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Amid anxiety from Quebec’s Bill 96, a Montreal private school announces Grade 12 program

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WATCH: A private West Island school will soon be offering Grade 12. Beginning next year, Kuper Academy will give students the option of continuing their studies at the school instead of going to CEGEP. As Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, with the recent adoption of Bill 96, the news comes as a relief for many. – May 30, 2022

Spread out across three buildings in Kirkland, Kuper Academy currently offers preschool, elementary and high school.

Soon, it will add a new program to its curriculum — Grade 12 will be available at the school beginning in 2023.

“Several years ago I put it into motion and I was going to announce it in August of this year, but after the announcement of Bill 96, I decided to move it up,” said the head of the school, Joan Salette.

Read more: Quebec’s English colleges say they are being targeted by government for their success

Recently adopted Bill 96 will require students to take extra French courses in CEGEP in order to graduate.

Salette says that like many others, some students and parents at Kuper were nervous about the bill and how it would affect them. But she says with this news, many are breathing a sigh of relief.

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“I started getting messages back saying, ‘Thank you, I can sleep tonight, I’m not looking to move to Ontario anymore,'” said Salette. “Just so many messages of support.”

The Grade 12 program will last one year and will lead to an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, which permits students to then apply directly to a university.

Read more: CEGEP students protest Bill 96 in co-ordinated demonstrations in and around Montreal

Three concentrations will be available — science, commerce and social sciences — with courses mainly given in person.

Grade 10 students currently studying at Kuper will be eligible for the program, and many of them say they’ll be first in line to apply.

“Everyone is super excited about this new program,” said Grade 10 student Evan Cecere. “They are really concerned about the restrictions placed by Bill 96.”

The school plans on accepting applications for Grade 12 in August.

Around the same time, it will hold an information session for parents and students to learn more details about the program.

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