French immersion parents consider four-day school week

Parents from South Sa-Hali elementary want the Kamloops-Thompson School District to consider a shorter school week instead of creating single-track French immersion programs.

Chara Walter is one of several parents who will speak tonight at the Henry Grube Education Centre about the future of South Sa-Hali and Summit elementary.

Walter has two daughters enrolled in the English program at South Sa-Hali, where the school district proposes two options for the school's future.

One has the school become single-track French immersion, with English students moved to Summit. The second would see Summit closed and some students moved to South Sa-Hali, which will remain dual track.

To prevent any closures or changes, Walter and other South Sa-Hali parents will ask the district to move to a four-day school week for all of its schools to save money.

Walter has talked with administrators at school districts with shorter weeks. She said Kamloops-Thompson could save about $2 million annually with a four-day week.

"That's what they are looking for," said Walter. The school district is looking at a $3.5-million deficit a year for the next four years.

The proposal adds 75 minutes to the school day: 10 minutes in the morning and the remainder in the afternoon with an extra break thrown in.

Summit principal Joseph Small expects his staff, students, alumni and parent advisory council to present tonight. He said the entire school community is opposed to the closure.

"We should continue to thrive as an educational institution," said Small.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

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