From The Gazette

Dorval

Queen of Angels Academy to close at end of school year

  • Players from Queen of Angels Academy ringette team.
    Players from Queen of Angels Academy ringette team.
    Photo credit: Gazette file photo

Faced with declining enrolment and rising costs, Queen of Angels will shut down at the end of this school year, according to its board of directors which met with parents on Thursday evening.

The private all-girls school, a fixture in Dorval for decades, has seen its enrolment drop to 186 students this year from about 515 students in 2006-’07, according to a letter sent to parents by board chairman Dominic Varvaro. It was expected the number of students would continue to drop in the next school year.

Despite efforts launched in 2011 to rebrand its image, develop new marketing strategies and introduce cost-cutting measures, the school’s financial predicament didn’t improve.

As a result of lower enrolment, the school had to double its fees over the past seven years, Varvaro noted. “We project that we would have to more than double them again next year if we were to stay open,” he added.

School officials will sit down with parents next week to help find new high schools for their girls to attend next fall. Counsellors and psychologists will be available to meet with students on Friday to offer them support.

Last year, Queen of Angels opted to sell a portion of its sprawling campus along Bouchard Blvd. to a developer for a high-density residential development that is heading to a public consultation as part the city’s rezoning process.

Last month, city council tabled a draft bylaw to rezone a western portion of the private school’s property to residential from institutional. Queen of Angels Academy, which has about 837,000 square feet of land along Bouchard Blvd., has been negotiating with a developer to sell off a section of its sprawling property.

The submitted development plan includes four-, six- and 10-storey buildings located closer to Bouchard Blvd. and then rows of semi-detached townhouses on the southern portion of the lot closer to existing single-family homes. Access to the new development will come via a new road opening onto Bouchard Blvd. just west of Galland Blvd.

A public consultation for the proposed rezoning is scheduled for Feb. 10 at the Sarto-Desnoyers Community Centre.

8 comments

  1. By Debbie Decher

    My daughter graduated with honors from QAA in 2007, and has just completed her Masters at McGill. The quality of educated women that has come out of QAA is outstanding. I’m very disappointed at his news, as I’m sure past students and their families will be as well.
    I did hear rumours of its decline in recent years, and it saddens me. It was a great school at one time and I’m very glad my daughter had the opportunity to attend QAA.

  2. By Lynn Butler

    So sad to hear this, I graduated from there in 1997, all my friends went on to being very successful because of the excellent footing this school gave us. I am so sad to hear this news and hope that the many teachers there find new schools to inspire the young.

  3. Pingback: Queen of Angels Academy to close at end of school year | News Québec

  4. By Johanne Rondeau-Wall

    I am a 1969 graduate of QAA. I have many fond memories. The quality of the teaching and the camaraderie was second to none. I gather the Sisters of St Anne are long gone? Very sad to see this go. I am now living in Sydney, Australia.

  5. By Lisa Ellis

    There is more to this story than meets the eye. Why did the Board not consult with the community? Why did the Board wait until the last minute to inform the staff and the parents? Most importantly, why has a Board, which made it very clear that they have other priorities in life, not stepped aside in favour of a new one — one which would save this beloved school. The Board members will not miss a meal in making this decision; the staff, however, have been left scrambling. The students have lost not just a school, but a home. http://saveqaa.com/

  6. By Jose Carlos

    This is a tribute to Qebéc facist-like language laws. I wanted to, but could not, enroll my Daughters at QAA. Really something to think about. Do we praise quality of education for all children here? Or just a mandate to go to where the single minded want?

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