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Victory school

Tribune photo by Jessica Lovell

In vain, some 50 Victory school parents and kids staged a “walk in our shoes” march Friday to shed light on concerns over the proposal to send French immersion students to King George.

Board tells immersion students to take a hike

Parents of French immersion students at Victory school were unsuccessful this week in getting school trustees to change their minds about sending Victory’s Grade 5 and 6 French immersion students to King George school in 2014.
The school board approved a modest change to its original proposal that will see Grade 4 French immersion students remain at Victory in September 2014, when King George school becomes a junior kindergarten to Grade 8 French immersion centre.
The status of Victory’s Grade 4 FI students will be reviewed annually, and they’ll be sent to King George if Victory’s enrolment exceeds a level that can be accommodated using three portables. This decision will be made by the board in the February before each new school year.
Victory will get full-day kindergarten in September 2014, putting enrolment pressure on the old school located next to Exhibition Park. The JK-6 school currently has 200 French immersion students and 84 students in the regular English track.
Victory parents made a last-ditch proposal to trustees Tuesday to keep all grades at their school and monitor annually to see what happens. But trustees voted against doing this.
The parents also asked that all students bused to King George from the Victory area be transported in school buses, because of parents’ safety concerns about the route they’d have to walk to get to King George.
The trustees also voted against this proposal, but they left open the possibility that “courtesy busing” might be provided to students in the Victory area who are too close to King George to automatically qualify for school busing. Parents will be told how to apply for courtesy busing in 2014, and if it’s not granted they’ll be told how to appeal directly to trustees as delegations.
The newly rebuilt King George school opened in September, but for its first two years it’s being used as a holding school. In September 2014, it will become the board’s only JK-8 French immersion centre north of the river.
The boundary review approved Tuesday also sets a new attendance area for Grade 7 and 8 French immersion students in the area north of the river designated as North Guelph by the Upper Grand District School Board.
Many of these students now attend John McCrae school on Water Street, just south of the Speed River, which has been their holding school since September 2011.
French immersion students from Victory, Edward Johnson and King George who graduate from Grade 6 in June 2014 will attend King George the following September, as a result of the newly approved boundary for King George.
However, all students entering Grade 8 French immersion at John McCrae in September 2014 will be “grandparented” for that year, rather than being sent to King George, the school board decided.

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