CPF BC & Yukon To Ask The Province To Reinstate the Annual Facilities Grant.
Dear Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon Chapter Representatives,
As mentioned in a special Chapter Representative comminqué sent Friday, January 22nd a number of school districts across the province are currently projecting multi-million dollar budget deficits for next year. This has left school districts scrambling to find cost saving measures such as administrative efficiencies, program closures, and school consolidations. French immersion, being a program of choice, is being targeted for cost reductions.
In some school districts French immersion programs are being moved from dual-track to single-track schools (Kamloops, North Vancouver, Prince George). In some districts Late French immersion programs with low enrolments may be closed. In the most extreme case, portions of a French immersion program might be eliminated: SD 27 Cariboo-Chilcotin.
In our special alert, we asked all CPF Chapter Representatives to start off by gathering the facts. Is your district projecting a budget deficit for next year? If so, by how much? Moreover, how do they plan to reduce their costs to make up their budget short-fall? Are they looking at consolidating or even closing French immersion programs in your community?
While Chapters should focus on lobbying local trustees to ensure reasonable access to quality French second language programming in your community, we are also asking for your support in calling on your local Members of the Legislature (MLA’s) to reinstate the Annual Facilities Grant (AFG). Last August the Ministry of Education decided to cut this $110,000,000 grant. By and large, this is one of the main reasons many of your districts are facing multi-million budget short-falls.
Our strategy to help ensure French second language programming in your community is preserved is to focus our energies on a two-pronged approach.
One is for CPF Chapter Representatives, working with all French second language families in your community, to present empathetic, reasonable, but passionate cases to your local school trustees. Trustees need to hear from and see all concerned French second language parents. As mentioned before, Chapters need get organized and to be proactive.
The second track is to put pressure on your local MLA’s to reinstate the Annual Facilities Grant (AFG). The CPF BC & Yukon Branch will be working with our educational partners at a provincial level to supplement this specific call for “AFG re-instatement.” I have included a lobby letter template (see attachments below) which we encourage all parents in your community to send to your local MLA’s and the Minister of Education. Feel free to personalize the message.
We will be in close communication as events progress. Thank you for your support in protecting reasonable access to French second language opportunities in our province.
Chapter Support and Community Outreach
Summer Camp Information Request!
If you haven’t done so already we are kindly asking all chapters who are organizing French summer camps to send us the following information:
- Name of your camp
- Location of your camp
- Dates of your camp
- Short description of programming
- Registration fee
- Contact Information
Please send this summer camp information to CPF BC & YT outreach by Friday, February 5th. Thank you!
Volunteer Appreciation: $100 for Your Chapter!
During the month of February we are offering $100 for chapters to use for volunteer appreciation. The volunteer appreciation event/initiative/gifts can not include alcoholic beverages. Also, your volunteer appreciation initiative must occur between February 1st and February 28th. Otherwise you are free to thank your chapter volunteers in any way deemed appropriate. To be reimbursed the $100 you will need to send Dimitry a summary of the initiative and all original receipts by March 5th.
SFU OFFA Post-Secondary Information Session
The Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA) at Simon Fraser University is offering free post-secondary information sessions in your community. OFFA’s mission is to develop, to coordinate and to promote post-secondary programs and courses taught in French at Simon Fraser University in order to meet the post-secondary education needs of Francophone and Francophile communities in British Columbia.
For more information on hosting an OFFA post-secondary information event in your community (school, etc) please contact Claire Trepanier at
Online French immersion secondary courses
The North Coast Distance Education School, a special arm of the Coast Mountains School District (SD#82), is currently offering two French immersion secondary courses online:
Digital Media Production 11/12 & Sciences Humaines 11. These courses are being offered starting in February, although one of the courses may not be offered if they do not have enough students enrolled.
North Coast Distant Education School is one of seven regional DE schools in BC. They are fully accredited and teach courses approved by the Ministry of Education leading to graduation with both Dogwood diplomas. Their teachers are registered with the BCCT of teachers and their programs meet all educationally required objectives for the courses.
If you, your members, or your school district is interested in online French immersion courses please see the attachments and or visit: http://www.ncdes.ca/
Concours Preparation – Help Your School Participate!
Registration for the provincial Concours will open February 1st, 2010 and close April 16, 2010. Please help your school districts to meet these deadlines. There are a number of eligible schools that, unfortunately, do not participate in the Concours d’Art Oratoire due to a lack of awareness. Please feel free to highlight this annual local, provincial, and national competition to your teachers and school principals. For questions about Concours and about up to date announcements, please refer to our website:
A reminder that last year, three BC finalists in the national competition in Ottawa won in their category.
Student Travel Opportunity to Ottawa – Bursary Available!
Encounters Canada aims to bring young Canadians of different backgrounds and regions together for an opportunity to learn about one another, to discover their country through one another, and to gain a better understanding of Canadian institutions.
While Encounters with Canada covers the travel and accommodation costs, students are required to raise the $625 registration fee. Starting in September 2007, CPF will award twenty $100 bursaries to youth delegates from BC and Yukon to help subsidize the registration fee. Only children of CPF members are eligible for the bursary.
Welcome CPF Cortes! Welcome Back CPF Richmond!
On January 20th 17 parents in Richmond came together to re-establish the CPF Richmond Chapter. A special thank you to Diane Tijman, Barbara Elliot, and Kristy McLeod for leading the charge and to Lisa Fisher, Sandra Kahn, Kristina Bradley, and Stephanie Kennedy for stepping into roles on the CPF Richmond Board of Directors. Catherine Miller and Marie Chantal did an fantastic job passing the torch.
On January 21st 15 parents on Cortes Island came together to create the CPF Cortes Chapter. A special thank you to Amiti Melnyk for organizing the meeting and for stepping into the role as CPF Cortes Chapter President.
These two new additions bring CPF BC & Yukon up to 47 active chapters in good standing! We wish Richmond and Cortes all the very best in their future efforts to help support and promote French second language opportunities for students in their respective communities.
New Addition to the CPF Branch: Welcome Anthony Chen!
As of this week and through the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics Anthony Chen will be covering and reporting on French second language initiatives and events for CPF BC & Yukon. This opportunity was created by a special Olympic related employment subsidy from the Youth Canada Works program, managed by one of our Francophone partners, Educacentre College. Anthony, who was one of our successful Concours d’art oratoire competitors, will be blogging in French and in English on our CPF BC & Yukon website. You can follow Anthony at: www.cpf.bc.ca