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Funding approved for Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:19 PST, Tue November 22, 2022

Francophone students and their families can look forward to improved educational services throughout B.C. with a new capital project office for the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF), the province’s francophone school board.

"The establishment of a capital project office for Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique is a great step forward in ensuring francophone students have the same access to robust educational programs as their anglophone peers," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. "The office will allow our ministry to work closely with the CSF to continue to identify and deliver on school capital projects for francophone students across the province."

Richmond has two schools that belong to the CSF: elementary-level École des Navigateurs and a virtual school that accommodates K-12 students. The school district office is also in Richmond.

The province has committed funding to establish and operate a capital project office for the CSF. Operating as one provincewide school district, the project office will be staffed by CSF employees who will co-ordinate the planning and delivery of capital projects in communities where new, improved, or expanded schools are needed. This includes acquiring land for future schools and developing business cases for new schools or school expansions and renovations throughout the district.

Capital project offices have a proven track record of accelerating the pace of capital projects in a school district. To address complex capital planning needs, project offices have been established in school districts, including Surrey, Vancouver, and Richmond. By creating a CSF project office, government will be better able to support francophone learners and continue to improve educational services throughout B.C.

"The establishment of a capital projects office at the CSF will enable us to expand the French-language education system, and we very much welcome this development," said Marie-Pierre Lavoie, CSF board chair. "We are determined to continue our collaborative work with the Ministry of Education and Child Care. The establishment of this office to acquire suitable school sites will allow us to pursue the CSF's mission of inspiring students through an innovative education, and creating a vibrant, diverse francophone cultural environment."

Since September 2017, the province has provided the CSF with $58.9 million for site purchases in Burnaby, Kamloops, Penticton, Victoria, Pemberton, and Smithers. Government will continue acquiring school sites and building or upgrading schools for francophone students throughout the province.

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