Parents camp at Montreal school to snag coveted kindergarten spot

Some determined Montreal parents lined up for more than 24 hours starting Sunday, hoping to snag a coveted kindergarten spot at Royal Vale School in the city's Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood.

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According to parents waiting in line, the queue began to form before 6 a.m. on Sunday, in anticipation of the 8 a.m. start of sign-ups on Monday morning.

Parents pitched tents and brought food and hot chocolate for the lengthy wait.

"I saw two people lingering from my window and I figured it's time to get moving around 6 a.m.," David Fostoajian told CTV Montreal from his spot in line.

According to its website, Royal Vale is a "240 status" school, which means it can accept students from all areas of the city. It offers classes from kindergarten to Grade 11, and specializes in math and sciences.

However, the prestigious school only has three kindergarten classes and a limited number of spaces availble.

Principal Nathalie Lacroix-Mailette said she understands why parents would be so eager to register their children at Royal Vale. However, she said there are no plans to increase the number or capacity of its kindergarten classes.

"It's a great school at the elementary level," she said. "For … families that have children in elementary, they do benefit from great facilities, for example a double gym, great programs, music programs."

And for some parents, those benefits are worth a wait in the cold.

"It's crazy. It sounds ludicrous," Alison Aylward said. "But lacking a better system and it being a fantastic school (I'll wait.)"

Once registered, parents of prospective new kindergarten students are required to fill out an application form and obtain a certificate of eligibility.

After that, the children will be scheduled for an assessment in mid-March, and the school will decide whether to accept the child or not.

Students who were unable to register on Monday will be added to a wait list.

With files from CTV Montreal


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