Ottawa Board mulls merging classes amid French immersion boom
School reshuffle angers parents.
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Some Ottawa parents are decrying the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s proposal to redistribute students based on language streams.
Board staff drafted an Elementary School Program Framework to address both over- and under-enrolled schools, and the 70
They propose cancelling streams like English or
“I was shocked when I saw this,” Susan Dallin O'Grady. “There’s always been this move toward
While Dallin O'Grady’s daughter takes
“Just to say to the English kids, 'Oh, well you have to go somewhere else,' I think that's really
Trustee Shawn Menard said parents also worry about increased busing. “It would be really detrimental for community schools, for walkability; for being able to go to your neighbourhood school and have a choice.”
Menard said the board must combat widespread perceptions that students outside French immersion face second-tier instruction. “There are many high-quality graduates who have come out of the English program, who have excelled in life.”
OCDSB Director Jennifer Adams
“Our board fully believes in open access for all parents,” she said. “We have to shift where our programs are, based on the number of places that are requested.”
Adams stressed the board is listening to parents’ concerns, through a consultation and an open committee meeting January 24, before the January 31 trustee vote. “We have a very transparent process,” she said.
But the board’s approach — implementing language sorting amid a handful of other proposals — is what’s upsetting parents.
“There’s a lack of transparency, for sure,” said Dallin O'Grady. “Why all of sudden is this a problem?”