Students pass outside the St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail. The Catholic School Board was meeting Tuesday to discuss the fate of the French Immersion program at the school.

Low enrolment ends French program in Innisfail

The French immersion program at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School will be scrapped at the end of the current school year.

The French immersion program at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School will be scrapped at the end of the current school year.

The board of trustees of the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools voted unanimously to axe the kindergarten to Grade 4 program in Innisfail because of low enrolment and the huge cost to run the program on Tuesday night.

Last March the trustees gave the program a one-year reprieve before making a final decision following an emotional plea from parents and school staff.

Board chairwoman Adriana LaGrange said school administration and district staff exhausted all efforts to increase enrolment but the numbers didn’t come. The projected cost to run the program for the 2012-2013 school year is $121,000.

Principal Rose McQuay said this will not spell the end of French at the pre-kindergarten to Grade 9 school. All students in Grade 4 and 5 will continue with French language classes.

“We are also looking at our Grade 1 and 2 students this year in order to take a gifted program in French for next year,” she said.

“So we’re trying to be able to offer opportunities so they will be able to be exposed to the French culture and language.”

The program was introduced in 2007 with 14 students in kindergarten. In September 2010, there were 36 students in kindergarten to Grade 3. In September 2011, 23 students were enrolled from kindergarten to Grade 4.

Projections indicated there would be 21 students in kindergarten to Grade 5 in September 2012.

The Catholic district offers French immersion at Our Lady of the Rosary School and Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake and Camille J. Lerouge and Notre Dame High School in Red Deer.

In other news:

l Two modular classrooms will be added to Notre Dame High School by September. This brings the total to six modulars on the school site. The board will ask the province for an additional modular.

l A new high school, additional space for St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and modernization of St. Patrick’s Community School top the district’s 2012-2015 capital plan. Trustees approved its plan last night with a few re-jigging of priorities in light of the new elementary school and the modernization projects approved last May.

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most people don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Ontario finance minister projects $15B deficit for province

TORONTO — Ontario’s finance minister said the province will have to make… Continue reading

Most Read