|WALLENBERG ACADEMY HOLDS INFORMATION SESSION FOR PROSPECTIVE PARENTS|
MONTREAL, MAY 21, 2013 – Nearly 200 people, many of them parents accompanied by their children, attended a special information session on May 8 at the Cote St. Luc Aquatic and Community Centre to learn more about the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) new high school Wallenberg Academy, which is scheduled to open in August of 2014.
“This is an historic evening, as we launch Wallenberg Academy,” said Commissioner Syd Wise, who chairs the task force that helped develop Wallenberg Academy. “This school will produce an atmosphere where students will thrive and expand their horizons, so join with us as partners in the creation of this high school. I think what we have planned coincides with your vision of what your child’s education should be like.” At first, the school will be opened to Secondary I and II students, with a goal of at least 60 students registered for the 2014-2015 school year.
Dr. Wise thanked the City of Cote St. Luc and its mayor Anthony Housefather for their support. The school will be housed in the former Wagar High School building, which is now called the Giovanni Palatucci Facility, and also houses Marymount Adult Education Centre and John Grant High School. ”One of the reasons the name Wallenberg Academy was selected is out of respect to Cote St. Luc and the Holocaust survivors who reside there,” he added.
EMSB Deputy Director General – Education Division I Paola Miniaci and Pedagogical Services Director Sandra Furfaro then conducted a Power Point presentation that outlined a typical day in the life of a student at Wallenberg Academy. It featured a draft design of the school’s logo; a projected timeline leading up to the school’s first day of classes in August of 2014 (including an open house, placement tests, interviews and orientation); a typical student class schedule based on a nine-day cycle, which includes compulsory courses in the morning and sports concentration, heritage language and enriched programs in the afternoon; photos of the interior of the second floor of the Palatucci Facility where the school will be housed, and spaces that will be shared with Marymount Adult Education Centre and John Grant; and an outline of the “Bring Your Own Device program, where students will be encouraged to bring such mobile devices as laptops and iPads tro assist them in their respective studies.
A question and answer session followed, in which Dr. Wise, Ms. Miniaci, Ms. Furfaro, along with EMSB Chairperson Angela Mancini and Director General Robert Stocker, fielded questions from concerned parents about several issues regarding the development of Wallenberg Academy. Issues that were raised included flexibility regarding a student’s choice of concentration and enriched programs; uniforms and dress codes; selection criteria of students based on placement tests and interviews; how teachers will be selected; how the three schools will share the Palatucci Facility; the possibility of having a remedial program and classes; and how the sports concentration program will be run, especially if students are affiliated with other municipal athletic associations.
The information session concluded with some brief remarks from Mr. Stocker, in which he emphasized the importance of the contributions that can be made by “pioneer parents” towards the success of Wallenberg Academy. Afterwards, a brief tour was conducted of the Palatucci Facility, which is located across the street from where the meeting took place.
Michael J. Cohen