June 14, 2016 - 7:00 PM
DEMAND FOR IMMERSION IS OUTSTRIPPING CLASS SPACE IN CENTRAL OKANAGAN
CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Just about any way you slice it, Dr. Knox Middle School in North Glenmore is likely going to end up a dual track French immersion school.
That’s the primary recommendation in three of four 'bundled options' developed by the Central Okanagan school board’s French immersion task force.
The school district is struggling to accommodate strong growth in the French immersion program in general and the pressure on Ecole KLO Middle School in particular as the only dual track middle school in the district.
“Ecole KLO Middle School… can no longer meet general and French immersion registration demands,” director of instruction Rhonda Ovelson writes in a report to the board.
A fourth option has Springvalley Middle School in Rutland becoming a dual track middle school.
Regardless of which of the detailed options trustees choose, it represents a signficant realignment of the French immersion program, requiring program and staff changes at various schools.
No one option is recommended over another, however the task force notes the fewest challenges and the most strengths in option one.
Under that scenario, either Const. Neil Bruce Middle or Glenrosa Middle School in West Kelowna will follow Dr. Knox, becoming a dual track immersion school between 2017 and 2019.
Longer term, between 2019 and 2025, Belgo Elementary in Kelowna will become a single track French immersion school, while Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary will begin offering immersion to Grade 9 students.
The four options are the product of meetings between the district and various interest groups beginning last September.
Costs for the four options vary from $2.8 to $3.8 million, as currently presented.
School trustees will not be making a final decision when they meet Wednesday night, but instead will review them and give further guidance to the task force.
– This story was updated at 11:36 a.m., June 15, 2016, to clarify that a decision has not yet been made.
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