French immersion a possibility for Madawaska family of schools

BARRY’S BAY – Students in Killaloe, Barry’s Bay and Palmer Rapids might soon have the ability to delve into their education en Français.

On June 10, the Renfrew County District School Board held a community consultation with parents to gauge interest in a French immersion program in the area. The Madawaska and Deep River family of schools are the only schools in the board that do not have French immersion opportunities. The Madawaska family of schools encompasses the Barry’s Bay, Palmer Rapids and Killaloe public schools.

Renfrew County District School Board Director of Education Pino Buffone hosted the evening, with the support of the board of trustees.

“Part of the reason, to be frank with all of you, that we didn’t have a plan for this family of schools laid out in advance like we did with Pembroke and like we built on in Arnprior or Renfrew, is that we don’t want to hurt one family of schools by starting a program in another,” he said. “We have to think through it carefully. We weren’t sure of the direction for this family of schools, as well as the Deep River family of schools.”

Buffone said the board was trying to gauge interest in the program, or to see if core French would suffice in the Madawaska family of schools.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the June 19 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.