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How this Delta Francophone school is working to connect students with the community

Tsawwassen’s public school École du Bois-joli offers French education to students from kindergarten to Grade 7, with enrolment open all year round

For the principal of l’École du Bois-joli, Baghdad Bouzouina, elementary school isn’t merely about prioritizing academic accomplishments. It’s also the connections and partnerships that students can make along the way.

Since starting as principal at the beginning of the school year, the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) – also known as School District 93 – educator of 13 years has been working to further the relationships his 41 students have with one another, with the local Francophone community, and the larger local community.

“Our mandate is to prepare our students with the ability to be good citizens and to push them toward excellence with well-balanced learning,” he explains. “They should know how to work in groups, how to understand one another, how to make decisions together – these kinds of abilities are very important for everyone, regardless of what you want to do in life.”

With these kinds of values guiding them, l’École du Bois-joli offers students regular workshops led by local Francophone community members. So far this school year, they’ve learned how to make ironwork sculptures and tasty pastries, with more workshops being planned for the future.

“Working closely with the Francophone community in Delta has helped the students realize that there are other French speakers around the province, as well as in Canada, because a lot of the time, our students come to school and this is the only place where they can speak, learn, and evolve in French,” describes Bouzouina.

The school also continuously collaborates with Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) on various projects and coordinates visits for both student and staff learning. In fact, last year, l’École du Bois-joli celebrated its 10th anniversary of the Tsawwassen First Nation, gifting them the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ name that translates to “the little ones are speaking,” says Bouzouina, which involved a speaking presentation from TFN’s Jesseca Adams and Terri Splockton.

In the future, L’École du Bois-joli will also be collaborating with the Delta School District in order to be part of their track and field competitive events, which will be in addition to their own sports clubs and tournaments. The school also offers a wide range of clubs, including music, reading, cooking, and more, with many activities being student-led.

“Our students have the ability to speak many languages, and I want them to feel like they are superheroes because of that – they have the power of communicating,” says Bouzouina. 

In addition to being superheroes, learning and living in French will also eventually open the doors to top universities because of the competitiveness that graduating with two diplomas – the anglophone Dogwood and the Francophone Cornouiller – will give them, as well as make them more competitive for future job opportunities.

Other benefits of enroling in the CSF’s École du Bois-joli in Delta include growing a strong sense of identity and attachment to Francophone culture, nurturing a feeling of community and even free bus transportation.

“We are a small school, so we can offer more personalized teachings, and we also have this family spirit,” Bouzouina reveals. “Like a family, we have big kids playing and helping small kids, so we need to work together, and we need to include everyone.” 

As is the case with all of the CSF’s schools, students must be considered “rights holders” to attend l’École du Bois-joli. This means their parents must be Canadian citizens with a Francophone background or otherwise meet the criteria under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

There are a few nuances to this, however, so be sure to check out the CSF’s admission requirements if you are interested in enroling your child. 

For more information about CSF’s school in Delta, please visit their website, or call 604-948-7007. You can also register online at