Beginning in September 2023, the elementary French Immersion program in Elgin County will move from St. Anne’s to Monsignor Morrison. All current French Immersion students will continue in the program at Monsignor Morrison. French Immersion will no longer be offered at St. Anne’s.
There will be no changes for students who are not enrolled in the French Immersion program.
Additional information will be shared in the Spring. The staff at both schools will be working on plans to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the French Immersion program students.
An information session for families will be held in the near future. The date and time will be shared once details are finalized.
As you may know, the population of St. Thomas is increasing at a rapid pace. This means the number of students at the two Catholic elementary schools has increased as well. The increased popularity of French Immersion has resulted in a more significant increase at St. Anne’s than at Monsignor Morrison.
As you can see below, the lack of space at St. Anne’s has made it necessary for the school board to shift the French Immersion program to Monsignor Morrison. This decision was made after the school board exhausted all alternatives. This is the best way to serve all the students in the community.
Students: 900+ (including 200+ in French Immersion)
St. Anne’s is one of the two largest elementary schools in the school board. Most schools have half as many students. The recently announced addition will add nine classrooms once completed, but won’t address the swelling population. As well, the school would still need at least seven portables.
Looking Ahead: 2023-24
This will be a year of transition and construction. The French Immersion program and it’s 200+ students will move to Monsignor Morrison, along with a number of portables currently at St. Anne’s. Construction crews will be on-site at St. Anne’s to work on the nine-room addition.
Looking Ahead: 2024-25
Construction should be complete and the projected figures are as follows:
St. Anne’s Overview
Portables: 0 (maybe)
Monsignor Morrison Overview
Students: 550+ (including 200+ in French Immersion)
Other Options the School Board Considered
Add more portables at St. Anne’s: there simply isn’t the space. In fact, the school board had to obtain site plan approval from the city’s planning department for the newest portables.
Add portables at St. Anne’s in the field: the field contains an underground matrix of weeping tile, so the ground cannot support the weight of any portables.
Add portables in the St. Anne’s church parking lot: the church needs the space for it’s own services and activities.
Move some students to St. Joseph’s High School: St. Joe’s is already full, and currently has four portables.
Rent space for a temporary school: this is an extremely costly alternative, which the school board may not receive funding for.
Build a new school: requires Ministry funding approval following a future submission of the Board’s capital priorities. If funding is received, it could be 3-5 years before a new school would open. In addition, a school boundary review would likely be needed, resulting in changing boundaries for all St. Thomas elementary schools.