German and Swiss company representatives approach the Consulate of the German Federal Republic in favor of opening a German School in Montreal.
After three years of negotiations with the Quebec Ministry of Education and positive feedback from over 200 German-speaking families, an agreement is reached to found a German School abroad. Its name is to be "Alexander von Humboldt Inc" and it will welcome students in grades 1 to 4, adding an additional grade each year.
Alexander von Humboldt School Montreal opens its doors in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The school year starts with 22 students and increases to 29 during the term.
A preschool group for 3 to 4-year-olds and a grade 5 class that also teaches grade 6 students is added. In November, the first-ever AvH Christmas Bazaar takes place. In the spring of 1982, government representatives from Germany and Quebec grant permission for the school to continue into its third year.
There are now separate preschool and Kindergarten programs. In January, the school moves to Dorval, students travel by school bus. In February, the Quebec Ministry of Education grants a permit to add a grade 7 class.
A new principal is sent from Germany. Local teachers are hired for new French classes and for the sciences. Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Latin for grade 7 are added to the curriculum. A generous private donation permits the acquisition of computers. As the current location will not allow further expansion, the board begins exploring alternative options.
In August, Alexander von Humboldt moves into the Oakridge school in Baie D'Urfé which is part of the Lakeshore School board. The spacious location close to the St Lawrence River offers beautiful sports facilities and room for a library. Preschool to Grade 8 already comply with English and French provincial curriculum standards, and efforts are made to streamline all other subjects so that students can achieve the Quebec High School Diploma in order to continue their studies at the Quebec Cegep Level. The school's standing in the Baie D'Urfé community is celebrated with a typical beer fest at the end of the school year. The "Friends" of Alexander von Humboldt is recognized as a charitable organization.
A grade 9 class is added. In August, the Director of Private education and the school management meet to discuss the secondary school permit required by the Quebec Ministry of Culture. The German curriculum and specifics on the "High School Leaving Certificate" are presented. The Province of Québec officially recognizes the German curriculum but requests that certain core subjects of the Quebec curriculum be incorporated.
Enrolment increases by 30% due to new elementary inscriptions. Alexander von Humboldt now consists of 2 Kindergarten groups, a preschool, grades 1-6 and combined groups in grades 7-8 and grades 9-10. Students of the first graduation year are awarded the DES (“Diplôme d’études secondaires”) – High School Diploma. Religious education is introduced and a choir is formed. The school secures a 5-year rental contract at its current location.
Students of Alexander von Humboldt participate in several Lakeshore sports competitions. AvH celebrates its 10th anniversary at the end of the year.
The Province of Quebec and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany sign an agreement (“Entente”) governing the school’s operation . The “Deutsche Sprachdiplom II” (German proficiency certificate) is introduced for Grade 11 students awarded by the German conference of Cultural Ministers.
Enrolment increases to 240. Debutantes dance at the Austrian ball in November and at the Charity Ball of the German Society.
In an official ceremony, AvH receives the key to their very own building. In June, the AvH drama group delivers their first performance. And yet another first: the German Saturday school moves to the Baie D'Urfé location.
Alexander von Humboldt becomes a member of the QAIS (Quebec Association of Independent Schools). Extension phase I begins with 7 new classrooms including an extended library and a cafeteria. In October, the first-ever AvH Oktoberfest takes place.
In October, an inauguration ceremony marks the end of the first phase of construction. In May, our first annual garage gale takes place.
Generous donations permit the construction of a school playground.
With more than 30 new students to accommodate, the school board decides to extend the building yet again, creating 4 new classrooms, an enclosed courtyard and improved parking facilities (Expansion Phase II). In October, Grade 6 students go on a study trip to Germany for the first time.
In March, students take part in 'Mathematics without borders' , together with over 100 schools from all over Europe. Parents and other volunteers start a canteen service for students.
Students from Grades 10 and 11 volunteer at the "Old Brewery Mission" in downtown Montreal.
20 years of AvH - staff and students collaborate on a commemorative publication to mark the occasion.
During the Easter holidays, school representatives travel to Mexico City to attend the first World Congress of German Schools Abroad. Grade 10 students take part in the " QAIS Senior Public Speaking Competition" as the first German participants.
With extension phase III several new classrooms, including a physics lab and meeting rooms, are added to the building. A new IT infrastructure is installed. The German International Abitur is introduced for grade 12 students. The school gets a new corporate image and changes its name to “Alexander von Humboldt German International School”. The 'Eingangsstufe' program is introduced.
AvH Cinema premieres with the German film "Die Feuerzangenbowle". A dress code is introduced for all students.
AvH celebrates 25 years
Students are now served in a proper cafeteria.
The cafeteria is extended and the inner courtyard newly landscaped. The school's handball team participates in competitions in Germany.
In November, AvH hosts a card tournament (Skat) as part of the "Rendez-vous avec l'Allemagne" festival - under the patronage of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe Institute, the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria in Quebec and the German-Canadian Chamber of Commerce. For the first time, Grade 8 students travel to Germany – an AvH tradition until today.
Extension Phase IV begins on a new sports centre and 4 additional classrooms. Enrolment exceeds the 300 mark.
The first AvH graduates obtain the diploma “Deutsche Internationale Abitur”. The newly constructed “Hagen Sports Centre” is inaugurated. The President of the German Bundestag visits AvH in November.
The German government (Federal Office of Administration) recognizes AvH as an “Exzellente Deutsche Auslandsschule” (German School Abroad of Excellence).
AvH enjoys new outdoor sports facilities which include a four-lane running track, a multi-purpose sports court, a soccer field, and a playground.
We celebrate "la Journeé internationale de la Francophonie" every year.
A state-of-the-art biology/chemistry lab from a German manufacturer is installed. The AvH courtyard is home for a mother duck and her ducklings - she has returned every year since!
AvH takes part in the "150 Years Canada" and "375 Years Montreal" celebrations. Two students from the debate team attend the national finals in Vancouver, British Colombia, and the school hosts a talent show.
A German immersion class for motivated non-German speaking students is introduced. The “Friends of AvH” organize a "Christmas Village" in the courtyard for the annual Christmas Bazaar where German sausages, pretzels, beer, mulled wine and sweet chestnuts are sold.
The 250th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt (scientist, explorer and our namesake) is commemorated with the Humboldt competition. A team of three students win first prize and travel to Lima, Peru to present their project.
We continue to qualify as an “Exzellente Auslandsschule” (German School Abroad of Excellence) following another inspection of the quality framework. Our certificate is presented to us by the German Consulate General in Montreal during the annual Christmas Bazaar.
40th anniversary of AvH