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

Kelowna’s Dr. Knox grabs No. 1 seed at junior provincials

The Falcons girls team heads to the championships in Langley this weekend

Okanagan spring concert guide

A look at the top acts performing in the Okanagan from Feb. 18. to June. 21.

UBC Okanagan to host Festival of Ideas with BC’s lieutenant governor

The inaugural event will feature a panel discussion with Janet Austin, B.C.’s lieutenant governor

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

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

Kelowna divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

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.”

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

COLUMN: Democracies don’t always have to agree

In no democratic system of governance is there ever 100 per cent agreement on any issue

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Most Read