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CONTRIBUTION · 20th April 2014
Monica Rigoni
Dear Parents of French Immersion students,

We are writing you about the recent letter sent home with students regarding bus costs. Kitimat Parents for French are very concerned about the new charges for busing of students to school. The CMSD82 board wants parents to pay bus costs if their child does not live in the school catchment area. They are going to charge $20 per student every month to a maximum of $40 per month. This can mean up to $400 per family/year, and potentially more than $2800 for Kindergarten to Grade 6 period. This is a huge consideration as 82% of French Immersion program kids live outside of the Kildala school basin.

This extra cost will not give equal access to the program, and will contribute to making it an "exclusive" program by excluding families that cannot afford to pay this extra cost. It is a right in Canada to have choice of education. Right to that education should not be controlled by economics.

We would like to remind parents about some history for the French Immersion program in Kitimat. When the school board closed Cormorant school, parents conceded to having the French Immersion program move to Kildala school with the agreement that the board would ensure transportation to access the program. Now the School District is reneging on their commitment. In addition, they are trying to do this quickly to avoid conflict, sending notices to parents requesting returned forms by this week.

The past week we have contacted the school board and have received 3 different contact names (it seems they don't know amongst themselves who to contact for this issue), so we are encouraging you to write to the following people to express your opinion on the subject:

- Janelle Hittel, Kildala School Principal, janelle.hittel,,,, 250-632-6194

- Agnes Casgrain, French Immersion District Coordinator, agnes.casgrain,,,, 250-638-4464

- Nancy Wells, Superintendent of Schools, nancy.wells,,,, 250-638-4407, 1-855-635-4931

- Katherine McIntosh, the new Superintendent of Schools (as of May 5, 2014)

We need parents to let their voices be heard, even if your child does not currently need the bus or you can afford it, please write to express your opinion and support for the long term good of the French Immersion program in Kitimat.

Best regards from your concerned KPF executives,
Julie Stevens and Monica Rigoni