Conseil scolaire francophone: living in French at L'école du Bois-joli

"The most common misconception about our school," says Sophie Lemieux, principal of L'école du Bois-joli elementary school in Tsawwassen, "is that we are a private school or a French immersion school."

L'école du Bois-joli is one of 37 schools in the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF), or Francophone School District (SD 93), in British Columbia.

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"The difference is that in French immersion, children learn to speak French as a second language,” Sophie explains. “At CSF schools, we live in French as well as learn in French. We are a public school, just like any other school in the B.C. education system. We follow the same curriculum and our students are subject to the same standardized testing."

Founded 20 years ago, the CSF offers French-speaking families in B.C. the opportunity to have their children educated in French.

"We don't have the same student base as French immersion," Sophie says. "For us, French is not a second language. Parents send their kids here to retain a link to French culture and the French language.”

“Kids learn both French and English as a first language in Francophone schools," she adds.

To learn more about the admission requirements, parents can visit the school board website at www.csf.bc.ca

"Our parents say that we are a very caring community at l'école du Bois-joli," Sophie says. "We have small classes and we know our children very well."

For more information about L'école du Bois-joli or the CSF, please check the school's website at http://boisjoli.csf.bc.ca, call 604.948.7007 or email sophie_lemieux@csf.bc.ca. CSF can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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