Study in the city or in nature in Nelson to avoid isolation in the French high school

Since September 2021, a hybrid program has enabled these students from the École des Sentiers alpins to study there three days a week and the other two days in the city, in nature, or in a room at the English-speaking high school. LV Rogers.

For example, they can take a workshop on leadership and community involvement at the Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (AFKO), learn to cook in French at a restaurant or go hiking as a course.

The education was born in the wake of the transition from the so-called high schools heterogeneous to schools homogeneous, which the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) wanted to start in September 2021, following the Supreme Court ruling in its favor. However, he had encountered considerable opposition from parents and students and had to revise his schedule.

At the same time the English-language high school LV Rogerswhich welcomed French- and English-speaking students from 9th to 12th grade in its premises, decided to no longer offer ninth grades due to lack of space.

Since Class 9 was integrated into an entirely English-speaking school, French-speaking parents lost the opportunity for a heterogeneous program for this level.

What is a homogeneous high school?

Of the 14 colleges in the network of CSF in British Columbia only 6 are homogeneous, i.e. they offer their entire school curriculum in French.

The other 8, called heterogeneous, are twin cities with English-speaking colleges (LV Rogers in the case of Nelson) and offer French-speaking students two to four classes in French per year, while the rest of their classes must be in English.

Émilie Leblanc Kromberg at her jewelry workshop in Nelson, British Columbia, April 6, 2022.

According to the president of the Association des parents de l’École des Sentiers-alpins, Émilie Leblanc Kromberg, it is important for francophone students going to high school to be in the heart of the Nelson community.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Raluca Tomulescu

stay in society

The hybrid program is a good thingaccording to the chairman of the Parents’ Association of the École des Sentiers-alpins, Émilie Leblanc Kromberg.

She explains that young Francophones in the region are looking forward to reaching class 9, so they can rub shoulders with their friends from the English-language high school, to take advantage of a better selection of complementary courses and leisure activities, but also to find themselves in the heart of the Nelson community where the École Secondaire is located LV Rogers.

As for the École des Sentiers alpins, it is located about twelve kilometers from the center of Nelson, and some students feel isolated there.

LV Rogers English Secondary School in Nelson, British Columbia, April 7, 2022.

LV Rogers English Secondary School serves students in grades 10-12 in Nelson, British Columbia.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Raluca Tomulescu

She says that many parents who were happy with the heterogeneous program feared that it would lead to an emigration of students to the 100% English system or French immersion.

Many parents wondered why repair something that had not broken. »

A quote from Émilie Leblanc Kromberg, President of the Parents’ Association of the École des Sentiers-alpins

According to her, the ideal would be to develop more courses in French within the heterogeneous program rather than abandoning them altogether.

Sylvie Mazerolle in a class at LV Rogers English Secondary School in Nelson, British Columbia, April 7, 2022.

The director of the École des Sentiers-alpins, Sylvie Mazerolle, wants to listen to young people and society.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Raluca Tomulescu

A successful bet

This is what the director of the École des Sentiers-alpins, Sylvie Mazerolle, says a whole team of teachers, parents and students were involved in the process of dreaming and imagining what a ninth year on the Sentiers Alps would be like, […] with a component that is truly rooted in nature.

We tried to find the best ideas and the wealth of what is available here. »

A quote from Sylvie Mazerolle, Director of the Ecole des Sentiers Alps

According to her, the young people are proud of the result of the team collaboration and want the program to continue next year. As regards the conversion of heterogeneous colleges into homogeneous schools, CSF had given itself until the end of December 2021 to present a new plan to the local communities. At the time of publication of this article, it had not been possible to interview the organization for an update on its timeline. that CSF however, gave consent to an interview during the day on Wednesday.

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