École publique Gabrielle-Roy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing its relocation to Strathearn in 2006, École publique Gabrielle-Roy was focused inward, says principal Jean-Daniel Tremblay, busy with the business of establishing a new home for a school that has moved several times since it was founded in 1997.

But with a parent committee working to enhance and modernize the school playground and with a number of students’ families starting to move into the neighbourhood, Tremblay says, “We are starting to see opportunities for partnership and co-operation between our school and Strathearn community.”

On Sept. 14, Gabrielle-Roy students and teachers participated in the second-annual Strathearn Art Walk. The school was the location for music and children’s crafts, and students sang and volunteered. Plans for the playground project were on display and students from the social justice committee were selling snacks, with funds to be donated through Free the Children to help build a school in India.

Here, we take a look at École publique Gabrielle-Roy, by the numbers

425: The number of students enrolled as of Sept. 13, 2013, up from 350 in June. Add in those who attend daycare and pre-school and the number of children at the school everyday swells to 520. The school population has grown every year but one since it was founded, Tremblay says.

95: The percentage of students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 who are bussed to what is the only junior and senior high francophone public school in Edmonton.

60: The percentage of students from immigrant families. “We’re welcoming a lot of new Canadians and we’re proud of that,” Tremblay says. The school has a settlement worker and Tremblay sees closer connections with the neighbourhood as another way to help newcomers build community.

23: The section of the Charter of Rights of Rights and Freedoms that protects minority language educational rights. As per the Charter, parents can send their children to Gabrielle-Roy if their first language is French, they were educated in Canada in French or they have a child who has or is being educated in French. People, says Tremblay, don’t often understand the difference between francophone and French immersion schools.

500,000: The cost to modernize and expand the playground. Parents are fundraising for the project right now, and Tremblay says they hope that in two years children who attend the school and daycare, as well as those who live nearby will be playing in the enhanced playground.

Written by Kristen Vernon

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