Sharing the INS of a Montréal Education
Image source, Flickr: I've never been cooler than this day in 1988.Whether you are new to Montreal or have lived here your entire life, finding the right school for you or your children to attend is not always an easy task. In order to ease this task, Montréalités Education provides a glimpse into the ins and outs of Montréal's educational system.
Throughout our pages, you will find a number of useful links and information to help you select a school. On our landing page, you can find information about the Montréal school boards, eligibility, public and private school options, registration for international students, school rankings and links to public school information.
Montréal's school boards are language based. This means that you have a school board for each of the official Canadian languages: French and English. Please note, just because English schools are available, it does not mean that your child will be allowed to attend one. In order to attend an English language school, one must have a Certificate of Eligibility.
Québec's laws make attending French-based language schools
mandatory for all permanent residents. In order to qualify for English
instruction in Quebec's public schools, students must meet certain eligibility
criteria under the Quebec government's Charter of the French Language. The
following link provides the eligibility requirements and procedures to acquire
of Eligibility to attend an English language school in Montreal. The
following table provides the basic guidelines:
Public and Private Options
Once you have selected a language specialization, the next
step is to choose between public or private schools. Some private schools
receive government subsidies and charge relatively affordable tuition rates.
For this reason, subsidized schools are a relatively inexpensive choice.
Many of the private schools adhere to the model of having a non-subsidized
elementary school combined with a subsidized secondary school. This works with
a legislative loophole that allows parents who have paid for three years of
non-subsidized private schooling in the English language to attend an English
Note: this law is currently being challenged in the courts.
Another factor determining school choice is your child's grade level. Elementary school in Québec includes grades kindergarten through sixth. Secondary school includes grades seventh through eleventh. Upon completion of secondary school, many students attend vocational training schools or CEGEPS, (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel) public post-secondary education collegiate institutions, often two-year programs that prepare students for the university.
Living in the neighborhood or district of your school of choice will not guarantee entrance. Many public schools utilize an exam placement system or lottery to fill a select number of spots. In addition, it's not uncommon for a public school to expel a school altogether based on a minor infraction of the rules or a general impression that your child is not a good fit. In addition, while your child might be required to attend a French school, an English-speaking child is not always welcome. For many grade levels, you will find that there is no system in place to help him or her integrate.
Often, when inquiring about enrollment, you will be rejected offhand and receive the news that the school is full. A gentle pressuring often results in a reversal of this decision.
International Student Registration
In order to register as a foreign student in any of the Quebec schools or universities, you need to follow these procedures:
Obtain a letter of acceptance.
If you are planning to attend a public elementary or high school, bring the letter of acceptance to the EMSB (English Montreal School Board) at 6000 Fielding Avenue, Montreal, room 121 in order to receive a letter of admission.
Once you have a letter of admission to a Quebec university or letter of acceptance from the EMSB, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec or CAQ. The CAQ is an immigration document and can be issued for your entire stay as a student.
If you are attending
a public school, bring the CAQ to the EMSB along with a translated birth
certificate in English or French and fill out and obtain a Certificate
of Eligibility to
attend an English school in Quebec.
The following table and links will provide you with the most recent rankings of the Montreal schools.
Public School Information on Montréalités Pages
If public schools are your choice, the following pages provide more in-depth information and specific links to the diverse and numerous public schools of Montreal: