Pemberton and Whistler Secondary schools will begin French Immersion for Grade 8 students in the fall after the Sea to Sky school board approved a proposal put forward by both principals at its meeting on Wednesday (March 13).
Before the meeting in an interview with The Question, the principals at both schools said the move comes from interest in the community to see French Immersion established.
“It is something parents have been wanting for a while now and it looks like the numbers in French Immersion at Spring Creek (Elementary) are sufficient over the next three years that we would be able to support a 50 per cent model French Immersion next year starting in Grade 8,” said WSS Principal Bev Oakley.
An information meeting was held in February for parents and Oakley said she received 33 commitments of interest and with that in hand she will present the French Immersion program options to the school board. She added the program would fit into WSS’s current existing budget and if approved and successful it could expand to Grade 9 the following year.
Pemberton Secondary School Principal Nolan Cox also presented a proposal to begin a French Immersion for Grade 8 students in that community following an information night with parents in February as well.
“There is enough interest in our community right now for us to pursue that with the board,” Cox said, adding French Immersion is just one example of programming ideas the school is looking at. “Right now we are looking at creative means to offer a varity of programming options to our students.”