Planned Ukrainian immersion merge leaves parents miffed
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 7:48PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 3:42PM CST
A group of parents in Transcona are worried about the future of their children’s education. They're part of the Ukranian language program at Bernie Wolfe School, but perhaps, not for too much longer.
The Ukrainian language program currently offered at Bernie Wolfe School and Springfield Heights School will in September of 2020 be merged, and relocated to Prince Edward School.
"I feel like they would be eliminating our whole community of Transcona in the program," said parent Kaitlyn Sayavong.
That's because Prince Edward School is in East Kildonan, a roughly 30 minute bus ride away from Bernie Wolfe.
"I feel like they're robbing us of all the work that we've done," said Sayavong. "Everything we've poured into the program."
In a statement to CTV News, River East Transcona School Division Superintendent Kelly Barkman writes:
"The board frequently reviews boundary lines, as well as current and projected school enrolment numbers. In doing so, they found that both Bernie Wolfe and Springfield Heights were either at or nearing capacity and projected to be over capacity in the near future.
By uniting the early years students, we intend to strengthen the program, creating a larger, more robust experience with an increase in peer-to-peer interactions. Closer proximity will provide staff with more opportunities to share resources and collaborate for their students’ benefit, and the tight-knit group of families involved in the program will have the chance to feel an even greater sense of community."
But parent Jennifer Duffill worries it won't benefit Bernie Wolfe kids. Especially those who rely on day care.
"I can't get him in another before and after program because we're at overcapacity in all the day cares in the province. So what do you do, right," she said.
Barkman says change can present challenges, but he's confident the program and families taking part in the program will ultimately benefit from those changes. And he vows the school division will assist families with daycare concerns.
“The school division works alongside daycares and before-and-after program organizations who supply the service needed in our schools. We plan to work with the existing two before-and-after programs currently at Prince Edward School in regards to accommodating parent requests to attend the program.”
The School Division has scheduled an information meeting for parents and caregivers to learn more about the transition plans. It's scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Prince Edward School.