PEI

Spring in the steps of some students rezoned to Spring Park Elementary School

Traffic was heavy for the start of the school year Thursday at Charlottetown's Spring Park Elementary, one of the schools most affected by a major rezoning.

'Any time there's change, students get anxious — adults get anxious'

Parents drop their children off at Spring Park Elementary in Charlottetown for the first day back to school Thursday morning. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Traffic was heavy for the start of the school year Thursday at Charlottetown's Spring Park Elementary, one of the schools most affected by a major rezoning.

Hundreds of the Island's 19,000 students were rezoned this year to more evenly distribute students.

The rezoning also included spreading out elementary-age French immersion students across several schools in Charlottetown.

Spring Park is welcoming 200 rezoned students.

"Any time there's change, students get anxious — adults get anxious," said principal Terry MacIsaac.

Winnie Liu entered Grade 1 French Immersion at Spring Park School. Her father, Michael Liu, says biligualism is important to their family. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"We've done as much prep work as we can."

Michael Liu dropped off his daughter, Winnie Liu, who is starting Grade 1 French immersion Thursday.

The girl was sporting a new pink back pack and matching water bottle, and excited to get into her new classroom, where her father is hopeful the French skills will come in handy in her future.

"We want her to become bilingual," said Liu. "Because we come from China, she can speak in Chinese and maybe later in English and in French will be better, I think."

Returning students Anna Clark, left, and Sara Mossey say it feels good to be back. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Sara Mossey and her friend Anna Clark are returning to Grades 5 and 6, and both said it felt good to be going back to class.

"Everybody we know is here," said Clark.

Many new teachers

Spring Park had an open house in the spring for new students, and also invited students for a visit on Friday.

The school has also seen a big change in staff, with eight new English language teachers and 15 new staff in total.

Parents bring their kids to Spring Park Elementary in Charlottetown for the first day back to class. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

CBC reporter Brian Higgins, at the school as students arrived Monday morning, described the scene as very busy, but said students were generally happy and excited to start the school year.

Some other schools in the Charlottetown area are also seeing big changes in student population.

West Kent has 165 new early French immersion students. Stonepark has fewer students because some have moved to Birchwood, including 240 new French immersion students there.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said 7,500 students were rezoned. That was the original number of students who received a letter that they might be rezoned. In fact, the final total number of students rezoned was 1,200, according to the Public Schools Branch.
    Sep 07, 2017 4:44 PM AT

With files from Brian Higgins

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