French immersion programs face overcrowding, but Sooke OK for now

School district has wait lists in Colwood and Langford

Some French immersion programs in the Sooke School District are having problems with overcrowding as students are being added to wait lists, but so far, this is not the case for Ecole Poirier elementary in Sooke.

“There’s definitely more kids registering for French in Sooke right now than last year, but there is no problems. We still have room for students to apply,” said district superintendent Jim Cambridge.

According to an open letter from the Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon Sooke district chapter that was sent to Sooke School District and a number of other individuals, Colwood’s Ecole John Stubbs will reach its student capacity by September, meaning there will be limited space for kindergarten in the single track French immersion school.

Ecole Millstream in Langford is nearly at capacity with portables on site.

Though there is also a high demand for these programs in Sooke, there are no wait lists, and Poirier has found ways to have enough space for all students who applied and fit the criteria.

Last year 44 kindergarten students enrolled at Poirier, and this year so far there has been 52. There is room for 60 students.

In December, the province announced it would contribute $23.3 million towards the purchase of a 6.5-hectare site in Langford for the district to build an elementary and middle school. There are no plans to add more space in Sooke.

Enrolment for French immersion programs is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents who are put on wait lists stay on it until they hear if a school can accommodate them. If not, the child defaults to the English program in their catchment area.

Assistant superintendent Stephanie Hedley-Smith said the district is continuing to juggle the issue of increased enrolment as schools approach capacity.

“We knew French immersion enrolment was increasing. It is a juggle for us as our schools are approaching capacity. If there is physical classroom space in a school to make another class we do everything we can to do so,” she said.

“At present, we have wait listed in-district families with the hope that we can accommodate their request. While we would love to have the classroom space to accommodate for more, our first priority is students and families who live in our school district.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

‘Killer’ teaches boxing basics

Step-by-step moves can be practised at home

Roses – for beauty and bees

For decades I’ve envied my sister’s ability to grow stunning roses. She… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read