VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Parents frustrated with the potential closure of a French Immersion annex took to the streets Wednesday, rallying to save their learning space.
The Queen Elizabeth Annex currently hosts Kindergarten to grade 3 classes, but the Vancouver School Board is considering closing it by the summer of 2020 due to costs.
If closed, kids would go to a nearby French Immersion Elementary school.
Lily Cameron is one of those frustrated parents. She says these students need a smaller space, and won’t do well in a larger elementary school.
“There are a lot of kids who have anxiety or have issues with loud noises and lots of kids,” she says. “It’s really important for them to have small schools that they can go to. They can start off in Kindergarten and there are not 650 kids in their school, there are 70 kids.”
She says if closed, kids would be sent to École Jules Quesnel, a nearby french immersion elementary school.
“That school is already close to capacity. It just can’t accommodate 70 more kids,” she says. “They’re proposing to put kids in a computer room that doesn’t necessarily have windows. Taking away the music room from the school to make another classroom for those kids.”
She adds if the school tries to squeeze in the extra students will lead to the loss of kindergarten classes for younger students.
“To fit these children in they’ve confirmed they will likely have to drop a kindergarten stream of french immersion next year. That’s another 22 spots for french immersion that they are just going to take away when they are already in a situation where the waitlists are hundreds of students long.”
The board is considering closing the annex by July 2020, a final decision will likely be reached by January.
This is the third time in just ten years that the VSB has looked into closing down the school.