As our School celebrates the end of its 110th year of academic and global excellence, this is the perfect opportunity to inform you of the current state of our School, and to inform you of the direction that Socrates-Demosthenes will take during the 2019-2020 school year.
As dedicated parents of our students, you have a direct interest in the administration and future of the Socrates-Demosthenes School of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal (HCGM). We strive to be as transparent as possible with you in our planning and operations. The main objectives at Socrates-Demosthenes remain clear:
- Offer an unparalleled trilingual program that is the envy of Québec’s educational institutions
- Respect the educational regime and the requirements of the Ministère de l’Éducation
- Balancing our budgets while our School continues to evolve
The 2018-2019 school year was not without its challenges. We are very proud to announce that it is ending on a positive note. Our workforce is stable, new technologies are more than ever incorporated into our teaching methods, and the financial statements show a remarkable improvement thanks to better control of spending and the sacrifices we have all made in recent years.
We want to thank you, parents, and all those who supported us for your trust in our school. Without a doubt, our parent committees, with all their efforts and projects, and all your contributions, have helped to ensure many successes at each campus. There is no word to express our gratitude. We wish them continued success next year. We encourage everyone to consider being a member.
We are very proud of the success rate of our students, especially our graduates. Their results are unprecedented: either their exam scores from the Ministry, or the fact that many of them manage to enter the best private schools in Quebec, especially in the French sector. The statistics speak for themselves. We are more than confident of the success of our graduates in their post-primary studies and later in their careers. We congratulate the faculty, guided by their dedicated leadership, for ensuring your children an education that meets the highest standards.
After another fabulous graduation gala bringing together nearly 1,200 people at Le Chateau Reception Hall to see the 152 students of the 2019 class receive their diplomas and their awards, then dance and celebrate all night, 22 of our graduates have left for the ultimate Greek educational experience, an unforgettable and rewarding journey through Greece.
For the upcoming school year, the new provincial government has announced several changes that will affect our school. According to the letter below sent by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, two periods of 20 minutes of recess are imposed for all the reasons stated. As this will dramatically increase our already long school day, we are reducing our extended teaching program by 20 minutes a day. There will be a slight adjustment in our programs.
The Ministry of Education will also add 4-year-old kindergarten educational services to public schools starting in the 2019-2020 school year. We hope for the same for private schools, including ours. A new educational community center in Laval remains a top priority for the HCGM: we have extensive discussions with the province and the Commission scolaire de Laval for this project. In addition, we are aligning to soon transfer our secondary education services to Laval, possibly to a new building or to one of the existing campuses.
Finally, we would like to thank four of our dedicated colleagues who will be leaving us to retire. These sensational people have marked generations of children at the Socrates-Demosthenes School and leave behind a legacy for generations to come.
We recognize the passion and commitment of: Anna Georgiadis, the great secretary and adoptive mother of the Socrates V campus; Juliana Embriaco, the energetic kindergarten teacher on the Demosthenes campus, who set the pace for crowds of students as soon as they entered our School; Marie-Alixe Archer, the smiling teacher of the Socrates II campus, who taught your children, and our students, with great eloquence, not only the prescribed program, but also, in doing so, she has taught us all to appreciate the arts; and Joyce Timotheatos, the ubiquitous teacher of so many kindergarten classes, well loved by her students and peers.
We would also like to thank Zoi Batsis, the HCGM’s Secretary of Education for the past nine years, for her educational vision, advice and wonderful support during her term in office. Finally, we want to express our gratitude to Nicholas Pagonis for all the extraordinary efforts he has devoted to our School as President of the HCGM and as an individual.
Following the recent elections of the HCGM, a new board of directors was sworn in. We congratulate them, especially the new president, Annie Koutrakis. She is the first woman to hold this position in our organization. We also welcome Voula Neofotistos, who will be Secretary of Education. We are very pleased that many of our School’s parents are participating in the new board. This is a major requirement of the Ministry of Education. We wish the best of luck to all members of the new administration of the CHGM as they work to bring the Community to new heights with our support.
Our campuses will be closed for a few weeks during the summer. For your convenience, the branch office will remain open. We will gladly answer any questions you may have. We want to give all our students and their parents a happy end of school year and wishes for a wonderful, safe and relaxing summer vacation.
The Director General