01/16/2013 08:21 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT

EMSB flaunts French program to convince eligible families

The English Montreal School Board is trying to convince families that are doubtful of the quality of the board's French program to send their children to one of its schools.

Angela Mancini, the EMSB's chair, said English schools have improved the quality of their French curriculum.

"A lot of parents have a perspective about what French used to be back when we went to school," she said. " What we have now are programs that immerse kids from a very early age."

The board said about 14,000 students who are eligible to attend its schools choose the French system instead.

In many cases, the families are made up of one English-speaking parent and on French-speaking parent.

This is why the EMSB has launched a new website, written entirely in French, to convince parents to send their children to English schools.

Mancini said the challenge is to convince sceptical parents that the EMSB can teach quality French despite its anglophone roots.

"The results are there," said Mancini. "Our students are graduating in high school and writing exams – the exact same exams as the French sector – and doing better at times than the French sector."

The school board hopes to attract more families through a new French website before kindergarten registration opens next month.

The new page features information about the board's programs, success rates and eligibility requirements.

It also includes testimonials from parents and alumni.