Well, it is that time of year again, when parents of children attending kindergarten this coming September must 'choose' which public schools they plan to register their kids.
How many four- or five-year-olds say to their moms or dads "please can I go to a French Immersion school, or to the (Bert Edwards) science school or the (Beattie) School of the Arts?"
Now, the purpose of this letter is to ask ALL parents of French-Immersion kids to explain to the rest of us (District 73 taxpayers) exactly what your motives are for choosing one of the French-Immersion (FI) schools over your own neighbourhood English school. I can personally think of no reasons for and maybe a dozen against (FI).
To each parent, just what is your desire, reason or even agenda behind making such a selfish decision on behalf of your child(ren)? Are you all unaware that the French language is taught as part of the curriculum in our public schools in B.C. beginning with Grade 5 and in all District 73 schools beginning in Grade 4?
What is the big hurry? Why would four years sooner make that much of a difference to you? Why can't we establish and maintain a 'level playing field'?
Can you not understand that it is hard enough for most children to absorb one language, let alone two, at such a young age? If the parents did not experience French until the eighth grade, why should our kids take it in kindergarten, especially with no Franco-Canadian heritage?
We need to return to neighbourhood schools for neighbourhood kids to re-build strong families and lasting friendships. The entire concept of FI is totally illogical and a waste of resources and tax dollars. If just one parent can be convinced not to enroll his or her child in any FI program I would call it a success. Furthermore, it will soon be time to confirm which school and program you intend to register your current (K- Grade 6) FI student for the next September school year. Please give it some careful thought and then do the right thing by registering at any one of the fine 'regular' elementaries, ideally closest to your home.
It's just that easy. With little or no FI interest, schools such as Lloyd George would revert back to English-only. Sadly, the present trustees will just choose to maintain the status quo. Anyone with common sense would simply shelve the entire FI program.
Or, as an alternative, they could impose a monthly fee, i.e. $200 for each child attending any of our specialty schools, including French Immersion. Maybe that would help convince some parents to think on behalf of their kids and not always on behalf of themselves.