region?
  • How should educational partners decide which technical and vocational programs to offer in which areas?
  • How can educators attract more students to tech-voc programs? Should they be doing so?

    The greater Montreal region has become increasingly more multicultural/multiracial in recent years.

  • How does the school system deal with the challenges of an increasingly multicultural-multiracial population?
  • Are the resources needed for a multicultural- multiracial population different than those of regions with a primarily homogeneous population?
  • Do we have the needed resources in place to address this change of population? If not, what additional resources are needed?

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