Community / Press Release

EMSB schools adapt to the new normal with virtual open houses

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Montreal - Monday, February 22, 2021

When COVID-19 forced educators around the world to re-think how they teach and interact with their students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) realized that the impact of the ongoing pandemic will not only affect those currently enrolled in the system, but prospective students and parents as well. 

Yet, with registration only months away for both Kindergarten and High School, the EMSB needed a solution. Faced with the difficult task of replicating each school’s unique environment in each and every home, administrators and dedicated staff members each sought to feature their school their own way.

For a few schools, this came in the form of beautiful video testimonials from current students and alumni. Others featured tours of their school, some even with a bird’s eye view from high in the clouds and Gerald McShane Elementary School in Montreal North went as far to outfit a sports concentration student with a GoPro to truly let prospective students walk a mile in his shoes. 

Yet, perhaps the most dynamic and interactive open houses came from three gregarious high schools and eight elementary schools. They replicated the warm feeling of their school in real-time into the kitchens and living rooms of homes across Montreal.

Leveraging technology and social media, these schools hosted the EMSB version of a live talk show, where over the course of an hour, in lieu of an in-person open house, parents were treated to all the highlights that their prospective school had to offer.

As is the case with any live production, bloopers, were not only to be expected, but simply added to the fun and excitement of the hour. 

Questions?  They were as simple as writing a comment on the Facebook or YouTube feed and always answered in real-time, by those most qualified. Whether they were students, parents teachers or administrators, each school’s community came together to ensure that despite the pandemic, the best of their institution was on display. 

To watch any of the virtual open houses for LaurenHill Academy, Westmount High School, Marymount Academy International, Merton Elementary School, Leonardo Da Vinci Academy, Willingdon Elementary School, Gardenview Elementary School, Edinburgh Elementary School, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School, Dunrae Gardens Elementary School and Carlyle Elementary School, please visit:

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About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 37,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, our network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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