Ottawa, October 13, 2016 – This afternoon, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) officially inaugurated its 42nd elementary school, the École élémentaire catholique Notre-Place …. Since schools are often the gathering point of a community, which houses its hopes and cultivates its future, the Board wanted to select a name that would be a hymn of affirmation to our pride in being part of the Francophonie. The name Notre-Place refers to the Franco-Ontarian theme song, “Notre Place,” written by singer-songwriter Paul Demers, in collaboration with composer François Dubé.1
Réjean Sirois, director of education at the CECCE, declares that the opening of this school illustrates “that a vibrant and strong Francophone community is present in this sector of Orléans, and that it is only growing.”
In less than 20 years, the number of French schools has exploded in Ottawa, a reflection of the growth of the Francophone population. Through the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, seven other elementary schools and one secondary school have been established in the City of Ottawa since the early 2000s. They serve Orléans to the east, but also Kanata to the west and southern Ottawa neighbourhoods, home to increasing numbers of Francophones. Since its 2006 opening in Barrhaven, for example, the École élémentaire publique Michaëlle-Jean has welcomed 270 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. In less than ten years, the numbers have tripled, requiring the construction of a modular 14-classroom addition.
Growth continues in both the public and Catholic sectors. The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est took in 774 more students in the fall of 2016 than in the fall of 2015, enough to fill two new elementary schools.
1Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, “Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est inaugure sa 42e école élémentaire - École élémentaire catholique Notre-Place.” Press release, October 13, 2016 (translated from the original).