Parents dispute SD19’s claim it can’t fulfill Early French Immersion request

By David F. Rooney

Parents seeking an early French Immersion program for their children were clearly unhappy last week with a report by Superintendent Mike Hooker that basically said School District 19 lacks the capacity to sustain such a program.
Hooker told the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, March 27, that declining enrolment makes it impossible for the district to offer a French Immersion program. The district is projected to have just 954 students in K through 12 during the 2013/14 school year.
“Our priorities remain focused on students through successful early identification and intervention programs, high levels of individualized student services and a breadth of program choices at the secondary level,” he said in the report.
“Within the context of our small total population the implementation of an Early French Immersion program is not feasible.”
Stephanie Melnyk, president of the newly formed local chapter of the Canadian Parents for French (CPF), was so disturbed by Hooker’s report that she refused to comment on it after the school board meeting.
She later released a three-page document that addressed Hooker’s report point-by-point.
You can read both Hooker’s and Melnyk’s reports in PDF format once The Current returns to the web.
The CPF is holding an Open House at the Community Centre on Thursday, April 4, from 7 pm until 9 pm to discuss the issue.