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MONTREAL, MAY  7,  2008-    In September 1908 Roslyn  Elementary School in Westmount welcomed 264 students into its halls for the first time. Now, almost 100 years later, alumni and friends are invited to walk through those doors once again to celebrate its 100 birthday. On May 30 and 31, 2008, Roslyn will be hosting its Centennial Celebration. This is an occasion for alumni, former staff and friends to re-discover the school, meet up with old friends and re-connect with former teachers!

From a small, fledgling public school created as Westmount was defining itself as its own city, to a school with a history of educational excellence and leadership, Roslyn has flourished and been a pioneer in the field of public education.

One of Roslyn School’s defining moments was 40 years ago, when a group of active, committed and visionary parents pioneered the French Immersion education, the first on the island of Montreal. In September 1968, the entire kindergarten year started in the French Immersion program.  They then continued their studies in French until Grade 3, at which point English was gradually introduced.

Joan Rothman, one of the parents involved in launching the French Immersion program, who later became the district’s school commissioner from 1970 to 2003 states: “The push for French Immersion was a parent-led initiative, starting in 1965. Three years later, Roslyn was the first school in Quebec and Canada to teach 75% of their students how to speak, read and write in French as well as English. Parent demand soon spread the program to many schools in the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal and later across Canada.”

Well-known alumni who attended the school include Leonard Cohen (singer, songwriter and poet), Norma Shearer (film star), Bill Brownstein (author and columnist), Jay Baruchel (actor), Shawn Levy (director of Night in the Museum and Pink Panther), Jed Kahane (news reporter), Marian Scott (reporter) and Karin Marks (Mayor of Westmount).

“We are excited about celebrating our 100 years, which are rich with history and memories. We look forward to welcoming many alumni and friends back to Roslyn in May and throughout the School’s Centennial year,” says Jim McMorran, Principal of Roslyn.

Alumni and friends are all welcome to attend the two-day event at no charge but must register beforehand on the Roslyn School Foundation’s web site at By registering they will receive an invite to the event. For those who do not have access to internet, they can contact the Roslyn Centennial at 514-670-8111.

The Centennial Celebration will take place at the school at 4699 Westmount Ave.

Schedule of events:

May 30 from 5 to 9 pm:

5 – 9 pm          Wine and cheese
7:00 pm            Musical performance by current Roslyn Students

May 31 from 10 am to 2 pm
10 am – 2 pm   Tea, coffee and baked goods
11:30 am          Musical performance by current Roslyn Students




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