(École des Voyageurs photo)

(École des Voyageurs photo)

Langley’s French elementary school sets the record straight to combat myths

The school is holding an open house for parents of kindergarten students.

École des Voyageurs, the French language public school in Walnut Grove, wants to dispel some myths that may be holding people back from signing up their children.

The school offers kindergarten to Grade 7 teaching in French. To help people better understand what the school has to offer, it is holding an open house at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

“We are often assumed to be a private school or a French Immersion school that falls under the Langley School District,” said Laura Grefford, president of the school’s parent advisory council. “What many don’t realize is that we are a public francophone school, but under School District #93, Conseil Scolaire Francophone, which has its own board of trustees and oversees all the public francophone schools in the province.”

École des Voyageurs, at 8736 216th St., is a public school. Its catchment area includes Langley Township, Langley City, as well as the eastern border of Surrey and the western border of Abbotsford.

School District #93 was founded in response to Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which covers the rights of Canadian citizens to have their child educated in the official language (English or French) that’s considered the minority language in the province.

But unlike public schools in the Langley School District (#35), there are eligibility criteria.

As French is considered the minority official language in British Columbia, at least one parent must satisfy Section 23’s definition of a “minority language right-holder” for their child to attend École des Voyageurs.

Their first language learned (and still understood) is French or they received their primary school instruction in French (excluding French Immersion).

“There are certainly several families with origins in Quebec, but many of our families consist of at least one parent from French communities in other parts of Canada such as Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick,” Grefford explained. “There are also families from francophone regions abroad such as France, Haïti, Egypt, and Lebanon.”

This is the time of year when people with children about to enter kindergarten are anxious about ensuring they have a spot at their program of choice, such as French Immersion.

Grefford invited parents to contact École des Voyageurs.

“Langley parents who believe they are considered a minority language right-holder are encouraged to contact École des Voyageurs to confirm their eligibility. Unlike French Immersion programs managed by the English school districts, there are no lotteries or wait lists to access public francophone schools in the province. As long as the parent is a right holder, their child is guaranteed enrolment,” she said.

The school has free school bus transportation for students, a private francophone preschool called Les Petits Voyageurs located on-site, and the new ‘Franc Départ’ centre (French version of ‘Strong Start’) located on-site.

• Learn more

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

Just Posted

Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta will be at a ceremony marking 70 years since Canadian soldiers fought at the Battle of Kapyong, held at the Gapyeong Memorial in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Friday, April 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley battle memorial marks 70 years since pivotal clash in Korean War

The Gapyeong Memorial will host a small, private ceremony this Friday

Prince George Cougars triumph over the Langley-based Vancouver Giants Monday night, by the score of 4-1. That follows a similar defeat on Saturday by the same team. (Cougar’s Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
Vancouver Giants fall in 4-1 loss to Prince George

WHL hockey team goes up against Victoria in Kamloops on Thursday

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
COVID cases recorded at 5 Langley schools

14 schools remain on Fraser Health exposure list

Trinity Western University’s Student Association organized a celebration parade for graduating students Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Trinity Western University/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
University student association hosts grad parade at Langley campus

Students honoured with special Saturday event

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July, 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Judge to rule on final witness in Langley child murder trial

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis has lasted far longer than expected

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Most Read