English schools eager for 4-year olds

Posted By: Angelica Montgomery · 1/21/2013 5:12:00 PM

Some people in the English community may be sending their 4-year-olds to kindergarten at public school as early as this fall. It all depends on getting the provincial green light.

The Marois government wants disadvantaged schools to gradually open their doors to 4-year-olds, starting this September.

The French schoolboards say they're having trouble finding the space and the staff, but that's not true for the English side.

"There are many teachers that we can't hire on the kindergarten level that have the necessary training. I wish we did have jobs for all of them," says David D'aoust, president of the Quebec English Schoolboards Association.

D'aoust says English schools should also be able to find room for their new little students.

"Given our stability in enrolment and even a decline in some areas, no it shouldn't be a huge issue," says D'aoust.

While the PQ says it wants to eventually offer kindergarten for 4-year-olds in all elementary schools that are classified as "disadvantaged," only some will be selected this fall. And, it's unknown how many of those schools will be part of the English system.

"We have 54 of them that qualify. Se don't know which schools will be targeted at this point. We're anxious to find out. We hope all of them will be."

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  1. Katherine posted on 01/21/2013 07:08 PM
    Hopefully there will be enough English parents that will be smart enough to enroll their ELIGIBLE children to ENGLISH schools and not fall in the trap of the PQst scare tactics.
    1. Kim posted on 01/21/2013 10:08 PM
      @Katherine I'm sorry Katherine I don't agree with you. My child was eligible to go to English school but I chose for my child to go to french school. I chose this because I want my child to be perfectly bilingual. I didn't fall into any scare tactics, I chose for my child to be educated in a french so my child will have more opportunities in a society dominated by french.
  2. John posted on 01/22/2013 09:22 AM
    My kids go to the EMSB and they are fluently bilingual -- have been ever since they started talking.
    (They also get perfect scores on their dictées, so I'm not just whistling dixie.)

    I have friends who send their children to the French schools in NDG, and I just hear horror story after horror story coming out -- like children being punished because they speak English, Chinese, or Arabic to a sibling at school.

    When you put graduation rates into the mix as well, there is no way any responsible parent should send their kids to French public schools -- and given the massive number at private schools, francophone parents agree.
    1. Katherine posted on 01/22/2013 09:19 PM
      @John Thank you John. I would love to see what Umaga thinks of your comment. She seems to be on the all-mighty PQist side
  3. JP posted on 01/23/2013 03:42 PM
    I suggest we go for 50/50 all scholl english and french, problem solve, suivant next.
  4. Mike posted on 01/23/2013 09:25 PM
    My son goes to a french school because my wife went to one and i am not from canada. he only spoke english up to 1st grade. he's now in second grade and speaks both perfectly. on the flipside, all of our friends whose kids are in EMSB and none of them speak french very well and all the french kids in my sons class can't speak a word of english. Not saying we have the perfect scenario but too many parents make the choice for their kids based on their out of date and antiquated hate of the french language.
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