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English Montreal School Board scores highest graduation rate in Quebec

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The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has scored the highest graduation rate in the province for the 2022-23 school year.

Chairperson Joe Ortona made the announcement at a board meeting Tuesday evening.

"I am immensely proud to announce that the EMSB has once again reached the pinnacle of success, achieving an astounding 95.9 per cent success rate," Ortona said at the meeting.

That puts the EMSB above the provincial rate of 84.2 per cent, and above private schools at 93.5 per cent.

Ortona says the numbers are a clear indicator that the EMSB is setting the standard for educational excellence in Quebec.

He says 19 per cent of its students are neurodiverse and 71 per cent come from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

"As [Education] Minister [Bernard] Drainville highlighted on March 17, 2024, 'Inspirons-nous des bonnes pratiques pour être meilleur partout dans le réseau scolaire (let's take inspiration from best practices to be better everywhere in the school network),' Mr. Drainville, I invite you to meet our incredible team and witness first-hand the innovative practices our educators employ to ensure every student thrives," Ortona said to a round of applause from board members. 

This comes as the board is spending millions of dollars in legal challenges against three bills adopted by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government.

The EMSB is waiting for its challenge against Bill 40 to be heard at the Court of Appeal.

The bill attempted to turn English school boards into school service centres.

The board is also taking its case against Bill 21, the religious symbols ban, to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In early June, it celebrated a partial win against Bill 96, the French language bill.

The Quebec Court of Appeal rejected a CAQ challenge to a Superior Court ruling that exempted the English school board from certain sections of the French Language Charter pending a trial on the merits of the constitutional challenge.

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