Francophone students and families in Sechelt are a step closer to having a permanent French-language school now that land has been purchased for a future K-12 school.
“It’s important for families who speak French as a first language to have access to a francophone school,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “We’re committed to continuing to work with the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) to ensure students in Sechelt and throughout B.C. have access to quality education. This investment is the next step towards a permanent school that will welcome students in the future.”
The Province has provided the CSF with $6.46 million to purchase property for a future, permanent home for the École du Pacifique in Sechelt. This school-site investment is part of government’s work to ensure francophone students have certainty and equity in their education.
“This is an important step in building a new École du Pacifique,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “I’m pleased to see the site is secured in a permanent location, giving Sunshine Coast families the confidence that they will have access to high-quality French education through the B.C. education system.”
École du Pacifique currently offers classes from kindergarten to Grade 7. The CSF operates the school in facilities leased through the Sunshine Coast School District 46 at Sechelt Elementary. The CSF also has an agreement in place with the school district for grade 8-12 students to use classroom space at Chatelech Secondary school. With a school site secured, the Province will work with the CSF to find the best long-term solution to meet the needs of the francophone population in the community.
“We would like to acknowledge the co-operation of the Ministry of Education and Child Care in the acquisition of a permanent site for École du Pacifique. This takes us one step closer to our goal of offering students in Sechelt’s Francophone community a truly equivalent French-language education,” said Marie-Pierre Lavoie, chair, CSF’s Board of Trustees. “As soon as we are able, we will be providing them with an environment that allows them to reach their full academic potential. The CSF is continuing to move forward with the planning of a school.”
Since September 2017, the Province has provided the CSF with more than $58.9 million for site purchases in Burnaby, Kamloops, Penticton, Victoria, Pemberton and Smithers, as well as more than $23.7 million for École Beausoleil in Victoria, la Grande-ourse in Smithers and a new gymnasium addition at École des-Deux-Rives in Mission. The Province also provided funding to help CSF establish a capital project office to more efficiently co-ordinate and deliver capital projects for francophone students and their families throughout B.C.
Budget 2023 includes $3.4 billion for school capital investments to provide better places for students to learn.