About 200 students and parents of a Dorval semi-private Catholic girls school slated for closure were looking for a replacement high school Thursday evening at an open house put on by a similar school in Montreal.
Queen of Angels Academy announced last Jan. 23 it would be closing at the end of the school year due to low enrollment, resulting in lack of revenue, and ever-increasing expenses.
In a letter to Queen of Angels Academy (QAA) parents earlier this week, Sacred Heart School of Montreal offered to waive the application fee and forgo the entrance test for any girls that transfer to Sacred Heart.
"As an English Catholic girls' school with over 150 years of history in Montreal, we have long been kindred spirits with Queen of Angels Academy and we empathize with their community at this time," said Shawn O'Donnell, Head of The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, in the letter to Queen of Angels Academy parents. "We are working closely with their school administration to ensure that families have all the information they need for a smooth transition next year."
Bursaries are also available.
But many parents of QAA students say they feel the school's closure came out of nowhere
Waqar Alam Malhi is one of them.
"It's a big shock about the school's [closing] without their informing us," he told CJAD news.
Winston Wong says there were signs the school was facing financial and enrollment problems but nothing was communicated to parents until the closure announcement last Thursday.
Now, he says the important thing is finding a place for his daughter and her friends to all stay together.
"It's easy to point fingers and what have you but we have to move on and this is what we had to come to," he admitted.
"It unfortunate, our daughter is in [secondary year four] this year so it's even more meaningful for them to find a school that at least several of them could be at, just to salvage whatever they can from their memory of being QAA students."
QAA originally opened in 1888, founded by the Congregation of the Sisters of Sainte-Anne.