Community / Press Release

EMSB begins welcoming some students from Ukraine to schools

ukraine group in the church
Montreal - Friday, May 20, 2022

The English Montreal School Board has accepted more than a dozen Ukrainian children as students  who have been granted language exceptions to study at English schools in Quebec.

Students whose parents hold temporary work permits are "eligible to receive instruction in English under the Regulation respecting the exemption from the application of the first paragraph of section 72 of the Charter of the French Language that may be granted to children temporarily residing in Quebec, RLRQ, c. C-11, r. 7."

“Our schools and School Board are open for any parent to apply for eligibility to our schools under the applicable provisions of the Charter of the French Language,” said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. “We  welcome all those who qualify to join us and be part of our great educational program.”

The EMSB Council of Commissioners adopted a resolution on March 23, indicating to the Quebec government that the Board is willing to accept Ukrainian refugees immediately on a humanitarian basis.  While the  Charter of the French Language does have a humanitarian clause allowing for the admission to the English school system under exceptional circumstances, Mr. Ortona emphasized that this is not the route these newly enrolled students took. “But it should be,” he added.

EMSB schools and centres continue to show their support for Ukraine as its citizens endure a Russian invasion.  There have been a wide variety of programs,  activities   and fundraising occurring in classrooms. “There is tragic world history unfolding right in front of us each day and I want to commend our educators for sharing this authentic learning experience with our students,” said Mr. Ortona.

EMSB Director General Nick Katalifos is pleased to embrace this opportunity. “As a former principal and teacher, I know how welcoming our staff and students have always been to new students,” he remarked. “We certainly hope to see more students  in our classrooms who qualify from the Ukraine and other countries.” 

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at