Nova Scotia

New francophone school coming to Halifax this September

The province's francophone family of schools is getting a new addition in peninsular Halifax this September.

Yet-to-be-named school will be on Atlantic Street in a former building of the Halifax Grammar School

Young students are busy at work at École des Beaux-Marais in Porters Lake. The school is one of several with the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial in the Halifax region. (Radio-Canada)

The province's francophone family of schools is getting a new addition in peninsular Halifax this September. 

The francophone school board will open the yet-to-be-named new school in time for the next school year, confirmed Marie-Andrée Laflamme, speaking for Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP).

Caroline Arsenault has two children who attend École Beaubassin and is the founder of a committee that's been working to get a new Grade-Primary-to-Grade-6 francophone school in Halifax.

"I'm thrilled and I know that members of the francophone community, especially those who are on the peninsula, are also thrilled. We've been working toward this for a long time," she told CBC's Information Morning

The school will be located on Atlantic Street in south-end Halifax. The building that will house it belonged to the Halifax Grammar School, which is building an expanded campus on nearby Tower Road. The Atlantic Street building is being leased to CSAP until the board can find a permanent location.

Arsenault said the boundaries for the new school have not yet been drawn but that students from École Beaubassin who live on the peninsula will be eligible to attend. 

CSAP schools in Halifax have bucked declining enrolment trends and that has led to overcrowding at the francophone schools in recent years. 

More opportunities closer to home

Arsenault said having a school closer to home means parents won't have to worry about having their kids bus to another community. 

"It's been a hard slog for many of us to be able to access after-school activities or even after-school care programs that are attached to the school," she said.

"Even getting to a sick child in the middle of the day through traffic — and that's for people who have access to a vehicle. It's been really challenging so we're really excited about all of the opportunities that having a school closer to all of our neighbourhoods and communities are giving us."

Arsenault said she and others in the community were surprised to hear the new school would open so quickly.

"We're just so pleased, especially because it was used as an elementary school, so there's very little refitting required which makes it much more of an earlier opportunity than we dared to hope for," she said.

With files from Information Morning