From Monday's Globe and Mail
September 1, 2008 at 3:59 AM EDT
MONTREAL — St. Gabriel school sits on the edge of the demographic decline that is roiling Canadian school systems.
In addition to low birth rates and downtown families fleeing to the suburbs, the elementary school nestled in the impoverished neighbourhood of Point St. Charles is also hurt by some of Quebec's linguistic particularities.
Quebec language policy has long streamed new arrivals into the French system but a 2002 law diverted another 900 students out of the English Montreal system, often into private schools.
So how has St. Gabriel squirmed off the chopping block twice in the past four years when 15 other schools from the English Montreal School Board have disappeared?
"I think it's heart," said Christine Griffin, the mother of five St. Gabriel students, aged 5 to 11.
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