Bilingual elementary school opens in Griffintown

École la Nouvelle Vague prioritizes bilingualism while keeping kids active

Co-Founder and school Principal Marie-Andrée Mallette began the long process of creating a private school three years ago with one main objective in mind. “Our goal, which we will work very hard to achieve, is to make sure that every student is able to write and speak both languages as efficiently as possible by the end of Grade 6,” says Mallette, who will welcome students to École la Nouvelle Vague in Griffintown this September.

All of the teachers are bilingual; francophones will only speak French to students and anglophones will only speak English to strengthen the students’ capabilities in both languages. Mathematics will be taught in French and science will be taught in English. Sports, music, art and other classes will be bilingual, which means that if a child’s mother tongue is English, he or she can speak with the teacher in English.

A unique aspect of the school is its sports program. Mallette said teachers often mention that kids are restless in class so she decided students should have physical activity every day.  “They will have an hour of sports every day, which is in addition to their breaks in the morning, afternoon, and lunch period,” she says. And in the morning, if children wish to come earlier, they can participate in organized activities.

The school gymnasiums won’t be complete for two years so the kids will be doing gym off-site. There will be weekly swimming lessons at Centre Sportif de la Petit Bourgogne supervised by the Red Cross; students will receive a certificate for swimming and water safety. They will also go to Gym Gadbois, a gymnastics centre, as well as St. Charles Arena for hockey or figure skating. The other two days, gym will take place in the schoolyard with organized sports.

Mallette says there will be many services to help kids who require extra attention. “If a student needs help from an occupational therapist or remedial educator, they will be able to access this expertise,” she said.

The student application and selection process has already begun; there is no test or interview.  Mallette says she believes that since they received more applications from kindergarten kids as opposed to older grades, a test did not seem necessary. “Creating a test for kindergarten kids, in our opinion, is not of high value and it stresses the kids more than anything else,” she says. So the selection for the first year is based on first come first served.

To apply, you must fill out a form online and pay $50. There is no specific requirement since they do not have to verify if the child is anglophone or francophone. They will be accepting 142 students based on one class per level for the first year.

The school year will begin on Sept. 6 and will be open to parents who would like to visit the school and meet the staff. On Sept. 28 there will be an open house from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. And beginning Oct. 4, open houses will take place every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information, visit ecolelanouvellevague.com.