(File photo)

French Immersion program at Vanderhoof high school undergoing changes

The program will no longer be offered to grade 7 and 8 students at Nechako Valley Secondary School.

The French Immersion program for grade 7 and 8 at Nechako Valley Secondary School has been discontinued, as per a Board of Education update from SD91 officials.

The program at NVSS did not operate this year because of the district’s “inability” to hire a qualified French Immersion teacher, stated a May 12 press release from SD91.

Instead, the Vanderhoof based high school has moved to offering enhanced French language opportunities for their middle year learners.

Ken Young, principal of Nechako Valley Secondary School said,”It is truly difficult for us to lose the French Immersion program here at NVSS for our Grades 7 and 8.”

He said staff hoped that they would be able to work through the shortage of staff for the French program, “but it became evident to not only the consultant, but staff at the school as well that the lack of French Immersion specialists across the province (even nationally), would cause problems in ensuring staffing would be in place year to year.”

In terms of the French language opportunities for middle school learners, Young said, “As we transitioned from a full French Immersion program this year to an English program for our students in Middle Years, we provided our former French Immersion students in 7/8 with a more suitable level of French (Francais Langue) for their skill set than the core French option could provide. This option will then transition their language learning to Francais Langue (for grades) 9/10/11/12.”

The decision to discontinue the program was passed by the The Board of Education on May 11, 2020.

The process to conduct a comprehensive review of French Immersion programming in SD91 started in the Fall of 2019. This program is offered at SD91 schools in Burns Lake and Vanderhoof.

So last Fall, the school district hired Anne Cooper from AZ Cooper Consulting to conduct the review and report recommendations. After recommendations were received in April, the board reached out to parents, students and the community before they took their decision on May 11 to cancel the French Immersion program for grade 7 and 8 students.

The second motion passed by the Board of Education was to table a final decision on the recommendation for the William Konkin Elementary program until “a time when BC education has returned to normal operations after the health pandemic.”

Meanwhile, as a result of these decisions, schools will continue planning for 2020/21 school year based on “current programming, budgeting and enrollments.”

“The Board of Education would like to thank everyone for the feedback over the past few weeks and they acknowledge and appreciate the current challenges for students and families. Any future processes regarding French Immersion at William Konkin will be shared publicly to allow notice and an opportunity for continued feedback,” the May 12 press release stated.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Northern Health assuring public it has declared no public exposure events or outbreaks

As of Sept. 17, there are 241 cases in the Northern Health Authority region

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Anne Marie Sam seeks NDP nomination for Nechako Lakes riding

She also ran in 2017 but was defeated by BC Liberal John Rustad

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read