August 19, 2019 10:58 pm

Parents get a first look at John Paul I Junior High School’s new location

Montreal English School Board sign.

Staff/Global News

As back-to-school season kicks off, dozens of John Paul I Junior High School students and their parents had a chance to visit the building that will be housing their school as of September 3.

John Paul I students are moving into Laurier Macdonald High School, in Montreal’s Saint-Leonard neighbourhood.

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The move comes  after the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) approved a cohabitation deal to accommodate the over-crowded Pointe-de-l’Île School Board (CSPI) last week, following a 30-day consultation.

READ MORE: EMSB injunction to stop transfer of 2 schools to French-language board rejected in court

During the tour, school officials answered questions from parents and insisted that “it remains the same school, just with a different address.”

John Paul I students will have their own classrooms and labs, but the library, gym and cafeteria will be shared by both schools.

Teachers and extra-curricular activities will also remain the same, officials added.

Some parents said the move adds stress to the back-to-school period.

READ MORE: English Montreal School Board votes to launch Major School Change consultation

But others, like Mélanie Langlois, said they were satisfied with what they saw.

“It’s not too far from John Paul,” she said. “I know a lot of people are a bit disappointed, but at least they have a place, you know, and not too far away.”

The cohabitation deal also includes students from General Vanier Elementary school, who will be starting their school year at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School.

Parents and students will be able to visit Pierre de Coubertin Elementary on August 22.

WATCH: EMSB Parents still waiting for answers

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