No more overnight lineups for French immersion registration.
That’s the hope of school trustees who have adopted new district enrolment rules, including school draws for kindergarten entry, the point of intake for French immersion.
Enrolment changes adopted by Kamloops-Thompson School District are designed to prevent the sort of overnight queueing generally associated with retail selling blitzes such as Boxing Day.
One such lineup last winter had about 60 parents and grandparents staking positions outside Lloyd George elementary, hoping to get children enrolled for limited French immersion seats. There remain about a dozen families still on a wait list and wanting to enrol.
“We discourage that,” said Karl deBruijn, district superintendent, after trustees voted unanimously at a board meeting in Barriere for new enrolment regulations. “Even after lining up, there were people who weren’t able to get their kids in.”
Some parents felt it would be fairer to have a lottery, which is what the district has come up with, so that registration is not based solely on first-come, first-served.
“We’ve had many eyes look at it and we think we’ve got the contingencies covered,” deBruijn said of the new draw.
The underlying problem — a shortage of French immersion seats in Kamloops — will take longer to address, deBruijn said. That may involve opening a second French immersion school on the North Shore, but the additional cost has to be weighed together with consultation among families to determine potential enrolment.
Under the new rules, there will be three categories of draws, one for catchment-area children with siblings already attending the school, one for other catchment-area children and a third for children outside of the catchment area.
The complete rules can be found here at the district website.