French immersion expansion worries some Winnipeg parents
Some parents in Winnipeg's South St. Vital area are worried their children may have to attend school farther away from home if their neighbourhood school is converted to a French immersion format.
French immersion has proven so popular at the Louis Riel School Division, two of its schools are at more than 20 per cent over capacity.
- French-immersion interest on the rise in Winnipeg
- Newcomers to Canada enrolling children in French immersion
The school division is looking at several options to expand the program, including re-designating at least one school where enrolment is under capacity from an English format to French immersion.
That option doesn't sit well with Nikki Sherwin, whose nine-year-old daughter goes to George McDowell School.
"We will no longer have an English school, and children in this neighbourhood would have to be bused," said Sherwin, who is circulating a petition to the school division.
"I don't want anybody to move. I don't want any family to experience the feelings that I'm going through right now."
Meetings being held this fall
Another option is to add portable classrooms to the existing French immersion schools, according to the school division.
A division spokesperson told CBC News that staff are just beginning to consult with parents on the matter.
Meetings will be held at every school involved throughout the fall, and Sherwin said she plans to attend.
"Once you take away either one of those schools, you then unilaterally only have one option," she said.
Sherwin said while she has no problem with French immersion, she is criticizing the school division for not adequately publicizing the proposed changes.
Other parents said they were surprised to hear of the proposal.
"I'm quite surprised, because I had no idea," said Stacy Denby. "I am hoping that, you know, we get to keep our school."