Claudette-Bradshaw Elementary School, the newest addition to the 38 schools in the Francophone South district, will open its doors to students for the first time on Tuesday.
According to Monique Boudreau, district superintendent, 570 of the 630 places reserved for students were already reserved on Friday and registrations continued to flow.
“They say build it and they’ll come and we’ve seen it in every school we’ve opened,” Boudreau said in an interview.
She said parents of students eligible for enrollment in English and French school districts will transfer their children from the English school to the French school once a French school is built in their neighborhood, which will result in rapid filling of new schools.
She added that Samuel-de-Champlain School in Saint John also filled up when it opened.
This school, as well as École Sainte-Anne in Fredericton and École St-Henri in Moncton, need portable cla*srooms to deal with the surplus of students this year.
She added that immigration, particularly to the Moncton area, is also driving up enrollment numbers.
“The total number of students attending (district) schools is up 10 percent from last year,” she said.
École Claudette-Bradshaw is part of a complex that also houses the new site of the middle school École le Mascaret, inaugurated in January 2022.
Some students from École le Sommet and École Champlain in Moncton are attending the new Mascaret location, allowing the district to get rid of the portable cla*srooms that were used at both schools.
The middle school’s new location has created more space for the École l’Odyssée high school, as it can now expand into the former École le Mascaret building.
She said the district sees the need for new French schools in Miramichi, Saint John and Riverview, and has been asking the government for funding for these projects for years.
“We know that there are many French students who choose an English school because the Sainte-Bernadette school is too far away. That’s why we would like to build a new school in Riverview,” she said.
École Sainte-Bernadette is an elementary school in the West End of Moncton, the closest francophone school to Riverview.
“We really need the government to act and give us the necessary funding so that we can start planning and building these new schools,” she said.
In a written statement sent Friday to PKBNEWS, a Department of Education representative said the department “is aware of the substantial increase in enrollment ahead of the school year and is in communication with school districts, including including the District scolaire francophone-Sud, on the pressures related to the growth in enrollment they are experiencing.
The statement said enrollment growth was a factor in determining which requested new schools would receive funding and that the department “continues to work closely with school district leaders to ensure that all students receive quality learning and services.” quality that meets their needs.
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