While École Saint-Édouard is operating at a capacity of 159 pupils, the same number as last year, Knowlton Academy now has 261 children attending full-time, 29 more than last year.

“That is not including the 13 children that are either home-schooled or learning online,’’ says Knowlton Academy’s Principal Renalee Gore. “Some families have moved here from Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal. The parents have deliberately chosen our school over other private schools in Montréal,’’ says a proud school principal in a telephone interview with Tempo.

Preparing each zone for the children, ensuring that each group stays in its zone, disinfecting after use, all these activities have become the new normal at both learning institutions since the beginning of the school year. “The most difficult at first,” said Nancy Duranleau, Director of École Saint-Édouard, “was to deal with the rapidly changing directives from the Ministère de l’Éducation. There were changes and adjustments to be done every day and a lot of uncertainty about how to handle all these changes,’’a reality that Ms. Gore knows only too well. “The paper work is daunting, there is a lot of extra precautionary stuff and there are still constant changes; the parents have been terrific and very supportive in all this,’’ she adds.

Both directors are extremely grateful to their staff who are working very hard and putting in extra hours. The 42-staff members at Knowlton Academy “are above and beyond,’’ said Ms. Gore who supervises 16 classes and 3 kindergartens!

The next challenge at both schools is to organize activities that will not only captivate the children but also call on the staff ’s imagination to work within new sanitary guidelines.

As of mid-September there has been no COVID-19 case or alert at either school but parents are urged to keep their children at home at the first sign of a common cold.