MONTREAL, MARCH 31, 2011 – The English Montreal School Board recently undertook a survey of 346 kindergarten parents to discern the most important factors which influenced their decision to register their child at an EMSB institution beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.
The EMSB’s highly touted French program served as the most decisive factor for parents. In all, 82 percent of parents stated that the French program was the most important factor when registering their child, while none indicated that it did not play any role whatsoever.
Core classes such as Math and Science also served a decisive influence. The overwhelming majority, 81 percent of parents and 72 percent of parents respectively, indicated that the quality of Math and Science education was an important factor, while only one percent of parents disagreed.
The extensive social media outreach initiatives from the Communications department were also of note. The majority of parents who did not already follow the school board on Facebook and Twitter indicated that they would be inclined to follow the EMSB in order to receive immediate access to pertinent information such as snow closures due to poor weather.
A strong correlation was also evident between the majority of parents open to connecting with the EMSB via social media as well as those who consulted the websites of individual schools and the school board prior to registering their child. Parents expressed a high demand for more resources, such as the ability to connect with parents, updated websites and pertinent information to be posted on the websites of both individual schools and the EMSB.
Ancillary factors which parents indicated played an important role in their decision were the class sizes (61 percent), availability of bussing (33 percent), the distance of the school to the family home (49 percent), feedback from other parents (41 percent), having a sibling or other family member currently enrolled (38 percent) and after school programs (41 percent). The International Baccalaureate and Heritage programs, two staples of the EMSB, on average was either moderately important or played no specific role for parents in their overall decision to enroll their child.
Participants in the survey were eligible for a special drawing to win Nikon cameras, gift certificates to Chapters/Indigo and EMSB souvenirs. EMSB Director General Robert Stocker and Deputy Director General Roma Medwid drew the names from a hat. The three cameras were presented to parents Annie Giannatselis (Dunrae Gardens), Columa Volpé (Nesbitt) and Michael Merten (Pierre Elliott Trudeau) by commissioners Liz Leaman and Agostino Cannavino.