March 15, 2013 - 5:18 PM
By Shannon Quesnel
Parents say school board policy is leaving some students out in the cold when it comes to French enrollment classes.
Diane Fort says her 10-year-old daughter, Emily Mosley, is more than ready for French classes in Penticton. Mosley has been teaching herself French and even created her own second language manual.
“I'm taking the DIY approach,” she said.
Fort was at the School District 67 board meeting in Penticton Monday night. A large crowd of parents and children sat behind them. Fort and Summerland resident Naomi DeLury said there are flaws in the board's enrollment policy.
Fort said school board policy gives preferred treatment to students inside the school district's catchment area and it needs to change.
DeLury and Fort said the school board can do better. Children are falling through the cracks they allege are in the policy. Twenty-two students will be randomly excluded from French immersion programs this year.
“The school board and middle school principals need to understand in order to access education in French, these children may leave this school district entirely,” Fort said.
Board chair Ginny Manning said all input would be taken seriously.
“Some of us have been through this process with our children,” Manning said.
Superintendent of Schools Wendy Hyer said the board has budgetary challenges. It has to divide up its money between student busing, basic literature programs and more.
“We would love to have every student have access to every program,” Hyer said. “(Staffers) do the best job they can with the resources we get.”
Trustee Linda Van Alphen said policy change can take 18 months. She wanted everyone to know so there is no has false hope a new policy will be in place by September.
“We are not expecting this policy to change this year,” DeLury said. “All we are asking you to do is recognize this policy has not resulted in fair treatment. It has given preferential treatment to Penticton students and to siblings.”
“I know that wasn't your intention,” she said, but that is the reality now.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013