|EMSB PROPOSES RELOCATION OF ADULT CENTRE TO ST. MICHEL AND OUTREACH SCHOOLS TO MONTREAL NORTH|
MONTREAL, AUGUST 11, 2003– The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has proposed the relocation of the High School of Montreal Adult Centre from its present location on de Bullion Avenue in the Plateau to 7770 20th Avenue in St. Michel. In addition, it has been recommended that the two new Outreach high schools, originally targetted to use the latter facility, instead share the premises of the Galileo Adult Centre and the new Rosemount Technology Centre Campus II at 10921 Gariépy Street in Montreal North.
These proposals will now be sent out for consultation with the governing boards of the schools affected, following which a final decision will be made at an EMSB council meeting on Wednesday evening, August 27. A ruling in July by Quebec Superior Court Justice Pierre C. Gagnon stated that only St. Patrick Elementary School could occupy the de Bullion Avenue facility. As a result, St. Patrick’s projected student enrollment of 60 will occupy a building with the capacity for 800.
The High School of Montreal Adult Centre serves as many as 1,200 students throughout the day and evening. It provides adult learners with the opportunity to follow academic, literacy and distance education courses. In addition, students have the opportunity to write equivalency tests. "The relocation of the High School of Montreal should be viewed as a short term solution," stated EMSB Chairman Dr. John Simms. "Our adult centres are strategically located to serve the needs of the adult population within the terrirory. In the long term, having centres in St. Michel and Montreal North offering similar programs is not the answer to serve the adult sector."
Dr. Simms pointed out that while the relocation of the High School of Montreal Adult Centre to St. Michel answers an immediate problem, there will be consequences such as the reduction in student places generated and the lack of services to certain sectors of the community. The St. Michel building will not able to accommodate as many students as the de Bullion Avenue facility.
New Outreach Schools
Regarding the Outreach schools, the EMSB had decided last spring to expand the program to the East End. It is being recommended that the Board proceed with the project with the introduction of Perspectives I and II (Secondary Cycle I and Cycle II programs) in Montreal North, instead of St. Michel.
Developed by the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (PSBGM) more than 25 years ago in order to recruit students who had already dropped out of school, the Outreach system has evolved over the years and the focus has now become preventative in nature. The program is designed to help individuals attain academic success, increase self-esteem and self-motivation, as well as to foster increased independence and self-reliance in learning. It provides a structured, stimulating, supportive and student-centered environment designed to optimize student learning potential in a small group setting. The approach focuses on individual needs, as well as the personal development of the student’s academic and social needs while offering a nurturing, safe and caring learning environment in order to help students experience individual academic success and acquire appropriate social and behavioral skills.
The Outreach system now consists of nine schools – six in the West End, one in central Montreal and now two in Montreal North. Vezina in Pointe St. Charles caters to students in Secondary I, II and III, as does Venture in Ville Emard. Options I (Ville Emard) is for Secondary III and IV; Doorsways (St. Henri), Secondary III, IV and V; Project Mile End, Options II (Ville Emard) and Outreach (Westmount), are for Secondary IV and V.
"Results show that our Outreach schools are successful in keeping adolescents in school," says EMSB Regional Director Mario Tirelli, who is responsible for the Outreach system. "For many of them, they are experiencing success for the first time – success being defined as passing at a grade level and obtaining credits towards a high school diploma. There are numerous requests for placements from parents, guidance counsellors and administrators of schools in the eastern sector. Students cannot always be placed in our existing Outreach schools. They therefore remain in schools where it is difficult to adequately meet their needs. For the most part, students who are referred to the Outreach system are not motivated to attend school. These students have difficulties with attendance and punctuality. As well, they exhibit behavioral and social difficulties, both in school and in the community. Adding two hours per day of unsupervised travel time would not be in their best interest which is why the East End location is so essential."
In order to be enrolled in the school, students must be referred by a principal or guidance counsellor.
Michael J. Cohen