Why is our history so important to us?
Our traditions, values, and mission are part of our DNA. From generation to generation and with each student that passes through our doors, we live and breathe our shared history and vision of diversity, openness, and respect.
Today everywhere EBNDS students go they are recognized for their strong values, living out the vision which took root at the first Sion school over 170 years ago.
Beginnings in France
The first Sion school was founded in Paris, France in 1843 by brothers Théodore and Alphonse Ratisbonne. Catholic priests of Jewish descent, Théodore and Alphonse were dedicated to creating schools that both Jewish and Christian children would attend – schools that would emphasize the shared religious connections between these two communities. Their work gave rise to the Congregation Notre-Dame de Sion, an order devoted to teaching and battling discrimination in all its forms.
Sion comes to Montreal
EBNDS in Montreal was founded in 1963 by the Congregation of the Sisters of Sion, joining a network of Sion schools that today stretches over five continents in a shared educational tradition of promoting the values of respect, diversity, and strong academics. At our school in Montreal these values find added expression in our commitment to offering a truly bilingual education. Influenced by the discoveries of Montreal’s Dr. Wilder Penfield (1891-1976) on the abilities of young children to acquire new languages, our bilingual program was conceived both as an academic priority as well as an affirmation of Sion’s founding values.
Today, EBNDS is a thriving community of over 320 students from kindergarten to
grade 6 hailing from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Our unique history and continued relationship with the Sisters of Sion are an integral part of who we are.
EBNDS is an inclusive school that nurtures the rich, multi-faith heritage of all its students in accordance to the founding values of the first Sion school in 1843.
To challenge our students academically in a fully bilingual community that instills openness and compassion.
At EBNDS, celebrating academic excellence, challenging students to reach their academic potential, and helping them acquire the self-confidence to face the challenges of tomorrow is central to our mission. But it’s not the whole picture.
We are committed to offering students an outstanding bilingual, values-based education that develops their sense of responsibility toward their community and nurtures their social conscience in a diverse and changing world. Every day in our classrooms and hallways we live out our combined mission of academic excellence together with the principles of openness and compassion on which Sion was founded.
A pillar of our mission is true bilingualism, with an educational program that teaches English and French with equal rigour. We teach and live in both official languages so our graduates can excel in top private English or French high schools of their choice, propelling them with open hearts and minds toward a world of possibilities.
Permeating every aspect of our educational program are our founding values of diversity, openness and respect. The special mission of all Sion schools is to instill in students a deep appreciation of their own faith and culture as well as a sensitivity and respect for the beliefs and practices of others across racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic differences.
Each day we live out this mission by nurturing in our students a strong foundation of knowledge, respect, openness, confidence and compassion, to prepare them for any path of their choosing.
Théodore and Alphonse Ratisbonne found first Sion school in Paris
NDS Sisters arrive in Montreal, Quebec
Sisters Margaretta Chouinard and Josie Germaine open the first
ECOLE BILINGUE NOTRE-DAME DE SION on Dornel Ave. in Montréal,
with only one grade 1 class
Increased enrolment requires EBNDS to move to its present location
on Décarie Boulevard
Expansion of ECOLE BILINGUE NOTRE-DAME DE SION, doubling in size from 190 to 320 students