MONTREAL – For over 160 years, Villa Maria High School has been an all-girls school but in April the school announced it was going co-ed, starting in 2016.

While school admission applications for secondary schools in the province have only just started, Villa Maria says that they have already received over 75 applications by boys.

Maire Anna Bacchi, Villa Maria’s director general said she was pleased that the school’s decision to admit boys had generated such interest from Montreal-area families.

The new uniform for boys was on display at Villa Maria College. Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.

Max Kalinowicz/Global News

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When the school first announced the changes not all parents were on board with the decision, arguing that single-sex education allows girls to build self-confidence, avoid distractions and assume leadership positions that they wouldn’t otherwise consider.

READ MORE: ‘Marias’ and ‘Marios’ to study together at Villa Maria as of 2016

Accepting boys was part of a three-pronged strategy to keep the school competitive and respond to students’ needs in a changing educational landscape.

Other changes include the implementation of the Education 3.0 project, a technology-based curriculum that will allow students to become responsible digital citizens.

Villa Maria College opened its doors to the public this Saturday and will do so again, on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 4:00 p.m. to  7:00 p.m. The English sector open house will be held next Saturday, Sept. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 4:00 p.m.