Lethbridge parents share concerns about school division plan to consolidate French immersion

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Parents from École Agnes Davidson in Lethbridge say they’re concerned about the Lethbridge School Division’s plans to consolidate French immersion students to the school as part of proposed new boundary changes. As Emily Olsen reports, the division’s feedback loop on these proposed changes will be open until Jan. 28 – Jan 22, 2021

Parents at École Agnes Davidson say they’re dismayed at the Lethbridge School Division’s proposed new boundaries which would consolidate Agnes Davidson to a French-only school and send English students to Lakeview School nearby.

Read more: Lethbridge parents wary of looming public school boundary changes

“Many families have decided to buy homes within walking distance of this school because of either having one vehicle or not being able to drive,” explained Agnes Davidson parent Caitlin Krogman.

“Or to have their kids be able to walk to school in the morning and have that experience.”

More than 50 families have signed a letter proposing French students from Nicholas Sheran Community School be sent to Lakeview or to an under-capacity north side school instead of displacing current English students at Agnes Davidson.

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“It’s comparable numbers and the benefit of a dual-track system has been wonderful,” Krogman said. “There are many families that I’ve spoken to both in the English and French programs that feel it enriches their child’s education.”

Another top concern is safety.

Read more: Community rallies around family mourning 10-year-old hit, killed by car

“The proposed boundary for the new Lakeview school is enormous,” parent Barbara Tillsley said.

“Those two roads are too busy to have a child as young as five walking herself across twice a day.”

Danielle Henrie says the decision to put her children in the French track at Agnes Davidson was a lot easier, knowing the English program was under the same roof as a fallback.

“Now they have to commit from kindergarten or risk changing the school completely,” Henrie said. “Not to mention families where French immersion works really well for some kids and it doesn’t work well for other kids.”

A spokesperson from the Lethbridge School Division said in a statement to Global News:

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“Lethbridge School Division continues to receive and review feedback, submitted through the Boundary Review website, regarding all phases of the boundary-review process.

“Feedback will be collected until Jan. 28. Once the feedback period concludes, the division and the board of trustees will conduct a thorough review of all the data received.”

Read more: Lethbridge left off list of new school projects in Alberta

Parents are encouraged to submit feedback on the Lethbridge School Division website before the Jan. 28 deadline.

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