Excitement was in the air at all of the city’s elementary schools as children and parents thronged them for the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Their first day of school was a short one but it was particularly exciting at the new Begbie View Elementary nd the brand-new French language school Ecole des Glaciers (Glacier School) which is operating out of Arrow Heights Elementary.
“I woke up feeling excited and I’m even more excited seeing all of you here today,” said BVE Principal Shan Jorgenson-Adam as she welcomed parents, kids and the just plain curious into the gleaming new gymnasium.
Despite a few things that need to be fixed, like the PA system, and the playground and playing fields, which need to be finished, hundreds of adults and children oohed and aahed at the new facility.
And well they should have. The school is beautiful and SD Chairman Alan Chell was justifiably proud of both the facility and the staff who have been intimately involved with its construction.
“Our staff have been magnificent,” he said. “Look at Earl Woodhurst (the district vice-principal who over saw the entire elementary and secondary school project). He’s handled the project in a thoroughly professional manner. I don’t think he took any time off this summer.”
The other source of excitement was the new Ecole des Glaciers, which is located at Arrow Heights Elementary where it will offer French-language education to Francophone children. Constitutionally mandated, this is not an intensive-learning program. Francophones have a right to education in their own language and this one-room school, operated by the Conseil Scolaire Francophone, delivers that.
According to CSF spokesman Pierre Claveau this is the first new Francophone school to be set up since Nelson received its school in 2006.
“This really is a big deal,” Claveau said. “We now have 4,800 students up from 4,600 last year.”
The CSF appreciates SD 19’s cooperation in establishing this school and looks forward to “contributing towards the enrichment of the local community,” he said.
The school’s teacher, Julie Martel agrees and thinks the school, which has 10 students in Kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Two, is a great addition to Revelstoke, which has a growing French-speaking community.
“This is great for the entire community,” she said, adding that the Anglophone teachers and children at AHE have been very supportive and are themselves excited by the opportunity to interact with French-speaking kids.
All in all it was an exciting day, moments of which you can see below: