The French School Board of Eastern Ontario will be opening a new school at the Kemptville College for September 2016.
The Vice-President of the French School Board of Eastern Ontario, Lucille Collard, made the announcement along with representatives from the Municipality of North Grenville in the Purvis Building of the Campus on Monday.
Starting in September, the school will be accepting students from Kindergarten to grade 6 with the goal of extending it to all the way to grade 12 as soon as 2018. How quickly they increase the number of grades will depend largely on demand, Lucille says. The students will be studying in the college’s Power and Equipment building for the 2016 school year while Roark Hall and Gibson Hall are renovated to better serve the elementary and secondary school population. The principal will be Josée Bedard, the former principal of École Marie Curie in Ottawa.
The Municipality is particularly excited about this partnership because the French School Board of Eastern Ontario shares their vision and wants to be part of the creation of an educational hub focused on addressing the issue of climate change in agriculture, forestry and resource management. The School Board obtained the ISO 14001 certification in 2014, which means they have met the environmental management system standards set out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). They also teach the ISO 14000 program to their students, which helps them be aware of environmental impacts both at school and at home.
“Having our newest partner join our team with the credentials of being ISO 14001 and ISO 14000 certified is very significant and points to exciting opportunities in collaboration as we go forward to meet the environmental challenges of our time,” said Forbes Symon, director of planning and development of North Grenville, at the meeting.
The campus will now hold three separate educational institutions as of Fall 2016. Its campus already accommodates the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative, and Continuing Education and has done so since before the closure of the college. Late last year, the French Catholic School Board of Centre-East announced that they would be expanding their Merrickville school (Saint Marguerite-Bougeoys) to the campus, using Purvis Hall and Fraser Hall as their main educational buildings. There are some facilities (like the gym) that will need to be shared between the institutions, but both French School Boards have made it clear that they are very willing to accommodate each other and work out any logistical issues.
North Grenville CAO, Brian Carré, says this is a great step in creating the multi-tenant facility that the Municipality has in mind for the campus. Their goal is to one day add a post-secondary facility on the campus focused on climate change and carbon innovation. The first step for them is to complete negotiations with the Province of Ontario to acquire the Campus. Brian is unsure of how long this will take, however he is optimistic about the outcome. “They understand where we are coming from,” he says. Municipal Council voted to officially move forward with talks with the Province at the council meeting on Monday.