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Stop the Move of Grade 5 french Immersion to Journey

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Our kids are not ready!

Our kids returned home from school yesterday stating that their French Immersion classmates were informed that they would be heading to Journey Middle school one year early because the dual track English and French school they currently attend is at full capacity and they have no room left in the school for his class.  They stated that the Principals from both Ecole Poirier Elementary school and Journey Middle School convinced them that this would be a really great thing for him because of the many clubs and activities at the school and because the school has "vending machines and kids are allowed to bring their ipods”.  Some of us  then checked our email to find the letter which informed the parents of this change. Nowhere in this letter does it indicate that this decision is still pending and up for discussion.
 
 We are concerned about this decision and the way this was handled for a number of reasons:
1) Children should NEVER have been informed of a decision as big as this BEFORE parents had any idea that this was happening.  Our kids came home yesterday excited about the move to the new school and upon telling us about it the only reaction we could give was shock and confusion as it was the first we had heard about it which lead to them feeling nervous and anxious about the move instead of excited.  If this change went through the proper channels and parents were informed first, we could have been better prepared to meet their excitement with our own excitement, even if our excitement was contrived, thus avoiding the sense of anxiety and concern that they may now feel about the move.

2) We do NOT believe that moving grade 5 children into a middle school is even close to being in the best interest of any grade 5 child but especially of some children who already struggles socially to fit in at school. Moving a class of 30 or less grade 5 students to a middle school with over 450 children, some of whom will be 13 & 14 years old is setting the grade 5 children up to be a target which will have huge impact on their social and academic abilities and will lead to greater anxiety and potential long-term struggles with mental health.
 
3) Moving these children over one year before they were scheduled to move up to Middle school is robbing them of their year to be the oldest kids in the school which is an important year to build confidence and self-esteem before moving into a school where they are again the youngest, which will make their experience mentioned in the second point even worse since these children are going to be robbed of an important milestone year that is filled with the possibility of personal growth.

4) We are concerned and confused that the French Immersion grade 4 students are the only students impacted by this change and that the English grade 4 students will remain at the Elementary school.  Why were the french students chosen to be displaced and not the English students?  Why are the English students being left behind while their peers are “fortunate enough to move on to a school full of many clubs, activities, vending machines and ipods”?

5) We are concerned that there was no public consultation or parental involvement in the decision making.  From what we can understand, this decision was made because of the large enrolment of children in Kindergarten for 2015-2016.  The registration date was on Jan 30th.  This means there were 2 months to gather public input, or at the very least, parental input.  This was not done.
 
 Can we please look at some other options? We know there are many other options available and these should be explored as well.
 
 



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