Classes are offered from 5-year old kindergarten (full day) through High School (grade 11 or secondary V). French is the official language of instruction in Quebec and special eligibility is required to attend English schools. Under the Charter of French Language children in the following categories may be enrolled in English-language schools:
·Children who are permanent residents of Quebec and who qualify for a certificate of eligibility for instruction in English.
·Children who are living in Quebec temporarily and who qualify for a temporary authorization to receive instruction in English.
·(Case by case) children who did the majority of their elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada; or whose brother or sister did the majority of his or her elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada; or whose father or mother did the majority of his or her elementary studies in English in Canada.
·Special Cases: children with severe learning disabilities, children whose father or mother was declared eligible for instruction in English but who did his or her elementary and secondary studies in French after August 26, 1977 may be granted a certificate of eligibility.
Click here for more information on English eligibility.
The public education system in Quebec is divided along linguistic lines with two school boards in each area - one for the French schools and one for the English. In the West Island of Montreal these two school boards are the Lester B. Pearson School Board for the English schools and La Commission Scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys for the French. For both school boards, school registration and busing is based on geographical zones.
There are also many private schools in the Montreal area, offering instruction in either English or French. Most of these are located closer to downtown Montreal, however there are several located in the West Island. Many parents of children who are not eligible for English schooling choose to send their children to English private schools. Here are some links to some West Island private schools:
CEGEP - Collège d'Enseignement Général et Professionnel
2-year program of pre-university, equivalent to grades 12 & 13. The CEGEP programs are government funded but there is no eligibility requirement to attend English CEGEP. In order to attend a Quebec University, a CEGEP diploma (2 year program) is required.
Montreal is home to McGill and Concordia Universities (English) and Université de Montréal and Université de Québec à Montréal (French).