Rob Flemming, B.C. Minister of Education, announced Monday the government has provided money to purchase École Entre-lacs school from the Okanagan-Skaha School District. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Future of Penticton francophone school secured following funding announcement

$11.5M in funding means École Entre-lacs now independently owned and operated

Today, Jan. 20, the B.C. Ministry of Education (MOE) announced plans to invest in a permanent school for French-speaking students in Penticton.

Since 2017 the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Columbie-Britannique (CSF) has operated École Entre-lacs, a K-12 francophone school, on a short-term lease from the Okanagan-Skaha School Disrrict (SD67).

Now, francophone families in Penticton can be certain that École Entre-lacs is here to stay according to the ministry. Now, thanks to $11.5-million in funding, CSF owns and operates the school independently.

Part of the funding also aims to provide SD67’s board of education with funds that can be used to advance its capital priorities, such as expansions or renovations.

READ MORE: Okanagan school districts reach agreement with CUPE Local 523

“In a country with two official languages, it’s vital that francophone students have the same opportunities as their anglophone peers,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education in a news release. “That’s why we are investing in a permanent school for French-speaking students in Penticton and working to find similar opportunities in other parts of the province.”

CSF Board of Trustees president Marie-Pierre Lavoie said this initiative will further the CSF’s mission, and provide greater access to francophone education in British Columbia.

“We are happy to see that our collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Okanagan-Skaha School District on this file has allowed us to acquire a school for the Penticton francophone community,” she said in the release.

The ministry stated that École Entre-lacs has enough space for all of the francophone students in Penticton, with room to accommodate expected growth.

In addition to several standard and specialty classrooms, a gymnasium and a library, the school also offers child care.

The ministry added CSF students attending the francophone program at Penticton Secondary will not be affected, however a secondary program is expected to be phased in at École Entre-lacs.

READ MORE: Okanagan Skaha School District announces two administrative changes

The recent property sale includes the former Nkwala Middle School facility, closed since 2016 due to declining enrolment.

MOE, the CSF and the City of Penticton will now work together to decide the future of this site so it can be of better use to the community.

The ministry added it will continue to work with the CSF to fund and acquire school sites for francophone students in other communities throughout B.C.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan youth drink, smoke and have sex more than anywhere else in B.C.

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Summerland transgender female follows her passion for hockey

“As soon as you put the jersey on, nothing underneath it matters.You are just a hockey player.”

Apex Mountain hosting memorial run for Brayden Kuroda

Kuroda, a Penticton native and World Cup freestyle skier, passed away Monday night at the age of 19.

Online crime reporting coming to Penticton

Penticton RCMP will launch an online crime reporting tool for public use at the end of March.

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Meet Softy a five-year-old Himalayan cat available for adoption

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Sentenced for stealing pricey ring from Salmon Arm pawn shop

Accused vows to change criminal history through beating addictions

Morning Start: Want your plants to grow faster? Play them music

Your morning start for Thursday, February 20, 2020

Cyclist hit by semi truck in Vernon

Cyclist sustained non-life threatening injuries; police investigating

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Canadians aboard coronavirus-ridden cruise ship to return home tonight

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment

Most Read