Golden’s Francophone school will be opening its doors on schedule, along with other schools in the district next week.
Work on the school has been ongoing all summer, preparing the building at 820 11th Avenue S., transforming it from its previous purpose as a commercial and residential space into a school.
Crossing the street, sidewalks have been painted, and parents have been working to install a playground. The play park is a venture school parents on with funding from Columbia Basin Trust.
“Parents and kids are quite excited, and the school looks fantastic,” said French Canadian parent John Denham.
Starting in September, there are 14 students enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 4, with two teachers, Christine Mousseau and Chantal Stephenson. Josee Langlois joins the school as principal. The school grades will grow each year as students advance.
Work at the Francophone school began in November 2018, after the location was supported by Town of Golden council and the Conseil Scolaire Francophone, the French public school board.
Inside the school, the classrooms are all ready for students. Some minor exterior work and the gym will be completed shortly after school begins.
The Francophone school teaches students in their native language and helps to preserve French culture. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, students are able to receive education in their mother language, in either of Canada’s official languages.
To open a Francophone school, a community must have a significant number of children interested in attending to get funding from the Ministry of Education. The Conseil Scolaire Francophone decided that Golden has enough interested students at the end of last year. At the time, that number only accounted for about half of the eligible students in Golden.
The school bell will ring on Tuesday, September 3, and students will enter the classrooms to receive education in their first language.
For more information about eligibility and about the Conseil Scolaire Francophone, visit www.csf.bc.ca.