New French Immersion elementary school

A TVDSB media release:

The creation of a new French Immersion elementary school was approved last night by Trustees of the Thames Valley District School Board.

Westdale Public School will become a full French Immersion school in September 2011 and help ease overcrowding at Jeanne Sauvé Public School.

French Immersion education has become increasingly popular across the school district and every immersion school is currently at or beyond capacity. Demand for French Immersion education is estimated to continue to grow by 1,000 pupils by 2016.

Trustees approved an Accommodation Review Committee recommendation in January 2010 to close Westdale and transfer the remaining pupils to nearby Riverside Public School, which is operating under capacity. The Committee also recommended using Westdale as a French Immersion school in the future.

Plans for Westdale gained momentum when the City of London refused to allow portable classrooms to handle excess capacity at Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion Public School due to floodplain concerns.

Last night’s decision to speed the conversion of Westdale was the result of intensive and positive discussions between Board administration and the Jeanne Sauvé school community.
“It is a real testament to the hard work of Jeanne Sauvé parents who were committed to finding a solution within a tight timeframe that would benefit all children,” said Karen Dalton, Executive Superintendent of Operations Services.

Trustees approved a plan endorsed by Jeanne Sauvé School Council that would see Senior Kindergarten to Grade 6 students from Sections A and C of the school enrolment zone go to Westdale. (see MAP on attachment below) Students in Grade 7 and 8 from all sections would continue to go to Jeanne Sauvé.

“We believe (this) option would be the least disruptive for the school community and yield a better long-term solution to the accommodation issues,” School Council stated in a letter to the Board.

Parents registering students for Westdale in September should contact Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion P.S., 215 Wharncliffe Rd., London, at 519-452-8250.

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